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.

How to Make Money As a Blogger Through Affiliate Marketing

How to Make Money As a Blogger Through Affiliate MarketingThanks all for your feedback on our 50th episode of the ProBlogger podcast! I still can’t believe we finally made it.

Onward with episode 51 and my tips on affiliate marketing as an income stream:

This episode is sort of an introduction to what affiliate marketing is and how I personally approach it. There are a heap of practical tips so you’re sure to get something out of it whether you’re a complete affiliate newbie, or have seen some success before.

Affiliate marketing is a blogger’s promotion of a particular product (created by someone else) with a specific link that contains a tracking code. When someone buys on the basis of your recommendation, and clicks through from your tracking link, you get a commission on that sale. For Digital Photography School, we often recommend cameras, and therefore will get 4% of any sale resulting from that recommendation from Amazon.

So why consider affiliate marketing as an income stream? When you consider in advertising the advertiser is taking a risk by paying you for amplification on your blog that might not work out, and you as the publisher are taking the risk by becoming an affiliate, it seems like a dud deal. But the rewards of affiliate sales can often be greater than through general advertising alone, which can make it an attractive option despite the risk.

Today I discuss one particular experience I had with an early affiliate collaboration and how it exceeded beyond everyone’s expectations, and I also talk about the kinds of blogs that can be more successful with affiliate sales, and the three things I believe they need to have that will boost their chances of getting a high return.

The other topics I touch on are:

  • Personally how I approach affiliate marketing
  • How much of my income is derived through affiliate marketing
  • How it is often dictated by seasonal trends
  • The three types of affiliate programs I promote on my blogs
  • The types of affiliate networks available and how they work
  • Tips for affliliate marketing on blogs (and what NOT to do!)
  • The types of promotion you can use depending on your audience
  • Placement of affiliate links for higher returns
  • How I drive traffic to the post and the promotion
  • Tips on transparency and disclaimers
  • Easy tracking of results
  • Promotional sequences and strategies
  • How to balance promotion frequency

You can find episode 51 of the ProBlogger Podcast How to Make Money As a Blogger Through Affiliate Marketing here. 

Related Reading:

What I Learned About Podcasting in my First 50 Episodes

What I Learned About Podcasting in my First 50 Episodes on

We made it to episode 50 of the ProBlogger Podcast!

To be honest, when I was about halfway through the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog podcast series, I didn’t think I would make this that far. Podcasting in the early days is tough going!

In this episode, I discuss all the things I’ve learned so far about podcasting in terms of content, delivery, tools, monetization, building an audience and what I think are the benefits to taking a different road with your blog and interacting more personally with your readers.

It’s been interesting to see which episodes have been the most popular – it appears that the more personal and relatable the topic, the more it is downloaded and shared. Quite similar to blogging, but of course in such a different format and with a whole new audience as well. Storytelling and humanism really does draw people in regardless of the vehicle by which you do it. Being useful too, has massive benefits – five out of the top 10 podcasts have filled a gap or met a need for listeners, or even directly answered their questions.

If you are thinking of starting a podcast, I am sure you will find this mix of personal experience and practical tools and tips helpful to you on your journey.

You can find episode 50 of the ProBlogger podcast What I Learned About Podcasting in my First 50 Episodes here, along with show notes and links to the tools mentioned. I’d love to hear your feedback – what has been your favourite episode? What has helped you? You can leave a comment here, on the episode page, or you can fill in a short survey here.

Thanks for listening!

How to Define Your Blog’s Brand


In today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I want to talk to you about blog branding, and how it shapes the relationship between you and your reader.

It’s something I think everybody should take seriously, and put thought into, rather than just muddle along and see what happens – it really makes such a difference not only to how you are perceived, but also in growing your presence.

