Today, I spoke to Chris Garrett, who is a professional blogger, Internet Marketing Consultant, new media industry commentator, writer, coach, speaker, trainer, web geek, and co-author of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. In this interview, Chris talks about how blogging has changed in the past few years, if it’s still possible to stand out in the 200 million person blogosphere, tips for advanced bloggers, mistakes people make, and why quality is more important than quantity when it comes to subscribers.

What’s changed in the blogging world since you wrote the first edition?

The biggest changes I would say are the increase in emphasis on social media, the constant evolution of tools, and the increase in exploration of “indirect” monetization (making money because you blog, through services and products, and so on, rather than from your blog with ads etc).

Is it still possible to be successful despite the fact that there are 200 million plus blogs?

Well, first it depends on your definition of success. If your definition is “become a gazillionare” then don’t hold your breath. If you mean “make a decent income” then yes, we see it all the time. Just don’t be a me-too, make your own space, and have passion enough to stick with it.

What are your top three tips for advanced bloggers who are looking to “up their game”?

  1. Keep experimenting and breaking out of your comfort zone. Doing what you have always done is a rut not a route to growth.
  2. Make sure you are keeping your fans happy rather than putting all your energy into getting noticed. The people who are already connecting with you are your best advocates and should be treated with care and respect.
  3. Partner, guest blog, make friends – get out of your cave and shake some hands. It is very difficult to get to a decent scale all on your own, you need other people.

What mistakes have you seen bloggers make since you started?

Oh there are lots! The mistake that most prominently comes to mind is something Darren and I have talked about a couple of times. It’s the endless cycle of bloggers who treat other people badly but then wonder why nobody wants to talk to them any more. There is a phrase that applies; “Be kind to people on the way up, you might need them on the way back down!”. I can’t count the number of people who used to be well-known but you don’t hear about them now because they burnt out their reputation by constantly attacking to get attention rather than adding any kind of value to the community. Attention is not everything, it might seem boring to be nice but it helps in the long term!

A lot of bloggers are interesting in getting more subscribers. Should they worry about this?

No, but yes. What I mean is, do not look at your subscriber count just as a number! These are people, and should be treated as such. You want to attract a group of people who really want to hear from you, but the subscriber count is just an indication of how well you are attracting AN audience, but you need to know if you are attracting the RIGHT audience, and also if you are not just creating a situation where you are losing almost as many as you gain.

Chris Garrett is a professional blogger, Internet Marketing Consultant, new media industry commentator, writer, coach, speaker, trainer and web geek. He is the co-author, with Darren Rowse, of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. He was also a founding member of Performancing. You might know him from his past writing for such sites as ASPToday, ASPAlliance, Threadwatch, or more recently, ProBlogger, The Blog Herald, FreelanceSwitch, Cogniview, and CopyBlogger. Chris consults, trains and speaks about internet marketing, blogging and new media at events such as the Successful Outstanding Bloggers conference in Chicago, Affiliate Expo, WordCamp, the Netherlands Social Media Congress and the Institute of Fundraising.