Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – March 2014

This is the 20th income report as part of the zero backlink experiment.

Every month I will publish a post like this one that shows you how this blog is progressing and everything I have done across the month to get it there.

These reports will help me track my own progress while teaching you what to do and more importantly what not to do.

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

What I Have Done In March

I’ve spent most of my time focused on building out my new course – I’m giving it as much attention as possible right now.

While I have been working on that I’ve been looking to grow the blog by promoting what I already have and inviting some new guest authors.

I’ve also had a few nice surprises throughout the month!

Content Creation

Last month I was pretty slack with publishing new content and only managed 4 posts – but this month that has doubled to 8!

I started off by proving gingers are taking over the world with my Facebook campaign – they’ll be a follow up to this soon!

Then I shared my Facebook marketing strategy that was netting a whopping 2,851% ROI!

There were also 4 awesome guest posts this month-

Thanks to all of the guest authors! If you think you can produce something awesome, let me know!

Blog Features

The blog only had a couple of features this month but one of them was over at Forbes.

The other came in the form of this epic post about increasing your email list where my blog was used as an example!

Course Progress

I’m trying to spend every spare minute I have building out the course content. I wish I could share what I already had with you guys – it’s going to rock the internet marketing world.

So far there are 5 main lessons created which contain 37 sub-lessons & 25 videos. That is a bunch of content right there and there are still 14 main lessons to create.

By the time the course is finished there will be nearly 150 sub-lessons guiding you from a blank piece of paper to a successful website online step by step.

course preview

I have also had some thoughts around pricing. I was going to give this away for free but the problem with that is people don’t value ‘free’ and rarely take any action.

I want people to enroll in the course that are hungry for success, willing to invest money & time into their own self development.

I want to end up with a list of hundreds of graduates all that have built a successful website with the course.

One way I can control that is with price point. To give you an extreme example of that – someone paying $5,000 will be infinitely more serious than someone paying $0.

Don’t worry though I won’t be pricing it anyway near that level :) But it will be a paid course.

Facebook Lead Generation – 5,905% ROI

Earlier in the month I shared my red hair vs blonde hair vs brunette hair split test.

Since then I have spent more time experimenting with Facebook ads. I’ve increase conversion rate of my landing pages with LeadPages and managed to target a wider audience.

The 5,905% ROI Campaign

During my experiments with Facebook ads I have started to take advantage of a little trick that seriously lowers your click prices & is highly targeted.

Check out the results of this campaign-

facebook ads

I’m getting a cost per click of $0.07 as well as a cost per lead of $0.20!

Each new lead is worth $17.81 and that campaign generated 598 new leads worth a total of $10,650.38.

The total campaign cost just $177.34 – that’s a 5,905% ROI right there.

How To Get Cheap Facebook Clicks

Facebook allows you to upload a custom audience of peoples specific user ID’s that you want to target. So if you had my Facebook user ID you could assume I would be interested in any advert about internet marketing.

When you target people on the very specific level like that, the click price drops through the floor. Not only that, but your click through rate sky rockets.

I’ve seen near 10% click through rates.

How To Do It

Basically what we are going to do is find a relevant Facebook page, group or event and then scrape a list of users that have interacted via likes, shares or comments.

Then we are going to upload that list to Facebook to target them with our ads.

To do this you will need a scraping tool – there are a few available but the past week I picked up FaceSniper. Unlike other tools it automatically updates and refreshes the audiences for you to find new people to target automatically.

I have also spoken with the developer and given a few suggestions of how to make it even more powerful with a couple of interface tweaks!

In the screenshot below for example you can see I have used FaceSniper to scrape a list of users that have interacted with Moz.


Then you just download the CSV and go over to Facebook Ads > Audiences > Create Audience > Data File Custom Audience and upload the file.

facebook audiences

Now you can target that audience with any ad you want – I’ll write a more detailed post about this at some point but get a head start while you still can!

Warning: Scraping user ID’s is against Facebooks terms of service. I haven’t had a problem & I’m a black hat at heart so just be aware of that!

Do Not Forget

It is no good getting cheap clicks if you aren’t converting them into leads.

