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 :)

Subscribe & get all of my income reports delivered direct to your inbox!

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.

69 Responses

  1. Ini Edwards

    Hi, I can’t seem to find an rss feed for your site, is this no longer available?

    Thanks in advance

    Ini Edwards

    • Matthew Woodward
      July 1st, 2015 at 11:05 am

      It’s at /feed

  2. Bruce Pott

    I am fairly new to IM but, made the decision only last week to dive in full time. I see your 21 step with a coach offer and ama encouraged to see successful marketers like yourself and Jon Chow involved. I have jumped into MOBE after buying countless products and learning everything I could about IM, it seems like the best way to begin my journey.
    Would be interested to here your thoughts on that program and any advice you would have for me.
    Thank you for all the info you share,

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 23rd, 2014 at 2:20 am


      I’m still working my way through the steps myself personally to get all the data/info I need to publish a full case study/tutorial but I have personally met a bunch of people that have had great success with it!

  3. Hammad Rafique

    Off topic: What should i do with trackbacks to my posts from other blogs? and also trackbacks from my own blog?

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 23rd, 2014 at 2:20 am

      I just ignore them personally!

  4. Matthew Woodward


    I use this but it got pulled from the market =/

  5. Charlie

    You are 17 years old?

    One question, how could I start making some income online with a $25 budget? I know it sounds stupid, but I am in financial distress and this is all I can spare.

  6. michael k

    hey matt, i love your post and i really learn a lot from it. one quick question, using gsa ranker what is the quickest time it take you to rank a site. how would i go about ranking my site quick but normal in google eyes using gsa search engines ranker or how many links a day do i have to built. thanks

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 7th, 2014 at 2:13 am

      Define normal in Googles eyes?

    • Rod
      June 7th, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      This is only my own opinion – I am normally very reluctant to automate my linkbuilding – having a bunch of irrelevant links to my money site is not something I would like to see happening. I have so far created 60 well chosen backlinks manually which have raised my ranking above so many older sites in a very competitive niche, but I am not in the first 20 yet. To be honest I feel terrified when people talk about having 1000’s of backlinks to their money sites!!

  7. Justin Seber

    Great job Matt!

    You have inspired me to get my tail in high gear and make it happen instead of waiting for it. No fun slowly building a website up over a long period of time when the future of SEO is constantly changing. Better to live in the NOW.


    • Matthew Woodward
      June 5th, 2014 at 12:21 am

      Get it done :P

  8. Mitesh

    This is impossible, you can’t be really making that much whilst I work hard for an hourly wage. I still don’t understand what you do that makes you this much?

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      The problem is every single day you choose to make money by selling your time per hour. When you take a step back and think about that, it’s a silly thing to do. There is only so much time to sell in a day.

    • Rod
      June 5th, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Matt is trying to offer you and others to make the same amount of money as he does. Life is no longer about doing physical work – I am sure if you too can find a niche which people want to follow you will be able to make just as much.

      Btw, have a look at how much Pat Flynn makes each month while he’s holding his baby in his arms all the time!! :)

      John Chow also makes loadsa money and he’s either fishing or visiting new restaurants :)

      And.. on the other side of the scale you have someone like yours truly who’s been in this for a long time and has spent at least over 1000 hours building a new affiliate site and still have not earned a single penny from it. So this game is not plain sailing as it may look to you. If I was paid only 2 pence for each hour I’ve worked, by now I would be able to retire to South Of Spain, just to tell you how tough this game could be for most IMers.

      I hope I have both encouraged you and put you off at the same time :) Life is never easy my friend.

      • Matthew Woodward
        June 5th, 2014 at 4:13 pm

        Rod its clear you have the right mindset to hit success!

  9. Sasikumar Krishnan

    Great and really inspirational. Keep going :) Thanks for the post

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks Sasikumar!

  10. Danny Jones

    Really impressive as always dude

    Look forward to hearing about your move :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks Danny I think people want a more detailed post so I will do one :)

  11. Terry Kyle

    Good stuff Matt and sounds like a whole different world there, enjoy the adventure.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks TK!

  12. Matthew Woodward

    I’m sure I could work something out!

  13. Lev

    Good to see you are keeping positive! Stay strong.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 3rd, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks :) It’s what I do!

  14. Owais

    “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.”

    Yup,that will be great,I would love to read it!
    BTW, you have a good increase,good luck for this month,hope you cross $20k :D

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 3rd, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Will see what others say and possibly post something up :)

      Thanks for your wishes!

  15. Rod


    Does John Chow ever work? :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Hahaha yeah for sure!

  16. Andy

    A great month income coming, amazing, good you more lucky and lucky Matt.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks Andy!

  17. Yannik


    How are your living expenses over there? :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      A lot cheaper :)

  18. Cat Willis

    We moved our family of 4 to the Dominican Republic 5 months ago from the U.S. The move was nothing less of suicidal, not to mention we’ve almost got robbed twice, but after all, we’re glad we did it and love the lifestyle here!

    Thanks for all your great insight, yours is one of the few blogs I still follow after unsubscribing from all the hyped up ‘guru’ newsletters.


    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Well you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth, and I’m certainly getting the smooth!

      Perhaps I’ll venture over there one day :)

      • Cat Willis
        June 2nd, 2014 at 6:51 pm

        Well, you are pretty close to here, come on over.

  19. dave

    wow can’t believe you got mugged in CR, I definitely wasn’t expecting that.

    On the flip side it looks like a really awesome month, keep up the good work!

