guest post by Kelly Diels
I have been blogging for almost ten months. I quit my job – a really, really good job – last week. Today, I made $10,600.
In one day.
(Okay, not really in one day, but today I collected two cheques for writing projects that I secured because the clients saw my pieces at ProBlogger and hired me. True story.)
How did I use my blog to launch a business?
- I didn’t know anything about blogging except that I wanted to do it, so I googled “how to blog” and landed on ProBlogger. Thank goodness. So I learned how to blog on ProBlogger. I literally started with a piece from the archives about what to include in your first post.
- I started reading the blogs of people who were commenting at ProBlogger. I wrote a couple of adoring e-mails. Josh Hanagarne might know what I’m talking about. He’s easily flattered.
- Then, as I gained confidence – in part because I read the trial-and-error stories of other bloggers, here – I started guest posting on ProBlogger. I sent Darren Rowse a whole whack of wacky pieces.
- Darren said, and I quote very loosely because I’m pretty sure he used proper grammar, hey I like your stuff, wanna write weekly?
- I said, umm, let me think about it. (Don’t believe that ostentatious lie. I didn’t say that. Instead, I said “YES!!!!” and I launched (unbeknownst to him) into The Happy Shimmy wherein one drops it like it is lukewarm. And my awkward-girl-dance still looked better than this one. Maybe. Probably not. Shout out to bloggers: that’s a challenge. .)
- My blog traffic exploded. I didn’t mind this, at all.
- People started asking me to write for them. They’re even paying me. Lots.
- I have true, passionate friends – other bloggers – who are part of my heart, now, in real life (such a thing actually exists) whom I met because of ProBlogger (see #2). Either I saw their piece and stalked them until they relented and befriended me, or vice versa.
- A white hot meta-entrepreneur, and one of the people I admire most in this world, asked me to co-author a book with her.
- Yes, I am TOTALLY FREAKING OUT. ProBlogger, lots of love, some dancing and a little effort (ok, a LOT of effort) changed my life.
My quit-my-job-in-ten-months lessons:
- when you’re figuring it out, the guidelines and tips and case studies at ProBlogger and other how-to-blog sites make the blogging world less intimidating
- find your voice and write good stuff
- be yourself. There’s no competition for that.
- make friends
- try lots of different techniques to promote your blog. As soon as you figure one out, keep doing that, and add another. (Did you read Jade Craven’s post about landing pages? Or Josh Hanagarne’s advice about
tricking his friendshaving a contest to get people to buy advertising? These are live-action case studies and that’s just useful.)
- investigate – and try – lots of different models for making money: ads, products, affiliate deals, offline work.
- play nice
- prepare to be tired. Very tired. You may as well cut off your cable, now, because TV is no longer part of your daily regime. Unless you’re a TV blogger. In which case you’re just screwed.
So yep, I’ve got big love for ProBlogger (though my cable company may have other opinions) because what I learned here empowered me. I don’t mean that in just a fluffy, feel-good, girl-power kind of way; I mean, I have money in my hand. I mean, I now write for a living. In just ten months, ProBlogger helped me change my life.
And I’m pretty sure that Darren Rowse would have offered me the weekly gig even if I hadn’t written this piece as bait.
I’m just kidding. Really. He made me the offer two months ago and unlike some people (me), he’s immune to flattery. Don’t even try it. Call me instead.
Better yet, let’s dance.
Kelly Diels writes for ProBlogger every week. She’s also a wildly hireable freelance writer and the creator of Cleavage, a blog about three things we all want more of: sex, money and meaning.