How To Make 2012 Your Best Blogging Year

You can look at 2012 as the same old same old, or you can look at it as an opportunity to start fresh. I personally do not believe in making new year’s resolutions because they’re too easy to break. I like to make clearly defined goals and then create a plan to get it. If your goal is to make 2012 your best blogging year, then taking the following actionable steps will help get you there.

Post On A Consistent Basis

Many new readers (and there are a lot of them) come to my blog and think it had always made a lot of money. The truth is, I started just like everyone else. For the first eight months of my blog’s life, it made zero income and barely cracked 1,000 page views per day.

If I were to nail down a key ingredient to blogging success, it would have to be a consistent posting habit. Most bloggers fail because they want instant gratification. They think, mistakenly, that blogging is a quick and easy road to riches. When they first start, they’ll post like crazy for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. When nothing comes from it, they quit and become a statistic.

On again, off again blogging doesn’t work. The key is consistency. I have averaged two posts per day since the day this blog was created. There has never been a single day in the blog’s history when there wasn’t a new post to read. Even when I was in the hospital, the posting frequency does not change. It is this kind of consistency and commitment that will lead your blog to success in 2012. I highly recommend you choose a posting frequency and make a commitment to stick to it for the entire year. If you do that, amazing things will happen.

Get Your Own Domain Name and Web Hosting

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to give your blog its own domain name and get out of Blogspot or and into a professional web host. I am continually amazed at the number of emails I get from bloggers wanting to make the big bucks but aren’t even willing to pay for a domain name. I’m sorry, but it really does take money to make money. Fortunately, the costs of these items are so low that it shouldn’t even enter the equation.

From my personal experience, I can tell you that you should choose your domain name registar and web host very carefully. I do not have an official endorsement on where to purchase a domain name but I’ve heard good things about Name Cheap. Whatever service you use, you should stay away from GoDaddy at all cost.

John Chow dot Com is hosted by HostGator and content delivery is provided by MaxCDN. The two combinations create a blog that can handle virtually any amounts of traffic. Their services are top notch, and I highly recommend them. You can get 20% off your content delivery bill at MaxCDN when you use coupon code JohnChow. HostGator offers John Chow readers 25% off any hosting plan when you use coupon code JohnChow25. You can also get WordPress installed for free.

Have a Marketing Plan In Place

Way too many bloggers think making money from blogging is like the movie Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner’s character was told, “If you build it, they will come.” The truth of the matter is you can build it, but if nobody knows about it, then they’re not coming.

It takes a lot more than good content to build a big blog. There are tons of smaller blogs that have better content than mine. The reason they don’t get bigger is because they do little or no marketing. Marketing is what separates the big blogs from the small ones. If your blog is not where you want it to be, ask yourself what you’ve been doing to market it? Great content is only half the formula. You have to get your blog name out there. That means you have to create a marketing plan.

How do you plan to market your blog? If you don’t have the answer to that, then you need to sit down and work out a plan. The marketing plan should begin with the next item.

Start That Mailing List TODAY

You’ve heard me blogged all year long about how the money is in the list. Well, it really is! I cannot stress enough how important it is for a money-making blog to have a mailing list. The list is the foundation of my marketing plan and the number one reason my blog makes the income that it does. If your blog doesn’t have a list, then the first thing you need to do in 2012 is to start one.

My recommended mailing list solution is Aweber. They are the best in the business and have features that put them light-years ahead of the competition. Aweber offers a $1 trial account for all new customers. The account is just like a normal Aweber account and includes unlimited email campaigns, newsletter, broadcasts and follow ups. If for some amazing reason, you can’t make the $1 back, then making money by blogging is clearly not for you. Send Aweber an email and they’ll give you the $1 back.

$1 Aweber Offer

Tell Your Story

Blogging is all about forming relationships. There’s the relationship between you and the readers, and relationship between you and other blogs in your niche. Make a commitment to get to know them in 2012.

In addition to getting to know your readers, you should have your readers get to know you. If you haven’t done so yet, then make 2012 the year to create your about page and tell YOUR story. Where did you come from? What are your goals and dreams? Introduce some of your family members. This is the reason why you’ll see posts about me going to Disneyland with Sally or celebrating New Year’s Eve with the family. The more the readers know about you, the more they’ll connect with you and trust you.

