John Chow Interview - Blogger help, tips and hacks

John Chow Interview

John Chow is the blogger at, the wildly experiment to see if blogs can make money online. Currently the JohnChow blog makes over $25,000 a month. John is also the founder of

1. How many different income sources do you use and what are some of the ones that make you the most money?

I believe 8 right now. You can see these in my Monthly Blog Income Reports. The most effective ads I use are private ad sales; however, I recommend that new bloggers stick with well known advertising programs like Google AdSense when starting out since they take care of the entire ad process for you. Once your blog grows, you can look into private ad sales.

2. How have you been able to attract so many private ad sponsors?

All of my advertisers have contacted me. They know who their target market is, so I created an advertise page with information on who this blog reaches and advertisers wh felt it was a good fit contacted me. It is important to have a good “Advertise” page because advertisers want information and you should make it easy to find.

3. How much less would you make (percentage or dollar amount) if you only used one income stream, say AdSense?

I make 5x more from the private ad sales than I did when I used AdSense in the same spot

4. When people start adding new income streams, they tend to “overload” their site with advertisements, how do you get around this?

Making sure to use different types of ads. Do not use only banners, because then your blog will seem like it is covered in ads. By using different types of ads, some banners, some reviews, some links, ads are spread out and the blog looks clean.

5. One of your more controversial (and profitable) income streams is paid blog posts. Many like TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington are against paid posts since, as he argues, they undermine credibility of the blogger. This doesn’t seem to be the case for you as your credibility and revenue increase month by month. What is the key to using paid blog posts without any damage to credibility?

Be careful when choosing which companies to deal with. Make sure that you are allowed to disclose that you were paid for the post and that you can write a positive or negative review. Don’t let advertisers influence the tone of the post. I use ReviewMe because they allow me to disclose that I was paid for the post and I can write a positive or negative review, while many times, PayPerPost advertisers ask you to write a positive review.

6. Too many bloggers rely far too much on one traffic source. You had received a lot of traffic from Digg and Google before they each took action against your blog for various reasons, what are some of your other high traffic drivers?

I don’t let any traffic source send me more than 30% of all traffic I receive. When I get a lot of traffic from one source, I look for other ways to promote the blog so that I have a wide variety of traffic sources. I also make sure that no company makes up more than 30% of my revenue. Private ad sales made me almost ½ of my income last month, but that is spread over more than a dozen different companies.

7. What kind of post topics drive the most traffic to your blog?

My blog income reports. You really don’t know which posts will take off. I have written some posts that I thought would be very popular and haven’t gotten much attention, and simple posts like the one I made when I changed the header image in my blog to the Lamborghini Reventon that had over 100 comments within a few days.

8. What is the #1 piece of advice for new bloggers that want to reach your level of success?
Have fun. If you keep a good attitude and aren’t too serious, you will have a positive experience with your blog. Listen to negative comments and negative feedback, but don’t take it personally. It is just a sign that your blog is growing.

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