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5.0 out of 5 starsGreat Resource if you're serious about having a successful blog
Reviewed in the United States on 8 December 2014
This is a great book for those getting started with blogging or those who've been blogging awhile but want to expand their reach. The authors do a great job of covering all the necessities in becoming a successful blogger.
White and Biggs lay everything out in the beginning of the book - "blogging is journalism on a thirty-minute deadline." To have a successful blog takes time, dedication, and good grammar. Of course, there's a lot more to it than that, you'll have to get the book -- just take a look at the Table of Contents to see all the items covered in this book. They even cover things like grammar, ethics, handling angry readers, and even some great tips on how to avoid burnout.
As someone who's started and all but abandoned several blogs, this book has given me a fresh perspective and renewed passion. I can see right away why I failed previously and one of the biggest reasons is dedication and keeping things fresh. Successful blogging takes work. The "Tips and Tricks of the Trade" in the appendix alone is well worth the cost of this book. With this guide I am more optimistic about being able to stay focused and dedicated to my new blog.
Just one more thing - the size of this book is 8.5x11 - like a workbook you'd get for a class. I was a little annoyed at first by the size, but having taken it with me on a few trips now, it stores fine in my laptop bag flat against my MacBook and I don't even think twice about it. I'm obviously not going to always be carrying it around with me, so it's not that big of a deal, but I like referring back to useful guides like this one as I work on various projects. Soon this will be a valued part of my reference library on the easy-to-access shelf in my office.
For about five years (during the heyday of my son's childhood), I was a blogger. It started as a way to break up the monotony of being a stay-at-home mom who need a creative outlet and some adult contact (even it was through the Internet). I started just writing about my life with occasional book reviews (as I'm an avid reader) when I "discovered" blogging through a few friends who kept blogs. At one point, I had two separate blogs -- one a humorous "lifestyle" blog and one devoted to book reviews. When that became too much, I combined them into one blog. It was a fun hobby that eventually became burdensome -- taking up much more time than I really had to devote to it. Eventually, feeling burnt out, I quit blogging completely -- giving up my domain names and ceasing everything. In the three years since, I've devoted myself to volunteering at my son's school but I do miss the creative parts of blogging (the writing and blog design) and the positive social aspects (communicating with like-minded individuals). I've been toying with the idea of returning to blogging and thought this book might provide me with some guidance on how to successfully return to blogging without making many of the same mistakes I made the first time out.
Although this book is full of good information, it is more geared to people who want to become hard-core, full-time bloggers rather than hobbyist bloggers like myself. However, I think that both groups of people can find helpful hints and nuggets of wisdom within the book to keep them from making many of the rookie mistakes that I made during my "blogging career." (For example, I chose an incredibly long domain name my first time out--which I quickly came to regret.) One thing this book makes clear though is that blogging is a huge time commitment and only a small amount of people are going to be able to make money from it. One lesson that comes through loud and clear is that blogging must be -- first and foremost -- a passion project for the blogger. You need to write about something you are passionate about and knowledgeable about. The act of blogging needs to be what drives you -- not making money, building an audience or gaining fame. Without that passion and interest, you're not going to be able to cut it as a blogger because it requires a time commitment and level of mental energy that will quickly outstrip your time and abilities.
But if blogging is something you already do but need guidance in or you want to blog but want to avoid making mistakes as you start, this book can be an invaluable guide. Be forewarned that it focuses mostly on journalistic type blogging or tech blogging. However, the lessons and topics covered definitely apply to all types of bloggers. From finding your voice to picking your blogging platform to promoting your blog to making your blog visually appealing, this book provides solid and basic guidance on all aspects of blogging. Now it is up to you to decide if you have what it takes. Good luck!
I have some experience as a casual blogger and have also contributed pieces to larger blogs, but I still consider myself a beginner when it comes to blogging.
The book is mostly aimed toward those who want to take blogging seriously and want to gain a loyal following of readers. Various platforms, such as Blogger and Wordpress, make it relatively easy to start blogging - so if you're looking to start a personal blog for private use or for family/friends, then you can probably get by without this book. If, however, you have aspirations of running a popular blog (and possibly even earning some decent money), then the book is going to be helpful to you.
