Free eBook by John Chow - How I Went From Zero to Over $100,000 a Month

Make Money Online – May 2007

written by John Chow on June 1, 2007


This quest to make money online with a blog has been an amazing journey. What started off as a personal home page has turn into a five figure per month operation. I never intended the blog to ever make money. However, because one of the subjects I blog about is how to make money by blogging, I monetized John Chow dot Com as part of a case study to show what can be done if one pulls out off the stops.

Monetized back in September of 2006, the blog made just $352.94 using nothing but Google ads. In October, the blog income went to $1,361.64 because I added more revenue sources. The blog income continued to grow: $2,139.93 in November, $2,790.05 in December, $3,440.66 in January, $7,011.05 February and $8,545.25 march and a record $11,702.66 last month.

After eight months of non stop growth, I am happy to report that the blog has finally experienced its first decline in advertising income.

Total Blog Income For May 2007: $10,559.40

Why am I’m glad for the income drop? It’s simple. When you keep showing month after month of non stop growth, people have trouble relating to you (they think you’re Google, or something like that). Now, everyone can see that I’m just human. Here is the income break down.

  • Affiliate Sales: $2,485.74
  • ReviewMe: $2,000
  • Direct Ad Sales: $1,650.00
  • Text Link Ads: $1,521.07
  • Google AdSense: $1,246.50
  • Kontera: $1,000.00
  • FeedBurner: $300.53
  • Buy Me A Beer: $194.65
  • Subscription: $110.00
  • TTZ Media: $50.90
  • Grand Total: $10,559.40

Blog traffic was a record high 374,255 page views from 187,324 unique visitors. This finally beats the traffic level set back in the Digg infested month of October 2006. The blog is also experiencing record high RSS subscriptions (please subscribe if you haven’t done so).

Blog advertising expenses for the month was $522.14 for SiteMatch Google ads and $326.40 for normal Google ads. Hosting for John Chow dot Com is provided by BlueFur. The blog is hosted on a BlueFur Xlite dedicated server which cost $169.95 per month. Use coupon code JohnChowRocks for 15% off.

Looking at the revenue number, you can see most things went up but there was a huge drop in ReviewMe income – they are no longer my number one income source. I also experimented with a few other income sources in May. I added a Buy Me a Beer plugin for readers to send me beer money via PayPal. Surprisingly, it worked really well, raising almost $200 in nine days. What didn’t go over as well was the offer to remove nofollow in comments for $10 a month. Only 11 readers signed up for that. But that’s OK because you never know until you try. Making money by blogging is all about experimenting.

Make Money Online with John Chow dot Com E Book

Every time I post a monthly recap, I get a ton of email from people asking how I did it and how they can do it too. Most of these questions I have already answered in the blog. However, not many people want go through over 100 pages of blog posts to find the answers. To better serve readers wanting to make money by blogging, I have created an E book on the subject. Best of all, it cost zero dollars (and comes with a 1 million times money back guaranteed).

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Shawn Knight June 1, 2007 at 11:40 am

Congrats on the ongoing success of this case study. The Buy Me A Beer plugin is my favorite, as it takes a fun twist on the simple donation process. I’ve only netted two beers on my blog, but hey, thats a good start!

Cheers! June 1, 2007 at 3:32 pm

John, Shawn,

Other than TTZ and this blog, do you have any plans to launch any Internet Startups of your own?

A blog of this income level is very nice but how long can this last when most of your readers gradually fade away after they found out that making this level of money blogging is rather rare? I would be real interested about what other kind of venture you have an interest on.

Congrats for your great month though.


John Chow June 1, 2007 at 9:41 pm

I am doing other stuff but it’s offline and not online. June 2, 2007 at 1:53 am

Fair enough. Wish you the best :razz:

Blogging with Desi Baba June 3, 2007 at 3:43 am

John just keep at it, you’re doing great. I’m sure you have past the one million dollar mark in earnings by now.

Shawn Knight June 1, 2007 at 9:53 pm

I main source of online income comes from my computer hardware review site… similar to John and his tech site, The Tech Zone.

I have been running my site for six years and its going stronger than ever, so I don’t think it is necessary to look into other money making options at this point.

