I Paid 12 Months To Learn These 32 Things

February 4, 2007 – Carl Ocab dot com was born. The 13-year old blogger made waves, gigantic waves in the blogosphere – up to now.

Err! Enough with the spiffy 3rd voice introduction.

So yeah, I’ve just celebrated my first year anniversary, bought a cake and took a good glance of the past. I’ll also be having a contest, but there’s more than that.

Blogging has taught me hundreds of things since then. Today, I’ve compiled them and picked the best to share it with you. I’d suggest you bookmark it, print it out and save it in your desktop.

But before that, I would like to give a little plug here to those who have helped me succeed a lot of things online, blogging and in life. Special mention goes to the Lord God for guiding me, helping me and in all of these things. My parents who have supported me all the time. Lil’ brother and sister for the laughs. Friends and classmates (Gloria, Audrey and Jean requested a special mention, hehe) for giving me few hits here and there and for taunting me for my outstanding english – that I rarely show in class. My online buddies (too many to mention) for helping me with their tips and updates and last but not the least, to YOU my readers.

Alright, I guess I’ve thanked everyone. Without further ado, here are the 32 things that blogging taught me in 12 months:

1. WIIFM or What’s In It For Me

The first question that pops out to all of us everytime.

Let’s have a little question and answer here just to prove it to you:

  • Why do you work? – To make money.
  • Why do you want to make money? – To buy the coolest car.
  • Why do you want to buy the coolest car? – To impress my neighbor.

Ask yourself, you’ll always find out that you do all things that give you a benefit.

Here’s a totally different scenario where you want to help people in need. You try to do it anonymously as you can.

But what’s in it for you? – you feel happy on the inside helping people and seeing them happy.

People need benefits. You can’t just ask someone’s shirt if it wouldn’t benefit them, and you can’t sell a product without giving a reason why the customer need your product. Show the benefits.

You won’t be reading this article if you didn’t have YOUR benefit right? Ask yourself.

2. People Like To Be Fed, Spoon Fed

I added a follow up message to those who download my free report “This Is Quick Money” asking them “What have you done today that I taught you in the report you downloaded yesterday?” I got loads of replies.

They were asking me basic questions like “How do I start my own freelance service?” or “What is an autoresponder?” that can be simply answered by our little household friend – Google.

Look at it on the brighter side, what if you sell an ebook that spoon feds people on what they need. Wouldn’t that make you a good sum of money?

3. Content Is Not King, Marketing Is

The internet is FULL and overspilling with awesome useful content. It’s so many, you can’t stay on a site for a minute.

If you generate more and more content, do you think your traffic will also increase? Nah. Well with the right marketing, it will.

Marketing without content is dumb. So I consider content, as part of marketing.

4. Always Show BIG Numbers

What do A-listers have in common? (Preferably John Chow, Shoemoney, and Problogger)

They have BIG Numbers to show.

John Chow with his eye cracking monthly earnings, Schoe with his $180k AdSense check and Problogger with an astonishing amount feed readers.

5. Sleep Is Important

Here’s a good one.

There was a time when I slept 1:30 AM on a Sunday night. Tomorrow is school so I had to get up 5:00 AM.

That’s roughly four hours of sleep for me. My eyes was closing all day long. I even took a nap on our lunch break.

When I got home, I tried to write an article but I just can’t. No ideas was floating on my mind. All I can think of is to sleep and forget all those things first. I can’t even answer a single email!

I’ve learned a lesson the hard way.

6. Act Now, There’s No Later

You have this super idea that you know if you take action, would make thousands over thousands of dollars. After sometime, you forgot about it and you were surprised to see someone did it and got the cash you dreamed of. Has this happened to you?

When you have an idea, implement it now – before anyone does. If you have to stay up all night long, sure. Just act.

7. Log Your Achievements For The Day

Everyday I bullet point all the things I’ve done. From writing a blog post to SEO stuff and etc, just so I can track my achievements.

If I did less the other day, then I would exert more effort the next day.

8. Blogging Is A Sport

You get better and better everyday. The more practice, the better you get.

Let’s have this little article I wrote on my first month of blogging, compare it to this post ;-)

9. You Won’t Make Money Blogging – ALONE

Quoted from the Kidblogger’s Master Plan leaked report.