If you already have a blog, you'll find all sorts to tips and tricks to improve it -- blogging tools, how to achieve a professional look, ad integration, best practices for networking with other bloggers, etc.
The main takeaway here is that the most important thing is the content you provide. Having quality, well-written content that is unique and fills a niche is still the best way to get (and keep) readers.
The information in the book can all be found via online resources, but it helps to have it all compiled into this one place - plus, the author's insights are helpful and the book is very well written and easy to follow. Recommended!
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat tool for anyone currently blogging or interested in getting started
Reviewed in the United States on 14 November 2014
I've been a blogger for quite a while now. I wanted to see if this book would give me any new ideas or insight.
If you are interested in blogging, I think this book is a great place to start. It's a step by step guide teaching the ins and outs of blogging.
It starts with the basics, choosing platforms, topics, domain names, designs etc. Then moves onto the writing. The authors of this book take the blog writing seriously, as a form of journalism. They would being journalists and editors of popular magazines and websites themselves.
The book covers a ton of blogging topics, content, writing, headlines, graphics, grammar, ethics, SEO, social media, design and much more. The appendix has some tips and tricks also.
Mostly, and every marketer knows this, in order to drive people to your website, you have to provide great content, and much of the book focuses on this factor. It's about choosing the right topic for you and becoming and expert in that topic. It's about finding interesting ways to write about the topic. How to find news, and trending articles to share. How to become a better content writer by continuing to write every day.
People in marketing, like me, will know much of this information. Still, I never stop learning, found many things very useful,there is always room for improvement and I love getting lessons from professionals.
Those outside of the marketing sector, even those who have been blogging for a few years could learn something from this book. And I think this is a very valuable tool for those just starting out in the blogosphere.
I highly recommend this to anyone who has been, or is interested in blogging, whether it be for fun or for profit.
5.0 out of 5 starscontains advice on the nuts and bolts of blogging that you will need
Reviewed in the United States on 13 December 2014
Bloggers Boot Camp is a very useful and complete book.The authors, successful bloggers themselves, cover all the angles of blogging, from legal issues to what blogging platform to use and how much to write and when. The experience of the authors shines through the text of this book, not just in the "war stories" they included (stories about events in authors' blogging life) but also in the main text itself. Indeed, I felt I was in good hands while I read this book regardless of whether the authors' were talking about what to write about or legal issues. I should note that there is not too much information here about how to write with the exception of a list of do's and don'ts for the english language and a few other useful tidbits. Rather, I would describe this book as being about the nuts and bolts of blogging; the authors' assume you have an interest in blogging already and that all you really need is to fill gaps in your knowledge so as to get started and avoid the traps that beginning and intermediate bloggers frequently fall into. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to blog; Bloggers Boot Camp is a fun to read and useful excursion into the world of blogging.
5.0 out of 5 starsWhen you look at most of the sheer drivel online, this book is long overdue.
Reviewed in the United States on 7 December 2014
Most books about blogging are how to as in how to set one up online. This is mainly for people with lower level computer skills. The next set of blogging books is how to make money with blogs and some of these are practical whereas many are the get rich quick bogus ones. This is a new category so yet a third. The authors, Charlie White and John Biggs, actually have excellent online writing credentials! They have worked for Wired, Mashable, Gizmodo, and TechCrunch. They include their best stories of the good, bad and ugly they have experienced online.
This book is journalist-centric, one training you to be an online writer-journalist. Making engaging, compelling reading to draw in readers is its goal. When you look at most of the sheer drivel online, this book is long overdue.
Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
5.0 out of 5 starsInsights into Blog Content and Publicizing
Reviewed in the United States on 23 December 2014
Being a second edition, the lessons and advice in this book have matured over time. The focus of this book is not blog technology, e.g. the ins and outs of writing a post, doing links, etc. Rather it has great guidelines about what to write about, what kinds of things are interesting, and promotional techniques for getting others interested in reading what you have to say.
It runs the gamut from beginning knowledge such as what is a blog, to methods and software tools for entering your content, to advanced topics. It includes pros and cons of various approaches, and discusses ethical issues such as "advertorials", dealing with problems such as a host censoring your content, and so forth. There are other books that talk about technical mechanics, but they don't really address the more important topic of what to write about and dealing with other sites and the public, which this one does.