Every month I will be 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 October
Well October was certainly a busy month! I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future direction of the blog and where I would like to take it. I’ve also added a few new features, arranged an AMAZING competition prize for next month and won an award!
Content creation has being a bit thin on the ground this month as my hands have being tied with work behind the scenes.
I also decided to try out a new angle with my tutorial on how to find & engage your target audience online for profit. I wasn’t sure how well that would go down as it is ‘anti-SEO’ to a degree but the feedback has being great so more posts like that are on the horizon.
I’ll be pushing out a lot more content this month :)
John Chow Guest Post
When I wrote the ninja’s guide to Google Alerts I originally sent it to John Chow but didn’t get any response.
Then I sent it over to SearchEngineJournal.com who published it immediately.
So I was surprised to see the post get republished on JohnChow.com.
I sent the original request to John on the 23rd August and it got published on the 17th October. I did not even get a reply from John about my request nor did I get any kind of notification from him it was published.
However this does give me a unique opportunity to create a John Chow vs. Search Engine Journal post –
coming sometime this month. – Which you can now read here.
The Inspyder competition ran for 2 weeks in total with 3 prizes worth a total of $715.
Henry Croft took the 1st prize of the complete Inspyder bundle worth $390. John Sugden slid into 2nd place winning the Inspyder SEO bundle worth $250 and finally Sergei Zhukov took 3rd prize of Inspyder Backlink Monitor worth $75.
For those that didn’t win I arranged an exclusive 20% discount off ALL Inyspder products for my readers.
Expires November 8th
Next month’s competition will be the biggest yet with 3 prizes worth nearly $1,500! It’s an essential suite of tools – you will not want to miss this one.
Launched A Forum
In last month’s income report I mentioned that my inbox was getting overloaded with questions and it was becoming a serious problem.
Previously I asked people to just post in the comments or reply to a thread on one of the forums I’m active on so the answer I give is for everyone’s benefit.
But this month I decided to go one step further and launch my own forum on the blog. It has being live for less than 2 weeks and already 43 people have registered.
It might not look like much but that took me a whole day to integrate and work everything out – I had to heavily modify the user registration process and a few other things to ensure the user journey was smooth and all integrated with my design.
I’ll be writing a follow up ‘how to’ guide this month.
The result – my inbox is no way near as busy as it was! In fact I answer questions on my own forum before anything else on a daily basis now, so feel free to jump over and ask me a question.
I also bought and installed OIOPublisher on the blog.
This is a fully automated self-serving ad platform. It takes care of everything end to end including the billing, all I have to do is approve the ads as they are submitted.
At the moment I have setup 4x 125×125 banner ads in the sidebar but you can also set it up to sell things like text link ads, blog posts, footer adverts – pretty much anything you want!
The plugin cost me $47 and takes all of the hard work out of selling advertising on the blog and I’ve already sold 1 banner slot for $30! I haven’t really shouted about it too much yet but plan to add a dedicated advertise page to the header eventually.
You can advertise on the blog here
Previously I wasn’t really tracking RSS subscribers or clicks to subscribe. This month I moved the feed over to Feedburner to track how many subscribers I have and I setup an event in Analytics for all the subscribe links to track those clicks.
I also bought and installed Bring My Blog Visitors Back for $37.
This is a really cool little plugin that pimps your RSS feed to the max to help bring RSS readers back to the blog.
Now at the end of every post in the RSS feed you can see-
- How many comments the post has
- A link to add a comment
- 5 related posts
- Social sharing buttons
- Footer line linking back to the site
You can see it in action for yourself right here.
You can do a lot more with it than that but I decided to keep it simple, check out the Bring My Blog Visitors Back site for the full details.
The Best of 2012 Award
The post attracted a lot of interest and has generated huge volumes of social sharing and commenting
It was given the prestigious ‘Best of SearchEngineJournal.com 2012 Award’
To be honest when I wrote that post I wasn’t expecting to be any way near as popular as it was, so the fact it has received a best of 2012 award is mind blowing.
Power Searching With Google
I also completed the Power Searching With Google course.
This was 6 classes teaching advanced search techniques with 2 assessments. Admittedly I didn’t take any of the classes.
