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FeelGooder: the Backstory Behind My Newest Blog

Earlier this week I launched a new blog: FeelGooder. This post will give some of the backstory behind it (expect another one next week with more).

feelgooder.png

What? Another blog? Are you crazy?

One of the most common reactions I get when I mention that I’m starting a new blog is something along the lines of, “How are you going to fit that in?”

Two months ago I wrote about the process I’d gone through to hire Georgina Laidlaw to work on content development and strategy for me. One of the reasons I expanded my team in this way was to create for myself some head space to dream and develop new projects.

You’ve already seen some of these rolled out (the Free Getting Started Blogging course (with over 5000 participants already) and the soon-to-be-released ProBlogger Academy).

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed having a little extra head space over the last month to dream. It’s led to all kinds of ideas, collaborations, and opportunities (as well as a little more life balance). It’s been one of the best things I’ve done in the last few years of blogging.

Another long-term goal that I’ve had is to run a blog on a much wider niche than my previous blogging endeavors. FeelGooder is that blog.

What is FeelGooder?

Let me start by saying that what you see of FeelGooder today is very much a stage one of where I’m hoping it’ll go. I’ve described what we’ve done so far as a “soft launch” but perhaps a better description would be that it’s FeelGooder v0.1 (beta), and that my hope is for it to expand well beyond what you see on it today.

As I describe in the Welcome to FeelGooder post a couple of days ago, the blog’s focus is pretty wide. In some ways it’s niche is Life (how much broader could you get?). It’s a bit of a departure from my previous blogs, which were quite focused (on topics like Blog Tips, Photography, and Twitter).

I’m under no allusions that such a broad niche will be easy, but this is something I’ve always wanted to do—partly because it connects with where I’m at personally, partly because of my own values and passions, and partly … just to see if I can pull it off.

The goal is to produce daily posts that are a mix of information (tips, guides, help), inspiration (stories, uplifting, and hope-filled articles), and interaction that will help people better experience the richness of their lives.

The blog will initially focus upon five topics:

  1. Health: fitness, diet, emotional well being, and more
  2. Relationships: family, friendship, romance, etc.
  3. Work: careers, entrepreneurship, and developing skills for the workplace
  4. Finance: tips and stories to help look after the hip pocket
  5. Social Good: sustainable living, generosity, and making the world a better place.

In time, these topics will expand (and I would like to see some of them splinter off into more targeted topics, too).

What’s the business model?

Another departure for me with FeelGooder is that I’m launching it without any type of advertising. That’s not the model I want to use here (at least, not initially).

Long-term ProBlogger readers will know that my focus of late has moved a little to incorporate monetizing my blogs by developing my own products. I’m not giving the ad game away, but I see growing opportunities in the development of products (so far this has been around ebooks, courses, and membership sites).

FeelGooder is a bit of an experiment for me on this front, and I intend to develop a series of FeelGooder products to monetize the site. I’m not completely closed off to the idea of other forms of monetization (including advertising) down the track, but at least initially I’d like to experiment elsewhere.

Having said that, monetization is not my main focus at this point. My initial focus is more around:

  1. developing quality content
  2. building an audience
  3. building community.

In my experience, monetization comes more easily once you’ve got those other three elements in place. So while I’m certainly thinking about monetization and the possibilities that might emerge there, I’m not currently putting a great deal of energy into that.

What do you want to know?

I hope that sharing some of the backstory behind this project has been of interest to you. Next week I’d like to continue looking at this case study by talking a little about some of the logistical elements of the site, including the design process, some of the thinking behind the editorial strategy, and some of the lessons I’ve learned.

I’d also be happy to answer as many other questions as I can about my strategy and the processes I’m going through with FeelGooder. So if you’ve got anything you’d like me to cover, please leave a comment below and I’ll attempt to get through as many of them as I possibly can.

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. Darren,

    Great to see your initiative to inspire people in life. As a life coach (and blogger) I know what power positive and inspirational writing has on people.

    Patrick

  2. StormDriver says:

    Congrats on starting a new blog. In fact if blogging is one’s primary business it is better to start multiple blogs. The key is, continuously coming up with high-quality content and this can be achieved by working with talented and experienced writers, as you have shown by hiring a content manager.

