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.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

How to monetize a blog

Blogs are essentially one of the hardest thing to monetise.  In this article, I will look at some popular ways to make money with a blog and why they are not suitable for aaronchua.com. Hopefully, this analysis will help you to understand how monetisation works and why you might be making more money if you choose the right option.

Just to be clear. A blog means it is personal and it has to be updated regularly. It is not to be confused with a niche site where the owner of the site typically is unknown and there are no real engagement being done.


Blogs typically don't work well with ads unless your blog has a large source of search traffic. Even so, a blog is normally configured to attract long term readers and not to send them off via the ads. As a result, they are not optimised to earn ad revenue via clicks.

I did an experiment using a new ad network called intentclick from Kontera. Below is my earning for May. 

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I make a miserable USD0.22 for the month of May. You can see why ads is not an option here. Of course, I can earn more by using a better ad programme such as adsense but the point here is there a blog is not designed to push people away through ads so they are never the best monetization option

Affiliate offers

Using affiliate offers yields a much better result. The below is the earnings from clickbank. I made about USD100 in about 7 months, which comes to about USD13 per month. Still not going to be rich.

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Promoting something to your readers or search traffic coming to your blog or selling something that is not value adding makes me feels dirty. Unlike other marketers, I can't really promote something unless it really gives you a positive ROI. This is why I only recommended keyword researcher as I believe it has helped me save lots of time doing research about long tail keywords

Selling ebooks

I am thinking of writing a book about business. However, I don't like a general business book. What I did was to look through the table of content for some of my favorite business or startup books and see what is the process of building a business. This is what I found:
  • Finding your niche
  • Test your assumptions
  • Build the product
  • Get your first customers
  • Scale and optmise your customer acquisition
The above is essentially the steps in starting your own online business. Among them, I have the most difficulty with Step 1 and 4. So, if I am going to write a book, it will be about these 2 sub topics.

If I am to do this, I would want to create something like an ideas book where I list out 100 niche ideas for the future. You guys remember I always get traffic by targeting emerging niches? Instead of keeping all the goodies for myself, maybe somebody will be to pay to read these new emerging areas.

Beside each idea, there will be suggestions on how to create a value adding niche site around these ideas. A good example of this format is what I did on this post here on how to build quality sites. Look at how I analyze the peer to peer loan market and you will get a glimpse into what this new book will be all about.

The downside of doing a ebook is that you might spend lots of time without getting any significant results.  Of course, I can always do some market validation tests but the risk is definitely higher when it comes to creating and selling your own product.

In conclusion

So, I am throwing this challenge out there to my readers: if you owned aaronchua.com, how would you monetise it?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

My take on Singtel buying HungryGoWhere for 12 million dollars

The biggest news for today is that HungryGoWhere is bought by SingTel for 12 million dollars. For readers who are not familar with these companies, HungryGoWhere is the biggest food review site in Singapore while Singtel is our predominant Telco. From a blogger point of view, does this signfy that Singapore companies are starting to take content seriously and there is a chance that our blogs might be bought for a good sum of money?

I think there is.

In my post on creating financial blogs for Singapore, I already mentioned that the local business environment typically lags US for a few years. In the next few years, we will start to see more aggresive SEO plays and content marketing by Singapore companies. When that happens, the possibility of either engaging these companies as advertisers or potential buyers is very real. However, you need to stake your claim now and the good thing about Singapore is that there is so many wide open areas. 

In the directory business alone, I am seeing portals developed for properties, food, cars etc. How about directories for the rest of the industry? Spa, pets stores, bike shops, cosmetic surgeries etc. All these industries are now ripe for some directory sites to come and organise them so that consumers in Singapore find it easier to get information and reviews on the products or services that they desired.

I hope this news can created awaresness for what is truly possible online.  If you don't leverage it now, you might never get another chance in your lifetime.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Funny keywords about making money with adsense and keywords

I know my readers came here to learn about new ways to make money or to know something useful. Today's post has nothing useful so don't bother reading. This is a light hearted post meant to show you why you cannot predict keywords based on keywords tools alone. Learn about how the conversation really happens in your niche and you will have a nice and never ending stream of keywords to write about.

Here is some of the most amusing keywords that have brought traffic to aaronchua.com.

1. I am banned from adsense and I want to die

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Who ever type this in, take it easy man! Adsense is not the end all or be all of how to make money online. As long as you know how to gather traffic, it doesn't matter whether you lose your adsense account or your site disappeared from the SERPs. You have acquired a skill that nobody can take away from you. What you need to do is to skip all the shortcuts and start fine tuning whatever you have learned. I have lost many adsense accounts (plus amazon too!) and I can still make money. I am living proof that life doesn't end after adsense.

2. Will I lose my serps after 2012

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Every traffic source has its downside. Instead of worring about losing your serps, do what is necessary to ensure that your traffic sources are diversified so that your business doesn't end when you lose your search rankings. Personallly, I never practiced what I preach. I am still a search traffic guy but I devote 100% of my attention on how to do advanced SEO.

