Welcome to aaron chua make money blog

Hi, welcome to my blog. In this part of my world, I talked about how to achieve financial freedom by learning how to make money online through creating sites and earning from them.

Below are some current and past make money projects that details my learning journey.

My current experiment in making 50 amazon site niches. If you have not been following this challenge, best place to start is this resource page for the amazon challenge, that lists all the articles that I have written so far.

My experiment in making 1000 a month through adsense in 9 months.

If you came here looking for low cost startup ideas, here are 140 startup ideas that you can browse through.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Banned from amazon and adsense!

Feb is not a great month.

Banned from adsense

First, my friend's adsense account was banned. This was the account that I used for one of my cosmetic surgery site of which I have reported its earnings in my monthly earnings reports. There was no specific message except something along of the line of invalid clicks. This is crazy as there was no abnormal clicks or spikes in the account so I don't know how google came to this conclusion. Anyway, this marks the third adsense account that was banned. Interpret this info as you would.  The ban means that I just lost the income from Jan and Feb for this site. Shit!!!!

Fortunately, I found a great adsense alternative which I will talk more about in a future post. If your adsense account has been banned or if you did not manage to get one approved, you might want to look out for that post.

Banned from amazon

The above was nothing. The worse news is what I received in my inbox this morning. Double shit!!!!!


It has come to our attention that you are artificially increasing your advertising fee earnings by automatically tagging Amazon sessions to your account.   This is a direct violation of the Operating Agreement to which you agreed when registering for the Program.  You can find the complete text of the Associates Program Operating Agreement, including Participation Requirements, via this link:


We insist that you cease this activity and remove all Amazon content from your site(s) immediately.  Moreover, because you are using the Associates Program in ways in which it was never intended, your account has been closed and you will not receive further payment. Any other accounts you may have or may open in the future will be closed and advertising fees withheld without notification.

Best regards,

Why I was banned from amazon

Frankly speaking, I have no idea what "automatically tagging Amazon" even means. After discussing in a private forum, some members think that it might due to some themes or plugins. My own gut feel is the fact that I have used a redirecting plugin which causes the ban.

The plugin will cloak the links so that instead of showing http://amazon.com/blah blah, it is showing http://sitex.com/recommends/productX.  I think this is against their new terms of service in Feb 2012 as stated below:

"In addition, you must not use a link shortening service in a manner that makes it unclear that you are linking to an Amazon Site."

 Another possible reason is the auto blog which I have mentioned in my post here about can you make money with auto blogs. This auto blog, for some reasons unknown to me, generated a huge amount of amazon impressions even though I don't have that kind of traffic to back it up.

Take a loot at the stats from my Dec amazon earnings:

You will noticed that there were 30K clicks and mostly from that autoblog! This could be a reason for the ban as this auto blog is somehow 'automatically tagging amazon'. However, I had disabled this site since end of Jan so I am not 100% sure this caused the ban.

Can I get my amazon affiliate account back?

I am not sure I can. Of course, I can always get another amazon account as they are not as strict as adsense. However, the thought of replacing all the amazon links with the non redirected links makes me sick in my stomach. Do you know how many pages I need to go through? Geesh, making money online is not an easy thing at all!

Another amazon affiliate alternative is skim links. I just applied for an account but I am not sure how strict are they with the quality of the sites. I intentionally submitted a pure amazon site i.e. there was no other info besides product reviews. We will see how that goes.

A realistic look at the make money online journey

I have posted about my ascend and descend of my adsense earnings in this post on why my adsense earnings is down for 2011.  However, I want to list the journey of what you are likely to face as you embark on your money making journey. This is what I have been through and I hoped you have better luck than me!

-First 3 months: Excited about being able to make money online. Lots of possibilities come to your mind. You will also try to understand how everything works and end up confused as hell.
My advice: Do as you learn. It makes everything easier. Don't have to get everything right when you are starting.

- 3-6th months: The passion started to die down as there are no visble results. The hardworking ones would have put in a lot of work but the results are pathetic. You might not have earned a single cent yet.
My advice: Keep working and learning. There is always a breakthrough waiting to happen if you continue to work at it. You might realise you are doing the wrong keyword or you might be focusing on too many sites or keywords ro you might learn how to repeat your first dollar success 100 times. These kind of realisations don't just happen. It will happen only when you continuously apply what you learn.

-6-12th months: Things might start to look up if you have been working hard. You might have earned your first 100 dollars per month. For those who did, you will feel like king of the world. Suddenly, your perspective changes and you realise that working for a job is not the only way to make money. You might even dreamt of working from home.
My advice: This is a good time to start learning about the bad things that can happen. Be prepared for the worst while you still have not much to lose.

-13th -18th months: You might have successfully scaled your sites and earning more than 1k per month. Congrats! You are now convinced that making money through online works! You see endless possibility now and are prepared to scale it up even further.
My advice: You must do things right at this point. Don't take shortcuts. Produce good quality sites with the money you have. Find a purpose for your site besides making money.

- 19th-24th months: Suddenly, problems start to happen if you have not been doing the right things. Your sites might get affected by algorithm changes or your accounts got banned. You realise that things are not as passive as they seems. You get disillusioned and learn to pick yourself up.

