Interview with the $15 Million Blogger

    October 6, 2008
    Chris Crum

BankaholicFriday, we reported on  Bankaholic, a blog written by Johns Wu, being sold for $15 million to BankRate. I emailed Wu (who is apparently a WebProNews reader) with some questions, and he was kind enough to get back to me. Following is the product of that.

Chris Crum: How did this deal come about?

Johns Wu: I’ve been working with the folks at Bankrate since late July, and it just felt like a good fit. I was a one-man show looking to take some money off the table, and they were a traffic hungry financial powerhouse looking to broaden their portfolio of online properties.

CC:  What was your reaction when you were approached with the offer?

JW: I was blown away! I’m going to be 23 in November, and never in my life would I have imagined having so much money, especially at this age! I don’t even know what I will do… I mean, I live a simple life. I live in an apartment, I eat lunch at Subway, and I go drinking on weekends. This moneys inevitably going to change my lifestyle a bit, but I’m looking forward to that!

CC: Is it true that you will stay on to continue blogging for the site?

JW: Yes, I like blogging, so I don’t mind. Especially right now, with the financial world in total chaos, there’s no shortage of topics to write about. This is history in the making, and it’s fun to document it.

CC: Do you know if they intend to add additional bloggers as well?

JW: If I were them, I would hire more writers.

CC: How long have you been blogging at Bankaholic?

JW: I started the site in July of 2006, so I’ve been blogging at Bankaholic for about 2.5 years now.

CC: Do you have other blogs?

JW: LOL! Ironically, I had a website in college called "Future Young Millionaires". I’m too embarrassed to tell you the URL because the site looks like garbage, but if you’re savvy enough at Google, you will probably be able to find it.

CC: Can you provide a little info about yourself just so we can get to know a little bit about who you are?

JW: Sure, my parents are from Taiwan, but I was born on the east coast. I grew up in Arcadia, CA and went to college at UC Berkeley. After that, I worked for a couple months at an online jewelry e-tailer before I quit to work on Bankaholic full time.

CC: There’s been a lot of criticism of blogs as credible news sources. What is your position on this?

JW: I trust blogs WAY more than mainstream media. Some people will say that corporate media is more accurate b/c stories are screened by editors and lawyers, but this is also one of the flaws. I like to read articles that are raw and unedited by people who are qualified to write about the topic. The perfect example is the Iraq war. Who would you trust more? an article from Fox News or a blog post from a Marine on the front lines?

I’d like to thank Johns for taking the time to talk to WebProNews. I’m sure he is quite busy thinking about what to do with his newfound wealth. I’m not going to hunt down his college site and embarrass him. Although, if he got to where he is now by starting with that, how embarrassing can it really be? Congratulations Johns!