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How ProBlogger Changed My Life and I’m Not Saying That Just To Suck Up.

guest post by Kelly Diels

I have been blogging for almost ten months. I quit my job – a really, really good job – last week. Today, I made $10,600.

In one day.

(Okay, not really in one day, but today I collected two cheques for writing projects that I secured because the clients saw my pieces at ProBlogger and hired me. True story.)

How did I use my blog to launch a business?

  1. I didn’t know anything about blogging except that I wanted to do it, so I googled “how to blog” and landed on ProBlogger. Thank goodness. So I learned how to blog on ProBlogger. I literally started with a piece from the archives about what to include in your first post.
  2. I started reading the blogs of people who were commenting at ProBlogger. I wrote a couple of adoring e-mails. Josh Hanagarne might know what I’m talking about. He’s easily flattered.
  3. Then, as I gained confidence – in part because I read the trial-and-error stories of other bloggers, here –  I started guest posting on ProBlogger. I sent Darren Rowse a whole whack of wacky pieces.
  4. Darren said, and I quote very loosely because I’m pretty sure he used proper grammar, hey I like your stuff, wanna write weekly?
  5. I said, umm, let me think about it. (Don’t believe that ostentatious lie. I didn’t say that. Instead, I said  “YES!!!!” and I launched (unbeknownst to him) into The Happy Shimmy wherein one drops it like it is lukewarm. And my awkward-girl-dance still looked better than this one. Maybe. Probably not. Shout out to bloggers: that’s a challenge. Let’s see your dance moves.)
  6. My blog traffic exploded. I didn’t mind this, at all.
  7. People started asking me to write for them. They’re even paying me. Lots.
  8. I have true, passionate friends – other bloggers – who are part of my heart, now, in real life (such a thing actually exists) whom I met because of ProBlogger (see #2). Either I saw their piece and stalked them until they relented and befriended me, or vice versa.
  9. A white hot meta-entrepreneur, and one of the people I admire most in this world, asked me to co-author a book with her.
  10. Yes, I am TOTALLY FREAKING OUT. ProBlogger, lots of love, some dancing and a little effort (ok, a LOT of effort) changed my life.

My quit-my-job-in-ten-months lessons:

  • when you’re figuring it out, the guidelines and tips and case studies at ProBlogger and other how-to-blog sites make the blogging world less intimidating
  • find your voice and write good stuff
  • be yourself. There’s no competition for that.
  • make friends
  • try lots of different techniques to promote your blog. As soon as you figure one out, keep doing that, and add another. (Did you read Jade Craven’s post about landing pages? Or Josh Hanagarne’s advice abouttricking his friends having a contest to get people to buy advertising? These are live-action case studies and that’s just useful.)
  • investigate – and try – lots of different models for making money: ads, products, affiliate deals, offline work.
  • play nice
  • prepare to be tired. Very tired. You may as well cut off your cable, now, because TV is no longer part of your daily regime. Unless you’re a TV blogger. In which case you’re just screwed.

So yep, I’ve got big love for ProBlogger (though my cable company may have other opinions) because what I learned here empowered me. I don’t mean that in just a fluffy, feel-good, girl-power kind of way; I mean, I have money in my hand. I mean, I now write for a living.  In just ten months, ProBlogger helped me change my life.

And I’m pretty sure that Darren Rowse would have offered me the weekly gig even if I hadn’t written this piece as bait.

I’m just kidding. Really. He made me the offer two months ago and unlike some people (me), he’s immune to flattery. Don’t even try it. Call me instead.

Better yet, let’s dance.

___________________________

Kelly Diels writes for ProBlogger every week. She’s also a wildly hireable freelance writer and the creator of Cleavage, a blog about three things we all want more of: sex, money and meaning.

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Comments

  1. Kelly Diels says:

    @Elena – that means so much to me. Thank you.

  2. Kelly Diels says:

    @Jewelry Secrets – shake it, baby! Kiss the TV good bye! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post…just keep in mind that this 10G thing was ten months in coming. I just started making money – if you average out my hours that I put into this before seeing ANY return, it is a lot less impressive as a figure (and makes for a way less sexy story).