Yes, you won’t make money blogging alone. Although you can get some coins but that’s not money. It’s not enough compared to the time blogging ate.

That’s why, there’s a system. With that in place, everything is completely duplicatable – Of course, you have the option to hire writers too.

So if you think you can make money off blogging by yourself now, STOP.

10. Blogging Is A Job

Writing an article everyday, sponsored review deadlines, blog commenting schedules?

What’s the difference from your ordinary day job? Ah well at least, you’re at home. But still…

11. Very Good Is Not Very Good At All

I owe this one to Seth Godin. Having read his Purple Cow (Still on the halfway) my perspective and goals change when doing something.

We see very good things everyday, when we walk down the street, everywhere. Very good is too saturated. When you’re unique, you’re just you, you stand out.

12. You Don’t Have To Be Passionate About Your Niche

Our passion is to make money – not writing. So why do you need to be passionate about your niche? You can always hire writers who are passionate enough to write good articles for you.

13. Don’t Sell Yourself Too Thin

Have you encountered those $27, $17 or even $7 crap books? (No offense intended, most of them are really CRAP). They’re selling their self too thin, why sell for $7 if you can for $97?

If you think you can sell a $97 product 100 times, do you think you can sell it for $7 1000 times – with the same people? No! Not a chance.


You see, some people are not buyers. They’re there to see what’s going on and skim over your site, but only small amount of real buyers are worried about the price.

So if you have 1000 prospects, 10% of them bought the $97, but not 100% of them will buy your cheap $7 product.

14. Monetize Now Or Die

The “Wait for your readership to grow, before you monetize” saying just makes me laugh all the time.

Let’s just say you waited half a year to monetize your blog, then on the 7th month, your hosting crashes. All the back ups are gone – or your blog got hacked, the tables in your database ruined and you don’t have a chance to fix it.

Wanna cry now?

Tip: Here’s how I sold my private advertisements.

15. Blogging Is Communication

I’ll let author Tom Peters speak to you “Communication is everyone’s panacea for everything.” In blogging, you communicate by writing informally. You write like you’re talking to your reader. Informal is the best, even copywriter legend Gary Halbert (You are a homo habilis if you don’t know him) uses it to sell!

16. Go Positive

Don’t give clues to your readers for the things that you don’t want them to do. Like say, “Don’t unsubscribe to my blog! I’ll post tomorrow” (Darn, I said it! But with this post, I think you would stay subscribed, aye?) or “Don’t leave yet *sales pitch here*”.

Even though that’s a warning, it’s still a command that might give your visitors a hint.

17. Experiment!

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, take risks – the money is there. Here’s one from me ol’ favorite speaker Anthony Robbins “There is no failure, there are only results”.

18. Experiment! Be Careful Though

Just a word of warning, don’t go below the belt. If it still urges you, don’t forget to grab hold of your privacy.

19. Gurus Don’t Know Everything

Even though they make thousands or even millions of dollars online, they don’t know everything.

I’ve talked to loads of marketers who make six figures a month, but guess what – I still have something to share to them. Everyone has something good at.

20. Focus

Speaking of number 19, that’s the number one reason why those guys are called “gurus”. They are good at a specific, very VERY specific sub niches of internet marketing.

In link building, we have Jack Humphrey. List building, Joel Christopher. Affiliate marketing, Ewen Chia and Chris Mcneeney. Traffic generation, John Reese. The list goes on…

They boiled down so much, they tend to ignore other things not relevant from the niche they are focusing at.

21. Be Prepared For Legal Issues

I can’t believe loads of people put legal issues as the last item on their list! Imagine with just one (yes, it’s that serious that I have to put all the styles in it) flaw, you can lose your whole business – or worse, even your personal stuff.

I won’t finish this as I’m not qualified to do so. Just go get a lawyer now and let him tell you what to do.

22. Set Goals In Everything You Do

When I get home from school, I rest for half an hour before I go online. I never thought that that 30 minutes is one of the most important factors of success.

I plan my day strategically so I won’t lose a single minute out of the blue. And these goals are not just for the sake of writing, they need to be done.

23. Shorter = Better

We are at the attention age era. People are surrounded by tons of information, we give too little attention to things as we have the option to just move on and click away.

