I have been working as a problogger for two years now, and I wanted to create a record for myself and others on my progression to this point in my career. I also have to say that my time line is not the norm and I know of people that have become a problogger faster, or way slower than myself.
Early 2002 – I start to get into web publishing. Not really blogging yet, but the best I can do with my limited understanding of the web.
January 2003 – I create a Blogger account and use it to publish my life on my personal site. Only my friends read it. I can now manipulate the web better now, but I am still a horrible coder, and an even worse designer.
September 2003 – I get off Blogger and start using a PHP script called Elite News (dead?). It works, so I try to focus on getting better at design. I haven’t yet even heard of blogging for money, and I am actually a little annoyed at sites with advertising.
December 2004 – I am now using WordPress for all the blogs I write on. Thanks to Michael of Binary Bonsai, I have inspiration to try to make my site look better, but of course, my design skill is horrible. I have also found out that I love reading blogs, and begin to subscribe to just about everything I can find.
Early 2005 – I find Problogger.net and I am hooked. People make money from their blogs? I have only been using mine to complain about my life. Who knew? I am studying to be a Computer Network Administrator and I am totally devoted to that career goal, but I am worried there won’t be any jobs when I am done school.
May 2005 – Darren Rowse decides he is going on vacation and would love to have people write on his blogs. I am lucky enough to get one of those positions. My blog at the time even gets a link from Problogger.net. It is mixed in with a list of twenty-four people, but the traffic it brings is still substantial.
June 2005 – Wrote articles for Darren on his laptop blog, and watched the traffic increase during the summer months. Pretty much unheard of when it comes to blogs. Traffic usually declines during the summer months, or at best stays stable.
July 2005 – Interviewed Jacob Gower about his business, and the sites he recently acquired. It didn’t really get much traffic to my site, but it interested him in me, and my writing.
July 2005 – I get a job doing a bunch of things online. It has horrible pay, long hours, and posting many times a day. It is rough, but I love it.
September 2005 – Jacob offers me a full time problogger for Bloggy Network. I write on a numerous amount of sites, including his headline sites. This quickly spins me into a state of constant burn out, but I realize that this is the career that I was made for.
November 2005 – Change roles a bit because Jacob can tell I am swamped. With all the work I had been doing, quality had really suffered. My job shifts away from doing massive numbers of posts, to doing bigger articles, research, and continuing to manage multiple sites. By changing things up, I enjoyed my job more, and was also able to have a better work and life balance.
All of 2006 – Not much changes, Bloggy Network continues to grow, and I am given more responsibilities. I work on coding WordPress themes for the company and its clients, as well as taking over almost all WordPress related responsibilities.
April 2007 – Promoted to Director of Communications at Bloggy Network LLC. My job changes again. I am working more on the back end of things, including setting up our blogs to use subversion repositories.
June 2007 – Put in charge of a sub-network within Bloggy Network called IsMyHome. I never realized how much work it takes to run a blog network.
Other Interesting Facts
I have been given a Digital Camera, Xbox 360, and a bunch of other things from my job. These perks have been absolutely great, and I wouldn’t have these things otherwise. Not all networks give them, but when they do, it is an amazing feeling. Though over the last while, my pay has gone up, and the perks have gone away, I am still very grateful for all the cool gadgets and whatnot that I received.
I never planned on being a problogger. It fell into my lap thanks to working on increasing my profile through interviewing big name people, and reporting on changes in ownership of popular websites. Taking on the guest blogging position was also one of the biggest career boosts I could have gotten.
As Director of Communications for Bloggy Network, I get to do very little blogging anymore. This has decreased my profile online, since I am no longer in the “public eye”. I am trying to find ways to compensate for this through networking and constant communication, but it is difficult.
Most of the staff at Bloggy Network were not into blogging for even half as long as I was before getting paid for their work. Michael, one of the people I am most happy about us hiring, was only blogging for a few months before transitioning into a full time problogger for Bloggy Network.
Blogging can be the greatest career, but you really need to be patient with it. Too many people are trying to rush for the quick buck, but passion, attention, patience and networking can get you a problogging job, if you want it bad enough.