  3. Congratulations and good luck with your full time business.

  4. Darren – if you’re reading – Is it safe to assume you’ve slowly grown tired of having to write blogging tips for the past several years and that’s why you’re hiring on more regular writers?

    Note: the above comment wasn’t meant to be offensive to you Kelly I just noticed you were now a regular writer on Problogger though so that’s why I was curious.

    Chris Guthrie

  5. And the amazing thing is that you are making money even though you don’t write about making money on the internet. (Well, except for this piece).

    Good list of ‘rules’ for success.

  6. Hi Kelly,
    Thanks for sharing those little tidbits of your blogging experience. I like your humorous way of writing. It’s quite true that we, new to blogging, are being greatly helped by problogger and other such pro blogging sites because we don’t have to follow the path of trial and error. Problogger does a great job of shaping up new blogs and pointing them in right direction.

    Cheers Darren! great job.

  7. Your story is so inspiring for me and motivate me to do like you do. I think if you can i can do it to. With your successful in blog world your advice must be follow by newbie like me who want more income from it and how to do it also how to like your job.

  8. Wow….what a great post.

    Just goes to show what can happen you put your mind to it (and stalk out a few people!!)

    Happy blogging,

    James

  9. Good for you, Kelly! Wish you all of the best!

  10. You achive a really great thing here kelly — it is even what every blogger dream about. Congrats!

  11. oboso says:

    well at the end of the day , it all comes down to the quest for the kind of freedom , (and here i don`t only mean financial Freedom ) that a job would never offer!
    So it is always a plus to realize it is achievable in less than a Year…..i say Bravo! and let us know what happened in the next 11 Month!;-) take care

  12. Kelly that is amazing! I am in no way ready to quit my job but I totally agree that the info found on Problogger has totally helped to be the best blogger I can be. I have been blogging for about 1 1/2 months and I have 145 followers and 126 subscribers. I know that is not ground breaking but I think it is pretty good and it is because of all the tips I have learned here.

    I really like your advice “be yourself there is no competition for that” that is awesome.

    Congrats again!

  13. oops sorry..I forgot to drop it low and do my bloggy dance for ya. ooohhhh yeeeaaahhhh!!!

  14. Bala says:

    great nice post!

  15. Hey Kelly, I am glad to hear you have experienced so much success while using ProBlogger. I too am incredibly grateful for all the excellent and creative articles and advice teaching us young’ns how to create a great blog.

  16. Cool. Very. Especially since I recently purchased the book you co-authored with one of my fave rock stars :)

    Keep it coming!

  17. Heather says:

    Kelly-

    Thank you for the inspiration to keep going, While I have been a freelance writer off and on (writing is my true passion), my blog is still a baby and not very great or popular yet.

    I will read all I can and try to improve it every day…meanwhile if anyone wants to help pick up my spirits, become a Follower of my blog or send a suggestion.

    I have just four followers and will begin to monitor site traffic today with a counter as I saw refenced in a post.

    Heather- And I really am a teacher by day.

  18. Congratulation Kelly

    Awesome post and quite an inspiration.

    Viva la Blogosphere and Problogger.

  19. Oooops – major screw up – so let me totally own it – the book I referenced earlier?, well, I mis-referenced it. Embarrassing but true…still want ya to keep it coming tho, :)

  20. Bill says:

    WAY TO GO & CONGRATS!!

    I have several blogs – combined they have very few followers, readers etc. But that’s ok. My primary tech blog is sporadic on posts because I only post items that I find I have figured out an answer to a problem that I could not find elsewhere. My other blog has not fully been developed, nor the writing voice for it been developed – so I have not tried any monetization efforts yet. My tech blog nets me anywhere from $5-$30 per month, depending on several factors.

    I think if I actually applied some of Darren’s processes, thoughts and ideas here (I’ve been reading problogger for about 2-3 years I think) I might fare better. But that takes time and effort and with 10-12 hour days 6 days a week….yeah, right.

    I guess what I am saying is, even still I make some posts, but don’t build as much as I could/should etc. and I have fun when I do it, and that is important. That’s why I can have minimal traffic and return, yet still blog because I have fun with it – which to me is a key.

