Give Up Already

Written by Jason Katzenback on February 3rd, 2008
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I know who you are. You’re one of those ‘Make Money Online’ people. You read this blog, and others like it, every day, hoping to pick up some useful little tidbit of information so you can start your own ‘make money online’ blog. Even though you’ve never made more than a few pennies through Adsense, you’ll join the sweaty, teeming masses that comprise the ‘make money online’ niche. I know what you’ll write about too: The same damn thing as everybody else. Entrecard. Adsense. SEO. You’ll “get your inspiration” from the big boys, and while you won’t commit outright plagiarism, it’ll be close enough. I have a phrase I like to use for people like you: “Emulate, duplicate, regurgitate.”

Hi, I’m Geoff, and I’m the author of the one blog out there that exists to counter-balance the thousands of ‘make money online’ blogs: Can’t Get Rich. That’s right, I’ve accepted the fact and you should too. You can’t get rich online. You know why? All of the good ideas are taken. In other words, you can’t bring anything new to the table. You’re old news, taking up space. Not interesting. Get what I’m saying?

Of course, I’m sure that you’ll take that as a challenge. “I’ll show that mean old Geoff.” Well, first of all, I’m not old, I’m only 21. Maybe a little jaded, but that’s beside the point. Second of all, no, I’m not kidding. Don’t try to make a ‘make money online’ blog, you’re just wasting your time.

You’re still interested? Psh, people sure are stubborn. If you insist on going through with it, please, please follow a few basic rules so you’ll stand out from the herd:

  • Pick a good theme – Don’t use the default WordPress theme, but don’t pick an incredibly flashy one either. Don’t even bother picking one with ad space, as you won’t be needing it for a long time (if ever).
  • Speaking of ads – Don’t put any up! You heard me. Get off of adsense and just think for a moment: When people visit a website, what do they want to see? No, not ads, content. You should be focusing on writing quality content and attracting new readers, not making a quick and shameless buck. My readers occasionally ask me when I’m going to start monetizing my site. I always tell them the same thing: When I hit 1,000 readers per day. Until then, I’m going to focus on attracting and keeping readers.
  • The Feedburner widget – For heaven’s sake, don’t put it up until you have a good number of RSS readers! Congratulations, you finally broke into the double digits and now have 11 RSS subscribers. Big deal. That’s laughable. Don’t even bother putting the widget up until you have at least 50.
  • Adsense blocks – You know what? Don’t use them. Ever. They’re ugly, they’re tacky, and they’ll drive off your readers. If you’re going to advertise (and you’d better have a good number of readers), find some other ad network. I don’t really care who. Go ask Cow or Chow.
  • Be original – Starting a blog in the most crowded niche probably wasn’t a good idea to begin with, but since you’re here, you might as well do something. Don’t just rehash things you’ve read on this site or Digital Point forums. Tell your readers (assuming you have any) about what you’re doing and what you’re learning. If I wanted to read about something the Cow said, I’d visit his site.
  • Hold a contest – A good way to attract first-time readers is by holding a contest. Get your hands on a $100 Apple store gift certificate and start promoting. A word of advice though: Make it clear that you won’t accept entries from tiny contest blogs. You know the ones I’m talking about: Those blogspot blogs that have 2 RSS readers and nothing but entries to other blog contests. Seriously, they’re worthless. The whole point of a blog contest is to attract readers, and a 15 year-old’s blogspot blog isn’t going to do that for you.

So you’ve got a blog in one of the most saturated niches on the Internet. Congratulations, you stubborn fool. I bet you’re just aching to prove me wrong. Well, let me know about your site. I offer a little service I like to call ReviewU (see what I did there?). Basically, it’s just like ReviewMe, except it’s free and I don’t have to review your blog if I don’t want to. Typically, I like to ignore blogs that are perfectly fine and really dig into the ones that are awful. So, if you’d like to risk a potentially scathing review of your ugly little blog, go ahead and contact me.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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67 Responses to “Give Up Already”

  1. Diva Blogger says:

    who looks at ad-ridden blogs for the first time since she read an article criticizing adwhore-ism, I said to myself “geez, what an adwhore. Newbie blogger and already an adb*tch, gosh!” But then I shook myself and realized that those are my blogs! Thearticleis a wake up call, and yes, I agree… content should be the focus not ads. (*whines* but what will i do with all the space?!?)… Ok, I could place more photos of myself, I suppose. :) Seriously though. Every blogger dreams of being able to produce

