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Welcome to ProBlogger – A Quick Tour for New Readers

In the last 24 hours we’ve had a lot of new readers to ProBlogger after a couple of links from sites like Yahoo.

If this is your first time (or you’re newish to ProBlogger) to ProBlogger.net then I thought I’d put together a quick tour of my online home.

darren-rowse.jpgFirstly, my name’s Darren Rowse (that’s me posing with my computer monitor trying to look like that’s a normal thing to do) and – I’m a full time blogger. I blog both here at ProBlogger but also at Digital Photography School.

ProBlogger is a blog that is devoted to helping bloggers improve their blogging and explore ways to earn an income at the same time by writing about topics that they love.

More and more bloggers are now making at least a part time income blogging – with some even having gone ‘Pro’ with full time incomes.

I write more about the reasons for this blog and my experience as a blogger in my About Page. You might also like to see some of the ways that I make money from my blogs for an introduction into how bloggers make money blogging.

If you’re new to blogging you might find this ‘what is a blog?‘ article and my series on Blogging for Beginners helpful.

If you like what you read here you can follow my future entries (I write 1-2 posts per day) in two ways – either using our RSS News feed or you can get daily updates by adding your email address to the field at the top of my sidebar.

I also send weekly(ish) newsletters out with updates from this site plus extra stuff just for subscribers. You can sign up for that here.

Resources for Bloggers

Most of what you’ll find here on ProBlogger is 100% free – however I’ve also produced 3 resources that you might find useful:

  1. ProBlogger the Book – a hard cover book I co-authored two years back that is ideal for beginners wanting to explore how to make money online.
  2. 31 Days to Build a Better Blog – an e-book for people with blogs that have stalled and in need of a little inspiration and motivation.
  3. ProBlogger Community – a community of bloggers who come together to learn and collaborate to improve their blogs.

If you’re looking for a blogging job – also check out the free ProBlogger Blog Job Boards.

Thanks for stopping by – I hope you enjoy your stay at ProBlogger. If you do have any questions feel free to drop me a note in a comment below or via my contact form.

Google Buzz

google-buzzI’m still working out what I think about Google Buzz but can already see some stuff about it that I like and dislike.  

I’ll give it a bit more time before I make too many judgements but in the mean time if you’re interested in connecting on it with me you can find my profile here.

The Third Tribe – Launched [My Back Story]

Just over 48 hours ago those of you on my newsletter list would have received an email from me introducing a new venture that I’ve been working on – The Third Tribe.

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Third Tribe is a new collaboration between myself, Chris Brogan, Brian Clark and Sonia Simone.

I’m going to tell some of my story of why I’m involved in this venture below – but if you want to skip straight to the offer you can read the story behind Third Tribe, what it is and how you can be involved here.

Third Tribe – A Conversation Between Two Worlds

If you were at Blog World Expo last year you might have seen a panel that the four of us were on where we began to explore the topic of our journey as online marketers trying to find our place between two groups of people who we didn’t always feel quite at home with.

Of course these two groups don’t really exist as groups – they’re generalisations and are probably more two extremes of a spectrum we all find ourselves somewhere on – but they are:

  • Traditional Internet Marketers – known for their hype, at times obnoxious, annoying and manipulative tactics.
  • Social Media Cool Crowd – known for their ethics, value of community and relationships – but also renowned for struggling to make what they do profitable.

Over the years I’ve felt like I’ve spent a little time in both groups. I’ve been to their conferences, tried their ‘tactics’ and ‘approaches’ and attempted to fit in. I’ve also, at different times, swung too far into either camp and done and said things that I now regret.

Tangent Time – A Story of 2 Conferences

I remember speaking at one internet marketing conference a few years back – my first – there were fireworks…. literally and figuratively. My memories of that week include

  • speakers selling hundreds of thousands of dollars of coaching and product from the stage (I saw people literally run to signup)
  • a presentation on how one internet marketer was setting up hundreds of meaningless blogs to game Google and make money
  • one speaker make an entrance that included a light show and fireworks
  • a movie star coming to sign autographs

Some of what I saw was amazing – much of it left me feeling quite uncomfortable and out of place.

