Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – November 2014

This is the 26th 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 November

As we build towards Christmas I have been running around like a headless chicken trying to get as much done in order to enjoy a break across the festive period.

That resulted in over a week of 12-16 hour days back to back after returning from the BHW/Ungagged conference.

This could also very well be the month when I break through the income goal that has been eluding me the past few months.

Premium Tutorials Sunset

After I publish this post and send out the email I’m going to remove my premium tutorial from sale permanently.

I was going to do it last night but removing them breaks the user journey and optins of RankCracker so it needs a little more care than I first thought.

Either way if you have missed out there is a small chance you can still buy them – there is still 20% off as well!

But when they are gone – they are gone! And it’s my next job today so don’t wait around.

Content Creation

I published a total of 7 posts this month which is slightly less than the 10 I did last month. I don’t think I’ll ever do 10 in a month again, I think 4-6 is the sweet spot.

I published another update to the spam rank case study which showed how to recover from Penguin 3 after the site got hit.

You were also shown how to make money on Fiverr with a very easy to apply method. I’ve seen some awesome cartoon software launch recently you could use with that method.

We took a look into the world of Yandex SEO and explored the differences between Google and Yandex.

This years Black Friday deals post went down a treat and I updated it a number of times and will update it again today.

Other than those posts we just had the regular best of internet marketing & income report roundup posts.

UK Blog Awards 2015

Last year I was nominated in the UK Blog Awards and walked away as highly commended in the Digital & Technology category.


This year I have been nominated again but this time I’m in the PR & Marketing category against some stiff competition.

BHW/UnGagged Conference

I was honoured to speak at the first BlackHatWorld (UnGagged) conference in Las Vegas this month.


It was awesome to meet everyone from the forum and finally put faces to a lot of names. Many laughs were had and more importantly, many secrets were shared.

What made this conference different than any other was it was small and compact in one room. This meant that everyone spoke to everyone, there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of foot traffic rushing by.


On top of that some of the things shared at the conference were phenomenal – I’ve never heard so much shared in 1 place and I certainly took a lot from the various sessions.

And let’s not forget how awesome the food (and alcohol) was that was all provided as part of the ticket price which makes a tasty change!


I also found time to leather dune buggys around the Nevada desert, hit the Blueman show and Cirque Du Solei with Malc even if I was ill for the whole event.

Making The Blog More Press Worthy

While I was at the conference I spoke Murray Newlands who is a PR expert.

He got me thinking and one of the first things I did when I returned from the conference was to make the blog more ‘press worthy’.

So what does that mean? Well it means positioning the blog in a way that press and media can relate to it, quote it, find the information they need etc.

This is my current plan of attack-

  • Create a media kit
  • Publish testimonials
  • Publish a ‘featured on’ page
  • Add a speakers page
  • Update About Me page
  • Become an entity on knowledge graph
  • Get listed on Wikipedia
  • Change sidebar picture

All of those changes would give me much more credibility and make me more ‘press worthy’ so to speak.

So far I have completed the media kit, testimonials page and changed the sidebar picture so there is still a bit of work to do.

I will do a more detailed tutorial on how to make your blog more press worthy soon :)

Opt In Conversion Optimisation

Last month Stuart Walker made me look stupid and offered some awesome advice on how to improve email optin conversion rates.

I’m going to do a super detailed post on this but here is a quick teaser at the results so far.

This was the blogs optin rate for the past few months after cleaning the data up-

  • July – 1.07%
  • August – 1.11%
  • September – 1.64%
  • October – 2.97%

I integrated the changes on October 30th and as of November 20th the conversion rate has increased to 8.18%!!

This is what it looks like in Analytics-


That is a huge increase and that was without any split testing at all.

Then, on the 20th of November I started split testing EVERYTHING-


As you can see in the split test with OptinMonster above there is still huge room for improvement. That is just from split testing 1 exit popup on 1 post.

I will reveal everything in a more detailed post later in the month, in the mean time check out my detailed Optinmonster review.

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 I broke the 50,000 unique visitors milestone for the first time, something I had been trying to break through for a while!

