How to Make Money from Your Blog like John Chow

May 7, 2008 by  

The first day of the month is usually the time when some bloggers write the much anticipated blog income report in their blogs. If done right, such post can be a win-win situation for the bloggers and their readers.

It can be a good way to keep your blog buzz going and attracts some link juice from other bloggers. While there’s a possibility that some readers might perceive your decision to reveal your income as bragging, most will see this as a proof of what is possible especially if you are not a stranger to them.

The Internet famous blogger, John Chow recently did his usually thing and revealed that the month of April is lowest his blog has made in 2008. Though, for the rest of us, his lowest is still nothing short of jaw-dropping as he has made USD 29,569.05.

That’s over RM90,000 in my local currency, and that’s just for writing some articles. His blog expenses for the month were USD 485.52 for contextual advertising on AdWords and Bidvertiser. You can read more about it here.

So what’s the secret to John Chow success? I guess, the following formula pretty much sum up his whole secret into one line.

Truckload of Traffic + Good Monetization Technique + Good User Experience = USD30,000 monthly

OK, it doesn’t have to be $30K monthly but you get what I mean. And I am not saying you will be as successful as John Chow even if you follow the formula to a tee. Everyone has his/her own way of doing things which affects the final outcome differently. Nonetheless, I believe your chances of success would be better than those who keep on looking for the secret instead of taking action.

If you take any of the variables out of the equation, you’ll see how this affects the outcome:

No Traffic + Good Monetization Technique + Good User Experience = Failure

Truckload of Traffic + Bad Monetization + Good User Experience = Failure

Truckload of Traffic + Good Monetization Technique + Bad User Experience = Failure

Interestingly, some people claim that they make money on the basis of providing a bad user’s experience in their blog.

Truckload of Traffic + Good Monetization Technique + Bad User Experience = Success?

If you believe this is possible, please share your opinion in the comments. I know it is possible in some situation but often it doesn’t last long.

Of course if you have no plan to make money from your blog, then this formula probably doesn’t apply to you. There are only three variables that you have to pay attention to:


1. Traffic
There’s no point having the best blog in the world if nobody knows you exist. Traffic can make or break your blog, without them you might just as well quit blogging. You need traffic, a lot of traffic.

2. Monetization
Making your blog look like a giant billboard isn’t the way forward. You need to find the right advertising options which maximize your blog earning potential to the fullest.

3. User Experience
Whatever you do, ask yourself how it contributes towards improving your users’ experience. Pay attention to your page layout and design, ad placement and content.


I’ve written about those three points before in this blog and I think it’s time for a revisit. So stay tune for some follow-ups to this post where I’ll discuss those points in greater detail.

In the meantime, might get a new design soon. But because of the lack of time, I’ve been postponing this. I might even start selling banner ads directly and make it as a case study of a blog monetization.

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Comment by rohaizad
2008-05-07 15:36:10

I have read that too. but only one thing that makes me so jealous, his Kontera income.

Comment by Gaman
2008-05-07 18:47:01

Actually he has a deal with kontera where he will be paid 1K regardless of how much he really makes in return for promoting Kontera in his blog.

Comment by rohaizad
2008-05-07 20:39:05

ooo… no wonder laaa…. cehhhh 🙂

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by
2008-05-07 17:12:54

very well said.

Comment by StuckS
2008-05-07 22:06:56

gaman,i think you should also do like what JohnChow did..many of your loyal reader would like to see you income in a month..

Comment by Raymond.CC
2008-05-08 09:09:44

In my experience, maximizing income is mostly based on Traffic and Monetization. Of course you’d have to listen to user experience too but I put that as last priority. Some users don’t even want to see those annoying ads, but we can’t remove them can we? 😉

Comment by papajoneh
2008-05-09 11:57:12

Oh yes.. i agree with Raymond. Concentrate more on those first two… it will be reflected in your income. If the no.3 is buzzing around the corner but does not affect the overall income, meaning it is just small percentage. can be left as last priority. If the no.3 point does reflect the downfall of the overall income, then start listening and change. change is good.
whatever it is, it all boils down to, as u said, you wanna make money from your blog or not. Thanks for this refreshing comeback again from you. Really waiting for your next post.
Sabah Boleh!

Comment by Rice Blogger
2008-05-08 11:22:39

interesting…i think sabahan should do the same…if you plan to sell banner…i think the frequency of your blogpost need to be like in the past

Comment by Gaman
2008-05-08 11:29:57

You know, if blogging is my main source of income I would. I’ll write more about this in the coming post 😉

Comment by shawne
2008-05-08 15:36:32

Hii gaman.. Need to ask you something bah ni.. I’ve open a new domain name bah it’s called, and i hope you to join me oR gimme some comment inside my own blog.. It’s not written in english, but i hope you can comment me about the webs.. Your Loyal Fans!!

