Making Money With A Blog – October Recap

Record Breaking Traffic

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The blog enjoyed record high traffic for October, receiving 229,144 visitors and 360,967 page views according to Google Analytics. When you consider that just two short months ago, the blog was doing only 12,000 page views, the numbers look ever more amazing. The blog now does in a day what it uses to do in a month.

Here are the top 10 most viewed pages for October:

The most viewed page of all times is the post about the Google Whores – to date, it has been read 123,265 times.

Blog Income

My goal for October was to hit $1,000 in blog income. I am happy to report I exceed that goal by nearly 40%. Google AdSense brought in $740.01 and Vibrant Media IntelliTXT added 621.63 to bring total blog income to $1,361.64, or $22.70 per blog post. That’s not a bad rate considering some of the posts (like this one) took too me about two minutes to do. Taking the blog income and dividing by the monthly page views results in a site wide eCPM of $3.77. This is not bad but it can be a lot better. By comparison the eCPM at The TechZone is nearly five times higher. I expect eCPM to improve as the blog’s search engine traffic increases.

There are three ways to increase blog income; increase traffic, increase eCPM, or increase both. While it doesn’t seem like it – given the blog’s traffic growth – it is easier to increase site eCPM than it is to increase traffic. Yes, in the building stages your traffic will increase tremendously. However, you will soon slow down and plateau. When that happens, the best way to increase income is by increasing the site wide eCPM. Doubling eCPM has the same effect as doubling site traffic.

Increasing eCPM isn’t that hard. Sometime a simple change in the Google ad can yield big increases. For November, I am adding premium sponsorship and text link sponsorship to the revenue mix. So far, I’ve sold two links. I’m offering a total of 10 links at $150 each. Once sold, these links will bring in up to $1,500 every month. If I find a buyer for the sponsorship unit then total private ad sales will bring in $2,000 per month. Add the $1,400 from Google and Vibrant and we’re up to $3,400 – almost full time income.

Whether or not I’ll be able to sell out the ad spaces remains to be seen. I could take the easy way out and ask a few TTZ sponsors to take an ad but I want to see if the blog can attract its own customers. If your company wants to reach a large user base of Internet entrepreneurs, investors, tech heads, gears heads and interested consumers, then buy a text link or premium ad!

You Can Do This

I don’t want to sound like some get rich quick sales guy trying to pitch an eBook, but I have to say this. Anyone could have done what I’ve done. Please don’t use my experience, or the fact that I own one of the biggest tech sites on the Internet, as an excuse for keeping you down. I started this blog with nothing except the cost of a domain name. I spent zero dollars on promotion. All the articles that I have written were not top-secret stuff. Anyone of you could have written The Internet’s Biggest Goggle Whores. The information was already freely available. All you had to do was put it together.

Success is an attitude. Someone with a loser’s attitude will never be able to do this because they’ll come up with a thousand excuses on why it won’t work. I have come across tons of these people. Many of them wrote some not-so-nice comments in my Trading Hours For Dollars post. If you want to be successful on the Internet, or anywhere else in life, you cannot have a loser’s attitude. It’s been said that from birth to age 18, you have heard the words “No you can’t” 185,000 times and “Yes you can” only 2,000 times. Therefore, it’s natural for most people to be negative about new ideas. Even if they were positive about the idea, they set themselves up for failure by thinking, “I’ll give it a try but it probably won’t work.” With that kind of thinking, it won’t work.

You can do this. There is nothing that I did on this blog that you cannot do yourself, or learn to do. Keep your attitude positive and keep at it. You will get there.


61 thoughts on “Making Money With A Blog – October Recap”

  1. Shumail says:

    Very inspiring. Keep up the good work.

  2. HMTKSteve says:

    Not to knock you John but…

    You are entering the blogging world after enjoying success through other web sites. (Does that make any sense?)

    The guy who enters the blogging world from no where has to try a hell of a lot harder to get where you are.

    I made $200 from my blog last month so I know it is possible.

    At the same time, the only revenue the “unknown” blogger can chase after is AdSense. The other advertisers you use would not even give you the time of day if you were a “new” blogger and not “John Chow.”

