Category Archives for "Wordpress"

How to Make Money from Your Blog like John Chow

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, Sabahan.com 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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Updating the 50 Most Influential Blogs in Malaysia List

It was last year when a Malaysian Minister accused bloggers as liars. According to him out of 8000 of 10,000 unemployed bloggers are women and bloggers have nothing better to do than spreading rumors to disunite the country. Some even resorted to labeling bloggers as Monkeys, Gobloks and Pondan.

Such comments may stem from the lack of understanding of the blogging medium. A medium which may have played a role in the shocking outcome witnessed during the recent general election.

I don’t know to what extent, but it’s enough for the government to reverse their anti-bloggers stance to be the friend of bloggers. For starters, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, our new Information Minister has created a new TV show in RTM inviting bloggers to talk about specific issues about this alternative media.

Anyway, I am not here to talk about politics; there are other bloggers who are doing a better job than me in that respect. I am here to discuss about blogging as a positive medium for information sharing.

Last year I wrote an article where I listed 50 of the most influential blogs in Malaysia based on Technorati Ranks. Am I glad I did that because it appears that the list has become a starting point for those who want to get some insights into who’s who in the Malaysian blogosphere.

In its first episode, the RTM program invited A. Kadir Jasin, a blogger himself, as their guest to discuss the topic “Blog: Apa Itu Blog?” This isn’t new but in case you have missed it, you can watch the episode via YouTube here

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


In the program, Mr Kadir Jasin mentioned that only 8 out of the 50 most popular blogs in Malaysia are political blogs and the top of the list is occupied by a personal blog. RahsiaBlogger.com points that he was referring to the 50 Most Influential Blogs in Malaysia article that I wrote.

While I agree that such initiative by RTM might be the right step towards creating an understanding of openness, I wish the producer took some initiative to really understand what a blog is all about. This would have avoided the “anti-blog” mentality the host seemed to suffer throughout the program.

The first thing that came to mind when I watched the program was what is this guy’s problem? I was like cheer up man, there’s no need to attack the issue with such cantankerous attitude because a blog isn’t a bad thing.

This short discussion only managed to scratch the surface and didn’t do the medium justice but I understand that there was no time to dig deeper into the issues.

That said, I think Mr Kadir Jasin has done a good job in presenting a balance view about what a blog is in all the host’s eagerness to rapid-fire his questions. See if his handling of the second episode is any better from the following videos. You have to watch this, great replies from Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The fact is blogs are not just about political opinions or something that bloggers use to “memesong fikiran rakyat” which seems to be the accepted view of some people.

Blogging is about sharing information, any information at all from the crappiest of the craps to the greatest of the greats. The democratic nature of the Internet allows everyone to participate in the medium to talk about anything from personal experience, to music to politics.

Like any other medium such as newspapers and televisions, there’s nothing wrong with blogs as an information sharing medium. It’s how you use them that matters.

Now that’s out of the way, I think it’s a good time to update the 50 most influential blog list. It would be interesting to see how the trend has changed especially after the recent general election. Will there be more political blogs on the list this time around?

In addition to doing the research myself, I would like to ask my readers to suggest blogs which they think should be included into the list.

In order to be considered, the blog has to have a Technorati rank of 30,000 or lower. To find a blog ranking, go to Technorati.com and enter the blog’s URL into the search box.


Now, keep your suggestions coming people!


Malaysia’s Top Internet Marketer Lets Domain Name Expires

Of all people, Gobala Krishnan forgets to renew his blog’s domain name at http://www.gobalakrishnan.com/ and as it appears, the domain has expired on 14 March 08 and now redirected to Godaddy’s domain parking page.

A similar incident happened to Advertlets.com, a Malaysian own online advertising company which had its domain expired on January 3, 2008. The case attracted quite an attention as it involved thousands of publishers who sell advertising space via Advertlets.com system.


Anyway back to Gobala, he is a great Internet marketer and one can only wonder how he could end up having one of his important domain names expires. But I understand that he was probably just too busy with other important projects which could easily steal a considerable amount of his time.

