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What have I learned from Darren Rowse and his Blog?

Posted By Darren Rowse 20th of March 2007 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Today’s guest post is from Chris Garrett from chrisg.com.

When Darren asked if I would like to guest post on ProBlogger I had an attack of the nerves. You see, it was Darrens blog that was the inspiration (blame?) for me to become a pro-blogger myself. I still find inspiration from this blog now.

Then it hit me; that is what I could write about. Sometimes you can learn as much from observing what successful people do in a field as listening to what their advice.

What have I learned from Darren and his blog?

  • Be first – There was a time it was easy to have first-mover-advantage was easy. Of course that was when hardly anyone had the foresight to start anything other than a personal diary blog. There are thousands of blogs now on every subject, how can you be first? Be different. Find a gap and fill it. Demonstrate the benefit of your unique take.
  • Staying power – It is tempting to hear of six-figure incomes and become despondent at your own meagre Google cheque. Darren didn’t get there overnight either. One of my biggest mistakes in blogging has been quitting, chopping and changing. Don’t make my mistake, learn from Darren. Stick with it!
  • Show Off Your Best Stuff – Put your popular stuff right up front where people can see it. When you visit this blog you are not lost for things to read. After people read your post, do your readers know where they can go next?
  • Community Counts – Great content is important, but combined with a vibrant community, that is when your blog will really take off
  • Test and Research – Blogging is a moving target. Working out what works and what doesn’t takes research, experimentation, testing and discussion. Over the years you will have seen Darren experiment with new developments from MyBlogLog to Chikita. Make sure you keep up with the times.
  • Privacy – Don’t reveal too much personal information, decide what you are going to keep private and make it stay that way.
  • Stay Positive – I don’t think I have ever seen Darren go off on a rant. This builds up a tremendous amount of goodwill. You will never hear a bad word said about him. Blogging success is as much about networking as it is good writing, what are people thinking and saying about you?

Look at the blogs you read every day, what can you learn from them? (Both good and bad). What have you learned from reading ProBlogger? Add your thoughts in the comments …

Read more from Chris Garret at his blog chrisg.com.

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. great guest post chris…good luck on your blogging success!

  2. That a clear and basic post – but good one to start off.

    After reading Darren’s blog, I just made a posting on the 3 steps to get resolved before posting on your blog – Go here for reading that post


  3. I particularly agree with you point “Staying power” – It is tempting to hear of six-figure incomes and become despondent at your own meagre Google cheque. Darren didn’t get there overnight either. You are not alone. I did the same thing – quitting, chopping and changing. But that’s not necessary bad – as it enables me to stay on blogging. My blog was initially about politics – then I changed to less controversial niche – personal blog and marketing blog.

  4. Great post.

    Yes, I have learned alot from Darren’s blog too.
    It was his positive attitude and nice personality that made me want to learn about blogging in the first place.

    And the generous manner in which he includes and credits other bloggers, has set a very nice tone in the blogging community.

    With the world becoming a more competitive place, Darren has shown that you don’t have to give up gentlemenly behavior to get ahead.

  5. I’d vote for “staying positive” as the single most under-rated aspect in your list, Chris. Sure, it seems to be hip to be critical. Sure, a flame war can attract (temporary) atttention. And, sure, the odd rant can be amusing, instructional, and even inspiring… but the bottom line is that there’s plenty of bile and vitriol to go around in this ol’ world, without readers going to the trouble of actively seeking it out on the blogs. Consciously or subconsciously, we humans do tend to gravitate to those who share with readers a sense of excitement, enthusiasm, wonder, goodwill, and… well… “the possible”…

  6. Hi Chris,

    Guess you took a break from Performancing? You’re right on spot, if you were to conclude, that I’m leaving a comment after reading ‘…. for Attracting More Comments’.

    Woosh! 19,726 feed subscribers; good enough to start an online newspaper. That’s Darren’s stats. Carving a niche for himself, he has not only been an inspiration for many-a-bloggers out there, but is also a reliable source for wannabe pro-bloggers.

    As you mention ‘Show Off Your Best Stuff’ is what keeps his web log traffic just flowing in.


  7. I have learnt from being a true self.Blog from heart.Darren’s word comes from his feelings , his understanding of blogging and inspiration from life.Thats where I had been following him.Its so easy to see him speaking on his post like he is talking to you.And being an Honest.I still remember when he said things and was very honest.I loved that.

    Great post Chris….sometimes we need to come down to basics to learn back things we have forgotten getting older

  8. Great post. I always learn from Darren and the guest hosts.

  9. Thanks guys. It’s funny until writing that post I never looked this blog closely. Sometimes our best lessons are staring us right in the face. :)

  10. Definitely there has been a lot to learn from this blog. Any thought that comes to me on blogging usually has one or more related postings here… An example is as here –

  11. I agree it’s helpful to maintain a positive attitude. Sometime blogging can feel a little competitive; trying to get better rankings e.t.c. But its good to see those who have a generous attitude are rewarded in the long term.

