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What does the ‘Pro’ in ProBlogger Stand for?

Posted By Darren Rowse 20th of February 2015 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Startup Stock PhotoI overheard an interesting debate on Twitter recently about what the ‘Pro’ in ProBlogger stands for.

Is it to signify professional behaviour, or is it about the profession of blogging?

The answer is both – but in my mind it’s more.

Here’s what the Pro in ProBlogger means to me

I’m Pro Bloggers – I love bloggers

As a 16-year-old I took a short course in public speaking.

This was an unusual move for me because I was a very shy kid who had a small group of friends. The idea of speaking in front of a room of people terrified me, but as I wanted to conquer that fear I took the class.

At the end of the course I had to stand up in front of a room of 60 or so people and talk for five minutes. I’d never felt such a rush of exhilaration and I saw people in the audience respond positively to my words and it triggered in me the beginning of a passion for communication.

I’ve explored many forms of communication over the years but when I stumbled across blogs for the first time in 2002 I knew I’d found something special. What other tool could amplify the voice of an ordinar guy like me around the world to millions of people?

I love blogging and I love bloggers and what they do day in and day out with their blogs. This blog is written by bloggers for bloggers and my hope is that it’ll help them to step closer to their potential.

It’s about the Profession of Blogging

For the first 18 or so months of my blogging, I didn’t consider the idea that it could be anything but a hobby. That changed through a series of events including starting a little digital camera review blog and stumbling across the brand new Google AdSense ad network.

To cut a long story short I began to experiment with making a little money from my blogs with the hope of covering my server costs and with the dream of one day being able to make enough money to get off dial-up internet and onto broadband.

Gradually I made enough to do both those things and the income grew into the equivalent of a part time income. At this point I created a category on my personal blog for ‘blog tips’ and began sharing what I was learning.

My income continued to grow until I reached a point in late 2004 where I realised I was going to have a full time income from blogging and that it had the potential to be my career or profession.

I began to search for other full time bloggers and found very few writing about their experience so decided to start a blog on my journey to ‘go pro’ as a blogger. ProBlogger.net was born and I imported all my previously written blog tips from my personal blog over to start it in September 2004.

I can’t lay claim to inventing the term as someone had already registered ProBlogger.com (which I later bought). They were not really using the domain (but seemed to have plans to develop a blogging platform) and as far as I know, I was the first person to use the term to describe someone making a living from blogging.

The early days of the blog were simply me sharing my journey of making a living from blogging. I wrote more general blog tips but the focus was always upon helping bloggers to sustain writing about their passions by building profitable blogs.

It’s about Positive Blogging

I’m a glass half full kind of guy (most of the time) and was brought up by parents who taught me to always look for the positives in situations I face, and in the people around me. Similarly, a phrase that was often heard in our house was ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’.

This has all rubbed off on me and the way that I blog and I’m a big believer in spending 99% of my time doing things that are constructive and positive rather than focusing upon negativity, controversy, or picking out the fault in others.

I’ve seen many blogs about blogging come and go over the years but have noticed one type of blog tips blog ‘go’ (or die) more often than others – that being the type that dwells of the negative more often than the positive.

A number of examples come to mind (that I won’t name) but all of which either focused upon critiquing the approach of others, causing division, stirring up controversy, and basically attempting to get traffic by causing trouble.

While in some cases the negative tactic worked in getting eyeballs, each of these blogs is inactive today, and conversations with several of the bloggers concerned revealed that they couldn’t sustain the negativity and ended up burning out.

They also reflected to me that because they blogged negatively that they drew around them negative readers, and while traffic often rose so did a brand that they didn’t really want to be associated with in the long term.

In my experience, a blogger sets the tone for their blog. If you blog with a negative stance you tend to create a culture of negativity that others pick up on and join in on.

This is why some blogs end with with a cesspool of negativity in their comments.

On the flip side if a blogger models constructive and positive blogging this can help with building a strong positive and constructive community of readers.

While there will may be times to call out bad behaviour, write a justified rant, or offer a critique, my hope for ProBlogger is that it is a place for positive and constructive advice that brings about lasting change for those who read it.

It’s about blogging Professionally

My hope with ProBlogger is that it is not only a blog that helps others to ‘Go Pro’ as bloggers, but that it inspires them to do so in a professional and ethical manner.

A few years ago at a business conference I met a small group of attendees at a networking session, and on mentioning what I did, one of the members of the group burst out with the statement “but all you bloggers are scammers and sleaze bags!”

I’ll never forget that moment and the anger that the gentleman spoke with.

After an awkward silence for a few seconds, he shared his story. It wasn’t a pleasant one.

Sadly he’d been ripped off by a blogger who claimed to be able to teach him how to make a fortune from blogging with his $3000 ‘program’. The program turned out to be a poorly curated collection of posts from ProBlogger and several other blogging tips blogs and the promised coaching and support never eventuated.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated story, and one of the difficult parts about blogging about making money blogging is that the unprofessional and unethical actions of a small few bloggers in this niche hurt the reputation of the rest of us.