Sabah Tatap Sabah Mana Bulih Tukar Lagi Kan!!!
Apa² pun god bless a human like us!!

Comment by Felex Tan
2008-05-08 22:13:40

Three of them are equal important,less any one will cause failure in long term,i mean serious failure.It is because readers are your customers,if you provide suck service ,they won’t come again although you can write as good as Darren Rowse.

I will work for these elements very hard no matter how tough of doing it,i might not earn as much as John Chow at the beginning but at least i satisfy what i am doing.

Comment by MYBlog
2008-05-08 22:39:35

i saw his ads in my adsense as well….if I were him, in Malaysia, could be on top of the internet millionaires

Comment by Ian
2008-05-09 20:12:48

I think the point about user experience is very important. If the users don’t have a good reason to visit your blog, the traffic will not be sustained over time.

Comment by Kitkat
2008-05-10 20:54:46

So envy about all these people who make so much money from their blogs. Sabahan, do like John Chow, show how much you earn a month. 🙂

Comment by Gaman
2008-05-11 23:18:01

Obviously I am not as rich as John Chow 😉

Comment by Noorizam Shah
2008-05-12 08:32:39

This tips look like easy.. but must work harder.. rite?

Comment by Steve Yu
2008-05-16 13:42:43

Of course la… the implementation part is the hardest part.

Comment by catzer
2008-05-13 17:22:01

Yup, the equilibrium is the basic of making money online.But, as long as we can make our blog equal to that formula im sure we can make more money from that.

Comment by zam
2008-05-13 22:55:45

No 3, it may takes years to gather experiences. But in order to gain more experience maybe you already get income if not like John Chow but can pay your streamyx , it’s ok for me

Comment by
2008-05-20 00:56:58

A nice post! By the way, i am still figuring how to increase my blog traffic…

Comment by Rahman Alwi
2008-05-31 01:33:30

I believe many bloggers brag about how much they make just to keep people interested in their blog. But come to think again, they work like MLM marketing leaders.. always brag about how much they make.

But, many bloggers who brag actually do not make that much, but just brag… as though they are making a lot.

Personally, I do not believe about what John says about his income, again I do not care, but I believe he makes substantial amount of good money online. I like blogs such as steve palvina, and I personally believe he makes lots of money. He does not brag… normally ” tin kosong byk bising… tin penuh lebih senyap” hehehe…

Comment by ketyung
2008-06-08 19:45:00

I agree, John Chow is running a making money blog, that is why he needs to bluff or blow up his income to attract more people and getting his readers excited. Occasionally he’ll try to lower a bit ti make it sound so real. But I believe the guy can make at least USD15K per month, which isn’t a surprise. 🙂

Comment by Yourmusic
2008-06-09 17:10:10

I agry with you, people!! But not all mans do their blog for money, some of them only post their story from life and many others things!

Comment by goblogging
2008-06-09 19:19:45

well, I waiting for the new design.
btw it’s great! you should start selling banner ads, your blog stats is a good stats that suitable to create a private ads like banner ads. good luck! 🙂

Comment by nhavxor
2008-06-11 16:34:34

I aspire to be a successful blogger. Thanks for the useful insight.

Comment by goblogging
2008-06-13 16:53:29

I agree! 🙂 To success, we need the three ingredients simultaneously.

Comment by Bingkay
2008-06-13 19:50:05

It’s inspiring for new bloggers like me. It’s my first visit here and love your site. I’ll be one of your followers. More power!

Comment by kahoongchai
2008-06-26 08:32:25

Selling banner ads in malaysia can success too ?

Comment by Anil Gupta
2008-06-29 16:31:22

Actually I’m working on my blog with hope that within text one year or so, I will be able to make some real money off my blog as Johnchow, Shoemoney or problogger are making from their bogs

Comment by Chicken Say
2008-07-07 22:50:36

another thing to bare in mind that johnchow and shoemoney both of them well known in reality too…john is giving seminar anywhere on how to make money online while shoemoney is a DJ…that’s really boost up their blog traffic…same to singapore johan mok too…but i wonder how did johan make money online because seems can’t see anything about his blog but still keep on giving seminar to earn money…bluff…

Comment by titan
2008-07-21 22:56:55

for blog, traffic is everything. Money come 2nd..

Comment by Richie
2008-08-31 03:26:16

huuuu…i will..i can!! i try my best to be like john cow…good luck richie!! 😛

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