Book Review: Make Money Online: Roadmap of a dot com mogul

by Mark on May 1, 2010 · 8 comments

Although I haven’t written about it a lot, it shouldn’t be a secret that I want to make money from this blog. I’ve talked about blogging as a personal development tool, but I haven’t talked much about blogging for money. Blogging for money is just like running any other business. If you are serious about it, you have to go about it very professionally. As in most areas of life, the best way to learn is to find someone who is getting the results that you would like to get, and then find out what they do.

When it comes to making money online, it’s almost impossible to not be aware of John Chow. This is no accident. He has very deliberately branded himself as the go-to guy to learn how to make money online.  He delivers a consistent message that positions him as an expert in making money online, and then he backs it up by making money online himself. He earns more than $30,000 a month from his blog John Chow dot Com. As you can imagine, I wanted to know his secrets, so I began to follow his blog.

John recently published a book called Make Money Online: Roadmap of a dot com mogul. I briefly debated with myself about whether to buy it because I had no idea what was really in it. However, I knew from reading John’s blog that he knows what he is talking about. Then I thought to myself that probably one good idea would easily pay for the book (I paid $14.75 with shipping from Amazon). It was a great decision. Other than being somewhat poorly edited, it is an excellent book. The title of the book – Make Money Online: Roadmap of a dot com mogul – is not misleading, because the book does give you strategies to help you make money online and does provide a roadmap. However, the book is more specifically about making money blogging. There are numerous other ways to make money online, but this book does not address them. This is actually preferable. It would be a far too unwieldy subject to cover making money online generally.

Below I have included a very high level summary of the book that will serve two purposes: 1) It should give you a very clear idea of the subject matter that the book covers, and 2) It will serve as a checklist of subject areas that should be considered. I intend to use this summary as a very high-level roadmap, while returning to the book to get additional details of how to implement it. I obviously won’t be implementing everything the book says, but there is quite a bit of actionable material that I intend to use.

Make Money Online: Roadmap of a dot com mogul

Chapter One: The Best Time to Get Started

“The single greatest piece of advice that I can give you is to take action now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Right now.”

“Someday never comes.”

“When you talk to a successful person about his goals, he’ll tell you exactly what he plans to achieve, what he plans to do to achieve it, and when he will do it.”

The first chapter sets the tone perfectly. This is no get-rich-quick scheme. This is a real business, and you have to take action now. Putting it off until later is basically the same as deciding not to do it. In other words, John says that you should put your dream into action now. Who am I to disagree? :-)

Chapter Two: My Story

This chapter obviously tells John’s story, and it tells how John Chow dot Com came to be. It traces his path from 1999 through the dot com crash all the way to his current successful website. It’s actually a pretty interesting story. It really shows John’s willingness to take action and try new things without any assurances that they will work whatsoever. John didn’t have a roadmap to work with. He developed his own path.

Chapter Three: Blogging 101

Three tips:

  1. Blog About Your Passion
  2. Get Your Own Domain
  3. Update Often

Chapter Four: Ten Essential Blogging Tips

  1. Be Personal
  2. Write for Your Readers, Not for the Search Engines
  3. Get to Know Your Readers
  4. Never Rush Your Posts
  5. Go with the Flow
  6. Read Other Blogs
  7. Don’t Let the Haters Get to You
  8. Use the Art of the Deep Link
  9. Offer a Full Feed RSS
  10. Take Advantage of the Ramp

Chapter Five: WordPress Basics

Five Critical Areas:

  1. Unique Blog Theme
  2. Unique Header Image
  3. Prominently Featured RSS Feed
  4. Custom Favicon
  5. Search Engine Optimized URLs

Chapter Six: WordPress Techniques and Tools

More advanced techniques and WordPress plug-ins:

  • The Power of the Timestamp
  • Setting the Preferred Domain
  • Fighting Spam Comments with Akismet and More
  • AdSense Deluxe WordPress Plug-In
  • Feedburner FeedSmith
  • Subscribe to Comments
  • Show Top Commentators
  • Related Posts
  • RunPHP and DiggThis
  • Total WordPress Backup
  • Contact Form

Chapter Seven: Content is King

  • What is Quality Content?
  • Staying Within Your Niche
  • Highly Focused Articles Are Best
  • Finding Blog Post Ideas
  • Where Else to Get Quality Content
  • Where You Shouldn’t Go to Get Content
  • Would You Read This?

“Quality content is something that will be of interest to your readers.”

Chapter Eight: Promotion and Search Engine Optimization

  • Six Favorite Linking Strategies
  • How to Promote Your RSS Feed
  • Offline Promotion Methods
  • Low-Cost Advertising
  • Five Search Engine Optimization Action Items

Chapter Nine: The Importance of Branding

  • It Starts with the Domain Name
  • You Need a Custom Logo
  • Time for a Unique Blog Design
  • Have a Great “About” Page
  • What Makes You Different From Everyone Else?

Chapter Ten: Optimizing Google AdSense

  • The Google AdSense Paradigm
  • The Easiest Way to Add AdSense to a Blog
  • Understanding the Google AdSense Bid System
  • Section Targeting
  • Competitive Ad Filter
  • Color Blending
  • Keep an Eye on the Terms of Service

Chapter Eleven: My Top Moneymakers

  • TTZ Media
  • ReviewMe
  • Text Link Ads
  • PepperJam Network
  • Kontera ContentLink
  • Bidvertiser
  • Azoogle Ads
  • ShoppingAds

Chapter Twelve: Private Ad Sales

  • Traffic Comes First, Private Ads Come Later
  • Create an Advertising Page
  • How to Set the Prices
  • Sold Out on the First Day
  • The Best Ad Management System: OIOpublisher Direct

Chapter Thirteen: The Formula for Success

Five elements that are common to most successful blogs:

  1. Quality Content
  2. Marketing Skills
  3. Dedication
  4. Adaptability
  5. Maximizing Revenue


You would think that a book with an outline this long would be at least several hundred pages long, but it is only 144 pages.  Except for occasional sections that are somewhat technical, it is a very easy read. This is not a “for Dummies” guide. It doesn’t intend to hold your hand and guide you step by step through every single possible thing that you need to do to run a successful moneymaking blog. It would have been a massive and overwhelming book if it attempted to do this.

The WordPress software that John describes in the book (and that I use for this blog) makes blogging a million times easier, but there is no getting around the fact that blogging is still a very technical endeavor. Make Money Online gives you an organized set of strategies to help guide you, but you will still have to do your homework in figuring out exactly how to implement those strategies.

One point that I would like to add is that this book isn’t only helpful to people who want to make money from their blogs. This book will also be helpful to anyone who wants to have a more impactful blog. If you want to expand the reach of your blog for whatever reason, this book will help you do it. If you have some kind of mission where you want to connect with more people and touch more lives, then this book will help with that. You can simply ignore the parts of the book that directly address monetizing the website. The rest of the book will help you get your message out there to a bigger audience.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to make money blogging or have a big impact through blogging. As John said, “The single greatest piece of advice that I can give you is to take action now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Right now.”

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