My Blog Income Strategy

Every time I post a new recording breaking earning reports, there will be comments and speculations on how high the blog income can go. I really like the one comment that took my 1 year blog income growth and extended it for another year and concluded that I’ll be at $300,000 a month by January 2009. While that would be really great, the reality is it can’t happen with the current setup of the blog.

How High Can It Really Go?

The mistake new readers make when they read that the blog went from zero to $30K in a bit over a year is assuming the blog looked the same back then as it does today. I had Unique Blog Design give this blog a complete makeover back in September so I can accommodate more private advertising.

Today, private advertising accounts for half of the blog income. All the ad spots are almost always completely sold out so there is really is no way to increase that unless I add more ad spots or increase prices. This blog is pretty ad heavy as it is so adding more ad spots really isn’t an option. Also, it would require another blog redesign to do it. Increasing ad prices will be the most likely course moving forward. However, I doubt I can increase prices enough to make $300K a month.

My ad prices are on the cheap side at the moment. The Cow next door charges $200 for a review. I charge $450. On the surface, I seem to be more expensive but I have over 10 times the readership Cow has. This helps to explain why I get so many review orders. $450 divided by 15K RSS reader works out to less than 3 cents per reader.

Make Number Two, Number One

The future growth of the blog will come from its second biggest money maker; affiliate commissions. The reason for this is many of the programs I participate in offer residual income potential. For example, Kontera gives me a percentage of the income from the sites that I sign up to them. This is not a one time payment. It’s an on going thing. The more sites I refer, the more money I make. TTZ Media, DealDotCom and many other affiliate programs I promote offer this type of compensation plan.

The advantage of this kind of setup should be obvious. As times goes by, affiliate income should overtake direct advertising as the number one money maker. While there are limits on how much ad space I can sell on this blog, there are no limits on how many sites I can refer to other ad networks. I may make $15,000 a month for selling direct advertising, but I much rather make 10% of what John Chow dot Com readers make for life. 😈


67 thoughts on “My Blog Income Strategy”

  1. yissels-com says:

    wow you make a lot of money with your blog 😯 respect!

    1. Fat Man says:

      John, I think you need to try other media. Like for example start selling video sponsorships and I bet you could sell out those sponsorships in a heart beat. Just make one or two video post a week and you can increase the income immediately.

      1. Bleh – cram more ads in vs gouge advertisers more is the strategy? I suppose I vote you gouge them more, like you said… too many ads already.

        I’m disapointed to hear that the strategy doesn’t involve improving content to offer readers more value, that might actually start increasing how many people visit. (scratch that, I just noticed you finaly removed the second “keywords” and “description” meta tags, finaly a little simply SEO! :mrgreen: )

        15k RSS doesn’t mean much when like you have said repeatedly… people are too lazy to remove you from their email list etc. The lazy ones don’t read either. Nowhere near 15,000 people actually use their RSS daily and I bet some have even thrown feedburner to the spam filters. Shoemoney showed us just how meaningless RSS can be when he won your contest.

        You rock, but I’d like to see traffic double, not income – THAT would be impressive given you’ve burned many bridges. I just put up a poll on my site to see what people think, so far they think you’ll reach your goal. good luck!

  2. Eastwood says:

    😯 John’s making a living off of my Kontera earnings! 😈

    1. LoL after all, you knew about Kontera from John 😉

      In either case, it is true what John says, he is making monthly from his blog what a regular worker would be making in a whole year here in Italy where the normal pay is around 1000 euro (bounces from 1100 to 1200 in some cases).

      Its funny, the other day my friends asked me how much I am making online since I don’t hang out with them that often (and the excuse is always have things to do), my number impressed them, but when I told them about John Chow they called me a liar (apparently for many, such income from online is really out of the realistic).

      Making more money from private ad sales is possible, but that will penalize another thing (the promotion of TTZ media). Replacing the TTZ media at the bottom of each post with a 468×60 spot (rotating to 5 maybe, and charging even $150 per banner would raise the income by 750 USD). But i doubt you want to do that 😛

  3. Thanks for sharing this, John. I need to re-think my blog design and prepare of future ads.

  4. Mubin says:

    What I want to know is when you are going to sit down and have a talk with kontera. You are getting ripped off at $1k a month Chow.

  5. If you continue to get more traffic and get the 650K rss readers a site like techcrunch gets, you could make that $300K per month.

    1. David Chew says:

      He maybe will earn that much if he had so many readers. 😀

  6. Erik Gyepes says:

    John, you are really inspirational and you give me motivations all the time. I really enjoy reading your posts.

    Keep on that great work!

  7. whydowork says:

    I agree with John that it’s unlikely that $300K per month is possible from this blog in its current state.

    I do think there could be some problems with assuming affiliate commissions will keep growing:

    “there are no limits on how many sites I can refer to other ad networks. “

    That is true, but there is a limit in how many people will go along with you in signing up based on your track record, and you’re always at the mercy of the networks paying the commissions – if they fail, so do you.

