John Chow Is Boring
There, I’ve went and said what I’ve thought for some time: John Chow’s blog is dreary.
It’s the early afternoon re-run of some Australian soap; the cookery show; the call-in gardening advice program; the show that makes you reach for the remote when it comes on.
Because it’s boring.
Not that Chow will give a damn what I think, and quite right, because it’s worked for him, and he has made one dinosaur-sized shit-ton of money from it. He’s as much a part of the Web landscape as AOL and Yahoo.
Except he somehow retained his relevancy while they didn’t.
If there’s any lesson to be learned from John Chow, it’s in persistence and fortitude: he started that blog and he kept at it.
He was using it like Twitter and Instagram before they were born, frequently not posting much more than a Tweet.
He’s not exactly for long-content to this day. Not on his two-hour workday rule. It can take me seven or eight hours, maybe more, to research and write a four thousand word plus post, but such word counts are not for John Chow’s blog.
I’ve written longer posts than he releases in his free e-books – and with less typos.
But I want to be fair to the guy, as he seems to be viewed with such reverence… It’s maybe like knocking Elvis or the Beatles because you don’t have the perspective of the time now, the point of reference that makes what they did so groundbreaking and enduring, and because it’s been absorbed by the culture and repeated so much, the impact is gone on viewing/listening now; like Citizen Kane.
Except reading vintage John Chow is even more dull than modern John Chow. I don’t even know what that blog was really all about in its first couple of years, even if the stated aim was to make money, which it’s certainly achieved.
That niche – making money – was kinda tenuous throughout many a post, however.
And beaten like a dead horse too, as John never misses a chance to give a finance report, no matter how crass and shoehorned in it may seem. There’s your reminder what it’s really all about I suppose.
I find John’s blog frequently like that; disjointed and almost like a stream of consciousness from a mild autistic.
I don’t think he means to be crass, or boring, or even interesting: I don’t think it crosses his mind. His mission is his post, not necessarily the content, and he either lacks the social intelligence to realise how he’s coming across, or he just doesn’t care.
Be Your Brand (Even If It’s MOBE)
John advises fronting your own brand and being the face of it, and again his execution of that over the years sort of smacks of the autistic, too. It just doesn’t, and never has, phased him to get out his camcorder (or whatever) and start a soliloquy, no matter what the occasion or public setting.
I think the best example of John’s “autism,” is in how he promotes MOBE. It makes John a lot of money because his blog gets a lot of traffic, and he has a massive mailing list. Therefore it is a good thing as far as John is concerned, because look at his MOBE sales and commissions: how can you deny it based on what he’s earned?
I don’t think he looks beyond that, though. It’s like he’s unaware that without the advantages in audience reach and ‘trust’ he enjoys, the vast majority of his readers are just going to get burned by taking his advice.
I think he’d be genuinely amazed to have that explained to him.
Unlike a lot of folks who’ll knowingly fleece you, I really think John sincerely believes he’s introducing you to a wonderful opportunity, and how you seize that is by following his example. Ergo, click his MOBE affiliate link. Now you go do it – with your ten blog visitors a day and non-existent email list.
You made it all possible… but I’m not sharing
John doesn’t do all the writing for his blog, there’s other bloggers chiming in – but they’re not exactly outshining him and showing him up.
Their input is as open to the ‘thin-content’ charge as John’s, and their advice similarly as lacking in any real revelation as anything John produces.
Because if you’ve been into internet marketing for even a few months, there’s nothing groundbreaking to be found at John Chow’s.
He is the best example of what he preaches in terms of “numbers game” marketing and content producing discipline, but he’s no technical science SEO wizard or mathematical genius who’s broken the code to the Google algorithm or keyword planner.
He’s a regular, not too interesting, guy who blogged a lot, riffing on blogging and how to make money as he made it; loosely. Or it morphed into that anyway.
He’s not a showman or charismatic or particularly insightful on anything… but he is successful.
Quite why he’s as successful as he is, I’m not sure. I’m not sure John is, either. Some of what he claims was a strategic plan, is well after the event, and he seems to be retroactively fitting his blogging history to fall into line with current dogma on content production.
Whatever he’s doing right, though, he’s sticking to, as his format and style hasn’t really changed since day one.
But he’s a great ad for his own marketing – if this guy can make it, then surely anyone can! Now click the MOBE link below, or buy the hackneyed book on marketing…
Maybe that’s the point, though: that the best advice, what works, is frequently simple and dull. Look at the 5×5 gym lifting program. That’ll beef you up – if you stick to it – but it’s like eating the same three meals every day after a while.
Something I think wouldn’t phase John. I just don’t think he has that temperament. As I say, he strikes me as almost autistic – or half Vulcan or part Terminator or something. Once he gets an instruction, he processes it, and he’s still processing “cmd>blog”.
Like a worker ant shifting sand grains around, the individual worth of any day’s toil is negligible, but the toil of ten years is impressive, and arguably more than the sum of its parts.
However, despite what I’ve said, I still keep returning to John Chow’s blog, because I still see it being referred to, and spoken of like it’s the cave to the home of the all-knowing oracle of SEO and blogging.
And I still keep leaving disappointed at the content, and perplexed at the gushing comments for the pedestrian advice.
I’ve gotten more from Vick Strizheus in that respect – original and workable advice – and yet folks view Vick with a lot more suspicion and distrust (as do I) than “uncle John.”
John Chow has certainly carved out an enviable position, and he’s where every blogger and affiliate marketer wants to be.
I may think he’s overrated, but with a bank balance and daily earnings like John Chow makes, I’m sure I can shit in my hat and wear it backward for all of him.
Excuse my French.
UPDATE: As of June 2018, MOBE has been shut down by FTC.
If you’re gonna blog, and affiliate market, then you need a blog.
And maybe some help and support to get things setup and on your way.
Which is why I recommend getting yourself hooked-up with Wealthy Affiliate.
It’s more than just a WordPress platform, it’s an affiliate marketing university giving members the complete education on how to begin making money online, along with all the tools required, all under one roof, no upsells or add-ons, no MLMing or training products costing $$$$$.
It is MOBE free of 21 steps, with number 7 requiring $1,997 to get to number 8.
It’s free to join, and you get a week of full membership to give you time to suss the place out and see if it’s for you. You’re not required to enter a credit card for “verification” or any of that BS, so if you decide against a full membership there’s no nasty surprises: your membership simply reverts to the free level.
You can read my review here.
Take a look, see if it’s for you. The training’s updated regularly and new training rolled out weekly. Meaning it doesn’t push a back linking strategy like John Chow does in his out of date training, that’d get you penalised by Google.
John Chow’s musings on his path to success. Probably contains an affiliate link to MOBE in digital format.
Road Map of a Dot Com Mogul
By John Chow