InvestorBlogger June 2, 2007 at 10:08 pm

I think John’s just being wise, he’s diversifying his income sources! Not a bad idea!

Andy Dang June 1, 2007 at 10:17 pm

I think making money advices are great, but when someone like john gets to be so popular, it doesn’t matter what he blogs about.

Britney Spears needed to learn how to sing, dance, and entertain people to get attention. When she became famous, it didn’t matter what she did. Everything and anything she did still got people’s attention.

Another thing, I think the reason why adsense clicks are going down is because feedburner is increasing. As more and more people are reading his articles else where, less of them are coming to the site to click on ads. Thats just my 2cents

Blogging with Desi Baba June 3, 2007 at 3:45 am

I agree with you Andy. I think the best the thing to do to increase ad profits is to not show the full articles on the syndication. But then again you can’t be too greedy otherwise you’ll loose readers.

Philomena Ojikutu June 2, 2007 at 4:45 pm


You wrote: ” … but how long can this last when most of your readers gradually fade away after they found out that making this level of money blogging is rather rare …”

We need to be diligent students of content and creativity. That is the secret of John’s prosperous blogging.

I disagree with your scary statement about fading readers and impossible blogging income. If content brought the readers, content would sustain and increase readership.

Don’t deify John, he is (human, just as he stated above), only among the pace-setters in the blogosphere.

He is not the first to climb to that elite 5-figure blogging income. More bloggers are rising and would climb towards that level.

Go back and study his income pattern of the last nine months, you would notice pluralism and diversity, as an effective weapon for breaking the mediocrity mould, (which you feared) in blogging.

InvestorBlogger June 2, 2007 at 10:02 pm

But that’s the point, John is showing us how to make some money! He never said every blog can make this much! I don’t think he even realized it could make this much himself! Personally, I think it’s the ‘how’ that’s much more interesting!

More ‘how’ John!

GA June 2, 2007 at 2:42 am

Personally I hate the ‘buy me a beer’ pluggin.

I think it’s really tacky.

John, I was wondering, do you think your ReviewMe income has gone down because you raised your price?

Also please could you show us a breakdown of where your traffic comes from internationally?

Thanks and best wishes,

Katana June 2, 2007 at 8:02 am

Most probably from the US but I would love to know those minute details.

InvestorBlogger June 2, 2007 at 10:03 pm

Check out Alexa for that info. It may not be accurate completely, but will certainly give you enough info.


Blogging with Desi Baba June 3, 2007 at 3:46 am

I think most of his traffic comes from USA and Canada.

website copywriter June 2, 2007 at 3:14 am

$194 for beer funds — not bad at all, John.

Law of Attraction June 2, 2007 at 12:48 pm

ya thats a great plugin and way more beer than you can drink :)

InvestorBlogger June 2, 2007 at 9:59 pm

It’s really a nice touch! Makes it feel donating is fun! That will reward the giver as well! It’s more fun to give ‘something’ than money!

InvestorBlogger June 1, 2007 at 11:41 am

I guess that your reviews are just a little TOO honest for some would-be purchasers! But that’s okay. Integrity matters more to your readers!

Thanks, Good luck in Taipei!

InvestorBlogger June 1, 2007 at 11:41 am

As an after thought, stripping out the reviewME reviews, you still did better!

InvestorBlogger June 1, 2007 at 11:43 am

I’ll be publishing my ‘less than spectacular’ results in the next few minutes! So don’t laugh guys! But I think I’m making a start!

Dog Information June 1, 2007 at 2:47 pm

Maybe he finally capped the number of review mes? We havent been seeing that many lately.

Erik ( June 2, 2007 at 7:24 am

Yeah I remember last month there were tons. This month I can’t remember past 3 or 4.

InvestorBlogger June 2, 2007 at 10:11 pm

His price for a review may be above what most websites starting out would bear. Also, he tends to give ‘real’ advice, not advertising schpeel, so some ‘advertisers’ may not like the tone he took, or what he said. Personally, I think that makes the review more valuable not less, as a critical review will help readers too.

Tim Spangler June 1, 2007 at 11:46 am

Nice stats, John. You did better than I expected given that I haven’t seen nearly as many paid reviews this month as last. Congrats!

