Living The Dot Com Lifestyle – Rule 5

This is part four of my Living The Dot Com lifestyle series. It’s based on a presentation I gave at Third Tuesday Vancouver call how to run a million dollar business on two hours per day. Previous posts: Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4.

Automate, Delegate, Eliminate

Many business owners take the “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself” attitude. I used to be like that. But then I discovered that isn’t owning a business. That’s owning a job. That’s the business owning you. Your business is supposed to free you, not imprison you. There is no way you’ll ever live the Dot Com Lifestyle if you have to babysit your business. This is where automation, delegation and elimination comes in. You want to automate as much of your business as possible. The ideal is to have it run itself without you having to be there. When you achieve that, you’re on your way.

Because it requires constant updating, a blog is a bit harder to automate than an affiliate site or sending traffic to a landing page. This is why I recommend new bloggers to pick a topic they’re interested in. From a profitability standpoint, blogging is the least profitable thing I do because it takes the most time. This is time I don’t mind spending because I love blogging so much – it’s not a job, it’s a hobby. The hobby only includes writing the blog posts. Almost everything else is automated, delegated or eliminated. Here are some examples on how this is achieved.

The Email Auto Responder

Email is one of the best way to build up a relationship with your readers. This is where a service like Aweber comes in. Aweber allows you to automate your email sign up and delivery system. The importance of email cannot be underestimated. My biggest mistake when starting this blog was not capturing the emails from the beginning. Had I done that, my list would be three or four times the size it is now and the blog would be pushing $100,000 a month instead of only $40,000.

If your blog doesn’t have a way to capture the emails of your readers, then you need to set up a system now. Many new bloggers complain that Aweber cost money but they’re not seeing the big picture because they’re being penny wised and pound foolish. Believe me, not having an email list is costing you far more than the small fee Aweber charges. And once this is set up, it’s fully automate so there’s no more time input on your part.

Paid Writers and Guest Bloggers

I sub out all ReviewMe reviews to Michael Kwan. The blog also welcome guest posts from other bloggers. This saves me time from having to write the posts myself. Many of the really big blogs like Engadget have an entire team of paid bloggers updating it. The owners doesn’t post anything. Because this blog has my name on it, I’m not in a position to do that. But that’s OK since this blog is what I do for fun. However, should there ever come a day when I consider blogging a job, I will remove myself from it.

Automated Ad Sales

Thanks to programs like OIO Publisher Direct, I am able to automate my ad sales and eliminated a dedicated sales person. I don’t go out to find the advertisers. I let them come to me. If an advertiser ask about my rate, I just refer them to my advertising page. They can view all my ad options and prices there. They can also order the ad there as well.

The other way to automate ad sales is with PayPal subscription. Instead of you chasing the advertiser to ask them to renew, sign them up with PayPal subscription and PayPal will take money out of their account every month until either you or the advertiser cancels it.

Delegate The Stuff That You Can’t Do

I am not a designer and I can’t code worth a damn. You should never let “I can’t do this” stop you. Find people who have the skill sets you’re looking for and delegate the work to them. Unique Blog Design handles the design work for this blog. Matt Freedman did the coding for Twitter Follower.

How do you find these people? This is where networking comes in and it’s the reason I love attending networking events. The next person you meet just might make you a million bucks. That is, if you apply Rule #4.

The Dot Com Lifestyle means having both time and money. Automating, delegating and eliminating helps you achieve that. Remove yourself from the process by automating as much as possible. For those things that can’t automated, then either delegate it to someone else or eliminate it completely.

47 thoughts on “Living The Dot Com Lifestyle – Rule 5”

  1. Thanks John!

    Never really thought about outsourching but I will look into that.

    Link Building Services’s last blog post: Link Building Services

  2. Desmond Ong says:

    I used to pay someone to write my paid reviews too. LOL.

    It was easier and less time consuming.

    Desmond Ong’s last blog post: Affiliate Marketers Are Going to Punch Me in the Face

    1. Ben Pei says:

      Lol Desmond. I didn’t think of that. and how much do you leverage at the end?

      1. what were your margins after paying others to write for you???

