Friday, 27 July 2012

Self-professed "Dot Com Moguls" Are Pyramid Salesmen

John Chow asshole
I make a lot of money and so can you!
Today I've got a myth to dispel. It's all about the guys in blogging circles who are so keen to tell the world how much money they make from what is in fact a very labour-intensive industry. Sure, they get to work when they want and make videos about taking their kids to the park, but are you sucked in by their claims?

Most bloggers don't make any money from their sites. If you do it for the thrill of writing, then great. But when I look at guys who claim to make money posting about how they do it, you'll see dozens of comments from people who are clearly not making any. They are at the bottom of the pyramid buying into the guy at the top. "Hey man, great article!" Fuck you.

How do I know this? Go to one of these asshole sites. Do a scan and you'll see.
  • Derivative content. They're posting the same topics as other guys, just copying large chunks and linking back. What's the point? If you don't have anything to say, don't waste your time blogging. You're effectively earning about 10 cents an hour with your Google Ads considering how much time you've spent learning the SEO ropes and posting crap posts.
  • If they've got Google Adsense enabled, this is a bad sign. It pays poorly plus the ad positions in most common blog templates are so obvious that users have become blind to them. Sure, you can't disparage a site for using the most common ad platform in the world, but it can help diminish the brand.
  • They have no trust. Why? Because no-one has heard of them and their blog is too average-looking, their writing too run-of-the-mill for them to be worthy of it. Readers are aware that this is just another blog on the internet highway, maybe one day it'll get better but right now this person isn't worth subscribing to.
  • Crappy affiliate links to schemes that pay so poorly they're not worth entering into. I'd love to see some stats on how many bloggers end up not ever even cashing out of such schemes. The affiliate companies know this.
The guys at the top of the tree (e.g. John Chow) embellish their earnings to make the whole thing seem more plausible. Why? Well because most of the time they've got a book or an affiliate link that they'd just love for you to click. By making out their earnings are high (and probably posting a photoshopped gif of their adsense revenue from 2005) they're gaining trust from their customers. And eventually that trust will translate into sales, or even just page impressions.

I'll go out on a limb and say you'll never make big money meta-blogging if that's your only goal. You can build a readership and make some good connections, but the investment of time is so large that you

The web, and all its riches, belong to the ideas men. The guys who make MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube, WordPress - the list goes on. Don't believe me? Look here or here.

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