I still remember the day when a friend told me to head over to the 9rules network of blogs to check out the design and style of blogging that was going on there. I surfed in and immediately found myself drooling over a clean and nicely laid out design and reading the content of someone who seemed to really know his stuff.
I’ve often gone back to 9rules and in more recent times have found myself drawn to its owners latest blog – Work Boxers – a blog not dissimilar to ProBlogger in some ways that is dedicated to one blogger’s lessons learnt whilst blogging for money. The Blogger I’m talking about is Paul Scrivens. Paul is also one of the guys behind Business Logs and the author and owner of the recently sold CSS Vault. I respect his work and have learnt a lot off him already since finding his blogs and hope that you find this interview with him helpful in your own blogging enterprises.
ProBlogger – Paul thanks for your time – can you briefly tell us a little about yourself (ie how would you introduce who you are and what you do when you meet a new group of people).
Paul – I am a 24 year old kid who likes to play with new methods of making money on the web. Since there are so many ways to do so I am still wondering around the landscape trying to find the best mix possible. I am not a workaholic or someone that is overly obsessed with his work. I just love doing what I do and hope to continue doing so while also
helping others do the same.
ProBlogger – How long have you been involved in online ventures? How and when did you first discover and enter into blogging? What sites/projects/blogs are you currently involved in?
Paul – I started blogging around June 2003, but didn’t start to make money online till January 2004 when I implemented Google Adsense on Whitespace. Being a web designer I had been reading web design blogs for the longest time, but felt none of them said the things that I wanted to say and so I decided to start my own.
Currently I am involved with all the sites in the 9rules Network.
ProBlogger – Can you give us an idea about how much you earn directly from your blogging activities?
Paul – It’s a wide range depending on how active I am. My best month was a bit over $10,000.
ProBlogger – Are there other ways you make an income related to Blogging?
Paul – I do consulting work with Business Logs.
ProBlogger – Do you start blogs because you are interested in the topic or because of their commercial potential (or both)?
Paul – I start blogs that I have an interest in because I think this is the best way to make money. To start making money online I believe you have to start with something that you are passionate about. If you don’t, then you can grow tired of it quickly. With blogs, your passion is reflected towards the audience. You can’t expect to continously update a
blog for over 9 months if you have no interest in it.
I think I can make money with any topic, but if I didn’t see a chance to make money from it, then I probably wouldn’t start it.
ProBlogger – What do you see as the potential for blogging? Why do you personally do it? What advantages and disadvantages do you see in it in comparison to other formats of websites.
Paul – Blogging has endless potential, but in the end it is still just a website. I think you will find that more and more blogs are moving towards traditional website formats by including more and more features, such as articles and forums. What helps differentiate blogs from typical websites though is that the voice becomes the brand so you get to easily direct where you wish that brand to go.
Personally I do it because it helps me learn more about myself and I just like to hear myself talk.
ProBlogger – You talk in WorkBoxers of how you make money from your blogging? What methods do you use mainly to do this? Which have been most successful?
Paul – I use Adsense, Amazon Associates, and a couple of other Affiliate programs. Due to the range of topics on my sites Adsense isn’t the biggest player in the revenue picture. This fluctuates between Amazon and a collection of other affiliates.
ProBlogger – What advice would you give someone just starting out with blogging that would like to earn an income from it?
Paul – I know it’s tired advice, but you really have to start with something you are passionate about. Focus on the content and the traffic and money will follow. Read, read, read. There are too many great resources out there to list and many folks are kind enough to share what has worked for them and what has not.
ProBlogger – What is your favourite blogging tool or service?
Paul – MT simply because I have worked with it the longest so I know it in and out. I am sure if I had started with TextPattern or WordPress my opinion would differ.
ProBlogger – How much time do you spend each day blogging?
Paul – Totally depends on how motivated I am. I wish I spent more time doing it, but currently I have other projects pulling me away. So I would say around 2-3 hours M-F. I keep a light load so as not to drive myself insane.
ProBlogger – You are well renowned as having beautifully designed sites – what are the biggest mistakes that you see people making in terms of design in their blogging? What advice would you give a new blogger just starting out with blogging in terms of design?
Paul – The biggest mistake is trying to add too much to your design. Sure at first the reader will notice the design, but it’s the content that will make them come back. Keep the design simple enough so that they can read the content and find whatever information they are looking for. Nobody gets turned away by simple design, but overly cluttered and ugly
designs can prevent repeat visits.
ProBlogger – What are your hopes and dreams for your blogging? Where would you like to see it take you?
Paul – I hope that it leads to me being able to explore new ideas and work on more projects. I hope to be able to help others do what I do and do so successfully. Even though I will probably never retire I would like to see my blogging lead me to retirement by age 30.
ProBlogger – You’re 24 now – do you think you’ll make it?
Paul – Well of course I do otherwise I wouldn’t set that goal. This will require a new model for my efforts, but I definitely thinks it’s possible.