He was recently given the privilege to grace the front page of Tech&U over at New Straits Times. You know you’ve reached a certain status level when the national newspaper wants to feature you on their front page, so more power to him!


Anyway talking about expiring domain names, there’s a chance that you’ll never get it back. Your competitors may use this opportunity to seize that domain name via backordering and snap it up the instant it becomes available and use it as they wish once they own it.

Backorder is a service that attempts to register an expired domain name on behalf of an entity before someone else grabs it. With over 750,000 domains expire every month you can imagine there exist an opportunity to make money instantly when one can get hold of a hot, high PageRank and high traffic domain name.

Of course there would be legal repercussions in some cases but I imagined the Malaysian’s cyber law hasn’t catch up with this thing yet – correct me if I’m wrong. Any such case will be a watershed once it’s initiated.

By the way, backordering has helped me got a hold on Sabahan.com. In my case though the owner let it expired and I was the first to grab it and became the proud owner in less than one second it became available.

Currently, I am monitoring twelve or so other domain names. None of them are copyrighted of course or belongs to a particular person who has build up his brand around that domain name.

If you don’t want to end up having your important domain names expire, I suggest you register them for at least 2 years in advance. Important domains should be registered 5 years or longer in advance. Also be sure to pay attention to the domain name renewal notice sent by your domain name registrar.


Blogger.com, WordPress.com or WordPress.org – Which One Should I Choose?

I received an email from a reader recently asking me about the differences between Blogspot and WordPress and which one is better if one wants to setup a blog with its own domain name.

This is probably one of the most common questions asked by newbies when starting out their journey in the blogging world. I’m posting my answer here for the benefit of those who may have similar questions.

BlogSpot aka Blogger.com (I’m going to use this term to refer to this service) is a hosted blogging service. Hosted means, you don’t have to worry about spending money on web hosting because they will take care of that for free.

You can setup your own custom domain name (like Sabahan.com) instead of opting for the more common blogname.blogspot.com address setup on Blogger.com. Using your own domain has the inherit advantage in that it can be used as a branding platform while helping your blog appears more credible to your readers.

While you won’t get the full control and freedom as when using your own hosting solution, it’s still a better choice if setting up your own blog software, dealing with hosting fees and all the setup hassles aren’t your cup of tea.

To learn more on how to setup your own custom domain name on Blogger.com, click here.

WordPress itself can be divided into two categories; one is WordPress.com which works like Blogger.com and the other one is WordPress.org, a site where you can download the open source WordPress software and host it on your own server.

If you register with WordPress.com, you blog address will be like mynewblog.wordpress.com. Like Blogger.com, you can use your own custom domain name with your WordPress.com blog.

So you may buy the domain name mynewblog.com and ask WordPress.com to automatically move your blog over and redirect all your links and readers to the short and sweet mynewblog.com instead of mynewblog.wordpress.com that carries an amateurish notion all over it – at least that’s how my first impression would be like.

Click here to learn more about domain registration and mapping with WordPress.com.

So to recap we have four options to choose from when one wants to setup a blog with Blogger.com and WordPress. The following shows the possible blog addresses for each service:



  • Mynewblog.blogspot.com
  • Mynewblog.com


  • Mynewblog.wordpress.com
  • Mynewblog.com


Back to the original question, which one is better if your goal is to setup a blog with its own custom domain name? To answer that question, we need to understand what each service has to offer. More importantly, you need to ask yourself why do you want to start a blog.

I have to admit that being a user of WordPress from WordPress.org for nearly all of my blogs; I might be a bit bias when it comes to answering this question.

So both Blogger.com and WordPress.com is free which is good but there are some fundamental differences between those two.

While I have several blogs hosted on blogger.com, they are why I call experimental blogs which were setup when I was just testing the water. I find blogger.com doesn’t support as many features as WordPress.com.