  12. Great advice on here.

    I’m new-ish to blogging so this kind of well-written recap post is pretty good, especially as there is so much stuff to read on this blog, it can be a bit daunting (but it surely keeps me coming back!).

    Additionally, i think the idea of having guest bloggers while going travelling is a very smart idea from Darren.

    “show off your best stuff” is definitively a piece of advice i will put to practice soon – i’ve had a good amount of links to some of my specific posts but at the moment, they are hidden away inside the blog. I need to think about how to do it but that’s one thing i like about Problogger – when you first come in (via a search engine in my case), you know where to go after reading your first post.

  13. be first!

    this is my best trick, be the first and you will be the reference

  14. Everything I know I learned from problogger, mainly how to make money from your blog and how to drive traffic.

  15. I like the idea of giving the readers somewhere to go when they finish a page. It maintains the flow, and exposes them to related content they might not have found otherwise.

  16. What have I learned from Darren? Ummm, everything.

    I think he’s the reason that my blog has more than the 14 readers a day that I started with!

  17. Thanks. I like this article. I have been going for 3 months and hit the “wall” about a month ago. I was enjoying my writing, but the traffic was just not coming. These past couple weeks it has really shot up though. I’m not talking much, I went from 15 uniques a day to over 80, but it was still encouraging.

    Writing stuff you can be proud of is the biggest thing. It doesn’t have to be stellar, just consistent and something you would feel like reading yourself.

    Great tips.

  18. Great post about getting abck to basics. I always find such great ideas here. Darren could not have picked a better guest blogger! Best of luck to you, Chris!

  19. Good post. I especially like the point you make about staying power and keeping at it. And of course the one about Darren´s positive and generous attitude. It creates a great tone and atmosphere here at Problogger. And I really appreciate that.

  20. Great post Chris!

    I especially agree with your point re: staying power, and Jen’s comment re: positivity, thanks!

  21. For me, Darren blogs its like a ‘breaking news’ in online business.
    So I never miss it.

  22. You did a good job of summing up the reasons for Darren’s success her with Problogger.net, Chris.

    I’m surprised no one else has picked up on the “Be First” point. All too often (and I’m talking ’bout myself here too, so don’t anyone take offence) the blogging community seems saturated with “Me Too” rather than “Be First”. Being first doesn’t have to mean you design the next moon rocket or solve the problems of world hunger, it means you learn and take inspiration from others but don’t “Me Too” them. One tool you might use is to ask yourself, why would anyone read my work, what question does it answer for them? There is virtually no one out there who can’t help another with his/her knowledge, but not that much room for “yet another problogger”. I guarantee each of us has a niche … just have to think it through.

    On the privacy issue … yep, certainly agree. But make sure with privacy does not bring along insincerity. I started reading Darren because I could tell that he was a “real” person. If you want to hide behind a persona that’s not genuine, some other endeavor may work better than blogging.

    And lastly, the “Show Off Your Best Stuff” idea is one of the biggest opportunities I see open in the short term. The blogging world is inundated with choices in blogging platforms, templates, skins, plugins, widgets ad infinitum, but the basic platform of a blog has shortfalls when it comes to getting your ideas before the public. This ties directly back to the “Be First” tip … surely there’s a better way?

  23. nice post chris! I hope someday I would also be invited by darren!:) hehehe LOL,

    great post though!

  24. I thinkg the biggest thing is to stick with it and communicate with other bloggers. Thanks for the piece.

  25. Great post Chris.

    One of my favorite things about Darren’s blog is that he stays positive. My wife Jill and I try to keep our blogs as positive as possible.

    Unfortunately, I think that you can be a hugely successful blogger by being negative as well. I won’t name names though…

  26. One of the most important things that I learn from Darren’s blog is the need to keep yourself updated. Although, you might be tempted to think that everything about blogging has already been said – Darren does a great job of tracking the changing trends and keeps putting out updated postings.

  27. This blog has been my single most valuable resource in starting up a blog.
    I think Darren’s personality has a lot to do with making it a worthwhile read.

  28. Great article Chris.

    I like reading Darren’s blog because there is always something that I can learn from it, even going through the archives I pick up good information all the time.

    I also feel like I can understand the person behind this blog too, Darren does a great job of making this blog personable.

  29. Hello Chris! Good head line. I ask this to myself very often and i come back here. Thanks to you, today i came to know what my friends have got from this blog. Congrats, Madeline Miller , Neil Galloway, Kulbir Virk and all!

  30. […] My last two posts at ProBlogger focused on two successful individual bloggers, Darren Rowse and Robert Scoble. While we can learn a great deal from observing individual people, for this post I am going to look at examples of a particular type of blog; the Focused Niche Blog. […]

  31. […] My last two posts at ProBlogger focused on two successful individual bloggers, Darren Rowse and Robert Scoble. While we can learn a great deal from observing individual people, for this post I am going to look at examples of a particular type of blog; the Focused Niche Blog. […]

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