How SEMrush Paid For Christmas

I’ve been blogging on my own personal blog for a couple of years and always thought about trying to make money from it, but to be honest, I don’t spend a massive amount of time on it and for that reason I don’t get a massive amount of visits each month. However, when I put out a blog post it usually does ok and I get a few thousand visits from them so I wondered if it would be possible to monetise my blog to try and make a few quid from doing something that I enjoy.

I decided that I wouldn't want to plaster my site with random AdSense ads as I also don't want my blog to look too salesy as I mainly use by blog for personal branding purposes which has led to job offers and consultancy work in the past so I wouldn't want to risk losing that.

I started doing a bit of research and came across bloggers like Matthew Woodward who publicly publishes his earnings on his blog.  To be honest, I’m usually sceptical about these kinds of reports but I thought I would give it a try to see how I got on as Matthew's blog goes into a lot of details and the information he shares looks legit.

While doing my research I was also writing a blog post about how you can back-engineer your competitor’s online presence, and as this blog post focused heavily on the use of SEMrush(one of my favourite search engine marketing tools) I thought I would drop an affiliate link to see if I could generate some income from something I was going to do anyway.

The Results

From February, when I first published the post, until December I was able to generate $983.48(£631.35) worth of revenue.  It turns out that via SEMrush that when someone signs up, you earn a monthly commission as long as that person stays a member.  When I got my first few sales a few days after the blog went out I decided to just let the money accumulate until Christmas as I’m usually skint at that time of the year but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I had earned and it paid for all my Christmas presents.

How did I get sales? 

Most of the sales that I got came as a result of people sharing the content and then signing up to SEMrush after visiting via my affiliate link but I also got a few sales from people who emailed me asking me to do consultancy work for them. Unfortunately I wasn't able to help them as I was too busy with other projects, but I did offer them some advice, and without my prompting them, they visited my blog and ended up buying the tool too.

Why don’t I just do more?

I've spoken to a few people and told them that I'm now making around £100 per month passive income from my own blog and they have asked why I don’t do more of the same as it seems logical that I could make even more money if I do so.

The answer to that is that I don’t think it would work if I put out blog posts with the sole intention to make money from it as I feel that then the content I put out will no longer add value to the digital marketing community and people will simply stop reading and sharing which is obviously self-defeating. 

How can you do the same?

It took a few attempts before my content gained traction and started getting shared within the digital marketing community but getting published in The Guardian and putting out content such as my article on how to get a backlink from The Guardian really helped me gain a bit of recognition within the community.

Here are a few tips on how you can make money from your own blog but there are far better resources out there that goes into much more detail:

  • Write about a subject that you have a fair amount of knowledge on and try to build a reputation within your chosen industry before trying to monetise your content
  • Build relationships with key influencers and request that they share your content once it is published, you can use something like Buzzsumo to do a search and determine which online influencers have shared similar content to yours in the past
  • Seed your content on relevant community sites, for digital marketing related content, sites such as reddit and Inbound seem to work well
  • Make sure you don’t overdo the affiliate links or your blog post will just look like spam
  • Make sure your read the T&Cs of the affiliate program you are signing up to. The good thing about SEMrush is that you earn an income from them monthly as long as the person that signs up remains a customer


If you work in digital marketing you are probably making a lot of money for your clients so you might as well give it a go yourself. If you want to start making money from your blog it’s best to build a following before you start monetising it. If you already have a following, dropping a few affiliate links here and there could help supplement your income.

SEMrush is a fantastic tool and it is priced extremely competitively, this makes it the ideal product to promote online.

Further Information(Stats)

Below is some additional information on the blog post that generated income..


Blog Post Traffic

As I mentioned above, I don't get a huge amount of traffic but this shows the amount of visits I got during February when the blog post when out. This blog got 1,032 Pageviews the month it went out.


SEMRush Stats

I let the money accumulate until just before Christmas before I entered my bank account details. Not bad from something I was going to do anyway.


Total Backlinks:15

Referring Domains: 5

G+: 3


Buffer: 15

Linkedin Shares:40

If anyone fancies copying what I did and wants to make a few quid thanks to SEMrush, be sure to sign up for a free trial first. 😉


Darryl Smith December 27, 2014

Thanks for this insight. Usually people go for the big hit instead of trying for small gains which gather their own momentum over time. Nice way to save too!

Gordon Campbell December 27, 2014

Thanks for the feedback Darryl. If I can do the same this year I'll probably be happy:D

Goozik December 27, 2014

Interesting to see the full story behind it, I like the conclusion points out the solid fact of building a following before monetizing. Thanks for sharing.

Gordon Campbell December 27, 2014

Glad you liked the post Goozik, thanks for commenting.

Joseph Ho December 28, 2014

Interesting post. Good money for Christmas present

Rob @ Womplify December 28, 2014

Always nice to get that affiliate cheque before the holidays! Interesting to see how you did it - I've shared this post on Twitter. SEMRush is certainly a great research tool, I have it integrated with Womplify as well.

Mo Codes July 29, 2015

Thanks for this Gordon, signed up using your link. Actually did a site audit and saw I had quite a few issues! Time to sort!...

Secoma November 29, 2017

Really great post Gordon! Thanks for the tips.

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