My advice: None. I am at this stage right now. I don't know if I want to continue with this path. Getting sites affected by panda and getting your adsense/amazon accounts banned are not fun things at all. One lesson I have learned is that SEO makes you  lazy. You tend to forget the fundamentals of a good site because you can get all the traffic just doing backlinks and putting up sub standard content. You can get away with it for a while but things will come back to you.

Hence, my advice for those making some money is to start investing some of these money into better content or even your own product. Look at the startups to see how they are creating products that bring real benefits.

Don't get lazy in your make money journey. SEO is a valuable skill. Don't waste it.


Roshan said...

recently I've been reading you posts
and it really inspired me to work. im a blogger but im still at the early
3-6th months stage, and trying to make something out of what i do, but now im starting to doubt when you mentioned that things are not so sure with google and amazon.Im just asking, is it safe to consider online earning as a permanent full time job?

Teodor Lazar said...

Hey Aaron,

Personally I am one of the top readers (out of the 5 or 6 that you have). I read your blog and like it bc you tell it like it is. You tell the truth. You hold nothing back.

Personally, I am lazier than you, so this is a harsh blow for me seeing you kinda down. But please do not give up. This game is not easy.

Now the pep talk is over. I would think about maybe diversifying your stuff. Maybe write a detailed guide on what you learned, mistakes you made, what you would do differently. I would pay $20-$30 bucks for an ebook like that cause I trust you.

In any case, don't know how much of your cash was from Amazon or Adsense, but you may want to think about maybe coming up with your own "don't make these mistakes when you try to make money online" product. Just an idea.

And keep your head up man. This is just one battle in the war to make it big online : )

When you are sipping margaritas in Hawaii, this will be a fain memory.

aaronchua said...

If you are starting out, I suggest you see IM as a complementary income first. IM is not for everyone. Only when you know in your heart that this is something for me, then go full time.

To build a substainable income, it is all about value. Don't let SEO make you lazy as it did to me. You might make some quick money if you take short cuts but don't expect that to last.

Having said that, some folks are fine with making money fast and then use that money to invest in something more substainable. It all depends on what you want to do.

In the end, I still think we should earn to make money online. The internet is a once in a life time invention and we should learn to take advantage of it, instead of fearing it.

aaronchua said...

@ Teodor (I hope this is your first name)

Thanks for being the few who supported my ramblings. Really appreciated it. Also appreciate your encouragement. I am definitely not giving up on making money online.

I think you read my mind about creating my own product. I am currently a book, not as a how to get quick ebook, but more like a life story of my live in IM. I don't know if I will sell it or give it away for free but it is definitely fun to write.

Now you are right about diversifying your income sources. You might be surprised by the upcoming posts as I reveal more of my income sources!

Talking about sipping margaritas in Hawaii, I might indeed be retiring next year with my wife as we go traveling around the world. Might even start a new blog to document our travels!

Bun said...

jia you mr chua! =)

(glad u finally expanded the comment options)

aaronchua said...

Thanks bun bun. You jiao you as well!

Joe said...

that is scary stuff! I cloak my amazon links. Might start changing them, don't want a ban.

I am around the 36 month mark and in the same place as you in terms of dissolutionment.

Gotta keep going though!

aaronchua said...

@ Joe

Best to do it by the book if you want to have a long lasting revenue stream.

Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Aaron, I've been reading your blog the last month and I have to tell you what your main problem is...You are way too smart!
You have a huge mind!!! And attempt to do everything all at once.

Here's what you need to do, focus your mind on one thing only.
Like a magnifying glass, then you will get results.

I suggest you take a break from this blog. And then SEO a niche that you know you can dominate.

Get it ranked and do all the stuff you know that works.

Otherwise, in six months you'll be banned from someone else.

Honestly take a break, refocus and start using your brain to it's full potential.

You are brilliant! So lick your wounds and make your intelligence work for you.

That's your problem, that you need 100's of sites when less than five can make you more money then you ever imagined.

DO the research and you are way ahead of the game.

Time to harness and focus

aaronchua said...

Thanks for pointing out my biggest problem: focus!!

You will not believe the number of sites I have. Let's just say it is a small fraction of what I have revealed.

However, you are right. I need to do less sites and focus on the ones that are making me good money.

Wish I know who you are though. That is a great comment!

Michelle said...

Hey Aaron,

Just saw this post and sorry to hear about your troubles! I think your outline of the career cycle of many IM'ers is really interesting & there is no doubt that much of it is true.

However, I definitely think that you can get beyond this. Being able to adapt and rebuild seems essential in this business, and I'm sure you will be able to overcome these temporary setbacks and learn and grow from them!

aaronchua said...

Hey michelle,

Nice of you to drop in.

I agree that IM, like other business, need to adapt to any external changes.

I actually look forward to step backs as they seem to be a catalyst for next stage of growth! : )

Anonymous said...

Hey you idiot, you could just post link to your post where you write about adsense alternative instead of making us reading whole bunch of nonsense posts you post here.