Do I Really Think It’s Worth Paying John Chow Dot Com $400 for A Review?

Posted on 6th August, 2007

As most of you know, the other day I ordered a ReviewMe from John Chow Dot Com.

Then I did a review of the ReviewMe experience to answer a question many people may have, which is whether the review worth the 400 bucks. At the end of the article I concluded that the ReviewMe was worth the $400.

Seriously, did I really think the 535 visitors, at $0.75 each was worth $400? Well, if that’s the only thing I get out of it, obviously it’s not worth the price.

I got the idea to write this post after reading some of the comments in the ReviewMe review.

Lucia writes:
What this proves is that a full review John Chow can’t drive as much traffic as a modest inconspicuous link almost hidden inside the text of a long post by a knitting blogger.

Wendy Knits sent my knitting blog 500 visitors a day for two days after dropping one inconspicuous link to my sock tips page in one of her long blog posts. I continued to have visits for weeks. The Power of Wendy. The Yarn Harlot can drive similar traffic– and sent me huge amounts several years ago.

Advertiser might want to be aware of that the real traffic is not on blogs about blogging.



RemodelingMySpace writes:

Hey Gaman;


Unfortunately, from our own experience, we DO NOT think a review from JohnChow.com is worth the $400, unless your goal is to sell something for free to teenyboppers… LOL!

We found traffic to be very poor (low quantity and low quality) and the service we received (or DIDN’T receive) from John Chow personally is an embarrassment to professional bloggers.

We paid to have John review our $5000 blogging contest because we figured John’s readers are bloggers – our target market – but we clearly DIDN’T GET WHAT WE PAID FOR. John didn’t even do the review, his ‘assistant’ did (which was never disclosed to us that this was a possibility), and it was a lackluster review at best. The only entries we got for the contest were childish spam entries (his teenybopper crowd), and mention from his readership blogs was nill (as far as we can track).

What really made this a completely horrible experience was that John has continually refused to answer any emails regarding our concerns… a virtual ‘fuck you’, while Patrick Gavin of ReviewMe has seen the light and offered us discounts on further reviews (won’t be happening, we’ve wised up to better traffic sources like StumbleUpon and niche authority sites).

John’s Alexa and Tecnorati figures are inflated and skewed by his scumbag tactics for getting traffic… want a really good laugh? Listen to John spew how ‘Google is foolish’ for de-ranking him for his tactics – & make up your own mind about John from this interview

So please don’t waste your money on John Chow – just do a little research to find niche sites to market your site on… the traffic is better, it costs less, and you’ll be happier and wiser in the end.


Out of nowhere Tracy writes:


The result :

John gave you a review.
You gave John 400 bucks.

You gave a review to John.
You got nothing!

Conclusion :
The more bigger you are, the more money and fame you earn automatically!


As I explained in the post, that number didn’t include visits from RSS which according to John Chow should be about the same amount. While I haven’t done further analysis on this, overall, I believe the review has brought in about 1000 visits to my blog.

Evidently, not all of the 5000 plus daily visitors to JohnChow.com especially those that came from search engines landed on JohnChow.com homepage, so not everyone got to see the ReviewMe. Of the 6000 plus subscribers, probably not that many were interested in what the review had to offer, which was the chance to win a domain name and free blog hosting for life.

If this is the kind of traffic John Chow Dot Com generates, getting just 10% of it wasn’t too exciting and definitely not worth the $400.

That said, there are several reasons why I think the review is still worth it, at least for me. The increase in my blog traffic and RSS subscriber counts are only part of the story.

The review gets me more than just a review, but also some buzz and links around the blogosphere. I took advantage of this by writing a review of the ReviewMe experience and this further enhanced the buzz. Then later I did the JohnChow.com AdWords review which had attracted more attention to Sabahan.com

In addition to the few entries I received for the contest which generates links, Sabahan.com was also mentioned in the following blogs. They are all related to my JohnChow.com review in one way or another. Here are some of them:


A Nice Way to Promote Your site Through AdSense

John Chow Effect? Less than “The Power of WendyKnits.Net”

Where to Advertise Your Blog?

Charles Lau dot Com
Which Traffic Effect Is Better?

Fuyoh, Sabahan.com Paid John Chow USD400 for a ReviewMe!

Internet marketing gives Sabahan.com bigger-sized Cappuccino

Open Post: How Do You Make Money From Affiliate Schemes?


I think my post caught the attention of Everton ConnectedInternet.co.uk after I site-targeted his blog directly via AdWords. The ads were about my John Chow Dot Come ReviewMe experience of which I’ve spent about $3.00.

I would have spent close to $1000 if I were to order reviews from all the blogs above, instead I got mentioned for free!

