What makes the Pro in ProBlogger?
More emails are coming in from people asking about opportunities of making money from their blog or on doing part-time problogging gigs (courtesy of Ms. Susan Ople’s write-up in Panorama and David Llorito on Business Mirror). What I do is come up with a draft email with pertinent links to several entries on my blog along with Powerpoint presentations I did last April. I then use this draft to reply to them emails.
One question that got me a little un-easy was about the prefix “pro” in problogging. The question was “Can I just be a regular blogger and earn money from it and not be called a problogger?”
So I told him about a story of an old friend and dorm-mate back in college, Jake Versoza.
Right after college in Ateneo (MIS grad), Jake worked in a semicon company for a while but soon gotten a little tired of it. His passion was in photography and was doing it for fun during week-ends and vacations. He hooked up with groups and organization along those lines and tagged along with other professional photographers in the field, contributing to local mags for free.
When Ateneo won the championships in the UAAP that year, Jake got a lot of attention for his shots of the Ateneo-La Salle game. That same year, he got bookings left and right. What was a hobby at first became a part-time gig and he was earning huge that this hobby was earning him more than his regular day job. So he decided to go and become a full time photographer. On his first year alone, he earned around a million pesos. Now, you’ll see Jake’s work in almost every magazine and billboards across the country.
Ok, going back to problogging.
Along those lines, I did an analogy that whatever hobby or past-time that you do can become a fulltime career that could earn you your living. The same is true with blogging. If you “just happen” to have a blog and people advertise on it and you earn from it along with programs such as AdSense or YPN, you can become a problogger if you live off from it.
We have heard of professional video gamers (progamers) and professional photographers having success and living off from what was just a hobby and a passion. Why would blogging be any different? It’s just something new to the ear but it does not mean it’s a really peculiar job.
So, my answer to the question: Yes you can just be a blogger and happen to earn on the side. That means you can drop all your ads one day and still live a normal life and be able to pay all the bills on time. Probloggers do concern themselves with traffic, with ads and with advertisers because in a sense they are like any other web 1.0 micro-pubs (e.g. ClicktheCity, LocalVibe, GetAsia).
I did an interview with him back in 2001 just before he broke the professional photography scene.