        [email protected]’s last blog post: Simplified Sunday #21 – Learning to Let Go and Cutting Losses

  3. One of my uncle owns a business, his always a stubborn person, his already reaching 60 years old and he is still going down to work place and supervise the workers and sometime do the work himself.
    Ya I work there, I told him to stop all his work and concentrate on other business while hiring someone to run his business, and he always tell me my way of thinking is stupid, and he always tell me his busy all the time, he doesn’t want to hear from anyone saying about what he should do, he always say he know more business knowledge then me.
    I mean, his just in his 90s thinking, I wonder how can I convince him to listen to me, since my father is also a share holder of the business…
    Reading what you write I feel my uncle is more stupid living in his own world…

    The Bad Blogger’s last blog post: How To Increase Your Readership By Changing One Simple Thing On Your Blog And Change It Without Touching Your Headline, Your Blog Theme And Even Your Content !

  4. Hning says:

    The next person you meet just might you a million bucks. Might me what in a million bucks?

  5. Cam Birch says:

    Great advice. That is exactly what I am working towards, an income that is dependant upon others, instead of myself. It is a slow but worthwile journey.

    Cam Birch’s last blog post: Everyone Else Is Bankrupt, Join In

  6. Caden Grant says:

    Good post. I’m signing up for Aweber and setting my mailing list soon. Looking forward to it 🙂

    Caden Grant’s last blog post: WordPress Plugins To Increase Your RSS Subscribers

  7. aansa says:

    One man cannot do all the required work for a successful business. So it is good to have some good team and automating tools.

    aansa’s last blog post: Futuric Kitchens

  8. Ben Pei says:

    Yeah John. I came to realise outsourcing your work actually brings you faster income and saves you so much of your time.

    Outsourcing you work is definitely not a waste of money and dang worth investing!

  9. Icancode says:

    I can code circles around my competition but i’m never satisfied and am constantly revising custom features on my sites. I’m able to increase results with what I do BUT I don’t enjoy writing product/service reviews or news .

    I’d much prefer creating an entire website from scratch with some new ideas than actually writing an article. Actually i’m over here on your blog writing because I don’t want to be on mine writing.

    Can you outsource 100% of the article writing and be successful? 🙂

    1. John Chow says:

      Of course you can. Look at Engadget. They hire all their writers.

    2. Ben Pei says:

      Well you gotta work around your budget I guess..

      Ben Pei’s last blog post: Ben Pei Visits Japan

  10. Michael Kwan says:

    Both Matt and I are grateful for your outsourcing. 🙂

    Michael Kwan’s last blog post: Stay Puft Marshmallow Man at E3 Expo 2009

    1. Ben Pei says:

      Lol and that meant extra income for you ?

      Ben Pei’s last blog post: Video Interview With KidBlogger Carl Ocab

    2. I can only imagine. Working for John Chow must be a real gem.

      TYCP Entertainment Magazine’s last blog post: Courtney Van Dusen Interview

  11. Curtis says:

    Right on…do what you love and pay people to do the rest!

  12. You have to find someone to write for you because that’s one of the most time consuming things affiliate marketers do.

    Gold Coins Blog’s last blog post: 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coins For Sale

  13. I’ve been thinking about aweber. I notice a lot o fthe blog “players” use the service.’s last blog post: Viral marketing series – Part 1, Definition and Discussion

  14. Greg Ellison says:

    I like aweber also and you are right I should have bought aweber subscription sooner. The next thing that I want to do is buy OIO publisher. Thanks Greg Ellison

    Greg Ellison’s last blog post: People are looking for David Carradine’s hanging photo

    1. Definitely get OIO Publisher. It’s only $37 and it completely automates selling ads on your blog.

      Gold Coins Blog’s last blog post: 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coins For Sale

    2. Ben Pei says:

      Yeah they don’t cost much actually… Cheaper than hiring a secretary!

      Ben Pei’s last blog post: Ben Pei Visits Japan

    3. Yes, get OIOPublisher ASAP. Even if you don’t have any advertisers yet, you can fill the spots with other ads.

      TYCP Entertainment Magazine’s last blog post: Courtney Van Dusen Interview

  15. EarningStep says:

    but john , for beginner blogger like me , am i need to paid any writer ?

    EarningStep’s last blog post: Video | Tips to make money with PayPerPost part one

    1. Ben Pei says:

      well.. I know you’re asking john but I wish to give you my opinion.

