Episode 129: How to Build an Online Empire ALL OVER AGAIN from Scratch – with John Chow


John Chow is someone that most of you probably have heard of. He’s had his blog since 2005 and makes a living blogging about making money online. It’s been a while since he started, but he’s on the show today to discuss what he would do if he had to start all over again with no list, blog, or audience with his IM John Chow course.

Watch the show below: Duration: 17:40
[leadplayer_vid id=”515495B8583F9″]Stuff mentioned in the show

Raw transcript

Episode 129: How to Build an Online Empire ALL OVER AGAIN from Scratch – with John Chow

Mike: Hi there everyone! Welcome to Episode 129 of the Mike from Maine Show, the place where we do daily interviews with successful online entrepreneurs. This is your host, Mike Thomas. And today on the show, We’ve got John Chow on to talk about what he would do if he had to start building an online empire again from scratch, from the beginning, no email list, no blog, not anything. And I think it’s really important, especially once you’ve had some success for someone like John Chow to go back and think about the people that — I mean, he’s made an audience or people who wanna make money online. So, you kinda have to think about okay, if you don’t know these basic skills or you don’t have 100 people on you email list or 1000 people on your email list, or even 10,000, what it’s like to be in their shoes. So, his new product IM John Chow is way for him to sit down and explain to you how you can start building up your email list, start building your business in a way that is reasonable and it’s not gonna be a pushbutton situation, it’s not gonna be some guru magic bullet but it’s a normal way for someone to make a living online. I’ll let John Chow talk to you more about it. Here is John Chow.

Mike: We are here today with John Chow. John, welcome to the show. John: Hi, Mike. How are you?

Mike: Good, good. Let’s get right into it and I know a lot of my audience is gonna know who you are. But for those who don’t, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and how you got started with online marketing.

John: Sure, sure. My name is John Chow and I run the blog at johnchow.com. That’s my main thing. It was a blog I started back in December of 2005. It was all about friends and family, about what is happening in my life. So, I have relatives living in Toronto, as well as still some live in Mainland China. So, instead of you know, reaching out and calling them up, I make them log in to johnchow.com and find out what was happening with the family in Vancouver. And the first three months that the blog was live, it actually made no money coz it was just all about friends and family. Prior to that you know, I’ve been a full time internet marketer since 1998. So, I do know about affiliate site and content-based website and that should make me money online. And the blog was an outlet for me to actually talk about those other websites and those other adventures. Whereas on those affiliate site themselves, I couldn’t really talk about it because you have to say in their vertical. It was those money-making blog post that actually attracted the audience. So, that’s how I got started. So today, the site will still – it still has friends and family type post and it does have you know, lifestyle post or what we were doing in or what I am doing with me and my daughter and my family. But most of my blog posts now is centered around internet marketing and blogging.

Mike: It’s really interesting how your — how that got started initially with it kinda seems like it was a little more family-focused and you were doing it as a way of keeping in contact with your family back home. I started mikefrommaine.com as a blog when I was gonna be travelling around Europe and Southeast Asia. And it was just a hub for that and then it developed over time into me talking about how I was making money online and then into this show. So, it’s interesting to see that the things we get into, they may start at some point and then develop into something where we didn’t even know where they were gonna go to.

John: Yeah. Most of — actually, yeah. Johnchow.com started as a hobby and all my other, all my previous contents in the site also started as a hobby. At first, a technology site. Now, I did it as coz I’m a techie, I love computer system. So, I made a website on the first computer ever built, and then it has become a tech sale, and then we continued to see media, and then we have all the other technology sites and coz it was just fun, I enjoyed doing it. And it just became a full blown business.

Mike: I asked some of my readers if they had any question for you and one of them was, if you have to start all over again as of today from scratch, what would you focus on to try traffic your blog and how would you look to monetize that traffic?

John: If I’ll start all over again and I’ll start johnchow.com all over again and I knew I was gonna make money for it from the very beginning. And I would apply my usual marketing methods to it and that usually involved — it was all about mailing list. So, I didn’t start a list on johnchow.com to almost a year down the road. That was a common mistake. If I have done that, my list today will be twice the size and the income of course probably will be twice as large. So, a little piece of advice I would give to your readers would be to start an email list on day 1. So, if I start all over again, I would make johnchow.com more of a squeeze type page on the front end, and then they have a link to blog in order for them to read the blog. And so, I will use that to capture their email address and then, I would use the email autoresponder to establish relationship with these subscribers, as I would do as an affiliate. And I’d recommend product that will solve their problem.

Mike: The last time I looked, I think this is the number I commonly see across your site, the income that you usually talk about is $40,000 per month that johnchow.com is making. Is that a current number, is that higher, lower? Let us know about that.

