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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.

Don't kid yourself...

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

Archive: Really Annoying

You Can’t Get Rich With Video Game Reviews

I’ve got a bone to pick with gamers. It seems like every 13 year-old with an XBox 360 and a copy of Halo 3 suddenly thinks he’s a game reviewer. Sites are being created, domain names are being wasted, and video reviews are clogging up Youtube. Even worse, these sites are full of Adsense blocks and Gamefly referral banners. It’s time to step back and realize that, really, nobody cares about your opinions on gaming (or anything else for that matter).

The qualifications

I saw this phrase online a few weeks ago: “Anyone can post to a blog. That does not make you a reporter. Just like driving fast does not make you a professional driver of race cars.” Think about that for a moment. Ok, you want to review video games. That’s great. What qualifications do you have? I’ve been playing video games since 1989 (I still have my first controller too), and even I’m not arrogant enough to think that I could attract a decent number of readers with my writing skills. In a way, people trying to break into the video game review niche are the same as people trying to break into the make money online niche: They have nothing new to bring to the table.

Making a website

Do you really think your site can compete with a site like Kotaku? They update every day, around a dozen times per day. They have multiple writers, living all over the world. They attend trade shows, interview industry insiders, and have access to games before they even come out. Reviewing games is their job.

You buy a new game once a week and have the grammar of an 8th grader. Let’s see who wins.

Video reviews

Webcams are the worst thing to ever happen to the Internet. Now, instead of reading about what people think about their newest game, we get to watch them sit in a chair with a headset and talk about it. This is definitely a sore spot for me. Gamers have struggled for years with the unfair stereotype that we’re all fat, acne-ridden, pasty-white losers who never go outside. Well, guess what kind of people record the majority of these video reviews? Seriously, you guys aren’t helping the way non-gamers (the majority) see us.

Again, you can’t bring anything new to the table. I mean, look at Yahtzee. He’s single-handedly redefined how video game reviews should be done. He also has a British accent, and you’ll never be able to compete with that. Even Screwattack’s Angry Video Game Nerd is entertaining to watch (sometimes). Your flat, monotone voice and soulless, empty eyes can’t, and won’t bring anything new to the table.

The bottom line

If you want to share your opinions on your own website, that’s fine. Just realize that they’re probably the exact same as everybody else’s, and that they’re most likely uninteresting. Don’t try to monetize your worthless ideas, and don’t complain when you can’t develop a loyal reader base. Keep your expectations low so you won’t be disappointed.

On the plus side, if you stick with it for years, and I mean years, you might catch someone’s eye.

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You Can’t Get Rich if You Can’t Deal With Criticism

My guest post over at the Cow’s blog has drawn a fair amount of flak from his readers. True, the post itself was fairly cynical, but that was kind of the point. Starting a brand new blog in the ‘make money online’ niche is difficult to do, and most people don’t go about it in the right way. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the critics from loudly proclaiming that I have no idea what I’m talking about, and that making money online is as easy as breathing. Where I tried to be specific, they see only broad declarations. You know what all of this has taught me? You need to know how to deal with criticism.

Some basic rules

  1. Never lash out. When people disagree with you or call you a fool, your first impulse will be to counter their argument with one of your own, and possibly insult their intelligence in the process. Smother that impulse. This is what as known as a ‘flame war’ online, and flame wars never turn out well. It’s childish, and it will damage your credibility. When people try to bait me with harsh or unfounded criticism, I give them the Teller treatment: Just stay silent. Besides, silence will probably annoy them more than outright arguing.
  2. Respond to libel. So far I’ve had two people call me out on their blogs, saying that I am a hypocrite for ‘making money with his blog while telling others it’s impossible’. In a situation like this, it’s alright to break your silence. I left a note on each of those blogs, explaining that I don’t make any money with this site. My reviews are free, my ad spots are free, and as you can see, I don’t have any money-generating ads anywhere on this site. Once I hit an average of 1,000 readers per day, that may change, but for now, this site is powered 100% by sarcasm and green tea, not money.
  3. Let them say what they want. Don’t forget, the right to free speech does not include the right to be taken seriously. When somebody calls me a fool, I go to their site and take a look at their comment count and/or RSS subscriber count. Most of the time, the loudest complainers have subscribers in the single digits, so I’m not too worried about what they have to say.
  4. Don’t be afraid of criticism. Go ahead and write something that people aren’t expecting. My guest post currently has 51 comments, more than all of the other recent guest posts on Cow’s site. Be bold and write what your truly believe, especially if it’s out of the ordinary. Generate some outrage.

There’s no such thing as bad press

Thanks to the Moo Man, a lot more people now know that this site exists. They know that, when a new blogging product or service comes out and everybody else is praising its virtues, one site will be pointing out all of its flaws. They know that I’m not just rehashing everything John Chow or Shoemoney has to say. They know that I am unique, and you know what? That’s why I’ll be successful while others fail.

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John Chow’s Readers Are Morons

Eye-catching title, huh?

Ok, not all of John Chow’s readers are morons, but 90% of the people who comment on his articles are. It’s absolutely mind numbing to read through his comments. No, don’t go do it yourself. I’ll spare you the pain by summarizing the various species of commentators.

The Hero-worshiper, aka the sycophant

You know the type. “Oh mister Chow! You’re so smart and funny and rich! I want to be just like you when I grow up!” No matter what he writes about, the hero worshiper will praise Chow’s greatness in one way or another. Even if it’s one of his many dinner-postings, this guy will somehow find a way to compliment Chow (”You have such great taste!”). If you really want to see these guys come out in numbers, check out one of Chow’s income reports.

First post guy

  • “Great article.”
  • “lol, true.”
  • “Nice!”

