Well I took the plunge and spent almost 2 bucks to join Problogger.com to see what all the hub bub was about, and to let some of you guys know whether it was enlightening or if anything had value there. So here is what I found.
Its pretty much just a forum. I didn’t see any valuable tools to help people build better sites, or learn how to build a website with real long term value. What I did find was a couple links to an eBook about building a better blog by yours truly, Darren Rowse. If you join the forum, some of the topics you will be discussing include Blog Promotion, Finding Readers for your blog, making money with your blog, writing content etc..
I did find a lot of newbs in there trying to find out how to grow their social traffic to engage readers. Lets stop right there. I hate it every time I talk about social traffic as being worthless when someone comes up right behind me and says that “blogging” is not about the money, but about building friendships and having a readership and building trust. Here is what ends up happening with that trust. Just like these A-list bloggers who abuse it, so do their followers who promote the same trash they do, leading people to believe its a hidden jewel. They write a stupid review on something that is crap, making it appear that the product is helping them make tons of money just to add another $3k or 4k into their pockets at the end of the month. Then they show you the reader that they made $40,000 and tell you that you can do it too. But they never tell you about how to get organic traffic which can help make you money consistently with a blog .
If you are a big A-lister I challenge you to come up with something that has real value about making money. Stop telling people that as long as you are passionate about writing about any subject that you will make money. I know some people think I am a jerk for being real about this, but if I reinforced a positive mentality about making money online, but never really gave you tips on how to build a sustainable income, would you keep coming back and kiss my butt? I bet some might. It’s what quite a few followers do with Rowse and Chow every week. I’m willing to bet that some people joined that forum in hopes of truly learning how to make money with a blog, and they aren’t going to get that. If you join the Problogger forum, You aren’t going to hear about the type of links to get in order to improve rankings, or how to get a double listing in Google, or even how to do proper keyword research. What you will get is a community of people that are clueless with the exception of a few, and you will be learning how to grow traffic through social means which will put you back in the hamster wheel spinning for nothing.
Bottom line is you either treat this as a business or you don’t. Do you want to be a Pro Blogger? Do you write for fun, or do you write to make money. Do you want to build sites that you can walk away from and make thousands of dollars a year off of, or do you want to write on sites that require you to go out and get more Twitter fans, more Facebook fans and more feed readers to make you feel good?
Here are my final words on joining Problogger.com. If you want to make some buddies, and talk about twitter followers and answer polls then go for it. But… if you want to make real money and have a real knowledge of how and why people click on ads, as well as how to get sustainable traffic that will help you make money online for ages, then its a waste of time.
If anyone wants one on one training, all you have to do is ask and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have for free. All you have to do is shoot me an email.
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