5 lessons I have learned from John Chow

by Henrik Edberg

Who is John Chow?

Well, as far I know he´s a pretty successful entrepreneur and dot com mogul from Vancouver, Canada.

Apparently he rose to fame with The TechZone. But I´ve never visited that website, so…

I am however a fan of his blog JohnChow.com.

In fact it’s the only semi-personal blogs that I read regularly. Mostly, I just read different niche-blogs on personal growth and blogging.

John´s blog is basically about the internet and blogging – often with thoughts on the business side of things – mixed up with odd ramblings about, and pictures of, things he eats.

While reading John´s blog for a couple of months I´ve learned a thing or two. Here are five of those lessons. Some are new, some are good reminders. Most are principles that apply not just to blogging but to many areas of life.

1. Be consistent – I´m, more and more, becoming a firm believer that one of the biggest keys to success is being consistent. John posts very regularly and with great frequency. The blog features a couple of semi-short posts almost every day of the week.

Being that consistent is probably one of the largest factors to his blog growing so fast. Every time you visit there is always something new and – 7 times out of 10 something – interesting to read.

2. Be proactive – John´s networking skills seems to be a lot more energetic and creative than that of your average blogger. He quickly expanded his MyBlogLog community by holding a competition for everyone that joined. Today that community has 714 members.

He has also expanded his part of the pay-for-browsing network Agloco to an impressive 6000 members by networking and blogging about it. And he created the clever Adsense-ads that said stuff like “I love Steve Pavlina “ or “I love Darren Rowse” and placed those ads on their blogs.

Almost every week John reminds an amateur blogger like myself about the importance of being proactive to be successful.

3. Keep optimizing – John often writes about new plugins for blogger-software WordPress or about other new opportunities for bloggers. But he doesn´t just blog about it but actually tests things out and, after a while, reports back. He seems to constantly be experimenting to optimize his blog and business.

Every little bit counts in every part of your life. And those little bits soon add up to vast improvements.

4. Mix it up, lighten up and have some fun – One of the big factors that always keeps me coming back to John´s blog is that he writes well and, pehaps even more importantly, keeps a light mood in all his posts. I like how he manages to share a bit about his dining out–experiences and other personal stuff once in a while and not make it dull or that incongruent with the rest of the posts.

For some reason it seems like his mouth-watering pictures and restaurant-reviews fit right in with rest of the site. And that mix plus the consistency in tone and mood makes the reading a whole lot more fun.

5. Give. Sooner or later you shall receive – In a few short months John has gone from making zero bucks on his blog to making a couple of thousand dollars a month. Not bad. And even though he´s the “self-proclaimed root of all evil” John seems to be a pretty good guy. He does nice write-ups about interesting sites once in a while, like this post about 12 year old blogger Paris Spence-Lang.

John also donates all his blog-earnings to his church and other charities. I think John´s sharing and giving attitude certainly is a big factor in his quick blogging success (and probably earlier successes too).

What goes around always seems to come around. Sooner or later.

Finally, five posts from John Chow that I found especially useful:

This was a part of John Chow´s Review my Blog project.

This is also the second article in the on-going series – and category in the right navigation column – “Lessons I have learned from…”. If you like, you can read the first article called 9 lessons I have learned from George Costanza. It´s actually 9 lessons plus 1 bonus lesson because I fumbled with the title. :)

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Alex Shalman February 28, 2007 at 5:52 am

You have sold your soul to the root of all evil. Jk, nice review, one of the firsts that I was able to actually read all the way through without dosing off.

Pamela February 28, 2007 at 6:55 pm

Giving somethings is good but it would be a lot better if we don’t expect to receive anything in return. This will teach us how to become unselfish.

Henrik Edberg February 28, 2007 at 9:22 pm

Alex: Thanks a lot.

Pamela: I agree, giving without expecting anything in return is even more useful.

MasterSparky March 5, 2007 at 5:09 am

This is one of the better john chow reviews i’ve read. Nice work.

Henrik Edberg March 5, 2007 at 9:04 pm

MasterSparky: Thanks a lot!

Chris Denny March 15, 2007 at 7:35 pm

Good article. The best part is the list at the bottom:

Finally, five posts from John Chow that I found especially useful:

* Six Top Linking Strategies
* 10 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid
* My 16 Best Wordpress Plugins
* Using The Competitive Ad Filter To Increase Adsense-earnings
* Financial Freedom – The Reality

They are all excellent resources.


Henrik Edberg March 16, 2007 at 12:33 am

Thank you very much, Chris!

Dave Prouhet March 16, 2007 at 4:19 pm


Great article on the John Chow powerhouse. Those links listed are definite highlights. Some I had read already – some I had not.

Ok, Steve Pavlina has an awesome post on polarity that is highly related to all the giving (unselfishness, etc) and receiving. Might bring some clarity to the thoughts expressed in the article and in the comments.


Did you read it? Awesome, eh?


neil March 16, 2007 at 7:07 pm

Good article. I’m a huge fan of Chow as well. I’ve seen a few guys complain that he is arrogant, but if he is, he has a right to be. He has done very well and done so by being proactive.

Those are a good set of links as well. With the number of John Chow postings on his site now, it is hard for new readers of his site to sift through them quickly. His Top Posts page is way to big now.

Henrik Edberg March 18, 2007 at 8:03 pm

Dave: Thank you. Yeah, I´ve read all of Pavlina´s articles on Polarization and they are, as you say, pretty amazing. Although I don´t think I have fully wrapped my head around them yet. I especially liked the follow-up to Polarity called Polarization (which contained some clarifing Star Wars-analogies). Read it at http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2007/02/polarization/

neil: Thank you. I´m glad you enjoyed the post and have had use of the links to John´s blog.

Dave Prouhet March 30, 2007 at 3:30 am


Yep read that one as well on Polarization. But when you get right down to it there is only one polarization and that is giving…yes there is the other, however, is that really an option?

Have you read the Disappearance of the Universe? That really throws a spin on things…


tihopilik July 8, 2007 at 2:01 pm


I can’t be bothered with anything these days, but shrug. I just don’t have anything to say recently.


Contamination November 3, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Good advice!

Wade March 21, 2008 at 2:33 am

You can learn a lot off John Chow. Although his site is a rarity. Most sites of his nature don’t make the money his does. He doesn’t give the users anything. All he does is tell you about how rich he is, and how much he made that month, and what ad companies and affiliates he uses. All of his links make him money. When you view his MoneyMakers page that has a list of all his recommended moneymakers, each title of the program has an affiliate code in it.

Most people have to atleast provide a service for the people. Tech support, links, reviews, tutorials, downloads, just something to keep the people coming.

Don’t get me wrong, JC is a very good guy but not everyone can just talk about being rich and get rich off of it. So don’t forget the key factor to success: provide a service.

Benjamin July 14, 2008 at 6:35 am

I am not by any means a fan of John Chow and in fact just wrote a post about him on my blog and it criticizes what this guy is doing. Essentially he is an “Evil Blogger”.

Iraida November 6, 2008 at 7:07 am

Even my mom liked it:))

51 Grand April 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Excellent post!

I also admire John Chow and read his blog very often.

I recently created a list of links to his earnings reports you can find on my site.

Anyway I like your last point: 5. Give. Sooner or later you should receive!

amenodimeno July 31, 2009 at 7:49 pm

That’s good man, keep it going.

queroeropoo August 7, 2009 at 1:13 am

Good information to me.

adamoerikom September 19, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Stunning blog and good article. High 5 for u man !

adamusxyz January 6, 2010 at 9:31 pm

This is a very good stuff man. But you can be more specific next time. See ya !

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