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How To Make a Six-Figure Income From Blogging (Darren Rowse of ProBlogger)

I’m here at the South By Southwest (SxSW) conference listing to blogger Darren Rowse give a talk on blogging.

If you are interested in blogging, you should listen to what Rowse says; his three blogs are among the highest ranking Web sites, according to Alexa:

Here are some tips he shared on turning your blog into a six-figure a year business (all specifics and examples are related to his Digital Photography School) :

1) Start With Content

  • Don’t start with making money in mind.
  • Focus on value
  • Don’t forget beginners — E.g. when Darren wrote a post on how to hold a digital camera it ended up getting huge traffic.

How frequent should you post : He believes you should post at least one to two blog articles a day (to build up your content library for the search engines to index).

In addition to posting content himself, he hires other writers who he pays  about$60 (U.S.) per post.

His other bloggers can come up with their own topics though Darren also gives them ideas on topics.

2) Promotion

Ask yourself: Where are my readers gathering already (and then go and find them).

Chances are your audience is hanging out already in places like Twitter, Facebook and forums.

3) Community

He recommends using forums in addition to blogs. While Darren and I chatted later in the day he told me that forums appeal to a different community than his blog does.

However, he pointed out that Google and the search engines don’t crawl his forums content as much as they do his blog content.

He also recommends engaging the audience in polls — For example, a member of his photo site asked for advice on how to photograph their dying grandma and they generated 100+ responses.

4) Capture Contacts — Find a way to stick visitors to your site

Of the 410, 000 subscribers, over 300,000 are email (versus 100,000 for RSS feeds)

Traffic is three times the volume of normal days when he sends an email update out. Advertising revenue goes up too.

5) How to Monetize Blogs

In years 1 and 2, he used ad networks and affiliate markets.

In years 3 and 4, he hired 50 writers initially (from his audience) (now it’s 12 writers writing 50 posts per week).

He says he generated $13,000 in Amazon affiliate revenues last month.

How he monetizes his blogs now:

  • Sell ads directly (to Adobe, Lenovo, etc.)
  • Higher-end affiliate marketing (ebooks, training courses (they pay 30% to 50%)
  • Recently sold 10,000 of one ad partners ebooks within a couple of months
  • Launched his own ebooks (for $29.97) and sold $70,000 in ebooks within a couple of weeks.
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