As an example, the absent of a function to help you create static pages (for your About Us page, Contact Us page etc) on Blogger.com is rather frustrating as I think those are some of the most important pages a blog should have. OK, there’s a work-around but it’s for the average users, too complicated of a solution at best.

The post timestamp feature in WordPress allows you publish your posts some time in the future. This is useful when for example you plan to go out of town for a couple of days, you can prepare some blog posts that will be published at specific intervals throughout the day without your intervention. This feature is simply not supported on Blogger.com.

If you want more control over your template, you can tinker with the underlying template code as much as you wish. This is however not possible with WordPress.com, except the rudimentary ability that allows you to customize your headers and colour scheme. Even then, that’s only possible if the template itself supports customization.

The ability to create categories in WordPress puts it ahead of Blogger when it comes to organizing your posts. It’s an alternative to sort your posts besides the by date option.

I can go on and on talking about the advantages WordPress.com has over Blogger.com, IMHO, WordPress.com emerges as the clear winners on a features by features comparison.

Some of you may wonder if WordPress.com is better than Blogger.com than why the later seems like a more popular choice among bloggers? I think it’s more popular among new and amateur bloggers rather than among those who consider themselves as serious bloggers.

Now, I know that there are many exceptions to this but I did say earlier that I could be a little bias against other services besides WordPress didn’t I? 😉

Blogger.com is owned by Google.com and last time I checked they are making use of their advertising muscle to the fullest promoting the service via AdWords. So that could easily contribute to its popularity.

Now let’s us compare WordPress.com to WordPress.org to find which one is better.

First and foremost, WordPress.org gives you more control and freedom on your blogging activities since you are hosting it in on your own server. You are not bounded by any terms and condition that could work against your blog.

If you want to make money from your blog, you should cross WordPress.com off your list right away. Their Term of Service states (take note the bolded text)

the Content is not spam, and does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing).

What I know for sure is that writing paid reviews would risk account suspension. However the term “commercial content” is so general it could be interpreted in many different ways. Does it means you are not allowed to promote affiliate programs, put AdSense ads in your blog, sell books via your Amazon affiliate links or review products or services for your companies?

As the boundaries between content and advertising become increasing blurred, you are at the helm of WordPress.com by letting them dictate your blog’s future as you continue to monetize your content.

From a technical perspective, WordPress.org offers many benefits over WordPress.com as you can see from the table below. However WordPress.com wins hands down for convenience.

It’s freeLimited themes choiceAbility to upload themesYou need to pay for you own web hosting
It’s easy to setupNo control over the code whatsoeverAbility to upload pluginsRequires some technical know how for setup
Upgrades, backups and security are handled automatically in the backgroundYou can’t install third party pluginsComplete control to edit code as you wishSoftware upgrade has to be done manually
Use SSL so that no one can get into your account if you connect via WifiTerms of service may restrict your blogging freedom and ability to make money from your blogGreat community that could help you along the wayYour site could be down if you server can’t handle huge traffic spike


So if you are serious about blogging, and plan to monetize your content then go for WordPress.org. Otherwise, any of the free options; Blogger.com or WordPress.com will serve you just fine if you just want to learn about blogging.


Finally! My Net Connection Is Restored

If you were expecting posts from me during the weekdays, I should inform you that I was deprived of an Internet connection when the net access for my town went kaput for 5 days.

I contacted Streamyx support for an update of a report I lodged earlier and later contacted the local TM exchange to find out what took them so long to fix the problem only to be given a conflicting information where one party basically blamed the other.

To be fair to them, I felt that someone somewhere did try to do something (after several follow-ups), just not as fast or perhaps not as competent as they should had been.

Otherwise we wouldn’t have waited this long to have our connection restored. While our online businesses were affected, the least they could do was to make the customers understand what the real issue was instead of asking them to wait.

On top of that, we still have to pay the monthly fee regardless of the quality of the connection. Asking for a refund is not worth the trouble unless one is willing to flood them with 20 to 30 emails a day. Has anyone tried this before? LOL

Anyhow, thankfully everything seems to return to normal now.

