Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging

I know I’ve been procrastinating this for a while and I owe it to Lorelle to give her book that I recieved a thorough review. In her words, be as honest as I can and for the sake of professionalism, I will be.

Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging is actually a compilation and summary of the most of the tips that Lorelle VanFossen has written in her blog, Lorelle on WordPress. To start off with, it’s not exactly as think as an encyclopaedia, only amounting to almost a hundred pages.

The book that I received was basically a large as an A4 size paper which made me wonder how much was actually spent on printing. It felt like the book was just printed off a Word Document then bound together with cardboard. The reason it took me a while to go through the book was because I’m a person on the go so I like portability. This is a book you sit down and read in the comforts of your own time, both in size and in content which I’ll get on to later.

For the most part, I feel that the book was designed around the same idea as writing on a blog. Some of the fonts didn’t feel like they belonged on a book, rather they belonged on a computer. In fact I don’t recall ever seeing Arial being published on a book before (in respect to displaying codes). I could be wrong on this one so feel free to correct me.

The colour of the fonts might be better off being darker. I have no problems reading in navy blue fonts, but I think it’s wiser to stay with the standard black font with a white background. Books don’t win people over by the classy fonts and non-native colours. They win people over by how it’s written and what it is all about. So enough of judging this book by its cover. Let’s get down to what this book is really made off.

Let me summarize the book into the most important line of this review.

If you’re new to blogging or if you’re serious about improving the way you blog. This is a book you have to read.

The book basically informs the readers about the core basics of a blog and touches on a few extra details in which a fully functional blog should operate by. Some of the things that the book writes about are:

  1. The purpose and reason you blog and how to plan around it.
  2. The content of your blog and how to put to full use.
  3. Site structure and design.
  4. Blog administration and management.
  5. Interaction in the community and social networking in blogs.
  6. Information on search engine optimisation and page ranking.

As you can see, it pretty much covers everything you need to know about blogs. Despite the fact that it isn’t the size of an encyclopaedia, it pretty much packs as much information on blogging as one.

Now I’ve been blogging for quite a while now and while some of the parts of this book are a no brainier for me, there are some things in here which taught me things I didn’t know I could do. Being that even this experienced blogger can learn a thing or two from the book. Imagine what it could do for someone who just started blogging. This book teaches you that it isn’t about the fancy things that makes a blog good and worth reading. It’s about taking care of the most basic and overlooked things that defines the quality of a blog.

I particularly like the section on comments and how our comments are mini-resumes that reflect the way our blogs are. So even though we can claim that we’re not liable for whatever was commented, it still reflects the way we handle our blogs. So if we see something that’s out of line, delete it, move on without excuses and stop having a sleepless night debating over it.

In a way, many things that this book writes about revolves around how everything you do relates to the reputation you portray on your blog and indirectly in real life. Now this is something that most veteran bloggers know, but newcomers take for granted. Whatever you create online, you’re liable for it and it may possibly affect relations with your would-be future employer or even the rest of your personal life itself. This books puts that into perspective in a roundabout way and I seriously commend that.

Now, the content isn’t without flaws. I’ve spotted several grammar mistakes despite the fact I’m not a grammar Nazi and I know I’ve spotted at least one spelling mistake there that was quite easily overlooked. It could have stood for a little bit more editing but I suppose given the budget based on the way it was printed, at least it didn’t feel like English was a second language. But aside from those few mistakes, I can say I’ve seen far worse in a book.

Given all the superficial flaws, Blogging Tips is still worth reading. You can’t judge a book by its cover and ironically this book is the best example of that. To newcomers of blogging, this book will be your starting point to understanding and creating blogs that people can come back to and read. To veterans and even experienced bloggers, this book will help you focus on what we take for granted and might even tell us things we didn’t even know.

Blogging Tips can be ordered online at Blog Herald for about $12.95 USD not inclusive of the delivery charges. I’d say that’s pretty cheap for a good handybook on blogging. Especially one you’re mostly likely going to keep with you all the time.

With all the rage that blogging is these days, it helps to have more blogs with content that delivers words worth reading. This book might help that along if put to good use. I’d vouch for that.

10 thoughts on “Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging

  1. I should have clarified that Arial was used to display codes which exemplifies what I was talking about when I said that the book was written like it was online content.

  2. If order does matter in the list of the things being mentioned in the book, this should have ranked no. 1 or 2:

    Information on search engine optimisation and page ranking.

    Not me though, but for most of the bloggers out there — yes. 😉

    yc

  3. Actually, the book was written to represent a typewriter. The blue ink was a mistake. We’ve beaten the printer about that thoroughly, thought the fonts and color have no impact on the content.

    The whole thing from conception to delivery was 4 weeks. A lot of changes were made to the content in the last three days due to a sudden decision to cut out 40 pages, so mistakes happen without adequate editing time due to the tight schedule and the last minute decision to turn it from a photocopy into a book.

    Who am I to argue with publishers.

    Again, never judge a book by its cover, nor its type, thus thank you for the kind words on the content. That is the real benefit of any book, and I’m glad it helped teach you a few things you didn’t know.

  4. Oh, and to my knowledge, Arial is used nowhere in the book. Except in the graphic examples from web pages, as those were the fonts in the web designs. The book is written in Garmond, a classic serif font. The headings (titles and subtitles) are in a typewriter font to remind people that blogging is about writing, and today’s writing is “typing”.

  5. Yuen-Chi Lian: There is a lot about SEO and optimization, but honestly, in the order of importance on a blog, it is really at the bottom of the list. If your blog design is clean of errors and properly structured, and the content is filled with keywords and search terms, as well as the answers people are seeking when they hunt, if that is your goal, and the blog is easy to read and easy to navigate, you’ve won the SEO game. So the others come first, and the games played with SEO come last.

    It’s just that SEO continues to be hot blog attention-getting topic. It doesn’t mean it hasn’t been abused or beaten to death as a subject. Today’s blog designs are more search engine friendly than ever before. If it isn’t filled with good searchable content though, it’s never going to do well anywhere or any how. 😀

  6. Yuen-chi: Not necessarily though, I ordered it in the way that I think should have mattered. It’s been mentioned before on this blog that SEO’s and Page Rankings are a direct result of the content you write and the way you write it. Methods may change, but the principles behind it remain the same. Your content determines how valid your blog is to the rest of the world.

    Lorelle: I hope that I didn’t go on too hard on the books especially since as you say it’s a result of publishing errors and last minute changes. I think if given enough time to work out the details instead of being rushed, this book would have been close to flawless.

    I might be mistaken but I believe some of the examples of codes are written in Arial and the quoted texts are written in Verdana which isn’t so bad. Like I said, I might be wrong in the Arial part and I will correct it if I am wrong, but I was saying that the font doesn’t really bring out the book.

    It is a good book to read and I have read it from cover to cover and enjoyed reading it thoroughly. Thank you for publishing this book and sharing your knowledge with us.

  7. Am I seeing things or Lorelle does write comments from Lithuania? I did not know we have one of my favourite bloggers staying with us…

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