A couple of months back I made a concerted effort to increase the number of posts I made on here and increase the traffic coming to my blog. That process involved me reviewing the blogging practices of my favourite bloggers (see my blog roll in the right panel) and also involved me reading Problogger: Secrets for blogging your way to a six figure income. The purpose of this post is to provide a review of that book and also to give away my copy.
Before I get into the review, let me outline how you can win the book. Because let’s face it that’s why you’re here right.
As the book is a guide to blogging I am going to give the book away to a commenter willing to share a link to their most successful blog post and explain why they think it has been successful. If you don’t have a blog simply provide a link to a memorable post on another person’s blog and tell us why you like it. I will select the winner. The condition of entry though is that you too pass on the book when you have finished it.
The book, as the name suggests, is a guide to making a living from your blog. It is written in the first person and is authored by successful and professional bloggers Darren Rowse and Chris Garret. Written so it can be understood by people with no experience whatsoever in blogging it covers everything from selecting a blog platform, through to tips for great content creation, blog monetisation and closes by providing case study examples of successful global blogs.
I have been blogging for quite some time now (first blog launched in 2004), so for me there was nothing in the book that was all that groundbreaking, especially as I’m a reader of Problogger, but it was nice to have it all in the one place.
For me, the most important section of the book was the one focussed on creating great blog content.
Tips covered include:
- Finding your niche – does the world really need another photography or social media blog
- Writing succinct posts – the internet is a big place, make your content is short and to the point
- Making your posts standout – headline tips, the power of lists, formatting, using pictures
- Writing for search engines – tips for ensuring your content is search engine friendly
- Engaging readers – writing techniques for encouraging comments or increasing subscribers
- Post frequency – theories on how often should you post
What is good about the book:
- Both authors have been incredibly successful with their blogs, so it was great to get such candid insights from people who absolutely know what their writing about
- The book is broken up into easily understood sections, so you can skip parts you don’t need and likewise easily find the stuff you want more information on
- It provides examples of lots of free tools you can use and outlines how they help with the blogging process
What is not so good about the book:
- The book is written in the first person, but there are two authors. As the reader, you are not always sure which author it is you are hearing from. Perhaps this isn’t really too much of an issue, but it did trouble me a few times whilst reading
- The book focused a lot on making money from your blog directly. I thought there could have been more focus on the benefits of having a blog beyond simply making money from ads and perhaps some examples of how people have benefited in other ways from their blog
- I thought the book could have focussed a little more on the role of social media in driving traffic to your blog. It focussed a lot on social bookmarking sites, like Stumbleupon and Digg, but less on the importance of growing a network of like minded people on Twitter and Facebook (two major drivers of traffic to my blog)
Who should read this book
As I mentioned above, the book is well set out, so even if you are an experienced blogger like me it is easy to skip chapters and focus on the authors’ tips for driving deeper engagement and higher readership. Having said that, those with no or little experience blogging will benefit the most from reading this book.
As I said at the top I am giving my copy away and will select a comment left on this post before Friday 4 June to be the winner. So go on, drop me a comment about the most successful blog post on your blog and why you think it has been successful. For those that don’t have a blog, simply share a link to a memorable blog post you have seen and outline why you think it was so powerful. Remember a condition of entry is that if you win, the copy then needs to be handed on to somebody else when you have finished with it.