    Either way I’d say $30k a month from a personal blog is enough that you don’t need to keep proving yourself month after month. :mrgreen:

  8. EuCoRi says:

    Why don’t you invest on the bottom part of your blog? You could easily replace the “Recent Readers” with an ad box or additional text links.

    Your blog real estate is far too important to show some random pictures.

    Personally, I NEVER notice it. I read the article, some comments and I’m gone.

    Sorry for my english.

  9. I was wondering about your deal with Kontera.

  10. Terry Tay says:

    Yeah man, you will be at the $300,000 mark soon and it will be my turn to be at the $30,000 mark. Well at least some close from a year now.
    ~Terry

    1. HostingCow says:

      And when you both hit your magical numbers, I`ll be happy if I manage to get $5k per month… :mrgreen:
      good luck to you all!

    2. TyCo says:

      I agree with terry and love people like him and their enthusiasm. My goal with http://www.TysBlog.com is $25,000/month in 6-12 month. Then, rather then trying to increase it’s worth to advertisers, I will hire an assistant or two to help my write and keep up with it and start a new blog. Do this several times and Voilà, you’re making several million a year…

      I also have to add that I just launched this blog and it won’t officially be live for a day or so – you can see the rough draft at http://tyco.wordpress.com. It was launched as kinda an experiment/bet with myself… Bookmark it and see how it does – should be entertaining to see it evolve… I hope it is the $tart to million$ a year!

  11. Mastermind says:

    This Blog is getting more popular day by day…More popular=More money 😀

  12. Justin says:

    MR CHOW~! YOU ARE AN UNCANNY MARKETER! HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF GOING INTO NETWORK MARKETING? A MAN OF YOUR SKILLS WOULD DO QUITE WELL SINCE WE SEEM TO SHARE THE SAME PHILOSOPHIES. MUAHAHA! MUCH ADMIRATION!
    ~ Justin

    1. John Chow says:

      There’s a reason I signed up over 30,000 people to AGLOCO. 😈

      1. James Wilcox says:

        Too bad Agloco failed before it even got off the ground…

        1. ViralKing says:

          LOL – tell me about it, I had over 3,000 🙁

  13. Ever the inspiration for those of us aspiring to moguldom (is that a word). Believe it or not you along with Zac, Shoe, Cow, 45n5 and many others have quite improved the incomes of folks like myself that live in very rural areas in America where an extra $3000 a month is a huge deal.

    So what I’m saying is thanks for shedding light on this field.

  14. C’mon John! Bring up some contest and giveaways for your readers :mrgreen:

    1. David Chew says:

      He does give up some contest for readers to win. :mrgreen:

  15. Gareth Boyd says:

    You make a good amount of the blog, well deserved.

  16. I think you can reach $100K a month in a year, John, if you keep offering the quality content and slowly raise advertising prices (as well as introduce new ways to make money).

    You are very determined and usually get what you want, but $300K a month is serious baller status (and probably near impossible to create from a niched personal blog like this).

  17. You have a long way to go if you want to make some serious cash off of Kontera, $1,000 isn’t very much.

  18. Lively Money says:

    The only way to hit the 300k is making this blog into something I say a dual blog one offering this making money online niche and other niche like in the tech area or John Chow take on poltics . Engadget gets about 2,200,000 uniques a day , Imagine chaging that into an epcm of $109 that will be about 250k a day. So, a dual blog or maybe a forum mixed into your blog , something similar to 5 star affiliate except you can attract more people to your forum and probably have it own the same level as digital point forum. Like you said the blog money making niche is probably limited so branch out to making money online in every aspect niche which will get you a triple digit alexa ranking. Oh I forgot my blog is kind a dual niche except my site isn,t optimize yet because I am using a blogspot blog.
    http://www.livelymoney.blogspot.com

  19. I definitely dig the strategies that you’re going after. What also strikes me that you have that many others don’t is a plan of how you’re going to accomplish things. Many would be wise to do likewise. Myself included.

  20. You shouldn’t underestimate this blogs potential and your potential. You just need to think outside the box when it comes to ad formats. The ad strip that appears at the top is very interesting. I’ve thought of some new ad format ideas like post sponsorships. Check out my blog to see an example: http://www.lyved.com
    -Andrew

  21. Hi John…I think your blog has lots and lots of potential growth room. I think you should keep up with your regular motivational posts AND then have an aggressive posting schedule of reviews…either pushing Amazon or ClickBank products…..plus get into TripAdvisor’s affiliate program…plus some sportsbetting picks and posts….keep pushing those Affiliate review posts…don’t worry about what other Bloggers might say….you won’t lose many readers because you will still have the motivational posts…you could also hire some people to make affiliate posts for you…basically, you need a mix of your current blog and something similar to Blogpire.com.
    Let me know if your are hiring…I can posts tons of stuff for you!