After the penguin update, tonnes of internet marketers swore off Google, saying that they will explore social media for traffic. I took the opposite direction. I studied Google more and more to understand what is the value they are looking for. In the end, it is relatively simple. Seek value first and search traffic willl follow. Every successful site I saw that endured through Penguin had this common deominator. They cared more about the value than about keywords. The end result is that they do get search traffic and mostly for the terms that they never intentionally target.

As a person who practices SEO, my sites should be better than them. I should be able to provide value and practice some form of SEO to see faster and better results. At least that is where I am going.

So, don't worry about will you lose your serps after 2012 or whether your website disappeared from Google. Algorithms will always change but as long as you keep to the fundamentals of being a good webmaster, you have nothing to worry about. In the worse case scenario, you can always rebuild another site with new insights.

3. Key competition tips and difficult to find low competition keywords

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The people searching for these terms obviously haven't read my master pieces of how to find low competition keywords. In that case, I better provide you some references to these articles:

4. Passion for nature online income

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I have absolutely no idea what does this mean. I know I have passion for online income but what is nature online income. Is the searcher referring to nature based site or natural online income?

5. I earn 30k a month and am not satisified

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I loved this one. How can anyone make 30k a month and am not satisified? Unless you are earning tat 30k from a corporate company that eats away your human soul the minute you step into office. If that is the case, 30k is not a lot to compensate for the loss of your humanity : ).

Seriously speaking though. If you are already earning 30k, expanding your online business is super easy. Investing 30k to buy websites and you can easily double your income by the end of the year. Perhaps you should read my new blog on how to make money by investing in websites? (to readers: url of this new site will not be revealed yet).

I have lots more keywords to mine but I think that is enough for today.

Important make money lesson

I hope this fun exercise shows you how to mine your keywords and create ideas for generating new content. Every query is a question and if you do your best to answer them, you might be on your way to building a useful and relevant site.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

How to backlink after the penguin update

Finally, an update from me on a blog that nobody reads, LOL.

Anyway, lots of things going on so I kind have to leave this blog for a while. Today will be talking about how to backlink your website after the penguin update. Frankly speaking, the best way is not to do too much backlinking. Learn to pick emerging topics that you have an interest in. Write interesting content to solve problems in that niche. Round up a couple of links from your own blogs or from your friends to 'prime' the website. That is all the backlinking you need to do.

However, a common question you might have is the use of anchor text. Do you still use anchor text or just your website url? The answer is both but you need to be smart about where to use what. In the past, we all used anchor text for maybe 80-100% of our backlinks. That is what got many people into trouble with the penguin update. After the update, does it make sense to continue to use anchor text? Well, there was a mention by Google about eliminating one of the linking algorithm. Here is a good summary of what link alogorithm might be changed. Based on the article, it seems the use of anchor text might still be relevant.

Hence, since we don't really know how important anchor text is going forward, here is my suggestion. Use brand and nonsense links such as website url, aaron's blog, click here etc but for the links on authority sites, use anchor text. This means your anchor text usage might only be in the 10% or less region but they will come from the most powerful sites. For the rest of the links, just use other types of anchors.

Does this make sense to you? So far, I have been doing this before the penguin updates and none of the sites got hit. The ones that do are those that rely on the old and updated method of endless anchor text backlinks. If you are still insisting on building backlinks for your SEO effort, then do consider what I have said as an suggestion. For the rest of you who wants to get out of the backlink game, I suggest you reread my second paragraph again. That is all you need to build a real online business that doesn't come and go as Google changes its algorithm.

An update on our early retirement blog. I managed to squeeze about 14 articles for that site. Traffic is dismal of course and I am still finding my way in terms of identifying the key problems faced in this niche. The only good thing is that I have started to have a drip of search traffic and this is quite encouraging at this early stage of the project. I do hope you guys have started your own authority or passion site. You need prime virtual real estate going forward if you want to make serious money online.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Financial aspect of buying cars

Buying a car is not something that is easily affordable. Many people would love to have a car that that can call their own but unfortunately finances tend to be a major hindrance for them.   You need to have this in mind when you approach nissan dealers. You need to be well prepared when it comes to financing your car.  This is what has made the financial institutions introduce some auto loans so as to make the process and the financial burden lighter for anyone who desires to have a car. 

There are so many options where you can get such services that will help you in getting a good car. Unfortunately, most of these financing agents have set the interest rates so high which still makes it quite unrealistic for those who need the loans. You cannot blame them since they are also in business and need to make some profit at the end of the day. Therefore, when you consider getting a loan to finance your motor vehicle purchase you need to look for a financial institution that does not charge very high interest rates.  

If you are one of those who have a bad credit score and a negative credit history, this may narrow your chances of securing an auto loan. If you have a bad credit, you should make every possible effort to make it appealing before approaching anyone to finance you car purchase. There are also some financial organisations that are said to be in the business of taking advantage of their clients. You should be very careful when dealing with such and be sure of the company that you deal with. There are also some that have partnered with nissan los angeles dealers which will save you all the hassle of having to find a financing company by yourself.