My results for each assessment were-
- Mid-class assessment score: 100%
- Post-class assessment score: 100%
Those scores earnt me this shiny certificate-
The course is currently unavailable for new applicants but keep checking back as they do open it up periodically.
The Secret Weapon
In an effort to get more organised & productive in both my work and personal life I have adopted The Secret Weapon GTD system.
It is completely free and is based around Evernote so works across Windows, Mac, iOS, Android or anything with a web browser. Check out this video to get a look at how my personal work flow works now.
Big shout out to Malcolm Simmonds for introducing me to TSW – he really is the king of getting organised and author or the hugely successful Get Organised Now WSO.
I’m sure he has some special treats coming up in the near future ;)
If you have never adopted a GTD system then I suggest you do, in fact stop reading this post and watch the video linked above right now.
I was already highly productive but this has gone through the roof the past couple of weeks and now I never forget anything!
Super Secret Software
I have teased the fact I’ll be releasing a free piece of software soon in a few places. You’ll be glad to know that I have finished all of the source data, technical specification, interface designs and selected a programming language.
Now all I need is a programmer and I’m currently in the process of selecting someone to work with.
I would love to be able to launch it this month but we will have to wait and see how quickly things move.
I’ll release the full details of what it is and what it does closer to the time. All you need to know for now is that it will be free, useful to every SEO campaign and transforms a long boring process into a one click solution.
As with the previous month’s I haven’t really done anything special to generate traffic. All I have done is-
- Post on WarriorForum, TrafficPlanet & Blackhatworld
- Hassle people on social media
- Responded to Google Alerts
- Beg people to share my content
Not bad going! Tempted to start one at WarriorForum but I’ll probably get banned – only one way to find out =D
The Disavow post also brought in a decent amount of traffic from new sources and audiences due to its controversy along with the guest post at JohnChow and the competition.
Remember the main purpose of this blog is to see if I can rank it in Google using SEO without link building at all.
Surprisingly, this is actually going quite well!
One of the main terms I have tracked is ‘Buy SEO’ in the UK. It made its first appearance at the #13 position, then moved to #5 and is now sitting at #2!!
Just that pesky Aaron Wall in my way now :P
Do you know why Aaron’s result shows him in circles but mine doesn’t?
This month I’ve invested a total of 90 hours on the blog which is roughly broken down as 20 hours content creation, 20 hours promotion, 15 hours planning/strategising, 10 hours on the software and 25 hours of behind the scenes work/site upgrades like the forum.
Crunching The Numbers
Last month the blog saw a 100% increase in traffic and 475% increase in earnings – I will be surprised if this month saw that level of growth to be honest.
Let’s get stuck in.
This month the blog received 6,240 unique visitors which is a 38% increase over last month’s 4,518.
Most Popular Content
As you can see the huge uplift in last month’s income report pushed it up to the number 2 spot (from 10).
The disavow links tool tutorial also ranked quite highly with a total of 1,685 unique visits; shame the bounce rate was so high though.
Other than that nothing has changed much, this month’s competition page claims a place in the top 10 as do the tiered link building tutorials.
Top Traffic Sources
This month Google has jumped up to the number 3 spot in my top traffic sources. This is actually quite remarkable and further verifies my experiment with this blog.
It is also worth noting that the traffic coming from Google is much more engaged with the site in terms of pages per visit, duration & bounce rate.
Will be interesting to see if Google moves up to the number 2 spot next month – although I’m going to work hard to ensure it doesn’t and focus on other sources.
Search Engine Traffic
Last month Google sent 946 visits across 144 keywords. This month they have sent 1,681 visits across 217 keywords. That’s a 77% increase in Google traffic in a month all by completely ignoring SEO.
What I find interesting about this is how much more engaged the traffic is when doing a search containing my name/brand. Brand related searches are on the increase across the board as well as my content spreads throughout the web.
Last month’s YouTube views came in at a total of 5,267 views while this month only saw 4,836 views – this is mostly because I didn’t create any new video based tutorials this month.
YouTube also introduced the new ‘minutes watched’ metric and people spent a combined total of 27,207 minutes watching my videos or 18 days & 21 hours.
