Thursday, March 31, 2016

Income Report Roundup – March 2016

One of the most popular posts I publish are my income reports.

So I decided to round up as many income reports as possible and rank them based on earnings to see how I stack up against the rest.

If you publish an income report on your blog and would like it included in next month’s post then please let me know in the comments!

Here we go-

#1) – $44,907.00 (+$3,325.00)

It’s a record month for Michelle for the third month in a row and she has been busy moving into her RV!

This month sees her pausing her work on Facebook ads in favour of organic traffic and her featured question this month focuses on why your blog should be self-hosted.

Going forward she plans to trial a new tool to help increase her traffic from Pinterest which continues to be her main source of referral traffic.

#2) – $35,620.44 (-$13,205.31)

This month saw a drop in income for Lindsay & Bjork and they are looking to hire a digital content producer to further grow their business.

Bjork was thankful for his insurance, security and backups when his computer was stolen in the Phillipines, which meant minimal time and money was lost getting things back up and running.

He reminds us of the importance of backing everything up and encourages readers to spend more time working on things they truly know and love.

#3) – $31,292.00 (+$1,750.00)

It’s the best month so far for Abby for the second month in a row as she and Donnie launch their new blog about blogging and business.

They’re currently testing different web hosting on the new site and have started using a live video app to chat about their favorite blogging strategies and tips.

After taking part in her first live webinar Abby reveals she loved it so much that she is planning a webinar series of her own in the near future!

#4) – $28,899.66 (+$271.81)

Jon is reporting a slight increase in income this month despite having less time and energy for a couple of weeks due to a sickness bug doing the rounds in the family.

In his goal of increasing outreach he took part in one podcast interview and a few roundups but says he needs to make more effort with it.

He’s enjoying the benefits of diversified income streams as individual areas of his business experience seasonal swings and looks forward to launching an exciting new idea next month!

#5) – $23,548.35 (-$749.92)

This month has been hectic, from constant car breakdowns and a lot of work required at the dentist, to almost burning the house down! I was also busy with family visiting so I switched off as much as I could for 10 days.

On the plus side I was approached by a major book publisher to write for them but as the numbers don’t quite add up I’m taking some time to think it over before deciding on that.

Since I’ve spent a lot of the month distracted by personal things I didn’t spend half as much time as I should on the blog, but as long as nothing else goes wrong I’m firmly back in the driving seat this month!

Get all of my income reports & round-ups direct to your inbox!

#6) – $17,508.00 (-$2,665.00)

HumanProofDesignsLast month’s newcomer Dom has had a quiet month on the travel front and a very busy month on the business front. He took over control of a new site in February and includes some profit from that in this month’s report.

After someone gained access to one of the cpanels on their server and infected every site on it with spam code, they were faced with the headache of manually going through each site’s files in a major clean up.

As a result of two weeks spent to recover the problem they fell a little behind schedule but are now happy to have new and improved security on the server.

Going forward they’re also looking at options to limit the amount of sites they need to have on their server and Dom is pleased with progress despite not having focused much on growth.

#7) – $11,102.00 (-$3,163.00)

untemplaterAfter last month’s surgery it took Sydney a couple of weeks to recover, meaning she started the month in bed rest and unable to work.

Once she was feeling better she took some time off to be with family and then spent the rest of the month catching up and getting back into the flow.

She reports that income was down due to her time off and expenses up due to travel and donating to charity. Recently though, she’s even been feeling well enough to fit in some extra hours work!

#8) – $7,820.96 (-$2,239.83)

brendanmaceBrendan travelled to Thailand this month and was lucky that a crash with a bus on a rented moped only dented his earnings!

On the plus side his time on Koh Tao Island mainly consisted of; hammock, swim, repeat, which is why he’s not too worried about the slight drop in income.

While still coaching people he’s restricting access to only those he thinks are a good fit for his team. He’ll be travelling to Cambodia and Vietnam next month and conducting a new experiment!

