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Living 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.

New Bloggers Join ProBlogger Network

Paul over at Blog Logic announces that his network has a couple of new authors helping out on his blogging. This is great as over the past couple of months we were unsure if the network would continue – looks like things are on the up and up there.

I also am really happy to announce that at least two of my guest bloggers from June are staying on as permanent authors. Stan from the Daily News Blog will continue posting at the SEO blog and BJ from Adventures in Net Marketing will continue posting over at Camera Phone Blog.

Both BJ and Stan are great bloggers who have numerous blogs of there own so I’m very happy to be working with them and am looking forward to growing those two blogs to the mutual benefit of us all.

A number of other bloggers are set to continue also as I slowly work through touching base with the guest blogging team from June.

ProBlogger Returns to ‘Normal’

Home

After 4 weeks of travelling around Turkey, the UK and Singapore V and I stumbled back into Melbourne this weekend.

Whilst the trip was amazing, it’s very nice to be back also to familiar sights, sounds, tastes and smells.

I’m still not quite on Melbourne time (jetlag is still taking its) toll. I’m probably a day or two away from resuming a regular posting here but will gradually get back into the rhythm.

Meeting Shiny Media

A couple of days ago (what day is it anyway??) I was fortunate to meet with Ashley Norris and Katie Lee (pictured left) from Shiny Media in London. It was in my last hours in London and a fun way to ease myself back into ProBlogging world. Ashley and Katie both moblogged pictures of our booze up meeting here and here.

I’m really impressed by Shiny Media and hope that one day soon we can work on a project together. Their journalistic background is part of their real strength and they are also brilliant at getting the attention of the mainstream media with their PR – quite inspiring.

Guestblogging

I wanted to thank those of you who have left comments and sent emails in response to my request for feedback about the guestblogging here over the past month. Your thoughts have been greatly appreciated and I’ll do a little more thinking about them over the next few days. In the mean time there are three things I want to say:

1. I think the experiment was a success on a number of fronts. For starters it brought together a diverse group of bloggers who produced some interesting and high quality posts. Secondly it kept my blog ticking over (in fact the first two weeks it increased readership and the second two weeks it kept things at over 75% of what they were).

2. Having said this I also hear the feedback from many that they come to ProBlogger not to hear the voices of many but the voice of one. I feel humbled by it but for some reason many of you have found my thoughts to be helpful on the topic of ProBlogging – as a result in my absense a percentage of you have checked into the blog less whilst I’m away.

3. I’ve had a number of emails expressing concern over the idea that perhaps ProBlogger will permanently become a group blog. Whilst I’ve given it a little thought, after reading the feedback I’ve decided not to go with it. Instead I may invite single bloggers to join me from time to time for short periods, but except for holidays this blog will remain largely a single author blog. Sorry – you’re stuck with me!

Anyway – I’m back and I wanted to say hi.

I’ve been working on a few ideas for ProBlogger this past week that I’ll gradually share over the next month. I’ve come home feeling reasonably rested (although I had to go straight to a conference yesterday) and really keen to continue to improve what ProBlogger can offer. As always I’m open to your ideas about how to make it better.

Stay tuned for normal blogging shortly.

ProBlogger – Reflections on Guest Blogging

I thought I’d give a quick update – we’ve finished our tour of Turkey (amazing) and are back in London for a couple of days. I’m slowly leaving holiday mode as I have a couple of meetings lined up over the next day or two. Some are blogging related, others are not.

On the blogging front I’m trying to hook up with some of the gang at Shiny Media tomorrow (update – just heard from Ashley and we’re doing it). I’ve been a big fan of some of their blogs for a while now and am looking forward to picking their brains and perhaps having a beer with them.

We’re only here for a couple of days so I’m also trying to fit in a bit of sight seeing and relaxation. I’m going to see Coldplay tonight which will be fun.

Tomorrow night we head for Singapore for a few last nights of holiday before heading home at the end of the week when normal blogging here at ProBlogger will resume.

In the mean time I’m left pondering my ‘guest blogging’ experiment over the past month here at ProBlogger and am interested to hear your reflections both as readers and guest bloggers. Have you enjoyed the change? How have you found the group blog experience? Has it added to the value of ProBlogger? Would you like to see it continue in some way?

A couple of people have already emailed me to say they’ve both appreciated the new voices and to say that next time I go away perhaps I should only have one guest blogger. I’m interested in others opinions either in comment or via email. One person suggested I continue to allow this blog to be a group blog – another suggested I invite one guest blogger to join me each month so there is some rotation of new voices. I’m unsure as I’ve barely been online to follow how its gone. My only initial impressions have been:

– unique readers are a touch lower than normal (I suspect this is largely due to a slightly lower posting frequency than normal)
– comments levels are up (on a per post level) – the blog seems to have been more interactive in my absence. (I suspect this is partly due to less posts per day which means posts stay on the main page for longer – it also says something about the quality posting that has been done over the last few weeks).

Anyway – I’m not thinking too much about it until I get home – but am interested in your thoughts.

I’m also interested in the reflections of guest bloggers from my other blogs who’ve been doing an amazing job while I’ve been away.

ProBlogger in Turkey

Thanks for the many well wishers who have emailed to wish me a good trip.

We’re currently in Istanbul and are enjoying the rich culture and history, the wonderful food, the exquisit sights, the dodgy internet cafe’s keyboards and the company of some fun people.

I’m happy to report that I’ve not suffered too many withdrawal symptoms from blogging – although I’ve spent quite a bit of time the past few days deleting comment spam on my MT blogs – in fact it’s starting to get me down a bit. It seems every time I go away for a holiday the comment spammers seem to find another way to get through my spam catching systems. I’m currently getting 200 – 300 every 24 hours. Deleting them is taking me an hour or so every night which I won’t be able to keep up after today when we leave on a tour. I will need to upgrade my MT version when I get home I guess to combat this problem.

Apart from the comment spam I’m loving the time away and am really grateful for the guest bloggers who are keeping the show running for me whilst I’m away.

A few of you have asked if my blogs have suffered for me being away (or if I expect them to). I guess the answer to that question is yet to be seen but the initial trend I see today is that despite a significant drop in numbers of posts being uploaded per day (with the exception of a couple of blogs where it is higher than normal thanks to a few addicted bloggers) that the traffic remains reasonably steady (it’s a little down overall with some blogs higher and some lower).

I’m suspecting it will drop off a little further as the month progresses with less new content going up – but at this stage the signs are hopeful that the bottom line won’t suffer too much.

Anyway – I just thought I’d drop in and let you all know that we made it to Turkey and are having a good time. Tomorrow we head off to Gallipoli and then down to the southern coast for some time in the sun.

Hope all is well in your neck of the blogging woods.

Toy Time

I bought a new toy today in preparation for our trip and with the hope of experimenting with a bit of vlogging at some stage in the future.

This could be fun.

A lot of fun.