Make Money Online – The #1 Spot

Note: This post was guest blogged by me, Mitchell Harper of I’m filling in with a few posts while John’s out and about on his well deserved Canadian holiday ;)

John’s blog is #1 in Google for “make money online”, and everyone writes about John and links to his blog. In a way this is a self-reinforcing system that tells everyone is the number one blog for making money online. When you’re number one in search, in the top 100 in Technorati, have thousands of link backs and are mentioned and quoted everyone online, people can’t help but be intrigued and visit your site.

I’m sure you’ve seen ads that say “We’re number 1 in [product/service]”. The reason companies spend millions of dollars self-reinforcing their dominance in a particular market is because they know it works. They are playing for top of mind awareness and want to be the first company you/I think about when we need a product they sell.

Becoming #1 in a particular industry isn’t necessarily hard. We’ve done it with PHP software and John’s done it with his blog. Richard Branson of Virgin’s philosophy is simple and it’s something I agree with: to become #1 in any market you look at whose currently #1 and you find something they’re doing wrong and you beat them at it. He’s taken this approach countless times with music, international travel, mobile phones and credit cards, and 9 times out of 10 he will take the #1 spot he was going for.

When you’re #1 in a particular industry you have to work hard to stay there because there’s always going to be someone nipping at your heals. Online it’s especially hard because besides intellectual property most things can easily be replicated with money and outsourcing, so how do you do it? You grow a community around your products/services and offer them the tools they need to keep them loyal to you, so that when a competitors comes along they don’t think twice about sticking with you.

If you sell software you give them whitepapers, blogs, discounted licenses, free support, etc. If you run a blog you turn it into a community and focus on the needs of your readers instead of spending all of your time trying to optimize your ads. If you sell tangible products online you make sure you have fantastic customer service and go out of your way to make sure each and every order is delivered on time.

To become #1 you have to take out the current leader. You do this by looking at what they offer and breaking those offerings down. You then look at ways you can offer the same thing but at a higher quality or for a lower cost. It’s a continual process that evolves over time, but if you’re persistent then it’s not hard to take the #1 spot from any of your competitors, regardless of how big they are or how much money they have behind them.

71 thoughts on “Make Money Online – The #1 Spot”

  1. Hehehe…nice rambling. So, he takes out Bidvertiser huh? Hmn…I guess the Bidz affiliates are getting lazy =P.

    BTW–John, wait for me, I’ll join you for the first page soon…:). Hey, you can hog the number one all you want, I’m fine with #2 or #3 :mrgreen: .

    1. Matt Huggins says:

      BidVertiser is still #1 for me…

      1. Gath says:

        Guess it will take a while to sift through all the datacenters (I’ve still got bidvertiser #1 as well).

        1. Dave says:

          Yeah, it’ll probably correct it self in a few hours

  2. Mint-Tree says:

    Hey John, don’t know if my message went through or not, but could you do us 1st time commentators a favor and have a notice that “Your Comment is Being Moderated.”

    BTW–how did you get the hyperlink to have dotted underline? I try it in my css file but it produce underline :???:. Anyway, congrat on beating the beaver :mrgreen:.

    1. dk says:

      I asked John similar question (regarding him moderating the comments before they appear) and he advised me that once my first comment is approved the following ones will appear immediatelly after posting.

      And the dashed underline I think is done by setting your a tag property this way
      border-bottom:#999 1px dashed;


      1. Dave says:

        Sometimes comments are still put in the moderating queue, at least some of mine. I’ve just come to accept it! 🙂

        If the comment doesn’t pop up right away, don’t repost it…it’s just in the mod queue and will be approved later

  3. Ed Lau says:

    Mitch, you forgot to put in the Adsense box. 🙂

    1. Dave says:

      Looks like he fixed it! 🙂

  4. Eli says:

    #2 for me, that’s not including the sponsored links.

  5. mickno says:

    John is number one. Good stuff.
    Who else out there is making decent money from blogging. I bet no one who reads this blog as it is aimed at wannabe John Chow’s. Thats right the target audience is just that and John Chow has captalised on these people trying to “make money online”.

