An Interview With Darren Rowse

Since I enjoyed my last interview with Tim Ferriss so much, I decided to go ahead and do another one right away. This time, I went ahead and contacted Darren Rowse from Problogger.

Introduction

For anyone unfamiliar with Darren Rowse, two of his blogs (Problogger and Digital Photography School) are some of the most popular ones in the world. He was one of the first bloggers to actually make a full-time living from blogging. He shares a ton of his tips and ideas on his blogs to help all of us out.

I have used Problogger to learn some of things I have implemented on this site and thank him for making his tips free to use. He has also released a book recently entitled ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. I highly recommend checking it out, especially if your looking for a paperback book on blogging.

So how did Darren start out in blogging? Here is a quick paragraph I found on Darren’s extended story page:

“Now I’d like to say that at the moment I hit publish on my first blog that the earth shook and a light from heaven came down and I was suddenly transformed into a full time blogger – but as we all know it doesn’t happen that way. In fact for the first 12 or so months of my blogging very very little changed.

This reminded me a lot of my own story. It is awesome to see how far he has come since first starting. Lets hope I can follow in his footsteps.

The Interview

How long did it take you to generate enough income to become a full-time blogger?

Going full time was a very gradual process for me. I went from it being purely a hobby to being a part time job to a full time job (and beyond) – that process took me around 2 and a half years (although it’s hard to pinpoint completely as income went up and down a little from month to month and I help onto other part time jobs for longer than I absolutely needed to.

What is the most important thing a blogger can do to standout from all the other blogs in their niche?

There are a lot of things actually and frustratingly it is never the same for each blogger. Some rise above the clutter because they were first, for others it’s that they stick at it the longest, for others it’s an amazing ability to communicate or great wisdom or a way of bringing fresh insight, for others its their ability to connect and network within their niche…. the list could go on.

One thing that I do notice most bloggers who rise above the clutter is that they are quite often prolific – they work hard, not just writing content but networking, engaging in social media and more. Look at someone like Chris Brogan (chrisbrogan.com) – he’s producing heaps of content, engaging on Twitter like crazy, attending lots of conferences and much more.

On average, how much time a week do you spend on your various blog projects?

It is way beyond a full time job for me. I’m spending 50-70 hours a week on my work. It’s no hobby any more.

I recently did an interview with Tim Ferris and asked him what advantages a blogger has in getting a publishing deal. Now that you have a book released, what are some tips for a blogger to get a book published?

The way I landed the ProBlogger deal was that the publisher (Wiley) sought me out because I’d established a profile and expertise in my field. As a result my main advice to bloggers is to work as hard as you can to build up your readership, brand and profile in your niche. This won’t guarantee publishers will come knocking on your door – but it’ll increase the chances of that and help also if you pitch them.

Would you ever be interested in doing a guest post here on Life of Justin, or vice versa? I had to ask : )

I’d really love to some day. I have not been doing too many guest posts of late, mainly because of the demands of my projects and having a very young family – but hopefully things will lighten up at some point to enable me to get back into that again as it is something I’ve enjoyed.

Conclusion

And that concludes the interview, I hope some of the questions helped everyone learn a little more about successful blogging. If you would like to learn more, go check out Darren’s blogs or head over to Amazon and check out his book.

Want to see more interviews? Send me a note or leave a comment on who I should hunt down next.

25 thoughts on “An Interview With Darren Rowse

  1. sangeeth

    I am a great fan and follower of Problogger! It is the best place I would recommend for a blogger to gain knowledge. Thanks for the Interview! Darren truly is a hero!

    Reply
  2. Jade Craven

    That was a very interesting interview :)

    I did like the comment about being prolific in areas outside of your main work. I’ve noticed that writing extensively doesn’t necessarily get the traffic. Simply interacting on social media and blogs seems to draw considerable attention out of curiosity..

    Based on that comment, I’m now going to refocus my efforts. I work hard and post prolifically but my online identify is very fragmented – which brings me to my next point.

    I’m thankful for this interview because it enabled me to find your blog. I’ve been struggling with how to set up a personal blog. I now have heaps of ideas on how to mix personal and professional posts, especially as I have the same interests: writing, photography and travelling. I look forward to interacting with you further – I’ve added you to twitter and will definitely be keeping an eye on your blogging career :)

    - Jade

    Reply
  3. John Easton

    My takeaway for this and any other commercial endeavor is that the cost of admission to this party is passion, expertise and an active market. When these planets align, hard work and sound strategy (identifying and engaging your best customers) take you over the hump. Michael Jordan spent a lot of time developing his jump shot after entering the NBA.

    John Easton
    http://www.customerflypaper.com

    Reply
  4. Trevor@Airsoft Rifles

    For such a popular person, I am surprised I’ve never heard of him before. I can’t believe you keep landing interviews with such important people; that’s pretty awesome. I doubt I’ll ever make a living from blogging, but I hope to from the Internet in general.

    Reply
  5. Jeremy Gehrs

    Interesting read, but you should grill them a little harder next time. Is this the interview in it’s entirety? If so, it seems kinda short. Keep up the good work though, it’s cool to see that you got an interview with someone relatively famous in the blogosphere.

    Reply
  6. Justin Post author

    @ Jeremy: Yeah it is the full interview. It seems most people prefer short and too the point interviews from what I have heard. I’d like to find someone that I can find and actually ask a bunch of questions.

    Any suggestions for who I should try and get next time?

    Reply
  7. Wendy@Shopping Gems

    I’ve been reading Darren’s book and started following him on Twitter. He is a great and genuine guy. He will Twitter back to you and actually respond to an email personally. I think that is another reason why he has done so well. He isn’t like some others (John Chow and ShoeMoney) who flaunt their money and brag all over Facebook, Twitter, and email messages. I guess there is a market for that type of person as well but they sure don’t suit my taste.

    Thanks for the great posts as always Justin.

    Wendy at Shopping Gems
    Follow me on Twitter by going to http://www.twitter.com/TheComputerLady

    Justin? Do you Twitter?

    Reply
  8. Justin Post author

    @ Wendy: Yeah he really is a nice person. Thanks for stopping by.

    PS. Yeah I use Twitter, just click the follow me button in my sidebar to follow me : )

    Reply
  9. TeasasTips

    The quote:

    ““Now I’d like to say that at the moment I hit publish on my first blog that the earth shook and a light from heaven came down and I was suddenly transformed into a full time blogger – but as we all know it doesn’t happen that way. In fact for the first 12 or so months of my blogging very very little changed.”

    I think every blogger attempting to monetize their blog has experienced this. I know I did. Thanks 4 sharing!

    Reply
  10. Myron Tay

    Digital photography school is a fantastic resource. :) I always thought people who made money through blogging are those who write about… making money through blogging. =.= Now i need to get off my lazy ass and start writing about the virtues of sleep. x.x

    Reply
  11. Dot Com Dud

    2.5 years… gulp!

    Darren is one of my favourite bloggers so it’s good to read this interview with him like this. It might be a bit short but it still communicated a lot. Like others have said, the advice about being prolific is great.

    Sounds like you’ve got your foot in the door for a guest post too!

    Reply
  12. Pingback: Guest Post On Problogger

  13. Stan

    A late comment arrival. Enjoyed reading this interview with Darren Rouse. I’m a fan of his Digital Photography School. Always interesting to find out more about the successful bloggers out there.

    Reply
  14. Chris F

    Nice to get a bit of insight, especially to hear first hand from a successful blogger that it takes time and more time and constant blogging. We blog on our website as much as we can.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>