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Ask ProBlogger a Blogging Question

Posted By Darren Rowse 31st of January 2008 ProBlogger Site News 0 Comments

Blog-QuestionsOver the next few months I’d like to base as many posts as possible here at ProBlogger on real life questions and problems of readers.

As a result I’m opening the ProBlogger ‘question box’.

I can’t guarantee that I’ll answer them all – but I’ll attempt to get through as many as possible or to find others who are better qualified than I am to do so.

Anything related to blogging will have more chance of being answered – although you’re welcome to submit other questions that you think I might have anything to say on.

PS: If you don’t want your name/blog to be linked to your question feel free to ask it anonymously. Please submit the questions in comments below.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Darren,

    What would be the best way to monetize an otherwise non-commercial Christian blog? (Adsense or similar contextual vehicles don’t work, because keywords attract ads that are antithetical to the message of the blog, e.g., cults, atheism, etc.).

    Terry Rayburn

  2. IS networking really that important?

  3. Hi Darren,

    You’ve certainly got some fantastic stuff here, I’m rather new to the whole blogging thing, although have been around affiliate marketing and stuff for some time – just got my first ‘real’ blog up a few days ago (I’ve dabbled before, mostly to just play with WordPress) and this site of yours has been a godsend (I’m a 100% converted blogger now, lol).

    Anyway, my question relates to business systems – what kind of systems do you have in place to make your daily blogging easier? I’m not talking about talking short cuts, I’m interested in things you do to make your life as a blogger easier, especially relating to what you would do if starting a new blog.

    For instance, you’ve talked plenty on writing a week’s worth of posts in a day and setting to auto publish them during the week – that’s the kind of stuff I want to know more of. Maybe things like – ‘what software do you use to write your posts – or do you just enter them straight into the WordPress editor?’, ‘how do you manage your RSS feeds to keep an eye on what’s happening with your niche’… do you have hundreds running in your RSS reader? do you only follow a few main sites? do you mash everything together using Yahoo Pipes and try and filter things down?

    How do you manage your systems so that you can maximise the time you spend on writing content?

  4. How do your get people to contact your business through your small business blog?

  5. Blogging has grown from nothingness into what it is now (a pretty obvious phenomenon to say the least). What would you say the future of blogging would be like, or how would the direction changes (or remain the same)?

    Do you think blogging would ever come to be something more substantial and permanent (say, turned into taught courses at colleges or developed into proper modules to be learned step by step) or will just continue to be something that’s left to be learned individually because there’s no need to have it wrapped into something too-academic. Or that it’s just too fluidic (changes in the greatest way possible all the time) that no single effort can really capture its real essence – simply because it has none.

    Sorry, too mouthful I guess. I just want to get it out anyway. Who knows, maybe you have some insight into this or spin it sideways to become worthy of new post ideas.

  6. Darren,

    I love your site and look to it for advise as I try to develop my first blog, http://www.youngarchitect.net.

    My question is simple. I would like to have my site professionally designed as my lack of code knowledge is really holding me back. What are the best avenues to find designers?

    P.S. I am looking for a designer in the Southern California area. Thanks

  7. How do you explain to people what you do for a living and what is their general reaction?

  8. Greg:

    I’ll take a stab at your question. Let me put it this way, if i did NOT do any networking, my blog would receive very few visitors and even fewer comments than it now does. (and what about future growth)

    Why? Because blogging is like the real world, in that you need to network to get a decent job, to find that hot real estate deal, to sell more, to meet that special someone, etc.

    Is it absolutely necessary, maybe not. Its not about whether it is necessary or not, its about the level of growth one wants. “No man is an island” applies to blogging as well.

    The more you network and the better you are at it, the more people you will meet who will either become loyal visitors, readers, commenters, guest-writers, referral sources, etc.

    It only helps. Why not do it?

  9. Darren, Is the DIgg, del.icio.us, Technorati are really Useful? How did you make that as a useful tool. Apart from writing quality content what the extra that you do in your blog?

  10. Reading all of these wonderful questions, I think most of mine have been asked. I hope Darren that you can answer most of them and in doing so I will be much clearer on my new niche blog I am researching now. Thanks for all you do.
    Chris Shouse

  11. Great idea creating a Question Box!

    Now that you’ve been a successful blogger for many years, what advice can you give to newbie bloggers, like myself, trying to get their blogs noticed?

    I keep reading about quality, original content as the key to success. That’s great, but no matter how good the content is, if nobody knows about it, it’s useless.

    What practices did you use early on to get your blog noticed and read by lots of readers?

  12. Geez, why are people asking long lists of questions? Why not keep it at one question each before this feature becomes unreasonable?