      1. mickno says:

        Yes you do. However i said blogging.
        What sites do you run atm anyways mitch?

    1. Ditto, Mitch…some of us are just here to spread some love, pick up a few things here and there, and take to heart whatever the sagaciously evil John has to say. 😈

  6. uncle sha says:

    Nice one Mitch. Yeah i think when you put your goal onto something, try to aspire to be the best that you can. 🙂

    As George Bernard Shaw finely put it “The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man”

  7. you make it sound so easy… 😉

    1. Dave says:

      It’s definately not easy. Not by a long shot!

      Hardwork and dedication are required in any business 🙂

  8. I think everyone aspires to be #1 whether they know it or not; it’s human nature. If anything, it’s good to surround yourself with people who can somehow contribute to your success.

    1. uncle sha says:

      True for those who has not been #1, you’ve something to aim, but i was thinking if you’ve reached the #1 spot, what else is there to pursue next? … John?

      1. Matt Jones says:

        The number 1 spot for yet another keyword phrase, im thinking, ‘blogging for money’

  9. Miriguy says:

    wow. congrats! Watch out for all those who are gonna try hard getting back their position 😆

  10. My problem is I have no idea what keyword I should target to become number 1 in! 😛 Yeah, like that’s my only problem!

    1. Gath says:

      You do pretty well for “swollen pickles” :mrgreen:

    2. Marc says:

      Don’t focus on one money phrase until you get a heap of long tail stuff to work from. Then you can see what you’re ranking well for overall and hone in some more to find the money phrases within your segment.

      1. Dave says:

        Sound advice!

        1. 😆 I agree. You have to blog about what interests you. I’ll be writing about new finds in archaeology and anthropology, music, architecture, emerging musicians and fine-artists, rare languages, cognition, genius, travel (Italy in June 2007), health, photography, cooking, the best new healthy and organic foods, organic gardening tips, and many other subjects, not just about how I made 1 million dollars in one year of blogging.


  11. Kenric says:

    :mrgreen: Hmmm, is it better to be #1 in one thing or #3 in a 3 things?

    1. Dave says:

      I bet John has a lot of #1 rankings, Make Money Online is just the highest trafficked one 🙂

  12. Shaun Carter says:

    I’m still showing Bidvertiser at #1. Either way #1 or #2 it’s a great asset to have.

    1. Yeah, same here — I also tried “making money online,” but John Chow dot com is still in 2nd. Although it really is awesome to be #1, 2nd or even 3rd isn’t so bad. Just keep doing what you do, John, and it will come. 🙂

  13. Ivan Pope says:

    You say “Richard Branson [has] taken this approach countless times with music, international travel, mobile phones and credit cards, and 9 times out of 10 he will take the #1 spot he was going for.”, but it’s just not true. Tell me one market that a Branson Virgin brand is #1 in? Not airline traffic (maybe in a very small trans-atlantic upmarket niche), not online, not music, not cola, not vodka. He’s a master publicist, that’s for sure, and a good businessman – but generally he’s good at leveraging the market positions of others, not in gaining the top slot – though people often assume he has. That said – he may well have the #1 slot in space tourism – but there isn’t a lot of competition so far!
    I think the lesson here is you don’t have to be #1 to be successful.

  14. Congrats John…that’s a tough keyword phrase to get ranked so high on.

    So Yahoo’s keyword tool says there’s roughly 44,857 searches for “make money online” a month.

    My question is how many referrers are you getting for that keyword phrase? Or if you rather, what percentage of traffic to your site is being generated?

    Hopefully you’re getting a large chunk now that you’re top 3.

  15. Matthew says:

    Great post Mitch! You mentioned some interesting points.

  16. Sampath says:

    Congrats John. First I saw your ad on Steve Pavlina’s blog. Then I saw your name appearing on Agloco. SO I figured you are worth vising. You’re cool man!

  17. Simonne says:

    Actually I see he is number 3, after bidvertiser and problogger.

  18. thesilly1 says:

    Great post. And well combined with your other article!