    After a certain time it is easier to manage things rather than doing them. Your older blogs have experienced considerable amount of success and now you can easily graduate to creating and managing blogs rather than creating content for them. All the best :-)

  3. Caleb says:

    Immdeiately I really like the color scheme and a blog like this allows you talk on any subject which can end up being quite liberating. Also, I think Amazon products would fit exceptionally well in this site ;)

  4. Dwight says:

    5 topics initially, wow, will be nice to see how it goes, guiding the content creation is key.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

  5. Kristy says:

    Congrats, Darren!

    You’re going to enjoy this one…and so am I! A change of pace will be great for you, I’m sure.

    And BTW – I’m assuming you’ll be looking for guest posts on this one??? I’m not much of a “Pro-Blogger” but the topics on FeelGooder…count me in! ;)

  6. Crude says:

    The color scheme is look really nice. this kind of blog blog allows you talk on any subject which can end up being quite liberating. you have 5 topic on that..So, I hope it will go smoothly. Let wait and see!

  7. Hey Darren,

    Congratulations! I don’t have a separate platform but I’ve been writing a lot more lately about these types of topics.

    One of my latest posts got a lot of great comments. I

    -You can read it here: Letting go of fear

    http://www.blogincomeforwomen.com/blog/453/letting-go-of-fear/

    I’ve been wrting things that are quite personal and they resonate a lot with readers and I’m grateful for this type of connection.

    I admire you. I have now 4 blogs and am in the process of selling 2 of them, as I’m focusing more on creating memberships + creating products.

    Congratulations again!

    Krizia

  8. You must be nuts starting another blog! It’s hard enough having one.

    • JDEbberly says:

      Darren has a HUGE, HUGE audience. The man has already got three BLOCKBUSTER blogs. Everyone wants to guest blog for Darren. Imagine that – a ready-made targeted audience that WANTS to write articles for your blog. This is what happens when you become an elite authority, an elite bloglebrity (Blog celebrity). Everyone is dying to guest blog for you.

      Darren can pretty much do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He’s got the money, he’s an outright celebrity in his own right – people are clamoring, knocking down his front door asking to write content for him. Folks will bend over backwards to do things for Darren. He has helped and inspired millions, if not billions of people worldwide, about all things Twitter, blogging, and photographic.

      So – Darren is starting his 4th blog. You know how many searches come up on Google for life improvement? 69.3 MILLION !!!!!! The man has done his research. You know he did his keyword research. This guy is the very father of blogging. Most of us have been deeply inspired by his legendary exploits in blogging.

      Make no mistake about it – FeelGooder is going to be another blockbuster. Darren is going about this in all the right ways – 1) Build killer content, 2) Build a targeted audience, and 3) Build a community. He’ll do it, and do so brilliantly.

      Then don’t be surprised when he develops products and very likely another blockbuster membership site that everyone will be crying out to join, myself included, down the track. You can already see the potential modules he could carve out for a membership site down the road!

      Darren is a living legend. I ran out of adequate adjectives to describe his ProBlogger blog long ago. I have learned SO MUCH from his ProBlogger blog! You have not lived, Until you have participated in one of his Group Writing Projects, such as his 31 DBBB (31 Days to Build A Better Blog project). You will NEVER be the same again, after participating in one of Darren’s projects.

      I already have a very good feeling about his FeelGooder blog! This one is a winner also!

  9. John Sherry says:

    Darren, I applaud you heading a direction that fits with who you are. And that name is cracking fitting exactly with the ‘blogger’ suffix branding and it has a feel good factor written all over it. Somehow I don’t think monetising is will be a problem! Best of British with what will be a very interesting blog which I, for one, will definitely read. Make it yours Darren.

  10. Jauhari says:

    Congrats, Darren! more people will be enjoy your New Blog as always

  11. Dave Doolin says:

    My goodness. I take a break, and find threaded comments when I return to Problogger. Nice!

    Darren, you are quite right, each of these 5 topics could be splintered off. I’ll be watching to see where you go with it. My hunch is you’re going to find 1 or 2 of the topics much more interesting than the rest combined.

  12. Rita says:

    Nice idea. We need inspiration these days. But FeelGooder? Did people like that in your initial surveys? I like FeelDood better.

