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.

ukba

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.

ung4

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.

ung3

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!

ung2

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-

optinconversion

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-

optsplit

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 Stuarts advice.

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!

inc-analyticsoverview

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.

inc-analyticscontent

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?

inc-analyticstrafficsource

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!

inc-analyticssearch

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.

inc-youtube

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)

Subscribers

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

Expenses

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!

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