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How John Chow Made $3,440.66 Last Month from His Blog

I love reading posts where other Pro Bloggers talk about their earnings. It’s really exciting and inspiring to see how others make their living from blogs and is always a great source of ideas.

John Chow (you might know him from his AdSense advertising here on ProBlogger where he says ‘I love Darren Rowse – very clever) has given some insight into his January earnings at Making Money From A Blog – January 2007 - as with most bloggers who go full time John’s experienced growth from a number of avenues over the past few months.

The main reason he’s been able to keep increasing his earnings have not been traffic increases (they’ve been up and down a little) but as a result of his diversification of income streams. He’s increased his focus upon direct ad sales (banner ads, text ads) and has also been experimenting with a variety of affiliate programs and ad networks.

There comes a point for most blogs where traffic does tend to stagnate a little (particularly at this time of year) and the main way to increase earnings is to ad income streams or optimize current ones. I suspect John’s also getting better at his ad placement and design too.

The only danger for bloggers diversifying is that they can end up with more ads than content. I don’t think John’s at this point – but there is always a temptation to go a little too far with ad placement and numbers.

PS: the only question I have for John is ‘where’s the Chitika (aff) figures’ in his earnings? I know he has them on every individual page – but there’s nothing about them in the post.

My own experience with Chitika on a blog like John’s (and ProBloggeR) is that it tends not to perform too well as it’s not directly product related. I took them off ProBlogger pretty quickly and left them on the sites where they worked best.

Update: Oops – John doesn’t use Chitika – as is pointed out in comments below they look like Chitika ads but are in fact his own type of ad.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Adele says:

    Darren, Sorry to veer off the topic a bit, but something you wrote hit me square between the eyes: “There comes a point for most blogs where traffic does tend to stagnate a little (particularly at this time of year)”.

    Is the time-of-the-year slump a common knowledge?

    This is my first January blogging, but over the last year I got a steady increase in traffic every week, and then – whoosh, the growth disappears, more or less same numbers throughout the month – on all of my blogs.

    I would be very relieved if this stagrnation was indeed something that reliably happened every year.

  2. Kiltak says:

    John isn’t using chitika.. the ads that look like chitika are from his own advertising network, TTZ Media.

  3. Kiltak says:

    “My own experience with Chitika on a blog like John’s (and ProBloggeR) is that it tends not to perform too well as it’s not directly product related. I took them off ProBlogger pretty quickly and left them on the sites where they worked best.”

    And yes, you’re right. They do not work very well at all.. I’m waiting to hit the 10$ minimum to remove them from my blog.

  4. Andy Beard says:

    There is a big hole in his figures, and his previous ones.
    He is running heavy Adwords campaigns on multiple blogs to build up his subscribers.
    It is quite possible that after he has deducted costs, his income is not so impressive.
    It can be difficult to track RSS subscribers compared to different sources of traffic.

    As long as he has broken even after costs to build up his subscribers then great, as it is the subscribers and repeat traffic that is most important.

  5. Scott Howard says:

    John Chow definately has some things going for him. I really enjoy reading his blog.

  6. Dave says:

    Ok, I understand about landing ads, diversifying (google vs. text link ads and so on), etc. But I’m nowhere near the 255,574 page views that John reported for January. I get frustrated when I see people write, “I threw up some Google ads in made $300 in my first month, and twice that in the second!” Well I made $15 last month from Google, and I’ve been at it for years.

    What I need to know is who do I generate 255K page views? I put up several post per day both at http://daddydaze.net and http://thescrantonbranch.com and get maybe 100 page views per month. I don’t believe that my content is so horrible that it’s repelling viewers, but what do I know. Maybe it is.

    Stories like this aggravates me. Sure it’s easy to make three thousand dollars a month…if you’ve got three quarter of a million readers. THAT’S the missing step for me, and I would venture to guess, many others.

  7. Leroy Brown says:

    Andy,
    That’s a really good point… if those are before Adwords costs, then it could be an entirely different picture than what he’s showing.

  8. Agreed, Chitika ads are no good for business blogs, they pay poorly. I only have them because the google ads that were in their position werent doing well either.