Unfortunately this month that has dropped from 51,116 (1,649/day) to 49,075 (1,635/day) this month.

It isn’t that much of a drop but it is annoying to drop below the milestone again!


Most Popular Content

The Black Friday deals page was by far the most popular on the blog this time around with the spam rank case study in second place.

The how to make money on Fiverr tutorial also proved popular and my GSA Search Engine Ranker tutorial held its place as well.


Top Traffic Sources

The top traffic sources are dominated by social sources this month because I splashed out a bit on Facebook ads.

As you can see the traffic was very engaged spending good amounts of time on the site with long average visit durations. Not bad for social huh?


Search Engine Traffic

Google organic search traffic has grown slightly this month at 36,905 (1,230/day) compared to last months 36,808 (1,187/day).

Just a shame there are only 30 days in November!


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 YouTube brought in 20,404 views which has seen a little drop to 19,619 this month.

Alongside a drop in views also saw a drop in minutes watched from 105,215 to 100,718.


Social Shares

The blog has seen a total of 57,189 shares across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ this month compared to 56,384 last month.

  • Google+ – 16,198 (17,096 last month)
  • Twitter – 24,685 (24,044 last month)
  • Facebook – 16,306 (15,244 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 7,637 new subscribers across various channels which is a nice jump from last month’s total of 5,205.

There are now a total of 88,860 subscribers across all of the different channels.

  • E-mail – 6,407 (3,440 last month) / Total: 45,060
  • Twitter – 547 (260 last month) / Total: 6,348
  • YouTube – 220 (267 last month) / Total: 6,410
  • Facebook – 501 (819 last month) / Total: 13,433
  • Google+ – 145 (196 last month) / Total: 17,184
  • RSS – -183 (223 last month) / Total: 425

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 earned a total of $6,382.57 which is on par with last months $6,314.70.

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $29,280.48
  • Consultation Income – $00.00
  • Other Income – $6,382.57
  • Expenses – $881.99

Grand Total: $34,781.06 / £22,099.35 ($17,495.84 / £10,937.98 last month)

Well – I wasn’t expecting that to happen to say the least!

I’ve been trying to break the $20k barrier for a while and not only have I broken it, I also broke the $30k barrier at the same time!

However that is mostly down to a couple of unique events that won’t be repeated next month so hold on tight for the drop next month.

Either way, it’s the biggest earning month of the blog so far beating the previous highest earning month (August 2014 – $19,236) by $15,544!

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Signing Off

What an absolutely awesome month, I don’t think it could have gone any better! Sure traffic dropped below the 50k mark, but the huge jump in earnings more than made up for it.

That is largely down to the fact it was Black Friday this weekend and the sunsetting of my premium tutorials. I’m wondering if the increase in email optin conversion rate might soften the blow a little next month.

As we move into December I’m going to wind things down slowly in peregrination for a good break across the festive period.

If you feel like you can produce a high quality case study/step by step tutorial and would like to guest post please get in touch.

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

78 Responses

  1. Viplikes Company

    This is great blog, thank you for great info!

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 17th, 2020 at 12:02 am

      No worries – glad you think so :)

  2. Jeff

    I read through your tutorial on how to create a top 100 blog in 12 months.
    If someone has a site (travel & travel deal related) averaging 15k uniques per month, where would you say affiliate commissions could be per month? I do it part time and have been building up traffic but haven’t focused too much on the affiliate commissions and would like to improve that. I’m also just learning how to do some videos and video editing to include in some of my posts.

    I know you have a lot of videos available – just not sure where to start.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 6th, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Look at the travel sites in my income report roundups

  3. James

    Hi Matthew, I signed up to Aweber last month and so far I have zero subscribers, other than myself. I have had 700 unique viewers last month, but none of them have signed up! I don’t want to use the pop up option as I feel it can be a bit annoying for the reader, but is there anything I am doing wrong? Or is my content not worth reading lol… Hope you can help, james

  4. James

    Thanks for the reply and link yesterday, think I’ll be signing up to AWeber today. It’s more than I make a month at the minute but you have to invest at some point. Thanks for that Matt!