  13. Hi Darren,

    I have a couple questions –
    What basic steps would you advice for a new blog to get some great readership and increase RSS subscribers to my blog? It is not totally new, but 2 months old, and has got very less traffic.

    I love blogs and reading them, and really want to get inspired by some of the best bloggers like you.. Can you share how you get the interest to blog all the time? Everytime i start writing something i just get fed up within a few minutes and dont feel like writing the post. How do i get some interest and inspiration to blog?

  14. In your posts you have talked about how you use different social networking platforms, bookmarking websites etc to keep promoting your blogs. Can we have a list of websites you actually participate on a regular basis? Also, how do you administer this task of participating/posting your work on all these platform? For example, do you use any tool that helps you post on multiple websites at once or each one is done individually? Finally how much time do you spend in actually writing on your blog and how much on being active on the various websites?


  15. What are 3 to 5 topics that need more bloggers? Topics that are under-blogged?

  16. What is your opinion of ad networks such as blogads, Federated Media, and Blogher?

    I think you have said that you can get more when you sell your own ads, but how many visitors do you need before you can sell your own ads. Right now I only get about a 100 visitors a day.

  17. Darren,

    Thanks so much for the opportunity for a direct connection and feedback. I’ve learned much from reading your posts and hope the trend continues.

    In keeping with some of your earlier advise, I started a “niche” blog around a specific car brand or Marque. In my niche there seems to be very few quality sites that cover the same topic.

    I enjoy writing my posts and have yet to experience any type of writers block or lack of topics for posting. As a result, my blog is updated frequently with fresh and hopefully relevant and interesting content (for those in my niche).

    In the past two month I have seen my daily visitors grow from a handful of friends and family to more than 250 unique and new vistiors today. However, I’m not converting them to subscribers (be either email or feed). In addition, I can’t seem to get any type of iterative posting (comments) to take place no matter how I set-up my post.

    I know you’ve covered these topics in the past (i’ve read them here at Problogger). Just wondering if you have any new insight to help me “get over the hump”.

    Kind Regards,


  18. And Darren, how do i expect answers for my questions?

    Will you be posting about that later or would you be sharing some related resources as the answers?

  19. What can bloggers do to defend themselves from the coming bubble pop?

    What are three non-computer lifestyle tips that bloggers often ignore or don’t think of?


  20. Thanks to everyone for the questions. Keep them coming.

    Just to let you know that I’m hoping to tackle a few of these in video posts, others will be in posts tackling one question each and others will be answered in posts with a few questions together by a guest blogger who has offered to help out.

    I hope we can get as many of them answered as possible!

  21. Darren,

    What do you tell friends and family about your work – I assume you have friends who are perhaps not web-savvy, and still see the internet, and especially making money from it, as a sort of illigitamate means of generating an income (or maybe thats just the impression I get from talking to some of my friends).

    Do you feel the internet and making money from it as a full time career has been fully accepted by the masses, especially in terms of those bloggers who are not physically selling a product? Maybe this is just a UK issue?

    From a personal point of view, blogging and the websites I run generate a smallish second income to my main job, but trying to explain how it works, and that its not some form of rip-off/con to people who are not particularly within the whole blogging scene can be difficult.

  22. Is there much commercial value in targeting bloggers as customers? In other words, if one has a site dedicated to bloggers (e.g. blogcatalog), would advertising and affiliate marketing good be revenue models? If so, which specific affiliate programs would you recommend?

  23. Humm… now what should I be asking ?…

    1) What is the best time you get down to write your blog?
    2) How do you get guest to write a blog for you?
    3) How do you do Research and Development for yourself and for Problogger?
    4) How do you write more than one post most of the days?
    5) How do you manage these all: a) your life (personal/business), b) problogger c) other businesses

    Opps… did I ask too many question? :)

    Darren, do answer whatever or whichever question you feel comfortable.


  24. Humm… now what should I be asking ?…

    1) What is the best time you get down to write your blog?
    2) How do you get guest to write a blog for you?
    3) How do you do Research and Development for yourself and for Problogger?


  25. Do you regret writing any of your posts when you go through your archives?

  26. 2 quick questions.

    Is Technorati still a relevant thing or has social bookmarking made it obsolete?

    Are Technorati tags worth the effort?

  27. Hi, Darren. I am not sure if this is relevant but your opinion will definitely make sense. I made a post on my parenting tips blog entitled “Why You Should Allow your Children to Blog” and it had many negative comments more than the positive ones. This is even I added some useful tips on how to protect their child when they are on line.
    Now I want to ask you: Should you allow children to blog? Thank you.