HMTKSteve June 1, 2007 at 11:47 am

What happened to the TTZ Media ads? They have become your worst performing block!

John Chow June 1, 2007 at 11:50 am

The TTZ Media ads were not running last month. I had a few embedded into some blog posts, but that was it.

Make Money Blogging June 1, 2007 at 2:25 pm

You should mention that in your post, don’t want to give your company a bad name! :lol:

Don@AffiliateWatcher June 1, 2007 at 11:47 am

Man, I really hate to hear about the slow down in ad revenue. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we see you in the soup lines down at the Salvation Army :cry:

Seriously though, congrats on your successful blog.

Now if we only knew why Darren blocked you… :?:

:arrow: Don

Jim Fisher June 1, 2007 at 11:48 am

Any reason for the drop off in ReviewMe ads?

Also – you used to have people write some of them but that doesn’t seem to occur as much anymore.

John Chow June 1, 2007 at 11:52 am

It’s summer. Advertising is generally lower.

Steve's Tech Blog June 1, 2007 at 12:30 pm

But it was the first full month at $400/review. Maybe that hurt$$ you also.

Is the Google Adsense moslty clicks(x%) or you have CPM/referral(Firefox)?

Ankur June 1, 2007 at 12:31 pm

I dont understand why advertising is lower in summer. Maybe you could please tell me or it would make a great post.

John Chow June 1, 2007 at 4:20 pm

Kids are out of school, people play outside more, families goes on vacations.

Brendan June 1, 2007 at 12:40 pm

Was it reviewme that put a limit of 10 paid reviews a month? Seems that could be the reason. The numbers seem to add up.

$400 – 50% = 200
200 * 10 = 2000

HMTKSteve June 1, 2007 at 11:50 am

I broke $500 in revenue this month from blogging, I do not think it will hold steady.

Manthem June 1, 2007 at 12:05 pm

This is the first time I’ve ever heard any mention of your earnings with your blog. $500 a month is still pretty damn impressive.

HMTKSteve June 1, 2007 at 12:21 pm

I generaly prefer not to talk about my earnings because I don’t blog about making money ;)

This month a bunch of “we don’t pay until you pass $XXX” services all passed their cash thresholds.

Another $3500 and I’ll have the debts I need to pay off gone!

The real kicker is that I need to acquire a PSP for some video game reviews and I don’t want to spend $170 to buy one! Call me cheap but I don’t think a PSP is worth that much.

The reason I need one is that I am going to be getting some pre-release PSP games to review and talk about! So, I need a PSP!!!

Ankur June 1, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Borrowing can help! :wink:

Law of Attraction June 2, 2007 at 12:51 pm

i think you should go and buy it on credit…write a review and retun it the next day… :evil:

Ankur June 1, 2007 at 12:36 pm

Actually John does it every month. These are the feb earnings, and you can find others in ‘related posts’


Manthem June 1, 2007 at 12:48 pm

It was in response to HMTK Steve’s comment. I know John blogs it each month.

Ankur June 1, 2007 at 9:43 pm

Sorry. I need to read the comments properly from now :smile:

Everyday Weekender June 2, 2007 at 7:04 am

congrats man!..

Erik ( June 2, 2007 at 7:27 am

Yeah $10,000 isn’t a setback by any standards.

Casey June 1, 2007 at 12:05 pm

Still John, $10k is a lot, I would be laughing if I were you! Congrats!

You can see my earnings for this month (though not solely dependent on my blog, and significantly less than you of course).

Ankur June 1, 2007 at 12:42 pm

If you think 10k is a lots for John, you are forgetting something. THE TECH ZONE IS HIS MAIN SOURCE, AND AS PER SOURCES, ITS WAYYYYY MORE THAN JOHN CHOW DOT COM

Casey June 1, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Sorry, but I have no idea what you just meant or said.

