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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

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You want to get rich with your blog? Maybe you think Adsense will let you retire? Sorry, it's not going to happen.

Archive: Copy Cats

Longest Link Page

Now that I’m mostly over my flu, I thought it would be a good time to talk about viral websites. As I’m sure you’re aware, viral websites are sites that owe their popularity to viral marketing, without which they would have undoubtedly failed. Sites like the Million Dollar Homepage and One Red Paperclip fall into this category. Well, here’s a new one that’s going to need that viral boost, because I can’t see it succeeding otherwise.

A lot of text

The Longest Link Page is not quite what it claims yet. As of this writing, it only has eight links.
Longest Link Page

As for what the page is trying to be, it’s pretty self explanatory. For only $1, you can buy a three word link that will stay on that page forever. You can also have your link be bold, italicized, colored, underlined, or all of the above for $3. For another $5/month, you can have your link receive ‘featured’ status. After that? Well, you have three words in a narrow column of other groups of three words, stretching downward to infinity.

Will it go viral?

I highly doubt it. While it’s just as gimmicky as pixel ads and paid wikis, those two things offer much more bang for your buck. For example, let’s say you had to choose between spending a dollar at One Buck Wiki or Longest Link Page. With OBW, you get an entire page to do whatever you want with, allowing you to potentially add more than three words. If you’re feeling bold, you can even add pictures or advertisements! With Longest Link Page, you get three words and some font variations. Take your time, I’m sure it’s a difficult choice.

While you’re thinking about it, remember that there’s another paid wiki out there where you can buy pages for a quarter. So, would you prefer four pages or three words? Keep thinking.

Fatal flaws

Why would I want to put my link on this page at all? The longer it gets, the less of a chance there is that anyone will actually see it. The only reason to buy would be if the page had a high Google Pagerank, which isn’t going to happen. As soon as somebody over at Google notices that the only content on this page is paid text links, it’s going to get slapped down to PR0. So, if you’re keeping tally, your $1 has bought your three words that nobody will ever see and a useless backlink. Whoohoo.

The bottom line

Is it gimmicky? Yes. Is it cheap? Sure. Will it ever go anywhere? I doubt it. I just can’t see why anybody would try to monetize a wall of text.

Thanks go to C-Squared for making me aware of this site.

HOLD THE PHONE

Ok, I had this post all written out and I was pretty happy with it, but then I found this: LinkCheap. Yup, it’s the exact same thing, except with a huge number of sold links, and it’s claiming PR4. Then there’s the World’s Longest Homepage, which looks much nicer than the Longest Link Page, and is also the exact same thing. Looks like I need to do better research in the future. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of these types of pages before.

In any case, Longest Link Page is now being added to my ‘Copy Cats’ category.

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You Can’t Get Rich If You’re Not Unique

Heya guys. Filling in for Geoff cos he’s sick lazy. I’m Jason from over at TheUniversityKid.com and will be sharing my (not-so) pleasant views with you all.

There are millions of blogs out there… a good deal of them are involved in the niche that nearly everyone using a computer is interested in – making money online. Now, common logic states that with a ton of blogs, and not a ton of readers, some of them are going to be pretty neglected – and yours will stay that way unless you’re unique.

Although Geoff and I both have similar sarcastic writing styles, the viewpoints of our blogs are pretty different – my push is that of a lazy arsed university student, while his push is of someone that… can’t get rich. When writing a blog, you have got to let your personality show – if you don’t, you’re getting fook all readers.

There are too many make money online blogs that a) have their own views, but are poor in expressing them or worse b) copy the views of the ‘big name’ blogs and are still poor in expressing them. For example, yesterday I came across two websites – JohnyCow.com and NotJohnChow.com. What the f**k!

Now, whilst JohnCow.com originally started out as a parody, these days it has nothing to do with its correctly spelled senior – its views are completely different to the ‘dot com mogul’ (who I don’t read anymore) and dare I say it – a lot more interesting. The first two sites I mentioned though, jeez… whilst the first one has tried to employ decent content (but why not get your own name?) the second one is a carnage of bad colour, poor content and a billboard of all the ads imaginable on the internet (and then some). If they ever manage to break 1,000 RSS Readers legitimately… I’ll eat my hat (to use the common cliché).

