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You Might (but Probably Won’t) Make Money Imitating John Chow

Take a look at this guy: His name is Bob Buskirk, and he’s got a website. Those of you who have been reading John Chow’s blog for awhile now might notice some similarities: Expensive Car logo? Check. Same slogan? Check. Review me button? Check. Buy me a beer button? Check. Check, check, check. He’s even using John’s old WordPress theme. This, my friends, is a perfect example of a copycat. An imitator. Someone who hitches rides on coattails.

Why it bothers me

Other than the fact that his site design and layout is nearly identical to John Chow’s old style, Buskirk gets a lot of content from John’s site too. He doesn’t go as far as straight plagiarism, but sometimes it’s pretty close.

On the other hand

He’s not the worst John Clone I’ve ever seen. He does publish a lot of original content, and it looks like he puts a lot of time into his network of sites. While his personal blog may be a copy of John Chow’s, he has three other sites (ThinkComputers, ThinkGaming, and ThinkCE) that appear to be mildly successful (and original).

Wait, successful?

He has active advertisements on his sites, and he even gets to review neat new gadgets for ThinkComputers (probably his most successful site). The fact that he produces original content for his reviews puts him miles ahead of other bloggers. To top it all off, he has over 150 RSS subscribers for his personal site, and over 100 on ThinkComputers.

He does all of that, plus he has a girlfriend. That puts him well ahead of most of you.

Why it won’t work for you

Buskirk got where he is because of hard work. True, he may blatantly copy John Chow on occasion, but unlike the rest of the copycats, he actually puts time and effort into his sites, even creating original content. In other words, his success isn’t hinged solely on Chow, and he can stand on his own two feet.

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