Ankur June 1, 2007 at 9:44 pm

I meant John Cohow dot com is probably a very small source of income if you compare it to what John is getting from his review site TTZ

Casey June 2, 2007 at 7:25 am

Ah, yes. But still, I’m just saying $10k a month is not that bad at all for a blog. :wink:

Greg Butler June 1, 2007 at 12:19 pm

Congrats on your success and thanks for sharing your success and even the not so great successes with your readers. You make it an enjoyable learning experience.

blogginginvestor June 1, 2007 at 12:23 pm

Thought you were going to say something like “This blog has served its purpose. I won’t be updating it anymore and instead blah blah blah.”
Glad you’ll still be around. :grin:

Ankur June 1, 2007 at 12:45 pm

He’s pulled a similar stunt on April Fool’s day. And that was probably the first time JC DOT COM got 150+ comments

website copywriter June 2, 2007 at 3:17 am

The tone of this post got me thinking about that, too. Thank God he didn’t go that way, right LOL.

Ankur June 1, 2007 at 12:28 pm

Finally, Affilate Sales have taken over the first place from ReviewMe. Are you going to try PPP Direct?

HMTKSteve June 1, 2007 at 12:30 pm

I fooled around with PPP but all I ever see is $8 opps. All the “good” opps are looking for PR7+ and Alexa under 10K.

Ankur June 1, 2007 at 12:40 pm

I bet they will be more than happy to get a review from john (unless its from SEVEN DAY SYSTEM PEOPLE :mrgreen: ) And i meant PPP DIRECT

Marc June 1, 2007 at 7:17 pm

I don’t see John moving to PPP Direct anytime soon. He’s been doing very well with ReviewMe.

website copywriter June 2, 2007 at 3:19 am

I agree with Marc; from his posts I gather that John’s pretty happy with ReviewMe. He’s probably declining review requests left and right as it is.

Everyday Weekender June 2, 2007 at 7:05 am

I think John would do well regardless..

Pallab June 1, 2007 at 12:42 pm

How much traffic did you have when you first monetized your blog in September?

John Chow June 1, 2007 at 12:45 pm

You can click the September link in the blog post and find out.

Andy Dang June 1, 2007 at 10:00 pm

People think that you wil go through dozens of comments and answer every question there is. Though like me, I am too lazy to read through old posts.

Ades June 1, 2007 at 1:02 pm

I think the higher ReviewMe price affected the demand for the reviews. But still, great job! Keep it up John!

Kitarist June 1, 2007 at 1:14 pm

so you actually earn more than 1000 bucks with adsense just by runing this blog or what

John Chow June 1, 2007 at 4:23 pm

All income figures listed are for this blog only. I do no reveal my income from other sources.

InvestorBlogger June 2, 2007 at 10:17 pm

Sensible chap…

TheAnand June 1, 2007 at 1:17 pm

… will definitly hit some new highs more…and get more traffic and stuff…BUT…check the mail i sent you last time…for the review linkback…batch 18 or something…you will see what i mean :neutral:

Stephen Welton June 1, 2007 at 1:22 pm

John being YOU has been the best decision.

Too many fakers not enough shakers!

Will continue with loyal readership by the way regardless of Google or any other type of search results because you are on point (most of the time)

Stephen Welton

Steven June 1, 2007 at 1:35 pm

Keep up the good work John. I am sure the ReviewMes will go up again

Everton June 1, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Nice numbers John-do you have some kind of flat rate deal with Kontera?

Philomena Ojikutu June 2, 2007 at 5:04 pm

I wondered too. Same 1K as April and May. Maybe, it is a Kontera coincidence.

Make Money Blogging June 1, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Congrats on another 5-figure month, John!

Q at $1 Million to My Name June 1, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Not a bad month, sir

i business June 1, 2007 at 2:44 pm

can you share how to advertise with Adwords? Match Sites and Adwords ad.

Online business June 1, 2007 at 2:50 pm

Always downloaded your book and recommend other, because real issues and real answers.

Work From Home June 1, 2007 at 3:12 pm

John, you deserve every cent. I would assume that June will be a record month, especially for affiliate earnings, as a result of the eBook.

- Mike

Josh Buckley June 1, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Still some highly impressive figures :twisted:

Dy ( June 1, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Someone needs to make a music video of you with the I Wanna Be Like Mike song… but with you photoshopped into all the videos.