    Rita blogging at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide

  13. Ingrid Lee says:

    That’s the same plan structure I have with my current blog, a wide variety of themes around creativity and everyday creativity to build, with social networking a quality follow and community over a period time and then some monetized products.
    At the moment, the journey is great and I’m looking forward to reading your new journey Darren. You are very inspiring.

  14. I was just in the process of finally actually Bookmark your Blog as Favorite, and while I am at it, I see that your new Blog definitely also looks like an Interesting Blog to Bookmark!

    It looks like your New Blog is somewhat in Alignment
    with my – HP’s Happy Blogspots! – Since on my Blog(s) I also have similar topics like for example the five topics you mention. Today on – HP’s Happy Lifestyle – I actually had somebody writing a comment
    about having it Bookmarked as Favorite!

    This might not sound that exciting, but to me such comments
    are somewhat like breakthroughs :) (Although must admit that
    I do make it Easy for them with the One-click Bookmarking
    on the left side, at the top of my Blog)

    Anyway,

    It Feels Good…., euh…, GOODER
    to Bookmark!

    All the Best,
    To your Happy Inspiration,
    HP

  15. Jillian says:

    Sweetness. I’ll have to check it out. And this will let you exercise some of your pastor skills from your earlier life, I imagine? I just finished (today, actually) the Problogger book you wrote with Chris Garrett. Good stuff! Look forward to taking a break every once in a while reading FeelGooder.

  16. Hey Darren, I’ve been reading your posts for around 4 months now and you’ve definitely helped me sharp my blogging sword if you know what I mean.

    Your idea sounds interesting! I’ve been writing about health, relationships, social good (and social skills/circles) on my blog for years now so if you ever want to share a link or do guest posts or want a column writer? Let me know.

    I make a stand on my blog to write as freely as possible (no holds barred) while writing as liberating (inpsiring/helpful) as possible as well. In short: my writing style is a perfect fit, if you can handle my rants that I go on every once in a while. Lol!

    Keep up the good work!

    Regards, Dennis Miedema

  17. Bjorn says:

    Is your new blog comparable to Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits?

    I actually find the title catchy and I hope it delivers what it ought to deliver.

    Congrats to your new blog and more power.

    I’m your avid fan for two years now.

  18. I like your idea behind this project. Darren I am sure you will make it a very successful one

  19. Great Idea. I got some inspiration from these ideas.

  20. Jef Menguin says:

    Thank you for coming up a new blog. I have learned a lot from problogger. I am pretty sure I will learn more from new from your new blog.

  21. Suharto says:

    I think one fits in the blogging world is anyone who can never be stopped in doing what he wants in mind. The one that I may call “FeelGooder” coz for me alone I may define FeelGooder as the one who feels good whatever is happening. In my own opinion, most successful bloggers started blogging as a hobby. And those hobbyists were those feeling-goody individuals. To bloggers, whatever you think that you may feel good for you then do it, much more in blogging.

  22. Hi Darren, you have chosen a good domain name. I also tried to run several blogs but I could not manage them so I decided to stick with the first one. I think running two blogs on similar topics is bad idea. So I decided to choose a different topic, now my new blog is about entertainment, celebrities, picture galleries etc. I hope this blog will go fine. Only the one thing is bad about it, it makes me little ashamed to share the blog subject with relatives.

  23. Ash says:

    Awesome :) And great name, as others have already pointed out.

  24. Best of luck for your new blog.I run a travelblog.

  25. Tornado says:

    Feel Gooder What a name :DDD

  26. Faizan says:

    A very challenging project. I t will be interesting to see how it goes. But if anyone can pull its off, its you :)

  27. As someone who has been helping people “Feel Gooder” about their careers for several years, it’s great to hear about your new endeavor. Best of luck! And if you ever want a guest post, you know where to find me!

  28. Clean and simple, so far so good. I’m guessing it’s going to be guest post driven? I’ll be looking forward to some good fitness articles and bloggers in my niche will be flocking to post on your site. Might even end up on Fitmarker ;)

    Good luck.

  29. since i newly started blogging it’s not so easy to make money for me but require lot of hardwork and knowledge about the type of business.
    Even after a lot of hard work we face fraud and come across fake sites which does not pay the workers online.

