chinese pro minis won't program

I'm a newcomer to arduinos and am trying to program two pro minis from different chinese sources and with different board layouts. When I connect power ( 9v to "raw" ), the power leds light and the viltage regulators give 5V and 3.3 respectively. However the pin 13 leds flash continuously, only stopping when the reset button is held down. This seems wrong to me - I think the led should flash once when the reaset button is pressed.
When I try to program the example sketch ' blink ' I get a compiling message, then an uploading, then complete, but also a red avrdude : no sync message. The pin 13 led flashes throughout, and the pro mini does not seem to have been affected by the upload - it does not flas at 1 s rate.

Any ideas please ?

Hey, I'm a newcomer here too

what you have there is OK, the pro mini (and not only) blinks to show you that it has a valid bootloader.
When you (press) reset, the program stops and the uC is reinitialized. Once done, the blinking resumes. So far, your chinese clones are OK.

If there is nothing else happening after you 'program' it shows that your program does not land on the uC.
What programmer do you use?
How do you program the uC? Tell us something about what you have/do there

You can always test out the blink sketch. Copy it and edit the time delays then upload it. If you can slow down or speed up the blinking, your Pro Mini clones work.