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Your Special Secret Invite to Join ProBlogger.com

Today I’m proud to announce that ProBlogger.COMmunity is live and ready to accept new members and I’d like to invite you to be among the first to join as founding members.

I won’t be announcing this publicly for a few days now because at this stage am looking for a small group to help us get things up and running – are you interested?

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In it’s first version ProBlogger.com is a private/walled forum – but the developers at b5media who I’m partnering with to run the site are working on taking it to a new level in upcoming versions.

WHY PROBLOGGER.COM?

While I’ve resisted the call to start a community area on ProBlogger for almost 5 years now – there are a couple of reasons that I’ve changed my mind:

1. The 31DBBB Forum Rocked – with the recent 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge I started a small forum for participants. The feedback that I received from those who used the forums was surprising to me. A number of participants emailed to tell me that while the teaching of the project was helpful that they found the real value to be in the networking, collaboration and shared learning in the forums.

In fact this feedback was so common that I began to rethink my previous reservations on having a community area – particularly when I saw the fruitful and profitable relationships that emerged.

2. Blog Buddies/Alliances – the other factor was that of late I’ve heard more and more stories of bloggers deciding to work together and collaborate in their blogging. The idea of having a ‘blogging buddy’ or a ‘blogging alliance’ are things I’ve written about before – but many bloggers have been telling me that they don’t know where to find other bloggers who are interested in working in this way.

The more I’ve thought about all of this the more I realize that I’m in a position to be able to help bloggers to network.

ProBlogger.net is a site is read by hundreds of thousand of bloggers each month – all who come here looking for help to improve their blogs by actively seeking out information on blogging and have a variety of their own experiences, strengths and skills – what would happen if they were drawn together and given a place to work together?

I think it’s time to find out.

My vision for ProBlogger.com is a focused community of bloggers who come together to learn and work together to grow each others blogs.

If you’re interested in growing your blog by learning from and sharing with other bloggers – I’d love for you to join us.

WHY IS PROBLOGGER.COM A PAID SITE?

The forum at ProBlogger.com is not free – while I expect that there will be some push back on this – the reasons I’ve decided to put a small price on it ($1.95 per month – as an introductory offer) are simple:

UPDATE: the introductory price of $1.95 is over. The monthly price is now $5.95.

  1. I want it to be moderated and administrated by a paid staff – I have nothing against volunteer moderation in forums (and we’ll open up opportunities for this in the coming weeks as the community grows) but I wanted to have the forum lead by a paid person who was able to dedicate specific time to the task. Lara (who has been helping me here on ProBlogger for a year or two now) is leading this. I want to provide a high quality and professional site for people – as a result it’s going to cost.
  2. As a small disincentive to spammers and egomaniacs – one of the struggles I’ve seen personally on my other forum (which is free) is that as the forum grows the spamming threat to the forum grows also. Of late our moderation team has spent increasing amounts of time dealing with spammers who have no barrier or disincentive to set up unlimited accounts. At ProBlogger.com spammers will have their accounts deleted – but they’ll pay us $1.95 for the time we take to do so. Want to spam us? Go for it – but in doing so you’ll be making the community better.
  3. It’s Valuable – the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog forum that we ran a few months back was valuable. It was free but the feedback I received from many was that the collaborations and learning that happened in that forum were very valuable. I believe ProBlogger.com will add value to your blogging – as a result I think it’s something worth paying a little for. My hope is also that those who do join will have a little more incentive to participate – larger numbers of members can be impressive – but that’s not what this community is about – my goal is to have an engaged and interactive membership.
  4. Controlling Size – I have nothing against large numbers of people in forums – but there’s something to be said for intimacy, knowing other members and working together in a small but focused community. $1.95 is not much but my hope is that it’ll be a barrier to those who just want to sign up and never return. As I mentioned above – I’m looking for active people to come and contribute and be committed to learning together rather than a large inactive community.

The Details

I’m not going to build this up into something that it’s not. At this point ProBlogger.community is a forum. It’s not Web 2.0, it’s not flash, it’s not that sexy and we’ve kept the features pretty simple and familiar.

While it’s something I do want to see develop in terms of features – at this point we’re keeping it simple.

ProBlogger.com is $1.95 USD per month to join. This is an introductory price for founding members – I am planning to increase it as we add features but if you do sign up at this rate it’s going to remain at this rate for you to get access to the forum.

As an extra little bonus for founding members – for the next month all members will have access to a 50% off discount on the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook. This is totally optional and you don’t have to take up the offer.

You can unsubscribe at any point. If you don’t wish to be a member after the first month you may unsubscribe at this point and pay no more having only spent $1.95. While I do believe it’ll be valuable I don’t expect that ProBlogger.com will fit with everyone’s ongoing needs – I don’t want to stand in anyone’s way to leave so it will be easy to do so.

Become a Founding Member Today

ProBlogger.com is new – brand new. It’s brimming with potential and I’m excited by the prospect of bloggers like you and I coming together to see what happens when we work together.

It’s early days for the community and we’ll be adding more features and finding new ways to grow together as we gather new members – but even as a simple forum I believe it’ll be a valuable experience.

Will you join us as a founding member? Head over to ProBlogger.com and hit the ‘join’ button. See you inside!