Before Darren Rowse became “the Problogger” we all know as the face of the Blogging tips world, he was a full-time blogger earning a six-figure income.
Today we are going to talk about how he earned a full-time income from blogging before he became the famous blogging authority.
Darren Rowse “Problogger”
No matter your opinion of Darren Rowse as the most influential blogger in the blog tips niche, everyone must admit he is the branded authority for this topic. When Darren’s name is attached to something it does two things, succeeds and sells. He is a trusted authority for any new blogger and an old friend to many advanced bloggers.
His blog’s range from the ultimate in blogging tips to cool tutorials and Twitter news. Here are the profiles of his most well-known projects and blogs. These blogs are all created since 2005 and surprisingly all of them but Problogger.net have been created after Darren made six-figures.
When Problogger.net (Darren’s signature blog) was launched in 2005 it was not more than 9 months before Darren became a legitimate problogger who made six figures – $XXX,XXX. The article where Darren announces this monumental event can be read here - Darren Hits Six-Figures
Here are the profiles of Darren’s most well known blogs:
Since 2005, Darren’s most influential blog has provided important tips and topical news to encourage and educate bloggers. As the face of Darren’s brand online, Problogger has become more than an income stream and far more as a resume for Darren’s authority as the problogger. - Problogger.net
Pageviews per day: 27,975 / Total Pageviews: 29,649,731 (in 5 years)
Digital Photography School
Started in 2006, Darren’s fun and tutorial rich photography blog has excelled at driving traffic and getting lots of subscribers. In addition to the tutorials and blog posts, digital photography school is unique because of its interactive forum community. - Digital Photography School
Subscribers: 345,030 / Alexa Rank: 7,156
A recent addition to Darren’s arsenal, Twitip features awesome articles on how to use Twitter to drive traffic to your blogs and sites or how to use Twitter as a stand alone social media platform for networking. The blog just had a recent redesign and is looking good and getting more content posted every day - Twitip
Alexa Rank: 17,112 / Subscribers: 33,183 / Twitter: 81,102
Problogger readers have long begged for a chance to have a forum on Darren’s blogging tips blog. After having a very successful mini series to make bloggers better, Darren decided to give it a try. So far the project has been a success with lots of posts, active members, and a full-time moderator – Problogger.com
Members: 2,080 / Total Posts: 15,000+
The most important point in this article is this…. Darren became a six-figure blogger before his books, before Problogger had more than 700 subscribers, and before his widely popular TwiTips and Digital Photography School blogs. Darren was a Problogger from other blogs.
Those blogs and his strategy are what we are going to explore today. Too often bloggers try to emulate Darren’s strategy by creating a huge tips blog and becoming an authority on one site. While this may work, Darren’s trusted strategy.. because it obviously worked is far better. First lets look at his income sources at the time of his six-figure income.
Note: Problogger.net was very small at the time, comments were low, and traffic was no where near its current milestones. Its important to understand this was 5 years ago and the other major blogs I listed above did not exist.
Six Figure Blogging
Darren’s income can be traced [with a bit of investigative journalism] back to a variety of blogs coming from 2 major domain names. The two domains are breakingnewsblog.com and livingroom.org. If you go to the main page of either domain you can see very basic graphics, limited text and no monetization. So how did he do it?
The key was each of these domains had many sub-domains. Each sub-domain was very targeted to specific topics like digital cameras, printers, camera phones, and even unmanned aerial vehicles. The blogs were then very keyword specific and advertising inundated. The blogs brought in lots of search engine traffic and if you look at them today they are still bringing more traffic then 80% of other blogs even though many have not been updated for years.
Does this sound not only interesting but weird? Yes the blogs are not pretty, the designs are generally bad, and some are not even on wordpress (oh no!), but this gives us a great example of making money online. Here’s a visual for how Darren was doing it:
The 3 major pillars in Darren’s strategy that I can tell from looking at the blogs and review some of their statistical information are these:
1. Keyword Rich Content – Articles on site about printers, robotics, or other random topics are both specific and targeted. Post topics are very detailed and the reviews are precisely what both search engines and users would look for on the subject. The keywords are also linked throughout the site to each other and all of his sub-domains are linked in the footers of his blogs, making his blogs search engine optimized (SEO).
More on Search Engine Optimization:
2. Content Creation – Darren’s blogs have lots of content on them. Its apparent quickly that even though he has not updated many of them recently, there was already a lot of content to start with. Content creation was important for Darren to get good search engine results and lots of avenues for traffic to come to his blogs. The more content you have the more likely you are to have a high-traffic site. Look at the top 10,000 sites on Alexa, they are all high content sites. Take a tip from Darren, six-figure bloggers have lots of content.
More on Content Creation:
3. Monetization - Darren found what worked best to monetize the sites he was running. Currently the sites are largely sponsored by Google Adsense and Chikita advertising. Besides using advertising Darren also uses a lot of Amazon affiliate links. The post Darren wrote about Amazon as a top earner makes a lot of sense after seeing his blogs on Digital Cameras. Learning how to optimize your blog for extra revenue is important.
More on Making Money Blogging:
To sum up his strategy > Darren used lots of keyword specific content to drive traffic to multiple blogs who were properly monetized.
Here’s a visual of what Darren’s income strategy is like:
What You Should Do
The visualization helps us to realize to make six-figures it is much more realistic if there are multiple sources of income coming in from a variety of monetization methods. What this means to you is that if you want to be a six-figure blogger or even just a full-time blogger for that matter you should diversify your income and learn from a Problogger.
I would start now by getting yourself a blog if you don’t have one [if you need help contact us and we'll help] and then get writing. Start producing as much content as you can for your blog and when you start to see search engine traffic coming into your blog then begin another blog and do the same. As you build traffic on one blog and start earning money on it, find a writer for the blog and start to pay them for content and regular posting. Then all you have to do is write a post a week [based on the topic] and adminster the blog.
Every time you reach this point of success then start a new blog. The writer you hire will continue to produce content for your blog while you build up the content on a new site. This way you do not have to spend any money you do not have. Over time the writer will put so much content on your blog you will not only be paying for their services but you will start making a profit. After you have built up a few blogs with lots of content, its time to ramp up the monetization.
To monetize you can check out some of these tips for making money blogging, or just find a great way to make money from your niche topic. The possibilities are endless and the financial investment is minimal. If you are willing to put the time into your blogs you can be a six-figure blogger too, just like Darren Rowse!