PROblogger: book review
For some time now I’ve been interested in the eBook phenomenon for a couple of reasons: the business model that lies beneath it (how to make money by selling information…internet marketing is a fascinating hobby), and the information that is being shared by the rapidly growing number of writers. Especially the “selling dreams” books (or “self help” if you will) have caught my attention, from the useful “how to quit smoking in seven days“, the always good around the holidays “lose x pounds in x weeks“, to the wishful “make 1000 dollars a day: 99% automated!“-guides. The first two, examples of the “health” or “fitness” category, can be useful, healthy (although losing 40 pounds in 6 weeks can’t be good for your body) and at the very least pleasant to skim, but the latter, well, … it just makes your heart pump faster and you definitely want to read the rest of the story. After all, who doesn’t want to sit back, relax and see his income automatically increase with $30k a month? (This should be your first clue that it’s probably a scam…or is it?;-) So, naturally, when my eye caught the title ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, (a ‘conventional’ printed book), my hopes were up, expectations high; I had to read it.
Now, if you think (like I did) this is another fantastic “get rich quick” plan, think again. Already in the introduction this dream get’s shattered when Darran Rowse explains that it took him three years from the first time he pushed ‘publish’ in 2002 to become a professional blogger in 2005. During those years he worked tree part-time jobs, finished off a theology degree, and started his blogging career in his spare time, working hard and long hours often deep into the night.
Now this compared to the get rich quick guides, sounds definitely more plausible. And the prospects of the six-figure income by working at home (or anywhere you want, provided you’re connected to the web), escaping bullying bosses, makes you want to read on. Because you can make money from your blog. That’s one thing Darran Rowse and Chris Garrett are, among (many) others, living proof of and they’re telling you: so can you!
THE BOOK, THE MESSAGE
Written in blog-style with lots of bullet points and screenshots makes it easy to read the book and reread it when you need the info while working on your own blog. The first chapter of the book is an overview of what blogging is, how to make money with it, and what to expect in the rest of the book. Again, here is the message that you can make money by blogging, but it doesn’t come easy. “What many new bloggers find is that at first the enthusiasm and ideas come easily, but after the first flush of energy has passed it becomes harder and harder to write every day, let alone keep up with all the other factors of maintaining a blog.” So you really have to ask yourself, is blogging the right job for me?
The topic that you’re going to write about must therefore interest you and excite you so you are passionate to write about it and share you’re knowledge with your readers. This way you will not run out of steam and can maintain your blog for many years to come, and regular updates and posts to your blog are of the essence to grow a solid group of readers! Though, Rowse and Garrett advice, don’t overdo it; too much posting can give an overload to your readers and less posting gives you time to really craft your writing. Another important thing to keep in mind is to write about one topic on your blog. Don’t write about anything that you’re interested in, but stick to one niche, very much like a magazine. This way readers will come back and a community around your blog will (hopefully) arise.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY THEN
So the content of your blog is most important; it will get you an audience and an audience can be sold to advertisers. Next to very useful tips about how to grow your audience and market your blog, Rowse and Garrett explain in detail how to make money out of your blog.
This is indeed one way to do it, but Rowse and Garrett explain that there are more ways to make a living with blogging. For instance, why stick to only one blog? Multiple blogs with a small income can add up to a good living. Or freelance blogging: get paid to blog on other one’s blog, or hire people to blog for you which will save you time, or can get you credibility when you hire a well known blogger. It will give you the opportunity to network and to get to know other people, as well as the chance (blogging on other blogs) to promote your own blog. But you can also build a blog, get it noticed, and then sell it on online market places like http://www.sitepoint.com or http://forums.digitalpoint.com/ among others.
As said the book is written in an easy readable blog-style. It feels like a bloggers-manual, which is a plus because you can get very easily access to the information you need while building your own blog. Also the website that ‘comes with’ the book is an extra help in getting you all the tips and tricks for successful blogging. Whether you’re a novice or have been blogging for some time now, it will give you insights on how to run a blog, handle technical issues, and (as the title suggests) create a potential 6-figure income by blogging. The writers emphasize that their book isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ guide, which I think is an enormous plus and very important: Blogging for a living is hard work, and requires discipline, dedication and devotion, as do most self-employment jobs. The way to escape this workload of course, is to outsource. But for that you need another book. ☺