Today’s episode is super-practical, and includes lifestyle blogger Claire Hillier from Checks and Spots giving her top tips for building a brand. She spoke at the recent ProBlogger event about blogging for beginners and mentioned these incredibly important points about personal branding, your blog mission, and how these things tie together. These ultimately have a flow-on effect for other parts of your blog and presence online.

Grab a notepad and jot down the notes as they come – also feel free to stop the podcast and answer the questions she raises – and really engage with the content and concept of building your own blog brand, whether it’s commercial or as a hobby.

Claire discusses:

  • What is a brand?
  • What is the essence of a blog?
  • What is the audience?
  • Where is my blog useful?
  • Brand values

You can find episode 49 of the ProBlogger podcast How to Define Your Blog’s Brand here, as well as the show notes.

Further Reading:

How to Make $30,000 a year Blogging

How to Make $30,000 a year Blogging - ProBlogger Darren Rowse gives his best tips.

If you’re anything like the overwhelmed blogger I spoke to a few years ago, who thought making a full time living from her blog was basically impossible, then this episode of the ProBlogger podcast is for you.

The truth is, making a full-time living from blogging means different things to different people – what is a full time income to you might not be enough for the next person, and vice versa. The first thing to do is figure out how much you need to live on (or indeed if you are only looking for a part time income, etc), and work toward earning that amount. The firmer the figure you have, the better chance you have of making it happen. Pie-in-the-sky ideas and vague language like “full-time income” aren’t as helpful.

This particular blogger I spoke to said $30,000 USD would be enough to allow them to quit their current job, but also had never made a dollar from her blog and had almost convinced herself it was impossible.

It’s not impossible, but nor is it a cakewalk. In today’s episode I give three pieces of advice for those of you wanting to change career directions and make a living blogging instead of traditional work. I also provide some of the ways I decided how much I wanted to make, and how I went about achieving those sums. I’ll give the income stream options I had, the ones I tried, and ultimately the ones I ended up using consistently.

I also break down the income models of three different types of blogs: fashion, photography, and food.

When I first reached my target of $50,000 AUD per year, I broke down my income into what percentage came from which income stream (which may very well be different to yours, and is actually different to my income streams as they are currently). I hope you find it useful.

You can listen to Episode 48 of the ProBlogger Podcast How to Make $30,000 a year Blogging here.

Further Reading:

Writing Challenge: Write a ‘How I Do It’ Blog Post

Bookshelf filled with colorful books

Today’s podcast episode is a little bit different – a throwback of sorts to one of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Podcast challenges.

I think it’s important to offer challenges like this, as it’s very easy to read or listen to what to do, but actually doing it is a totally different thing all together. In fact, absorbing knowledge without putting it into practise is one of the 21 mistakes I see new bloggers make fairly consistently.

So today the challenge to you is to write a “How I do it” blog post. Something about how you do whatever it is you’re good at, to share with your audience. It might be a very simple topic idea, but it is in fact a very valuable way to drive traffic to your blog, and in turn, grow your readership.

In the podcast I discuss the differences between the style of posts you could create, and examples for each – from styling a bed to making $72,000 in eBook sales – and also tips for brainstorming and writing.

You can listen to episode 47 of the ProBlogger podcast: Writing Challenge: Write a ‘How I Do It’ Blog Post here, and access the examples above in the show notes.

You are also welcome to link to the post you’ve written in the comments below.

Further Reading:

Do You Recognize These 21 Blogging Mistakes?


While the pathway to blogging is different for everybody, and you could argue there’s no “wrong” way, in today’s ProBlogger podcast I discuss some of the mistakes I made when first starting out, and the most typical mistakes I see newer bloggers making. I wonder if any of you recognize yourselves in these behaviours that could very well hold you back?

I talk about everything from before people even start their blogs, to they way they market them, how they drive traffic, how they monetise, site design, and even the chosen niche. But all is not lost if you do find yourself taking these wrong turns – I also give options about how to avoid the pitfalls I see so many falling into.

