Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – May 2015

This is the 32nd 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.

What I Have Done In May

I’ve been travelling since the 1st of April but finally returned home on the 23rd of May. In May alone I hit the UK, Amsterdam, Bucharest (Romania), Lanzarote (Spain) & Rhodes (Greece).

That means the last week of this month since returning home has been nothing but wall to wall catching up on work and getting back on track.

On top of that I’ve spent the last week looking for a new house as the contract of my current house expires today, the 1st! Which means I’m moving house and writing this report simultaneously.

But with all that said I still managed to get quite a lot done as you’ll see below – how that has affected income though is anyone’s guess at this point.

Content Creation

This month I published a total of 7 posts which is just 1 less than last month, I’m going to reduce this frequency to 1 per week soon to measure how that impacts things.

We started the month by looking at how to clean up your link profile with a backlink audit.

One of the blogs readers shared their Fiverr success story after following one of the tutorials on the blog to make money on Fiverr.

You also learnt how to use PandaBot to fake usage metrics & rank your sites without building any links.

After revealing an awesome local SEO guide a couple of months ago I invited 20 local SEO experts to share their #1 tip.

Other than those posts we just had the regular income report roundup post but this month I also managed to publish the very best of internet marketing.

Replaced OptinMonster With Thrive Leads

OptinMonster has been absolutely critical in the growth of this blog for a long time (read my full Optinmonster review).

It is the plugin that played a key role in increase email conversion by 469% and for high converting popups like this-


But it did have it’s problems – for example post specific targeting was a huge strain on the plugin which is how I used it to display the SEO lead magnet on SEO posts for example.

The problem is I also have a pretty big forum so the plugin would fall over trying to import all of the possible forums posts, topics, replies, blog posts, blog pages & other custom post types I have.

I also found other limitations like the split testing although was very good – was also limiting at the same time if you wanted to go deeper. I had also grown to need the ability to target by tag which it couldn’t do.

The final nail in the coffin was while doing my reports last month I noticed a huge drop in conversion rate. When I dug deeper I saw that Optinmonster had lost all of my page specific targeting settings.

That means, for whatever reason – that none of my lead magnets were getting displayed at all for a few weeks. So while it had been very good to me, it was time to move on.

At some point in the past few months I received a pitch about Thrive Leads. Which I ignored initially – but looking deeper and speaking with the owner initially, it was the perfect fit.


It does all of the things Optinmonster couldn’t do and is much more advanced in how you can integrate, target and test.

For example you can test a combination of forms types against each other, with different targeting, designs and triggers to find the optimal combination.

Below I’m testing an exit popup for all posts tagged SEO with different triggers – a welcome trigger, an exit trigger and when someone scrolls to 40% of the page.


Right now I have only set up the very basics and just rushed through everything to at least get to a point where the lead magnets are triggering on the right posts/pages.

I still need to spend some time with the plugin to improve on the setup and setup more split tests, but overall Thrive Leads is an absolutely fantastic plugin.

Preparing To Migrate To Infusionsoft

I have decided that it’s time to move all of my business activity into a more robust system like Infusionsoft.

Over the past 6 weeks I have been slowly learning the ropes of the new system and getting things setup – eventually I will move everything over including this blog.

This does mean I will be moving email marketing away from Aweber and into the much more robust Infusionsoft platform which will track all my traffic, optins, email marketing funnels, payment processing & more all under one roof.


As you can see above I have already moved one of my web businesses over to the system as I learn the ropes but eventually this will be behind every site I own.

Infusionsoft is an insanely powerful marketing tool and the fact that it does CRM, Marketing, Ecommerce & Payment Processing all under one roof makes it an absolute beast.

Unlike Aweber that is listed based, Infusionsoft works on a tag and action based system. You can use tags to trigger anything.

Someone grabbed the SEO lead magnet? Then add a tag that starts the SEO lead magnet follow up campaign. If they click a link showing interest in something specific like a product review, then add a tag that sends them an exclusive discount 4 hours later.

Honestly once you wrap your head around the tag based system – there is no limit to what you can do. The campaign builder is particularly awesome-


It also integrates with so many different things, so let’s say I’m selling a digital product at $147 and the pro version at $297. I could have a tag automatically trigger an order to drop ship a custom T-Shirt, beer hat or whatever you want to anyone that buys the pro version.

Heck I can even have it automatically send Birthday Cards out with exclusive discounts or hand written letters thanking people for their order on complete auto pilot.


As an affiliate I often get email notifications telling me I made a sale, well now I can parse that email into Infusionsoft and add a tag to that persons contact record so I know they bought a copy of GSA Search Engine Ranker & how much they paid. That could then trigger an ascension series to get them to buy GSA Captcha Breaker.