Spending $400 may seem expensive but that’s quite a small amount when you consider the amount spent by LiewCF.com to sponsor bloggers in the Malaysian Blogathon 2007. Of course it’s different because it’s for charity but still hats off to him.

One thing I’ve learned from this ReviewMe experience is that, when you order a ReviewMe from any blog, don’t expect a traffic avalanche or a major spike in your subscribe counts. If popular blogs couldn’t bring in the traffic, what makes the smaller ones better?

Another thing you should be aware of is that, if your blog is about blogging or make money online; you could expect a ‘normal’ traffic surge heading your way, not an avalanche.

If you are after a PageRank boost, ordering a review from a blog doesn’t get you a permanent link from the high PR page which is typically the homepage. The boost is only temporary while your link is still on the front page. Once your review gets buried, its PR is worth whatever PR the inner page has.

I guess the most important thing to consider when ordering a ReviewMe from any blog is how you could use the buzz to your advantage, retain traffic and turn one time readers into subscribers.


An engineer by training, Victor has been working full-time online as an Internet marketer, a programmer and an app developer since 2001. He has been blogging at Sabahan.com since 2006 sharing his experience and teaching people how to make money online. Click here to join his private Facebook Group for bloggers.

  • […] Regardless of what’s really happening, the buzz created has benefited his blog. While my expectation wasn’t met, I didn’t regret ordering the review. […]

  • […] of the most famous posts that Gaman produced recently is about paying $400 to John Chow to review his blog. $400 for a review from JC? Do you think it is worth […]

  • Hi Gaman, thanks for the lovely introduction in your blog! :)

    At that time when you wrote this post, I start to wonder a lot about John Chow effect… Whether this is going to bring a blogger to the next level… Or it is going down the drain…

    Until then, I start to look into other alternatives of getting massive traffic as well.. And thought why not I start to compile into an article of what I have researched.. :)

  • papajoneh says:

    I think its worth it the usd400 gaman spent. The buzz it created and the new commentators i noticed here. I am sure it all worth it.
    Just see how gaman retain the heat from the buzz. The continuous good posts after the review.
    Well done gaman. At least you brave enough to try it. And now you reaping all the benefits coming out of it. Proud to know u r a Sabahan after all. :)

  • Lucia says:

    Well, I’ll be linking you sometime this week because, you did something clever when paying JC’s inflated price: you created your own good content about the experiment you ran. So, it may well be that you will benefit from this. This is particularly so because your blog is better than John Chow’s! (I think I said that in a previous comment. If not, I should have. I think your blog is a much better source of information.

    FWIW, I’ll be comparing your strategy to mine over the course of the past few months!

  • I don’t know, I think that the review was worth doing, but was it worth $400? I drove 500 targeted visits to one of my sites for only $5 using Microsoft adCenter, and I posted about it here….

    I found and subscribed to this site because of the adWords targeted ad on JC, I never saw the review at all.

  • This is very interesting. John recently mentioned me on his blog and it sent my traffic through the roof…

  • ben says:

    i think USD400 is way to expensive for a malaysian (For me very expensive).

    But for me gaman dare to try this because he wants to experiment the power of johnchow.com blog, i may think his blog is over rated. So for me gaman did the right things.

    because i for sure will never spend the USD400 to get review from johnchow.com because i just don’t have the money(hehehe, in a bad way, Spending my USD400 for couple of hours exposure?) i better spend my time creating some nice story post it to dig…or..others site..like stumbleupon.

    1000 visitor for one day is not bad…actually. but with the cost of USD400 Hmmm..have to think twice the power of 8 ? lols…

    But i learn something from gaman experiment result.
    i think lot’s of people learn about this reviewme experiment.

    others blogger who went and ask for jc review never say anything about thier experienced so gaman made the right decision.

    i believe this article attracted more attention and more free traffic from others top bloggers.

    So,i think it’s worth it for gaman.

    am i right gaman?

    anyway gaman keep up the good work and keep me posted ok.

  • Ive been thinking about doing a review just to see how it takes off and how the readers react to the site. Kind of like an expensive review ;)

  • hi gaman, i agree that the ‘buzz’ will continue weeks after the JC review, which will bring continuous new visitors to your site and hopefully you will benefit from it e.g rss subscribers, clicks, blog reviews, links, pings and all.

    USD400 well spent I think.

  • helen says:

    It’s just a thought. I did checked out John Chow and find that $400 is not exactly over the roof. Yes, Yes it’s in USD. So, the question is, if it’s RM400, would you say it’s worth it?

  • Everton says:

    You got my attention because you left a pingback on myblogearnings post, and again today because you left a pingback.

    Personally, I think that even if you did get 1000 visitors from JC did it actually benefit you in any way? How many stayed? How many signed up for anything? How will you get a financial return on your $400?

  • >