These are the types of comments people make to ensure that theirs is the first. I swear, some people watch their feed readers like hawks, just waiting for the golden moment when Chow posts a new entry. They’re not interested in the content though, they just want to be the first to comment. My theory is that the first post guy sincerely hopes that someone will see his comment and click on it, directing the reader to his (most likely worthless) site.

Thoughtful comment guy

The opposite of first post guy, thoughtful comment guy will leave, you guessed it, a thoughtful comment. One that extends on for five paragraphs and sometimes cites sources. They don’t care where their comment ends up because they know that, due to its length, people may stop and read it. From there, they hope the reader will click on their link and, again, be directed to their (most likely worthless) site.

Reply to everybody’s comments guy

John Chow uses threaded comments, something that I would prefer not to do. True, it lets you reply to your readers’ comments, but it also lets them reply to each others comments as well. This can start flame wars, or in this case, allow the reply guy to exist. Reply guy replies to everybody comments with comments similar to first post guy’s. He doesn’t contribute anything, but his name is everywhere in the comments section (again, click, worthless site, you know the drill). His second motive is most likely to be in Chow’s top commentators list, which will again give him free traffic.

I-hate-John-Chow guy

This guy is annoying. Really annoying. He routinely bashes everything Chow writes via Chow’s own comments section. I can see leaving some negative feedback every once in awhile, but this guy takes it a step further. He doesn’t seem to realize that he can stop reading Chow’s blog at any time. Maybe one day he will, but until then, he’ll continue to complain about it.

Inappropriate ping-back guy

Linking to a useful article is fine, but I don’t understand why people blog about Chow’s life blurbs. For example, Chow writes about what he had for dinner. That’s fine, it’s his blog. What happens next is what I don’t understand: 10 people write about Chow’s dinner and link to it. What do those posts look like?

Go check out the super awesome John Chow’s site right now! He had [obscure Asian food] last night, man it looked good. Maybe someday I’ll learn to cook like that, but for now I’m going to spend my time blogging about what other people had for dinner!

Good job ping-back guy. I’m sure both of your readers will find that interesting.

The other 10%

The small remainder of Chow’s commentators are fine. They leave their thoughts, they don’t push their own site, and they’re most likely smart, attractive, successful people.

You know, just like all of the people who comment on my blog.

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Don’t Waste Space With A Political Blog

It’s election year here in the US, and that means every American Internet user, young and old, rich and poor, wants to share their thoughts online. Some spam forums, some leave comments on Youtube, and some will create blogs. Well, I’m here to tell you something important, something that will change the way you think about sharing your thoughts and feelings about politics. Are you ready?

NOBODY CARES.

Congratulations, you have freedom of speech. That doesn’t mean you have the right to be taken seriously. Besides, why would I want to listen to you? Are you actively involved in politics? Or are you just an armchair patriot? Do you have your master’s degree in political science? Or are you just some angsty art major? It’s just like the multitudes of people who create make money online blogs: They’ve never made money online, so they’re not qualified to talk about it.

Speaking of making money, don’t try to monetize your political blog for personal gain, especially with Adsense. If you’re going to try to raise money with your blog, donate it to whatever candidate you’re supporting. Ron Paul made a lot of money that way, so I guess it works. Another thing: If you’re going to say that all donated money goes to a candidate, prove it. I loathe people who stick donation buttons on their sites every time an election or natural disaster rolls around. Maybe my distrust of 90% of humanity has made made me paranoid, but I can’t help thinking that those site owners pocket some, if not most of that donation money.

If you’re a published political expert, go ahead, make a blog. If you’re not, stick to what you’re good at. Like me, I’m great at not getting rich. Even when I’m not even trying to stay poor, I still manage. If you really want to share your political opinions, do it on an online forum, and save the good domain names for the experts.

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Sick Day - Part 2

Usually, when I get sick, it’s only for a day at a time. Today, I’m still sick, and I’m not getting any better. Looks like I have a week-long flu. I still haven’t been able to think of anything new or witty due to sleeping 14+ hours per day and the haze of pain killers, so I’ll just talk about what’s been going on recently in the world of blogging and making money online.

Google tells domain parkers to GTFO

This one made me so happy. Have you ever tried to register a domain, only to find out that it’s already been taken by a domain parking company? You know, the one’s that hold useful domain names hostage and throw a bunch of advertising on it? Well, Google has decided to not allow adsense to be placed on domains that have been registered for less than five days, so some of those parked domains should disappear, allowing people to use them for useful purposes.

For the record, Can’t Get Rich wasn’t my first choice when looking for domain names. I wanted to use Can’t Make Money, but as you can see, it’s parked.

A good blog to read

One of the blogs I read on a daily basis, Affiliate Confession, recently reported that he made over $12,000 with Google adsense alone last year. That’s pretty impressive. If I ever reach $1,000 per month with adsense, I’ll quit my job.

Wickedfire Case Study

I’m still taking part in the Wickefire case study. I’ve already learned a lot about how to make money online, but haven’t actually made much yet. I’m still waiting for my page to get a good ranking in the search engines. Depending on how this all turns out, I might share some tips with you guys.

A new blog idea

I had an idea for a new blog the other day. It would be about video games that deserve sequels, but haven’t gotten any in a long time. Of course, I still have to do market research to see if it would ever see the light of day on Google, but I think it’s a pretty good concept. I’ll work on that when I’m over this flu.

Speaking of video games

Remember how I told you a friend of mine is starting an online business? Well, I’m still supporting him, so I bought two more:
Megaman sprites

I think they’re pretty cool.

Off to bed

I’m going to go try to sleep this off. Hopefully my sarcasm and wit will be restored by tomorrow.

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