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The $10,000 Hour

Posted By Darren Rowse 13th of November 2005 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

Have you ever has a $10,000 hour?

Steve Pavlina has a post on $10,000 hours where he talks not about hours where you actually earn $10,000 in an hour but hours where you do things that in the long run have the potential for that type of earning capacity.

One of my first such hours (and I’d value it at a lot more than $10,000) was moving my Adsense ads from sidebars closer to content – something that took just a few minutes work but that was a defining moment in me becoming a professional blogger.

Maybe $10,000 hours are a bit illusive for many bloggers – but what have been the defining moments for you as a pro blogger (or aspiring one)?

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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • another great article. changed the way i think about hourly rates.

  • Maybe one day I’ll get there. Right now, I could write an outsatanding article for my blog, and might get a couple of bucks out of it.

  • Jon

    A lot of such moments for me as an aspiring problogger.
    2 of the most importants are:
    1 – When I finally decided to full integrate chitika with adsense on one of my site, seeing that although the chitika’s CTR is much less than adsense’s one, every chitika click worthed at least 4 times more!
    2 – When I understood that was better to concentrate on few arguments/subjects for site, and have multiple single-subject sites rather than one site covering all.

  • Stephen

    What perfect timing, because here’s a true short true story.

    Up until last weekend, my adsense in-page banners used my site colors, but had a complimentary color border to make them stand out more against the content. My daily average for October was just over $2 a day – I had good traffic, but an awful CTR. I was getting far more cash from Chitika.

    Last weekend, I followed a tip I read here to make the border the same color as the background color so they blend in better, as Darren does here on the site. I also implemented channels to track better what was going on

    In the last seven days, my adsense revenue alone has jumped to over $220 – an average of over $30 a day. HUGE difference. And my channel data has suggested which type of banner dramatically outperforms the other, so now I can optimize even more.

    So let’s see, I spent an hour doing it, it brought me an extra $200 a week in revenue. I guess in a year’s time, I might well look back and call that a $10k hour.

  • I had that kind of $10,000 moment using Chitika. I signed up a long time ago, but only recently started using it. I’ve since found that I’m getting better results from Chitika than Ad-sense. I think it’s partly a positioning thing but also it seems that every man and his dog has Ad-sense, so people can look at Ad-sense but don’t seem to target it.

    I also had another one in dropping Amazon. I was getting pretty much nothing from Amazon (people just weren’t clicking through) even when Adsense was going crazy.

  • Sid

    On the flip side, I wonder how many times we have opportunities for $10,000 hours and throw them away.

    I do like the concept that little changes we make now pay off in the long run.

  • Very inspirational and timely for me also. About 10 days ago, I was hitting myself on the head because I was having a hard time focusing on any one thing. Too many ideas, and I never properly implemented any one without going off on a tangent. My income has stagnated for many months as a result.

    So, I challenged myself. I decided to make a list of things that I could start or improve that would yield me $5.00 a day additional profit. Just $5.00 a day. I set a goal of doing one thing per week that would accomplish that $5.00 goal. I knew that some things wouldn’t pan out as well as projected, but I also realized that some would do much better. Last weekend I drew up my first list, and am adding to it as I get motivation. Right now I have about 10 things on the list to do. But I set the goal to pick just one each week and concentrate on that $5.00 project.

    This week (the first week of action), started slowly. My original task just wasn’t working well. But it led to another brainstorm, which was similar. This week’s project has been completed. After working and tweaking all week, Friday’s results were a bit over $10 in income, which beat the $5.00 challenge. But there were some mistakes that I made on Friday, which were fixed before Saturday. Saturday’s income was $51.00. And today looks like it will be better than Saturday.

    $5.00 a day projects don’t always have to be about income generation. I have a couple on my list that will save money. If you can find an expense that’s costing you over $150.00 that you can eliminate, that will count just as well, maybe better. For example you might pay down a credit card bill that you’re paying $14.9% on from a savings account that you’re earning 3% or less on. That might save you $5.00 a day.

    Or you might find a source for products that you could sell consistently on eBay that would earn you $5.00 extra income a day. Not really hard to do if you concentrate on that sourcing for a whole week.

    Most times when you think that something is worth $5.00, you would just as soon watch a TV show or stay in bed another hour as worry about $5.00. But if you think of $5.00 as $1,800.00, which is the yearly equuivalent, it suddenly becomes very worthwhile and might cause you to jump out of bed early, or stay up late. At least that’s what happened to me when I got the mind jolt.

    A weekly goal to find a new way to earn or save $5.00 a day. If you were to do that consistently for a year, that would have accumulated to $250.00 a day, which would be a significant income to most, especially when you think what it would be worth after 2 years. And as I said, some weeks will turn out better than $5.00 (and some worse).

    Or, if my $50 a day profit continues from this week, and I see no reason why I can’t even improve upon it, that’s $18,000 for the year.

    Good luck with your $10,000 hours, but if you find that difficult, why not settle for $5.00?

  • great comments people.

    The cool thing about the $10,000 hour concept is that like you’re all finding – it’s just a few little increases in daily earnings that add up to a lot over time.

  • exceptional post Dennis! :-)

  • Although the site that I did this on hasn’t taken off ad revenue wise, I beleive that in the long run it will be my “$10,000/Hour” task.

    I accomplished two tasks on my blog (a blog that I wrote my own software for so I could maintain more control over it).

    1) XMLRPC calls for blogging services – I was able to successfully implement “pinging” updates to all the major blogging services (Technorati, Weblogs,, etc.) when posting a new news story to my site. Not only that, but I was able to do it for my index page, my RSS feed and my ATOM feed to make sure that my information is definitely being published to the web. If anyone needs more help/info with this, I’ll be glad to help (mine is a PHP implementation). I used this tutorial – to walk me through what I needed to do.

    2) Created an accurate, in-depth Google Sitemap – I think this is a step overlooked by too many webmasters and blog publishers. Many people talk about the hardships about getting indexed on Google accurately and fully. Well, the best way to ensure that is to direct Google to do exactly that. Once I added my Sitemap to my site, Google was quicker in adding my news posts to their index. Google offers a FAQ on their sitemaps here – .

  • Darren,
    Hats off to you. Ultimate post.
    It helps when you discipline yourself. I will go one step further. Once you identify the $5 ideas, write it down. Some of the ideas will be worth doing daily. For ex. write one or two articles each day, submit article to article directories, Read quality posts etc.

    Here is Allan Gardyne’s article on increasing adsense revenue.Check out his calculations in ” How much can you earn? ” . Great way of analysing.

  • This is amazing! You people making real good money! Let me know how much ctr should I expect out of google adsense with an average traffic of 500 visitors per day….

  • I think a lot of new bloggers (im a VERY new blogger for example with no previous experience) are getting into blogging for the wrong reasons. It seems people are only in it for the money, and everything they do revolves around this.

    Whether that be they way the write an article, the way they layout an article, website features etc

    Personally I just like writing, and always have. It has always being an offline hobby though. Im more interested in feedback and the discussions my writing creates. Its a natural high to know something you have created has made an impact (whether it is big or small) on somebody else’s life.

    The money is a bonus, but any money I receive will cover costs initially and anything left will be used to buy competition prizes or items for review.

  • The adsense ads in between the content and with similar color schemes increase CTR by about 1%.

  • I am diggin the pro-blogger content. Thanks…

    I don’t get the DPS as often as I like, but I try!