  9. Jon Symons says:

    I’m with Andy, a Page Rank 4 blog with an Alexa rank of about the same as ProBlogger.net…something is unaccounted for.
    Pretty funny that you’re targetting his site with PPC ads now too…so why does he love you?

  10. jim says:

    Isn’t there a concern that by doing these sort of vanity posts, you run the risk of having your readers start heavily competing with you in certain niches? For example, when Shoemoney talked a lot about ringtones, he started getting more competition in the space and has since mentioned on his show that he kinda wished he didn’t talk so much about it. I’m not saying the guy can’t pay his bills because of it but no one likes added competition.

  11. Hey Darren, and what about my 2k

    http://blogverde.com/2007/02/01/fechamento-de-janeiro-07-recorde/

    =DDD

    (remember that here is Brazil, and here the adsense pay a lower click and we don’t have good advertising networks) =)

  12. Perhaps traffic stagnates for product-related blogs. My December Adsense revenues were up around 50% over November and my January revenues were ABOUT double what I earned in December. (That’s 175% of what I earned in November.) And I don’t have a product-related blog.

  13. Mar says:

    I don’t understand why people use adsense as a main income source. It’s always been my …looking for something else… sale.

    I would rather target an affiliate program that pays well, and that seems to work for me. To me, using adsense means a blogger doesn’t know who their readers are. However, I don’t make $3k from one blog, but make money from a set of blogs and websites…so I guess I don’t have the answers.

  14. João Pedro says:

    Long live John Chow! lol

  15. Ravi says:

    I’m with Andy….would love to see how much he spends on his adsense ads.

  16. Khurrum says:

    I love the “John Chow Loves me – Find out why John Chow Loves Darren Rowse” ads on his site! Great move! :D

  17. Does john chow tailor his content to suit the advertisers or does he use anything like pay per post ?.

  18. Nomar says:

    I agree that it is interesting to read others earnings.. It is always a great motivation for me

  19. Marco says:

    When you consider the superb success achieved by Jonh”s blog you have to remember a couple of things
    1) He’s the owner of TTZ since 1998.(popularity,connections, years of experience under his belt etc.)
    2) He’s a talented writer/marketer and knows too well which button to push to write an appealing post for his audience
    3)His blog is a mix of financial advices, technology reviews and “look I’m a successful guy “sprinkled with a touch of family stories. All things people love to read.
    4)He has proved more than once he’s capable of thinking out of the box (the adword thing is just an example)
    5)He’s very good at picking and rewriting news with his personal spin and I must admit even if I’ve read the same news on ten different sites, his point of view is always interesting.

    Now, instead of crying over your poor traffic and conversion, read and read again his posts and find the magic formula…
    Great case study if you ask me.

  20. Andy Beard says:

    Marco there is nothing wrong with his strategy, but the figures he is quoting are misleading.

    The Adwords campaign on this site alone was probably costing John $400 per month.
    If he turned that specific traffic into 400 subscribers then that isn’t a bad deal compared to typical email signups – however I have never seen proof that an RSS subscriber is likely to make you the same amount of income as an email subscriber.

    If he has achieved enough “critical mass” so that his blog will snowball then the investment he has made was extremely worthwhile.

    @Dave

    Some tips:-

    Tagging (preferably internally with a plugin such as UTW)
    Link out a lot more and get involved in related communities
    Focus on subscribers not income – if traffic is hard to come by, you want them to subscribe, not leave by an Adsense advert.

  21. I made $5K in January based off of purely the coaching I do. I use my blog to “showcase” my abilities and testimonials and random ramblings.

    That doesn’t include various affiliate stuff which just amounts to beer money really at the end of the month.

    I hope to have more passive style income, but the consulting and traveling is fun while I try and come up with ways to increase other streams of revenue.

  22. Amarnath says:

    I really really really want to get there!!! earning money online and Darren you rock!!

  23. i’m really really inspired with you guys! I really love to read your posts that you’re earning from the internet. I am so inspired. I wanna be like you. Keep up the good work and God Bless!

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  4. How John Chow Made $3,440.66 Last Month from His Blog…

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