Mixed in with all that there were also some amazingly genuine and smart people who made a real impression on me and taught me a lot despite being surrounded by hype.

I also remember another conference a few years ago – it was a social media event where I was invited to speak about making money from blogging and social media. In retrospect I think I was actually set up by the organizers who knew those attending would want to shoot me down in flames.

The Q&A time was filled with biting questions – the theme of which was that social media should not EVER be used for anything other than relationships, community and social good. Marketing or profit was certainly not welcome in social media in these people’s minds.

Of course at the event were also some amazing people who I also learned a lot from about the value of community and the power of social media to do good.

I tell these stories for two reasons:

  1. there are things about these two groups of people that I’ve learned a lot form and resonate a lot with. Much of what I do is based upon elements that I’ve picked up along the way from a variety of people all along the spectrum.
  2. there are things about both groups which leave me either uncomfortable or in some kind of conflict. I do want to make money online – but I don’t want to resort some some of the extreme, deceptive and hyped tactics I see happening around the web.

I’m not the only one who feels a little out of place between these two extremes. I meet people who grapple with these same things regularly.

Back to The Third Tribe

Brian and Sonia started blogging about these same themes last year and the idea of a ‘Third Tribe’ began to emerge as a term to describe those of us in the middle. Chris Brogan joined the conversation and then I jumped in and we began to plan a panel for Blog World.

The more we talked about the Third Tribe concept and the journey that we’d been on to find our place as online marketers the more people began to come out of the woodwork expressing similar experiences and feelings. We decided it was time to call people together and provide those wanting to explore the topic with some training on what we were learning and a place to connect with others on the journey.

As you’ll see in the story on Third Tribe – there’s an amazing group of people lined up to share their journey with Third Tribe members. What’s better still is that since launching 48 hours ago we’ve had may others join and begin to interact – the depth of what’s being shared is fantastic (there’s already over 1000 posts on a great range of topics) and I can see that there are going to be a lot of great collaborations emerge out of this.

The other reason I’m excited about Third Tribe is the mix of people involved all bring such a wonderful collection of skills, strengths and experiences. We’ve got people with experience in copy writing, social media, building membership sites, E-Book marketers, SEOs, affiliate marketers, those who use social media to market their real world businesses…. and much more.

The Offer

As we’re still growing and shaping The Third Tribe we’ve set up a discounted Charter Member Offer for those who join in the first week. This is partly to thank those in our current network but also simply because the site is still growing and those who join now help us to build it with their contributions in the forum (thus they should get a discount).

Third Tribe Marketing is a paid membership site. If you sign up before February 5th at 6PM (Central Time – GMT -6), as a Charter Member the cost is $27 USD a month (you’re locked in at that price even after the price rise). If you sign up next week, the cost jumps to $47 a month.

You can see what the deal entails and what you get on the inside of the TT here.

Of course both the topic and the deal will not fit for everyone. If you don’t resonate with where we are at or don’t find the deal is where you’re at we’re not wanting to pressure anyone to join up.

You’re welcome to sign up and trial things for up to 30 days – it it’s not where you’re at you’re welcome to a refund.

Join us Today

I’m really excited by The Third Tribe and hope you’ll consider joining us.

Check out the details here.

Get These 3 Free Bonuses to Help You Build a Better Blog – Less Than 1 Hour Left

ebook-copy1.pngUpdate: This promotion is now over. The 31DBBB workbook is still available for purchase at its normal price of $19.95 but unfortunately the bonuses have been removed. Thanks everyone for your support over the week of this promotion!

2010 is here and it is time to kick start your blog into action to ensure that the year ahead it reaches its potential with these 3 limited time bonuses.

19,782 bloggers have participated in 31 Days to Build a Better Blog and the reports that I’m getting back from them are that it’s the ideal way to get a blog fired up in the new year.

Over the next 7, 3, 1 days only if you purchase the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook I’m throwing in 3 great bonuses to help you get your blog going in the new year.

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Check out these limited time bonuses below….

