Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – October 2012

This is the third income report as part of the zero link building case study.

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.

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

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

Content creation has being a bit thin on the ground this month as my hands have being tied with work behind the scenes.

I taught you how to check if your site is possibly penalized or sandboxed by Google and why the new Google Disavow tool is actually bad news for SEO.

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.

Inspyder Competition

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.

Self-Serve Advertising

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

RSS Upgrades

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

Best Of Search Engine JournalI won my first blogging award :) Melissa Fach reached out to tell me that my guest post on SearchEngineJournal.com was one of the most popular posts on SEJ.

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-

Power Searching 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.

Traffic Generation

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

The thread I started on Blackhatworld has now seen 11,684 views and 215 replies (5,790 / 140 last month) and the thread at TrafficPlanet is at 8,452 views and 241 replies.

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.

Google Love

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!!

Tracking Buy SEO

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?

Time Invested

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.

Visitor Statistics

This month the blog received 6,240 unique visitors which is a 38% increase over last month’s 4,518.

Visitors Per Month

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.

Popular Content Analytics

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.

Top Traffic

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.

Keyword Search Traffic

YouTube Views

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.

Youtube Statistics Analytics

Social Shares

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.

Income Report

Here are the numbers you really want to see-

Affiliate Earnings



  • 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.

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

The main reason for not having time to promote the blog though is because of…

Consultation Earnings

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.

Grand total

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

Signing Off

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!

23 Responses

  1. affordable seo packages

    Hi there, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this post. It was inspiring.
    Keep on posting!

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 24th, 2013 at 9:08 am

      Thanks theres a few more income reports on the site as well

  2. Tomáš Mičánek

    gjdm )

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 30th, 2012 at 11:06 am

      Cheers man =D

  3. Radu Balas

    you did an amazing job mathew and I feel that you did it in a really short period of time, how old is your blog?

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 11th, 2012 at 10:12 am

      Thanks very much – its actually about a year old but it spent the first 9 months of its life collecting dust, around August I actually started to try

  4. DDWM Vancouver Website Design Marketing

    Yet again another great post! Thanks for the great detail – highly insightful.
    And kudos on your first blogging award!

  5. Andrew Palmer

    Congratulations man.

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 6th, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks very much :)

  6. Carl Barton

    This is really interesting stuff Matt, I love the transparency. Not to mention all the really actionable stuff you give us all for free! Really appreciate your efforts, and glad you're getting rewarded for them :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 6th, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      No worrys – got plenty more to come just mapped out the editorial calendar until the new year ^^

  7. Syamsul Alam

    Wow! Matt, that's just awesome. And you're just starting blogging for like what, three months right? (cmiiw). Wow. Then, Matt Cutts doesn't lie after all….

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 2nd, 2012 at 9:59 am

      I wouldn't say I started blogging 3 months ago (I have over a decade of IM experience) but I certainly started putting time/effort into the blog 3 months ago – before that it just sat doing nothing.

  8. Casey Dennison

    As always, loved the income and statistics Matt! Dude, you really have something going for you here on this blog and I love that your subscribers and income are going up, as well as traffic. Really awesome thing that you got that award, too.

    Keep em' coming man!

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 2nd, 2012 at 9:58 am

      Hi Casey,

      Thank you very much – the subscribers number is what I'm focused on growing as long as thats increasing everything else will fall into place. Plus a 'subscription' is the ultimate commitment you can ask for from a visitor above and beyond an affiliate sale.

      I have also entered http://nmxlive.com/13nmxlv/nmx-university/ – fingers crossed!

  9. Chris Duncan

    Matt, very good read as always. You inspired me to also give up worrying about Google. You've put more action in then man, but I'm on the same page with you. I've been telling other people, quit expecting the people to find you, go find them. Well done. :O)

    • Colin Williams
      November 1st, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      seconding what Chris has said. Totally inspirational that you can make a what most people consider to be a very good full time wage through this blog just talking about SEO and IM! Awesome

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 2nd, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Chris – Well I certainly didn't think this blog would be inspiring people when I created it so thanks for your words. Where I used to work they had a 'if we build it they will come' mentality – needless to say they are still launching new sites that make no money over and over.

      Colin – Again thanks for your kind words =D

  10. Niccolò Angeli

    well done MAtt :-) as you see the Universe is eager to give back good stuff at the same pace you give away good stuff.

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 2nd, 2012 at 9:58 am

      Very true! You can only take what you give :)

  11. Don F

    Nice Work!

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 2nd, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Thanks =D

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