Now I’d like to bring your attention to a post I wrote sometime last year. It basically answers a nagging question one might have after reading my last post where I talk about how not to make money from blogging.

Can you really make money from a blog that teaches others how to make money? No doubt you can. However I think it would considerably demand more effort to be successful as compare to when you focus on niches that attract a wider audience. That’s especially true if you are new to the world of blogging.

Even though the post was written last year, much of it is still relevant today, except for point number 4 where I talked about monetizing your blog with Text Link Ads. Unless you are living in a cave somewhere, selling or buying text link ads is a big no no if being awarded a decent Google PageRank is one of your blogging goals.


How Not To Make Money from Blogging

It’s usually the time of the month when many bloggers eagerly reveal their Internet income for the month of January. Ideally an increase in one’s income should help him/her to get off on the right foot for the New Year ahead.

One of famous bloggers doing this regularly is none other than John Chow.com.

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave somewhere or probably you just don’t care about making money from blogging 😉 you know that this guy has been making an insane amount of money from his blog.

Last month alone, he “single-handedly” made $30,616.35 from JohnChow.com. That’s roughly RM98,000 in my local currency! I can only imagine things that one could possible do when making such an insane about of money as an individual.

While stories like this can be inspirational especially if you are into blogging for money, often the reality isn’t as rosy as those flattering stories suggest. Some people start to have some kind of preconceived notion that could lead into blogging with false expectations.

I got the feeling that my previous post was a downer for those of you expecting to see a better amount of income generated from this blog. For all intents and purposes, I write about how to make money from blogging here and yet my blog income doesn’t even reflect the level where one would consider as good money.

For the record, the income reported is only for Sabahan.com alone. While I have several other blogs that contributes to my blogging income, my total income from blogging alone is still relatively small when compared to my other income sources such as affiliate programs and I don’t have plan to make Sabahan.com as my major income generator, at least not at the moment.

OK, I am not trying to squash your expectation; it’s just the reality of blogging for money. Don’t fall into the false hope that making big money from blogging is easy.

Now to help you avoid this pitfall, here are some of the ways how not to make money from a blog

1. Create Another How to Make Money Blog

If you have created one and are happy with how things are going then by all means, please don’t stop after reading this article. If nothing else, managing such blogs can be a great learning experience for you.

But if you are just starting out, try to focus on niches that could herd massive organic traffic to your blog such as the tech and entertainment niches. I’ve given my reasons why you shouldn’t create another how to make money blog here.

2. Expect To Get Rich Overnight and Giving Up After You Failed To Reach your Goal

Often, most successful bloggers will tell you that it takes them over a year or so before they generate a significant income from their blogs. While building a successful blog does take time – time alone doesn’t guarantee success. What’s more important is the thing that you do to grow and nurture your blog.

Do you work hard? Do you maintain a consistency in your postings as far as quality and frequency is concern? Do you jump on every opportunity to promote your blog?

I have to admit that my postings have been a little slow these days. If you want to make blogging as your main source of income, just don’t follow my style. As much as I am looking forward to generate some extra income from this blog, I think sharing my experience about making money online in general is as important.

3. Not Having a Solid Business Plan

Sure, luck can play a major role that could jump start your blogging career overnight. Having your blogs discovered by an A-list blogger could help you cut in line up ahead. In addition, getting into the correct niche at the right moment could pave an easier way ahead especially when it’s less crowded and less competitive.

If you think that the chance of having luck by your side is as remote as winning the noble prize, then make your own luck by creating a solid business plan for your blog. Figure out how much money you want to make and what you should do to achieve the goal.

Break down your activities into several manageable chunks with weekly or monthly goals. How much traffic do you want to get by the end of this month? How would you go about doing this?

Will you try getting into Digg’s front page? Do search engine optimization to attract organic traffic? Contact A-list bloggers to let them know about an interesting and insightful article you have just written?

