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The Road to ProBlogging is Not Always Obvious; Or, How I Came to Be Editor of a Top 1000 Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 11th of February 2008 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

The following post is by Peter Clemens from Peter is the founder of Iwillchangeyourlife.com.

I still vividly remember being dazzled by the idea of making $1,000 a day from blogging. That was a little over 9 months ago, and the particular article I refer to is Steve Pavlina’s How to Make Money From Your Blog.

While I am nowhere near the figure just mentioned and cannot yet “take the plunge” by quitting my day job, I have traveled an interesting road in the last 9 months since founding my blog Iwillchangeyourlife.com. This path has brought me to a point where I am set to earn a very healthy income as an editor of a popular self improvement blog, PickTheBrain.com (11,000+ subscribers and Technorati Top 1000). What fascinates me, and which I think any blogger can learn from, is that my path to making money from blogging has been far from obvious.

The following is my story, told within what are my 5 best pieces of advice for anyone looking to follow a similar path.

Focus on Creating Quality Content

In my first few days of blogging I went crazy with Adsense and Amazon affiliate links. It wasn’t long, however, before I was in for what Darren recently called a “reality check“. I scrapped the advertising and instead decided to focus on creating great content. In the end, I didn’t revisit Adsense and Amazon (or indeed any other forms of advertising) until I had been blogging for 6 months. Now I am not saying that a new blogger should wait this long to monetize their site, but I strongly suggest you focus as much attention as possible (particularly in the early stages) on creating great content.

Network With Other Bloggers

I’m sure every new blogger at some point has the thought: “I just wrote a fantastic article, now what?” I asked myself this question many a time before finally I took the plunge and started emailing fellow bloggers in my particular niche. This made all the difference. As I began to build relationships with people online, the comments after my posts quickly grew and I started to have some major successes with the social media (eg front page of Digg and numerous articles that have gone viral on Stumble Upon). This obviously caught the attention of John Wesley (founder of PickTheBrain.com) as he approached me to write a guest post for his site.

Always Offer Your Best Material For Guest Posts

So how did I make the jump from an initial guest post to staff writer to eventually being asked to become editor? There are many reasons, but I strongly believe one of the main ones was because I always submitted my best work to John. I occasionally read guest posts on other sites where I know, from being familiar with that author’s writing, that it is well short of their best. So my advice is always offer your best material for guest posts, because you never know where it will take you.

Share the Vision

Being offered a staff writing for a blog is one thing. Being trusted to become an editor is obviously a much larger proposition. I believe there are many reasons why John has shown this trust in me, but one I would like to highlight is the importance of sharing a common vision. John and I created two very different self improvement blogs, but I demonstrated to John through my writing style, my formatting and our private conversations that I truly understood his vision for PickTheBrain.com.

Grab Opportunities When They Come Your Way

When I was first offered a weekly spot as a staff writer for PickTheBrain.com, and again when I was offered the role of editor, I initially could not imagine how I would be able to cope with the extra commitment. Working full-time, being a father, and maintaining my own blog initially seemed to leave little room for anything else. Thankfully I pushed this fear aside and quickly accepted the invitations. I believe that if you want something bad enough you find a way to do it. Two examples of what I did were to start posting less on my own blog and to invite other bloggers to write guest posts for me. So grab opportunities when they come your way, because they might not come around again anytime soon.

Peter is the founder of Iwillchangeyourlife.com (subscribe), and newly appointed editor of PickTheBrain.com (subscribe).

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. Congratulations Peter. I think blogging is just a job as any. Except the obvious fact that since you {we} love it so much, it’s never really work.

  2. Peter — Your commitment to what you truly enjoy and excel at is what brought you the opportunities you mentioned. Keep up the great work and I look forward to your continued writings.

  3. Peter,

    Congratulations on your success and new editorship. Your point about buiding relationships online is very important I think. Once people know you and you create trust, it really starts to open up doors.


  4. Like the last one the best – good advice. Do it today is becoming my mantra. Even seemingly small opportunities [like commenting on a blog] can connect you with bigger ones. All the best for continued success.

  5. Well done Peter. You come across as a really great guy and I am glad your having such success. It is really nice how the bigger blogs and communities are willing to help the little guy out every now and then by collaborating and allowing guest posts. It can really change peoples lives.

  6. Hey Peter,

    My best wishes to you. Some of the posts on problogger really inspire me to put my best forward, and this is another one of them. Thanks.

  7. Great content, creating great content. The message is loud enough now, it has always been. I just need to sit down and really work on it. Thanks for this wonderful post.