  2. John Cow dot ComGive Up AlreadyPosted: 02 Feb 2008 08:19 PM CST

  3. Technorati Search for: seowrote an interesting post today on Give Up Already. Here’s a quick excerpt ” I know who you are. You’re one of those ‘Make Money Online’ people. You read this blog, and others like it, every day, hoping to pick up some useful little tidbit of

  4. Daily Stories How to Choose a Domain Name – Brandable DomainsBlog Earnings: January 2008Readers: LEAVING COMMENTS will get YOUR BLOGA Critical Vote for SEOmoz Fans – Should WeDo You Act Like a Winner?Give Up AlreadyWhen Seth Godin isn’t Seth GodinGene Simmons And Expanding My Reality Zones

  5. likely you will blame the writer by selling you the crap ebook where in fact you are actually not focus with what you are doing. One thing for sure, making money on the net was never easy, Therefore you have to focus with what you are doing and nevergive up.2. Planning- Once you have establish your mind set to focus with what you are doing, thing will be clear for you with proper planning. Making money on the net does not have any different with offline business. Without planning, you game will start

  6. unknownwrote an interesting post today on Here’s a quick excerpt I know who you are. You’re one of those ‘Make Money Online’ people. You read this blog, and others like it, every day, hoping to pick up some useful little tidbit of information so you

  7. through Adsense, you’ll join the sweaty, teeming masses that comprise the ‘make money online’ niche. I know what you’ll write about too: The same damn thing as everybody else. Entrecard. Adsense. SEO. You’ll “get yo Original post byMaking Money Online with John Cow – it’s easy!and syndicated by Internet Marketing Blog No TagsNo Tags

  8. Daily Stories How to Choose a Domain Name – Brandable DomainsBlog Earnings: January 2008Readers: LEAVING COMMENTS will get YOUR BLOGA Critical Vote for SEOmoz Fans – Should WeDo You Act Like a Winner?Give Up AlreadyWhen Seth Godin isn’t Seth GodinGene Simmons And Expanding My Reality Zones

  9. Kim X. Choi says:

    is a hoot – of course the statistics are against making real money on the Internet. Whats really cool is the despair-like attitude, and they probably will make money. There is some real good tips in the posts so far. I mostlike his guest poston johncow.com (no, that is not a typo). Share This

  10. category for a long time, and as such his blog is rather popular. However, he doesn’t leave good comments. Here’s the one he left on my post: Here’s one he left on the next post, entitledGive Up Already. Yeah! Really promoting discussion, aren’t you? Or did you just want your name in his top commenter lists? I usually feel bad as I’m the worst commenter in the world, but as my mum says – if you can

  11. Matt Hanson says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Matt Hanson – Blog Spam Whore Extraordinaire

  12. [...] Geoff on Give up Already: Why You Can’t Get Rich Online [...]

  13. terence says:

    Geoff is pretty right about that. There are already so many sites / blogs on niches and making money online out there that starting a new one and making it stand out thus attracting readers is kind of impossible for amature writers.

    Then again, it is not a get rich overnight gig. If efforts and patiences are put in to generate original contents, I’m sure it will pay off. (probably not BIG MONEY, but dough enough to cover hosting expenses and bits and pieces)
    Of course, one has to start this with interest for writing and blogging and not just “Making money” in mind.

  14. Interesting,

    I take it you’re not a fan of the secret or positive thinking? Quit before you get started? wonderful message ;)

    While I do agree the make money online niche is hard to break into and even harder to make money in, I run a six figure business in this niche and also just started a new blog in the niche ;) So lets see how it goes hey?

  15. Tim Spangler says:

    Brilliant. This guy is not only spot on, but from what I see on his site is on his way to becoming big in the industry he rails against. Nice post, Geoff.

  16. This blog post is highly biased…the only reason why he says “You can’t get rich online” is because he can’t make any money himself. Well, let me tell you, that I am a 15 year old teen blogger, and I am making money online with a “make money online” blog. So…there you go.

    You can’t have that kind of attitude…it is a destructive attitude that will get you nowhere. If you can’t get rich, I know I can, and I can do it online. I see you only started in November 2007 (one month before I started), I say, give it some time, put a couple of ads up and promote more than ever before.

    I cannot stress it enough that the whole “make money online” perception is that it money can be made easily. That is not true, people work to get traffic, people pay to promote their site and people put a lot of effort into their sites.

    And…the good ideas are not all taken, ideas are infinite, you just need to be creative enough to think of them, and you can’t do that with a defeatist attitude.

    I could say a lot more, but I will leave it at that.