If you want to earn US1000 or more from AdSense, do you need extra blogs to help you achieve that goal or do you think you’ll do better by concentrating your effort on one blog?

The real motivation of creating a business plan for your blog is not having the finished results, but the act of planning helps you analyze things more thoroughly and look at your ideas critically. A business plan for your blog will help you focus on every opportunities that will help you achieve your goals.


While blogging often won’t make you rich overnight, there are more and more people making a part time or full time living from it. You just have to be realistic with your expectation, work hard to achieve your goals and make your own luck!


Will I Make More Money By Placing More Ads At Sabahan.com?

After reading an interesting post by Sha over at Shamoneymaker.com, it struck me that I’ve probably been leaving easy money on the table by not realising Sabahan.com full advertising potential.

What Sha did was calculate how much of the content are advertising space. The calculation was based on a method devised by Serverdome where they took screenshots of the visible portion of some of the top blogs and counted how much of that was paid space.

In the article, Sha asks “Does it mean that the more ads percentage has some correlation with the amount of profit can be gained from monetizing your blog?”

I believe so, but only until a certain point where it will start to get annoying for your readers. Instead of putting more money in your pocket, it’ll drive your visitors away. The level of tolerance as far as the readers are concern would be different from one blog to another of course.

One blogger that’s well known for pushing the limit is JohnChow.com. Not surprisingly, he tops the chart at 27.86% content to ads percentage.

  • Johnchow.com – 27.86%
  • Stevepavlina.com – 20.30%
  • Problogger.com – 17.76%
  • Shoemoney.com – 14.69%
  • Dailyblogtips.com – 13.01%
  • Copyblogger.com – 11.37%

Sha finds that their Asian counterpart tend to display fewer ads.

  • Chanlilian.net – 15.15%
  • AdesBlog.com – 14.75%
  • LiewCF.com – 13.98%
  • ShaMoneyMaker.com – 8.52
  • Gbalakrishnan.com – 7.64%
  • xiaxue.blogspot.com – 4.77%
  • Sabahan.com 1.94% (now I don’t understand why some people still say I have too much ads here LOL)

OK, I know that I could have made more money by displaying more ads, but then if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m not a fan of making my blog looks like a giant billboard for the sake of making money – at least not at my main blog. My principle is that if something isn’t beneficial to the users, it probably doesn’t belong in this blog. You can see this from the experiment I did with Kontera ads.

That said, I think it’s still acceptable to display more ads as long as they don’t compromise your blog’s content and usability.

To tell you the truth, I don’t make much from this blog. If you don’t know this already, my main online income comes from selling my own products and pay per click affiliate marketing. That’s probably why I don’t bother placing more ads here. Then again, wouldn’t it be interesting to see how much more money I can make by allocating more space for advertising?

Yea, I thought so too and that’s exactly what I am going to do 🙂

So starting from today, I am going to sign up with Nuffnag or Advertlets, put back Kontera links, sign up with Widget Bucks, and whatever advertising companies that can have a place here.

Lets allow this “experiment” run for a month or two and see how much more I can make. At the end of each month, I’ll report my income here. Just so you know, I’ll probably reduce my blogging frequency towards the end of December because of all the holiday, Christmas, New Year stuff going on. So let see how that will affect the blog’s income.

To get the ball rolling, I’m going to reveal Sabahan.com income for the month of October. Since this is for one blog only and I purposely exclude income generated from my seven or so other blogs, they are far from exciting and rather disappointing. I didn’t do any affiliate program promotion or tracked how much money I made from my affiliate links signups during that month.



Now I got an interesting offer for you. If you are a member of an advertising network like Nuffnag or WidgetBucks, I’ll sign up under your affiliate link. To qualify, you should

  • Be the first to leave your link (in addition to your comment) for the program in the comment.
  • I only accept one affiliate link per person.
  • I’ll only join programs that I am not already a member with
  • I won’t join get rich quick schemes or programs that promote spamming.
  • I am looking to join blogger’s friendly programs

So what are you waiting for? Leave a link and let me make you some money 🙂


Did You Encounter Any Problem When Trying to Leave A Comment Here?