In that case, we have less time to tell people what we are really trying to tell them. And heck, it’s actually harder to explain things shorter than the usual.

P.S. Yes, this article is shorter than the usual, I have 32 things to pin point so there. :-)

24. Design Is An Important Factor

Like what I said above, we are at the attention age – and one of the most attention grabbing part of a site is it’s design.

Your website’s design speaks for you. Connect your design with your niche. I guess my master plan is a good example.

25. Sometimes We Could Use Some Ramblings

Blogging is communication aye? (number 15) Why not give your readers a bit taste of your life and how you live?

Even though, yes, your readers are there for topics about your niche, but a post a month with updates of your current lifestyle won’t hurt right?

Most people are curious cats and would always like a snippet of someone’s life. That’s one reason why gossip is a pretty wide niche. ;-)

26. Mingle With The Big Boys

It has been said that if you add up all the earnings of the top five people you hang out most and get the average of it, it will be close to your current income.

That’s simply true. When you hang out with poor people, they’ll influence you to do what poor people do. If you hang out with middleclasses, same thing happens. If you hang out with millionaires, they will influence you too on how to become as rich as them. Even if you have nothing in hand! They’ve got the kicks, all you have to do is listen.

27. Under Promise, Over Deliver

I hear amazon.com does this nicely.

When I ordered my first books from amazon they gave me a rough date when will the books arrive, it’s for three weeks I guess. Surprisingly it arrived in our frontdoor in only two weeks.

I’m pretty sure that they knew they can give it in less than three weeks, they just under promised to make us think they have over delivered in service.

28. Protect Your Feed

Content aggregation is a big hit these days. You know those guys who scrape all your content and plaster big blocks of ads around it trying to make money?

Yes, it annoys me too. One way or another, I see five to 10 duplicates of every article I post on this blog – luckily most of them links back to the original article, but some just don’t get it. Some just copy pastes the whole post, leaving no trace behind.

However, if you place links inside your posts, it will be carried by the scraper because most of them still carry out the html.

29. Make People Feel Important

This I owe to my email list.

First of all, lead capturing is harder than you think it is. It takes three steps to make people subscribe to your list. They type their name and email, press subscribe and go to their inbox to confirm it. Sounds simple? NO! Tell you what (I guess there’s no softer way to say this) people are LAZY.

Why do they have to spend their spare minute to subscribe to your newsletter (or whatever you are offering) when he can subscribe to the one next block?

Make them feel important, give them private access to your swipe files for example. Or maybe a beta access to your new site, etc.

30. People Love Lists

Oh c’mon, you’d never get this far if you didn’t love lists! ;-)

31. Leverage Other People’s Resources

In order to start making money, there are a lot of things you should consider. You need traffic, list, content, credibility and tons more. If you drill down those things and do it all by yourself, it will take years before you can establish a good online business. Notice, I only said good.

But what if you can leverage other people’s resources? Other people’s traffic, list, content and credibility? Wouldn’t that skyrocket your business and your profits?

32. Read Then Implement

This is probably the best thing that blogging taught me after 12 months – read. Don’t just skim, read. If you bought a book today, read it, finish it then implement it. Don’t get another book if you still haven’t implemented the principles taught in the first one.

Start this year right, buy a book now then read it and implement. You’ll be mesmerized by your improvement. I guarantee it.

To Close This One Up

I’ll let Henry Ford close this looong article with his infamous quote “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”


  1. says

    Great couple of points on what you’ve learnt through the past few years Carl. I think you got it bob on with many of your points including spoon feeding people and making people feel important. Sometimes people need to search for things and not expect to be given it to them on a plate – but that’s the world of blogging and the internet.

  2. says

    Hi Carl, this is simply one of the best compilation’s of advice any blogger(new or old) could have and should bookmark.

    Point # 13 is especially lost on a lot of people and a lesson I learned many years ago from my early mentors like Gary Halbert and Jay Abraham.

    Again, a totally awesome list of solid advice! Have a great weekend…

    • CarlCarl says

      Oh shucks, Thanks for the compliment.

      You’re one lucky guy to get mentored by those two guys who are on the edge.

      Kudos man.

