5 lessons I have learned from John Chow

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.

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. :)

Free Exclusive Happiness Tips

Join the 80,000 people that subscribe to the Positivity Newsletter and you’ll get practical tips on happiness, self-esteem, productivity and more each week.

You’ll also get these three guides for free:

  • 21 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School.
  • 7 Steps to Stop Being So Lazy.
  • 10 Things You Can Do When Life Sucks.

100% privacy and no spam. You can unsubscribe anytime.

About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehack, The Huffington Post and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Alex: Thanks a lot.

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

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

  • MasterSparky: Thanks a lot!

  • 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.


  • Thank you very much, Chris!

  • Henrik,

    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?


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Neil,

    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…


  • Hello

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


  • Good advice!