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There Is No Secret Formula

written by John Chow on November 19, 2007

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Every once in a while I’ll come across a comment or an email asking me to stop writing about my personal ramblings and stick to making money online posts because that’s what I’m good at and that is what the readers want to learn. They want me to reveal to them the secret formula that will unleash all the Internet riches. They don’t want to know what I had for lunch or dinner.

There Is No Secret Formula

There are people who will go around reading every blog on making money online and buy any ebook on the same topic in the hopes of finding that secret formula that will make them rich. I hate to break it to them but there is no secret formula.

Take a look at the diet industry. People spend billions on diet programs, books, videos, etc. hoping to find that secret formula to help them lose weight and keep it off. The formula is no secret and can be summed up in four words: Eat less, workout more. Pretty simple, isn’t it? How many books and programs do you have to buy before you figure out all they’re telling you to do is to eat less and workout more?

Making money online can summed up in four words as well: Get traffic, optimize ads. There. I’ve just given you the secret formula to getting rich on the internet. Every single post that I make about making money online either deals with getting traffic or optimizing ads. If you can build traffic and optimize your ads for maximum revenue, you’re on your way to becoming rich.

Everything I do on this blog helps to either build traffic or optimize the ads. And that is why you will see posts about what I had for lunch. It builds traffic. :cool:

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{ 76 comments }

Karol Krizka November 19, 2007 at 6:15 pm

Huh? I think the opposite about yoru content. I orignally subscribed to your posts because of the more personal posts which were more interesting to read at the time, considering some of them were about Vancouver (where I live too). I found you blog when you wrote the article about the new street toilets in Victoria. ;)

So I say, blog less about money and more personal ramblings!

SEO Optimization November 19, 2007 at 6:23 pm

John and you Karol, hit the nail. It is all about traffic and optimizing ads (or rather, preselling them in a post). From what I have read most on John’s blog, most of his revenue came from affiliates, which makes me think he was good at pre-selling them and hence received/s a good revenue from them.

Maybe we should ask you about the “formula” to get most of the traffic, which of your techniques worked for you when you first started blogging. That what we need to maybe know from the :evil: John.

Personal ramblings may caught those readers like Karol, and some other type of posts may get the attention to other readers, which makes a good community from a blog (my opinion). Another thing we might want to read from John is, how to build credibility with his readers and have returning visitors (the quality of the posts….)

Get More Traffic November 19, 2007 at 7:13 pm

This post was only meant to provoke those pro Chow or those who hate him. The more you love or hate him the more he’s sure you’ll be back tomorrow. Mind share is a beautiful thing. :twisted:

Howard Stern back in the day used this formula to get some serious attention. It works. :twisted: :evil:

Israel November 19, 2007 at 7:33 pm

damn, well said. howard stern was at one point the king of controversy.

SEO Optimization November 19, 2007 at 7:53 pm

Well, we start with tip one LoL

Iantrepreneur November 19, 2007 at 6:26 pm

your right – and plus people do not want to try and test themselves or reesearch themeselves etc. they think they can get th emoney overnight and bam they have a great blog with tons of traffic, I think I come to this blog to just see what the chow is going up to not really to learn, there are some small tactics that are on here that are worth reading like this one – because it is personal and shows that people needs to stop crying and doing something for themselves

Steven November 19, 2007 at 6:27 pm

Personally I think he should blog about what he wants. Rather than blog about money more, personal ramblings less, or personal ramblings more, money less, just write what he wants to, it’s his blog. A good mix of the two is probably best as there are people like you who wants one and people like those that email John that wants the other.

I am always surprised at why people think John should write about one thing more than the other. While it’s true you should be good to your readers, they came here in the and possibly subscribe because they like what he writes. He’s always had both, and they still came and read. Not like they’ll all stop reading because he continues to write the way he always does. People just need to quit complaining.

alexander batista November 19, 2007 at 8:07 pm

But there are secret formulas to building traffic and that is what everyone wants to know about!!

Israel November 19, 2007 at 8:30 pm

its knowing folks and getting juicy things to get peeps to wanna be down with ya.

Innovations & interesting Ramblings November 19, 2007 at 8:54 pm

there is no secret formula to anything in this world…it is all there in the open… but we always ignore it and try to find out non-existing secrets…

InvestorBlogger November 19, 2007 at 9:07 pm

And that’s why people who try to sell secret formula’s usually end up keeping it a secret, because they’ll reveal the real, real secret in book 2, download 2 or website membership #2…

It’s elusive for one of two reasons: it’s difficult to catch or it’s not there. Most of the time, it’s the latter reason.