John: That’s my current number. You see, that only came about because of the case study I did. Yeah. Like I said, first three months my blog is live, johnchow.com never made any money. And the reason it’s suddenly making was because I was challenged by my reader, some of my readers, to do so because I talk a lot about internet marketing and how to make money by blogging but my blog has made no money. It’s something that I kinda caught up on it, so I decided I thought I’d make a case study in September 2006, I would monetize the blog and you can follow along and see how much my blog made, how much traffic I have and what I made to make the money. And the goal of the case study was to create fulltime income with part time blogging. And I do fine fulltime income with, I received a few thousand per month and part time blogging, a few plus a day. I figure out you can see that. You know, this gives you a bit of freedom because it’s top of whatever it is that you’re doing, your fulltime job, your fulltime business. This like flashback. So, it took me four months to do that, once I monetize it. And afterwards, I didn’t stop the case study. I kept it going and try to pull off an auto stop. What would happen if I redesign the site, is it just simple thing coz there’s so much possibility for the blog. So, the case study kept going and within two years, the blog’s income got to about $45,000 per month and at that point, my accountant advised me to stop it because he felt like I pretty much proved that I could make money with my blogging. I actually didn’t listened to him. And then, my advertisers told me that they don’t want people know how much they pay me.

Mike: Yeah. It becomes difficult when you get involved with external parties and advertisers who may not necessarily want those stats revealed.

John: Yeah. So, the case study stopped in towards the end of 2009 with the blog income was about 45 per month. Today, the blog does a few little more than that and the reason for that is there’s a lot of them, a lot of the blog’s income is passive, like I refer a lot of affiliate offers through my blog, it pays me a residual every single month. For example, AWeber, you know the email list company. They give you 30% off the bill of the customer that you refer. Over the past five years, I refer hundreds of other people to AWeber and I got 30% off their bill. The biggest customer I referred to AWeber, his list was so big, his monthly bill is over $3000 per month. And so, I made almost a thousand bucks off him every single month. And to this very day, I don’t know who he is.

Mike: Really? You don’t even know who he is.
John: If I know who he is, I’d go back and meet with him. But no, I don’t know who he is.
Mike: That’s a huge commission you’ll be making every single month from one person and, yeah.

John: And I have hundreds for AWeber. So, I’m getting paid you know, for work I’ve done literally years ago. So, in every month I have more people to read my blog. I refer them to ad networks and they give me a percentage of their bills or their earnings, so the blog’s income is a lot higher than a few thousands a day. But people – since I have a case study, I’ve just been saying 45.

Mike: It’s interesting. Something that I see coming across in a lot of the bigger time internet marketers, the ones that have a huge following, like Pat Flynn, is that he makes a lot of his money not necessarily from just individual product sales every month but he makes a lot from a blue host affiliate program which is incurring income from that. I think it’s around $20,000 per month he usually brings in from that. So, it goes to show you how important the re-occurring programs can be in making a steady income.

John: Yeah, I love continuity. That’s one reason my new product is a continuity product, instead of a one-time fee product.

Mike: But before we get into that, I’ve got one more question for you. And it’s, every — I think it’s Sunday, Saturday or Sunday, you do something called dot come full.

John: Yeah.
Mike: And —
John: Full.
Mike: It’s dot com full. John: Yeah.

Mike: What’s the reason behind doing that and what advantages, what benefits, what relationships has that brought for you?

John: Well, the advantage of that is you know, like make your money online, I work at home, I work from my computer. It can be pretty longing as you know — one of the thing that people miss you know, when they go from a job or working in a business environment or working by themselves is they miss the face-to-face kinda like water bottle cooler moment that get to their job and they did along to get it.

Mike: Sure.

John: So, dot com full started just a way for me to just you know, meet with other people who are obviously in the same situation you know, they work at home, work by themselves and they realize a face-to-face time, just talk to people, with how to be like other people. It originally started out as it was just between myself and two other friends who usually want to meet at night time, probably midnight. And we met at a restaurant called Go To The Woods, so we kinda made night golden. And it just became a lunch time thing. Over the years, I met a lot of people, like if I was in Vancouver, I’d do it in Vancouver. And if I’m in California, I’d do it in California. We got from 3 to 20 people coming every single Saturday. It’s been really cool. I build a relationship. You get business ideas, sometimes they will form partnerships. It’s just a great way to just do some face-to-face networking and put a face to the person behind the screen.

Mike: Yeah, it’s like it’s your own little networking event that you have every Sunday. Anyone can come that’s in the area. It’s free. I think you have to pay for your lunch.

John: You pay for your own lunch.

Mike: Very nice. Very nice. Let’s get right into IM John Chow which is your newest product that you’re putting out. Tell us a little bit about that.

John: Alright. First of all, the name is just a play on my t-shirt. I realized my t-shirt says, “I’m John Chow, bitch”. But in this case, I’m actually refers to internet marketing. So, it’s Internet Marketing John Chow. It’s my newest product and it comes from feedback and research from my previous product, Blogging with John Chow. And Blogging with John Chow is everything you need to do with blogging and how to monetize with your blog. IM John Chow is more focused on the monetization part. So, and my biggest income source or the foundation of my blog’s income source is my blog’s email list. So, IM John Chow is an email marketing course.

Mike: Okay.

