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How ProBlogger Changed My Life and I’m Not Saying That Just To Suck Up.

Posted By kellydiels 13th of February 2010 General 0 Comments

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Darren said, and I quote very loosely because I’m pretty sure he used proper grammar, hey I like your stuff, wanna write weekly?
  5. 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. Let’s see your dance moves.)
  6. My blog traffic exploded. I didn’t mind this, at all.
  7. People started asking me to write for them. They’re even paying me. Lots.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 abouttricking his friends having 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.

Comments
  1. Very interesting piece!!

    Because of ProBlogger.com, I am now seeing about 200 views a day, when before I began on Problogger.com, a good day was 10 views!!

    It’s amazing the community you build here!!!

  2. Thats a great sum.. and ya the story is inspirational !
    Problogger is great of course.

  3. Congrats, Kelly! But you don’t want to see me dance. Promise.

    But man, the be yourself piece is so important, so difficult, and so cliched in the wrong way. Everyone says “be yourself,” but few people really follow the advice. Most people just go “that’s cool, but it’s cheesy” and go about their lives.

    Congratulations again!

  4. Congrats K-Diels…

    I believe a blog is simply an extension of who you are, and when who you are falls into the hands those who know who they are….

    Well that’s just golden.

    Peace…

  5. Way to go Kelly! I love your writing and I’m glad you’re writing on ProBlogger has helped you so much. It’s a great story and I love seeing fellow Canadian girls doing their thang and making it happen! :)

  6. I searched for something like “how to make money online” years ago and landed on ProBlogger.net a few months after Darren started it.

    A few years later I run a very successful website that receives about a half-a-million hits per month and more money than I ever dreamed it could. Most of the credit goes to Darren and ProBlogger.

    Thanks Darren!

  7. Congrats Kelly,

    I hope to one day follow in your footsteps and blog full time.

    All the best

    JB

  8. Great Story, Congrats. I started my design blog 3 months ago (in spanish) and I´m loving it. Right now I am preparing the english version using all the fantastic tips found here at problogger. And like you all said….be yourself.
    http://www.creandoeninternet.com

  9. Congratulations Kelly, and thanks for dropping off a nice box o’ hope for the rest of us!

  10. Congratulations then! Very good job! And very wise blogger!

  11. Tad Wolfe says: 02/13/2010 at 5:28 am

    Truly inspiring, the world as we know it has changed and it is up to each one of us to make our own mark. No longer can we sit back and wait for a employer or the government take care of us. Keep up the great work and inspiring others.

  12. Kelly,

    This is so awesome. You are a total blogging rockstar. I’m glad that we’ve connected in this madness we call the blogosphere.

  13. Nice bloggers should rule the world…and probably will eventually. Mad ups Darren! Way to go Kelly!

  14. Way awesome!!! I personally noticed you because of your guest blogs on this site and have thought you were a great writer.

    I’m glad for you and your recent success! keep it up

  15. Damn, that girl is a phenomenal dancer! Hah! Big thanks for the blog shotout! You rock and deserve all the good rewards the Internets are sending your way!

  16. Great post Kelly! I have found tons of value on problogger to help with my site. I found them through Josh Hanagarne funny enough. Come to think about it I found your site through him as well.
    Keep up the good stuff, I love reading your work.
    Justin

  17. Love this post, Kelly.

    I guess I’m starting at a different place, having casually & randomly blogged on the stuff of my life for a few years now.

    Lately, though, I’ve decided to ramp it up, and explore how to make a little….maybe a VERY little…cash through my existing blog, and maybe start one or two more.

    The project has begun!

    I’ve been swimming through gazillions of blogs about blogging, yet Darren’s is the one I keep coming back to during these early days of blog woodshedding.

    Looking forward to seeing where this all takes me, and inspired by stories like yours.

    Peace

    J

  18. Hilarious and inspiring post! Nothing comes easy, that’s for sure. Thanks for sharing your story!

  19. Just to cool everyone down – not every niche is going to make such big money…

  20. Now I´m not a problogger, so Problogger is one of the best sites abou blogging.
    Darren Rowse give us tips without hide anything. Saying what we need to do to be a problogger.

  21. Congrats Kelly!!! Who would have thought problogger would be making you money if they asked you 10 months ago

  22. Great success story Kelly. What would you say is the biggest thing you learned looking back on the process from start to where you are today?

  23. I guess no matter what your niche is, the magic word is writing.

  24. LindyMint says: 02/13/2010 at 6:56 am

    Kelly,
    It is so inspiring that you were able to accomplish all of this while having a 9 to 5 AND kids.

    You give us all hope. And by “us all”, I mean me.

  25. Congratulations Kelly!!! I’m so inspired by your story. My only question is, what are you going to say when people ask you what you do for a living? Have some fun with your answers and watch their faces :-)

    I wish you the best!