#9) – $3,537.28 (-$2,565.91)

HuwHughesLast month’s newcomer Huw learned a lot about launching products and the different types of customers in your list this month, and he shares his learing in this month’s income report.

With a baby on the way and less time for product launches he’s been looking for something else to make a good income online, leading him to read more about blogging and authority sites.

He now plans to reinvest all of his profits into his business to build assets that will last into the future and is hoping to start writing more than just reviews on the blog.

#10) – $2,967.12 (+$2,297.91)

ohpRon is celebrating his best month so far this month and not only that, he’s actually doubled his income from his previous best month!

He’s relieved to announce that this is looking to be a regular occurence that couldn’t have come at a better time, as he had been considering applying for a job.

After spending quite a bit of time on his consulting website his authority website started to make a decent income, so he’s now focusing on that instead.

He also has a new authority website in a niche he says is low competition and high value, and that he finally understands what it takes to succeed!

#11) – $1,218.00 (-$19,616.00)

TrueValhallaAfter earning over $20,000 in what was an exhausting month last month, Matt has enjoyed a slow and relaxing month in the Gold Coast of Australia to recover.

He took 21 out of 29 days off in February and says his income was about right for such a lazy month.

Despite that he says sales of his books were still above average, his passive income streams still made a good amount and his lower income is largely due to the absence of his usual bulk game sales.

#12) – $1,031.97 (+$630.32)

incomemeshDrazen is celebrating his best month so far this month as he smashes through the 1K barrier for the first time!

This month saw him feature his first guest post on the blog and he’s been working on his new Amazon affiliate site which he says he’s a little behind schedule with.

He’s also happy to see a 20% increase in organic traffic and reminds readers that the most important thing is persistance and hard work!

#13) – $445.54 (-$37.81)

livingoffcloudThis month Nadya has learned that the world of freelancing is not all that stable, even if you are on the paying side!

After hiring and firing her first VA last month she took the same VA back into the business this month and is finally starting to see solid results.

She’s seen improvement in her Amazon business this month and spent a lot of time building her PBN, while getting ten payouts on kickfurther.

Going forward she will be putting everything on pause for the month as she works on her taxes for the first time since becoming an entrepeneur!

#14) – $277.98 (+$212.98)

AliRazaNew to the lineup is Ali reporting his best month so far! Still in the early stages of his blog, he decided to make some tweaks to the site’s header and font sizing this month.

He’s happy to report that traffic is on the increase, with the exception of social traffic which had a significant decline – something he plans to focus on more closely soon.

Going forward his goals are to write more posts without compromising on quality, increase email subscribers and create a section for one to one consultation appointments.

He will also be focusing on increasing search traffic and commenting on forums and blog posts to further drive traffic to his site.

#15) – $157.45 (+$100.09)

mypathtopassiveincomeEsteban is continuing to work hard until he reaches a regular income he’s satisfied with!

Despite traffic and earnings being on the low side he’s staying resilient and this month saw him create a new video to increase the value of his number one product.

Having had a few job interviews in February he says thoughts of getting up early, sitting in traffic and wearing work clothes are just the motivation he needs to get back on track!

Next month his goals are to release his eBook, finish his second niche site, write one guest post, get traffic back on target and reach $500 in profit.

Get all of my income reports & round-ups direct to your inbox!

In Summary

We’ve seen one newcomer, one dropout and the return of some familiar faces in the lineup this month!

After seeing the highest month for combined earnings last month, this month saw the blogs featured break through the 200k barrier, rising $10,550.08 to $210,333.75!

There have been ups and downs across the board, with five of the sites featured celebrating record months once again and despite some of the income drops everyone has solid plans in place to turn things around.

The beginning of the year is always slow as people recover from Christmas, so with spending back on the rise I’m looking forward to seeing what next month has in store for everyone!

If you feel inspired to start your own blog then why don’t you start a blog now? It only takes a few minutes!

Performance Tracking

I only include the earnings history of the top 10 blogs each month to make the graphs easy to read.