  3. says

    Carl – Congrats on 1 year – I predict there are many more more very profitable years in your future. And thanks for sharing the 32 points, youhave learned alot in your first year and if people followed 1/2 of these points they would see success online also.

    I look forward to seeing what you have learned after 2 years

    Chris Stirling

  4. says

    Hi Carl, Thanks for sharing your 12 months of experience. Now, I don’t have to wait for 12 months to learn these things. I can start straightaway. Keep up the good work.

  5. says

    Very nice article, kabayan! Much thanks for a great read!

    Congratulations on your 1st year anniversary as a blogger! Here’s wishing you more success!

  6. says

    Very Nice Post … it looks like you have learned more than half the blogging community in the past 12 months!

    Great Job and Keep up the Good Work!

    Darin Carter

  7. says

    Hello Car,

    First of all many congratulation for successfully completing your first year in the world of blog. This post is very help full for new comer in this field. Blogging is becoming very popular and I am pretty hope full that this will be a worth earning potential.


  8. says

    wow, nice post…. somehow I do not agree on the part of no.14. why? Yeah it maybe possible to start earning right away but i think this is what I learned from shoemoney and darren rowse… I you provide good services first, chances are you are making more in return without trying it too hard… This is also what dean hunt preaches… I believe if you have carved yourself a lofty stature in this internet world, you’ll be rewarded…

    anyway, at the flip side I can still have scraper site and MFA to keep my earning going.. LOL

    • CarlCarl says

      Thanks for the compliment Melvin.

      About number 14. The internet is moving light speed, what works now might not work tomorrow – or even in the next hour! What if you haven’t monetized your site today, then someone bigger and better overtook you the next day?

      “If there’s a chance, why not make money now?”

      • says

        Actually yeah I got your point out there… But I think the ways to monetize are pretty slim, considering your going to take it from CPC and paid posts… ^^

  9. says

    Carl, Great stuff !!

    I was amazed by your achievement so far.

    Hopefully you are not only focus on blogging only, but can continue to develop more useful information products on the internet marketing arena.

    Thanks for your post!

  10. Ross says

    I really liked your article. An article that long rarely keeps my attention. Most articles are boring but not only did you make the article useful you also made it interested and I was able to read it in it’s entirety.

    Good work

  11. Abhijeet Mukherjee says

    An absolute gem of an article Carl!!….I have been reading your blog since the last 4 months on my Google Reader but today I couldn’t stop myself from clicking on your post title and leave a comment….awesome stuff…and quite true….I agree with all your points and will keep them in mind when I start my blog in a few days from now.

  12. says

    When you told me it was a long post, I seriously would not thought it would be that long.. =) anyway great post and I do agree many points you have written.

  13. says

    Rich content, very nice design, great graphics. I have added this useful site to my favorites. It is really a very helpful site with a lot of necessary tools for webmasters. Success.

  14. says

    Happy Birthday to you and your blog; it’s a great thing that you managed to stay focused on your work for a full year as well as your studies. Keep up the good work, now go and give those teachers some lessons!

  15. says

    Thank you for all the great insights and lessons, Carl. Since it appears you like to read, I’d suggest you go to amazon.com and buy their

    Kindle reader

    It will not only save you money on books and trips to the bookstores, but you can carry around 200 or so “books” in less size and weight than a paperback.

  16. says

    Greetings Carl – Love the list. Regarding item #3 Marketing is King – Not Content. You’re tap dancing on the tight rope of the old scenario “The Egg or the Chicken – Which Came First?” :>) Without content (your message), you have nothing to market. Without the mechanism (marketing), how does one get the “word” out? Keep up the thought-provoking work.

  17. says

    Hi Carl, this is simply one of the best compilation’s of advice any blogger(new or old) could have and should bookmark.

    Point # 13 is especially lost on a lot of people and a lesson I learned many years ago from my early mentors like Gary Halbert and Jay Abraham.

    Again, a totally awesome list of solid advice!

  18. says


    Congratulations on the one year anniversary! I am impressed by your site and the content. I can also relate to not getting enough sleep trying to post quality info on my blog too.

  19. says

    Hi carl,
    Wonderful post, you are an inspiration for everyone, for the first time i see such a great blog on page one of google with wonderful content! previously the spot was filled by only money making websites with no information in them. keep up the good work!