      I don’t think you pay for writing at this moment. You could probably ask for guest post or do some post exchange.

      At the later stage when you monetize and leverage better, you can consider that option.

      Ben Pei’s last blog post: Video Interview With KidBlogger Carl Ocab

    2. John Chow says:

      If you enjoy blogging, I would say do the blog post yourself.

  16. Delegate! I.m all about that.

    Also, I think you need to stop perfecting at some point. We used to say in the auto industry “it’s time to shoot the engineers and launch!”

    Not John Chow’s last blog post: A New Way to Use EntreCard to Drive Traffic to your Web Site!!!!!!!! The Exaggerator – EntreCard Advertiser on Not John Chow dot com

  17. game-girl says:

    I like the idea of doing yourself things you can do the best and what brings you joy and let the others participate in your life somehow.

    game-girl’s last blog post: Призраки в Коннектикуте скачать фильм онлайн

  18. Zemalf says:

    I do way too much myself, although I like to dive into wordpress theme templates and code, but sometimes I’d be better off doing something else.

    I think time is equally important to money with this lifestyle, so it’s great that you brought that up in these posts.

    Zemalf’s last blog post: Top 10 Bloggers to Follow on Twitter

    1. I also do my own coding, but I balance things so that I don’t end up drained out.

      TYCP Entertainment Magazine’s last blog post: Courtney Van Dusen Interview

  19. sterndal says:


    would you recommend OIO publisher to new blogs

    i still don’t have much traffic

    maybe i should wait


    sterndal’s last blog post: Unforgettable Mariam

    1. John Chow says:

      Yes. The nice thing about OIO Publisher is it can be used to served default ads like AdSense or house ads until you land a paying advertising.

  20. Great article, John. I always try to find the most skilled people to help me with the business. And I’m lucky to have good friend that can help me

  21. Joe says:

    Well you gotta work around your budget I guess..

  22. Farai says:

    Great post John. I will consider aweber today. But one thing, when you are starting off, i dont think it is wise to out source especially when you are not getting any income from the blog. As your readership grows, i think it will be prudent to outsource.

    1. John Chow says:

      True enough. The key is to set up you business from the beginning so you can eventually outsource everything. Most don’t do it this way. Then they find out they’re stuck 24/7 to what they created.

  23. I agree about the list. I’ve had one since the start of my mag 10 years ago. I was using ListBot at first & managed to get 600 subscribers in my first month.

    I also agree about OIOPublisher. For all that it can do, I have to say that the price is a steal. I bought it the first time you mentioned it.

    TYCP Entertainment Magazine’s last blog post: Courtney Van Dusen Interview

  24. doug says:

    I started out with my own product, only sold a few. I branched out into affiliate marketing, and I’m doing a bit better there. However I wonder if it would also benefit me to try harder to get traffic to my blog? Like you say, blogging is what takes the longest and is hard if you don’t really enjoy writing every day…


    1. John Chow says:

      Why not do both? When I do a mail out, it’s also promotes my blog as well as the product I’m trying to push.

  25. Melody says:

    Ah, this sounds like the first time in a while that you’ve mentioned how much you’re making a month lately..

    I wonder how much you can relate the amount of money you make each month to the amount of subscribers you have..

    I have a huge problem of wanting to do everything myself…definitely need an intervention..

    Melody’s last blog post: Preview To My New T-shirt Design Line

  26. ben says:

    i can agree to most of the comments. but must say that i dont promote my blog in anyway, just doing natural seo 😉

  27. Mihai Bojin says:

    Hey John,

    Just wanted to let you know your advertising link in the post’s content is whacked: it should be instead of (or so I think!)

    Good luck in all your endeavors !

  28. Good post took your advice from your ebook on some freelancers… will see how that goes..

    Online Marketing’s last blog post: John Chow’s Free Ebook – Worth The Price Tag?

  29. China Blog says:

    Did You just hire a person from getafreelancer to rewrite the 4 hour work week for your blog? Would fit this let others work recommendation.

    China Blog’s last blog post: Green dam censoring software threatens Internet users

  30. Tyson says:

    I like the Twitter Follower, it took a long time for me to get a following at first. A lot of follow/unfollowing when I first signed up. thanks

    Tyson’s last blog post: Press Release

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