Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – May 2013

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

Every month I will be 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 May

I spent the first part of the month travelling and then a hectic week catching up on everything!

Things have gone pretty well this month with lots of things getting done behind the scenes that were dragging for a while.

Content Creation

I managed to write 1 more post than the previous month with a total of 7 published throughout May.

The SEOMoz review was a massive fail though – more on that later. Learnt me some lesson!

I wrote about how to work and travel based on my recent travels and took a look at how social media affects business – don’t miss that one!

May also saw the launch of the Licorne AIO review, tutorial and competition after much user demand. Winners will be announced early next week!

Let’s not forget the twin regular features – the income report roundup and what I have read this month.

SEOMoz Fail – How I Lost $750

In the past month I have had a number of readers request a tutorial for SEOMoz. It is also one of the better performing affiliate programs converting at 10% and earning $1,275 so far.

So I thought I would create a dedicated tutorial – the timing was perfect.

Well, 2 problems-

  1. 3 days after publishing the tutorial, SEOMoz changed their name to Moz and rolled out a new design
  2. They also temporarily closed down the affiliate program at the start of May – I didn’t get the memo

So not only is the tutorial out of date (mostly still applies, just looks different), it never had any earning potential from day 1 – even though I know a bunch of people have signed up through my affiliate link.

SEOMoz Fail

Their affiliate system is still tracking the clicks just not conversions anymore.

The tutorial sent 300 clicks and at previous conversion levels of 10% (which I would actually expect to be higher with a focused tutorial) means I lost out on 30 trial sign ups.

30 trial sign ups worth $25 each.

That’s $750 if you’re not counting :P

That was going to be a key affiliate commission driver this month but as you can see, life chose to teach me a lesson instead.

Wonder if the SEOMoz guys will hook me up ^^

Spent A Week In Costa Rica

Last month I told you that 2 of my readers invited me out to Costa Rica for some consultation work.

We spent a lot of time working together and I taught them my approach & mind-set to internet marketing.

Many thanks to Andrea & Yeison for reaching out and everything you did for me while we were there!

Costa Rica Sunset

Beach Lizard

Check this out though – for just £250 a month I could live here-

Costa Rica Pool View

Tempting ^^

Taught Internet Marketing At A Costa Rican High School

While I was in Costa Rica I had the opportunity to introduce a high school class to internet marketing.

Totally wasn’t expecting it which caught me on the back foot but I could see some minds whirring in the back of the room!

Costa Rica Teaching

Thanks to Yeison & Andrea for making that happen – see you guys again in August =D

Worked Out Of Fort Worth, Texas Airport

On my way back from Costa Rica I had a few hours to kill in Fort Worth airport. I saw these nifty little stations with power sockets and free internet, if you had a network cable that is.

Luckily I had made all of my preparations and was able to setup shop!

Texas Airport

I have now successfully tried & tested my travel blogging setup which should give me more freedom in times to come!

Won My 3rd Award

I was listed in the Unbounce Top 75 Internet Marketing Blogs – apparently they weren’t in any specific order which sucks. Hopefully they publish a more competitive list ^^

So far the blog has won The Best Of SearchEngineJournal 2012, Problogger One To Watch 2013 and now the Unbounce Top 75 Internet Marketing Blogs awards!

Blogs Awards

Not too shabby huh?

Custom Phone Case From Nut-Case.co.uk

The guys over at Nut-Case.co.uk got in touch with me and sent me a sweet custom cover my new phone!

They didn’t even have a Galaxy S4 case in stock and ordered one in specially for me – how sweet is that! Check it out-

Custom Phone Case

Pretty impressed with the quality as well, very sturdy and the phone doesn’t slip out my hand anymore.

Serious design flaw with the Galaxy S4 by the way, its like a bar of soap!

Thanks guys!

Updated Social Profile Designs

Over the past few months there have been a number of design changes across various social networks.

Twitter introduced the header image, YouTube launched the One channel and Google+ revamped the entire service.

I have also gone through a logo and brand change during that time so decided to spruce up my social profiles.

The only problem as you can probably see is the fact I suck at Photoshop but meh they’ll do for now!

Sidebar Split Test

Throughout May I ran a design split test across the entire blog. I wanted to see if having the sidebar on the left or the right made any difference.

Personally I think it looked awful with the sidebar on the left!

The experiment ran for 10 days and I was able to make a conclusion – they’ll be a follow up post with all the juicy details in the next week!

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 has been kind to me this month seeing an increase from 13,487 (435/day) to 19,248 (621/day) which is a huge boost!

Visior Statistics Analytics

Most Popular Content

For the second month running the tiered link building tutorial series wasn’t the most popular piece of content.