    Yes, you can make money by blogging, the key is content. A big name will get you in the door to advertisers but it will not make you any money unless you have quality content to bring back the readers.

    I also have to wonder if the “more diggs to get front paged” will have an effect on your traffic.

  3. Matthew says:

    Steve, I dont think it’s about how hard the path is to travel. It’s just the willingness to travel the path… meaning… yes we dont all enjoy the higher payouts on text link ads like John gets. But if willing, we can get there even if it does take 3 months instead of 1. Sometimes we have to make things happen rather then waiting for them to happen.

  4. Ian says:

    As I see it, there are two reasons for your success:
    1) You run TTZ – I’m not sure how much cross-marketing you’ve done, but I’m sure lots of people that already knew you have come by to check out this site. I only read it on an ongoing basis because I know you already.

    2) Multiple front-page diggs – Again, your success with digg is likely due to the number of people that already know you and will therefore digg any of your articles just to help you out. For an unknown person with few existing readers, it’s much much harder to get a story dugg.

  5. Ian says:

    I came across the blog on digg and since have told at least five people about it because of the content and the fact that I have a blog too. In other words, I had no idea of the background of John and come back and tell people about it because of the articles. I disagree with Steve, and wholeheartly agree with John’s article. Great post.

  6. derrich says:

    I’m definitely not seeing an uptrend. In fact, I’m all over the place. One day I have 15 visitors, and then day I’m up to 85. Very inconsistent. But the peaks and valleys are narrowing, which I am happy about. I have to agree that some of your success comes from your experiences on TTZ…esp since people know who you are. I’m just that new blogger guy that posts weird comments on johnchow.com. =) BTW, thanks for all your help. I’ve been motivated since Day 1…which was…you know…like 12 days ago.

  7. While there may be some influence from the name John has built in other ventures, I do find it inspiring and enjoy visiting this site.

    I’ve had my site going for a couple of months and have been slowly building up traffic, now getting just shy of 1000 visitors per month. I’ve been hoping to crack 1000 but the last two months fell short by 6 each month. Doh!

    To this point, it hasn’t translated to much in terms of earnings but the site has made a few bucks. It certainly isn’t easy to do and does require commitment and a positive attitude. Thanks for an extra source of motivation John.

  8. siong1987 says:

    You knows lots about internet marketing. I always try my best to hit digg front page with my articles. But, the higher i got is only 7 dugg for an article.

    But, i believe that success is an attitude.

  9. Gdog says:

    Well done, keep up the good work. My blog on teaching English in Korea now gets on average 200 visitors a day and 400 pageviews.

  10. Adim says:

    Well said John “Success is an attitude”, John never said how long it would take but the willingness to try and your belief in yourself will take you where he is. That is the key.

  11. captweb says:

    Thanks for the post! I’m barely starting my journey into internet marketing and I uderstood that there are many places where you can lean about doing business, but only one place where you can decide to start and keep going: whitin yourself. Thank you again John.

  12. HMTKSteve says:

    I also have to wonder how much of the increase in traffic and revenue has to do with Digg.

    I know I made over $150 in advertising from one story hitting the Digg frontpage.

    John, if you remove all the traffic that has come from Digg in your graph, how much is left?

  13. Nomar says:

    your doing really great, im getting some little successes to on my blog, yesterday 50 uniques.. and just online for 8 days..

    i believe 🙂

  14. While I agree a little bit with the “you already had a name” argument, I will say that your site and a couple others are an inspiration for us newcomers. Matter of fact I just sent my wife, who has also started blogging, the link to this post.

    The digg effect is interesting, but the only down side is that you really need the traffic to begin with to increase the chance that someone will digg one of your posts. Kind of a chicken and the egg thing. The other problem with digg is *who* diggs it, as their algorithms have been shown to take into account the people actually digging the story to determine how and when it gets front page status. Not to say that I wouldn’t welcome it myself 🙂

    In any event, keep up the good work and we’ll keep coming back.

  15. Ian says:

    I came across the blog on digg and since have told at least five people about it because of the content and the fact that I have a blog too. In other words, I had no idea of the background of John and come back and tell people about it because of the articles. I disagree with Steve, and wholeheartly agree with John’s article. Great post. (this is not the same Ian as the above comment)

  16. Scott says:

    Great article John. Very inspiring.