Kenneth

SEO Optimization November 20, 2007 at 4:30 am

I thought Google’s algorithm formula was top secret… :shock:

blackysky November 19, 2007 at 8:15 pm

Less about money and more about ramblings ahahaha it is funny to see that people are to lazy and still waiting for this magic formula
I have my own secret formula too : work hard , be smart , learn from your mistakes and good shot and move on to the next step

secret formula 2 : read less act more

secret formula 3 : like nike said just do it !!!!

another secret formula ahahahah buy the secret book :)

Karol Krizka November 19, 2007 at 8:23 pm

“secret formula 2 : read less act more”

Totally agree! Just think about all the posts you could have written or promoted your blog in the time you read through all the different make money online blogs.

EliteByDesign November 19, 2007 at 6:24 pm

While I agree with what you’re saying, I disagree with Karol.
I think that the more you blog about making money, the more people will be interested in your posts. No offense but personally I just dont read any posts about your dinners or lunches out. Some people are different of course, but I would like to think that sticking to the subject would attract more traffic. Thats not to say that some off-topic stuff mixed in doesn’t help set the mood and make things a little more interesting :cool:

Brian

Steven November 19, 2007 at 6:31 pm

That’s the thing brian, this blog started as a personal blog and is many ways still is. John has tried to convey that message over and over again and people don’t seem to understand that his blog isn’t just about making money. While he does post a great deal about it, and this is one big case study, from beginning to end, it was still always a personal blog with all the personal posts in it.

By saying he should stay on topic (meaning you want him to blog about money and building traffic), you misunderstood his blog for a straight money making blog. Is it one if his main topics, sure why not. Is it his main topic period, no. Personally his personal ramblings is on topic (not off-topic), they’re just not on topic in your opinion.

Advice Network Writing contest November 19, 2007 at 6:35 pm

You mentioned before that people ask you for more posts about making money online, and less “off topic” posts. I find it wild that people would say that. To me that is like being invited into someones house, and telling them to rearrange their furniture.

Do people have no manners? Have they not noticed that they don’t have to read posts they don’t like as much?

Oh, I know, as part of your evil plans for world domination, your RSS feed goes directly to their visual cortex, so they have no choice but to read every word you have written. Good thinking!

johnCard November 19, 2007 at 6:38 pm

yeah john chow, yet showing your lunch, it’s making me hungery!!!

Israel November 19, 2007 at 6:44 pm

it actually appalls me since i am on a diet and its SO MUCH FOOD.

alexander batista November 19, 2007 at 8:12 pm

hay isreal what happened long time no post what were you up to

Israel November 19, 2007 at 8:29 pm

been lurking, and working on my blog.

Advice Network Writing contest November 19, 2007 at 6:39 pm

Hey, I just wrote the post above, and when I wrote RSS, you somehow automatically made it a link to your feedburner feed. How did you do that? Does it happen every time. There must be some cool plug in. Would you tell me which?

RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS RSS

Karol Krizka November 19, 2007 at 6:44 pm

I believe he is using the WP Affiliate Pro plugin to do this. You can read more about it in this post:
http://www.johnchow.com/how-i-gain-4691-rss-reader-in-1-month/

Iantrepreneur November 19, 2007 at 6:50 pm

he is using a plugin that searches for words and turns them into links – I know he bought it from DDC but the free one that I use is alinks

Israel November 19, 2007 at 6:43 pm

he has a plugin that does that. i use link a dink for free. but anyway. john i agree, just write, and write about different things. i didnt understand that until i wrote about football one day on my weight loss blog, and for the next few days i got a large % of traffic to that post about sports. the keywords people use are astonishing. be diverse.

Home Recording November 20, 2007 at 2:43 am

This is also the most difficult part of blogging successfully. Being creative and writing on diverse subjects using keywords that will drive traffic to your blog is complicated. You need a lot of luck too!

Can't Get Rich November 19, 2007 at 6:43 pm

Makes sense to me. Of course, you have to eat good-looking food, otherwise we won’t care.

Shaun Carter November 19, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Honestly I think you should just ignore those e-mails. I can’t stand the people on here who whine about not liking what you write about. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it.

For some reason, the least successful in society feel the need to criticize those who become successful. I’d be willing to bed not one of the people that complained to you earns more than $20,000 per month blogging and probably never will.

Keep doing what you’re doing John!

Wet Friend November 19, 2007 at 7:10 pm

I couldn’t agree more. I often get depressed because although my blog generates a good deal of income, i always feel like others know more than me when it comes to marketing their blogs, seo, using social media, and stuff.

My new strategy is that when i start feeling overwhelmed, instead of reading something in hopes of learning more… I login to my blog and write a really good post. its all we can really do that is totally in our control.

Wet Friend November 19, 2007 at 7:16 pm

yes when i get overwhelmed that i dont know as much about seo, social networking, and stuff, instead of jumping online and reading blogs like this i log in my blog and try to write the best post i can.

i do alright but of course want to do better but ive come to the same conclusion you have… their is no magic formula.