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 7th, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      No problem, your email list will pay for itself in no time! Just focus on building it!

  5. James

    That puts my £0.96 monthly earnings to shame… I’m very interested about the email subscribers, something which I have been struggling with. I use feedburner but I think it’s time to change. Can you recommend anything that is better but not costly?

  6. Oloyede Jamiu

    Hey Matt,

    Here is another awesome income report as usual.

    Keep up the good work.

    Take care!

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 5th, 2014 at 2:58 pm


  7. Isaac Babji

    Thanks for the report and congratulations on the record earnings. I have voted for you because you always give solid content that is actionable. Not just a bunch of b.s.

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 3rd, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Thank you for your kindness!

  8. Samuel

    Congrats on a great month Matthew!

    How was the dune buggy ride in Nevada? I think I’ll try that next time I’m out that way.

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks – It was pretty awesome, worth a crack :)

  9. Muhammet Taşdemir

    What a wonderful world for you Dear Matthew :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks Muhammet!

  10. 30 Something Dude

    Congrats on breaking the £20k and $30k mark, all that hard work has paid off. I’m still at the early part of my journey but look to your blog and story for inspiration and actionable advice

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks – keep on hustlin and you will get there in time!

  11. Matthew Allen

    Congrats on the $30k month Matthew! That’s pretty awesome.

    I agree with your decision to change your sidebar picture. Definitely makes the blog appear more credible and of course adds press worthiness to the equation.

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks Matt – yeah you would be surprised how many people complained about that hahaha

  12. The Guy

    Wow, Matthew they are fabulous stats and income, many congratulations on your successes so far.

    You’ve worked hard and provide great information.

    I’ve been blogging for 2 years + and certainly don’t get traffic or income to come within a shadow of what you are achieving. Fair play to you, I’ll keep watching and learning.

    Best wishes for your continued success.

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks :) Have you created your own product?

      • The Guy
        December 2nd, 2014 at 4:57 pm

        Yes. I’ve been selling an e-book that I wrote via the kindle store for just over a year now. I promoted it via my website and social media channels.

  13. Stuart

    Well done Matt over the moon for you!

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Gracias mi amigo!

  14. Ashish Nagwanshi

    Hi Matthew,

    I have only one question to ask you. How come the bounce rate on your blog is always less than 10%? And many times i have seen it below 4%.

    Because, when i compare the number of page views and overall time spent by a user with other blogs, their bounce rate is more than 75%.

    Is there any secret?


    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:30 pm


      Just provide good content and solid internal linking to keep people moving.

  15. Rael

    Wow! Congrats Matt! You surpassed $30k, this is very motivating. Thank you for your awesome content!

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks Rael!

  16. Carl Radley

    Wow Matt – a massive congratulations and thanks for such an inspiring report!

    I know you work your ass off to get these results so it’s well deserved! How long before we see a $50k month? Perhaps in 2015!?

    Keep up the awesome work!

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks Carl – think I’m going to take a break before pushing for the next level – although I do know when that will be :)

  17. Matthew

    Those are some insane numbers, Matt. Great work!

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      I’m sue you’ll be up there again this month, on/off on/off :)

  18. RD

    This is very inspiring as I have just started working on my first blog.

    After reading this it looks like there is a lot for me to learn about list building. I am going to check out that Opt in conversion post.

    Do you have any posts you can recommend on driving traffic to a blog. That is one of the things I am currently struggling to learn.

    By the way congratulations on breaking your $20k and $30k barrier.

    Keep up the great work!

  19. itos

    Congrats on breaking the 30K barrier. I am sure you can even pull a 50K next Black Friday.

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      Thanks :) I’m just going to enjoy this barrier for now though =D

    • itos
      December 1st, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Oh by the way I bought some stuff from your links on Black Friday, I am happy to be part of your income increase.

  20. Joseph Ho

    Congrats Matt on breaking the 30k barrier !

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Joseph!