I’m having a problem with the graph right now and will update the post when fixed

from Matthew Woodward

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Win A Copy Of My 6 Figure Blogging WordPress Theme This Week

Before I was a multi award winning 6 figure blogger and was just starting out I took a stock theme which was really badly coded and hacked it to death to make it look right and do what what I wanted.

But because it was really badly coded, it was really slow which affected my traffic from Google. It also had a bunch of problems in different browsers, it wasn’t mobile responsive & the developer had vanished into thin air which really held back my progress as a blogger.


So I decided enough was enough and hired a team to rebuild my outdated hacked to death WordPress theme from scratch and add a list of my most wanted features at the same time. This is the theme you currently see live on the blog.

Over the past year you might have seen some wild changes as we have been testing, tweaking and changing things to not only improve the user experience, but also to increase conversion, social sharing and search engine rankings.

And now after all of that testing, I am going to share the love by packing it all up & giving it away to 3 lucky people in this giveaway.

Behind The Scenes Of My 6 Figure Blogging WordPress Theme

from Matthew Woodward

4 Indirect Ways to Improve Your Search Rankings

I know you want it…

More organic search traffic.

Who doesn’t want free, high quality traffic, that comes in month after month?

That’s why SEO is such a big deal and one of the main topics I focus on—here, on Quick Sprout.

I believe that most marketers should be dedicating a significant portion of their time and resources towards SEO.

There are many things you can do that have a direct impact on your search traffic.

However, there is more to marketing than just SEO, and you probably know that.

The thing is, they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Just because some of your marketing isn’t specifically done to improve search traffic, that doesn’t mean that it can’t.

And this type of situation is more common than you might think.

In this post, I’ll go over four ways that can indirectly improve your search rankings.

This means that the primary benefit of these marketing techniques is not to improve search traffic, but there’s a good chance that, if done right, they might help you with your search traffic too. 

1. Following up with customers leads to extra benefits

This is a great place to start because there doesn’t seem to be an obvious connection to SEO.

But I assure you there is.

Getting feedback from your customers is always a great idea, but it can eat up a lot of time.

Some businesses figure they don’t have the resources to follow up continuously with customers and would rather dedicate them all to sales/marketing channels such as SEO.

However, if you get customer feedback and use it correctly, it can lead to some great backlinks in a few different ways.

Here’s the simple 2-step process you’ll need to follow:

Step #1 – Contact customers immediately after the sale: You have very few opportunities to open up communication with customers without annoying them.

After the sale is one of them.

Once someone purchases something from you, they’re usually excited to hear from you and possibly want reassurance that everything went well.

Send them an email that confirms their order and lets them know whom to contact if they need help.

Step #2 – Follow up after they’ve had time to use your product: The more important part, when it comes to potential SEO benefits, is to follow up with customers again.

Once they’ve used the product, they can tell you if they’ve had any problems or complaints. This is the main reason why you’d want to follow up—these issues are important to address if you want to retain happy customers.

In addition, ask for their feedback on their experience.

If someone says that they’re thrilled, that’s great. Then you should ask them to share their experience with others. Since they enjoyed your product or service so much, you’ll get a high percentage of these customers willing to help you out.

You have a few options that can help with SEO.

If you’d like to ask for a simple favor, ask them to leave a review on a big review site in your niche. For most niches, this will include sites such as Yelp and Yellow Pages.

Let’s look at an example of a search for a carpenter in New York:


The top result is a Yelp business page, while the second result is Yelp’s internal search results for carpenters (another search listings page).

The second is most interesting here:


This page orders businesses based on several factors, e.g., the number of reviews they have and how positive the reviews are (in addition to price).

As long as you fall into the default filters, the more good reviews you have, the higher your profile will appear.

Why does this matter for SEO?

Because the more prominent (higher) a link is on a page, the more weight it has.

This page has a lot of search engine authority (that’s why it can rank at #2), and it passes that authority mostly to the top profiles that it links to.

