There are so many things that I have learned over the last two years I have spent as a full time problogger, and while some of them were easy to deal with, others were much more difficult.
I wanted to cover a few of the things I have learned over the last two years, in hopes that they will help others looking to join the problogging ranks.
Networking is key. The only reason I was able to become a problogger was because Darren Rowse let me guest blog for him, and Jacob Gower hired me on after doing an interview with him for my personal blog.
Finding people in the same boat as you can also be very beneficial, not only for finding work, but also creating a friendship. When you are tied to the computer for twelve hours a day or more, it can be nice to talk to people doing the same.
Blogging can sometimes feel very isolating, but you can reduce its effect by connecting with people.
Find Other Activities
If your hobby is writing and you make it your job, then what will be your hobby?
Early on in my writing, I realized that I didn’t do anything else. I was writing for work, and writing for myself. I didn’t have any other hobbies to unwind with, and that quickly caused me to burnout. I didn’t want to write. I felt that I was nothing but fingers strumming endlessly across my keyboard.
Since then, I have taken up reading novels, and playing a massively multiplayer online game, both of which I find help me relax after a long day of writing.
Finding activities off the computer, and away from a publishing platform is key to making your interest in blogging last.
The key to any blog doing well in both the short term and the long term is promotion. There are so many systems in place now to promote your best content to much larger audiences.
Recently, I found just contacting a few key bloggers personally works very well.
Create a list of people in your niche, and how you can contact them, and when you write your absolute best content, send them a link, ask them to look it over, and you will be amazed at the reaction. A recent article of mine did better through promoting it through bloggers contact forms, than it did on Digg, Reddit, or even StumbleUpon.
Calculate Your Value
Early on, I found that I was working hard and fast, but once I broke it down, I was really only making a few dollars an hour.
Later in my blogging career, I started calculating out what I would have to make for the whole thing to be sustainable.
I came up with a simple formula:
money per day = (posts per day/hours worked) * rate wanted per hour
Basically, this meant that if I did twelve posts in six hours, then I really only did two posts per hour. So if I wanted to make ten dollars an hour, my rate had to be five dollars a post, or sixty dollars a day.
Depending on your writing skill, and your expertise in the subject, you will want to refine this to come up with what you consider a fair value for you own work.
Also take note that this formula allows you to take into effect the time you took promoting each story and your research time by adding it all into your hours worked.
Over the last two years, so much has changed in the blogging world. There are more networks, more blogs, and more competition, but what has remained the same is the viability of blogging as a career prospect for some and if my experience has taught me anything, it is that anyone, with the right amount of patience, passion and effort can become a full time, paid blogger.
Thanks for sharing your lessons learned and personal experience with blogging. Good to hear you’ve found other hobbies outside of writing.