Attend At Least One Industry Trade Show

If you have never attended a show like Blog World Expo or Affiliate Summit, then make 2012 the year you attend at least one industry show. Not only will you learn a lot, but you’ll also meet many interesting people and form many new friendships that will greatly help you down the road.

The sold out Affiliate Summit West starts this Sunday. I look forward to it every year. For many people attending, it will be a turning point in their online ventures. The fact that it happens at the start of the year is a major bonus as it can be the push they need to take their Internet business to the next level.

Be A Highly Effective Blogger

If you ever read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, then you’ll know about the time quadrant. Basically, Every activity we do during the day can be put in one of four quadrants:

Answer this question: What one thing could you do in your personal and professional life that, if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your life? Chances are, whatever you name, it’s a Quadrant Two activity.

Quadrant Two is the heart of effective personal management. It deals with things that are important but not urgent, like building your blog, forming relationships, long-term financial planning, exercising – all those things we know we need to do, but seldom get around to doing because they are not urgent and can be put off until some other day. Well, we all know that someday never comes.

Don’t put off what you know you need to do just because it’s not urgent, and you can always get to it someday. For most, someday will turn into years or never. I know people who told me they were going to get into blogging six years ago. I’m still waiting to see their blogs. The difference between a highly effective blogger and an ineffective one is the effective blogger knows blogging may not be urgent, but it’s important enough to get started and keep going.

Take Your Blog Seriously

Because a blog cost next to nothing to start, most bloggers don’t take it as seriously as they should. If you want your blog to advance beyond the hobby stage, you need to take it seriously and treat it like a real business. Don’t let 2012 be the year you’ll give blogging a “try” or make a half-hearted effort to start blogging again. Instead, make this year the year you take your blog to the next level because your blog is just as serious as a $100,000 “real” business.

I know many businesses that cost over $100K to start that makes nowhere close to what my blog makes. Yet, my blog was started for the cost of a $9.98 domain name. Very few normal businesses can be started for $9.98 and grow into a $500,000 operation in four years. But that is the power of blogging if you take it seriously and continue to work at it on a consistent basis. Treat your blog like you would treat a $100,000 business, and your entire blogging outlook will change.

The Biggest Obstacle Standing In Your Way

I get asked what’s the biggest obstacle standing in the way of blogging success a lot. The answer is not something most will want to hear.

It’s You.

When it all comes down to it, you are the only thing that is stopping you from achieving whatever it is your heart desires. Success is an attitude. It is not money, wealth or power. Take away the money of a successful person and he’ll have it all back and more in a few years. Give an unsuccessful person a million bucks and chances are he’ll lose it all in a few years. The difference is their attitude.

The unsuccessful person blames his misfortunes on outside factors – it’s the tax man’s fault, the economy sucks, Obama didn’t change a thing, prices are too high, my wife won’t let me, etc. He’ll blame everything else except the one thing that is truly keeping him down. The successful person doesn’t blame outside factors for failing. He accepts failure as a requirement for success and learns from it.

They say successful people think differently than unsuccessful people. That’s not entirely true. They don’t think differently, they think opposite. An unsuccessful person hates failure. A successful person welcomes failure. An unsuccessful person works hard for money. A successful person has money work hard for him. An unsuccessful person takes. A successful person gives. An unsuccessful person will let someone else write his paycheck and determine his net worth. A successful person writes his own paycheck and determines his own net worth. The list goes on, but the point is a successful person has an opposite attitude from an unsuccessful person.

If you want to be successful, the first thing you need to change is your attitude. If you have the attitude of an unsuccessful person, then no amount of reading, couching or training is going to make your successful. Once you change your attitude, things will open up for you.

At the end of the day, it’s not going to me or any other make money online blog that’s going to make you successful. You are the only one standing between where you are now and where you want to be. Stop blaming outside factors and start to take responsibility and change your attitude to that of a successful person. You are the problem, but you are also the solution. Success begins, and ends, with you. I look forward to reading your success story.

85 thoughts on “How To Make 2012 Your Best Blogging Year”

  1. Thanan says:

    Thanks for share, some knowledge I have learnt from my company.