Instead the epic social media meltdown claims the top spot by a large margin as it went viral across Facebook.

2 viral posts in 2 months – out of ideas for next month though!

The Licorne AIO competition also attracted a lot of traffic with the tools of the trade page holding it’s own!

Most Popular Content

Top Traffic Sources

Google traffic has continued to grow (more on that below) with traffic from Facebook also growing on top of its epic spike last month.

It is a shame that the traffic from Facebook is pretty poor with high bounce rates and low pages per visit compared to the rest.

Youtube, Blackhatworld & Warriorforum are performing really well though!

Top Sources Of Traffic

Search Engine Traffic

Search traffic is an interesting one this month as Google rolled out the Penguin 2.0 update on May 22nd.

Last month search traffic reached a plateau for the first time and didn’t show much growth at 10,445 visits (348 per day).

This month though has grown steadily to 12,222 visits (394 per day) but since Penguin 2.0 on May 22nd this has grown to 461 per day.

That’s all without any link building!

Search Traffic Analytics

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 saw a slight decline in views to 9,249 but this has grown to 13,017 this month!

Total minutes watched has also increased from 54,570 to 76,891, no complaints there!

Edging ever closer to having 3 people watching my videos every minute of every day which clocks in at 131,487 minutes watched in one month.

2 people every minute is set at 87,658 so not far off that milestone!

Youtube Statistics

Social Shares

Social sharing has seen a huge boom this month with a total of 13,010 across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ compared to last month’s 11,099

  • Google+ – 1,584 (1,375 last month)
  • Twitter – 6,343 (5,828 last month)
  • Facebook – 5,083 (3,896 last month)

With a total of 76 posts published thats around 171 social signals per post on average.

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My Forum Statistics

The forum is still hustlin n bustlin and is a key area I want to grow over the coming months.

I’m going to make some upgrades and changes to it soon that should make it much more useful for you guys!

Last month added 218 users, 68 topics and 249 posts!

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

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

  • Users: 979 (761 last month)
  • Topics: 475 (407 last month)
  • Posts: 1,832 (1,583 last month)

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Subscriber growth has boomed this month adding a total of 1,675 new subscribers up from last month’s 665.

That means there is now a total of 6,728 subscribers across all of the different channels.

  • E-mail – 824 (116 last month) / Total: 3,065
  • Twitter – 121 (98 last month) / Total: 979
  • YouTube – 198 (116 last month) / Total: 877
  • Facebook – 79 (64 last month) / Total: 429
  • Google+ – 354 (174 last month) / Total: 880
  • RSS – 99 (45 last month) / Total: 498

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Forum Promotion Posts

Last month I made a pathetic total of just 29 posts across the main forums I take part on.

This month I made a bit of a better effort with 135 posts but that is still pretty slack!

  • TrafficPlanet – 46 posts (465 visits)
  • WarriorForum – 29 posts (545 visits)
  • BlackHatWorld – 60 posts (866 visits)

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.

This month I generated $1,229.74 / £810.00 in consultation earnings which is up from last months $1,114.04 / £715.00.

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $4,251.45
  • Consultation Income – $1,229.74
  • Expenses – $48.95

Grand Total: $5,432.24 / £3,578.08 ($6,060.41 / £3,989.99 last month)

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How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Signing Off

This month saw a huge increase in traffic but a slight drop in overall earnings. This is mainly due to the virility of the epic social media meltdown and the very poor performance of Facebook traffic.

It took me a couple of days to compile and organise everything for that post and even though the traffic mostly bounced, it was totally worth it!

I also spent the first week of the month in Costa Rica exploring some amazing opportunities like teaching in the school and learning about real quality of life.

I have just booked to go back at the end of August – I love that place!

I’ve got a busy month ahead but with some fantastic posts coming up including 2 awesome case studies, an exclusive discount and another competition everything’s moving in the right direction!

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

22 Responses

  1. Ian Miller

    Hi Matthew

    I have been given a heads-up here….on the post you did for a UK company called nut-case.

    We are Nutshell….we are based in New Zealand, and we’ve been around since 1997.

    Would you be interested in reviewing one of our genuine leather cases for smartphones?

    Please send us your postal address.

    Best regards
    Ian Miller

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 10th, 2013 at 10:43 am


      Its unlikely I would write an actual review sorry

  2. Zeplin

    What I find really interesting from all this, is that while you do get organic traffic from Google, by and large, Matt Cuts have been wrong so far.