  17. Rose says:

    I also think that your posts are very inspiring. I’m one of the people that have been blessed by being able to work at home and people think that its just such a “mysterious” thing to be able to work from home. It doesn’t have to be a sex job or some kind of scam as far as working from home is concerned.

    I remember something that one of my former co-workers said and that was that she knew that she working at the supermarket would be the only job that she will be doing for the rest of her life – how sad! I don’t think that anyone will be able to convince her otherwise because she has it set in her mind that she will always remain there.

  18. Jeremy says:

    I came across John’s site mid-way through the experiment and have been very interested to read up on past posts, especially all the info on blogging suggestions. I just started up a blog as an experiment to try out the techniques. I am not in the typical Digg topic area to reap those rewards, but I am interested to see what the Google sitemap and other techniques do in a longer range go at it.

    Thanks for the valuable info you are posting, I plan to be a regular.

  19. HMTKSteve says:

    Ian, I don’t think you are reading my post correctly.

    I’m not commenting on the quality of the blog, I’m reading it after all…

    My point is that, other than AdSense, the advertising companies John is using are not available to the new blogger.

    I looked into them and they are highly selective and require a high number of visitors to the website in question before they will take you on as a publisher.

    Check them out yourself. I think John also mentioned in a previous post that he got “special deals” from these advertising companies becuase of who he is.

  20. John Chow says:

    HMTKSteve – Thanks for the feedback. Yes I understand what you are saying. It’s easy to build another site after having already done a few. However, that all comes back to attitude. I already know this works, so my attitude on it isn’t from a loser’s point of view.

    When I said anyone could do this, I was referring more to the building of the site and writing of the content than making the revenue (but the revenue will follow). Yes my deal with Vibrant is something a small publisher can’t get, but there’s nothing that could have stop them from writing that Google Whore article that got 55,000 page views on the first day. Do enough of those and you’ll be able to strike you own ad deals.

    Digg accounted for nearly half of blog traffic in October (48.89% to be exact). About a 1/4 came from “Other” and 15% came from directly typing the URL or using their bookmarks. 73% were new visitors and 27% were returning visitors.

    Ian – I did no cross-marketing with TTZ except for the blog link in my forum signature a month after the blog started. I’m not sure how many forum members read this blog. About 10 days ago, I add the blog link to the The TechZone footer to help increase its backlinks. I suppose if I really want to promote it, I can write a TTZ article on blogging and use this blog as an example.

    Everyone else – Thank you for the comments!

  21. HMTKSteve says:

    John,

    I agree, it’s all about have a good attitude.

    You mention that about half of your blog traffic came from Digg. Did the spike in traffic originate with Digg or was it building before hand? IOW were you just cruising along and when you got Dugg everything exploded?

    To me, it sounds like you had a blog that was getting ok traffic but one day you got hit with the Digg club and from there forward everything turned to gold.

    I would not have ever found your blog if not for Digg and I’m just curious if Digg played a large part in your success (in regards to blog traffic.)

    I also got great success by being “Dugg” and I am still enojoying the “long tail” that is StumbleUpon.

    Many blogs get Dugg once and then fall away into obscurity because they don’t have the content to keep the reader interested.

    PS: You need a spell checker in your comments plugin. It’s a great benefit to dyslexics like me!

  22. John says:

    Anyone can do this? C’mon! Vibrant Media IntelliTXT requires some pretty high barriers to entry. A blogger just starting out wouldn’t have access to it. There goes half your monthly income!

  23. John Chow says:

    HMTKSteve – Digg spike the traffic. It’s hard to tell from the graph but my traffic was increasing by 300% per month before the Diggs. I did 12,000 page views in August and was on track to hit 32,000 in September. Then the Diggs came and help propel that number to over 200,000.

    Even without the Diggs, I would eventually get to this level – it just would have taken longer. My original plan was to hit this traffic level 6 months down the road. Building high traffic sites is what I do. I built TTZ to into a multi-million page views site before Digg even existed. Not to take anything away from Digg, but Digg isn’t going to make you or break you. Your content will do that. Just like you said: Many blogs get Dugg once and then fall away into obscurity because they don’t have the content to keep the reader interested.