  22. Marc goodin says:

    John,

    How about working half the time & making twice the money?

  23. limadang.com says:

    Congratulation again john.

  24. Frugal Dad says:

    John, you are definitely rocking and rolling here. I’m still amazed at those, like you, have parlayed their blogging passion into FT income.

  25. Joy says:

    Yes, I and a couple of others went down with AGLOCO too.
    Great post by the way, were learning alot and promoting the heck out of our new blog.

    Joy
    http://www.monthlyvideocash.com

  26. Joy says:

    John Great post, as usual!

    Joy

  27. Epiphany says:

    Pure brilliance, John. My focus this year has shifted towards building on residual income sources as well. I’m willing to work hard so that I can eventually earn some serious passive income! 😈

  28. Syed Balkhi says:

    nice inspiration’s john. It just motivates me more and more every day.

  29. balootisme says:

    john,

    how about you make another blog (different niche of blog, not internet marketing, invite for freelance writer)

    that would u had more than 2 blog that had pagerank5. and this will double your income, and so on…

  30. azul says:

    Great and motivational post. Congratz! I’m still waiting for my first $1000 month. :mrgreen:

  31. Good strategy John, keep making that cash-money 😉

  32. RacerX says:

    There are only two ways to continue the growth curve:
    -Expand to different and aux sites. Your linking will give them fat readership asap. Think of it like Berkshire A+B Shares..
    -Own the distribution. Fund one of the link guys. Your traffic alone is enough capitl for some VC guy.

  33. Mike Huang says:

    Wow! This is my read of the day 🙂 Keep up the good work!

    -Mike

  34. Chadie says:

    In Sweden with blogs in Sweden I assume this income is impossible to reach. I am sure if we swedes want to have a good income we have to blog in English. This blog is inspiring me a lot.

  35. If only it would stay at 10% for ever, WidgetBucks switching to 5% is really putting a dent in my ambitions!

  36. Heidi says:

    Incredible, I wasn’t aware that a blog could ranke in so much money. Back to the drawing board for me.

  37. Caleb says:

    Although I agree that this site is crammed with ads,the flow of the ads are somewhat artistic which adds to the site. I’ve seen other blogs attempt to mimick this with no success leaving their blog to look like the infamous ‘fleamarket’ sites.

    As for the private advertising,most bloggers don’t command enough reader-respect to be able to charge anything,so I guess that comes back to creating quality content. Good blog post!

  38. Your fees for reviews should be even higher for sure. Shoemoney charges $2,500 for a review (don’t believe me go look on reviewme marketplace) so you should be at least increasing those prices 😈

  39. The only thing you pronbably havent sold is the RSS links! why not monitize them. Looks like you have hit a block as far as other companies go. I would also recommend making some money by selling advertisements on your own via your own custom software like Open Ads. That way you get to keep the money your giving away to people with companies.

  40. PatriceA says:

    You Definitely CAN make the 300K mark (and way sooner than a year from now), and the solution is so simple that I don’t even understand why none of the 49 comments above said it before.

    Make your OWN product or conference.

    Sell it.

    That simple. People with much smaller and less targeted audiences than you are making much more money, because they don’t just promote other people’s stuff to make microscopic commissions.

    So please John… Go make some Big Box of Stuff to Sell for Lots of Cash. I may even buy it too.

    Patrice

    1. Hi John, I agree with the comment above. If you had your own conference and charged $500 or so (even $1k) and held in Las Vegas during a weekend and did this twice a year…that would bring in a nice addional income stream…remember John, multiple streams of income is what its all about! Everyone else is doing it! They most of them are nobodys compared to you!

  41. Haroon says:

    Right on John
    Your evil side will surely find more ways to make more money online and i bet on it 😉

  42. Katie says:

    Great Post. I believe in you John. Never stop dreaming and doing. Keep your chin up and never stop reaching for the stars. Anything is possible. Have you written any books? You should publish a few books about Blogging/Making Money Online/And one Just about you and your life. This will give you more Traffic and you will make money from the books big time for along time. If you feel you don’t have time to write books. Just think of it like this. A few minutes a day write a few paragraphs and do this for a year and I’m sure you will have allot written. Hope this helps 🙂

    ~Katie 😉

  43. John,
    Congrats on all of your achievements!!! Keeping doing what your doing, you have been an inspiration to online marketers from quite some time.

    -Colin
    😎

  44. JBiggs says:

    I’m very enjoy reading this content.
    Thank you for good information 🙂

  45. John J says:

    Thanks for the great information.

  46. Feed Flare says:

    It is very impressive how much you make and I love the fact that you don’t play by the google rules.

  47. networkbiz says:

    Thanks a lot John for you information… (^_^)

    http://mypillowpets.blogspot.com

  48. I wish I can be like John Chow too…

  49. Keith Cash says:

    Some really good input and advice. I will use this to further my blogging future.

    THX

  50. be-mine says:

    i never dream like that 🙁

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