Bonus #1: Free Report: 9 Things to Do to Get Your Blog On Track in The New Year

New Year ReportWritten in the style of 31DBBB this report talks you through 9 things that I do at the beginning of every new year. Each step gives you a practical exercise to go away and DO to help get your blog going in the right direction. Effectively it turns the 31 day workbook into a 40 day one!

Bonus #2: Podcast with Leo Babauta from Zen Habits

Leo BabautaRegular readers of ProBlogger will know the wisdom and insight of Leo from Zen Habits. He’s grow his blog Zen Habits from nothing to being one of the most read self help blogs in the blogosphere in just a couple of years. He’s released a book (The Power of Less) off the back of his blog and has also since launched a number of other successful blogs, profitable e-books and other products off the back of his blog.

This 55 minute podcast interview with Leo goes through his history of blogging and explores much of his philosophy behind what he does including:

  • his recent decisions to turn off comments on his blog
  • how he comes up with ideas to write about
  • his tips for launching e-books
  • his decision to remove all but one ad on his blog
  • tips on growing traffic and subscribers

There’s lots of good practical advice in this podcast – I came away from it with loads of ideas and inspiration myself and am sure many will benefit from it.

Bonus #3: Podcast with Neil Patel from QuickSprout

neil_patel.jpgNeil Patel has built an amazing reputation and brand for himself in the last 3-4 years. He’s been a part of building two successful blogs but has also work with some amazing companies on their social media presence (like AOL, HP, Viacom and General Motors). He’s also been a part of helping blogs like TechCrunch rise to the power blogs that they are today.

Neil also is the co-founder of CrazyEgg and KissMetrics and has some great advice in this podcast in a number of areas including:

  • Personal Branding
  • SEO
  • Productivity
  • Building Traffic to Blogs

The podcast goes for 42 minutes and is not available anywhere else but to 31DBBB buyers.

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7 3 Days to Get Your New Year Bonuses

These 3 free bonuses are exclusively for buyers of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog (both past and present) and they’re only available until 4pm on Tuesday 19 January – Melbourne time (that’s 11pm Eastern in the US on Monday 18th and 4am London time on Tuesday 19th).

The cost of the 31DBBB workbook is $19.95 – it contains 31 days of teaching and daily activities to help you create a dynamic blog. Make your purchase and get it and the 3 bonuses here.

If you have already purchased the workbook you should have received an email from me in the last 12 hours (sent to the PayPal email address you paid with) that contains details of where to get the bonuses. If you purchased it through SitePoint I’m working on getting you the bonuses too.

Feeling Depressed About Your Blog? Get the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Bonus Pack Here Tomorrow

ebook-copy1.pngOver the last three weeks I’ve noticed a massive upswing in emails, tweets and comments from bloggers feeling depressed about their blogs going into 2010.

  • Some of them took a week or two off blogging over the holidays and can’t get restarted.
  • Others are looking back on 2009 and realising that they didn’t meet past goals.
  • A few are paralysed by the possibilities and don’t know which direction to head

It’s that time of year when we assess how we’re traveling and wonder what we can do about it!

Tomorrow, and for the next 7 days only, I’m releasing 3 bonuses for all previous and all new owners of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook.

The workbook itself is a great way to to kickstart a blog that has been struggling (it gives a series of 31 tasks to help bloggers get their blogs going) but from tomorrow and for one week only I’ll be bundling it with 3 extra bonuses:

  1. 9 Things to Do to Get Your Blog On Track in The New Year – a short report that gives bloggers an extra 9 tasks/exercises to help get you focused for the new year (based on the process I take myself at the start of every year).
  2. Interview with Leo Babauta – just under an hour of a podcast interview with Leo from Zenhabits.net.
  3. Interview with Neil Patel – a 45 minute podcast interview with traffic generating and personal branding genius from Quicksprout.

None of these bonuses have been available before and each will be available for those who buy the workbook in the next 7 days only (although once you’ve got access to them you’ll be able to access them indefinitely).

If you’ve already got the workbook you’ll get an email with download details of these bonuses tomorrow.

If you’ve not bought your workbook yet you’ll have 7 days to grab a copy to secure the bonuses (note: if you buy it now/today you’ll get an email with the bonuses tomorrow).