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Well I’m sure you know better than anyone it can happen anywhere any time!

      How are things going for you guys?

      • dave
        June 13th, 2014 at 1:15 pm

        Yeah for sure.

        Pretty good in Sarajevo. Got one month of traveling back, then heading home for a good few months to reenergize!

  20. Matthew Woodward

    Haha yeah they weren’t biting that day!

  21. Matthew Woodward

    Well now I need to push to 20k right ^T^

    • Karl Kangur
      June 3rd, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Let’s do 25k and I’ll take a 0.05% cut! :D

      • Matthew Woodward
        June 3rd, 2014 at 8:00 pm

        Wahaha, no :P

  22. Matthew Woodward

    Ok will get it done :)

  23. Erick

    First time commenting on your blog matthew, i have been following you ever since you made your buzzbundle review but anyways

    That blows that you got mugged and everything lol but just want to say congratulations on your move! That picture with the sun going down while you’re laying on the chair looks amazing haha

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks for the long term readership, yeah it wasn’t ideal but blehhh just material crap that is easily replaced!

  24. Matthew Woodward


    1) Well all you need is passion and hosting!

    2) Thanks, I just told it like it is!

  25. Matthew Woodward

    Thanks – we’ll see what happens :)

  26. angzecheng8

    Finally got your detail income report. Great!

    Was curious on few things:
    1. Rank Cracker brings $1,632.66? Isn’t it free to download? How do you make money from there?
    2. There are 4 post and 2 of them are from guest post (which is great!). However still look forward something original post from you.
    3. I attended your webinar with Lead Pages. How does it turn out? Can you write a review on that experience? Does that makes you $318.30 only?

    Look forward on your 3 major projects. Do updates us on that!

    PS: Someday I want to join you guys fishing too. ^^

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 3:49 pm


      1) Download it and see
      2) Were the guest posts not of standard?
      3) Yup that’s it!

      Thanks :)

  27. Roxana

    What was up with May? I get the feeling this month’s been the most challenging for quite a few folks in the Internet Marketing niche. :D

    You know what’s next, right? Make some time to learn latino/tango and dance with beautiful women – the true vida. :D

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Haha yeah its not been an easy one :) If tripping up all over yourself counts I’m on the true vida!

  28. Michael Bely


    I feel you’ve got a potential in blogging about your lifestyle :)
    I guess a lot of people are dreaming about living a life like yours now.

    At least maybe they would have a trip to some calm and beautiful corner somewhere over there or maybe even considering buying a property there )

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks, I wish you all the luck in the future!

  29. Quinton

    Growth Hacking? Wow.

    What will they come up with next!

    Little dip myself end of April/start of May, but I think it was due to the Payday loan algo update.

    Don’t know that I could hack everything getting mugged, dude. Ouch. What is this? ‘Pura Vida Bootcamp’?

    Awesome fishing trip. Give me another year. I may have to come over just for the fishing.

    P.S. when you do your write up, can you discuss cost of living/cost of moving? I’d be curious

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      Haha it can happen anywhere anytime!

      Yeah I can include that for sure, cost of moving was just flights and 2 suit cases ^^

  30. Luke Dennison

    Things are still looking great. I’d like to hear something from you on Growth Hacking. It seems to have taken of recently.

    The new owners of the Warriorforum have even created a section for it…

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 5:01 am

      I think growth hacking is a stupid way of saying ‘marketing’

      • Chris
        June 23rd, 2014 at 7:48 pm

        Totally… Though to get a bit lingo-nerdy for the curious, my understanding is that in a pure sense it was initially about building traffic prior to product launch (or acquisition). One component of which would involve seo.

        Now, as you say, I think it’s become something of a catch-all for “creative marketing,” whatever that means… (Isn’t good marketing always creative?)

        Best (and good luck in CR),

        • Matthew Woodward
          June 24th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

          Haha yeah I don’t get all these stupid terms myself, marketing is marketing which is made up of things like SEO, PPC, Traditional media etc

  31. Matthew Woodward

    Yeah a rough start but things are getting there now, I wasn’t expecting it to be easy ^^ But where else can you finish work, hit some pool volleyball and then eat well with a smoothie & sink a couple of beers for less than $10 which is exactly what I did after I published this :)

    I’m liking BSA so far as well – as long as the stream of advertisers keeps coming I’ll be happy :P

  32. Josh Kohlbach

    Hey Matty, great update and glad to hear all the moving country shenanigans are finally settling down.

    Pura vida! Time to live it up, man.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 1:36 am

      Thanks man, I’m working on it =D

  33. Yoly

    Thank you for sharing in such detail about this new change in your life. I just started to study income reports and find them so fascinating!

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 1:41 am

      It’s always interesting to see and learn from what others are doing! but the one thing that unites everyone that publishes an income report is hard work and consistency!

  34. Chaudhary Daniyal

    Amazing stats there Matt! :D
    I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago and for someone who hardly reads blogs, I’m hooked to this one. The quality of posts are top-notch (unlike other BS blogs where they post everything as long as it’s anything).

    I really loved your Income Reports! You break down everything so the core and provide the slightest of the details.

    Keep rocking Matt!

    Oh and PLEASE get busy building a training platform for newbies like me. I’d have no second thoughts in paying to be trained by Matthew Woodward :D

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 2nd, 2014 at 1:42 am


      Thanks for your kind words :)

      Funnily enough I’m already busy with exactly that :P I’m sure you can find the details in past income reports tucked away somewhere ^^

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