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6 Lessons I Have Learned from Darren Rowse


Who is Darren Rowse, you may ask yourself?

Darren is quite a prolific Australian blogger who maintains and contributes to several blogs.

The most well-known is probably Problogger, where he writes about blogging, making money from it and basically about making a living from blogging. This is also the only blog of Darren´s that I read so I can´t really say that much about all the other blogs he´s involved in.

Darren is also perhaps the one person online that I have learned the most from so far. If you´re a blogger – that would like to keep your blog growing – I´d say Problogger is pretty much a must read (together with Brian Clark´s Copyblogger, about copywriting).

And although I have learned lots and lots specifically about blogging by going through Darren´s daily posts and parts of the archives for the past six months I´d like to use this article for some more broad lessons that I have learned. Some lessons that can be applied to many areas of life and I believe have helped Darren and Problogger to become so successful.

1. Keep a positive and open atmosphere and attitude – I think one of Darren´s keys to success is how friendly and helpful he, Problogger and the community he has created around it all is. This not only increases the well-being of everyone involved and keeps flame-wars far away. It also makes a new reader feel welcome and is certainly a big factor in him/her staying around and continuing to read read and interact.

2. Simplicity and clarity is good – One of the things I really like about Problogger is that it´s easy to understand. Darren explains everything in a simple and straightforward way that anyone can comprehend
and his points really comes across and are not lost in a clutter of information.

It also noteworthy how Darren structures his information with bullet points, short paragraphs and other techniques to increase scannability and to make the articles very easy to read.

3. Reminders are powerful – Darren often returns to similar points in his blog. This is probably partly because he´s been blogging about blogging for a few years now so totally new topics may not be that easy to come by.

When you first start reading about blogging or personal development I think a lot of people want new stuff all the time. We are hungry for new fresh tips that will change our lives (or blogs). It can lead to a place where you take in loads of information but do little with it.

And although reminders aren´t new and juicy information they are very important because they drive the points home. Over and over. Because when you hear something the first time you may think “wow, that´s cool and useful”. And then you do nothing with that information, forget about it and just take in more information. Or maybe the information just goes in through one ear and out the other one.

So, once in a while, you may need to be reminded so you won´t forget doing something, such as perhaps making gratitude a part of your life. Or you may just need to hear something over and over again. Until one day it just clicks in your mind and you feel that you really understand it.

4. Patience, young grasshopper – Overnight successes are very rare in any field. One great point that Darren drives into the mind of the reader is that things take time. As he observes in this article, many blogs doesn´t have significant success for 12 months (or more).

This is a good reminder for a lot of other things too. You may wish for great success in some area of your life – like your business or your health – in a matter of just a few weeks or months. And then become disappointed and give up when your expectations aren´t met.

So, having solid information and reasonable expectations is very useful. And, something I think that many lacking success miss when they get too caught up in the intial enthusiasm.

5. Provide value – If you provide value the readers will come. Or the money. Or what you´d like to receive. If there is one thing you read over and over and over again about blogging, it is that the perhaps most important thing to do is to provide value.

What is value? Well, often I´d say it´s providing an easy-to-use, high quality service that people have an actual use for in their lives. This is in many cases more important than marketing or other fancy stuff that it´s easy to get a little bit too focused on.

6. Your work equals your success – Even though one may hope that the blogosphere is a new Klondike for getting readers and Scrooge McDuck-amounts of money the reality seems to be that, well, blogging is more like any regular business. There are some overnight successes. But most likely you´ll have to work a lot – and hopefully work smart and consistently too – over some time for your blog to really grow. And I feel that Darren embodies this healthy mentality and is frank about the fact that the world of blogging is seldom a place to achieve success or riches quickly.

I remember reading that Darren works 8 hours or more a day on his blogs. So I guess that by putting so much value out into the world he has also been able to reap some great success.

And this is just pretty much like when you do anything in life. I don´t really know how important talent is. But I do know it´s not all talent. Success comes to a large degree from a lot of work and practise, as fellow personal development blogger Scott H. Young writes in The Myth of Talent.



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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Darren April 3, 2007, 2:42 am

    thanks for your kind words and gracious article.

  • Ririan April 3, 2007, 9:17 am

    What a great post Henrik. Good points to follow. I love Darren Rowse and everything I know about blogging I know from him.

    “Do what you like, do it with passion and be the best in doing it.” – the best lesson I learned from Darren.

  • Henrik Edberg April 3, 2007, 10:44 am

    Darren: You´re welcome and keep up the great work! I really appreciate it.

    Ririan: Thanks. That´s an excellent lesson too. And I´m glad to see that you´re back and writing at ririanproject again.

  • Ririan April 3, 2007, 4:43 pm

    I know it’s seems I’ve been absent for a while, and I have. Things have been extremely busy. But now I’m back, and I’m back for good. :)

  • Guru Talks May 22, 2010, 7:32 am

    Henrik, true article… it has been around few months of my blogging careers at Guru Talks. I learned from good sources … but I feel, the real learning comes from experience — when one really does blogging. (feel frustrated…then…learn and learn and never quit)

    Anyway, I found blogging is risky career until one is dedicated 100% and ready to have patience.