    John great to see you as number 1. When I first visited you were number 2. I always thought to myself, “who is this number 2 fool?” 🙄

    Now I have mad respect. 😆

  19. Mike Panic says:

    #2 for me as well, not including ads.

  20. thesilly1 says:

    “make money” he’s like 8th….

    “make money online” — #1

    “money online” — #1

    That’s gotta get him thousands of clicks….

    1. Matt Jones says:

      Yeah! .. the rich get richer…

  21. From what people have been saying in here, looks like John’s ranking on Google varies. 1, 2, 3 — all awesome spots anyway.

    1. Marc says:

      I’ve got him at #1 on a .ca

      It’s like you say though, it’s either propagating through the rest of the data centres or he’s just ranking differently in different regions.

  22. Dave says:

    For once, I have to disagree with you here Mitch. If you compare the make money online tips with all the review me’s and pictures of fine dining / other things, you’ll find he doesn’t really have that many posts on making money online (comparatively)

    The reason John is so popular, is because of his success. People are interested in what he has to say, because he’s become an Internet celebrity. There is also the matter of the top commentator spots.

    I wouldn’t say John is giving the community what it wants, I bet if you polled the reader base, most would ask for more posts on making money online.

    1. I agree. There is more content about dining than anything.

      1. Joshua says:

        And how does he afford to do all the dining?

        1. James says:

          He makes money online.

        2. AND some people actually think they are not worthy to take John’s money, since he’s a dot com mogul and all. 😎

    2. Great site. There are all kinds of sites for making money online and so far this is the one I have returned to the most for an understanding of what it takes to succeed. Using John’s tips, I doubled my number of unique visitors overnight.
      Thank You.


    3. More posts on making money would be great.
      😆 🙂 😀 😆
      But I love it all. Who else out there is doing what John’s doing? Anyone know of anyone close, in style, content, and success?

      1. Dave says:

        There are bigger blogs out there.

  23. On which Google data centre are you #1 for php software?

    According to my local data centre you are in the 60s.

    1. Brian: I meant we are #1 in general for web-based PHP software, not that we are number one on Google for the term “PHP software”. We are on the front page of Google for all terms that relate to our software such as email marketing, content management system, article software, knowledge base software, etc. Sorry for the confusion.

  24. I see him as #2, bidvertiser is higher. Some Squido lense is #3 i think? Problogger is 4th. I however am number 1203930292093. 😆

  25. That’s why I asked which data center.

  26. Amanda says:

    Its hard to beat it some times what makes it easier is when you have money and can buy fancy things to talk about like on my geek website. but then again to circumvent it i’m renting a few things and testing them out ha!

  27. Derrich says:

    Congrats to John.

    I’m #1 for:
    and Bloggers Tournament


  28. I am number one for my name…

    Kind of interesting actually. I got the domain a few weeks back and already I`m ranked number one…I have nothing but a placeholder graphic and a few words…is that weird ❓

  29. Simonne says:

    Actually it doesn’t matter how many posts you have on a topic. You can have one single post and yet be number one, if you optimize it well and if you get a big bunch of links with the desired text in anchor.

  30. yup your not number one yet john

  31. More proof that John Chow knows what he’s talking about. Congrats!

  32. Great site John. I’m learning all I can and making it simple at Blogger-Rising.BlogSpot.Com. 😯

  33. Simonne says:

    John, now you have to conquer Yahoo and MSN. Did you check your ranking with these two? 👿

    1. Matt Jones says:

      Good point, he seems to have missed out on those…

  34. does john moderate comments?

    1. Dave says:

      He does, but comment moderation is lax at best 😛

  35. Simonne says:

    Why do you ask that, Best CD Rates?

  36. JasonJ says:

    Congrats — I’d like to think my 8 entries helped out. But I haven’t seen any of my links on your site yet? What gives?

  37. Russ says:

    Heyy, i still have bidvertiser as #1 if you can beat them your defiently evil! lol

  38. Market Matador is #1 for search!

    But damn… nice catch John. “Make money online” is probably a pretty popular search term.

    -Sam from

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