  20. says

    Hi Carl, this is simply one of the best compilation’s of advice any blogger(new or old) could have and should bookmark.

    Point # 13 is especially lost on a lot of people and a lesson I learned many years ago from my early mentors like Gary Halbert and Jay Abraham.

    Again, a totally awesome list of solid advice!

  21. says

    just when i think i already have a good guide to blog. I read 12 n 13 n even 21 steps for it. Suddenly this 32 steps come to me! wow! and the one i like is Content is not King, Marketing is. You are absolutely correct. No matter how good your post is, without anyone knowing it exist then it will be a waste of hard work. Thanks for the info!

  22. says

    Hey Carl, thanks for sharing what you’ve learned with us. I found your post through SU yesterday (yep, I gave it the thumbs up!) and think you’re a great example of just what can be achieved in blogging. Keep up the great work!

  23. says

    You’re 14?


    You are amazing, no matter what age. This was a really incredible post, and really great to see someone taking and applying so much philosophical insight into what we do as a business.

    Great job, thanks for posting! I look forward to reading more of your work.


    Jonathan Kraft

  24. says

    I have been reading too much info about tips on Adsense & affiliates links.. since 2005. (More than 3 years now.) Then last month, I read an ebook that taught me to stop reading further info… I am experiencing the symptom of information overload. Choose 5 – 10 tips and stick to it.

    Practice until it has results. Do not change tactics. Keep doing it again and again… and stop buying new Make Money Online ebook. But… from this article… I can still get new tips that I overlook before… The one that struck chord with me is no (2) People Like To Be Fed, Spoon Fed. They are not lazy… they are just a bunch of people who are willing to pay for someone to provide the info for them in steps-by-steps, easy guide.

    For them time is more expensive than $37 or $67 or whatever reasonable price the author are charging. Yes… we should start makng ebook for these desperate buyers…

  25. says


    Great article. I’m just starting to get serious with my journey. I’ll be checking back often for your wonderful insight.

  26. says

    I can’t believe I’ve never come across this blog before.

    Excellent post. I’ll be taking a look around now…

  27. says

    Unbelievable. 13?! Inspiration and motivational – you’re going to be incredible when you’re finally old enough to drive a car. There’s a lot of information in here to digest and to implement. But I wanted to comment here to find out what your attitude towards school was.

    Babysitting neighbours and shoveling snow can’t compare to the kind of income that you’re generating online. So when teachers are in class teaching their lessons – do you have the same attitude that Robert Kiyosaki describes in the first Rich Dad Poor Dad – wondering what the point is?

    Looking forward to reading your blog.

  28. says

    Man, I am really shocked and impressed. Even if you use you being 13 as a marketing strategy it doesn’t matter. Really nice points.

  29. says

    Hey Carl,

    very good post. Even though I was reading quite a lot post like this: Lessons I learned the last xx month or years bla bla bla. You add some fresh points to it and some advices are even the opposite of many other bloggers, where as you given some good reasons why.



  30. rahuliit2003 says

    Hey Carl, that’s a “one of a kind” article that you’ve posted. I have more than a little to regret not knowing or coming across your blog till today though I’d been busy reading Johnchow, Problogger, Joetech etc. for quite sometime like say 3 months. Probably everyone told you before & you’re tired of listening to this but you’re “Dynamite” packed. What kind of a kid would master SEO at 14, when many Graduates at 22 themselves do not know the abbreviation. As good as some posts are, I can’t resist copy-pasting them in my own blog, of course I’m bad at blogging but not worse enough to avoid linking back. Great way to go Buddy( I won’t dare call you a kiddie, ever). A whole new world awaits on your door-step.

  31. says

    Nice collection of wise quotations to bloggers community! People always need ‘a light’ to lift up
    their spirit, in order to pursuit their online goal.

    Internet can be virtual reality and convenient way for for greater access to a persons own feelings, thoughts, emotions, and ideas. You have been inspiring and linked horizontally through the internet community.

    Good tactic to treat Google like a 3 year old on order to win. We got the answer now, ‘how you snatched the throne in Google.’ :)
    We better go to write an e-book under the title ‘How Can David Beat (G)oliath?

  32. says

    This is really an interesting post that I have come across and I do think that you really have good points here and I am going to learn it.