How To Buy Websites June 1, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Don’t sweat the drop. You are still crushing the online game. I had an increase in my revenues, but I need to quadruple them to compete with this site. :)

As far as the reviewme drop, I don’t see it as a big deal. You are getting fewer reviewme requests, which just means you don’t have to work as hard. You get more money per request and that will probably help you content to ad ratio.

rich June 1, 2007 at 4:05 pm

it would of been nice to see a section devoted to increasing your blogs visitors in the ebook, although certain parts i skimmed through touched the subject, i think that is one of the most important topics in monetizing a blog…no visitors = no chance to make money

and this maybe be dumb question, but what exactly is the code you use (if you can give it) that puts the “save to del icio stumble it!” etc after posts?

John Chow June 1, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Tips to increase traffic would be a nice series. I will make future posts about it. The digg, stumble stuff are from FeedBurner. It’s part of their feedfare.

rich June 1, 2007 at 6:18 pm

yeah i think it would be, its always been one of my biggest struggles (and many others), and i knew it had to some something easy to find like feedburner…thanks john!

Ankur June 2, 2007 at 10:38 am

How about a mention of your e-book in the sidebar john, that will give it more exposure to your fresh readers

Mubin June 1, 2007 at 4:09 pm

John for the love of god turn of the top commentator plug-in PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEAS!

Also any idea why the review me reviews fell down? I’ve seen 2-3 people ask and you avoid, are you saving it for a blog post???

You can check out my earnings as well people it was about 3k this month!

Philomena Ojikutu June 2, 2007 at 5:11 pm

Good for you Mubin,

you have maintained a 3K income for the last 3-4 months.

keep up the works and congrats.

Kevin June 1, 2007 at 5:23 pm

It may have dropped but 10 big ones is still an amazing income from just one of your websites.:)

Gdog June 1, 2007 at 6:08 pm

Jeez, another incredible month, even with the drop. Well done. That buy me a beer idea did a fantastic job in just 9 days!

Erik ( June 2, 2007 at 7:29 am

Yeah I was really surprised that that much money was actually ‘donated’. I thought he’d get a few beers, not $200.00+ :shock:

How To Buy Websites June 1, 2007 at 6:22 pm

I would like to see some posts evaluating how effective your advertising has been. I see you’ve spent over $600 on advertising. How much do you think that helps? Do you think your ROI is positive on that ad expense?

Wahlau.NET June 1, 2007 at 6:52 pm

wow, that is good money although you should make more compare to april cause this month have 31 days..hehe

Erik June 1, 2007 at 7:36 pm

I’m glad to see that you are in fact human John :shock: .

Amit June 1, 2007 at 8:02 pm

John! I’m surprised to see why your blog with such a huge traffic makes so much less money with adsense? I mean i know some blogs with less page views than your’s but still making 3-4 times income from adsense!

Work From Home June 1, 2007 at 8:23 pm

I think this has a lot to do with the page views coming from his loyal readership. We make him money through the affiliate stuff, not Adsense. The Google visitors are the ones who are (most likely) clicking on the Adsense stuff, and they don’t generate nearly as many pageviews as those of us making comments, contributing, reading everything, etc.

- Mike

Eric June 1, 2007 at 9:09 pm

I’m sure this is it. In fact since my blog is mostly family/friends/personal related, I have ads off for direct pageviews, the ads come on if make it in from google (other search engine).

I hacked up a plugin to do it, seems to work pretty well. I just realized I should probably post about all that stuff, since I’ve hacked up quite a few plugins like that.

Work From Home June 1, 2007 at 9:46 pm

I’d love to read about it. I look forward to the post. Subscribed!

- Mike

Eric June 1, 2007 at 9:14 pm

Couple of Questions:

For the buy me a beer plugin. Do you actually go out and buy a beer with it? Or do you take it to be more symbolic?

The way I see it, I’d rather buy someone for someone to enjoy (especially since you’re already rolling in the dough).

The other question being, is the revenue stated in CAD? I always assume it’s USD (being the fat headed ‘american’).

Jon June 1, 2007 at 9:28 pm

All I can say, in the immortal words of Bubbles of Trailer Park Boys, is “Holy f*)# boys, that’s a lot of cake!”

That said, you obviously have worked hard to earn all this.

