Book Review: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

Jul 24, 2015 by
Book Review: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

Collaboratively written by Darren Rowse, of Problogger fame, and Chris Garrett, a successful online business consultant, Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income was a revelation in the blogging community when it was released several years ago.

Now in its third edition, the book has been described as the most definitive book about blogging released to date – a sentiment I am tempted to agree with. While some of the technologies mentioned throughout the book are dated, the fundamentals are still entirely relevant for anyone who is considering starting a blog today.

One of the core strengths of the book is that it tackles every foreseeable quandary that a blog owner may have at one time or another, from choosing the ideal domain name, refining the subject matter of the blog posts, attracting an audience and even selling the blog eventually (if the owner should choose to do so). Here are some of the important takeaways that I received.

Blogging for the right reasons

While other books may have begun with registering the domain, I was greatly impressed at how this book discuss the right and wrong reasons for blogging, as well as the types of topics which result in engagement. One of the key takeaways is that you absolutely have to pick a topic that you know you will remain interested in years from now, because otherwise you will simply burn out and your efforts will be all for nothing.

The book stresses that there must be a receptive audience for your blog and discusses the various steps to research this, such as analysing the other blogs within your intended niche, seeing what factors influence success and also utilising Google Trends to determine whether the niche is growing or shrinking. Another important factor is the breadth of the blog topic – something too narrow will quickly run out of post ideas while blogs which are too generalised will not really appeal to anyone. If backed by research, the right course is in the middleground.

“One of the key features of successful bloggers is that they are able to continue to come up with fresh content on their topic for long periods of time.”

What makes good content?

cambridge-web-marketing-co-blog-content-image-food-seo-cambridgeHow to write effective content is covered heavily in this book. One of the book’s most thought-provoking sections describes 20 different formats for blog posts, including: reviews (such as this), interviews, comparison posts, critique posts, link posts and lists (my favourite format). The book breaks down the pros and cons and each format and demonstrates where it might be appropriate to use them. This is extremely useful if you are pondering the best way to convey a message or are simply looking to get the creative juices flowing.

Other important tidbits include: choosing the optimal posting frequency for your audience (and for your own sanity so that you can avoid blogger’s burnout), determining the tone of voice for your blog, and choosing a layout which is stylistically consistent with your content (interestingly, in western cultures, red conveys feelings of anger and passion whereas grey is generally regarded as formal). Above all, the book stresses that in order for a blog to be successful, the content must be audience-oriented.

“The best advice that I could give on developing useful content is to research your (potential) readership. If you already have a blog, do this by surveying your readers, either formally or informally, or by asking for feedback.”


Whether you’re creating a blog from scratch, or if you already have a business and you’re starting a blog to boost exposure, the section about income strategies is an invaluable read. Although I believe this section could have benefitted from an in-depth discussion about blog sponsorship rather than just advertising opportunities, the book covers a plethora of monetisation strategies, both direct and indirect.

The core takeaway is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and you must choose the best monetisation strategy based on the type of blog your have, your audience and your nichel. For instance, you may generate a small amount of income from AdSense, but does it really make sense to fill your site with someone else’s adverts when you could be driving traffic towards your products and services instead? Most importantly, the you mustn’t let the lure of financial gain destroy the integrity of the blog – if you repel your core audience, any attempts at monetising will be in vain.


If you’re looking for the type of ‘magic pill’ book which gets the endorphins rushing as soon as you read about the masses of money which can be made in a short amount of time blogging, this book is not for you. Instead, Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for how to generate a winning idea and run with it. The core message of the book is that blogging can be incredibly lucrative, but getting to this point takes a lot of time and effort. Thus, to be successful in the long-run, you truly have to be passionate about your subject – as Darren and Chris obviously are!