    And now good for start and make some new idaes for our blog in 2012.

  2. Mohan says:

    I already started some of the above points and now my blog is getting some decent traffic.Hopefully this year i will drive more traffic from search engines.

    Thanks for the post,it will definitely motivate me.

  3. KennyFabre says:


    I love blogging, I aspire to be a professional blogger and any marketer that goes to my site all they see and get is pure value and love, and I’m staying faithful to my blog and sticking to it forever I love blogging, and I agree with you attitude is most important, The strongest man or women mentally will face all the obstacles, willing to wait and be patient for success, I’m doing exactly that now because Success is not for the weak, and its not for the faint of heart. Only the strong will stay successful

    Great article Inspiration and Empowerment

  4. huasang says:

    Great post and insights! Once again, thanks John…

    I started my blogging venture since May last year on free-time basis i.e. not a full-time blogger. Currently still on free-hosting blogs (Blogger). One of my priority in 2012 is to switch it to self-hosted/domain blog.

    I do have an issue and not sure you know the answer, my current free-hosting blogs already built-up some pagerank (2 and 3), I heard that I might lost my existing pagerank and the age of my blog if we were to switch it to our own domain. Is there a way to “transfer” the pagerank/age of my existing blog to the new domain?

    Thanks in advance for your help.


    1. John Chow says:

      @huasang If your current hosting will allow you to do a 301 redirect to your new domain, all built-up page rank will transfer. If not, then you’ll just have to set up a “We’ve moved to” page and hope the googlebot finds the new site. PR will eventually transfer, but much slower.

  5. Really solid advice is normally the simplest and most straightforward

    Ive always found your posts to be useful and any action proposed, easy to implement

  6. Hello John, ive been following you for sometime now and this post really does go that extra mile, as you always have in the past. Blogging is an art form in itself and most people expect to start a blog and make money within a few weeks, as we all know, this never happens. I totally agree on the list building aspect of your post, its one of the most important things to build a list, as you can make money from the same people, over and over again. Its much easier to sell something to an existing customer, than it is to find a new one. Thanks for this post, its very helpful.

  7. CikguAzleen says:

    I like this so much.. Although I am still struggling to write post on blog frequently..

  8. Thank you for a very inspiring post! My blog is just over a year old, but I didn’t get serious and write consistently until a few months ago. Since writing consistently with a few posts a day, my Alexa ranking has skyrocketed and my blog shows up on the first page of Google for whatever keywords I target consistently, thanks in part to info I’ve gleaned from your articles. Thanks again, John! I wish you continued success in 2012 and beyond!

  9. Thanks John, you are always going straight to the point.. I never need to ask any questions after reading your blog posts!!

    Continue like that 🙂

  10. ScrewLife says:

    Great post John, My blog which I am loving at the moment as a result of the fact that, I have always been a celebrity/entertainment blogger was not getting much of my attention. I was somehow swayed by how good the other blogs are doing to concentrate on them and not post consistently on ScrewLife…

    However, few months to the end of 2011, I gave it an eye and with this post pushing me even the more, I will continue to post on there consistently and kick start the list for 2012. Hope it grows this year…

    Thanks for the post!

  11. Blogspot_all says:

    Thanks so much. A lot of knowledge I study from your book.

  12. Hi John.. I am really inspired by your words and I have started 2 blogs… Paid hosting and domain… First I had no money as I am just 13 years old, then i started a free hosted blog and within 8 months, i earned just 45 Euros…then with the money i started 2 paid blogs… I hope 2012 will bring success to me… i started in 2010, Jan 03 and tomorrow will be it’s 1st year exactly… And the other blog i started in Dec 03, 2011… i am still designing the blog to make it look like mashable.. Thanks for sharing your tips… I guess i will be the youngest blogger like you.. That’s my aim…

  13. Thanks John For this great guide

    1. and also happy new year

  14. Great post John. A lot of useful information.

  15. Dysfunky says:

    Inspired! Happy New Year John! Thank you!

  16. wind says:

    John Chow, Happy new year and


  17. very very inspiring john… thanksssss . this is what i need in 2012

  18. Softster says:

    Good post John. A lot of useful information. John Chow, Happy new year and thanks.