  28. Hi Darren

    I am not sure if you would want to cover these.

    Given the technology that Google has and their ability to create very complex algorithms to determine page rank, why are they not able to do the following:

    1) separate clicks on your own page – some ads are worth following – Google could still collect from the advertiser as they are getting the traffic – the publisher would not of course

    2) if they can determine who is writing PPP, why not just discount the links when determining PR, and

    3) why do they smart price your whole account and not just your poor performing sites

    It seem to me that Google is smart – only when it suits them – any comments.

  29. When I learned of “Ask Problogger a Question,” I got excited because I finally saw my chance to ask you something I’ve tried to ask in the past but didn’t get a reply. Imagine my surprise when you already got 77 replies from those who beat me to the punch!

    Well, here goes. Hopefully we’ll get an article on how you do a video blog. What equipment and software do you use? How do you download a video (step by step)?

    I’m a deaf blogger with excellent speaking capabilities, in fact, I am a motivational speaker by profession. Ever since you started video blogging, I’ve been intrigued by the possibility of doing some video posts at my blog to surprise my readers and make things a bit more interesting.

    How do you do it?

    I am one of those technological neophytes, terrified of the prospect of buying the wrong camera, not knowing how to download properly and so forth. Hopefully you can help us with this.

    Hope to hear from you – somehow.

  30. hello darren,

    the thing that i would like to ask you is, how can we use social networking and bookmarking sites to publicize our blog or websites?

  31. Hi Darren,

    I was recently reviewed by a Wiki unbeknownst to me. This particular Wiki provided good and bad points of the websites they reveiw. They were right on the money about my good points.

    However, since my website is a blog, it was not deemed to be as credible as a more established online magazine or website, or an established writer. They did not knock my content. It was just a general comment on blogs. This bothered me because I make a point to footnote my sources etc. So, how does a one person blog gain credibility?

    Since my niche (green living content) has so many online magazines and multi-authored websites, how can a little blog get noticed? I am constantly posting on these websites but I really don’t get much traffic from them.

    Everyone’s questions are amazing!

    Darren, you have enough questions to last you a year. Thanks for opening up this forum.

  32. Hey Darren..
    How does a blogger take his success to the outside world? For instance, many people outside the Internet world might not what it is to be a successful blogger online.. I am in a way asking how do you take your blogging success offline and make a bigger business out of it? Is it possible?

  33. I’m stuck in “General” blog writing. I have a wide range of interests and each post is like a whole new blog. I love the variety but find it hard to target an audience.

    What advice can you give for the “potpourri” blogger for attracting readers, and keeping them.

  34. Do you think promoting a personal blog is really hard since a personal blog covers all most everything or don’t have any special topic or niche or anything?

  35. In the early days of blogging, the conventional wisdom was to make blogs look more like regular web sites because users were not familiar with the new medium. Now that blogging is mainstream and there is more awareness of blogs and RSS feeds, does it still make sense to blur the distinction between blogs and web sites? Should blogs be recognizable as such?

  36. abby Ives says: 02/01/2008 at 3:43 am

    I am a soon-to-be-blogger, as my site is almost ready for prime time, and I have the technical expertise of a tomato. My question is very simple; aside from reading ProBlogger religiously, can you tell me/us what you consider to be good resources for learning more about blogging, what to do/not do, or how to learn about the technology, etc. As a newbie’s newbie, there seems to be a tremendous amount to learn and I’m trying to figure out the best way to go about it.

  37. I have plans on creating a blog network centered around competitive gaming communities.

    My question deals with finding startup capitol for a Blogger with big plans. :)

    Where are the best places, and best practices to go about seeking funding for additional paid Bloggers, legal, programmers etc.. ?

  38. I have long wondered what process to go through to choose/narrow down to a niche for a blog. What tools to use? What would the process look like?

    Obviously it would be different for each person, but there must be some thing(s) that would be common threads (or at least good suggestions).

    I am looking for ways to hone the many ideas I have for blogs into one (or a couple of separate) concrete niche-subject to blog about.

  39. I’ve been blogging for over 6 months now and I think that I have already reached a lot of my goals. From getting an Alexa ranking below 80,000 to getting a few hundreds visitors a day, it would be typical for other bloggers to say that I am “on my way up there”. But I don’t think so.

    What am I missing? I’ve already done everything there is to know in the book and doing it perfectly right. But everything just dies off after the next few days. Should I start advertising on other blogs now? (Which I have never done yet.)

    Sly from Slyvisions dot Com

  40. Darren,

    Any advice on when to do a blog redesign. When you got yours redesigned, what prompted the decision (eg, lack/growth of sales, reader input, personal dissatisfaction, growth of blog to the point where you needed something different, etc.)?