  21. fedhz says:

    Congratulations, Kelly! I have been blogging for 3 years, but only learned to monetize a blog last year, but I’m way too far from what you’ve achieved. ^^

    love your dance moves. was that you? hihi. lovely

  22. Jaszy says:

    Darlin’ Kelly…dance on girlfriend!!! Congrats from the deepest pockets of my big ‘ole heart of love for ya!

    When there’s a ‘Blog of Fame’ red carpet event in your honor, I am totally taggin’ along!

    Rock on!

  23. Nick says:

    That is an awesome story. I’m just starting out but have been lurking on problogger for years. The hard work part is kind of a bummer though :( J/K But seriously I would like to know how much time you put in to it while working another job. I probably do about 2-3 hours a day so far. I’m trying to not burn out because I have a history of that. Anyway, thanks for the post…

  24. I love the way this post it written haha, it’s so energetic feeling and I agree lets dance!

    ProBlogger’s definitely on it’s way to changing my life too, I wonder if Darren will want any royalties…

  25. Nice post! Blogging began a series of events for me that allowed me to become a published author (two books so far).

    And one of my blogs (my fitness blog) has made a few dollars for me, which helps me through the “lean” months.

  26. A great feel good story. I love reading posts like this :)

    I know that not everyone has this kind of amazing progress and success, however it provides that ongoing drive for the rest of us to continue on our journey.

    While only having a few visitors here and there on my blog, with no real revenue, it is a exciting journey that I love continuing down.

  27. pravakar says:

    Wow amazing post. you have given real path of turning blog as business

  28. It is so inspiring that you were able to accomplish all of this

    You give us hope. And by “us all”, I mean me i started my blog hope its works thanks
    by:- maaz malik

  29. Edris Asbell says:

    Hey this blog is great. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  30. Matt Goulart says:

    Congrats Kelly!!

    Looking forward to more posts.

  31. Wow, this is very interesting to read. I will keep plugging away and hope that I can be as lucky as you one day.

  32. Hi Kelly,

    First off, congrats! I’m doing the silly dance with you…;)

    You’re an inspiration to be sure!

    I did a guest post on robbsutton.com last week called “What Probloggers Don’t Tell You – Blogging is Bloody Hard Work.

    It received some great comments (not 80+ mind you) and allowed me to have some fun writing outside my niche, get some exposure and interact with a ‘problogger’.

    For anyone interested Robb has an article on how to approach probloggers and even provides a base template (which I used to approach him) so check it out if interested.

    I recall a previous post of yours, where you mentioned getting past the “i’m not good enough” stage…let your fears go and just do it!

    Thanks again for a succes story we all hope to experience!

    Write On!

  33. Shannon O says:

    Kelly,

    I am so happy for you. You are truly an inspiration, one day I too hope to bring my tiny blog to your level.

    To do what you’ve done in 10 months is truly a testament to your hard work, creative spirit and determination.

    Thanks for sharing, reading this post only makes me want to do more, be more, and give more.

  34. Rob L says:

    very inspirational piece and I think this just goes to show how hard work, dedication and determination pays off. Keep moving forward and I hope to read more of your pieces in the future.

  35. Wayne says:

    I’m glad to have found this. I optimize sites for a living, along with doing web audio and orchestrating. I’ve been looking for a resource to help with me better effectively blog. I think I found it. This will be a great help as I have been very busy optimizing and can use all the help I can get.

    Wayne

  36. This is a very inspirational article, Kelly. I also agree with Rob that with hard work, dedication and determination, you’ll go a long way with whatever you are doing. Whether pro-blogging, or door-to-door selling… but I’d rather blog. LOL Keep up the good work.

    Amy Cameron
    BuildMySiteforFree.com

  37. Nice post, I have been following your blog for the last few weeks and just wanted to say how impressed I am.

  38. Kellie says:

    Hi Kelly, You’re an inspiration & proof that it can be done and done quickly. I started blogging in June of last year and knew that I had no idea what I was doing. I took a blogging class a little less than a month ago and the instructor told us all to “favorite” this blog if we wanted to be successful bloggers. I am happy he did and because I hope to eventually follow in your footsteps and quit a job (one that’s not so good but I’m happy to have). Thank you for sharing and now I have to go visit this blog called Cleavage, heard it through the grapevine that it was pretty good <—- Note the flattery :-)