Oh and because InfusionSoft also tracks all activity across your websites with tracking code, things can get really interesting – eg if someone drops out of a funnel you could add a tag that triggers a campaign (email, hand written letter, text message, cuddly teddy bear) to bring them back into sales funnel.

So once I’m comfortable with all the nuts and bolts – I’ll be moving all of my online businesses over to Infusionsoft one at a time, including this blog :)

Spoke At GPeC Summit In Bucharest

Towards the start of May I flew into Bucharest for less than 12 hours to sleep at the hotel and then deliver a keynote at the GPeC Summit in Romania.


It was a pretty big crowd but as soon as I had finished with the talk I had to immediately pack up and go, jump in the car and catch my flight home – it was tight!


I also managed to grab some time with Neil Patel who was also speaking at the event, although I didn’t recognize him without the hair at first! But everyone else did and he was getting hounded constantly.

Spoke At UnGagged (BHW) In London

In the middle of the month I headed to London to speak at UnGagged (BlackHatWorld) conference.

Myself and the rest of the team at the agency also decided to get our feet wet by setting up a trade stand-


It was quite nerve wracking to get it all arranged in a short space of time and something we had never done before.

However all went smoothly and it sparked some interesting conversations over the event, only time will tell if those conversations turn into profit.

And I Even Managed To…

Squeeze a 5 day trip into Lanzarote, Spain-


Returned to Weymouth, UK to catch up with family and relive some child hood memories-


And sneaked off to Rhodes, Greece to take an #AcropolisSelfie

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Posted by MatthewWoodward.co.uk on Saturday, May 2, 2015

Now that I think about it, May was absolutely crazy month I have no idea how I managed to do all of that.

I’m certainly paying the price since returning home though and have quickly forgot what ‘outside’ looks like as I catch up.

But what has all of that done for income this month?

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

This month saw 52,912 (1,706/day) unique visitors this month which is a slight drop off in comparison to last month’s 55,347 (1,844/day).

I would like to build this to be a consistent 60,000 per month in the next few months.


Most Popular Content

This month the ranking your website with fake usage metrics was the most dominant piece of content.

That was followed closely by the local SEO experts roundup with the Google Analytics SEO hacks tutorial also securing a top spot.


Top Traffic Sources

Not much has changed in terms of traffic sources this time around. Google and returning visitors are still a huge driving factor.

The rest of the traffic is coming from a mix of social, forums and other referrals which I’m happy with.

Although if things go to plan social traffic should grow this coming month or two.


Search Engine Traffic

Traffic from Google remained steady this month at 38,785 (1,251/day) compared with 38,576 (1,285/day) last month.


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.

YouTube views have broken the 20k barrier this month at 20,043 which is a slight increase from last months 19,816.

However total minutes watched saw a pretty big jump from 98,069 upto 110,908! That means in the past 31 days, people spent 77 days watching my videos – awesome sauce!


Social Shares

I have temporarily removed this section while I find a better solution to collect the data


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

This month brought 2,417 new subscribers which is similar to last months 2,281 but a big drop on the month before.

Now that I have fixed the problems with Optinmonster and replaced it with Thrive Leads this should grow substantially next month.

There are now a total of 111,636 subscribers across all of the various channels!

  • E-mail – 1,737 (1,475 last month) / Total: 59,807
  • Twitter – 292 (387 last month) / Total: 8,730
  • YouTube – 253 (211 last month) / Total: 7,960
  • Facebook – 114 (263 last month) / Total: 17,020
  • Google+ – 26 (22 last month) / Total: 17,769
  • RSS – -5 (-77 last month) / Total: 350

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 didn’t take on any consultation work this month which results in zero consultation earnings.

Other Income

I’m working on another project right now that is part of the blog but not something I’m ready to talk about publicly yet or maybe ever.

I will declare the income here though as it wouldn’t be possible without the blog and ‘technically’ it is affiliate income.

This month saw a huge drop off from $15,605.24 to $8,063.94 which is still a very respectable sum of money!

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $9,629.72
  • Consultation Income – $00.00
  • Other Income – $8,063.94
  • Expenses – $49.99

Grand Total: $17,643.67 / £11,621.06 ($26,283.41 / £17,197.97 last month)

Here is a complete look of earnings since day 1 of the blog-

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Signing Off

While I’ve spent the last 2 months working on the road while juggling a crazy travel and conference schedule, I did feel like things were getting on top of me.

I’m happy to be back home and in the driving seat again, although the second after I publish this I’m going to shut down my computer and start loading the car to move house.