  8. Good advice, I have 4 kids, and managing a family plus a business is not easy, but you wake up each day and find a way to do it. I also got great kids, so that helps. LOL

  9. Thanks, Peter. That’s actually some of the best blogging advice I’ve read lately. I love Pick The Brain, and I love the guest post you just did for Problogger. Congratulations!

  10. I only have to agree with everything that has been said here, writing with a passion really makes a big difference not only it increase traffic but your visitor and those who comment get a good sense of interaction and also you as a writer improve post after post.

  11. Heh…I know what you’re talking about, Peter. I started my first blog with the idea in mind of using it as a showcase for my blogging ability, since every search for writers asked for samples (and rightly so).

    I currently have three paid writing jobs for other blogs (one daily, two of the “two posts per week” variety. When I got the first one, “Now how in the heck am I going to find time for this!?!” went through my mind more than once. In fact, I’ve said that with every new job I’ve taken.

    I’ve found, however, that you can find the time to take care of quite a bit more than you think you can…if you want to. I didn’t know how I was going to handle one, and now I’m looking for a fourth…because I see I can, in fact, handle it without my level of quality slipping.

    Great post!

  12. Wow – THANK YOU everyone for your warm comments. It is an honor to have a guest post on ProBlogger, and I am so glad that you enjoyed this article.


  13. I struggled with the idea of monetizing my blog right off the start or not. What caused me to start right away was the thought that if I didn’t do it right away and gained a healthy readership, would they feel somewhat ticked off if one day they logged on, only to find ads. If they know they’re there from day one, then there’s no surprise. However, maybe I am turning people away before I’m out of the gate. I suppose time will tell.

  14. Congratulations on the jump there, I agree with you about the advertisement on a blog, it’s rubbish unless it brings you decent enough cash.

  15. Great post, Peter, I’m glad to have ‘met’ you through Problogger, and that’s another nice thing about blogs that allow guest posts – you get to meet a diverse group of writers you may never have otherwise. Will be dropping by your blog often :)

    All success

  16. Good Post Peter.

    Pick the Brain is a good blog and congrats on getting a role there!

  17. Hey Peter, nice post. I’ve noted all of your points.

  18. This is a very good post for a beginner and any blogger. We should thank him exposing his success secrets without any financial intention. Thanks Peter!

  19. When u want anything u get it.u r rite.thats the secret in action.best of luck

  20. Hi Peter,

    Thank you for showing a path to a new blogger it will certainly help me to go ahead in blogging.

  21. Hi Peter:

    Imagine my surprise and delight at finding you here after experiencing how our paths have crisscrossed a few times last week in connection with my interview of John Welsey at my blog!

    Like I did in my gratitude post a few days ago, I’m grateful to see you succeeding and taking on the editor post at PTB. You seem well suited for the job and I’m so very glad for you. I continue to be amazed at how our paths seem to have interwined more than once – it’s an amazing experience to see how the universe brings together people for the right reasons at the right time in the right place.

    Congrats Peter! Upwards and onwards, I say. :)

  22. i’ve been on that road for a couple years now. another all nighter. the sun is up

  23. AWESOME Stuff Peter, and congrats!!

  24. Congratulations Peter. I hope im in a similar situation in 9 months time. Im relatively new to blogging, so i hope i can follow in your footsteps and make a success which is equal to yours.

    Well done!!

  25. thanks for sharing your inspiring story!

    now i don’t feel so bad that after one month of blogging, i have less than 10 subscribers.


  26. Thank you for a great post! I’ve only just begun seriously blogging on my site (started doing daily posts in October, I think), but already I’ve been mentioned in a New York Times article and have been approached by publicists about clients seeking publicity. However, I’ve yet to really achieve any kind of serious monetization about my site.

    I’m not worried, though. Like you, I’ve been focused primarily on creating excellent content, giving my readers something interesting to read every day. So far, it’s worked! My readership has slowly but steadily increased (the NY Times mention made my stats skyrocket, but it’s since dropped back to a level about double what I was seeing before the article), and I have a group of loyal readers whom I consider my “core” community. More than anything else, I love doing this, and I expect that someday, I might actually be able to make money off of it.

    I especially appreciate the fact that your blog isn’t one on How To Make Money From Your Blog, which seems to be the only sites I ever hear about that actually make money!


  27. The road to success in any field, be it blogging or real life, is never obvious. After all, if it was obvious then everyone would follow a how-to manual and be successful anywhere.

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