Bloggers Worst Enemy?

I was going to say that carpal tunnel was the worst enemy to bloggers, but Jeff already chose that for his post, and so I will select John Chow (not linking him, go search him out) as the worst enemy to bloggers. Sure, it has been done many times before, and picking on John, who I’ve met and is a great person, seems kind of silly, but let me explain why.

John Sells the Dream

One of the biggest misconceptions still out there regarding blogging is that you can make a bunch of money overnight. John earns $1000 per day from his blog, and he built that little empire in a year, so anyone can do it, right?

Well, not quite. Even if you took all of the same steps towards building and monetizing your site as he did, you would still fall quite short in terms of traffic, fame and revenue. Things have changed online and I highly doubt anyone could copy his steps to get to the same point in the same amount of time.

John, also rarely adds valuable content to his site, with a strong mix of paid reviews, affiliate program posts, and a variety of content on his own life. These posts really only help to earn him more money without providing much content worth remembering and serves to only persuade people further that what he does is easy to replicate.

I hear, “I could blog about food and weird products all day too” and shake my head. If only it was that simple, then everyone would be doing it.

People have long since forgotten that “if it is too good to be true, then it probably is” and this rule holds even more true online than any other medium or communication space before it.

John Chow is a blogger’s worst enemy. He shows the world a slanted picture of what it means to be a blogger, and is probably solely responsible for many horrible blogging trends online.

8 thoughts on “Bloggers Worst Enemy?

  1. Ed Sutherland

    David – I usually read your posts via RSS, but this time I just had to visit and comment. If it were possible, I’d give you a virtual clap on the back and a hearty ‘well-done.’ The image of blogging has become too skewed in a way as destructive as anorexia.

    Like that body dysmorphic disorder, blogging’s self-image (egalitarian, open, a green field where anyone can strike it rich if they work hard enough) is distorted when compared to reality.

    The fact is those days are gone. Much of blogging has been mined and the best stakes already taken. Today’s blogging riches come from supporting the myth – be it the blog aggregator, the designer or the ad salesman. The large valuations come from VC and media giants that swap well-entrenched blog properties the way real estate was flipped a couple years ago.

    Today, VCs are pulling back, ad sales are pulling back and 90 percent of bloggers are left scrapping over Adsense pennies. As the 2008 Technorati State of Blogging noted, the median blog income is $200/year. As Automattic’s Matt Mullenweg has opined, 80 percent of blogs are splogs.

    Is blogging dead? Far from it. However, a bit of reality must seep in and the ‘blogging riches’ mantra must be balanced by comments such as yours.

  2. John

    Agreed. John seems like a nice guy, but his blog is no longer very useful to anyone, in my opinion. I still subscribe to it but rarely benefit from it.

  3. Duncan Riley

    let me say first that I agree with the sentiment of the post. The whole false hope selling has never sat well for me, and it prays on people who are often desperately searching for salvation.

    However, as much as I’m guessing you picked John Chow as an example, I don’t believe that he alone is responsible nor an enemy to bloggers. There’s lots of people who peddle false hope and profit from it along the way. Chow is no different to many others in that regard. Likewise if John Chow stopped doing what he’s doing today, there will be 100 people (thousands even) lining up to take his place. As long as there is a market for this stuff, people are going to provide it. That some should do it more ethically isn’t disputed, but the demand also drives the supply.

  4. Yan

    Yes, John is a great guy, and even though his blog is kind of useless to me now, I like to read his content from time to time (especially his food posts). The last *really* useful article he did (for me at least) probably dates back to more than a year… but I keep on visiting him about once or twice a week.

    Once you’ve read a good “make money online” blog, you’ve read them all… and once you’ve learned all the basic techniques, visiting these sites will only waste your time… Oh, there are a few exceptions of course, problogger and your site being a part of them, but you guys aren’t really into the “MMO” niche anyways.

    Ed: I don’t think blogs are making less money today then they were a few months ago… advertisers are just looking for ads that convert.. if you analyze your stats properly and implement good advertising techniques, You shouldn’t see your revenue going down.

  5. David Peralty Post author

    Of course I don’t blame JUST John Chow, but he’s one of many people selling the get rich quick line of blogging, and so I wanted to bring a bit of attention to it. John is a great guy on a personal level and so I don’t mean anything negative towards him.

  6. Tom.L

    Good post.It sure takes a lot of work to get the “ball rolling” building the incoming links and everything else, anyone saying the opposite tells lies.But once the traffic starts coming, it´s more of maintaining the site a couple of hours per week or so I have been told by a well-known internet marketer.

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