Deron Sizemore November 19, 2007 at 7:32 pm

So very true. The big step is to just get out there and do it. If you’re spending all of your time reading about making money, how are you going to have any time to make any yourself. You HAVE to start somewhere. The sooner you start, the sooner you can start learning for yourself rather than trying to learn from someone else’s success. Each person isn’t the same. There are different circumstances that surrounds everyone and even though some things are consistent, I think your success online depends on your set of circumstances. The biggest one though, again, is to simply stop reading and start publishing. Anyway, that’s my .02.

JWilliamson November 20, 2007 at 10:56 am

Absolutely. I used to spend so much time reading I couldn’t see straight. It’s all about action, action, action. It doesn’t matter if you’re blogging or marketing a business opp. You need to take action, optimize your marketing and drive traffic every day. By the way, I also enjoy the random thoughts posts.

J

Bedroom Furniture November 19, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Don’t listen to them! I enjoy your personal ramblings.

Bedroom Furniture November 19, 2007 at 7:54 pm

As for the weight loss thing, it’s simple: create a caloric deficit and you can lose weight. Like with shares and stocks: buy low, sell high. Alas if only it were that simple! :roll:

Blog Contests November 19, 2007 at 8:02 pm

’tis true!

InvestorBlogger November 19, 2007 at 11:06 pm

Indeed. :mrgreen:

Domtan November 19, 2007 at 8:11 pm

John, just for experiment, publish an empty post one day with nothing but “I’m not going to say anything in this post.” You’ll still get 50+ comments, at least.

John Chow is addictive. Many people are addicted to Mr Chow.

MoneyNing November 19, 2007 at 8:41 pm

This is a great post :) Maybe you should emphasize the traffic part more. Everything is about traffic. Once you have traffic, everything is easy :) People can optimize their $20 monthly adsense spot all they want but it will take those people 25 months to make the same amount John makes on one 125×125 button per month.

Personal Development for the Book Smart November 19, 2007 at 8:43 pm

It’s called human nature. If you read up on copywriting, you would realize that many will tap on greed/laziness to sell their ebooks/products.

www.CARversation.com November 19, 2007 at 9:00 pm

so much fighting and bs and spam on this website. and i think this guy is a fake.

paradise5000 November 19, 2007 at 9:16 pm

John, thank you for that great tip, you have put the nail in the right place. I am trying to advertise in has many places has I can, I do not know too much about optimizing ads, but I did select that option in my feedburners account. But it will be nice if you could put out a post talking more about that topic. Kudus to you.

Money Blue Book November 19, 2007 at 9:21 pm

So what did you eat today?

James Waterberry November 19, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Not sure if anyone cares, but I wanted to ask…does this kind of website work? The ones where you buy advertising? Pixel Buck seems to think so.

marhgil November 19, 2007 at 9:26 pm

very well said. build traffic. optimize ads. been doing it for quite some time. yeah, it really works!

Chris Jacobson November 19, 2007 at 10:00 pm

As long as you keep writing what you write about, I’ll keep reading. :cool:

Derek Baker November 19, 2007 at 10:27 pm

Making money online can summed up in four words as well: Get traffic, optimize ads

Thanks for letting us in on your secret john. :idea: There is no secret formula but hard work pays off in the end. That is how I look at it.

Terrence November 19, 2007 at 10:36 pm

I just started my new blog, and I wouldn’t attempt to try and tell someone who has been as successful as you about what they should and shouldn’t write about. Seems kind of presumptuous to me.

bloggernoob November 19, 2007 at 10:58 pm

interesting to read the post and then see the ad next to the post. John, you’re saying that there is no secret but the ad inside of your post suggests that there is a secret way to make $237,000. How a beach bum did it and learn his reverse funnel system blah blah blah. just thought that was funny. nobody else caught that?

Etienne Teo November 21, 2007 at 1:42 am

It’s always very contridicating here.

bloggernoob November 19, 2007 at 10:59 pm

I guess you have rotating ads. When i read the post it had the beach bum ad. Oh wells.

bob November 20, 2007 at 12:12 am

John,

Do you mind sharing with me how to drive traffic to chinese language website?

Bob

Ivy November 20, 2007 at 1:07 am

This is by far my most favourite post – short, succint, practical and oh so true! :cool:

Make Money Online November 20, 2007 at 1:39 am

Ahhh John, I wanted you to make me rich in the next hour. How can it all be about eye balls in front of ads, that’s just crazy talk! Surely there MUST be a secrect formula that lets lazy asses do sweet FA and the money just pours in? :smile:

blackyard.net November 20, 2007 at 1:52 am

…and the traffic keeps on growing day by day. Too bad google seems hell bent on owning the world…mwahahahahahaaa :mrgreen:

Dian November 20, 2007 at 2:26 am

So the deal with you and satan was all lies u say?
:D

Home Recording November 20, 2007 at 2:40 am

If you were to write only about making money on line, there will be a lot of repetition and it will get to be very boring. The diversions that you bring in, makes it interesting and at least keeps me visiting regularly and commenting. So, please do keep it up. Your explanation sums it up very well too.

