Make Money Online by John Chow Book Review

photo and review of Make Money Online: Roadmap of a dotcom mogul by John Chow and Michale KwanJohn Chow is one of the very few people I have high respect for in the make money online niche. So it should come as no surprise that I’m here to offer you Wordful’s official review of his new book Make Money Online: Roadmap of a dot com mogul (affiliate link).

Quite fittingly, I read the book while on a long plane trip from Hawaii to China (where John Chow is from) seated next to The Man—my boss. Little did he know that while he was snoring next to me, I was plotting my escape from my job by reading John’s book!

What I like about Make Money Online

So far, it’s the best guide on blogging I’ve read. More so than the other books on blogging by Problogger and Huffington Post, John’s book is lively, personable and full of practical, easy to understand information.

Also, Make Money Online is only 144 pages—definitely short enough to read in one or two sittings.

I applaud John decision to partner up with writer Michael Kwan. Michael gave the book a well-edited, professional polish that luckily didn’t erase too much of the snarkiness and shameless self-promotion that readers like me have enjoyed over the years. (note to Michael — Wordful found a small typo on page 49: “This is the maximum number of ads allows on a page.”)

John’s “roadmap” is very clearly laid out: He gives you just enough inspiration, motivation and pragmatic advice to get you on your way to blogging, but not so much that you’re too overwhelmed to do anything about it.

Some of my favorite parts include:

  • John Chow’s story. Every success has a story, and John’s is definitely worth paying attention to.
  • John telling you upfront that he’s not writing this book to give you some magic overnight success formula. He’s merely showing you what works for him and how to start thinking for yourself.
  • the section on finding blog post ideas. He reminds me there’s way more ideas than just what’s floating around in my head.

…and I thought I had a good handle on blogging, but I also learned a few new things like:

  • the importance of internal deeplinking to SEO. External links provide the most value, but internal links describe your content in better detail.
  • setting your preferred domain to prevent Google duplicate content penalty.
  • how to hold a blogging contest.

While I’m at it, here are some of the book’s best quotes:

  • “You have to make your own opportunities.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to state your views or piss people off.”
  • “Your content has to be good, and it needs to be unique.” (This is the Wordful philosophy!)

What this book is missing

Of course, Make Money Online isn’t perfect.

I wish John would have touched more on what exactly defines “good content” and how he measures it. I feel like many of my posts are insightful, but I often don’t get any feedback (comments). How do you know when people appreciate your stuff?

I’m also puzzled as to why John didn’t explicitly discuss his real moneymaker—the email list. Some time ago he posted a video he gave to a class in Vancouver which was by far the single most powerful and useful piece of content John has ever published. He does give a link to that video at the back of the book, but it’s never really mentioned anywhere else.

Beyond that, I really wish John would have shared more of his deeper wisdom on work-life balance. If you really want to get to know John Chow, you need to go through his blog and find the nuggets like this one or this one.

And since I happen to be in China as I write this, I can’t help but insist you read John Chow’s post about his very humble beginnings.

John’s so-called hustler attitude is really just an effective front for a person who is really an awesome, genuine person — and this to me makes all the difference.

My Final Thoughts

I think anyone who’s into making money online through blogging should read this book to get an idea of what’s possible and how it can be done.

But I imagine John would also tell any reader that he’s only giving us the roadmap — it’s up to us to put in the passion, relationship-building and hard work.

And don’t ever forget this: John Chow is the only person on Earth who could ever get away with saying: “I make money online by telling people how much money I make online.”


Click here to buy “Make Money Online” at Amazon.

6 Replies

  1. Blogging for Profit Reply

    You are very lucky that you have the book. How I wish to have that book too but I don’t have money yet in my pocket.

    John really is a good model to be followed. I also read his newly launched ebook called Blog Profit Model. And we have the same impression the way he deliver his words.

    He share it more practical and realistic. Thanks for sharing this post. I guess I will but that book in the near future.

    – Felix Albutra

  2. Thu Nguyen Reply

    Great review. You’ve included a lot of your thoughts which makes it all the while more personal. I just ordered my book so am awaiting on delivery. Hopefully, the contest will run for another month. Otherwise, I’m just going to review it anyway and wait until December for a Christmas iPad.

    Overall, you’re right. John puts up a business front towards blogging but when it comes to family, especially when I saw his video with his daughter describing what the blogging lifestyle is, that did it for me. That shows John the human instead of John the money making machine.

  3. thebloggernet Reply

    awesome review I will checkout the book for sure…