Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – May 2014

This is the 21st income report as part of the zero link building case study.

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 May

Well May has been an exciting month that has challenged me on all fronts back to back for an entire month.

But at the same time it is a land mark month for me spending my first month living half way around the world from the little place I called home.

What has that done for the income though? I have no idea as I’m writing this eek!

Content Creation

Last month saw a pathetic total of 4 post which I have doubled up to my target rate of 8 again this month!

First we kicked off with how to create a product & a product launch strategy going behind the scenes of a $57,000 product creation & launch.

Next you learnt how to get a backlink from Wikipedia and how to defeat the latest Panda 4.0 update with nothing but spam.

Then I published and update to my WPEngine review which saw a flood of comments & traffic.

We also had the regular best of internet marketing & income report roundup posts.

Blog Features

The blog was featured in this months edition of internet marketing magazine & amongst this link building roundup by CognitiveSEO.

I was also spotted in these 40 awesome case studies & used as an example in this formatting guide.

Going To Costa Rica

Travelling around Costa Rica has been a great experience so far even if something has gone wrong nearly every single day in one way or another.

In one of the very first few days we got mugged for phones, wallets, ID’s, keys (which conveniently had the address on) bank cards, – everything!

It wasn’t the best experience & it turns out getting replacement bank cards sent here was hard work which presented its own set of problems. Then my replacement phone broke within 24 hours and so on and so on.

I’ll perhaps do a more dedicated post on this in a few weeks if people ask for it but as a very very brief overview.

Getting What You Need Is Hard

It took me a long time to track down and get all of the computer parts I needed to rebuild my computer. Easy stuff like monitors, a case, power supply, keyboard & mouse.

E-commerce isn’t really established here yet. You order online, go to the bank and deposit the money and then the products get sent to you via the local bus service which helps keep traffic & pollution down.


An environment like that is worth protecting! Getting other things isn’t always easy and requires a drive to the nearest town which is much bigger.

Everything Works Slower

One of the main reasons I like to travel around Costa Rica is the pura vida lifestyle. Everyone takes it easy and isn’t worried about rushing around to get things done.


They have a great quality of life and the pura vida lifestyle really sums that up. I actually don’t mind the slow pace here, I’m not in any rush either but it might annoy some people.

Phone Freedom

One of the main advantages of getting mugged and my replacement phone breaking is that I’m now using a phone that doesn’t have a camera, wifi, mobile data, bluetooth or a touch screen.

That means no facebook, no email, no skype, no rss reader just purely phone calls and text messages.

I can’t tell you how freeing it is to not have instant access to everything or regular distractions throughout the day. Although sometimes I could have done with it, overall it is much more freeing to do without it.


We’ll see if that holds true when my new phone arrives in a couple of weeks!

All in all I have little to complain about – thanks to Andrea, Samantha & Yeison for helping out with everything!

Fishing With John Chow

It just so happened that John Chow was staying a hotel close by for a couple of weeks.

So we got together to give him JunJun Li & Terry Lamb the local fishing experience along with a few drinks & an awesome Italian family dinner at the end of the night.




Testing New Ad Platform

Another thing I have done this month is experiment with the advertising on the blog.

Previously I used this banner advertising tutorial along with the OIOPublisher plugin to create a 100% self serve ad platform.

This month I moved the system over to BuySellAds, removed banner spots at the end of posts, added a new 300×250 banner in the sidebar and increased prices based on their advice.

Things have gone pretty well so far but we will see if that trend continues!

Traffic Planet Hosting Teething Problems

I moved the site over to TrafficPlanetHosting last month due to my long term problems with WPEngine.

While TrafficPlanetHosting are 18% faster and 76% cheaper than WPEngine there have been some problems this month.

This is mostly down to the data centre having a power outage which corrupted some of the MYSQL databases.

Uptime Report

Not the best start but Terry & his team have been in constant contact and are putting a plan together to avoid the data centre based issues, I will keep you updated!

