Review of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett

Another book I started a while ago and just finished, ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Income Figure isn’t very long or very complicated; it makes for a good, quick read about blogging.

If you don’t know ProBlogger, you should, at least if you’re interested in blogging: it’s the go-to blog about blogs. Yes, I love meta and the word “blog” will come frequently in this post.

In any case, as I left the academic world and decided to try something new, I thought about starting blogs for money. I love to write, I seem to be pretty good at managing and producing content, and I’m sure there are things I could share with the world… for a profit.

The book goes through the three steps of making money from blogs:

  • Setting up a blog
  • Making it popular
  • Earning money from it

The most important lesson I got from the book is the importance of choosing a niche; it helps build a loyal community, get expertise and great, contextualized advertising. However, except for the generic “start by identifying your own interests, passions, and energy levels for topics”, there’s not a lot of direction about how to choose a profitable niche. There also isn’t much about search engine optimization (which I fortunately covered in another book) or about keyword research.

And it’s really strange, now that I work for Hummingbird604.com, I realize that a lot of the things that Rowse and Garrett hold important (niching, ads, etc) aren’t necessarily the be-all and end-all of popular blogging. After all, HB604 is a general lifestyle blog covering a variety of events, concerts, restaurants, stores, and even includes personal stuff.

The one section I found really useful was the monetizing section where the authors explain all about choosing the right ads, affiliate programs and other revenue streams. While I’m sure there’s more complete info on this (it could be worth an entire book), it was a good introduction and gave me guidelines if I ever have to do something like this myself.

In general I found ProBlogger interesting and informative, even if it doesn’t delve too deep into any of the topics the authors touch on. Even the case study in the last chapter lacked depth–I would have liked to know more about how he managed his content, built a community, etc. But as an introduction to professional blogging, it does the job.

ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. 2nd ed. Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett, Wiley, 2010.

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