I hope I’ve already drilled it into you, but make sure you be unique if you want to succeed as a blogger online. If you don’t want to succeed, by all means – copy one of the big boys and go full steam ahead; don’t be surprised if you receive only a few visitors and comments.

If you like the cynical side of blogging, by all means take a look at my blog.

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Sites that Shouldn’t Exist: Chowmoney

I hate copycats. I especially hate John Chow copycats, and for a long time, I considered them to be the bottom of the blogger barrel. Then, I found this site: Chowmoney. A horrible amalgamation of John Chow and Shoemoney. Someone thinks they’re being clever with their naming conventions, but John Cow cornered that market a long time ago.

About the author

Chow Money

Truly, the stuff of nightmares. The author of this blog is a character known as Chowmoney, a man who claims that he is the illegitimate offspring of John Chow and Shoemoney. He created his blog to make it big, just like his two Dads. Claiming that he will take over the world one cent at a time, Chowmoney started his little blog…and then fell flat on his face.

Thankfully

It looks like this site hasn’t been updated since October. Phew, the Internet dodged a bullet there. Think of all the space this guy could have wasted. In fact, it looks like the author only wrote seven entries before getting bored and wandering off. Someone obviously didn’t think their plan through.

Parody blogs

There’s nothing wrong with a parody blog as long as it has something interesting to say. John Cow, which started out as a parody of John Chow, is now (in my opinion) a better site than its parent. While Chow talks about what he had for dinner last night, Cow talks about marketing ideas and new products. In fact, he hardly references John Chow at all anymore. That’s what I like to see: A parody site that can stand on it’s own two feet (hooves?). Maybe if Chowmoney had followed through, he could have reached that critical tipping point, but I guess we’ll never know.

Frankly, I’m relieved. I’d hate to see any other childhood pictures of the bastard offspring of Chow and Shoe.

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*Number* *Currency* Wiki

Can somebody please explain to me the point of paying for a wiki page? The Million Dollar Wiki. The Million Euro Wiki. The One Buck Wiki. There’s dozens of them, and I just don’t get it.

The original

As far as I know, the Million Dollar Wiki came first. The concept was pretty simple, and along the same lines as the Million Dollar Homepage: There are 10,000 wiki articles available. You pay $100 for one, and you’re the only person who can ever edit it. What you do with it is up to you. After browsing the site for awhile (via the random page link), it looks like most of the ‘articles’ are 90% ads and 10% content. Basically, very expensive landing pages.

Hats off to the owner though. At the time of this writing, he’s sold 1,079 pages (or $107,900). It pays to be the first.

The copycats

The Million Euro Wiki, aside from being a blatant ripoff of the Million Dollar Wiki, makes sense in a way. The Euro IS worth more than the Dollar, so technically he should be making more. Also, it would make sense that the Euro Wiki would have more of an appeal to Europeans. Unfortunately for the owner, the Million Euro Wiki is being drastically overshadowed by the Million Dollar Wiki, having only sold 75 pages.

Then there’s the One Buck Wiki. He’s stuck with the good old dollar, and he’s even outdone the Million Euro Wiki in terms of pages sold (1,529 at the time of this writing). Good for him, but I doubt he’ll ever see $10k.

Hmmm…I wonder…

I’m taking a trip to Japan in August. I wonder…nope, millionyenwiki.com is taken.

I still don’t get it

Why would anyone pay $100 for a Wiki page? I can see paying $1, as it’s essentially cheaper than registering a domain name for use as a landing page. On the other hand, it’s still only one page, and it’s pretty obvious that the parent site isn’t yours. Maybe I’m missing something here, but I can’t ever see myself paying for a wiki page.

If you’ve bought a page from any of these sites and have managed to recoup your initial investment, please let me know. I’m dying to know why anybody would find them desirable.

EDIT 12-14-07: Alright, I dropped a zero somewhere and seriously screwed up my math. Million Euro Wiki’s revenue at 75 pages sold would be $7,500 (5,625 Euro) because they too sell their pages for $100 (75 Euro) per page. I have corrected the article and I apologize for the error.

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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.

My $100 Apple gift certificate contest is still going! Go enter!

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