    Thanks
    Fabien

  17. *Correction* November 2007…one month after I started
    Fabien

  18. What about those that entered the make money online niche last year and became rich by doing everything you said not to do? (like I did). :razz:

  19. Steven says:

    The problem isn’t about whether or not someone should start a make money online niche blog, it’s whether or not they can cover OTHER make money online topics

  20. Reverse Psychology 101. Good post.

  21. [...] let negativity into your mind, you can’t think of anything other then success in life. Here is a guest post on John Cow that says otherwise. I suppose marketing to the cynics is a business opportunity too. Ironic that [...]

  22. Neil Duckett says:

    Don’t start me on the never ending amount of Entrecard related crap people are pushing out there, we all know about it already!

  23. Mike Huang says:

    Interesting post, I’ll keep this in mind.

    -Mike

  24. I would like to agree with you about adsense, but I just make too much money off of it. You are right about making money blogs, they dont make money. Actually of my entire income its the least earning blog. Stick with something original. If you dont get at least 1000 hits within the first week, you picked the wrong topic.

  25. Eli says:

    I’m loving this guys blog. Subscribed.

  26. jeni says:

    ha! I was going to start a blog about how to not be successful, since that is what I seem to be really good at;) Instead, I thought that was too depressing, so I chose to blog about skin care. And I use Adsense like crazy, but again, I’m an expert at how to not be successful!

  27. shy guy says:

    Up to u..
    Maybe you can’t get any cent from blogging ( like me)
    But something there’s not about money…
    Maybe we can get new knowledge and share something..
    Just do it and ignore the critism….

  28. Wayne Liew says:

    With the simple rules that you have listed, the make money online niche is far too competitive for many (even finding a domain name that fits will be hard).

    Make money online is more than just writing about ways to make money online. It involves writing styles such as how you celebrate your earnings at swear at advertising networks. :mrgreen:

  29. Buyer says:

    hai john, where are you? how about googletime.info, this 6 day I bought to googletime.info but you did not response!!! Please answer me!!

  30. [...] bit). If you want some good reading, Geoff from Can’t Get Rich put up a pretty decent post on John Cow. Take a [...]

  31. Hehe. I love sarcasm :mrgreen:

    Excellent post. Agreed about the lil two post contest blogs, especially when they start winning the damned things… it does get annoying. :twisted: Those bloody 15-year olds, eh :razz:

  32. [...] Winner by Rocky John Tayaban Scratching The Surface Of John Chow’s eBook by Mike Huang Give Up Already by John [...]

  33. Randy Brown says:

    Hey, i agree!
    I make money online with my WEBSITE, not my blog.. My blog does not have any advertising, I dont regurgitate, I dont rant, and I don’t post pictures of food i ate at a fancy restaurant the night before – it’s nothing but totally original krap explaining how i make money with my website – and you know what, people actually seem to like it.. they also like the fact that i’m not jamming adsense and hidden affiliate links down their throat..
    So yeah – all you potential “make money online bloggers” that dont actually make any money online – it might be time to find another niche.

  34. Shawn says:

    That would get my award for the worst post of the year. I have done everything exactly the opposite way, and it works for me, and for thousands of others.

    If you can’t enter a crowded market, and make a dent, you’re just pathetic really. The Cow is prime example of coming out of nowhere and moving to the top in no time at all.

    But then again, when you’re 21 you think the world revolves around you, and that you’re invincible. I’d like to see this young mans attitude when he’s 25.

  35. Jack Rack says:

    Randy Brown: “My blog does not have any advertising”

    Your blog is pumping Entrecard right now you little hypocrite.

  36. I know what you mean. They’re a lot of ‘Make money online blogs’ out there, most who probably aren’t. I wanted to start a blog and wasn’t sure which nich to choose, so I chose a personal and photo blog.

    It must be hard for people who target certain niches – especially ‘Make money online blogs’ to come up with good, unique content.

  37. You exclaim the point of people repeating the same stuff, taking up space and being unoriginal.

    Well congratulations, those tips are about as original as an Elvis Presley impersonator.

    You can get rich online. Just takes constant hard work.

  38. Really interesting idea. Ok keep it up to help othrs. Thank u

  39. I have to admit my blog has always done better when I concentrated more on blogging and less on making money with the blog. So I will just keep worrying about my posts and let the money falls where it may.

  40. I will never give because I do This for fun

  41. Interesting reverse psychology tactic. Well, the last comment about having contest is true. If anyone needs any ideas on how to run blog contest, you know where to look for them.

  42. [...] bookmarks tagged tacky Give Up Already saved by 1 others     Naysia bookmarked on 02/04/08 | [...]

