If you want to be a great basketball player, it would be ideal if you could learn from Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson. By the same accord, if you want to know how to make money online, it would be ideal if you could learn from some of the best Internet entrepreneurs and marketers. That’s probably why you’re here reading John Chow dot Com.
Another self-proclaimed money-making guru is some guy named Paul Barlow. He shares his expertise over at Paul’s Money Making Schemes, the blog that serves as the subject of today’s review. Should you be paying attention to what Paul has to say? Let’s find out.
What is TheMakeMoneyOnline?
Paul’s Money Making Schemes is located at TheMakeMoneyOnline.net and it is a blog that is focused on all aspects of how to make money online. That much makes sense, but the domain doesn’t really make any real grammatical sense. What the heck is the make money online?
On this site, you’ll find a variety of content related to how you can make money with and without a website. Paul describes his experience with different advertising networks, describes his preferred search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, and so on.
Some of the posts that caught my eye include the following:
- Why Entrecard’s Paid Advertising System Confuses Me
- Fixing Unranked Pages
- Don’t Use Domains By Proxy
- Is It Worth Selling Links With Text-Link-Ads?
You can tell that Paul takes a very casual approach to this blog, as evidenced by some posts that some people may find distasteful in scope. This could be Paul’s attempt at being unique, but he could be turning away some readers as a result too.
Additional Features and Resources
In addition to the blog posts, which are published almost every day, Paul also offers a series of MMO-related resources. You can check out his preferred ad networks, for instance, as well as over 1200 link directories that accept free submissions.
Branding is Key, But…
The overall layout for Paul’s Money Making Schemes is pretty standard, offering basic navigational links at the top and tossing a series of 125 ad boxes in the sidebar. It’s good to the RSS feed featured prominently near the top. It’s also good to see that Paul included a photo of himself, so we can put a face to his name.
That’s all well and good, but perhaps the biggest issue with this blog is that it looks like every other blog out there. There’s no attempt at differentiating this blog from the pack, no attempt at personal branding. Paul did not invest in a unique blog design, a unique header image, or anything of that sort.
Part of the reason why folks like Darren Rowse and Shoemoney are so well-known and respected is because they have done a wonderful job at branding themselves. Paul Barlow has not done this.
The lack of branding also permeates his Twitter account. He has an avatar, but he has not uploaded a custom background image. Without reading much more into it, there’s no way that a casual passer-by would know that Paul is supposed to be some sort of MMO guru.
This is easily my biggest suggestion to Paul. Develop your brand and promote it. By Paul’s own admission, TheMakeMoneyOnline.net is “just your normal MMO blog.” If you see yourself as normal, how can you expect anyone else to think otherwise?
Unlocking the Money Shot
When you sign up for the free John Chow dot Com newsletter, you are provided with a free copy of John’s e-book. Paul has taken a similar approach, telling how he makes $100+ a day with AdSense. In order to access that report, you need to sign up for his email updates. Aside from that, it’s completely free.
In the password-protected post, you learn that Google Trends is part of the secret. He also explains, step by step, how he was able to make $132 from AdSense alone. Paul discusses content, monetization, traffic, optimization, and so forth.
Just Another MMO Blog
At this point, it’s really hard for me to recommend Paul Barlow over the numerous other so-called MMO experts on the Internet. Feel free to add his feed to your preferred RSS aggregator and gauge for yourself whether his content is worthwhile.
Just don’t be surprised if you glaze past his content without even noticing it.