Social sharing activity is on the increase as well with a grand total of 2,464 shares (934 last month) which is a 160% increase month on month.
This means that 1 in every 2.5 unique visitor’s shares my content compared to 1 in 5 last month.
- Twitter – 805 (523 last month)
- Facebook – 451 (239 last month)
- Google+ – 274 (172 last month)
My Forum Statistics
The forum was created on the 19th of October and here are the stats so far-
- Users: 43
- Topics: 33
- Posts: 134
It’s great to see people putting the forum to good use. There is already a wealth of information and it’s fantastic to see my visitors interacting and helping each other out!
Head over to the forums and start a new topic now.
This is the metric that I always look forward to reporting on. If someone takes the time and effort to subscribe to my content, then I’m definitely doing something right.
Last month I had a total of 696 subscribers across various channels which have now grown to 1,145 people.
On the 23rd October 2012 I also integrated Feedburner on the site to start tracking RSS subscriptions – this number will be included in all future reports.
- E-mail – 224 (208 last month) / Total: 540
- Twitter – 68 (119 last month) / Total: 293
- YouTube – 51 (45 last month) / Total: 132
- Facebook – 36 (26 last month) / Total: 89
- Google+ – 0 (10 last month) / Total: 21
- RSS – 70 / Total: 70
Forum Promotion Posts
I slacked off on forum posting a bit this month and only made a total of 328 posts compared to last month’s 456. Time to pull my finger out eh?
- TrafficPlanet – 147 posts (1,568 visits)
- WarriorForum – 66 posts (963 visits)
- BlackHatWorld – 115 posts (1,990 visits)
Strangely, forum traffic is actually up from last month – 4,521 visits compared to 3,929 last month.
Here are the numbers you really want to see-
- 99CentArticles – $15.80
- Blog Advertising – $30.00
- BuyProxies – $69.40
- CaptchaSniper – $92.40
- GSA Search Engine Ranker – $213.46
- GSA SEO Indexer – $11.66
- Inspyder Backlink Monitor – $340.30
- JustHost – $60.00
- Kontent Machine – $411.53
- PowerupHosting – $10.50
- SEO Powersuite – $82.17 (see my SEO Powersuite review)
- SEOMoz – $75.00 (review)
- SESlingShot – $100.00 (review)
- StableHost – $22.71
- TheBestSpinner – $246.00 (tutorial / discount coupon)
- Ultimate Demon – $1,033.73 (review / discount coupon)
- Income – $2804.17
- Expenses – $85.89
This means the blog made a total affiliate profit of $2,718.28 (£1,681.79) which is just a tad less than last months $2,877.88.
This is my own doing though as I spent an awful lot less time on the promotion side of things.
The main reason for not having time to promote the blog though is because of…
I like to separate the consultation earnings from the affiliate earnings. The affiliate commission is purely driven through clicks on affiliate links whereas the consultation earnings come from leads I manually convert via the blog.
Last month the blog generated $1,129.00 in consultation earnings – This month that increased to $4,189.32 / £2,591.91.
When you consider both the affiliate and consultation earnings the blog has earnt $6,993.49 / £4,328.99 this month which is a huge increase from last month’s grand total of $4,006.88 / £2,481.85.
Have You Enjoyed This Post?
If you have enjoyed this post then please take 60 seconds to tell a friend.
Whether that’s on a forum, an instant messenger, on the phone or in the pub – please help me to spread the love!
I invest a lot of time creating posts like this (over 8 hours so far for this post alone) so please take 60 seconds to say thank you.
Every little helps =D
This month has seen steady growth in almost all areas. The constant increase in traffic from Google is a point of interest and I’ll be keeping a close eye on how that grows the coming month.
I have slacked off a bit on the promotion and content creation side of things as I have being busy preparing other things such as the free piece of software and arranging the biggest competition prize so far.
There will be more of a focus on content creation this month as I’ve got a stack of tutorials and requests to work through – first up is a much more detailed spinning tutorial which will be available this week.
I’m also quite keen to bring my super secret software to you all as soon as possible so I’ll be putting some focus on that.
I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for joining me on this journey.
Any questions? Head over to the forums!