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:
- The purpose and reason you blog and how to plan around it.
- The content of your blog and how to put to full use.
- Site structure and design.
- Blog administration and management.
- Interaction in the community and social networking in blogs.
- 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.