If my own humble blog can be 1/100th as successful I’ll be happy.

mossiwo June 1, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Brilliant, just keep it real, we all will keep coming back

Philip Yong June 1, 2007 at 10:33 pm

hey, congrats to you! I really hope i’ll earn like you one day. I’ll take you as my mentor from now on! haha!

Jennifer June 2, 2007 at 12:00 am

Thanks for the ebook. It makes interesting reading and your earnings for the month are certainly something to aspire to.

Rammel Firdaus June 2, 2007 at 2:18 am

Hi John.
I’ve download your “Make Money Online” ebook.
It’s very useful and helpful. Especially the wordpress plugins. I’ve just install all the recommended plugins this morning.

P.S. How to become an affiliate for TTZ Media Network?

website copywriter June 2, 2007 at 3:24 am

Great job so far, John. This case study has truly become more than just a successful experiment, you should be so proud.

Manga n Anime Fan June 2, 2007 at 5:11 am

Hm.. I am now reading ur ebooks,,..
good idea for not sell that Ebooks coz u can promote ur blog…
I am interest on topic ENglish Is Not My First Language coz I’m not googd on written in English…
But I’ll try harder and will use ur method to improve my blog….
He he he..
Not complete read your ebook,..

Manga n Anime Fan June 2, 2007 at 5:16 am

Hm.. a i am now read ur ebook..
quite interesting..
I like ur topic especially topic English Is Not My First Language..I will use ur method to improve my blog skills.. ]

Everyday Weekender June 2, 2007 at 7:06 am

Awesome job man.. keep up the great work.. and as always, keep us posted!

Alex June 2, 2007 at 9:09 am

Donate money to the charity!

cakruk June 2, 2007 at 1:37 pm

This great. I want to make my blog like you. I have to download your books.
thanks. Cakruk

Blogging with Desi Baba June 2, 2007 at 5:20 pm

WOW! I hope more of us reach your online income level John. I think you did a great job diversifying your income source.

Make Money With Funds June 2, 2007 at 7:02 pm

It seems like TTZ does not bring a lot, or do I misiing something?

door2more June 2, 2007 at 10:31 pm

Its very difficult to see such a sharp growth in online income from $2K/month to $10K/month in 6 month. Many congrats to you and i hope you will be inspiration to many blogger

Adam June 2, 2007 at 11:55 pm

What did you mean by Subscription.You have earned $110 from them.It would be helpfull for the bloggers to know that.

David June 3, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Our blog is gaining momentum and this post is a TRUE inspiration.

Nathan Hutchinson June 3, 2007 at 11:36 pm

Well done John. I would still be proud if I was you :)

Uma June 4, 2007 at 8:37 am


Impressive figures to pep up people new on the blog world. Well , to personally acheive the $$$ is individual’s ability though.

Your e-book make a good read so I added it in my post.

3 links to help you draw money through internet business and blogs


David Jenkins June 4, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Depressed? That doesn’t really cover it.

I have been striving to make my living form the internet for several years now. I don’t have a Blog (as I have never seen one as a benefit to what I already do, never mind have the time to do one). I manage to scrape a living form my main web site and a couple of subsidiaries, in fact I have been plodding along thinking I am getting there and that in two or three years time I will be generating a modest income which will allow me to stop worrying where the next payment is coming from.

As part of my efforts to increase my income I have been featuring Kontera in-text advertising on my site but, instead of growing, my income has declined to a mere £50 ($100) a month since Autumn of last year. Going in search of an alternative I came across your Blog. Truly amazing but I couldn’t believe your earnings from Kontera compared to mine so I read all about what you have been doing. That’s when I got really depressed!

My web site is now seven years old and averages around 300,000 page views per month but I don’t earn a quarter of what you are now earning after only nine months.

I take my hat off to you and have now decided to redouble my efforts. As a first step I have downloaded your free eBook to see what pearls of wisdom I can apply to my own site.

If it works out I will be back to buy you a beer.

Wallace June 10, 2007 at 3:01 am

my adsense is about $100 per month,
when can i earn the same ($10000)with you. :???:

Ashwin Kandoi June 12, 2007 at 4:18 am

WOOOOOOW WHATS Thata alot of money in a months

Michael June 17, 2007 at 3:40 pm

The amazing ability to make $11,000 in one month from a blog, only John Chow