Update: Traffic Planet Hosting are now called WPX Hosting. Please see my full WPX Hosting review.

Algorithm Updates

We also saw a couple of algorithm updates across May and I wanted to share with you how that has affected traffic so far.

Traffic Changes

As you can see Google has been very kind to the site so far despite a bit of a drop off during April.

Hopefully that holds true as my zero link building experiment continues to develop!

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

Last month saw a fairly big drop off in traffic down to 39,244 (1,308/day) but its nice to see that jump back to previous level of 48,936 (1,578/day).

Visitor Statistics

I’m guessing that is largely down to publishing twice as many posts this month and the fact 2 of them went viral!

Most Popular Content

The most popular content this month was completely dominated by the Panda 4 spam site case study/tutorial & the huge WPEngine expose.

Both posts were monsters in their own right and quickly went viral across the internet marketing community!

The how to get Wikipedia backlinks guide managed to sneak a top spot & the GSA Search Engine Ranker tutorial climbed back up.

Most Popular Content

Top Traffic Sources

Google traffic is king as always but its interesting to see the jump in Facebook visitors which is largely down to the WPEngine post.

There was also a jump in traffic from BlackHatWorld which loved the Panda 4 spam site strategy! We also saw a new entry from StumbleUpon driving traffic to stealing your competitors content!


Search Engine Traffic

Google traffic dropped to just 31,814 (1,060 per day) last month but that has started to increase again to 33,976 (1,096 per day).

I spent some time looking at why the drop happened last month which is going to make an awesome case study in the near future!

Keyword Analytics

Social Shares

The blog has seen a total of 44,147 shares across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ this month compared to 41,258 last month.

  • Google+ – 11,531 (10,509 last month)
  • Twitter – 19,552 (18,480 last month)
  • Facebook – 13,064 (12,269 last month)

My Forum Statistics

The forum is still growing gently although there has been 1 major problem with it in the last couple of months.

That problem is me – I haven’t found the time to get involved and reply to people on my own forum. Sounds bad as I’m writing it, because it is bad!

But I’m going to be taking full control of that again this month and make sure everyone gets the response they deserve – sorry about that guys!

There were 46 news topics and 57 new replies on the forum.

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

  • Users: 5,976 (5,526 last month)
  • Topics: 1,172 (1,126 last month)
  • Posts: 3,511 (3,454 last month)


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

This month brought 6,042 new subscribers across various channels which is a huge drop back to normal level from last month’s 12,621.

However I did suspect someone boosted my Facebook numbers last month.

There are now a total of 54,404 subscribers across all of the different channels.

  • E-mail – 2,900 (4,718 last month) / Total: 26,584
  • Twitter – 212 (181 last month) / Total: 3,645
  • YouTube – 299 (298 last month) / Total: 4,782
  • Facebook – 360 (6,350 last month) / Total: 9,988
  • Google+ – 2,067 (1,328 last month) / Total: 8,639
  • RSS – 204 (-254 last month) / Total: 766

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 – $14,395.47
  • Consultation Income – $00.00
  • Expenses – $49.99

Grand Total: $14,345.48 / £8,557.31 ($12,357.33 / £7,318.96 last month)

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Not far from setting record income & visitor numbers! Maybe next month :)

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Signing Off

Managing the blog, other sites, moving country, old/new friends & an entirely new lifestyle all at the same has been a huge challenge this month.

It has tested me from all angles at every level but it’s great to see that income is on the rise after what has been a very trying month.

On the flip side I now have my main computer back together and can get back into the working groove this month.

Well, that would be the case if it wasn’t my birthday this month (17th) and I’ll be taking 2 solid weeks off to explore Costa Rica & Nicaragua with a close friend who is flying over from the UK.

We are going to party hard!

Behind the scenes I have been working on 3 major projects that will bear fruit in the coming months, some of you might know what 1 or 2 of them are already :P Either way I know you guys are going to LOVE all 3 of them!

So with that said – it’s time to get as much work done as possible before my friend arrives in 7 days!

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