Ever wondered why some blogs are more successful than others? And honestly, are you struggling to get yours off the ground and start making money? If your answer is a resounding yes, then I may have what you’re looking for. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing Problogger to find out what you can possibly gain from its resources and who knows, find some inspirations along the way to fuel your motivation to produce more content.
What Is Problogger?
Problogger is the brainchild of Darren Rowse, a professional Australian photographer turned blogger who also manages an education site called Digital Photography School. On this site, he uses his experience and unique perspective to demonstrate how blogging can be accomplished at different levels, from beginners to semi-professionals.
What started off as a simple blog in 2004 is now a reputable site attracting thousands of aspiring bloggers and online entrepreneurs alike. With more than 8000 articles published to date, Darren clearly practices what he preaches; with plenty of good content, you can get many eyeballs to your site.
Just like Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income, he’s also good at repurposing those content into resources that generate income for his blog. Some come in the form of affiliate commissions while others are digital products he created himself.
So let’s start with the basic ones first.
(1) Problogger Community
This private Facebook community was established in 2016 and has close to 20,000 members to date. It welcomes anyone to participate for free but you need to submit a request to join. The purpose of the group is to promote healthy discussions in the blogosphere so no self-promotion, unsolicited messaging, and unauthorized link sharing are allowed.
Like most regulated online communities, such rules exist to encourage the participation of those with good intentions and protect other members from spamming activities. If you looked at other (open) Facebook groups, online offers run rampant, whether they are legit or not. People often share stuff that only benefits them and that’s the kind of environment the Problogger community is trying to avoid.
Who should join the community? Anyone who has been blogging for a while and keen to brainstorm with a community of similar interests.
(2) Blogging Resources
Darren uses many tools to grow his blog and I would personally recommend some of them too.
Self-hosted WordPress – If you’re planning to monetize your blog for the long term and want to have full control marketing it, you should be using self-hosted WordPress (not WordPress.com). It gives you the flexibility of using different themes, plugins, or even switch to a different host when leveling up.
If you feel like testing without committing to any plan just yet, try this WordPress builder for free and see what you can do with it.
StudioPress Themes – Like most beginners, my blog Time Rich Worry Free was initially created on a free theme but when the developer didn’t update it after several new versions of WordPress, I was warned it could be detrimental for my site. I’ve since upgraded to a premium StudioPress theme and couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
You can read more about the transition here on how I set up my WordPress with Genesis.
Canva – Not all of us are gifted with superior designing skills (I’m certainly not one of them) but thankfully, there’s an intuitive tool called Canva that can let you create most illustrations for free. It’s simple and fun to use and hey, if you’re looking to make money with your creative skills, Canva has got an affiliate program too.
Other tools worth mentioning here are ConvertKit (for email marketing), CoSchedule (for social media), and Evernote (for productivity).
Who should use these resources? Anyone who’s starting or planning to level up their blogging activity.
(3) On-Demand Courses
Almost every successful blogger I know will always share this insight – how to start a blog – and if you’re looking to pick Darren’s brain on the subject matter, you can join his Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog for free. This course spans across 12 lessons and is made up of text and video tutorials which you can learn at your own pace. It covers most of the fundamental topics from selecting a profitable niche right up to building your own email list.
The next free course you may be interested in is the 7 Day Content Sprint which basically helps to brainstorm for topic ideas and keeping your blog productive throughout the week. It is an initiative created by Problogger to help bloggers stay focused during this pandemic crisis and I found the workflow to be quite practical, especially for those who are often stuck with what to write.
The paid version of this course offers more constructive guidance and runs for 3 series, spanning between July, August, and September 2020. At the time of this writing, each series cost $7 or you could bundle buy 3 series for $15.
Other courses created by Darren are 31 Days to Build a Better Blog ($99) and Four Pillars of Blogging (four modules for $49). Inside the course area, there’s also a library section where you can download guides, worksheets, and workbooks for free if you’re in need of more resources.
Who should join these courses? Beginners to intermediate bloggers who are aiming for long term success.
If you’re a digital bookworm, Darren’s eBooks may be up your alley. Here are 6 titles to help you create a more successful blog.
- 31 Days to Build a Better Blog – $99
- ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging – $19.99
- ProBlogger’s Guide to Blogging for Your Business (written by Mark Hayward) – $49.99
- Blog Wise: How to Do More with Less – $19.99
- Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers – $29.99
- The Blogger’s Guide to Online Marketing – $49.99
Alternatively, you can get all of these for $107 per bundle.
Who should buy these books? Niche bloggers, business owners, and aspiring online entrepreneurs.
(5) The Problogger Podcast
A podcast is a refreshing medium to learn new things through audio and it creates a very engaging experience similar to storytelling. Some run for several minutes while others could go up to an hour per session.
In the blogosphere, there are plenty of channels to choose from and The ProBlogger Podcast is just one of them. To date, Darren has hosted about 280 episodes on his podcast; you can listen for free on his website OR on the Scribd app. The only downside I noticed is that he doesn’t publish as frequently as other podcasters would. Guess he’s a busy man!
Meanwhile, check out these podcast tools and services if you’re interested to promote podcasting on your blog.
Who should listen to this podcast? Anyone who enjoys listening to something productive on the go.
(6) Problogger Job Board
Information technology has given rise to many writing jobs around the world and the ability to produce good quality content is highly rewarded nowadays. Darren must have seen this coming when he created a job board on his site; the marketplace serves as a valuable resource that connects companies to skillful writers.
The cost of using this service basically falls on the employers. Depending on the type and duration of listings, the fee could range anywhere between $70 to $500. Yes, it’s definitely pricier than advertising on public domains like Craigslist or Kijiji but this could help target better quality candidates and save employers more time.
Who should use this job board? Blogging/marketing agencies, freelance writers, social media managers, virtual assistants, and etc.
Is Problogger Worth Your Time?
Without a doubt, Problogger is a legit training site for bloggers. The stuff Darren teaches is well researched, professionally structured, and draws a lot of real-life experience from his entrepreneurial journey. I’m actually impressed by the number of resources you’re getting here.
Many foundational theories about writing and marketing are offered for free which I think is a big bonus. And if you have the means to invest in terms of time and money, the step-by-step courses will certainly drill you with more practical skills and accountabilities, all of which are likely to benefit your overall blogging venture. I hope my Problogger review has served you well and I look forward to any comments/questions you may have.
Meanwhile, feel free to check out this training platform for more tips on how to generate a sustainable blog income through affiliate marketing. Sign up here and I’ll be more than happy to take you for a tour. Talk soon!