If you look at my Facebook advertising strategy you can learn how I setup and optimise my landing pages with LeadPages.

It is critical you pay attention to that & I have just upgraded my LeadPages subscription to an annual one.

The increase in conversion I managed to get with just 1 campaign paid for the annual subscription a few times over.

YouTube Design Update

Last month the CoolChatta team redesigned my social profiles.

Check them out here-

The only problem was I had forgotten about the YouTube profile so the CoolChatta team fixed it up for me-

youtube profile

It looks great on every device – check it out.

Made A Bucket List

I’ve wanted to make a bucket list for a long time and after seeing this epic quest I was inspired.

I eventually came across BucketListly. It is one of the best websites/services I’ve come across in a while!

It’s super easy to use and quite addictive – I’ve even managed to crack the top 5 leader board!


You can also use it to create an awesome year in review – how cool is that?

Make your own bucket list & follow me!

Speaking At Affiliate Summit

Affiliate summit badgeIn January I won the Best Affiliate Blog of Affiliate Summit and had an all expenses paid trip to attend the conference in Las Vegas.

You can catch up on all the action with my affiliate summit guide – it really is the biggest affiliate party in the world.

I have been invited to speak at the next Affiliate Summit in New York August 10th-12th.

I will have a great talk for you packed full of actionable takeaway content!

If you want to hook up – get your ticket now!

Speaking At GPeC E-Commerce Gala

I’ll also be speaking at the GPeC E-Commerce Gala in Bucharest, Romania 27th-28th May.

This talk is going to be an ecommerce SEO focused talk looking at what 99% of e-commerce sites get wrong and how to evolve or die in 2014.

Again there will be lots of actionable content throughout and if you can’t make it to New York it would be great to see you in Bucharest!

Crunching The Numbers

So let’s get our hands dirty and take a look at what my hard work has done for me this month.

Visitor Statistics

Traffic grew gently from 42,227 (1,508/day) last month to 49,421 (1,594/day) which if patterns are to be believed will lead to bigger jump next month.

analytics overview

Most Popular Content

The how to start a successful blog and make money tutorial dominates this month with the tutorial teaching you to steal competitor backlinks coming in 2nd.

The stealing your competitors content post also performed well.

We also saw good performances from my how to build an ecommerce website posts.

Analytics content performance

Top Traffic Sources

Google remains the main driving force behind the traffic and you can also see my Facebook campaign sneaking into the top spots.

top traffic sources

Search Engine Traffic

Last month Google sent 35,963 (1,284 per day) where as this month they sent 40,810 – a steady rise to 1,316 per day!

All of the top 10 spots are now fully controlled by ‘brand’ based searches.

analytics keywords

YouTube Views

I lost all of my historical YouTube views because of changes I made to the branding – so I keep track of them separately.

Last month I had a total of 32,308 views which has increased to 77,845 this month!

The most exciting YouTube metric though is minutes watched which has jumped from 173,506 to 383,330!!

To be honest those metrics seem a bit out of line and I’m not sure why there has been a huge jump like that – will investigate that at some point!

youtube statistics

Social Shares

The blog has seen a total of 38,842 shares across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ this month compared to 35,794 last month.

  • Google+ – 9,512 (8,317 last month)
  • Twitter – 17,613 (16,336 last month)
  • Facebook – 11,717 (11,141 last month)

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My Forum Statistics

I’ve spent more time cleaning up the spam on the forum which has seen the user count drop from 6,560 to 5,889.

There were 64 news topics and 36 new replies on the forum.

If you haven’t joined the forum yet, get involved!

I’ll personally answer any internet marketing questions you have!

  • Users: 5,889 (6,560 last month)
  • Topics: 1,086 (1,022 last month)
  • Posts: 3,397 (3,361 last month)

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The most important metric on the entire blog – earning a subscription from someone is the ultimate form of commitment and conversion.

This month brought 7,785 new subscribers across various channels which is a nice increase from last month’s 5,703.

There are now a total of 35,741 subscribers across all of the different channels.