  24. Gareth says:

    One questions I have that hasn’t been answered in any of your posts thus far is how much it has cost you to run this blog?

    $1,361.64 is great but if you shelled out $1400 in hosting then it isn’t so great.

    So is that number profit? Or is that net income that still needs to have the costs removed from it?

    If the later, what is the blogs profit over the month of October? I think that might be a slightly more interesting number.

  25. Joe says:

    Man, this is not fair!
    Hell, I suck at writing. When i try to submit stuff to digg, i only get dugged 4 times, if i’m lucky. I don’t even have a following like you do. No one will read my blog, since no one knows me. Your points are not valid for the normal people. I only make like $2 a month from google and i can’t get a check until I hit $100. I have a full time job and I don’t have time to sit down and think of something to write. You say easy, I say BS!!

  26. John Chow says:

    Gareth – I have answered that question before. The blog cost me nothing to host. It sits on the same servers that house The TechZone. Even if I had to host the blog myself, it wouldn’t cost more than $10 a month at the blog’s current bandwidth level – it did 48 GB of transfer in Oct. The Basic Unix plan at Monster Hosting would easily accommodate it: http://monsterhosting.ca/hosting/unixhostingcanada.php

    So remove $10 from the income and you have the net profit.

    John & Joe – Excuses, excuses. 🙂

  27. For the people doubting it can be done, John is not saying that it is easy or will happen instantly. But keeping the positive outlook and knowing that one day it will come to you is a huge part of the success.

    Some people think you just need to slap a couple of static pages on a site and sit back and watch the money roll in. You need to maintain realistic expectations but also approach your site with the knowledge that you will find success.

  28. derrich says:

    How old is your blog, Joe? My highest Digg to date is 8 for my story about domain name ownership and parking. And there are definitely a couple of other posts I made that I thought should have been dugg more, like the one about Upromise, which only got 2 Diggs. Keep pluggin’ away and you’ll realize the quan (i.e., Jerry Maguire). 🙂

  29. HMTKSteve says:

    I’m not trying to be a naysayer, I’m just pointing out that the new blogger should not expect the results John has achieved in the short time span he achieved them.

    John is experienced in making web sites profitable and getting them a large ammount of traffic.

    If you can generate the content you are 99% of the way there. All you need from then on is to get the traffic. Getting a quick spike of traffic is not that hard. The hard part is getting good original content.

    I also recall a previous comment/post where someone complained that he started up a website and noone wanted to carry his press release while John started up one about the same time and everyone carried his press release.

    Every industry is based on “who you know.”

    I’m also a game designer. One game is on the market and my second went to contract this summer.

    Like John, I spent a long time getting contacts in the industry and making a name for myself. I’m not at the same level as John is in his industry but… I have reached the point where an email from me will be read and considered rather then just read and passed over.

    It’s all about networking.

    Just for arguments sake… If John were a nobody with a blog his traffic would probably be on par with what he has now due to his content but his advertising would be based solely on his AdSense earnings and he would not be able to sell ad spots.

    Why? Because he is only showing a two-month traffic spike after a year of so-so growth.

    Because people know John, and his history on the web, advertisers know he is a solid investment.

    That’s the point I’m trying to make.

    Don’t quit your day job tomorow because of John’s “overnight” success. It’s not an overnight success, John has spent years getting to where he is. Even though some people get lucky with a winning idea it also takes a lot of hard work.

  30. Gareth says:

    Thanks for clearing that up John. Now the numbers mean a lot more 🙂

  31. HMTKSteve: You make some very valid points, as the name recognition can certainly help pave the way to success if you have a prior reputation.

    BTW, congrats on the recent contract on your game and your previous success with the first game.

  32. Notebooks says:

    Thanks for sharing John.

    Why are so many of you trying to discount the Digg effect? Who cares where the traffic comes from, it’s still traffic and builds readership. That’s how I found this blog.

