Friday, 23 January 2009

ProBlogger Book Review

Before Christmas I posted about getting a book on blogging and promised to write a review on it. Well, I got the ProBlogger book by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett.

I tried to visualise myself as I had been a few months ago before I started blogging and how helpful this book would have been to me at that time. I think, to be honest, that it is more useful to me now, with several months' blogging experience under my belt, than it would have been then.

What I liked about it was the practical, down to earth attitude of the writers. Underlying everything they wrote there was the clear message that blogging is not a recipe for instant wealth. If you want to make money, then a lot of time and effort is required.

All the relevant information was covered clearly, I found - setting up your blog, writing, income and earning strategies, promotion, networking etc and I found all the chapters were a good consolidation of my own understanding so far, and also gave clear advice about how to continue. The chapter on setting up a blog, though covering all the available platforms available, focussed on Wordpress, which was not so relevant to me as I use Blogger. There is also a chapter on buying and selling blogs, which I found not relevant to me (at this time, anyway!), but it's good that they covered it anyway.

I particularly liked the chapter on Secrets of Successful Blogs, which looked at a variety of blogs of different types which have succeeded and what we can learn from them. The Promotion and Marketing chapter was also useful in that I could compare what I have learnt through my own experience with their own practical tips and advice.

Throughout the book, there are what are called Exercises, which basically give you the chance to take in what has been written and reflect on how you can apply it in your own situation.

To summarise, I would call it a well-written textbook which is most useful for those in their first year or 18 months of blogging. Having had some experience in what works for you and what doesn't, reference to the various chapters can help consolidate what you have learnt and focus you on the best way to go forward.

For those who are about to start blogging, it would be good to read right through the book to get the general picture and then re-read the first chapters on Niche Blogging, Setting Up Your Blog and Blog Writing. Then, once you have started blogging, to continuously refer to the book to get guidance as to how to continue.

The writers are extremely successful bloggers, so we know that what they say has actually worked. I'm definitely glad I got it and have been referring to it frequently.

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