  43. hay john will you be doing an income report I’m still waiting and please do a deatiled version so some of us can learn where you get most of your traffic from thanks

  44. sorry not john i mean cow

  45. David Chew says:

    Nice post, be original is what people would like to read from your blog speaking about contest it does helps you to get more readers :grin: .

  46. Phillip says:

    I absolutely agree :mrgreen:

    I am so sick of the “make money online” blogs out there. It makes me want to puke. Anyway, what all you money making bloggers should remember is that only a small % of bloggers makes good money from their blogs and the rest, well they don’t.

    Shoemoney.com makes piles! Why? Because he had some great success with other ventures and now people WANTS to listen to what he is saying cause he has done it before.

    I think the % of bloggers in the category of making money online, that is actually making money online is less than 4%. So get out there, think of a great website concept and experiment…

  47. [...] to my little guest post over on John Cow’s site, my ReviewU queue is around five times larger than it was before. I [...]

  48. Ron Ripple says:

    I like the article and agree fully with what you said. I’ve never seen so many “Make Money Online” blogs in my life. Keep it original and find a Niche is all I have to say.

    I found one and I love it!

  49. Michelle says:

    Love the attitude. Ok, I’m going to submit my blog to the executioner!

    http://www.WatchedItem.com

  50. Your blog may do well because some people may be sick of ‘how to make money online’ blogs. I do think that you can still definitely attract a crowd for ‘how to make money blogs’, but it would probably be easier in a less established niche. Definitely an interesting post.

  51. [...] to Google Latest Content Give Up Already – 2 days ago I know who you are. You’re one of those ‘Make Money Online’ people. [...]

  52. You must be finding a lot of the same blogs I’m finding through Entrecard. Keep up the good linkbait, it made me click.

  53. Very well said. I think you make great points, and totally see where you’re coming from. In fact you have a very smart, controversial idea which you could probably milk and make money from, if you wanted to ;)

    I think the one sentence that stands out though is: “That’s right, I’ve accepted the fact and you should too.” Accepting defeat and stamping the word “Can’t” into us like cattle could work quite well…I’m not sure if John Cow shares your beliefs though because I doubt he believed all the “good ideas were taken”.

    Again, not knocking you because you definitely wrote up a post that stirs up thoughts..very good work!

  54. t-mobile says:

    one cool trick i found is by going to free article sites and get your topics to blog about from there

    easy and quick

  55. I agree, there are so many people who simply dont want to put the work in to make it big!

    But when you have the proof of making atleast enough PER MONTH off 1 website to pay for an apt or something of that nature then your proven you can do it. And thats me ;) But more is always better no?

  56. [...] make money in the “make money online” niche. Although I disagree with this post (found here). It brought up an important point. You need to be positive and confident to make money online. The [...]

  57. I’d say this man has a point. True ‘make money online’ blogs are too damn saturated. We don’t have enough cynics floating around trying to do the same from the reverse direction.

  58. Kalle says:

    You are so right. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and it is so true. Making Money Online blogs pop up everywhere but not many of them is ever going to succeed. I hope the majority of them does it because they enjoy it, and not to make money. For their sake.

  59. Kalle says:

    BTW: About all the good ideas are taken, that is wrong. Big time. There will always be people who got new and good ideas which will earn big money. But don’t expect to do it through a blog.

  60. [...] my buddy Geoff at Can’t Get Rich, who picked up quite a bit of unfair flak for his reasonable guest post at John Cow… there were a few other blogger fights around, but I’ll stop this post becoming too [...]

  61. Hilarious. I think everyone read this post to the very end. I really like one of the points in your introduction about “getting inspiration from the big boys” but not committing outright plagiarism. These kind of blogs just get lost among the thousands out there.

  62. How fabulously refreshing! If I find another “get rich quick while you sit on the sofa and watch TV while the billions just roll in” I think I am going to cry. As they say, if you are trying to jump on the bandwagon, chances are it has already left…

    Nice to see something original, rather than everyone being like sheep (baa).

    For all those who are already internet millionaires – well done you. For the rest of us mere mortals, blog because you love it, not because you see it as the only way to make a quick buck.

  63. Junarto says:

    Don’t try to make a ‘make money online’ blog, you’re just wasting your time.

    You’re right. Do blogging with passion, or you will be disappointed. Fun article. Thanks.

  64. Kara G. says:

    @Shawn (jooste.org)
    “But then again, when you’re 21 you think the world revolves around you, and that you’re invincible. I’d like to see this young mans attitude when he’s 25.”

    And people like you feeding stereotypes and prejudices that slow the evolution of this world. Not everyone young is arrogant, and today I find more of the arrogant people to be in the 35+ age. You, in fact, are the very definition of arrogant.