  • E-mail – 5,063 (3,277 last month) / Total: 18,966
  • Twitter – 258 (191 last month) / Total: 3,252
  • YouTube – 406 (502 last month) / Total: 4,185
  • Facebook – 1,076 (794 last month) / Total: 3,278
  • Google+ – 936 (958 last month) / Total: 5,244
  • RSS – 46 (-19 last month) / Total: 816

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Income Report

Here are the numbers you really want to see-

Affiliate Earnings


Consultation Earnings

I separate out my SEO consultant earnings from the affiliate earnings. The blog drives affiliate sales directly and whilst it does generate SEO consultation leads these are separate projects in their own right.

I haven’t taken on any clients recently so consultation earnings sit at zero this month!

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $11,955.13
  • Consultation Income – $00.00
  • Expenses – $1,166.00

Grand Total: $10,789.13 / £6,487.36 ($14,829.04 / £8,848.93 last month)

Income has dropped off while my attention is else where – but it’s still above my $10k goal!

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How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Signing Off

Income has dropped off this month as my attention is diverted with the course and moving country next month. Expenses were also on the up with a couple of one time fees.

It will be interesting to see how the seeds I have planted this month grow next month which is going to be pretty rocky.

In 4 weeks I will leave to travel Costa Rica and next week I’m going to Snowbombing – there is still an awful lot for me to prepare and get ready!

This might come at the cost of writing new posts for the blog but I’ll do what I can!

Never stop growing.

I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for joining me on this journey.

71 Responses

  1. Dave Nicosia

    Awesome income report Mathew! Inspirational as always and jammed packed with useful insights and tips. I just posted my first income report this month so hopefully after the next two, I’ll make it onto your roundup. Thanks again and keep it up!

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 11th, 2014 at 1:06 am

      Let me know when you are ready!

  2. Arun Kallarackal

    WOW! That was a very detailed report. I got to know more about the works you have been carrying out, your stats etc.

    The income report part is what interested me the most. You see, I make it a point to go through the income reports of others. In case I come across something good like yours, I make sure that it pumps me up and inspires me to achieve similar feats and stats.

    Thanks for sharing this report with use readers!

    I found the link to this post on Kingged.


    • Matthew Woodward
      April 26th, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Perhaps you’ll publish your own income reports in the future ^^

  3. Sadek

    Inspirational earning report.
    Affiliate marketing has lots of potential of earning money but I am happy with AdSense.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 25th, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      I wouldn’t put all my money in Googles pot to be honest!

  4. Enstine Muki

    Great detailed report as usual Matt. That’s the good thing about your reports. They are not just reports. They also provide great knowledge

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 25th, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Glad you liek them

  5. Jahnavi

    Great work Matthew, it’s always exciting to see your income reports and all the experiments and studies you’ve done through the whole month. Great work on the earnings and the FB ad campaign as well. Keep it rolling man :D

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 15th, 2014 at 7:28 am

      Thanks =D

  6. Mate

    You did it again, above $10k! ;)

    I saw in the comments that Romania is in top the 10 readers of your blog, I wonder where is Croatia? :D

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 12th, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks :) Not sure about Croatia, on crappy 3G mobile data connection right now so can’t load up analytics

  7. Evgeniy

    Hi Matthew,
    Just want to ask about your results with FB advertisement. I’m not sure that it works so good. I have watched this video https://plus.google.com/+SergeyAlx/posts/AWVaC6zUnCM and I can agree with that hypothesis.

    Do you think that your FB campaign could lose genuine clicks like in that video?


    • Matthew Woodward
      April 8th, 2014 at 6:19 am

      I track leads/conversions not clicks really

      • Evgeniy
        April 9th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

        So I assume that cost/conversation is actually good on your FB campaign, right?

        • Matthew Woodward
          April 12th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

          Did you read the post at all?

  8. Stefan

    Damn Matt, nice stats. I love income reports you do every month, there’s always something to learn. Btw, good job on hitting the 10k goal :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 5th, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Thanks Stefan!

  9. Gabriele

    As always nice post Matthew! A question [sorry if it’s a repost] but am i wrong or did you change the release date of your course?

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 5th, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Yes I pushed it back and will probably push it back again.