Technical problem that is… I suspect this happens to everyone who’s trying to leave a comment here. When you tried to leave a comment, did you experience longer than normal delay before your comment appeared?

Or perhaps the post didn’t load properly after posting your comment and you had to manually refresh it.

This question is for those commentators who are pre-approved, and don’t go into moderation process.

Please leave your comment below and tell me if you encounter any problem. I suspect this might have to do with my server security setting which checks for any attempt to compromise the server security.

Note that if this is your first time leaving a comment here, it will be automatically go into moderation.


ShoeMoney Reveals How He Made $132,994.97 From AdSense In a Month

I couldn’t help but felt totally in awe while reading a post over at ShoeMoney.com where he answers several frequently asked questions about the AdSense Check in his Gallery that showed him holding one worth over $100K. Keep in mind that the check was for August 2005.

Sure, it’s a link bait post but a good one at that, so it’s worth linking to. If you are looking for a real life example of publishers making insane amount of money from AdSense, check this one out. Posting the picture again will continue to “resurrect” readers’ interest and certainly create an opportunity for him to promote his sites.


I quote the FAQ in full below:

  1. What site was it for? What does the site do?
    The site is nextpimp. The name was kind of a joke at first… next-pimp like pimp out your nextel phone. It started as a wallpaper site for nextel phones which grew into ringtones and other stuff. All content is 100% user generated.
  2. How much of the check was profit?
    At the time my expenses were 1 server @ 299$ per month for hosting. I would say atleast 130k was profit.

  3. How much of the traffic was pay per click?
    None of it was pay per click. Back then I did not know anything at all about pay per click.
  4. Where did all your traffic come from?
    About 70% of the traffic was direct 15% from search engines and 15% from referrals.
  5. How much traffic did the site get to get that much money?
    About 75k uniq per day.
  6. Why did you get a paper check and not wire?
    Back then Google did not do wire transfers for amounts of $10,000.00
  7. Do you think its possible to still earn that kind of revenue? (most often asked question)
  8. How long did it take to make revenue?
    I never tried to make any money the first 1.5 years it was running. I just concentrated on providing a good service. About 2 years after I started the site It started to do good revenue from AdSense
  9. Can you show the full month report from AdSense for that month?


He even includes a screenshot of his AdSense report for that particular month. With permission from Google, he discloses his CTR and CPM. Can you imagine making such insane amount of money while only spending $299 monthly on web hosting? Check out his daily income below. Now convert those to Malaysian ringgit, are you thinking what I’m thinking? 🙂


And that’s not even his main income, according to him, AdSense has accounted for less than 5% of the incoming revenue for his companies. In addition to that, his blog at ShoeMoney.com is pulling just under $30,000 in October from direct ad sales, 30% from affiliate programs and other sources. Obviously more than the amount John Chow made from his blog. It made my head spin just thinking about those seriously mad figures.

But it doesn’t stop there, in March 2007 he made USD709,626.81 in commission from Commission Junction. I hope that’s a typo because I started to feel a little depress right now LOL. Just joking, it’s great inspiration for everyone. I don’t know if he earned that amount as a vendor or affiliate, regardless, it’s just insane to make that much monthly.


So did you notice a running theme here? He doesn’t make money by serving AdSense or selling paid links on his blog. While creating a blog can make you rich if it’s done correctly, I believe you’ll have to explore other monetization options in order to go to the next level.

You’ll need to create sites that serve certain purposes like PlentyOfFish.com or NextPimp.com, then learn PPC and do affiliate marketing. Remember Ashley, the 17 year old teenage girl who pull in over $70K monthly from AdSense by offering free MySpace templates on her site?

That goes to show that offering a service or products that lots of people are interested in will help you make money online faster.