Those profiles all have links back to their corresponding websites, which, of course, improves those websites’ search authority.

Not only will reviews get you more direct business on these review sites, but that extra link power can help your rankings in search engines. Not by a ton, but by enough that you will notice it after a while.

The second option, which is best for high priced products, is to create a case study of the results your customer got.

Brian Dean at Backlinko does it all the time, both for his readers and actual customers:


Case studies are typically really easy to promote, and they can get a ton of traffic and links.

I’ve created an extensive guide to creating effective case studies that you should read if you take this approach.

2. Get out of your shell and go to events

Just about every industry has several conferences throughout the year. No doubt you can find a few local events to attend if you wanted to.

Now, conferences can be a huge waste of time, but they can also be incredibly valuable.

Obviously, you go primarily to learn, but a huge secondary result can be the relationships you come back with.

Events are a great way to meet other people in your industry and explore opportunities to work together.

But guess what else happens?

When you email them down the line, asking them to check out your latest piece of content, most will be happy to read it and give feedback.

What’s even better is that if they have a chance to link to it within their own content, they usually do. These links can have a big impact on your search rankings if you make several connections per event.

Finally, even if your connections don’t manage their content, they can introduce you to the content manager for their business. You can explore collaboration opportunities or offer to create guest posts for them (which will give you more links to your site).

All of these potential benefits are important if you have to convince your boss that it’s worth sending you to conferences.

Finding conferences is easy: I won’t spend much time on this, but I’ll show you quickly how to find conferences.

Start by Googling:

(industry) conferences (year)

You could also try “events” instead of conferences:


Typically, you’ll find a roundup of all the best events, often multiple.

Each of these results will give you a listing of events, separated by date, location, and audience:


I recommend going through more than one list so that you don’t miss any good ones.

Remember that conferences can be either worthless or extremely valuable. The difference depends on how you spend your time at them.

That’s why I wrote the Beginner’s Guide to Conferences in the past. Give it a quick read.

3. Hire the best help you can get

If you’re truly creating “epic” content, chances are that you’re not doing everything on your own.

In most cases, you’re hiring freelance writers and designers to help fill in any gaps in your skillset.

Obviously, if you’re hiring the best freelancers you can afford, it’s because you primarily want to create great content.

That kind of content is the easiest to get to rank.

However, the very act of hiring freelancers will make it easier.

Let me explain…

Type #1 – Writers: Whether you hire a freelancer or offer them an attractive opportunity to collaborate, these relationships will often get you some extra high-quality backlinks.

A good set of examples are my ultimate guides (sidebar of Quick Sprout). For these guides, I teamed up with experts in each of the subjects.

I had some help from Kathryn Aragon writing The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing, for example:


When someone helps create a piece of content of that quality, they, of course, want to show it off.


By talking about it and linking to it.

It makes them look great to say they wrote or co-wrote an amazing piece of content.

Because of this, I didn’t have to ask Kathryn to link to the guide; she’s mentioned it dozens of times in her posts on other sites and social media (linking to it most of the time):


Essentially, your writer will help you with the content promotion.

Type #2 – Designers: More commonly, marketers hire freelance designers to help create images for content.

The exact same principle applies here:

If you hire a freelancer to create something great, they will want to show it off in their portfolio, leading to great backlinks for your content.

Continuing with the example of my guides, I needed professional help to design them.

My designer had accounts on sites such as Behance and Dribbble, both of which are authoritative sites in the design niche.

Of course, they shared the images with links to those guides:


Those links are the indirect benefit of working with great freelancers.

4. User experience optimization is a great use of your time

Creating a great user experience on your site and with your products is valuable for many reasons.

Typically, the main motivation for working on improving your users’ experience has to do with the conversion rate. It’s a good reason.

What most don’t consider is that this often inadvertently plays a big role in improving search rankings.

There are a few reasons why, but most applicable here is the concept of pogo sticking.