    What I see happening here, is that from an SEO perspective, this is doing very poorly. But from a marketing perspective, you’re doing great! The vast majority of Google searches you get, are from your own name (or variations thereof), which is down purely to marketing yourself as an expert in the field, and getting known for that. As a result, people search directly for your name. But ranking for your own generally isn’t very difficult, so I wouldn’t really consider that a “win” in the SEO sense, but rather a “win” in the marketing sense.

    If this had been done for something where you couldn’t just market yourself – say, selling bananas – all this effort would hardly have gotten you anywhere, which is very disappointing indeed. Of course, some would argue that in that case, you would market your banana brand, and people would search for that. But again, then we’re back at marketing, and not SEO. I mean, ranking for your own brand name (unless it’s a very common one) is hardly ever difficult.

    Nonetheless, this is interesting stuff! Particularly, I’m amazed that you manage to earn so much from affiliate sales!

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 10th, 2013 at 10:55 am


      Well actually I can’t see the data from the majority of the searches – but I do know that I rank very well for a range of high volume competitive search terms that don’t include my name.

      The problem with this niche is, that most people visiting my site will be signed into Google and as such using SSL so I miss out on a lot of the critical data.

      Why couldn’t you brand up selling bananas? Look what Levi Roots did for reggae sauce.

  3. Matthew Woodward


    Well it didn’t cost me anything but the flights are around the 500 mark from the UK

  4. Matthew Woodward

    Hi George,

    Not something I would write or have the knowledge to write yet, but I know a certain someone that could ;)

  5. Miki Vicioso

    Definitely makes you think to move somewhere else for what you get in these countries. Great report! keep it up!

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 3rd, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      It certainly does…. ^^

  6. Dave

    Looks good as usual. Instead of CR in August maybe you should try some place err..NEW? JK, but seriously, big world to see!

    Forum is really clutch. Tried doing that on our site awhile ago but didn’t take off (still there but not on the main nav bar anymore). I guess we didn’t put much into promoting it though

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Dave,

      Well we are going to move around the caribbean coast I think as well as NicaRagua – but I’m going there with the look to live there so ^^

      I’ve still got a bunch of other stuff booked before that :)

      I think the reason my forum does well is because of how its positioned, its not positioned as a forum but as a form of help. Thats why its called ‘Ask A Question’ in the header instead of just ‘forum’ which is boring

  7. Christopher

    Oops! That’s a bummer about Moz… Don’t hate me for requesting it!

    Best, Chris.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 3rd, 2013 at 7:52 am


  8. Matthew Woodward

    Hahaha thats great I never knew that existed, but that certainly explains it!

  9. Matthew Woodward


    Thanks very much!

    The SEOMoz thing is just one of those, you win some you lose some ^^ I’ll just make a more bitching tutorial when they’ve finished updating!


  10. Emeka Madusha

    Growing bigger every month. Am liking what i am seeing. Keep up the good work bro.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks :)

  11. Sunny

    I saw this on Kingged.com and have to say that you are right up there with other bloggers like Pat when it comes to comprehensively writing these monthly income report!

    I see other income reports with lots of loose ends but you pretty much detailed it all out here, as you always do with your very comprehensive posts, :). That’s good.

    Sorry to read about SeoMoz lose. Am sure it’s not a complete lose as you can always rewrite it in future, with updated info.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Sunny,

      Thanks very much – is there anything you would do to make them better?

  12. Gene Madondo

    Hey Matt I have been looking forward to this post, its great to see that traffic is growing for you and its also great to read the flops you’ve made and the amount of effort you put in to market the blog even if its slacking by your standards. I always share your posts on social media sites and stuff because I feel its the least I can do for sharing such great content. I have also started focussing on building a community on G+, and have seen an increase in my 1+ even though I only have about 500 G+ followers I plan to reach a thousand by the end of this month. Tumblr traffic is a another think I am looking to grow because of the viral nature of tumblr right now I have about 1360 tumblr followers growing by about 10 each day. I post images with links to posts on my blog but not everyday and its sending in trickles of traffic but growing. I am also planning to grow my followers on pinterest as I have seen it produce excellent results for others. Looking forward to your next post mate.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Gene,

      The biggest thanks any reader can give me is sharing my content with others – so thank you for that!

      I think tumblr/pintrest lend themselves to some niches better than other though, although I’m tempted to give IM a try with Pintrest!

  13. Pat

    Hey Matt,

    I think my email address that I used to sign up for your forum has been flagged as spam. I recently tried to post a new forum topic and a response to a topic and both have not shown up. I’m using a different email to post this message. The new forum topic is about a youtube spinner that I created. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      Hi Pat,

      Will take a look for you, is it the email address you used to submit this comment that looks like ….54@gm….

What are your thoughts?

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