ProBlogger has no $3000 programs and makes no promises of overnight riches from blogging. Making money from blogs generally takes a long term approach and a lot of good, old-fashioned hard work.

While the temptation to take short cuts through unethical ‘black hat’ behaviour exist, the reality is that doing so puts you at the risk of being caught out and having your reputation hurt.

My goal with ProBlogger is to create a site that helps bloggers to blog well about what they’re passionate about, to build business models around their blogs to help them sustain what they do, and to do it in a professional and ethical way.

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.

  • Looking forward seeing those public speaking skills on Saturday in Perth Darren :)

  • Fuuny enough I thought about it yesterday professional blogger!

  • Knowing what a person has become due to blogging really inspires me too write more. Thanks for sharing this! Hoping to see more posts from you.

  • I am not a professional blogger. I blog purely for the joy of it. But I try to act as “a professional.”

    I developed a set of standards for content, editing, tone, reader interaction, promotion, and ethics. I try to adhere to my standards and model “professional behavior” as it pertains to my blog. As a beginner, I often find I’m defining my standards “in the heat of battle.”

    I feared that my “standards” would suck the fun out of blogging. It would turn working on the blog into a chore. Instead, the challenge added another level of fun! I can not “slip off the hook” when I feel lazy. I can not reach for the easy compromise.

    The result is that my imperfect blog makes me very happy. I enjoy seeing my name at the top of my posts. Even the weaker ones!

    So I strongly advocate bloggers adopt a “professional” approach – regardless of whether they will ever fund their server costs. :)

    My $0.02.

    • thanks for sharing that Steve – sounds like a great approach.

  • Ha ha ha………. very well describe of pro Darrren

  • Hey Darren,

    Great story on your journey of being in the blogosphere! I’ve been blogging for a while a grown to like it.

    At first it was recommended to me as a way to grow my network marketing business at the time. Although I didn’t like writing at the time I went ahead a did it.

    I’m so glad I did because I learned a lot about marketing and personal branding. I got out of network marketing about a year and a half ago and stuck with blogging and affiliate marketing. It turns out that it became fun and challenging for me, and I love writing about what I learn and providing knowledge as solutions for others!

    Thanks for sharing Darren! This story has been an inspiration!

    • thanks for commenting and for reading Sherman!

  • Informative post for me as i thought only it is stands for Professional blogger. Your blogging and this type of posts inspire me like thousands of other bloggers.

    But, pro blogger can be stand for productive blogger too. :D

    Thanks.

  • ooh – good one – ProDuctive!

  • Hi Darren,

    Excellent take, as always ;)

    I see professional bloggers as people who earn a full time income through blogging. That number varies from person to person but I see it as making enough to where you could retire from your 9-5 job.

    With that in mind, I agree it goes much deeper than such a label. Beyond that, you’ll want to be positive, professional, uplifting and inspiring. I’ve built my blog around funny, whacky travel stories and how you can learn from them to become a full-time, island hopping, pro blogger and I believe we should all hold the intent to inspire our readers to live their dreams, blogging-wise, and life-wise.

    Keep on inspiring!

    Ryan

  • Great article, Darren! I’ve been reading all your tips faithfully since 2006 – I’ve learned so much from your Pro Bloging, in every respect you mention above.

    You know what’s really fun? When people ask, “So, what do you do for a living?” and you answer, “Well, I’m a professional blogger,” …. and they look at you like you have two heads!

  • Louella Shirali

    Thank you Darren. You are such a big help to me. I am learning more and more from your blogs. You simplify everything and make it appear so easy. Very informative indeed.

  • Interesting post Darren, thanks for sharing. For me, when first coming across the name ProBlogger, I naturally took it that by using this very term, this person ( or business) has committed him or herself to providing professional content. Of course this includes all the other expectations of professionalism. It would have been extremely disappointing and a massive let-down had I found the content, approach etc to be otherwise.

  • Problogger? For me someone whose full time profession is blogging. That’s what I always though Problogger meant. But I do agree: it is about the positive and professional approach to blogging.

    Neil

  • Hey Darren, I believe that the ‘pro ‘ in Problogger stands for awesomeness. You can never say I’m a professional blogger until you can build the awesomeness in your blood. I think problogger is all about constructing what we have been dreaming about, it’s about living the dream. Thanks for creating such a great blog. Thank you so much!! :)

  • I was a professional blogger during 2006-10 and your blog was the best source of information for me. I learnt a lot and got a lot of benefits. My blog got links by taking part in your group writing assignments. You always maintained the spirit of helping others and that is perhaps why you still are standing out in the days of facebook and twitter.