    My blog/freelance writing business is growing, and I’m kinda stuck on making a decision if I should redesign it now, or wait until something “forces” me to do it.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    And, as always, thanks for being so willing to share.


  41. OK, 2… here goes….

    1.) Hosting. My blogs are going strong, I run a vibrant community hosting other’s blogs, a message board and I’m still on a shared hosting plan. When is it time to move to dedicated/managed? How hard is the move? Who hosts your site? I would appreciate any advice!

    2.) Advertising. I am earning “so-so” in the advertising area but I noticed most blog advertising options seem skewed towards the “techie” blogs. I may be missing them but what options are out there for the lifestyle type blogs, food, weight loss, health, womens issues and so on?

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to ask!

  42. What is your feeling on bloggers not using their real name? When I started blogging I thought I could be anonymous, but that is obviously not the case. Just wondering what your thoughts are.

  43. hi,

    have a look please http://www.opengiga.com

    would you please tell me something, how i can get some regular reader of my sites?

    or am i have to be more specific in any others part of my site?


  44. When you author multiple blogs that cover a variety of topics, should you make an effort to build an overall brand or business identity that can encompass all of your blogs? Or is it better to keep each blog as a separate entity/company with its own brand?

  45. How do you find readers in the very early days (first few weeks or months) of a new blog?

  46. Hi Darren! Thanks for this opportunity!

    I’m also thinking about starting a blognetwork but geared towards women. I hear that a lot of blognetworks use drupal. I was thinking about using blogger for my first website but now I’m hesitating.
    What are the main differences between drupal and blogger? Is it easy to switch from blogger to drupal?
    And is drupal user friendly?

  47. Muilkorfje says: 02/01/2008 at 11:58 am

    Hi Darren! Thanks for this opportunity!

    I’m also thinking about starting a blognetwork but geared towards women. I hear that a lot of blognetworks use drupal. I was thinking about using blogger for my first website but now I’m hesitating.
    What are the main differences between drupal and blogger? Is it easy to switch from blogger to drupal?
    And is drupal user friendly?

  48. Anonymous says: 02/01/2008 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve got a couple of logistics question. I’m a solo blogger on a blog that’s really growing much more than I expected over the past 13 months (it crested 520,000 pageviews and over 300,000 uniques for January). In January ’07, I had just over 300 page views.

    First, I’m spread thin with content creation (I’ve got a ton of backlogged ideas/drafts) and backend site management. I’m not a designer or very proficient at writing code. I learn just enough to accomplish what I need to do for the give task.

    Second, I’m looking at going to a tradeshow in several months that’s related to the industry that I blog on. I’ve never done this before.

    What are your ideas on managing these two items. I’d love to have some guest posters that are knowledgeable in my topic area. In fact, I’ve asked for it – in a couple of posts and on my site’s about page. No takers. I’ve thought about paying someone; however, I don’t know what the right price should be or if that’s something I really should do. It’s a very personal involvement for me – having created it all.

    If it’s backend that I need the help on – how/who do I choose? I’ve been thinking hard about hiring someone to help with a site overhaul. It would be worth a few hundred bucks to accomplish what I want. I’m using WordPress and would like to continue to do so. I’ve browsed around at some of the creators of WP themes that I like, but I would like a little something deeper than a basic “blog” theme. Additionally, I haven’t really found a designer that’s got the quality in their portfolio that I’m looking for. I also need the ability to implement pages with a little more flexibility and variety than what I see in the typical WP theme.

    On the trade show issue. How do I handle the logistics on my own? Live blogging? Photos of displays? Getting the good stuff out at the right time of day? Have you done something like that? Do you carry your laptop and update every couple of hours or so, or blog in the evening after hours? How do the big blogs like engadget or gizmodo do those things?

    Ok, I said “a couple” but I also want to throw this one in. Given the audience that I’m reaching now, I would also like to implement a forum feature on my site within the next year. What’s the best way to do this? I’d like to hear your thoughts on both the tech side and the marketing/introduction side.

    Oh yeah, and I’ve got a full time day job that I can’t quit.

    What are your thoughts?

  49. Hi Darren,
    I remember you said you have started blogging when you were still a student, were there anyone who have said some DE-motivational things like “You should study harder & not wasting time on blogging” or “Blogging shouldn’t be counted as a job”? I am still studying now & I keep listening to these kind of things from friends & relatives, what should I do to keep myself motivated? & how do you keep yourself motivated? Really hope that you can answer my question


  50. pravesh tyagi says: 02/01/2008 at 6:26 pm

    sir, how to the add own image in google images search……….reply me…….

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