Basically, if a Google user clicks on your page but then goes right back to the search results for another, it indicates to Google that your content didn’t satisfy the user.

Conversely, if most users stop on your page, you did a good job and are rewarded with better search rankings.

If you improve the user experience of your website, you’ll usually end up increasing the number of visitors that you fully satisfy, decreasing pogo sticking. This can indirectly improve your rankings.

User experience is extremely complicated, but there are three common factors we can focus on and look at the ways they affect pogo sticking.

Factor #1 – page load speed: Studies have shown that people will not wait for pages to load.


Even a fraction of a second can affect 5-10% of people who will leave before they even see your content.

Ideally, you want your pages to load in less than 2 seconds.

You can test page load speed by using the Quick Sprout tool or a tool such as GTmetrix.


Improving page load speed will have a huge effect on pogo sticking, but it’s also a direct ranking factor confirmed by Google.

It’s not a huge one, but factoring both of these aspects together, speed can make a big difference in rankings.

Searchmetrics found a huge correlation between a quick load time and the top Google positions:


Factor #2 – clutter: One thing that makes a big difference in user experience is the amount of clutter on the page.

Most people are looking for one specific thing, so everything that’s unrelated on the page only serves as a distraction.


Compare that to a site like Medium, where the content is essentially the only thing on the page:


It’s no surprise that Medium posts rank well in Google. When a user clicks through, they easily find exactly what they’re looking for, leading to less pogo sticking.

Try to declutter your layouts as much as possible, taking out anything that your visitors don’t need to see.

Factor #3 – site architecture: Site architecture refers to the way all the different pages of your website are organized in relation to each other.

For our purposes, good site architecture essentially means you have organized internal linking.

Here’s what a good structure looks like:


Everything is organized into topical silos.

When search engines crawl the site, it will be easier for them to determine the relevancy of your pages, which often leads to better rankings.


By all means, you should spend a lot of time and resources directly on SEO.

However, you can still focus on other areas of your business while also getting SEO benefits.

I’ve shown you four great business practices that accomplish valuable things plus give you indirect improvements to your search rankings.

I encourage you to incorporate as many of these as you can, without fearing that you’re neglecting your SEO work.

If you have any questions about the subject of this post, let me know in a comment below.

from Quick Sprout

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thrive Leads Review: How to Increase Daily Email Subscribers by 246% with This Creative Strategy

Every once in a while in the course of my business I do some things that just work.  Most of the time, changes made to a business are very small incremental changes.  However, sometimes these small tweaks can have a huge impact on the overall business.

Today I’m going to share a strategy using Thrive leads that has significantly increased the amount of email leads that one of my niche sites is getting on a daily basis.  The best part is that the increased leads are not due to any increased traffic.  In other words, the leads increased even though the traffic remained the same.

How much were we able to increase the daily email subscribers?  We went from getting an average of 8.9 email leads a day to getting an average of 30.8 email leads a day.  That’s a 246% increase!

I’m not here to convince you of the importance of an email list, plenty of other people have written about that already.  However, I do hope to share with you a powerful strategy that is working really well in my business right now to gain those email subscribers.

Before and After Pictures of…Increased Email Leads

Before I jump into the exact “how to” tactics, I want to tantalize you with some of the results that we’ve seen from one of our niche sites.

When I originally built this site a few years ago, the only email opt in forms I had on my site were “Subscribe to My Newsletter”.  This site wasn’t my focus and so it took me a REALLY long time before I even created a real lead magnet.

With the help of Jake (full-time employee), we created a lead magnet and started getting a few more leads.  Then we used Thrive Leads to create a Screen Filler Lightbox and this helped us get to the 8.9 average leads per day that I mentioned.

So, we were already using the Screen Filler Lightbox option (think full-screen pop-up) to get the 8.9 leads per day on average.  However, once we added the “quiz” option that I’ll discuss more below, we dramatically increased our leads by 246% to a total of 30.8 leads per day!