SEO Blog November 20, 2007 at 3:03 am

The secret formula is perseverance and dedication.
If you have all the plans, ambitions, and goals, but you lack these formula, you could never get into fruition.

Jonathan November 20, 2007 at 4:07 am

You just couldn’t be more right John, as you say, the only formula to make money online is getting traffic and optimizing ads, that’s it.

Joseph November 20, 2007 at 4:09 am

Knowing these two tips, I wonder if John will still write post about money making. :mrgreen:

Judith in Umbria November 20, 2007 at 7:53 am

The secret is not to be boring. I never go to any of the “make money all the time” sites or blogs. The essence of a blog is communicating self, and I don’t care to “know” people who only talk about money. I could live in LA if I wanted that.

Smart websites make money November 20, 2007 at 7:56 am

I have found a guide to live 100 years a few years ago and the first tip they gave to the reader was “make money” :-) Obviously this is what you do, even if it is quite clear what you mean: build traffic, which , by the way, is the biggest problem of any website

Etienne Teo November 20, 2007 at 8:15 am

You will never may money without a certain group of traffic coming offline or online. Work and optimize them to help you make more money.

Jason November 20, 2007 at 8:52 am

I prefer the jibber jabber posts over the money ones! :mrgreen:

bmunch November 20, 2007 at 9:13 am

“And that is why you will see posts about what I had for lunch. It builds traffic.”

Oh is that the secret? Maybe I need to write more about what I had for lunch on my blog to build traffic. :wink:

yourtradingstock November 20, 2007 at 12:29 pm

Thx John. Best post all year. Serious.

Israel November 20, 2007 at 12:30 pm

your joking right? :?:

Nikola November 20, 2007 at 1:14 pm

It`s all in traffic. You can write about … how to kill batman with piano or how to teach blonde to bring you beer . Or two beers :razz: . Just see what is John Chow title

.

:idea: :idea: :idea:
Now i got idea :idea: for my title . I Make Money Online by Telling People How Much Other People Make Money Online

Niiiiiiiiiiice

Nikola November 20, 2007 at 1:28 pm

Sorry for wrong blockquote :sad:

Michael A November 20, 2007 at 5:37 pm

I think for new blogs, you need to write something interesting to attract visitors from Google to your site first. Once you got regular visitors and people have “known” you, you can start rambling your personal.

If you create a new blog and just rambling about what you eat, etc – nobody cares, really!

Dandruff November 20, 2007 at 9:29 pm

Great post John and so very true. But I still love to read about your lunches and dinners.
No lunch feast since a long time John !!! what happened.

Live Like a Cat Day November 20, 2007 at 11:02 pm

lol! Love this post… very good analogy. It drives me insane when I hear people complaining about how much weight they need to lose when it really is as “simple” as you say. The hard part is willpower to follow through.

You are right with your secret formula you just revealed to internet riches… BUT… there are a LOT of factors that come into play. You need good, original ideas; timing… good content and who knows what else.

The way I’m going about it is to simply do as much as I can and see what sticks. If you try enough stuff eventually something will stick and make you moola.

One of the best money making formulas I ever read was from the book Million Dollar Habits by Robert Ringer. A guy he met once said to him:
“You know, making money is really an easy proposition. You charge as much as the market will bear, buy for as low as you can and in between is your profit.”

Start Blogging November 24, 2007 at 10:02 am

I actually love hearing about how much money you spent on dinner. It’s more inspiration than anything.

Work From Home Based Business November 25, 2007 at 5:51 am

Maybe thats right, but there are some formulas to get faster and cheaper traffic in example and secrets hwo to optimize best ads.

swamy November 27, 2007 at 9:12 am

hey john
im a new guy into your site. well i can see that sense of having succeeded in your post :-) You just say that easily – build traffic. well thats the bottomline right? so how do we do that precisely. i’m sure everyone around have tried that for what is in the books. but it is simple beyond that seo techniques to get noticed. so what are those is all we rookies (atleast me) wanted to know to gain traffic.
if you get a chance kindly take a look at my site http://money-making-tools.tipsonclicks.com

Make Money Online with a 14 year old November 29, 2007 at 3:09 am

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Have two blogs that I hope you can visit

Make Money Online with a 14 Years Old

Tech Talk

Make Money Online with a 14 year old November 29, 2007 at 3:11 am

I read about this post and found it interesting. I also earn my money through blogging and my blog is going strong and well. Check it out everyone and give me some comments about the blog. Thanks

Here are the two blogs URL that I hope you can visit

Make Money Online with a 14 Years Old

Tech Talk