  21. Ngan Son

    Hi Mathew !
    Congra ! Black Friday and Cyber Monday help all bloggers increasing the imcome :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      It does indeed!

  22. Quinton

    Dude! That is huge!!!!! Congrats. Good hustle.

    And while I miss the irreverent beer-drinking Matt in the sidebar, I’ve got to say the new guy looks pretty PR-ready.

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Hahaha maybe I’ll split test them :P

  23. Indera

    Congrats! awesome if could do like you also. :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Do it then!

      • Indera
        December 3rd, 2014 at 3:36 am

        Hell yeah.. my 2015 ambition. Lol

  24. ben

    Congrats Matt on hitting the 30k a month mark thats some going and sets you up for a merry xmas!

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks Ben =D

  25. Zac Johnson

    Awesome, quite the list of affiliate revenue there! I’m also in the works of doing a complete revamp of my sites and doing the PR twist on them as well. Voted for your blog as well — good luck!

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 2nd, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks Zac – let me know if you want any input!

  26. Ian McCormack

    Wow, that was an EPIC month Matt!! Well deserved as your hard work is paying off and you DO offer value and great content. The Facebook ads will really pay off in the future I think, next few month should see you break the $50k mark I think.

    Keep the excellence coming mate!!


    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      Thank you very much Ian!

  27. Tom

    That’s amazing dude £22k in 1 month! Nice to see all your work paying off still.
    December is likely to tail off and you won’t be speaking again either…. But January is a good month for our industry anyway so that can be a PR month!!!

    Motivating stuff,
    Keep it up.

    P.S. That conversion rate is crazy…..

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks Tom!

      Well I’m going to try and post less in December and focus on some back end things like a new theme, accounting structure etc etc so we’ll see :)

  28. lev

    hi you make the most from rank cracker and kontent machine but I don’t understand the concept behind these…

  29. lev

    Wow mate!

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks Lev!

  30. Christopher

    Hello Matthew, I purchased you premium tutorials and there is a lot of information in them. Excellent work. One question is for people who don’t have the background in a particular niche, how would we write great content as you do for the SEO niche? How would you handle this as far as research if you were to start another blog in something you knew very little about?


    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 10:43 pm


      Well I’m an expert so not only do I have the knowledge to hand I also have the data to hand for case studies. Starting out in another niche, it would have to be something I’m actively involved in/have an interest in or want to learn about.

  31. Gurjit Singh

    Congratulations on hitting both 20 and 30K barriers :) You deserve this. Hope the drop won’t be much next month.

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      DOUBLE KILL!! Thanks :)

  32. Liudas

    Great post man.

    Interested in hearing more about the PR stuff.

    Your site conversions jumped sky high. I don’t do the tracking for myself, but by applying a few of Stuarts tips I noticed an increase in my conversions.

    Also, a great month in earnings, congratz, but this month it will be super slow :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      Thanks very much – I will reveal more as it happens :)

  33. razvanro

    Great post, as always, you are a great inspiration. Patiently awaiting the tutorial for making a blog more media friendly, that’s something I haven’t really thought about myself.

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks – will work on it soon :)

  34. Daniel Daines-Hutt

    Just crushing it!

    That increase in email signups is immense!!

    Its hugely motivational seeing your results each month Matt-keep it up man its unreal!

    We have been chatting about releasing content for our blog for so long now (We create content for clients etc) so there should be any reason for us not to release any!

    Hopefully you will see us in in your earnings round up at some point, and *maybe* we will be able to provide something for your readers here….
    (Pressures on now!)


    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 10:44 pm


      Thanks Daniel – got to give it to Stuart huh?

  35. Enstine Muki

    Hey Matt,
    Congratulations on making exciting earnings with Affiliate Marketing.

    I’ll pay close attention to see how you transform your blog and make it Press Worthy ;)

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you very much :)

  36. maurice

    wow. thats a motivation

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Hard work and consistency are the secrets :)

  37. Navjot Singh

    Wow… Matt.. Awesome Earnings via Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deal’s List.

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 1st, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks :)

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