  • It’s fascinating that you draw a line between public speaking and blogging. I did a lot of public speaking and debating at school and yes, come to think of it, it is a very similar exhilaration to blogging!

  • I heard about this word Pro a long time ago. But i really didnt think that this small word has such a huge meaning :D . Glad i came to know about it :)

  • Hi,
    ProBlogger is one of the overused and misused term in the current Blogging scenario.This is both inspirational as well as educational.

    Thanks

  • Hi Darren,
    Professionalism is indeed what makes the difference in all sectors. I’m a management consultant and my category is probably even more despised than the bloggers’ one: in my experience, ethical behavior and professionalism are almost synonymous.
    As for the Profession side, I started a blog as a retirement strategy: reality is that as a consultant I could stil get a lot of work but I’m tired of traveling and doing always the same stuff; so now I accept only the most enjoyable assignments.
    What I find particularly interesting about the blogging profession is the marketing side: I was used to talk with clients that had contacted me through word of mouth and this is completely different than interacting with somebody that came to my blog by chance and has no idea of who I am. In fact, I’m learning a few things that I could have used in the past.
    By the way, writing here gives me an opportunity to follow your advice of commenting on other blogs, even though I’m in a completely different niche (management tips for young professionals) and my blog is in Italian.
    So please take this as my once in a life journey to the Oracle.
    Thanks!

  • Hi Darren,

    I’m still technically a new blogger, but I look forward to being able to stand on where you are at now, soon. :)
    Your blog is always PROviding me with inspiration and that keeps me PROducing. Haha.

    Im looking forward to seeing those public speaking skills when you ever come back to the Philippines again :D

  • At first I didn’t find any need to professionalize my blogging activity but I later realized that I had to, if I must communicate effectively with my readers. I know that for effectiveness to be achieved, I must blog consistently, passionately and confidently. And all these are the traits of a true professiona who stands for eXcellence.

  • And pro blogger share good content like yours.

    I like your site Darren, because you approve our comments.

    Keep sharing good work

  • I love your thoughts about positive environments – I have recently performed what I call ‘blog liposuction’ on my blog. I removed any trace of anything negative – it wasn’t like I had set out to be negative – it was simply part of my story that I had told. However I didn’t want it there anymore. Bloggers are amazing people who are always so positive and do whatever they can to build each other up. That to me is a Problogger. It’s not about competition – there’s more than enough internet space for us all. This is the first blog I came across when I first toyed with the idea to start a blog and what a perfect place to start. I have been back here everyday since and love the environment. Thank you.

  • I thought it means PERFECT. Yup, you have a perfect blog Darren. I really envy you. :D
    Every time, I visit your blog, the first thing that comes out my mind is “I wish I have a blog like this”.

  • Darren, You bared your heart, as you always do, but this time I found some pearls of wisdom that are going to stay with me long. Your positive approach towards life, focusing on good always, is some thing we all must learn and adapt.

  • Hi Darren,

    Now days mostly people start the blogging only for Money. But if they cannot earn proper money then they stop and said blogging is bla bla bal…
    Some people start only for enjoyment and Time pass, not for earning.or u say that to do something in free time… These people do’nt think about Adsense a/c, google rank and money etc… But one day These people earn with blogging and their Name become a brand like U and Called a ProBlogger. :)

  • I started my blog reading your articles and being inspired by you. That time I had no idea what pro means I just knew pro blogger is one of the top known sites over the net. Today after 2 years learning I can definitely understand what all its about.

  • My warmest hug for enriching the lives of all bloggers, Darren #HUGS

    Kitto

  • Love this post Darren! I can’t believe no one’s ever made you write the ‘what does the ‘pro’ in Problogger’ mean’ post before.

  • Hi Darren,

    You have very well described and defined the meaning of pro in problogger. Thanks

  • This was cool! – I thought about what the pro meant in ProBlogger. Now I know! The more I learn from here the better.

  • Hi Darren .

    I was also of the opinion that PRO is associated with Professional Blogging, or to make a professional Blogger, Which was partial Correct, This post of yours unfolded the story behind the PRO, I hope this topic was always a debated but nonpublic affair among bloggers and reader.

    Glad you move ahead and resolved the underline facts.
    Take Care

  • Just had to check in on this…

    For me, Pro Blogging is all about the money. The last time I blogged for fun and not with the sole purpose of making money was in 2004 when I created a website with a running journal entry where I told my family back home in the states what I was doing in Thailand (well, not the juicy bits, but you know, in general…).

    Since then every single thing I’ve written (millions of words at scores of blogs) has been with the sole intent of making money and being a ProBlogger something like what Darren has done here.

    I think everyone reaches a point where just sharing for fun isn’t so fun anymore, and they see others making money in the most obscure of niches, and they say – “I can do that!”

    And yeah, I’m all pro blogging (positive on it) and pro bloggers – love ’em, and all that…

    Cheers man!

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