What I Have Read This Month – February 2013

This is the third post in the What I have Read This Month series which shares all of my favourite articles over the past month.

There is an awful lot of junk to sort through every month so here are the best bits according to me!

What I Have Read This Month

The past month was actually pretty good for internet marketing related content! I hope you’ve got a spare couple of hours because each and every single post here is pure gold!

Let’s get started with-

SEO & Link Building

The Russian based SAPE link building network has become a dominant force in recent months and is starting to gain popularity in some forums.

Check out this great post by Leith that explains exactly what SAPE is and how to use it.

The only problem is this-

Now I’m not telling you to not use SAPE, but I am telling you to start pointing the links somewhere else ^^

A lot of people have turned to guest blogging as a way to build out high quality links which has proven to be effective.

Andy Crestodina (OrbitMedia.com) wrote this superb piece on ProBlogger about using AuthorStats to leverage your guest blogging further.

The only problem is that Jeff Foster (WebBizIdeas.com) believes that blogs that allow guest posts will be penalised in 2013.

To be honest I agree with most of what he is saying – guest posts do leave a pretty obvious footprint to detect. Luckily he advises on best practices to accept guest posts and keep things above board in the eyes of Google.

Instead of using guest blogging just to build links – why not use it to build authorship and social profiles simultaneously?

Or if you can’t be bothered to do it properly you could just hack author rank and buy yourself to the #1 spot!

I also read a couple of interesting data driven case studies this month.

The first looked at how the hrefLang tag impacted rankings. If you don’t know what the hrefLang tag is then be sure to check out this post – international SEO’s will love it!

Social Media

I’ve spent quite a lot of time on my YouTube channel this week as it delivers the highest quality traffic so this YouTube keyword optimisation post by Richa Dikshit (ToyTasting.tv) caught my eye.

Based on a reader recommendation I’ve started to get involved with the Reddit community. The MakeUseOf team published a handy guide and I started off by asking people what their #1 SEO problem is.

Next I’m going to be looking at how I can leverage what I’m doing on Google+ so I was thinking about creating a couple of community’s to engage people directly. MakeUseOf came up trumps again with this complete guide to Google+ community’s.

Once I’ve got Google+ nailed down I’m going to branch out to Linked In. The blog has next to no presence on LinkedIn at the moment and that’s going to change with the help of these great tips from Social Media Examiner.

I’m looking to leverage the power of social media to its full potential and these social media list building tips from Amy Porterfield (AmyPorterfield.com) are hard to ignore!

Email Marketing

Last month I spent some time creating an engagement sequence for my email list and this guest post on John Chow offers some great tips for those that want to do the same. Use my Aweber link though yeah? :P

I also came across some great outreach email template examples that you can use in your own campaigns. This will work perfectly with the outreach process I teach in this tutorial.

Traffic Generation

Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know that I have built my traffic by reaching out and engaging with people directly.

So I was happy to find this list of Q&A sites posted on TrafficPlanet which I will begin to leverage over the coming weeks!

Heidi Cohen (HeidiCohen.com) put out these 23 great tips for promoting your blog and building traffic, who needs SEO :P

Remember my tutorial showing you how I use Google Analytics to increase traffic to the blog?

Well Kaiser (KaiserTheSage.com) posted an amazing guide showing you how to use Google Analytics to increase search traffic!

Great tutorial that I’ll be putting into practice myself.


That brings us to my favourite topic – conversion!

Tyler Sox (PunchComms.com) delivers 5 quick tips to improve conversion on your website! Pay attention to key areas of conversion like Thank You pages.

It really does amaze me just how much design can affect conversion. Are you putting the principles of directional cues, white space, colour and the golden spiral to use? Well perhaps you should be!

A very insightful piece for us non-designer types!

If that’s got you thinking then you’ll also want to consider how colour theory affects behaviour online backed up with some great examples.

There was also a great case study about how split testing prices increased revenue by 60%!

Interesting to see the plateau in the results that allowed them to charge an extra 50% without lowering conversion!

This then lead onto split testing discounts which delivered some huge increases across the board including revenue, average order value and conversion.

And last but not least is this amazing 91 point e-commerce optimisation checklist. It is that good, I’m considering getting it printed onto a canvas for the office!

Talking about conversion, why haven’t you subscribed to my blog yet?

Random Bits

I found this cool post about useful phone applications for internet marketers. I wish we could have an all in one live earnings/traffic/conversion dashboard :(

I also stumbled across the new Discourse forum platform which is putting a fresh twist on the old forum model – if they integrate with WordPress I’ll be dropping BBPress for this!

I’m sure you guys are already coding bots to automate the platform right?

And one last random tip – learn how to optimise your DNS for faster browsing speeds!

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27 Responses

  1. Ryan @ Trusted Site Seller

    Hey Matthew,

    This is one of my favorite posts that you send out. Really nice to get a reading list of helpful articles that are relevant to our interests.

    For those with kindles, I installed a chrome extension yesterday “send to kindle” and have been sending all my articles that I want to read to my kindle so I can go though them in the evening.

