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ProBlogger FAQ

I get a lot of email asking questions so I thought I’d begin to develop a FAQ that I can point people to. I’ll add to this page as questions arise.

About ProBlogger

What Blog Platform Do you Use? – I use WordPress to run ProBlogger. To learn about WordPress and how to use it check out their helpful Getting Started with WordPress Page. On some of my other blogs I also use MovableType which is another hosted blog platform which is popular with many bloggers. If you don’t want to mess around with hosting your own blog the people behind WordPress have a free tool which they host at WordPress.com and the people behind MovableType have a paid system called TypePad which you might like to check out.

Who Designed your Blog?Ben Bleikamp is the designer of the latest version of ProBlogger. This version was launched in August 2007.

Can I use ProBlogger’s Template my Blog? – This is a tricky one. While most blogs take inspiration from other blogs in their design in one way or another (there are only so many ways you can layout a page, so many colors etc) I’m a little protective of the ProBlogger design for a number of reasons. Firstly I paid for it, secondly the design of ProBlogger has become a part of its brand and something that it’s known for as it’s reasonably distinctive and thirdly I think it’s important for a blog to develop its own identity. Having said all that – if you want to take some inspiration from some element of ProBlogger feel free to do so – but I would ask you to not copy the whole thing, to make your design your own and if you take some inspiration from it to acknowledge that with a link.

Can ProBlogger link to my blog? – I’d love to link to every ProBlogger reader’s blog but due to the large numbers it’s impossible. You’re welcome to shoot me an email to tell me about individual posts you’ve written if they relate to the topic of ProBlogger – but I can’t guarantee to link to all such submissions simply because I get a lot of these emails. Here’s a few tips on getting links from other bloggers that you might find helpful.

Can you take a Look at my blog and review it? – I’ll answer this one by simply saying it’s a question I get asked 10 or more times a day. If I responded with a yes I could spend quite a bit of time doing it and not do much else. Please don’t be offended when I say no (or even don’t get back to you with an answer) but I am currently not taking on this type of work (either in a paid or unpaid capacity), even ‘quick looks’ at blogs. Sorry but at this point it’s beyond what I can offer.

Are you Going to Write a Book on this Topic? – It’s something I’ve thought a lot about over the last year or so. I think it’s a fairly safe bet to say that it will happen. You’ll be the first to know. Update: Well it’s now official – I’ve written a book with Chris Garrett on blogging. You can read more about it at ProBlogger the Book.

How do I keep track of ProBlogger, you write so much! – A number of ProBlogger readers make it their home page – but if you’re not quite that addicted and you don’t want to manually surf by each day you can follow every post of the site via our RSS Feed (you’ll need a news aggregator like bloglines to read it). You can also subscribe to my weekly (ish) newsletter in which I summarize the week’s most popular post, give a few exclusive tips and basically keep you up to date with ProBlogging.

Can I leave a link to my own blog in my comments? – We had a big debate over this at ProBlogger in 2005 and the upshot of it was that while I’m not a big fan of signatures in comments I will allow them IF the comment is relevant to the post or the discussion. If your comment is only a link, or says something like ‘nice post – here is my blog’ etc it will be treated as comment spam. I’m the judge of what is and isn’t spam. The best thing you can do is keep your comments helpful, engaging and on topic and you won’t have a problem. I use ‘no follow’ tags in comments anyway – so you will not benefit in an SEO sense by doing it either legitimately or spammily.

Why Do you use ‘no follow’ tags? – In an ideal world I wouldn’t – in fact I don’t like them. But after three years of dealing with comment spam and becoming increasingly frustrated by it I decided to use them. Unfortunately the actions of a small group of manipulative people have caused this inconvenience for the majority. Sorry.

May I republish posts from ProBlogger on my own Blog? – You may not republish full posts from ProBlogger without my direct permission (and in most cases if permission is sought I will still say no). Feel free to quote anything from this blog (within reason – ie a paragraph or two is pretty normal) with a link to it as a source, but keep in mind that this is copyrighted material. I regularly find people who do republish my articles without acknowledgment of source and/or without permission and pursue them to remove it.

My Blogging Activities

What are your Blogs and How much do they Earn? – While I’m happy to talk about my overall income occasionally I do not get into talking about which of my blogs earn how much money. A guy has to have some secrets. I regularly have my site’s copied as it is without giving away all the details of what I’m doing. All of my blogs have been mentioned at one time or another on ProBlogger. I don’t hide what I do – but I’m not in the business of inviting people to copy everything. ProBlogger is about sharing principles of how to blog for money which can be applied in many niches – the most successful bloggers carve their own niches on topics that have not been done to death already by others.

How Much time do you Spend Blogging? – Over the years blogging has progressed from a hobby, to a part time job for pocket money to a small business. The time I put into blogging reflects this. These days I’m a full time blogger and as a result most week days you can find me in front of my PowerMac for at least 8 hours. Like most small business operators I fall into the temptation of doing more than a full time load from time to time (it’s tempting when you love your work and when you work from home).

How much traffic do you get to your Blogs? – The total numbers of visitors to my blogs vary incredibly from day to day. Most days they total somewhere between 35,000 to 50,000 unique visitors.

Personal

Where do you Live? - I live in Melbourne Australia.

How Long have you been Blogging? - I started my first blog in November of 2002.

How did you start Blogging? – A friend shot me an email telling me about a site (a blog) that I might be interested in. At the time I was part of a team starting a new emerging church. The recommended blog was on the same topic and as I surfed it I not only connected with the author and his content – but was intrigued by the idea of blogging. I immediately saw the possibilities of it for the community we were starting and within 24 hours had my own blog up and running. The rest, as they say, is History. Blogging has since evolved considerably since my first blog.

What did you do before you started Blogging? – I’ve had an occupational history with many twists and turns – but for the majority of the 10 years proceeding my full time blogging I was a Minister of Religion in a number of different ministry capacities. I still do this work on a voluntary capacity today in the small Christian Community that we started (LivingRoom). As well as this work I’ve done a variety of other jobs (often part time to supplement the income from ministry) including working as a kitchen hand, working for an online retailer, laboring, doing research work and selling office furniture. I’ve studied Marketing and Theology (a bizarre mix I know).

Why don’t you talk about your Family Much? – I don’t refer to my personal life too much here at ProBlogger for a number of reasons. Firstly it doesn’t really fit with the focus of this blog. This is a site about making money from blogging and while my family does benefit from this it’s not a personal blog where I talk too much about what I do from day to day. Secondly I’m a firm believer in having boundaries as a blogger in terms of what you do and don’t talk about. When you’re communicating in a public arena security and privacy need to be thought through. As a result, after talking this through with my wife, we’ve chosen not to reveal names, photos or details of my family at this point. In general terms though – I am married to ‘V’ and we have a little boy (born July 2006).