Here’s a look at the stats, both before and after:


The blue line shows the leads we were getting before the changes, and the green line shows the leads we started getting after implementing the changes.  This is a HUGE increase as you can clearly see.

Again, all of this was done without any increase in traffic.  In fact, the same style of pop-up was used…however, the offering was changed slightly.  Let’s dig into the details of why we were able to increase the email subscribers so much.

What is this Quiz Option that You Speak Of…?

I’m not sure if “quiz” is the best word to describe this option; however, we are simply giving the subscriber multiple options to pick from.  In our case we had 3 options all in the Thrive leads screen filled lightbox that people could choose from.

Adding these options is clearly what increased our opt-in rate so much (as shown in the chart above).  In fact, I have been using something similar on (as far as multiple options is concerned), as you can see either in a pop-up or via the side-bar of my site here.  There is a drop down menu that lets you select what you are interested in.

Here’s what my opt-in with multiple options looks like on Niche Pursuits:


So, what is the benefit of allowing people multiple options as part of a single lead form?  Well, reason one is that people are all different and have different interests.  This allows you to appeal more closely to the interests of a broader audience.

Then if you take this one step further, this allows people to self-segment for your email marketing.  In other words, people tell you exactly what they are interested in and then you can tag these people in your email autoresponder or broadcast messages to send them more tailored messages according to their interests.

So, not only does this option get MORE leads (246% increase in our case), but it also has the added benefit that you actually know your email subscribers better!  These subscribers are self-segmenting and this can pay dividends in the future as you really hone in your email marketing strategy.

Now, let’s take a look at how to set up Thrive Leads to accomplish this “quiz” type option.

Thrive Leads Multi-option Tutorial

Below you will find a complete video walk through by Jake Cain (my employee).  This video shows exactly the kind of setup (including the template option) that we used to produce the 246% daily email leads increase.

You can see the MANY other options that Thrive Leads offers right here.

Now, for those that would rather just quickly browse and view the steps, rather than watch the video (even though it’s not very long), you can see pretty much all the steps below.

Step 1: Add the Screen filler Lightbox Option


Step 2: Add New Form and Name It


Step 3: Select Trigger, Display Frequency, and Other Options.  (We just left the defaults set).


Step 4: Select the Multi-step Templates tab


Step 5: Select and Edit Your Template


Step 6: Click Any Button and Select Event Manager to Edit the details for that action.


Step 7: Click to Edit Existing Events as Needed


Step 8: Select Trigger, Action, and Which State should be displayed


Step 9: Select State 1 Tab and Edit Fields (Email Address in this example)


Step 10: Click Email Field and the Click Connect with Service to link with your email provider


Step 11: Choose API connection or HTML form code


Step 12: If HTML Code selected, just copy and paste any form code from your email provider (like Aweber in this example).


Step 13: Click Generate Fields and then validate that correct properties (email in this example) are found and selected.


Step 14: Select where to display the light box. You can select all pages, posts, etc, or you can select certain categories or various other options.  Hit save and close and your new opt in form is live!


Overall, it’s pretty easy to create a multi option “quiz” opt in form using Thrive Leads.

We’ve used this exact set up to increase our leads per day significantly on one of our niche websites.  Hopefully this quick review and tutorial gives you some ideas that you can implement into your own website as well.

You can also take this even further and create a true multi-step quiz.  Instead of making the “State 1” where they input their email, just make it have more options.  This can go on as far as you like, but obviously if you have too many options it can become more time consuming.  However, the options really are there to create something as simple or as complicated as you want.

If you want to check out Thrive Leads in more depth, you can do so right here.

We’ve had some nice wins with this little strategy, and we will likely implement it on some of our other properties.  If you have any additional questions or thoughts, please feel free to join the discussion in the comments below.  Thanks!

The post Thrive Leads Review: How to Increase Daily Email Subscribers by 246% with This Creative Strategy appeared first on Niche Pursuits.

from Niche Pursuits