  19. Why do you say not to use GoDaddy for hosting?

    1. cindybaucom says:

      GoDaddy’s only allows you one web site. Gatorhost allows you to have one hosting account and have many websites.

    2. adam nole says: also allows you have to as many websites as you want .

      1. Gentle Ben says:

        @adam nole I had to look back about GoDaddy. John did not say do not use GoDaddy for hosting. He said stay away from GoDaddy at all cost. I understand about hosting. I once read about someone who had 40 or 50 websites and decided that GoDaddy is not compatible with WordPress. I use GoDaddy for domain names. I had no problems. It is the only one I have ever used. Is there anything I should be aware about?

        1. c4m says:

          @Gentle [email protected] nole Domains are ok over at godaddy but the hosting is over-over-over-sold so your server is likely to be super slow and out of service often

  20. dariocavada says:

    Thank you for the post, it’s full of useful tips.

    First of all “willpower” !

    Happy new year and thanks!

  21. hypnodude says:

    Great post as usual. The last two points about having the correct attitude and considering blogging a business are imho the most important ones.

  22. say says:

    great post! I’m learning a lot and hoping that this year will be a great year for my blog!

  23. Hi John,

    Happy New Year to you as well from cold and grey Vancouver! This is an excellent post 😉

    It takes perseverance, commitment, and especially as you mention a goal to keep consistent. I’ve seen a few fine bloggers in my niche just give up before or after their first year and yet it takes just that long to get noticed. Now I’m making a part-time income from my blog, and it’s only going to increase. For example a Globe & Mail article mentioned my blog and another – that was an extra 3K visitors over the weekend. Had I given up, would I have had that opportunity? Perhaps another blog or two for 2012 is in the works?


    The Dividend Ninja

  24. fas says:

    Well said John, if you are reading John Chow on a regular basis, you know this post draws heavily from what John thinks.

  25. 465solutions says:

    good website here you can get for good guidelines for article writers and forex traders and more..

    or contact [email protected]

  26. Happy New Year John! Awesome tips for 2012!

  27. Mercer says:

    Thanks for keeping the content flowing and building the community John! I especially like the part about being consistent (that’s probably my biggest challenge). FYI… I left GoDaddy for Namecheap… in December… so far so good.

  28. I totally agree with you John Chow but to be honest step 1 is actually the most difficult with so many distractions occasionally coming into our ways. I personally struggle with posting regularly. Have a great 2012

  29. That was a pretty long post blog John Chow but it was very informative, I like it. Hope to see more juicy stuff as usuall in 2012. Cheers.

  30. ZZSteve says:

    Great post. Definitely going to implement these ideas starting today!

  31. SteveBorgman says:

    John, you have made some excellent points. Meeting with a business coach to fine tune a marketing plan for my blog was one of the best things

  32. SteveBorgman says:

    John, thanks for a beautifully comprehensive post. Developing my marketing plan has been key this year. As a result, I’m really excited to move forward. I love the quadrants from Steve Covey. It’s so easy to make ourselves “feel” busy by checking Twitter, Facebook, or email. But it takes discipline to work on the truly important tasks: creating products, joint partnerships, blog posts, guest posts. And if we can master this, we will be well on our way to blogging success.

  33. TheresaHHall says:


    This is your finest post yet! You must have been reading my mind.

    Happy New Year! Hugs to Sally!!


  34. Fitness Blog says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the inspiration. I plan on 2012 being a great year for my blog. My goal is to really work on marketing the blog with a good e-mail campaign and using social media.


    PS–Happy New Year

  35. Wilson says:

    Thanks John for the timely post.

    I am just about to begin my first serious online venture with my own products. And this post is just what i need for a round up of things to do.

    This year my greater focus would be the marketing & list building part.

    A very happy new year to you & everybody here

  36. Marcie_Hill says:

    I’m about to make that mailing list a HUGE priority and work the heck out of it. I’m on a mission to become a billion dollar blogger.

  37. shawal says:

    Very good post John…

    I’m very likely looking into this year of my blogging..