    Thanks again for putting this post together Matthew. Cheers!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Hi Ryan,

      Thanks very much!

  2. Alex Quail

    This is really useful Matt, great to have a curated roundup for the month!

    < Somewhat lazy

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Haha I think thats why people like these posts ^^

  3. Michael Cox

    Been testing those SAPE links myself lately, they are extremely powerful.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Michael,

      Not heard from you for a while! Certainly make the most of them while you can!

  4. Anes Amrani

    I really enjoy reading your blog especially your income reports and your style of generating traffic speaking of traffic I gotta a question did you face any problem when you published your tutorials in forums like Blackhatworld and Trafficplanet? i mean you put a link to your blog inside those topics is this allowed in those forums? Thanks and keep up the good work.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 26th, 2013 at 9:31 am


      No I didn’t have any problems but I had spent a lot of time in those community’s previously. I didn’t just register and post threads.

      What is/isn’t allowed doesn’t matter as much when you have a good relationship with the mods/owners.

  5. James @ UK AREA 51

    Hi Matt,

    Great post and some really interesting links. Speaking of links I note you have a large amount of OBL’s on this page. I would be interested to see how this particular post fairs in rankings because of it. I know you like comparisons, I just think to my mind this amount may effect the ranking of the page but I would love to see some stats further down the line with a post that doesn’t use them so excessively. Cheers.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 26th, 2013 at 9:29 am


      I would say there are only a small amount of OBLs on this page. Additionally SEOMoz published summary data from its crawler (cant find the link) that showed on average across the web pages had an average of 75 outbound links.

      So I’m not even close to the average.

      On top of that my competitors ranks pages with hundereds and hundererds of naked affiliate links listed on after the other.

      So the number of OBL’s – irrelevant in my experience.

  6. Vincent Nguyen

    Hey, Matt!

    Thanks for this great list. I pretty much opened 85% of them and am looking through them all right now. How important do you think a Facebook page for the blog is? I’m not convinced as of yet, but I can be persuaded. :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 26th, 2013 at 9:21 am


      Well having any social media profile/page is only worthwhile having if you actually do something with it.

      If you just have one for the sake of having one your time is better spent elsewhere.

  7. Damien Mcphee

    That e-commerce checklist is deadset gold. Might have to re-brand that and start selling to clients!! Am off to read the French twist forum idea. Gold mate.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 26th, 2013 at 9:22 am

      It is a beautiful piece of work!

  8. Jon Poland

    Matthew — excellent stuff! Your blog is accelerating my learning. I appreciate the value you continue to add on a consistent basis.

    I have a quick question about the opt-in box you have after your posts. Is that an opt-in skin subscribe box? If so, did you do the design yourself or did you have someone else do the design for you? If someone else designed it, can you share who did the work for you?

    Thanks so much. — Jon

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 26th, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Hi Jon,

      It started off as an optin skin but I didn’t really like the plugin (added bloat to pages) so removed it. That bottom section with the subscribe box etc I just coded myself, just a background image with a form ontop

      • Jon Poland
        February 26th, 2013 at 6:57 pm


        Thank you for the information on how you put together your subscribe box. I like it. I also used optin skin, but I was not thrilled with it. I did not realize that it bloated the pages. Thanks for sharing that with me. That is giving me even more reason to find a css pro to do some tweaking to my site — I want to minimize the number of plugins.

        • Matthew Woodward
          February 27th, 2013 at 12:44 pm

          Hi Jon,

          I have that exact same line of thought myself. While I can edit code here and there, I couldn’t go all out optimisation restructuring things from the ground up with speed/load time in mind.

          So to tackle that problems, I’m just building the blog to be what I want it to be with plugins/minor edits etc – then I’m going to hire someone to tear it all apart and rebuild it as a speed demon!

  9. Casey Dennison

    Pure awesomeness! This should keep me busy for several hours.. Thank again, Matt!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2013 at 12:45 pm


  10. Leith

    Hey Matthew,

    Thanks for the shout-out at the beginning of the post. Appreciate it.

    Furthermore, this is a valuable post which I enjoyed reading so keep them coming.


    • Matthew Woodward
      March 1st, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Hi Leith,

      No worrys man! Nice to see you here from BHW – want the article updating with your link? I did try to find one on BHW

  11. Rémy Bigot

    Hi Matthew,
    Thanks for sharing a lot of great articles, because i recently need to find the best blogs and articles in english for my job (I’m a french frog who works for a french startup called Wimi)

    A quick queston : What do u think about my first b***** post in english ?

    Thanks !

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 11th, 2013 at 8:17 am


      Your English skills are better than most peoples in England.

  12. Spanish Stu

    Awesome list Matt, I hate receiving this monthly update its a crack cocaine list of SEO goodness. Keeps me tied up for days

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 19th, 2013 at 9:09 am

      Hahaha you can always unsubscribe if you want :P

  13. Matthew Woodward


    Thanks :)

    I’m still learning Spanish but check out my friends blog which is in English and Spanish – http://yeisonkim.com/

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