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A Secret to Profitable Blogging – Trending Up Over the Long Haul

Over in my question box reader JoLynn Braley asked me:

“Was there a time when you first started blogging that you became despondent and thought about quitting? If so, what happened that gave you the confidence to keep going?”

This video is all about hanging in there for the long haul with your blog and changing your focus from absolute numbers (like how many visitors or how much you’re making) to focus upon whether your blog is trending up/growing and by how much (percentage wise).

You see early in my blogging ‘career’ I was close to giving up on blogging as an income source because my blog only earned a few dollars a day. What kept me going was that while the numbers were not high – the percentage growth each month was an indication that there might be some potential reward if I keep at it.

Here’s how my earnings looked over the first year or so.

Earnings-1

Not the most spectacular start – but those first few months were already showing indications of where things were headed!

For more on this topic (and for some more details statistics and back story) you might want to check out my previous posts on a similar topic at Exponential Growth and Exponential Growth II.

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.

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Comments

  1. I truly believe that 90%+ after the basics is not giving up. There are many talented bloggers that simply don’t have the stamina. It helps if you enjoy what you’re blogging about. When that is the case, not earning money doesn’t effect you near as much.

    If you continue to provide good content consistently and do a bit of work to get your name out, even an average person blogging can succeed.

  2. Kelvin Kao says:

    Nice music, haha.
    Google definitely awards people that constantly update. And for readers… I rarely subscribe to a blog that doesn’t have any recent updates. Even if the site has really great comments, I would just bookmark it, start digging through the archive, and then leave when I’m done digging… without actually subscribing. And without subscribing, I would probably just forget about the site after a while. So consistency definitely pays off.

  3. Your first year gets me hope. I like seeing charts like this. And knowing that Google messed with you too also helps. You started just like other bloggers. You may have 34,000 subscribers now, but you didn’t at one time.

    By the way, for some reason, your sidebar slid down the page.

  4. Sonia Colon says:

    Hi Darren,

    Great blog, great music simply great all around. Thank you for providing such an informative blog…I’m learning so much and truly appreciate your hard work!

    Have a nice day!

  5. Rob Schultz says:

    This is a great article for those of us that are new to blogging or are looking to finally get into it for the long run. Last night I was thinking about the growth of my blog and wanted results quicker…then I see this post and feel that I’m right on track.

  6. CatherineL says:

    Hi Darren – in sharing this info you are motivating and inspiring others. Thank you.

    Catherine

  7. That was well inspiring, I must say.

    Business has its ups and downs, and so does
    blogging. Nice stats you have in there!

  8. Edward says:

    Inspirig indeed. I actually posted my thoughts about this post in my blog. This would really keep me going.. Thanks!

  9. I’m not making very much money on my blog right now, but my traffic has increased dramatically since August and I see now a potential for it to be profitable. You just need to stick with it and keep pushing until your successful. This applies to many other things in life as well. :)

  10. Neil Duckett says:

    Tremendous post Darren, very inspirational.

  11. OK, I figured up my percentages – I have had an increase in percentage each month except for August when I had a decrease, followed by an increase in September.

    I’ve set some goals for increasing my percentage each month and looked at it over the next year and can see how this can grow, just like you pointed out for us Darren.

    Thanks again, and thank you very much for the link also…. I was so thrilled about your feedback I didn’t spell that out in my previous comment!

  12. Raymond says:

    I really like your comforting advice! These type of articles are my favorite ProBlogger articles.

    But the rapping….how should I put it.. It’s too cheesy and out of place for you. I know you want to be young and hip, but it makes me sort of cringe when I listen to the music.

  13. I rarely comment in other people’s blogs, which is something I should change. But the rap background is worthy of creative praise. If it wasn’t for your advice Darren, my blog would have died out weeks ago.

  14. gaby de wilde says:

    oh bla bla bla

    you are just a spammer.

  15. Mandy says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Darren,

    I’m in that position now and it can get a bit depressing because things aren’t moving as quick as I would like.

    But I am in it for the long haul, I want to be successful at blogging and I enjoy it immensely. So I look forward to learning more and looking for the signs of getting better over time to encourage me.

    Thanks again!