Now I‘m not suggesting you drop everything you are doing now and start brainstorming similar ideas and hopefully get rich next year. I am aware that there are tons of other ways to make money online and not everyone can be as successful as those above even when they create the next free dating site, or free ringtone download site or give away free Myspace templates.

Often people become successful because they are able to offer the right products/services at the right time. Some may call that luck, but I call it knowing when to act when opportunity presents itself. If we can do that, we’ll be the next ShoeMoney.


How Long Does It Take You To Write a Blog Post?

Some bloggers may have the natural ability to write posts faster than their readers could read them. I guess I am somewhere in the middle, I might be able type a tad faster than the average person but when it comes to completing a post, I usually need a few hours to do so.

Short posts that require no research usually take me less than 15 minutes. But I prefer to take my time when writing long posts that require a good deal of research. My problem is I often know what to write but deciding how to write it can consume most of my time.

So I spend more time thinking then actually writing down my thoughts. English being my second language (well technically it’s the third) doesn’t help either.

If I have a great post idea, I usually jot down the points I plan to write in my to-do list. I would continue to add points, sometimes over the course of a few days, before I actually sit down and write the whole post for a couple of hours. The researching part takes most of the time.

That’s how I come up with some posts like this

However for a topic that I know a lot about, I take about 3 to 5 hours to come up with the content and actually write it.

The past few weeks have been a busy time for me, on and offline. I’m launching new blogs and websites one after another. So that has been taking most of my time. I am also gearing up my pay per click campaigns to take advantage of the coming holiday shopping season in the US .

If you are not yet involved in affiliate program or PPC marketing, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

Sadly, I have to scrap my previous goal to make US500 from text link ads monthly after the recent PageRank shake up. While I’ll continue to sell text link ads on some blogs, they are no longer my priority. If I make money from them, then that’s a bonus. Those blogs will be turned into a resource center for some of my PPC campaigns promoting affiliate programs.

It’s time to stop allowing Google PageRank dictates how much money you could make from your sites. You need to explore other monetization options and diversify your revenue streams in addition to writing paid posts or text link ads.

My only ad revenue that depends on PageRank is my text link ads. However, since I’ve been involved with affiliate marketing since 1997 and actively using pay per click marketing since 2002, PageRank has little importance to me as far as making money from the Internet is concern.

If you depend on your blogs to make money, you can start looking into selling advertising inventory directly from your website. I am seeing this practice becoming more common these days where more popular blogs such as DoshDosh.com, JohnChow.com and even ProBlogger.net are jumping into the bandwagon.

Anyway, back to the earlier question, how long does it take you to write a blog post?


My Top 10 Most Read Blogs

Yesterday I noticed a trackback from Raymond.cc, one of the most popular Tech Blogs in Malaysia . Curious to know what he had written about Sabahan.com, I clicked the link to find a post where Raymond lists 10 of his most read blogs.

Apparently, Sabahan.com is one of the blogs that he read daily. I am honored to be on the list and am glad to know he finds Sabahan.com useful 🙂

While I don’t usually participate in a tagging meme I thought this one is worth tagging along with. In addition to helping us discover interesting blogs from other people, I would also like to return the favour and thank Raymond for including Sabahan.com on his list.

The meme was started by Martin of gHacks.net where he invited the bloggers from his ten most read blogs to take part. The goal is to create a blog feed dependency list which shows the top ten most read blogs of all participating blogs.

While I’ve subscribed to about 36 blog feeds, I only visit a blog when I feel like reading the topics in that particular niche. If I don’t feel like reading SEO today, the Search Engine Roundtable can wait until I’m in the mood.

Anyway, here are the top 10 most read blogs according to my Google Readers’s Trends for the last 30 days.


  1. Shoemoney – Skills to pay the bills
  2. ProBlogger Blog Tips
  3. Search Engine Roundtable
  4. John Chow dot Com
  5. Super Affiliate Mindset
  6. Google Blogoscoped
  7. Affiliate Blog by Shawn Collins
  8. Inside AdWords
  9. Connected Internet
  10. Inside AdSense


As you can see, the kind of blogs I read relates closely to the topics I love to write about in Sabahan.com. They range from the normal how to make money, to affiliate marketing, AdSense, AdWords and SEO stuff.