Update: if you purchase the workbook now you’ll receive the bonuses immediately. Previous buyers of the workbook should now be receiving emails telling them how to collect their New Year Bonuses.

Help Us Update ProBlogger the Book

Darren-Problogger.jpgIn the coming months Wiley will be releasing a 2nd edition of ProBlogger the Book (it’s already available for Pre-Order).

As part of the update Chris and I have each written a new chapter but we also wanted to make sure that the rest of the book is up to date and error free. Time flies in this industry so we know some parts of the book will be a little dated now.

If you’ve bought the 1st edition and have noticed anything that needs an update or have any ideas for how it could be better we’d love to get your input. If we use your ideas we’ll be adding your name and URL to an acknowledgements page in the 2nd edition.

Chris has built a little form to collect your corrections and updates here.

Hopefully this crowd sourcing approach will help us create something that pulls in the creative wisdom of the community. I hope that it’ll also be a useful experience for those of you who have the book to dig it out and go through it again – at this time of year it could be especially useful as you plan the months of blogging ahead!

Best of ProBlogger 2009: Holiday Series

2009 was a massive year for me – both personally and on my blogs, including here on ProBlogger.

As a result I’ve decided for this last week before the new year that I’m going to do two things:

  1. Take a break from blogging – I have another project I need to complete so I’ll still be around working – but a mini break from writing new posts will probably do me good.
  2. Look back on the year that was – I’ve been reflecting a lot lately upon how my approach to blogging and business has shifted in the last year. As a result I thought it might be interesting to look back on some of the posts from ProBlogger from 2009 that got the most traction with readers.

Over the next 5 days you’ll see a series of posts here at ProBlogger that look back on some of these most popular posts on ProBlogger from 2009. Each post will have a theme so as to make the list of posts a little more useful and relevant. In preparing these posts it has been fun to remember some of the topics I’ve tackled this year (some I’d forgotten that I’d written).

Of course the posts I present will only scratch the surface – I’ve published 461 posts here on ProBlogger so far this year – but I hope it’ll be a useful way to find some of the best and most useful content that we’ve covered – as well as a good way to refocus for the new year.

Topics we’ll be covering this week are:

I’ll update this list with links as the posts come out. The first post will be out shortly.

Happy Christmas from ProBlogger

Just a short note to wish those of you celebrating Christmas a Happy day.

Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement this year. It’s been a fun and rewarding year and I do appreciate all that you contribute to this site.

People often ask at this time of year what a ProBlogger does for Christmas. It’s a fairly typical day really, although it is summer here so more of our activities tend to be outside wearing shorts and T-shirts than many of you are doing in colder parts of the world. We’ll be having breakfast, lunch and dinner with different parts of the family and doing Church in the morning as well – a pretty full day (although all of the meals are within 3-4 minutes of our house so not too much travel which is nice).

I hope that your day is a fun, happy and meaningful one.

See you in the coming days!

The Ultimate Last Minute Christmas Gift for Bloggers

200912241408.jpgIf you’re anything like me you’ve probably left your Christmas shopping to the last minute (as I write this post there are less than 3 hours left til the shops close here in Australia and I still need to get one more gift)!

If you’re still searching for a great gift for that special blogger in your life (or perhaps a treat for yourself) we’re happy to provide you with a solution here at ProBlogger – the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook.

While an e-book is a little hard to wrap I’ve had a lot of readers from both ProBlogger and DPS email me today to tell me that they’ve just bought copies as gifts for family and friends. It’s particularly good because you don’t have to leave your house to get it and there’s no delivery fee – just pay for it and download.

Some are being quite creative in how they give them too with many burning the PDF onto CDs/DVDs so that they’re able to wrap it up. Others are buying them and then forwarding the download link onto the receiver of the gift via an email.

PS: In mid January I’ll be offering a special limited time bonus for all buyers of 31DBBB. I’m not ready to announce it yet but both those who get a copy that week and those who already have at any time in the past will get the bonus. Just a little extra sweetener for buying the e-book – stay tuned.

PS(2): Of course if you’re buying a gift for a photographer – you should look no further than the Essential Guide to Portrait Photography :-)