  16. gaby de wilde says:

    oh, the new get rich quick scheme didn’t work for you? AHHHHHHH

    Maybe you have actual subjects in your blog? Maybe that’s what you are doing wrong?

    Maybe you need to limit the topic to spam?

  17. johno says:

    These videos are a real hit. It’s like Prison Break or Heroes — can’t wait until the next one!

  18. Quais says:

    great videocast again Darren. good work.

    btw, love the “Problogger” rap song :)

  19. Reed says:

    giving up on your blog is one of the worst things you could do. While this doesn’t have to do with blogging, but does anyone remember when geocities websites used to be first in the search results for some goldmine keywords? Chances are those people forgot entirely about their websites and let them collect dust and while they were sleeping they failed to see that their tiny sites were grabbing top ranking on popular keywords. They would be kicking themselves in the face iif they realized how much money they could have made if they kept those websites up to date. Bottom line is, keep up with it for a year or two, after that it probably is acceptable to have some doubts.

  20. Xavier says:

    Nice video Darren! ;-)

  21. Ryan says:

    Trending up over the long run is really encourgaging.
    It is hard for me at the the moment to be encouraged to blog a lot seeing as I make about $0.20 per month!!!
    I don’t even make a dollar a day (I wish I did)

    I had blogs earlier this year and gave up (adsense deleted my account…which sucked!)
    So now I am pretty much starting from scratch again and am interested if there are any ways to get a blog publicity and readership early on in the piece?

  22. Michael says:

    I agree with Reed – those geocities used to be very popular (but so ugly). I never had one so I can’t kick myself :)

    But anyway – content is #1 in my book. If you don’t have content than the traffic that you get will never stay.

    http://www.earnmoneytoblog.com/

  23. Sia says:

    Admittedly, blogging is not an easy affair. It is sometimes a love /hate affair. Yet in the back of my mind, I know, through examples of others (and my own) and not necessarily about blogging, PERSISTENCE pays. Or so I tell myself :)

  24. Sia says:

    Admittedly, blogging is not an easy affair. It is sometimes a love /hate affair. Yet in the back of my mind, I know, through examples of others (and my own) and not necessarily about blogging, PERSISTENCE pays. Or so I tell myself :) Great video by the way…

  25. Fluid says:

    Darren, thanks for the helpful and encouraging article. I just started my blog about a month ago and I was really excited at first – writing about something that genuinely interested me that helped others at the same time – but then reality kicks in and just kills your idealism. You have to deal with SEO, social bookmarking and other factors that deviate off your intended path. But I suppose that’s just how it is – people say content is king, but marketing plays a huge role in getting the necessary traffic (and earnings) to your site.

    I’m glad you hung in there though. Your articles have been extremely helpful. Thanks again.

  26. well yes darren,at some point of my blogging life,i thought of giving up.the reason..too little money.But slowly,i began enjoying blogging as my money increases and of course it has been enriching to learn new things as well.

  27. Heidi says:

    Your video is very helpful for people just starting to blog. I have been blogging for over a year now and am starting a blogging community. This will be a video I encourage all of them to watch and remember when things aren’t going as well as they would like.

  28. John says:

    I agree with the folks here. Blogging is hard work. When I first started my intention was to make as much money as I could. But slowly, I’ve realized that I derive more enjoyment out being a useful & informative site. I’m hoping that if I do a good job, the money will follow.

  29. Sox says:

    I’ve been looking at it the same way. I’m a co-author of a blog with a couple of buddies, and while the income is small (we pool it for trips) it has been growing. This will certainly help “keep me in the pocket.”

  30. Ryan says:

    Excellent way keep your attention focused on the growth so you will naturally manifest more of it. This is just what I needed as my blog has been growing quite a bit. Thanks, -Ryan

  31. Michael Eyer says:

    Great post you have greatly inspired me to continue my dream.

  32. prasanga says:

    Thanks Darren, The music is fresh. The video is very informative. My earnings are growing. I think by the next pr update it will grow further. I must say my earnings are not growing fast, but hey. For now I have nothing to complaint. thanks again.

  33. SEO Fanatic says:

    Darren Rowse you are my blogging idol. I look to your blog for motivation and advice to keep me the SEO Fanatic from continuing my blogging journey