I have also decided that for the rest of the year I won’t be doing any more travelling and instead staying focused on the business and my own personal development.

While the dotcom lifestyle gives you freedom of time and location, it’s good to be grounded for a while.

The next 6 months are going to be very interesting indeed and I believe they will be the biggest 6 months I have ever had – hold on with both hands :)

Thank you to everyone that has helped me reach my goals – I couldn’t do it without you, the reader!

46 Responses

  1. Mohanraj

    Heard that ahrefs affiliate program is closed and to confirm i cant able to find any affiliate program links at ahrefs homepage. Is ahref affiliate program is exclusive to you :) =D

    • Matthew Woodward
      July 24th, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Yeah it’s a closed affiliate program that is invite only unfortunately

  2. John Shea

    I have been following your blog on and off this past year (I unsubbed from all email lists months ago to get focused)

    I never realized your expenses were only hosting.

    Have you ever considered other high end hosting providers?

    I might be able to hook you up with an interesting opportunity. I am friends with the CEO of http://www.axcelx.com/ which is one of the biggest colocation server farms based out of Boston, MA. He works with companies such as TripAdvisor and hosts for them.

    Any interest in bringing those expenses to zero?

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 27th, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Well honestly that was offered to me buy TrafficPlanet and I turned it down because the service is so good and the support is excellent. I have considered the need for a dedicated in the near future though.

      • John Shea
        June 27th, 2015 at 9:58 am

        If you do consider dedicated, let me know and I might possibly be able to get a you a good deal.

        • Matthew Woodward
          June 29th, 2015 at 3:42 pm

          Thanks John I will :)

  3. Untemplater

    Fantastic and incredibly thorough income report! Looks like you had a blast being on the road and being able to get so much done at the same time. I love being able to travel and work remotely, which I’ll be doing a lot of this summer.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 27th, 2015 at 9:12 am

      Thanks, make sure you prepare for every tech situation :)

      • Keith Agnew
        July 3rd, 2015 at 9:11 pm

        Matt – this’d be a great Blog Post – with your experience traveling – what are the contingencies we should prepare for? Sure some are obvious but I’m sure you’ve gained incredible insights .. (love your work btw)


  4. Harekrishna

    Very interesting !!
    great to see some newcomers this month.
    but one thing that client intrested in SEO traffic growth report.

  5. Tasmiah Shah

    Great earnings matt. This is my first ever comment on your blog. After OMG i like you the most. you teaching are very effective.

    I am a newbie and i am still strugling. Looking for a mentor though, what say? ;)

    Btw have you use Traffic explosion plugin by network empire? Any worthy alternate you can suggest?

  6. Kimsea Sok

    Thanks for sharing Matt. It is the most awesome income report that make bloggers proud on blogging. I read almost your income report and I found that you always did a job. I have subscribed your blog, and the I keep more connect with you..

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks Kimsea :)

  7. Joseph Ho

    I am surprised you can get so many things done in one month.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      That makes two of us haha

  8. Charlie

    I also find it difficult to accept that your expenses are only $49.99 per month.

    Why don’t you include the Aweber costs? I mean, they are subscribers to this blog that you have to pay for. You don’t pay for an external backup solution? You don’t pay for a caching solution? You don’t pay for an external security service? You don’t use Google apps? You don’t use a VPN? Don’t you have a bookkeeper or an accountant? What about all the travelling you do – surely you have to pay for some of that? You never buy new hardware or equipment? Gadgets? Pens and paper? You don’t pay for a co-working space and just work from home? You never pay for consulting or services?

    I get that you don’t pay for writers or design work. But it seems crazy to me that your costs are so low, and actually somewhat unrealistic for people who are new to online business.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      I’ll answer each point individually-

      Aweber – Costs covered by my main business, the number of people on this blogs list is small in comparison
      Backup – Included with my hosting
      External security – Host deals with all of that
      Google Apps – Covered by main business
      VPN – Yes I have one but thats not related to the blog
      Accountant – Yes but I don’t pay, we do a skill swap
      Travelling – Yeah costs a bunch of money, but has nothing to do with the running of the blog
      Hardware/Equipment – Dell sent me a free Alienware 13, anything else I want I generally email marketing teams and hustle free samples – anything I do pay for is usually stuff like a solar charger or camera – which again is not relevant to the blog
      Pen/Paper – They still exist??
      Office – I work from home/on the road
      Consulting/Services – Not for this blog specifically
      Blog design – Again just a straight skill swap, they made a custom theme for me – I do something for them

      • Charlie
        June 5th, 2015 at 4:34 am

        Thanks for the reply.

        Just one question: what’s your main business?