  33. says

    wow – how did i miss this post carl? hope all is well & what a great post!!!

    the last one is my favorite because so many people read things and learn new things but NEVER implement them.

    implementation is the thing that separates the boys from the men!

    Alejandro Reyes

  34. says

    i really respect you for spending this much time for learning this tips! Luckily i found your post here or i might regret for my whole life…

  35. says

    Great tips sharing and its benefits me a lots. With this tips would save me from making mistake and get better results :)

  36. liza says

    hi carl,

    i’m a newbie in internet marketing and all. a friend just sent me a url about a 13 year old blogger and i checked it out. it just amazed me…especially the things that you know. what’s more fascinating is to know that you are a filpino too…we’ll, i would just like too confirm if you really are…


    great article by the way, really helpful!

  37. liza says

    hi carl,

    i’m a newbie in article marketing and all. a friend once sent me a url about a 13 year old blogger and i checked it out. it just simply amazed me.especially the things that you know. what’s more interesting is to know that you are a filipino…we’ll, i would just like to confirm if you really are…


    great article by the way…really helpful!

  38. says

    I have a lot to learn from you and I have twenty years on ya, kid! How did you get to be so smart??

  39. says

    I think some people might have missed the deal about advertising and why yours has worked….
    Unless you really are 13, and if that’s the case….props to you….but from what I’ve read…

    Either way, I appreciate this, your tips and ideas help reaffirm what I have been finding out on my own. Thanks ….

  40. says

    Hey Carl, Love your idea in #3 about content and marketing. Content is great and marketing is great, but I haven’t heard that idea put so succinctly before about how they both compliment each other.

    I believe online that getting lots of great content out there and setting yourself up as the expert in your chosen industry, that is the best form of marketing you can get.

  41. Merilyn & Stephen (10) says

    Thanks Carl!

    We have learned so much from your blog. We’ll print it out to refer to. Stephen (Mr. 10) says, we’ll IMPLEMENT what you’ve said, one step at a time.

    Can’t say enough thanks for sharing your experience .

    Merilyn (Mum!) And Stephen :)

  42. Cecilia says

    I cannot believe that you are a minor!!!
    1st:You do not write like a common 15-year old kid!
    Haha…that’s just it!

    Better keep it up and who knows what will happen to you 5 years from now!
    Love your article! I’m learning from you kiddo!

  43. says

    Just got an email from an associate marketer asking me to check on your blog. He was very impressed with you and it truly amazes me how a thirteen year old could be so successful at blogging. Keep up the good work, Carl.

  44. says

    I think my favorite here was “Log Your Achievements For The Day.” I had considered doing it earlier but now I think I will start doing it for real. Not only will it add discipline, but when a week goes by and I am thinking “what exactly did I get done this week?” I will be able to realy look it over, analyze, and even reorganize my time if needed.

  45. says

    Great. Now i can say thank you!.
    I am from Japan and too bad know English, tell me whether I wrote the following sentence: “How to write a business seminars will assist you with using your own talents to start your own business.”

    THX :D, Thekla.

  46. says

    This post is so impressive Carl. I will surely bookmark it to be read over and over again. By reading the list which ages a couple of time, I think I got a merely great -book here in your post.


  47. says

    I love lists – this was very motivating for me to to go back and summarize some of the information I have in the form of a list. Great website overall. Best and most informative I have seen in a long time.

  48. says

    I like this post Carl. Its quite a long one.. 32 things on it. Need to come back and read it again and again. I always wonder about something. How do you build a list? Can you tell me how you go about doing that?


  49. says

    I spend over 1 year and 7 months of looking this post. Thank you very much Carl.

    Now, I am much motivated to learn more and do what the better things right away.

    – Blogging Access.com

  50. Paul says

    I have a question. Doe copyright laws applies to blogging? I mean, we copy others thoughts and we paste it on our blog site. Do we have a copyright liability for this? Thanks.

  51. says

    I guess the best example for #14 would be Wikipedia’s sudden monetization (advertisements) if ever they would add some Publisher ads on their site.

    It would be far more intriguing on why they would monetize their site and what they would pick as their sponsor + why they picked that sponsor.

  52. says

    Hey Carl, it’s very inspiring, informational and sweet post. Keep up the great work man.