  10. Jack

    Hi Matthew,

    I was wondering how you made the links on your site like


    • Matthew Woodward
      April 3rd, 2014 at 6:58 am
      • Phil
        April 3rd, 2014 at 7:04 am

        Hey Matt, I checked it out and wondered if you use the paid addition to add the Google Analytics code or if you do it manual like shown in your tracking tutorial?

        • Matthew Woodward
          April 4th, 2014 at 7:32 am

          I have the paid addition which auto replaces words in the forum with affiliate links and the tracking code. I manually insert links into post.

  11. Matthew Woodward

    Take money from income report, buy sun cream ^^

  12. Matthew Woodward

    Awww man – yeah I saw one guy on there who is cheating. I uploaded my own image for every achievement to prove my own :)

    Although I did use ubot to make a follow/unfollow bot so that is cheating I suppose. Now they changed the design to make it harder to unfollow people doh lol

  13. Robert

    Hey Matt,

    Thanks for the bit about face sniper. It looks really awesome. I tested a custom audience of my owner customers vi mailchimp import, and the click prices did not go down.

    Any idea why? I’d like to purchase face sniper, but will the click cost really go down?

    I’m doing app install ads. Do you think facebook knows these users were acquired via app install ads and isn’t giving me a break?

    I’ve got a very profitable product and a crazy good conversion rate, but Facebook click prices have gone up over 500% and are killing me.

    I did check the same audience using website clicks instead of app install ads and it still didn’t lower the click price.



    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2014 at 12:42 pm


      I have never done it via an email import only with lists of specific user IDs =/ I do however always go with website clicks rather than anything else then use the conversion pixels to report back into FB.

      I suppose it also depends on how many people are competing to show your audience adverts.

      • Robert Swilley
        April 4th, 2014 at 12:40 am

        Thanks for the reply. That makes sense.

        • Matthew Woodward
          April 4th, 2014 at 7:19 am

          No worrys!

  14. Jason

    Hey Matthew, amazing income report as always.

    One thing I noticed is under your Forum Statistics your Users, topics and posts values are exactly the same for this month and last month.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 4th, 2014 at 7:34 am

      Ahh yeah fixed thanks :)

  15. Mihaela Dămăceanu

    Obviously I was wrong thinking I’m the only Romanian reading you :))
    It would be nice to see you in Bucharest!
    Congratulations for your inspiring work!

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Actually Romania is in the top 10 countries visiting the site :)

  16. Raweewan

    Hi Matt
    Your income report is awesome as always. I hope that I could see this number by next 1-2 years with my online business.

    Thanks :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Keep on hustlin!

  17. JohnPym

    Awesome report as usual Matt.

    Nice to see you are speaking at GPeC in Bucharest.Im from Romania so probably i will look for you there if i can make it :)

    If you need some1 to show you the beautiful lands of Dracula let me know :P and ill arange smth for you.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      If you end up going drop me a mail and we’ll hook up!

  18. Pratik Unadkat

    Great report Matthew!

    I have a one question though – I was recently looking in similar tools you mentioned for Facebook like Social Lead Freak or Face Sniper but I am still little bit bewildered considering the Facebook guidelines.

    Did you uploaded UIDs? Also, they have anti scraping policy – its very conflicting actually. They have option to upload custom audience by uids but yet they don’t provide a way “normally” to grab uids.

    I have also heard FB may ban temporarily for excessive scraping or if you trigger their filters on – actually saw many on WF getting so.

    What’s your take on it? How extensively did you scraped?


    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2014 at 12:45 pm


      My take on it is I’m a black hat at heart ^^

  19. Nikhil

    Hi Matthew,

    Superb post, Your earnings and tools are awesome. Great going. I also want to learn from you about new things and tips to grow a blog.

    Really Impressed… :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 1st, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      Thanks ^^

  20. Puan Siti

    Nice report!

    About the FB UIDs, how many UIDs are you uploading per campaign?

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      It depends, sometimes a few thousand sometimes hundereds of thousands

  21. Miro

    Hey Matthew,
    you told that you are doing no links SEO, what is the reason of your high Google organic traffic-proper keywords(are you doing a search before you post?)?