  30. Hi Darren,

    just visited your site FeelGooder. Looks great. What amazes me is that it is so new, yet it’s Alexa traffic is already below 100,000. What a success already!

  31. paul says:

    Am I the only one experiencing problems when registering on the 31 days forums? I never receive the confirmation email.
    I sent several emails and even a tweet, but I didn’t get a reply.

  32. Feel Gooder??? Surely you mean Feel Better!! – Only joking. All the best with the launch of the site. Hope it goes well – as I’m sure it will. Regards, Ray

  33. This sounds like a really great website. I can’t wait to read all of the posts so I can “feel gooder” everyday! Best of luck with the new website!

  34. Good luck Darren et al.

    Wondering if this is the kind of content you are looking for?

    St. Nick story about diversity http://climbingeverymountain.com/st-nickcommunity-building-batman-socks/

  35. SuzRocks says:

    You obviously don’t need me to tell you this is a great idea. I’d like to see more of the ‘social good’ category- social justice, humanitarian work, etc.

    I’ve spent some time overseas volunteering as a nurse, and it’s one of my goals with my blog to increase the awareness of social justice issues- in healthcare in particular. So I’m really interested in seeing where this blog goes and how it deals with this particular issue.

  36. Suharto says:

    This is another site to follow. A work of a guru is a to follow. Good contents, informative and helpful.

  37. Sarah Mae says:

    I’d like to know how to be a contributor for it. ;)

    From the non-stalker girl (you know, the one who had a dream about you but swears she isn’t stalking you. Yea, that one.)

  38. Richard says:

    This sounds like a really interesting blog site. I can’t wait to see what direction it goes in.

  39. Alan says:

    It’s always interesting to see how a site is progressing, specially when an experimented blogger is behind the project. Congratulations on the new site, i guess it won’t take too leng before it becomes a noticeable blog.

  40. Brandon says:

    Darren, congratulations the blog is already off to a great start. Being a new blogger I am learning a lot from you as you start this new adventure and cannot wait to see what else is in store! Thanks for the great example of how to launch a blog successfully.

  41. Ann says:

    Good luck with the new blog, great name and concept

  42. Suharto says:

    I just can’t wait. Send me an email instantly right after publishing it. Thanks and Good Luck Guru!

  43. Nail says:

    Darren, good luck with your new blog, it looks nice and I am sure you will be working on it to look better with a great deal of useful content in the coming months. It is once more clear that we have got a lot to learn from you.

    As a question about Feelgooder, maybe you could talk about the steps of promotion, i.e. what were the first things you did after launching the blog?

    Thanks,
    Nail

  44. Darren – don’t have to tell you what a great idea this is. Love the idea. I am working on a similar initiative but haven’t launched yet. I have found it is the feel good posts that get the most mileage as of late.

    I love the look and feel of your new site. Very inviting! I like the simplicity and focus of topics. I’d love to see more bloggers and marketing find a way to better work together for greater social good. It’s also a dream of mine to be able to spend 80% of my time on social good. Some way, some how I hope to make it happen.

    Anyway, congrats! Can’t wait to see where it goes! I am sure it will be a HUGE success!

  45. FUBICO.com says:

    Good idea, blogging will increase our information gamma. Real information, like science, literature. It’s getting better, people doing real business and real quality things.

  46. I have been following problogger for a while now and have been reading your posts almost every other day. I’m blown to see that you have decided to expand your blogging into bigger niches.
    I have been sleeping on a similar idea for a while where I would have special niches and several pro-bloggers each specializing on defined niches. With your spear head, it’s on!

  47. Thanks for sharing your story behind your new blog feelgooder. I look forward to reading the posts :)

  48. Dinesh says:

    Feeling Good!……. You should share stats of your new blog after a month. That will be inspiration for a lot of people.

  49. John McNally says:

    This is very interesting Darren, I will be closely following your progress here. I’m a blogging newbie and travelling in the opposite direction to you. My first blog is “Life, the Universe and Everything”, but I’m now thinking of starting a niche blog.

    John

  50. I like where you’re going with this just based on the name: Something we all like to do with a touch of fun (Feel Gooder?)

    And perfectly in line with the times.

    I’m glad you were able to free up some brain space. I suspect we’re all going to be glad based on your newest venture.

    Best wishes in this endeavor… And for the season, of course.