  33. Very valid points from nearly everyone, and kudos to you John for continually entering into the discussion. I agree that the kind of success you’ve had is contingent on experience, attitude, and content. Experience you had coming in, which sped up the process. Attitude is what you’re clearly all about, and no one can argue that you don’t have high quality content…otherwise there wouldn’t be 30 plus responses to this article and others you’ve written. Nice job and I hope my blog can achieve the same level of success eventually.

  34. Ian says:

    Joe,
    You are complaining about not getting traffic but neglect to provide your link like everybody else. Might I suggest doing so when taking the same to make comments on other blogs. I would have clicked on your link to see what your blog was about.

  35. Wes Novack says:

    Congrats on the successful blog experiment John! 🙂

  36. Webomatica says:

    Great stuff. I must say, you are sounding a bit like robert kiyosaki there. But hey, you can’t deny the traffic or the hit counts. awesome job.

  37. Just an FYI, I think your Feeds from Feedburner are behind. My RSS reader only shows your feeds from a month ago. All my other feeds are fine.

    I plan to take your suggestions from your October Recap and start blogging my businesses. One, I feel the conversations and dialogs I have with my colleagues is of value to new freelancers and small business owners. You make the claim that anyone can do what you’ve done. It just takes time and good Content. I am not certain that good content by itself will allow someone to grow as fast as you have. The established internet name definitely helps. For example, Guy Kawasaki’s blog: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/ started in February, and is now one of the top 50 blogs. Again, an established Technology Name with exponential growth with good content. I aim to achieve the same exponential growth with a blog from individuals without the national established Technology Name and good content helping people.

  38. John Chow says:

    Scott – Are you sure you’re using the same feed? This is the link to it. As you can see, the last post is the latest one. http://feeds.feedburner.com/JohnChowDotCom

  39. siong1987 says:

    I tried to do simple research on the best timing to submit your article to Digg.com so that you will get higher chance to show on the front page of Digg.com.

    http://www.earningblog.com/2006/11/03/the-best-timing-to-publish-a-post/

    Do you have any suggestion about my research?

  40. simon says:

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  41. I like reading stuff like this, as its quite inspiring (though I’m sure I spend too much time reading, and not enough creating my own content – thus becoming more of a information consumer rather than producer!).

    I’m certain that if I keep at it, my online empire will continue to grow, and I *will* make it.

    Speaking of John’s name recognition, I’m trying to recall where I originally read about this blog – I haven’t been much of a tech site follower, so I’m pretty sure it was mentioned at another “self-starter” site, perhaps Yaraks?

    Anyway, I’ll keep reading this blog more often, while also trying to concentrate on my own productivity levels!!

  42. IT Millionior says:

    I have a goal to become an IT Millionior! Keep the good work going.

  43. Sunny says:

    John keep up the good work; I disagree with steve. You are right we can’t go on with a blog with a negative attitude. My revenue is growing exponentially and I rely heavily on Google AdSense becuase I’m to lazy to work in retail stores and I’m a college student.

    My visitors are increasing day by day. On Alexa.com, when my site started out, my rank was 1,800,000+ and now after a month, after I got serious about blogging and worked on my blog, my rank is now around 307,000 as the week’s average; I jumped 1,400,000 positions. My rank is also increasing on Technorati as more other blogs link to my blog, http://www.desinotes.com.

    Your article “The Internet’s Biggest Goggle Whores” motivated me to do better. I’m trying to post 6+ posts a day with unique, high quality content, I know it’s hard but I still keep at it.

    I check back and forth of how my site is doing and so far it’s doing god and it’s growing. I have confidence in making money with blogs because someone like you give your readers a positive attitude to keep trying and not to give up.

    Thanks

  44. Jerry says:

    what happened to the do it cos you enjoy it and not the money whore attitude? :p

  45. John Chow says:

    Jerry – I am doing this for the fun. I guess you didn’t read this post. The money is being donated to charity.

  46. zamri says:

    I think one of reason why is your content. Maybe your previous history is one of the reason why. But most importantly is content.. Well already read a lot of blog, article point that ARTICLE is the king if you want to make o money. Well, i hope my blog also will become more known by others famous blogger although my writing not really good if compare with you… hehehe

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