The blogging pro

09 Nov 2012

Author: Brad Howarth

Photography: Pierre Toussaint

Video:

Few people had ever heard of blogging when Melbourne-based Darren Rowse first took to his keyboard in November 2002.
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A friend had sent him a link to a blog being written by someone in Prague, and it captured his imagination.

“I started a personal blog that day,” he says.

Fast-forward 10 years and blogging has evolved into a major, global publishing channel. And Rowse? Well, he’s something of an industry guru. His two biggest sites attract five million visitors a month – approximately two million ahead of smh.com.au or ninemsn.com.au, and he has a 173,000-strong following on Twitter.

His first blog, LivingRoom.org.au, was nothing more than a hobby, with Rowse posting his thoughts on living in Australia, politics, the church and other topics, while working part-time jobs as a minister, labourer and for an online department store.

After a year and a half his need to recover costs saw him tap into his enthusiasm for digital photography with a camera review blog geared towards generating sponsorship. Word of mouth grew his audience and within 18 months the blog was attracting sufficient ad revenue that it could become his full-time job. It subsequently morphed into a learning environment in response to reader’s requests for ‘how to’ tips, and was renamed Digital Photography School.

In 2004, Rowse launched a new site, ProBlogger, to help others get into blogging, and went on to co-author the book ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. It is now in its third print edition, and subsequent ProBlogger e-books have sold 25,000 editions. He has also released a series of photography e-books, which have sold more than 90,000 copies.

Today, his own business is turning over a seven-figure income and his audience is continuing to grow, with his largest readership coming from the US.