  38. This is another year in my blogging journey and earning a living online to financial freedom. I like to follow your worthy tips and stick to my goal and layout plan for 2012. I’m very thankful for these blogging lessons and insights of making money online I learned from you. Cheers for another prosperous year for

  39. Great post John! A great guide for beginners and I especially like the coupon code too.

  40. BobRoberto says:

    Hello John. All my domain are registered in Godaddy. LOL, what should I do? What do you recommend me to do? I read that bloggers should stay away from Godaddy as they support SOPA or very unprofessional service?

    1. John Chow says:

      @BobRoberto You can move them all to Name Cheap. It’s what all my IM friends did.

  41. BobRoberto says:

    This is a great insight John. I see my self as an unsuccessful person after a year of blogging. When I read this post, I realize I still have a lot of things to do in my and that’s true, attitude is missing and this could not be neglected. Attitude and hard work must go together to achieve the ultimate goal most especially in the blogging industry. Blogging is not all about making money online in a single day or year but it is a legacy that can be pass throughout generations.

    Thank you so much for this very enlightening article. More power John.

  42. Very good post John, and very inspirational. This is not only a post for blogging, but it is good advice for life in general. Thanks for the post.


  43. inFamousOne says:

    Great advice Mr. Chow. I especially like the part where you point out the main thing standing in the way of those who attempt to do anything, and that is that it is themselves and themselves alone. 😉 Keep it up buddy.

  44. RichBlogs says:

    Thanks for this John. As someone who is relatively new to blogging this will be a great resource. Hopefully I won’t need a similar refresher next year, and I’ll take on these lessons now.

    Here’s to a prosperous 2012!

  45. Aditya Fajar says:

    A very inspiring post. It certainly motivates me to become more productive with my blog. Thank you and greeting from Indonesia! 🙂

  46. Ben Thomas says:

    This post reminds me of the book – Rich Dad, Poor Dad –

    Poor Dad – “I work hard for my money”.

    Rich Dad – “My money works hard for me”

  47. Tweeter says:

    Nice work, heaps of golden nuggets ripe for the picking… Keep up the good work.

  48. “You” is, in most cases, not the “The Biggest Obstacle Standing In Your Way” but it’s our lack of experience from a business perspective.

    I have a blog that I created in 2006, I am a brand owner and still didn’t figure out a way to make it a profitable brand. I tried and tried and made some money but not enough to pay my bills or quit my, time, patient, energy consuming day job where I am not happy.

  49. “You” is, in most cases, not the “The Biggest Obstacle Standing In Your Way” but it’s our lack of experience from a business perspective.

    I have a blog that I created in 2006, I am a brand owner and still didn’t figure out a way to make it a profitable brand. I tried and tried and made some money but not enough to pay my bills or quit my, time, patient, energy consuming day job where I am not happy.

    So I read your blog, other business people blogs or websites, see their success and how they are living their success but there’s not much guidance from what you share.

    It’s not enough to say “build your mailing list, make it profitable”. We need more concrete measures and not something so abstract.

    Hope you consider my request and if anyone else feels the same need for guidance, please click like on this comment and share your thoughts.

    1. John Chow says:

      @Mario Andrade I do step by step guides all the time. I just posted one today.

      Search the blog and you’ll find tons of how to’s.

  50. hangimobilya says:

    Thanks for this inspiring post John.

    Keep up the good work…

  51. hangimobilya says:

    Thanks for this inspiring post John.

    Keep up the good work…

  52. Abhik says:


    All I’ll do is some consistence blogging this year.

  53. gentleben says:

    Mr. Ah Tim,

    My McAfee virus check goes bonkers at your site.

    Warning: Dangerous SiteWhoa!Are you sure you want to go there?… may be risky to visit.

    Why were you redirected to this page?

    When we visited this site, we found it exhibited one or more risky behaviors.

  54. Joe says:

    Awesome post John. I read your blog now and then and I can honestly say I am inspired. I will start my blog this week! I have a domain registered 6 months ago (“important but not urgent!”), I’ll get WP set up on there.

    I fear however, I will be another statistic 4 months down the line. Blogging about your passions and hobbies is one thing, but being able to blog daily about it is a mammoth task!

    I’m assuming the mailing list should be created once you have a fair sized audience? That is one thing I will be looking into soon!

