Great Guide to Blogging
Reviewed in the United States on 16 March 2012
This is an excellent resource for those thinking of starting a blog. Now, if you just want to talk about how cute your cat is or the funny looking mole you found on your shoulder, you probably don't need this kind of book. It's for people who are serious about their blogs. Whether you're doing a business blog, a hobby blog, or a self-help blog, if you really want it to take off, have lots of readers, and perhaps even earn you some money, then this is where you want to start.
It begins by stressing the importance of a focus for your blog. Just talking about random things might be fun for you, but nobody else in the world is going to be interested. You need to find a subject you're interested in, a subject you're knowledgeable about, and a subject that inspires you. And it needs to be specific, too, to make your blog stand out among all the others. Instead of just blogging about gardening, for instance, you might decide to limit your topics to flowers. That's still kind of broad, so perhaps you'll narrow the focus down to roses. Or, better still: how to grow roses in cold climates. That's specific enough that it sets you apart from all the other gardening blogs out there, and it gives you a focus, so you're not wandering all over the place. Once you have a focus, you need a name. Something clever, something catchy, something that sums up all that your blog is about. Something people will remember, in case they lose their bookmarks or want to refer you to a friend and don't have a link handy.
The book moves on to helping you choose a platform, server, web domain, and all of the technical stuff, like HTML and web designing. Then there are tips on writing blog posts. How important is it to use proper grammar and punctuation? (Hint: Very.) There are tips on enhancing your blog with photographs and posting video clips. How to deal with spam and unwanted comments. (I get TONS of spam comments on my blog/website. It comes with the territory.) Then it goes into how to build traffic and advertise your blog. And something everyone is wondering about--how to make money from your blog.
The biggest thing I disagreed with is the concept that you have to blog daily in order to be a success. Now, I suppose it really depends on how you define success. But I know plenty of great blogs that don't add new posts daily. It doesn't make me less likely to visit them. Sure, I would love it if they updated daily. But as a blogger and writer myself, I know that good content takes time and effort. Someone who blogs daily is more likely to produce weak, uninteresting posts, compared to someone who spends several days or a week composing a blog post, gathering quotes, creating a video demonstration, taking photographs or drawing illustrations to demonstrate what they're talking about. I would much rather have one fantastic blog post a week, than seven weak posts that don't truly say anything.
Other than that, I found this book quite helpful. These guys know what they're talking about, they know blogging, and if you apply what they teach, you'll stand a much better chance of producing a successful blog that endures, instead of a fly-by-night blog that vanishes off the face of the earth as soon as you run out of things to talk about. 5 stars and a strong recommendation.
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