  22. Ovi

    I’m very much excited about your upcoming training course, and I’m sure it’s going to make a great bang!

    I just wanted to ask whether that $100 is going to be your course fee or that’s the amount that you need to get started with your business?

    Would you like to clarify that Matt? I’ll need prepare for whatever it is, it’ll be helpful of you make things clear.

    Thanks :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2014 at 12:54 pm


      That is what you will need to invest in the site along with however much I price the course.

      I’ll probably make the first few lessons free though.

  23. Liudas

    Constantly seeing your ads on Facebook :D I think you painted the Ginger’s hair in black and it now looks very ugly, but draws attention as hell.
    Did that increase the click through rate? :)

    Great post, it’s fun to read so much valuable marketing stuff in one place, stuff that others even reserve for paid products, which is a bit unfortunate for me as a product creator :D

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      One of the readers did that for me so I could do some more ‘hair colour’ testing.

      Not got any serious data on it yet but it will be part of a future post :)

      Yeah if any of my stuff gets shared on warrior forum it tends to get deleted – I assume that’s to protect WSO sellers/marketplace =/

  24. Matthew Woodward

    Yes indeed!

    • Joe Fletcher
      April 2nd, 2014 at 11:15 am

      For good? Or bucket listly thing you are looking to complete?

      Would love to go but got a lot of other things in line first!

      • Matthew Woodward
        April 2nd, 2014 at 12:38 pm

        Yeah for good! Date is set for 2nd of May :)

  25. Mike Ward

    Hi Matt – thanks as always for sharing. Really gives me a target to shoot for.

    I really don’t think the income will suffer the next few weeks even with you taking a little time off and the move. Virtually all of your content is such that it will remain popular and continue to be viewed because of the high quality and tutorial nature of most of it. Also, as that content is shared more and more on social media, new visitors will come as well.

    And, let’s face it – you need a little time away every now and then to help keep motivated.

    Finally, with your list, you have the ability to create traffic and sales almost “at will”, so with 1 or 2 extra emails you can boost that income quickly.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 1st, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      Well I suppose there is only one way to find out :)

      But I refuse to send affiliate offers to the list

  26. Owais

    Great report as usual. Bucketlistly is great ‘….a impressive increase in youtube views too. I think u should focus on your conversions as your earnings decreased despite a good increase in traffic and exposure…just my $0.02..^_^

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 1st, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      That is usually based on what type of posts/activity I run each month

      • Owais
        April 1st, 2014 at 6:56 pm

        Sorry , not a big expert as you :(

        • Matthew Woodward
          April 2nd, 2014 at 1:05 pm

          For example, if I run a competition earnings spike. Look at GSA this month vs last month

  27. Phil

    Hey Matt,

    Congrats on reaching your goal again and having another awesome month! By the way did you notice Charles is changing over to the dark site? ;-)

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 1st, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      April fools ^^

      • Phil
        April 1st, 2014 at 6:21 pm

        Wow, didn’t recognize it. He got me! :-o

        • Matthew Woodward
          April 2nd, 2014 at 1:05 pm

          Haha I was going to turn the site upside down and inside out but didn’t have time =\

  28. Stephen

    Awesome results! Do you use another fb account when advertising scraped ID’s in FB? I know it’s not totally clear if it’s allowed and heard of people getting their accounts banned. Just wondering… thanks!

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      I don’t no but scraping Facebook user ID’s is against terms of service – but I’m a black hat so you can imagine my care face :)

      If it did get banned I would just open a new account with a VCC with a new domain that 301’s over. The money saved on 15 clicks would cover those costs :)

      • Stephen
        April 2nd, 2014 at 1:28 pm

        Haha nice man! Thanks for the response. :)

        • Matthew Woodward
          April 3rd, 2014 at 7:02 am

          No worrys!

  29. yeison

    Thanks for all your help Mr. Woodward. You will be on TED soon you will see.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 1st, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      Pura vida!

  30. Cosmin

    Managing duffrent projects it’s a huge challange for me to, but i try to make the best of it and track my time more efficienty. Glad to see that your reankings are still over the 10k limit ! Good luck with the move !

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