        • Matthew Woodward
          June 6th, 2015 at 10:44 am

          Its an internet business

          • Joe
            July 13th, 2015 at 10:47 pm

            What about all the tools like SEMRush, SERPed, ahrefs etc? Do you use them with your other business? If you don’t use them yourself why should I buy them?

          • Matthew Woodward
            July 14th, 2015 at 12:04 pm

            I don’t use them on this blog as there is no need https://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/seo/link-building/zero-links/

            Why should you buy a tool that I don’t use? Well because your business has different wants/needs/goals/problems than my business. You might need to do X, but I need to do Y.

  9. Jesus

    Great update! Have you checked http://www.activecampaign.com/ ? There’s been a buzz about it lately as an easier-to-use option instead of infusionsoft… It will be nice to know what you think about it.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Yes seems easier to use, but no way near as flexible or integrated

  10. Salah

    Thats how Hard work keep paying for extra months with less of work :) Good luck Mathew for the second half of this year :)
    – and one question please : what plugin you are using for the sticky share bar that keep scrolling with the post ( the one that start with “PLEASE SHARE”)

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Thats right :)

      Thats actually part of the theme but I think you can use a plugin called floating social share bar or floating share bar or something like that

  11. Hamza Ghani

    This is so impressive! Congrats Matt. I am feeling that one day you will out rank Pat Flynn.

    Good Luck!


    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      To be honest I would say thats unlikely, I dont have the drive to make that much money haha

  12. Mathias

    Matthew could you make a case study of the most effective seo methods at the moment? Maybe try some harder keywords? I did blackhat marketing in the past and made a lot of money. Last year after the google update in May my methods stopped and my income dropped a lot (90%). Since then I can’t get any sites to rank again with any method. I am in medium to highly competitive niches. I’m starting to become desperate lol.

  13. Don Savage

    Matt, You really need to start engaging users on Pinterest. Your missing a ton of traffic from there.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      I have no knowledge or experience with Pinterest really – how would an internet marketing blog be able to capture peoples attention there?

  14. James

    Great insight as always… Also nice to see a few pics of the lifestyle a successful blog can get you :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Yeah don’t let the pictures fool you, thats just like 5% of the time – the other 95% is hell haha

      • James
        June 4th, 2015 at 3:39 pm

        ha ha.. yeah, I’ve spent the last 18 years DJing and producing music… it all looks like fun, but that’s only the two hours people see you on a Saturday night… the rest is locked away in dark, dark studios… Fair play though mate, glad to see you are getting to see the world, even though it’s only for 5% of the time… :)

  15. jhon.m

    Hello , Matthew , nice To see that u’r back ,
    so i have one Question , !
    can write an article about , “”How Unique HQ content Can Help ur websites ,or Why is it Good to use HQ content for our Website , and IS it enough to rank Well and Get Good Quality Readers , and Followers ,
    i mean in Order to Rank well , And how to get Google trust ,and make a HQ authority blog ,
    Thank you Matthew

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      You want me to write it?

      • jhon.m
        June 4th, 2015 at 5:58 pm

        Yah if u can , Sorry about the Typo ,
        Thank You.

  16. Mohanraj

    At each time when you publish Income reports i’m the first one to comment on it and Hope Me too will earn like you in future.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 1st, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Close, but no cigar :)

  17. Tyson

    Wondering how you have expenses of $49.99 per month?

    You don’t have any content you have created? (Images/graphics/video editing)

    You don’t have a VA that does anything for you? Outreach for blog posts?

    You don’t have any sites that need updates to plugins or themes?

    No development work?

    No marketing whatsoever?

    If your expenses are $49.99 per month that is just mind boggling. I’d like to see a post on how you are able to do it.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 1st, 2015 at 10:54 am


      None at all, I rarely have to pay for a plugin, the theme development I did in exchange for a sponsored post, aweber was an existing cost in another business that absorbs that and so forth

      • Kishen
        June 2nd, 2015 at 4:52 am

        What about all the expenses for the software that you use? Do you get them all for free?

        • Matthew Woodward
          June 4th, 2015 at 2:31 pm

          What software? I use notepad, excel and photoshop for the most part then free things like Evernote & Canva.

          Although granted, if I do want to use a new product I do try and get it for free before I pay for it which works 90% of the time.

  18. Aqif Azizan

    Hi Matthew Woodward.

    Congratulations, again and again. It is pretty impressive income earning since you spend most of your time travelling this month.

    I have one question.

    What plugin or software do you use to make the chart “Here is a complete look of earnings since day 1 of the blog-” at the end of the post.

    Can you share with us?

    Thank you in advance. :D

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 1st, 2015 at 10:54 am

      That is Google Charts

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