  26. Congratulations on your success!

    I think my definition of “a really really good job” must be different from yours, though. My version of a really, really good job is one that you don’t want to quit. For example, your new business is a “really, really good job”, and whatever you left, well, wasn’t.

  27. kelly, i hope that soon i’ll be able to say my life changed because of you! i’m so glad that i found you through problogger. your writing has inspired to be more “me” on my blog – to reveal so much more of myself – and inspired me to be more “you” in my confidence & willingness to ask for what i need.

    congrats on your life changing experience! may there be many more positive changes to come!

  28. That is really really cool. Hard work does pay off!

    Invite me – and I will dance with you :D

  29. Congrats Kelly that is a huge achievement. Trying different money making models is a great tip. It took me quite a few tries before finding one that actually works.

    Still looking forward to quitting the day job though :)

    Steve

    .

  30. Very good advice, Kelly – and a BIG congratulations dance to you. So, so awesome.

    You’ve given new hope to bloggers everywhere.

    Best,
    Heather

  31. Keep happy dancing Kelly Diels! You deserve it. Visiting your blog is like visiting another part of myself that I didn’t really know I had:)

    I guess we both found Problogger and Josh Hanagarne when we first thought about blogging!

    Congrats on your success.

    Debbie Ferm

  32. Totally, awesomely, wonderfully inspirational (in a cold, hard cash kind of way) post! Thank you so much, Kelly, for sharing your story with us – whoa! I’m pretty sure I’m totally pumped now and I’m pretty sure I’m stalking you to learn all I can from you, too! ;)

  33. Wow, great article!

    I always like it when I hear people say to be yourself because that way there’s just no competition. They’re right. It takes lots of hard work but is worth it I’m sure.

    Congrats on all your endeavours and good luck on everything in your future.

    Checking out your site now.

  34. You’re post really made me smile. You nailed what it takes to be a successful blogger while doing it with a sense of humor. It’s very inspirational.

  35. I don’t know whether to dance, turn the tv off, or write another blog… I think I’ll let the excitement sink in and get my butt moving (which also means quit reading posts and every single comment down the line).

    Excellent post. Always good to hear success stories. Especially when they bring you 10 G’s a day! :)

  36. Wow that is inspiring. I think most people here are hoping to follow in your footsteps.

    I wonder if this comment is the start of my own sucess story….a guest post down the track perhaps?

  37. Congratulations Kelly! It’s really nice to see that being genuine and talented pays off. Good luck (and thanks for, as Heather said, giving us unknown, non-profitable wallflowers at the blogging dance some hope that there is a step-outside-of-the-corporate-box moment some time in the future)

  38. Really one of the nice article because of problogger i have managed my blog to target wider audience. thanks once again

  39. I feel like I have a blog for just about every topic out there…. but working a full time job and being a single mom of 3 kids it`s hard to find the time! You`re story is encouraging and makes me feel enthusiastic about writing again… thanks for the tips! I gotta go blog….

  40. How cool is that? Just goes to show that being yourself CAN pay off. Congrats and best wishes for continued success! You certainly deserve it.

  41. @Zach – that’s great growth…exponential is always good. keep on keepin’ on.

    @Jeffrey – I think bad dance moves are the point. You aren’t off the hook. FYI.

    @Chase – thanks, as always.

    @2 Cents – I love to share! (and over-share)

    @Srini – I am not a rockstar. I still have stage-fright. But I’m having fun, and that’s the best part.

    @Guillermo – thank you.

  42. @Carlos – mmmm hmmm that’s exactly my point. I learned lots, here, and I appreciate all the lifts and love people have given me along the way.

  43. @Nick – thank you so much. I never shy away from shameless flattery :)

  44. @Nathan – you are totally right. And, to be clear, I do NOT expect to turn this kind of cash every week, or even every month. This was ten months in the making. I wrote proposals; I followed opportunities; and I worked, worked, worked. And now the real work begins.

  45. @Meredith – since the medium is text, it really does help to develop a compelling writing voice. None of us has to be Shakespeare, but having fun, taking risks and just plain working at it, is the recipe.

  46. @LindyMint my house is a mess, my friends miss me and I’m oh-so-single. There are definitely trade-offs – but I’m satisfied with them, and with the results. And working from home means more time with my kids, which was the point of all of this, always.

  47. @Patrenia I say I write about sex. Usually there is a pause, and then a whole lotta love. I mean questions.

  48. @Caitlin You’re probably right. What I meant was I work with wonderful people, in a role that I’m good at and am appreciated for, which is gratifying. But not as gratifying as doing my own thing.

  49. @Heather – Is that a happy dance in theory or practice? I’m waiting for the evidence. xo

  50. @Lisa Marie Mary I see you on Twitter. Glad to see you follow through on your threats…and thank you, so much.

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