John: It shows everything you need to set up a list, build traffic, how to build a list, how to get people to subscribe to your list and how to monetize the list. That’s a —

Mike: Sorry, John. With your past product, You are Blogging with John Chow, do you have any people come back with success stories about it. Any of those?

John: Yeah. There has been quite a few. Tiffany Dow, she runs a blog at Tiffany Dow’s. She has a lot of fantastic reviews on her blog. She wrote on her blog to track her progress. And if you go to her blog tiffanydow.com, she actually shows you know, the traffic increase she got from it, the usual engagement she has received. Her ecommerce has come to I think 40% and her traffic has gone up like up to almost 60%. But it’s all on there. And so, she’s suddenly a testimonial, so she and her blog. And she’s done quite well. Well, a lot of people generally what they knew is – I encourage them to write their case study on their blog to see how they do it. So, I gotta do a follow up. And on my blog, I got a lot of feedback coz I have all these testimonials and my mistake was I’m not really posting them. I should be posting them more often but my blog, you know increase content every single day and sometimes, I got self promotional, so.

Mike: And, I guess okay, so this product is gonna be a list — it’s a list building course. John: Yes, it is.

Mike: How long after someone has gone through the course should they realistically be expecting to make some money or make some progress?

John: It’s not gonna be the first few days. The first days is gonna be the hardest of all because it’s also the most technical. And if you’re sending out a list, you gotta set up like an autoresponder, set up squeeze pages, you know like that kind of more technical

stuff. So, if you can get pass the first 30 days, the next 60 days will be a lot easier. But realistically, they would make their first dollar within the first month.

Mike: And you’ve got a — I was watching the video, your promotional video, for it and you’ve got a 60-day money back guarantee that if people, even if they buy it and they decide that they — it’s crap and they don’t learn anything from it, they can refund it. Is that right?

John: Yes. They got themselves a full 100% money back guarantee, no questions asked. And not only that, you’re gonna get refunded. you got the key of what you’ve learned so far. Like, whatever you learned from that point, there’s still log in and you can use all the information up to that point. It’s just that the – the product is set up in a way, it’s in a video format. So every day, you’ll gonna get a video lesson along with a homework assignment. The complete course is 90 days long, so you’ll get 90 videos on a daily basis. And the reason that I do it every day is it’s an action plan. Instead of giving you all at once, then you’ll be more overwhelmed. Not that you won’t do anything. But I’ll give you bite size pieces on a daily basis, with a lot easier to do lessons. You’ll just follow along and absolutely anything. You should have your list up and running, you should put up your products and sales and the rest of it would be pretty much easy.

Mike: Did you make the videos yourself or did you outsource?

John: It’s me, I speak on the video. Like I did all the video and then, my team actually put the slides together for me. So, it is my voice, it was me talking. And yeah, but I do have an outsource team who helped me put this together coz this is a huge thing. But, this is a medium of teaching.

Mike: Cool. Well John, thank you so much for taking time out to come on the show today. We’ll have links to IM John Chow in the show notes, plus links to your website. Is there anything else that we didn’t mention today that you wanted to mention before we wrap it up?

John: Yeah. I’m launching the product today, but I’m also flying to Shanghai within a few hours. So, this is to show you the power of internet. Basically, I’m gonna be going halfway around the world and while I am there, I will be behind The Great Wall of China. But I will be running my business and I’m gonna sign in my blog from there. I mean, it is the ultimate business.

Mike: And you’re gonna be — I’m imagining, is this already launched right now when we’re speaking or is it launching –?

John: It is going online today and you can go check it out and see the product for yourself. I set a 100% money back guarantee, you know you’ll get refunded, you still get access to it up to the point where you cancelled.

Mike: Is there gonna be internet on the flight as you’re going?
John: I’m flying to American Airlines, so I am not sure if they do. I will type in hello from there, from the plane and give an update.

Mike: If I were you, I would be — before I would be taking off, I’ll be checking like my stats and then, getting on the plane and immediately when I got off the plane, I’d be checking again.

John: I may do that.
Mike: Thanks again, John. I really appreciate it. John: Thank you, Mike.

Mike: I hope you enjoyed the interview today with John Chow. If you’re interested in checking out his course, go to mikefrommaine.com/chow. That’s mikefrommaine.com/chow. Thank you for watching and I’ll see you all tomorrow.

  1. Great interview! First time I found you, but I will be following. I believe I have seen you in the Warrior Forum, but met you through John.

  2. excellent episode, I love to hear how all these famous people started their business 😀
    thanks for sharing.

    1. Siegfried,

      You’re very welcome. John Chow is one of the “big guns” in the IM world.

  3. I found myself on your blog sometime last year but I was sent back via a blogger’s comment on Tiffany Dow’s site. She did a brillant review of his Blogging product. As a reader, you could notice the differences on her blog and the type of content she was producing. (yeah, I’m a fan – lol)

    A great testament to his product.

    Great interview. Many thanks

    1. Victoria,

      Thanks for coming over from Tiffany’s site. I’ve heard great things about her and what she’s doing with her blog.

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