One of the pieces of feedback that I’ve had on ProBlogger when I asked for questions for me to cover in my blogging for beginners series a while back was that people wanted a few more case studies and stories of bloggers who were making money online.
The other thing I heard back from some bloggers was that they wanted a space to write about their own experiences of blogging but didn’t feel that their blogs (which were on niche topics unrelated to blogging) were the places to do so. They didn’t want to start up blogs about blogging for themselves but wouldn’t mind telling what they know.
I’ve wanted to incorporate some of this type of thing here at ProBlogger over the remainder of the year but over the next few weeks thought we could try it out to see if people enjoy it.
I’m actually going to be away on a two week break for the first week of April (our last getaway before we have the baby – we’re making most of every chance that we get) and have lined up a small number of guest bloggers to look after this blog while I’m away – but alongside their posts I’d like to feature the stories of some Pro Bloggers (and aspiring ones).
So if you think you fit into this category and would like to put a little time into writing your story up I’d love you to submit one in the next day or two.
Before you do (and because I know that there are likely to be a lot of people submitting) here’s how it will work:
1. I can’t possibly feature everyone’s story – this site is ready by up to 5000 readers a day and when I open things up like this I tend to get a good response – so I will have to be selective – please don’t be offended if I don’t use your submission and please factor this into the amount of time you put into it. I’m looking for 8 to 10 stories.
2. Submissions should be between 250 and 800 words long. I know good things can be said in under or over this – but this is what I’ll keep it to on this occasion.
3. I’d like people to write one of two types of posts (outlined below). These are the type of submissions I’ll be favoring when choosing.
4. I really need submissions in the next few days. I’ll make a cut off of Wednesday 29th March at midday (Australian time – so Tuesday evening for US based people) to give me a chance to make the selections and advance post them before going away. Sorry if this isn’t long enough – I’ll consider short extensions depending on how many submissions I get.
5. You’re free to link to your blog in your posts and to showcase them to a point. Part of this is about showing people how others are going about their blogging. Of course this is not just an opportunity for you to get traffic – while I’d love this to happen I’ll be choosing submissions that are constructive and helpful to the PB readership over ones that are just about self promotion. Feel free to briefly introduce yourself and highlight your blog (people will visit I’m sure) but people will be more likely to visit if you say something useful and write well.
6. Do be aware that in highlighting your blog that it could well be read by others who you might see as competitors. I guess this is part of the ‘risk’ of blogging about blogging (and something I face each day). My own approach to this is that the blogosphere is big enough for plenty of competition and I don’t get too stressed about it – but I don’t go into some details of my blogging in great depth simply because I don’t want replicas of everything I do popping up. Don’t tell us all your secrets if you’re nervous – but please try to share what you’ve learnt at least to some extent.
7. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email me via my contact form. You can submit your stories via this form also.
Here are the two types of submissions I’d love to get:
a. This is my story and this is what I’ve learnt - When I did a poll a couple of months on how long readers of this site had been blogging I found that 12% of you have been blogging for 3 years or more. I also found in another poll that while not in the majority, there are actually quite a few readers of PB that make a good living from blogging. This type of story is an opportunity for you to share your story and give a few lessons and home truths from your experience. Hopefully in doing so you can teach the rest of us a thing or two and highlight your own blog a little in the process. I won’t prescribe what you should include in these stories – but here’s a few suggestions:
• How did you start blogging?
• What blog do you blog on?
• Why/How did you start it?
• What blog tools do you use to run it?
• How is it going? (traffic, income (if you wish), other goals that you have)
• How do you monetise it?
• What do you like about it?
• What would you change if you could?
• What have been the best decisions you’ve made in running it?
• What were your biggest mistakes?
• What are some of your plans for the future of the blog?
Take it in whatever direction you like but I guess I’m looking for stories that not only showcase the blog itself but which have tips and ideas that other bloggers can bounce off and learn from.
b. This is my story and here is a question I have - In the same polls I mentioned above I found that many readers of this site are new to blogging and are not making your fortune from your efforts so far. Since finding these results I’ve made a bit more of an effort to create content that not only aims at the medium to advanced blogger but the beginner and have had a lot of positive feedback about this (and a lot more questions).
I would really love to highlight the stories and questions of beginner bloggers as well as experienced ones because I find that if one blogger is asking a question that many others often are also. I’m not saying that beginner bloggers don’t have lessons to share (you’re welcome to do this in your submissions also) but I’d love to feature a few stories with questions that the rest of the PB community can attempt to answer and share their wisdom on in comments (in constructive ways of course).
So if you’re a beginner blogger and want to share your story tell us a little about your blog, tell us about why you’ve started it and what your goals and plans are but then finish off your posts with a series of questions that you’d love people to tackle for you. Don’t overwhelm us with too many questions but don’t be afraid to ask anything you’d like. There are no dumb questions – we all have asked similar ones along the way.
So that’s it - while the deadline is looming I’d love to hear from you if you have a story to tell. If there are loads of quality submissions I’ll try feature more after the two weeks that I’m away. Hopefully through it all we’ll discover some great new blogs and learn a lot from each other along the way.