You can find episode 46 of the ProBlogger podcast: Do You Recognize These 21 Blogging Mistakes? here, along with the show notes.

I’d love to hear of the mistakes you made or the ones you see others making – which ones were the hardest to overcome?

Further Reading:

7 Habits of Lucky Entrepreneurs

7 Habits of Lucky Entrepreneurs on ProBlogger.netIn today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I’m talking about all things luck. How important is it in business and blogging? How much of luck is really just hard work? Do you need to be lucky to successful.

My first steps along this journey into blogging really were lucky, I feel. It all started from a random email one day sent to my Hotmail from my mate Steve – and it changed the trajectory of my life. As I look back over the years since there have been many lucky moments along the way, chance encouncers, meeting the right people at the right time, being in the right place at the right time sort of thing but there has also been hard work and strategy.

I’ve talked to plenty of successful people and I often ask them if their success is due to serendipity or strategy, and today I share I’ve learned from them, the seven lessons we can really take on board to increase the chances of lucky things happening to us.

I share what I know about learning, curiosity, problems, positivity, experimentation, creation, daydreaming, reflection, knowing your place in space, reactions, pivoting, small change, and mindset – and almost none of them are personality traits, they’re learned behaviours.

I also provide some questions designed to get you thinking about how you make your decisions and deal with setbacks.

You can hear episode 45 of the ProBlogger podcast: 7 Habits of Lucky Entrepreneurs here.

Further Reading:

How to Use Blab Live Streaming to Grow Your Blog


NewImage.pngIn today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I am talking about a new tool for bloggers and content creators that I’ve really taken to: Blab. It’s kind of like the lovechild of Google Hangouts and Periscope, and I’ve been experimenting with it a lot lately.

When I first heard of Blab I was sceptical, but over the next few days I noticed quite a few people I respect were using it, so I checked it out properly. It was broadcasting the speaker, much like other apps, but I quickly realised it solved a problem that I’d been having with Periscope – it was too much centred on me, and Blab meant I could have greater interaction with the people watching and listening, which was a much more two-way conversation.

In episode 44, I describe how Blab not only has been useful for me, but also how I think it can be useful to you to help grow your blog – from deepening relationships with your audience, getting ideas from chat and Q&A sessions, the ease of sharing Blab content, replays, continuation of videos, repurposing blog posts or posts you’ve written elsewhere, to the benefits of being able to interact in real time, whether it’s a keynote-style presentation or a more relaxed conversation.

I talk about how I use Blab, the basics of getting started, how I learned best practice, and tips to help you on your live streaming journey.

You can find episode 44 of the ProBlogger podcast: How to Use Blab Live Streaming to Grow Your Blog here, along with show notes and extra links.

You can also follow me on Blab here, and be notified of future broadcasts.

Are you on Blab? Leave a link to your profile in the comments.

Further Reading:

How To Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A, Part 2

How To Create Great Content For Your Blog – Q&A, Part 2

Episode 43 of the ProBlogger podcast is part two of the Q&A series I’ve been doing on how to create great content for your blog (episode one is here). In it, I answer your most recent questions from the callout I put on the ProBlogger Facebook page about:

  • What are my three best blog posts ever and why they worked
  • What type of content I find most resonates with my audience, and whether I think video or the written word is more important and why
  • When I first started taking on paid writers, how I recruited them and how I added them to the schedule
  • What I think the pros and cons of outsourcing blog content are
  • Whether or not I believe there an optimal length or word count for a blog

I hope the answers are useful to you – I cover the post I almost didn’t publish but garnered more than 700,000 views, posts that get high traffic and how I keep them going across social media over time, my thoughts on video and audio content (especially in terms of audience and SEO), how I feel incorporating writers both brings value and dilutes your brand, the system we use for hiring new writers and editors, and the length of posts we’ve been publishing that make the most impact on our readership.

You can find episode 43 and the show notes at – would love to get your feedback.

Further Reading: