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ProBlogger T-Shirt Design Competition – The Entries so Far

It’s just passed the half way point in the ProBlogger T-Shirt design competition and ask I mentioned in the original call for entries I’m today posting the entries submitted so far. Below you’ll see 16 26
entries (although one of them has 4 on it which we’ll separate later). Some are still in draft form I’m told.

Entries are still open until 31 July so submit your entry before then to win $100 (USD) of products from Amazon, some blog consulting from me, a free T-Shirt and a little bit of promotion from ProBlogger.net. Get the full details of prizes and entry requirements here.

The entries so far are below (click to enlarge) – feel free to tell us which is your favorite so far below and which (if any) you would buy on a T-Shirt. If you think you could do better – feel free to submit your own design. [Read more...]

The $14,436.45 that Got People Talking

Well after a couple of days away speaking on a conference (where I could only access the web via dial up for a few minutes per day) I’m back home to survey my blog’s status.

I always seem to time my going away for a few days (or longer) to those times when my blogs seem to be ‘hottest’ and this time was no exception.

ProBlogger.net has been something of a frenzy the past week with links in Aussie Newspapers, from prominent bloggers through to the infamous slashdotting.

The results of such attention have been quite amazing. There are many trackbacks to follow up – my inbox is full of requests from bloggers wanting links, consulting, advice etc (please don’t be offended if I take a while to reply and if I can’t help at this time) – readership here is way up on normal (peaking on Sunday at around 60 times the ‘normal’ levels and calming down today to 5 times normal) – hundreds of new readers have subscribed to my weekly newsletter (I’ll write it tomorrow hopefully).

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The Morning After the Slashdot Party

I woke up this morning wondering if the Slashdot frenzy last night had all just been a big dream – but no it was not.

The morning after a Slashdotting (it always happens to me late at night or in the early hours of the morning) is like waking up after a massive party at your house. You come out of your bedroom and there are empty bottles, broken pictures hanging crookedly on the wall, stains on the carpet and sleeping bodies on the couch. The memories of the previous night are mixed – the exhilaration of seeing all your mates having a great time, meeting new friends, the worry of gatecrashers….

Being Slashdotted is similar. I spent an hour or so this morning wading through an inbox full of emails and comments (ranging from the incredibly encouraging and affirming through to the downright offensive, slanderous and threatening). The clean up after the party has taken a while. The memories are mixed – the gatecrashers came (but didn’t get too out of hand) and some great new friendships have started with over 100 new subscribers to the newsletter and new subscribers to the RSS feed.

It was also a financially rewarding evening. I woke up this morning with 8 hours still to go in the ‘Adsense day’ to find I’d already broken my previous earning record for a day on Adsense. There were also a few affiliate program sales that resulted from the influx of visitors.

All in all it was a strange night – definitely an experience. I’ve been slashdotted on other blogs numerous times but it never got quite as personal as last night, I guess the topic of money does that to people.

I’m actually going to be laying low over the next couple of days – not because I’ve got a Slashdot hangover but because I’m speaking at a camp. I’ll check in (via dial up – arrgh) daily and might even do a few posts. Otherwise have a good few days – happy blogging!

ProBlogger Slashdotted

Well I never expected that ProBlogger.net would get Slashdotted (it’s not unusual on some of my other blogs) – but tonight it happened. They linked to my post where I talked about my last Google Adsense cheque. Let me start by welcoming Slashdot readers. I hope you enjoy your stay.

As per usual with a Slashdotting there are a number of impacts upon a blog.

1. Traffic – Lots of it. Last hour was close to 4000 visitors. It being the weekend has curbed this.
2. Server Problems - So far so good. My host tells me its hardly a blip on the radar and everything is holding up very well.
3. New Readers - The influx of readers brings with it a variety of perks. Subscriptions to my free weekly newsletter are up and there are some positive comments being left across the site.
4. Slashdot readers on the whole are a great bunch – but the comments being left over at Slashdot itself are as per usual ‘mixed’ to say the least with a lot of misinformation and generalizations.

Let me try answer a few of the questions and comments quickly:

  • It is not against Google’s TOS to reveal your earnings. This changed a few months back. You are not allowed to reveal other details like Click Through Rate, Impressions etc – but income levels are fine.
  • Yes I do pay tax on my earnings. the Aussie Tax Office makes almost as much as I do from my blogs.
  • I do not use automated blogging tools to run my blogs. I work 8-12 hour days and have been at it for 2.5 years. In that time I’ve posted almost 12,000 posts on a variety of topics.
  • I do not make the majority of my income off this blog. Some of the comments cast doubt on the fact that I earn what I do because of low traffic of this site. I’ve always been totally honest about the fact that this site usually earns me very little. Most days it’s enough for a coffee or two. My earnings come from other blogs – some of which are linked to from this site – others which are not.
  • This is not a front for me putting the hard sell on readers. Whilst I’ve considered compiling some of what I’ve written into a book – at this stage I offer free advice to bloggers here. I figure I can earn a good living from what I do so I’m happy to give information away freely where I can.
  • A side note to those who complain about blogs being passe or don’t believe blogs should have ads. You might want to look at the site that is sending me all the traffic today. Slashdot is a blog – it has ads. It would be making significantly more than I am.
  • Yes I did earn between $10k and $20k in the month of May. If you want to know how much I suggest you start counting at $10k and stop counting a few hundred dollars short of the halfway point to $20k. As I said in the post everyone is coming in on – it was a particularly good month and June’s cheque won’t be quite as high (although July will be in the same region. I know a lot of commenters are doubting the figure – I’m not sure how to prove it and don’t feel I really have any need to. I know of quite a few other bloggers who earn well in excess of $10k per month. Whilst it’s not the norm by any means (and I’m realistic to my readers about this – most will never make that level of income) it’s not completely unusual and is becoming increasingly common.

If there are more questions that readers would like to check with me I’d be more than happy to answer them.

As a result of the many comments (and emails) which are doubting that I could earn what I’ve said I do and asking for proof I’ve decided to post a screen shot of my Adsense stats. I’ve blacked out some personal details and the details that I’m unable to share as a result of the rules that Google sets that forbid sharing of impressions, CTR, CPM etc.

You’ll see from the following that from 1 May – 31 May 2005 I earned $14,436.45. I know some will accuse me of doctoring this but this is all I’m giving you. I can’t think of any other way to prove what I earn and feel like I’ve stooped a little in doing it anyway. Hopefully in doing this I answer a few questions and dispell a few myths.

Picture-3

Right now though – I’m headed for bed!

T-Shirt Design Competition – Prize Review

I’ve decided that the $100 at Amazon first prize in my ‘design me a T-Shirt’ competition is just not good enough. So here’s what I’m going to do:

1. You’ll still get your $100 (USD) worth of products from Amazon
2. You’ll get the very first T-Shirt free (worth around $20)
3. I’ll offer you 1 hour of blog consultation free for your blog – you choose what you want me to work on (worth $60+)
4. I’ll link to your blog on my side bar for free for 1 month after the prize is announced (priceless – well not worthless)
5. I’ll highlight your blog in a ‘winners’ post (another not worthless give away)
6. I’ll add your blog to be the number one blog on my RSS feed which will mean I’ll check it multiple times per day and become your blog’s number 1 fan! (ok it’s not worth much – but you’ll get yourself a new dedicated reader)

So get your butt into gear, put your creative hat on and design me a T-Shirt! If you can’t do one yourself tell someone who can and split the prize with them.

I’ve had a few good entries so far, but I just know there are more creative design genius types out there. Show me what you’re made of. If you’re short on inspiration – head to the t-shirt page at cafepress.com for some ideas of what other T-shirts are popular.

Living high on the blog

High On The Blog

Today’s online edition (I don’t think it’s in the print editions) of the Sydney Morning Herald and Age newspapers have featured an article of me Living high on the blog (also here). In it they largely talk about how I came to earn a living from blogging and have a rather large photo (left) of me reclining on the stairs in our last house.

The article highlights ProBlogger.net as well as a couple of my other blogs – so welcome to those of you who’ve surfed across to check this site out. If you’re interested in blogging and/or making a living from it, please feel free to surf around.

Most of the articles on this blog (there are 1300 pages in all) are hidden away in the categories archives which can be accessed through the menus at the top of the page and through the menu at the bottom of the left side bar (Archives).

Also helpful are the pages About ProBlogger and About Darren. Lastly you may wish to subscribe to a weekly email newsletter which gives a summary of what I write about here.

I hope you enjoy your stay at ProBlogger – if you need any more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

ProBlogger T-Shirt Design Competition

Ok – it’s time for a little fun.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had four people independently suggest that I put out a ProBlogger.net T-Shirt. Each said they’d buy one and each thought it’d help with adding a revenue stream to this blog as well as promoting the brand of ProBlogger.

I’ve put it off for a while because I wasn’t sure what to put on such a T-Shirt. This blog’s logo is good for a blog (thanks Rachel) but I’m not sure it’s really T-Shirt material (excuse the pun).

So I’ve decided to have a competition for all you budding designers. Design me a T-Shirt logo that I can offer to readers of this blog.

NB: darren at problogger dot net

I’m going to offer a prize for the design that I end up selecting (I’ll consult with three other secret judges – secret because I don’t want them taking bribes – and because I haven’t asked them yet). The prize will be products to the value of $100 at Amazon.com ($USD). (update – I’ve added to this prize – see below for details). You choose the products if you win and I’ll have them shipped to you.
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ProBlogger Email Newsletter Sent… I think

I just sent this week’s ProBlogger Email Newsletter. During the sending process there seems to have been an error so if you didn’t get it please let me know and I’ll shoot you a copy.

For those that are new here at ProBlogger and haven’t hear of it before – my newsletter is simply a way of getting an update on:

- the hottest posts for the week just gone
- a few exclusive ProBlogging Tips
- my earnings (depending on how private or open I’m feeling from week to week!)
- ProBlogger News (I sometimes break news about ProBlogger.net to the newsletter before posting about it)

For instance in this week’s newsletter I talked about some of where I’m focusing my time this week and about a couple of ProBlogger related projects that I’m hoping to launch in the coming months. I also gave a little more specific information on that May Adsense Cheque.

I see the newsletter list as the inner community of Problogger.net readers and would love to have you subscribe.

You can do so simply by submitting your email address to the field in the top left hand column of this blog. Your privacy will be valued and your email address will not be used for any other purpose than to send this newsletter. You may unsubscribe at any time.

On submitting your email here you will be sent an email asking your to confirm your subscription. Let me know if you have any problems.

Earning Milestones

Today was a mini milestone day for me in my blogging.

I went to the PO Box this morning to grab my mail and found my monthly cheque from Google’s Adsense had arrived for earnings in the month of May. May was my biggest earning month since I started blogging (June was a little lower due to me being away for the full four weeks).

The cheque was the biggest cheque I’ve ever held onto (well the biggest I’ve held onto that has my name on it). The amazing thing is that in the month of May I earned more than I earned in a whole year in 2003 from a ‘real job’ (of course at the time I was only working a 3 day week while I studied part time) and well over half as much as I earned from Adsense in the whole of 2004.

It predominately came from two or three blogs which worries me a little (the worry is that if just one or two of them fell over it would have significant income. However on the up side the past couple of months have seen a number of my other blogs experiencing significant growth in traffic which points to plenty of potential for the future.

If you’d told me I’d be doing what I’m doing 2 or 3 years ago (and that it would be earning me a good living) I would never have believed you. I sometimes think it’s all just a dream – if it is please don’t pinch me, I’m not ready to wake up.

I’m quite amazed and am enjoying every moment while it lasts (because on the web you never quite know how long it will). Here’s to as good a second half of the year as the first!

Want to learn more? Subscribe to my free weekly ProBlogger Newsletter

Update: For those readers coming to this post via Slashdot – welcome. I’ve posted a few points here that answer some of the many comments that are being made at Slashdot about me and my blogging here. I try to clear up some of the misconceptions. I hope it is helpful.

If you’re interested in Adsense you might be interested in Joel Comm’s What Google Never Told You About Making Money with Adsense – otherwise take a surf through my own Adsense category to read my own tips.

If you want to see some of my other blogs you can check out my Digital Camera Review Blog, my Camera Phone Blog and Laptop Review blog as just a few of those I work on.