If you have your own top 10 most read blogs, you could do the same and list down your top 10 most read blogs in your blog. Then you can trackback this article or Raymond’s article so that he’ll be able to put you on his list.


Did You Lose Your PageRank Because You Are Selling Paid Links?

For the past few weeks, news about blogs losing their PageRank has been widely discussed around the blogosphere. Besides this blog, several of my other blogs weren’t spared either.

This had affected almost everyone regardless of the quality of their content which includes big names such as JohnChow.com, AndyBeard.eu, Yaro Starak’s of Entrepreneuers-Journey.com.

I think it’s important to be aware that there are actually two different types of PageRank. One is the actual one that Google uses internally to rank a page and the other one visible on the Google toolbar. The reduction in the visible PageRank may affect a site’s text links price but based on Google’s internal PageRank value, the site should continue to rank just as it always been. Then again, an over zealous link selling promotion would definitely affect the rankings eventually.

While I tend to believe the visible PageRank carries little weight when it comes to deciding where you rank in the search engine, it’s still used by many people to gauge a site credibility. As I wrote earlier, this incident was probably nothing more than a normal PR update exercise where some sites would enjoy an increase while others experience a drop until I came across a post by Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land.

Danny points out that it’s now official that selling paid links can hurt your PageRank or rankings on Google based on a feedback he got from Google.

While I am aware the sites selling paid links might lose their ability to pass along link love, this is perhaps an indication that Google started taking a concrete action penalizing link selling sites. This news seems to be spreading like wildfire around the blogosphere at the moment.

Danny uses The Stanford Daily, a student newspaper of Stanford University where it continued to sell paid links despite widespread attention to its actions and without any penalty being imposed by Google.

The Stanford Daily is NOT banned from Google. The site’s homepage still has a PR9 score. Nothing indicates that the Stanford Daily’s links aren’t passing ranking juice, not in the ways that Google could control, if it wanted. Maybe they aren’t, but how would most people know? How would other publishers thinking of doing the same know? Certainly not from reading the paper’s rate card (PDF), where there’s nothing said about text links relating to search engines. The only thing said is the price: $350 per month.

Then Danny adds, last week he noticed the Stanford Daily PageRank had been reduced from PR9 to PR7

Last week, I noticed the Stanford Daily had dropped from when I wrote the above in April to PR7 today. That’s a huge drop that has no apparent reason to happen. Some others were also reporting PageRank drops. So I pinged Google, and they confirmed that PageRank scores are being lowered for some sites that sell links.

In addition, Google said that some sites that are selling links may indeed end up being dropped from its search engine or have penalties attached to prevent them from ranking well.

So guys, it’s official – from a seller point of view – making money from text link ads is no longer as exciting as before because you will be penalized regardless of your intention. This will definitely change the way how site owners monetize their sites. If selling paid links is one of your main sources of income, you would have to look elsewhere.

I’m incline to believe that this move by Google will improve the quality of their search results in the long run as it weeds out those who buy links to boost their ranking regardless of the quality of the content. But at the moment, it’s easier to put the blame on Google for being senseless and unfair to the rest of us. Talking about fair treatment, if you think you don’t deserve a PR reduction (nobody does right? ), you might want to write to Google via Webmaster Central and request a review. I am going to do that next.

Oddly enough, there are several blogs that are unaffected by this move. Those sites continue to sell text links but have received no penalty. Let me give one example. Now I’ve nothing against AdesBlog.com, in fact I think it’s one of those well written blogs with high quality content that I like to read. However if Google judgement is based solely on selling paid links, there’s no way AdesBlog.com could escape unnoticed.

Anyway, do you plan to keep selling text links on your website? Are you concern about your PageRank? If so why?

Update: Adesblog.com’s PageRank was recently reduced.


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