Deb’s Note: In December 2006 I interviewed Darren Rowse while auditioning for a job with About.com. I did get the job and worked as About.com’s Guide to Weblogs for a year in 2007. I’m reprinting some of my greatest hits here. I also conducted interviews with John Chow, the Go Fug Yourself ladies, NBT’s own Gayla McCord and Jeremy Wright. Expect to see those profiles here in the upcoming months. This interview was from the first time I spoke with Darren – now he’s someone I’m happy and proud to call friend. He’s just as helpful and gracious now as he was a couple of years ago.
If you’re interested in blogging professionally, you’re sure to have come across Darren Rowse‘s ProBlogger Blog Tips. ProBlogger offers useful tips, an eye pleasing template and writing that won’t send you to the dictionary every five minutes. The tips are practical and you’ll always click away from your daily reading with information you can use. Who is Darren Rowse and how did he come to be a professional blogger?
Darren began blogging professionally since 2002 on the advice of a friend. While he maintains about 20 blogs, it’s ProBlogger Blog Tips that has captured the attention of many aspiring professional bloggers. Behold the wisdom that is Darren Rowse.
Darren Rowse on The Appeal of Blogs: Probably the first thing that captured my attention with blogs wasthe ability that they gave the average person to have a voice and be listened to on a global scale on their topic of interest.Secondly – they are so easy to set up and maintain. As someone with very little technical ability the idea of being able to set up a website in just a few minutes (I was using Blogger when I first started) was very appealing.
Lastly (and there could be many more) – the conversation that I saw happening on the first blogs that I cameacross was very attractive. Here were people all around the world talking about my interests,
sharing ideas, giving each other feedback and building community – I just had to be a part of it.
Darren Rowse on Mistakes Made by Aspiring Pro Bloggers:
Giving up too quickly. I see many bloggers start blogs with dollar signs in their eyes, thinking that they’ll be earning big dollars very quickly, only to find that it takes many months (or years) to get a blog running to it’s potential.
Darren Rowse on How to Become a Full Time Professional Blogger:
- Pick a topic that you enjoy and have knowledge in
- Set up your blog
- Start writing
- Interact with others writing on the same topic
- Interact with those readers who find your blog
- Find a revenue stream that fits with your niche
- Gradually put more time into blogging and less time into your other work as the income slowly grows from your blogs
- Keep writing
- Keep optimizing your income streams
- Consider starting other blogs
- Repeat all of the above
Darren Rowse’s Advice to Those Just Starting Out as Professional Bloggers:
Start out with a topic that you enjoy. Blogs take a long time to build up to a point where you’ll earn a good income from them and as a result you’ll need to be able to see yourself writing on that topic
for the long term.
Darren Rowse on the Future of Blogging: I think we’ll continue to see the collision of many different mediums into one. Video, Audio, Static Images, Blogging, Social Networking, Bookmarking etc will continue to merge and evolve.
As you can see, Darren’s advice is still valuable today. It’s a formula that has worked for him for several years.