Welcome to the 2008 series of interviews, for January we have John from Not John Chow. Let’s see a short excerpt from his (not) about page:
It’s true. I am not John Chow. I am John, Average Guy. Oh sure, some people think I am special, but they are either family or I pay them.
The purpose of this blog is to teach you how to make money online while I learn to make it online. We are in this together. I have learned so much already and I continue to learn. Please browse my blog and learn what you can. If you don’t find what you are looking for just ask. I will research the topic and share what I learn.
1. Let’s make a short introduction (name, age, location, occupation, favourite 3 blogs).
Okay, My name is John. I don’t give out my last name because I would like to have fortune without the fame. I am 48 years old, I live in Rochester, Michigan, USA. I am a Program Manager in the automotive business. My favorite blogs are http://www.doshdosh.com/, http://www.johnchow.com, http://internetdreamer.co.uk/ and http://michaeltalk.iblogger.org/index/ (I guess I can’t count).
2. What made you start a blog?
I have been on the look out for a source of additional income that require little or no start up money for several years. My motivation kicked into gear in June 2007 when I had a close call with unemployment. I was an Engineering Manager at a large Tier I automotive suppler when my job was eliminated. I was given two weeks to find a new job. I was fortunate to find a new job with the same company, but the experience pushed me to follow my dreams.
Up until then, I was considering several alternatives when I came across John Chow’s blog in September 2007.
I thought “I like to write, I have experience in several subjects, I can do this!” I spent most of September and October researching hosting options, blog software options, and topics.
I settled on DreamHost due to the low introductory costs and the use of WordPress.
3. Why did you choose your current topic?
As far as topics, I decided on several, but chose to start with “make money online” or “internet marketing” because I have written on these subjects in the past and because my B.A. degree from MSU was in Advertising and my MBA from Davenport University is in Strategic Planning.
4. What ad networks (not affiliates) you currently host and what’s the most profitable so far?
Since I am new, I am researching everything. I have made mere pennies (what is the euro equivalent?) so far. My income reports so far show $0.59 revenue for November, $3.03 for December and I expect to make about $20.00 for January.
I like the Bidvertiser model because they are friendly to the small bloggers. Their $10 pay out can help small blogs get started. I am also trying out Widget Bucks and NeverBlue. I am continuing to try AdSense, but with their $100 pay out, it doesn’t make much sense to me until I get my traffic up.
5. How do you deal with regular posting and deadlines?
When I started, I committed to posting at least once per week. I was concerned about this before I started, so I wrote 10-12 posts before I launched and dispersed them out into the weeks ahead. I found that the posts came easier than I expected and that I could work off line while on business trips or in the airport or while riding in cars with co-workers. I also plan ahead and write posts sometimes weeks in advance. I even have a couple of posts that are scheduled to launch during the summer and the fall of 2008.
6. How much time do you spend blogging (this includes commenting on other blogs, documenting for new articles and optimizing for search engines)?
I spend 1-2 hours a day on blogging during the evening hours at home. On the weekends I spend a little more time maybe 4-5 hours a day. On business trips I actually get in quite a bit in the spare time. None of that time is contiguous. I steal a few minutes here and there in between time with my family or other activities.
7. What are the most rewarding parts of blogging? What about most frustrating?
I enjoy watching my blog improve daily, not only in terms of income, but also in terms of refining the site, and seeing the traffic increase.
My frustrations come from how far away I have gotten from computers and how I need to re-learn programming and how I need to build a new network of friends and associates. I enjoy making new friends, but how to find them?
8. Have you ever used any black SEO method for increasing your rankings?
I don’t know enough about SEO to be bad yet. At least not on purpose. I don’t mind breaking the rules occasionally, but I am not willing to take on Google … yet. Why should Google have so much power anyways?
9. Do you see yourself continuing this blog for a long time?
Yes, I think this is a life long (or whats left of it!) activity.
10. What’s your plan for the next 3 months?
The plan (for the next year) is to grow this blog as much as I can. If I find that I can no longer contribute, I will stop. But I have become inspired. Some of the time that I mentioned above is used on expanding to other sites. I have several blogs planned to launch this year. All of them can be seen at my other domain, www.start-run-win.com. The sites involve coaching and playing youth soccer (I coach), poetry (I used to publish a print magazine), tanks (I have a board game that I have designed), alternative energy vehicles (electric, etc.) and more to come. Right now It is everything that I can do to slow myself down. It is very difficult not to reach too far, take on too much, but I get more ideas every day.
11. What’s your plan for the next 6 months?
—Chip: I’m sure there’s a plan but the answer seems to be lost. Or not.
12. Have you been struck by the recent PageRank decreases?
It is hard to know. I haven’t been able to get ranked yet. I am still pretty low on the radar to be noticed. Last week I was rated number 247 on www.45n5.com s top 100 Make Money Online blogs.
13. Describe your blog in 3 words.
Learn Money Making
Hey! Maybe I can count!
14. Tell me 5 tools you’re using in your daily/weekly/monthly blogging activity such as browser extensions, web site tools ( netvibes.com, digg.com, facebook.com), email client, traffic and analysis tools, blog plugins, etc.
Social networking sites like Facebook are on my radar for 2008, but I haven’t started yet.
I do use Comment Kahuna to help speed up my commenting work. In my first two months, John Chow’s blog was the greatest contributor to my traffic numbers. This program finds blogs based on key words and speeds up the process of finding blogs to comment on.
I also try to play around with “John Chow” posts to snag the curious. One of my posts is entitled “John Chow is Dead!”
I use the SEO All in One plugin pack.
I also use Adman for Adsense.
I am also looking at contests to draw in people. I just started a big contest on my site (or maybe its just a spoof!)
I was also privileged to guest blog on Michael Talk (see favorite blogs above). I took full advantage of this opportunity. I have already seen an increase in traffic coming from this site.
15. How do you get inspiration for you articles?
Mostly from life experiences. There is my specific education as I stated earlier and I have started or been involved with many businesses in the past. I was in the landscape and lawn service business, roofing, magazine publishing, etc. I worked in finite element analysis, plastic injection molding, air intake and integrated air fuel module design. I have traveled to Europe, Japan, and Mexico, and through out the USA on business. I have had employees and associates from around the world including Australians, Indians, Chinese, Pakistani’s, Mexicans, Germans, British, Japanese, Czechs and more.
16. Tell me 5 biggest mistakes you’ve made since the beginning of you blog.
Not backing up. I knew better, but one day I was feeling confident and I decided to edit some of the PHP files. Needless to say, I screwed things up.
Expanding too fast. I have had to slow myself down. I wasted a lot of time developing new blogs when I could of perfected Not John Chow.
Starting too quick. I was anxious to start, but I should have planned more and launched later.
Monetizing with out a plan. I threw ads up everywhere and then had to back up. I still have a lot of ads, but I cleaned it up since then.
Word Press Theme. I should of chosen my theme more carefully. I am happy with what I have, but I switched themes and changed stuff much too often, again poor planning.
17. What makes your blog different from all the other?
I like to think that as an outsider, I bring new ideas. Of course, time will tell. I also have a lot of practical brick and mortar type experiences that many bloggers do not have. Being older than many, I bring life experiences that are unique.
I am encouraged on a daily basis by the many fellow associates that I have at work. I am sought out for my advice every day. I figure that if so many people want my advice, I would give it to them.
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