OK, so the sub-title – Secrets for Blogging your way to a Six-figure Income – is a little cheesy, but I guess it’s perfectly in keeping with writing a “good” title for a blog post, so I’ll be generous and say it fits the style.
Yes, authors – although the branding is all ProBlogger, the book is actually a collaboration between Darren and Chris Garrett. Although I’ve been reading ProBlogger for a couple of years, I must confess I’d never heard of Chris before this book. Anyhow, here’s the author blurb on the two of them:
Darren Rowse is the guy behind ProBlogger.net, which has become one of the leading places on the Web for information about making money from blogs. He is a full-time blogger himself, making a six-figure income from blogging since 2005. In addition to his blogging at ProBlogger, Darren also edits the popular Digital Photography School as well as numerous other blogs.
Chris Garrett is a writer, Internet Marketing Consultant, and of course, professional blogger. As well as his own blog, chrisg.com, he writes for many sites including the Blog Herald, FreelanceSwitch, CopyBlogger, and even occasionally ProBlogger.
If you’ve ever read any of Darren’s content on ProBlogger, then you’ll know what to expect. The book’s content is in a similar vein, in fact it’s clear that a lot of the book is a re-packaging of posts that have appeared on ProBlogger in the past. You could see that as a negative, but in fact I see it as a very good thing. How many other authors have been in the position of having their work extensively proof-read and tested by their market before publication, resulting in increased relevance for the reader? Not many, I think.
In my opinion the heart of the book is three chapters:
- Chapter 4 – Blog writing which talks about the nuts and bolts of writing compelling content.
- Chapter 5 – Blog income and earning strategies which provides an overview of the various direct and indirect ways of making money by blogging.
- Chapter 8 – Blog promotion and marketing which outlines ways to grow your readership.
There are also helpful chapters on choosing a topic, setting up your blog (the nitty gritty of domain registration, hosting, which platform to use, etc), buying and selling blogs, and the pros and cons of joining a blog network.
One minor gripe I had when reading through the book the first time is that both authors write in the first person (I, me, mine), but it’s not always clear which author has written a particular section. Perhaps it shouldn’t matter, but it bugged me because the information has much more meaning when read in a particular context. However, each chapter seems to have one main author, so it’s OK once you figure out who’s talking.
The authors talk about writing scannable content on your blog, and have largely heeded their own advice in the book: there are lots of lists, sub-headings, images and asides to break up the text and make it easier to absorb.
Will it make you rich?
Both authors are at pains at various points in the book to point out that blogging is not a way to get rich quickly (or even at all, for many):
Having said that, there are increasing numbers of people making money blogging as their primary income source, and even more earning a supplementary income. It certainly can be done, and reading this book will give you a very good idea of what’s involved to make it happen. In one sense, it’s very easy: just follow in the footsteps of the pioneers. Of course things are never that easy in practice – it takes perseverance, a lot of hard work, and perhaps a little luck to become successful.
This is a good book, both for beginner and established bloggers. It could perhaps have done with a little more editing – there are a few awkward turns of phrase here and there. But this doesn’t detract from the content, which is dense and authoritative. Since I read it the first time, I’ve found myself coming back to refer to different sections again; the book can be read cover to cover, or just dip in and out of the chapters that interest you. Either way, you will be a better blogger if you put the advice into action.
I give Problogger: Secrets for Blogging your way to a Six-figure Income 4 stars.