A Useful Site If You’re Looking to Monetize
I’ve mentioned him in passing, but I’ll be more explicit now: if you are interested in making money from your website/blog, John Chow is full of good advice. Though already a “Dot Com Mogul”, he started a new blog about a year ago which focuses mostly on how to do this, e.g. by being a “Google whore“, with some interesting asides about his multicultural life as a Chinese-Canadian, which of course I enjoy and empathize with.
Either Google have changed their rules about discussing money, or John doesn’t mind risking risking a rap on the knuckles – he’s very up-front about how much he’s earning. (Not that he’s likely to get any guff from Google – apparently he’s one of their favorite people.)
And he doesn’t mind pushing the Google envelope with advice about dodgy practices such as making ads appear to be part of your text or placing images so that they appear to be part of, and draw attention to, Google ads. His experiments are especially useful because somebody at Google reads his blog, and soon follows up with clarification on what exactly their rules mean.
That sort of thing tells me what I can’t do, but fortunately John is also helpful on what I can do to increase revenues. The recent addition of advertising to my comments section is thanks to his tip about an AdSense plugin for WordPress (the blogging software I use for comments), which has even made me a few cents already.
One discouraging thing I’ve learned is that I make about a tenth of John’s income from AdSense, and I get about a tenth of his traffic. So, to meet my goal of earning a “salary” from my site, it seems that I will have to get ten times the traffic I currently get. Which can be done – and John, among many others, offers suggestions on how – but it will take time. <sigh>
All this focus on making money could be distasteful, especially knowing that my visits contribute to John’s enviable (and by me envied) success. But he gives his site earnings to charity and, now, to a trust fund for his baby daughter. And who can quarrel with that? I have a daughter of my own, and part of my motivation for wanting to make money from my site is that she wants to go away to school next year!
And he doesn’t mind sharing the wealth with us aspiring Google whores. John recently offered to post links to any and all sites that review his, including this one. Because his site is so popular, this kind of link has intrinsic value (as I’ll be discussing in a future piece in my own making money on your site series).
What with the Christmas rush, I didn’t get this review done in time to participate in the contest for a MiniTV USB device (which might not have worked in Europe anyway, and I already tried one out from the office, and when am I going to watch Italian TV on my laptop?). But here it is, with thanks to John for all the good advice he has already shared, and the more good advice I expect he’ll continue to share.