  55. Oscarlevi99 says:

    Thanks for sharing man. Very interesting. Sounds like you have had a great year. I have to confess I’ve not had a nice year, but I wanna have great progress 2012 with you leadership, you do offer some very good advice here. All the best in 2012. Cheers.

  56. Amy Lee says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’m starting a new blog and my goal for 2012 is to gain 1000 subscribers. Yes, I have systems and strategies in place to achieve my goal. I know I can do it!

  57. Tu Michael says:

    U know, ur ebook “how to make money online” has inspired me to study IM and i m walking on its path. up to now, i’ve earned more than 500 USD online which i m very proud. i look forward to a big improvement this year. thank u again, john. please remember me, Tu Michael from Vietnam!

  58. Tu Michael says:

    ah, excuse me if i ask this.when i see in some hyperlinks, could u pls tell me what it is? what is it for? is it similar to

    1. John Chow says:

      @Tu Michael It’s my own custom short URL. You can create your own at

  59. BookLeverage says:

    Very inspiring post and quite motivating. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.

  60. Martin Kinyanjui says:

    Thanks for sharing, nice and very informative post!

  61. sammywhiskas says:

    Great post, I think you’ve covered everything here John. Thanks

  62. jhansonphd says:

    Aloha John, the domain name I want to use for my new blog is already registered with GoDaddy–why should I, “avoid it at all costs?” Thanks for all your great info.

    1. Tu Michael says:

      @jhansonphd i heard that they track customers’ domain search and buy before u purchase. but i m not sure abt it. hope that john chow will explain 🙁

  63. Krystina Corless says:

    Very informational. I read this after reading one similar and I’m glad you covered some topics he didn’t. Looking forward to this new world 🙂

  64. technoword says:

    That is true! I heard many times the only thing stopping me is me.

  65. U actually reminded me now I have to set up with Aweber 😉

  66. csajokamotoron says:

    It is really true. Sometimes I tend to forget the essence.

  67. Dess71 says:

    Oh! very informationsl. I tried blogging and as you mentioned start it and leave it and then again…I now know that I need be consistent. Thanks man.

  68. right about the difference between new years resolutions and goals. Dec 31st I alone ( by choice) and sat for 4 hours writing 2012 goals. I started with the year goals then a 6 month goal, then a January goal, and lastly a dialy goal. The daily goal became almost like a daily worksheet of activites to accomplish. Then January 1st roled aorund, I didn’t need to ask myself what I had to do today, I had a roadmap to success th focus on for each day. Now 16 days have gone by and I have met and exceeded my daily goals, I am more than 75% of my monthly goal and building stronger. So don’t make resolutions, MAKE GOALS.

  69. paylasim says:

    Thats great. All I’ll do is some consistence blogging this year.

  70. I already do some of those, but one big thing I would like to do is attend a conference in 2012, I only ever attended one and that was WordCamp Montreal back in 2010, but it wasn’t the right crowd for me, they were more interested in programming and such. I think I’ll try and get to BlogWorld NY this year.

  71. Tu Michael says:

    i heard that they track customers’ domain search and buy before u purchase. but i m not sure abt. maybe john chow will explain?

    1. gentleben says:

      I don’t see an issue with them tracking domain search. They do need to market. I asked the same question. John did not answer. Someone else did. Apparently, there is no issue with domain names. Their hosting sucks.

  72. All great tips @John Chow ! I especially agree that you need to blog on a consistent basis. It’s so important to keep your readers coming back for fresh information. The search engines love updated content also.

  73. All great tips johnchow . ! I especially agree that you need to blog on a consistent basis. It’s so important to keep your readers coming back for fresh information. The search engines love updated content also.

  74. Jim951 says:

    The World Is Changing All Around and it really is tough for lot’s of people. To make your goals and dreams come true you have To TAKE CONTROL of YOUR OWN FUTURE rather than relying on the government or anyone else to do so for you. This is what many people over look each and every day. It is only when you start to expect the best and accept the best that things will start to change for you.

    You see, ‘change’ is where life turns into what you actually seek, as opposed to ‘falling into a life by De-fault’. You are the one who controls this path. If you want something special, don’t spend YOUR LIFE LIVING SOMEONE ELSES LIFE ! Create your own.


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