If you follow our blog you will know that I love blogging, I love everything about it… the late nights, the questions that drive it, the meeting folk around the world, the connecting… I just love it!!! And I love blogging about blogging. Blogging is the ultimate way for a stay-at-home mom to get out of the door, well virtually!!! So many folks say they would love to blog but they really have no idea where to start. Well I have found the answer:
Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps by Annabel Candy. Where was this e-book three years ago when I started blogging… in twelve easy steps she tells you exactly how to get up and running in a systematic way – so that your blog can grow and you don’t have to go back and fix the mistakes you made at the start. When I started blogging I literally dove straight in and that works… up to a point!!! But after reading this book I see that there are a lot of little tweaks that I can perform and changes here and there that would make my blog a better blog.
This e-book is not a quick read, though you can read through it quickly. It is more like a workbook the kind of book that you have a pile of index cards beside you when you read it, so that you can make your own personal to do list. Each chapter is a complete idea on its own and leaves you with a do-able to-do list. All the chapters have the same format: They begin with a Description of the Chapter, A Thinking Point, Take Action, a Hot Tip Box and a Checklist of things to do. I love the checklists, I am not a natural list maker but these lists at the end of each chapter are there to help you stay focused… And I need all the help I can get with focusing!!!
Here are the Twelve Steps:
Step 1: Topic and Goals At this stage you need to have an idea about what you hope to write about… it isn’t set in stone, blogs grow and change. But what is your inspiration, do you have a theme, do you have a topic?
Step 2: Branding When you choose a name for your blog make sure it is one you like, it is going to be the name you use across all platforms: Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr for example. This chapter has help with web design as well so that your look is appealing.
Step 3: Planning a Blog I have to be honest I have never given much thought to blog design… I have never known where to start before, I just grabbed a template and went with it… and I certainly could do a little home improvement in the design department.
Step 4: Blog Set Up This is the ultimate chapter for the beginner blogger, the how to choose your blogging platform, setting up your RSS feed, adding images and links and so on…
Step 5: Writing Static Content All those pages that you may not think about as a beginner blogger when you are just trying to get posts out… How to work on your “About Page” and your “Contact Page.” I am sure I blogged for at least a year before I had these pages and I still need to be reminded to update them…
Step 6: Writing Blog Posts This is the stuff we all want to know about… how to write better posts, tips making great headlines… There is no harm in brainstorming!!!
Step 7: Writing for the Web Helpful hints for those of us that are new to writing on the web… What fonts and layout are easy on the eye. In the fast and furious world of the internet you have to have a post that looks appealing to read to keep a reader reading. And where to find free images on the web that you can use to enhance the look of your posts.
Step 8: Reality Check and Adding Value In this chapter you take a look at your blog as it stands… Not as you want it to be!!! There have been changes that I wanted to make on my blog for two years that I haven’t got round to yet. So take a look at the blog you have and what can be done to improve it, are your links really working and so on.
Step 9: Blogging and Other Social Media I loved this chapter because finally after years on the internet and a few years of blogging I finally stepped out into other media this year. Lots about twitter and the unwritten rules of twitter.
Step 10: Online Networking Connecting with other bloggers, commenting, interacting, swapping posts… and so on.
Step 11: Search Engine Optimization, Statistics and Rating Progress I have never really understood SEO before, I get it now!!! I love hoe she explains all the stats from google analytics
Step 12: Guest Posting How Annabel Candy grew her blog using Guest Posting – a really interesting read and food for thought!!!
And a Bonus Step: Committing to Blogging and Staying Motivated How to keep going and a whole heap of motivational tips…
I know I keep saying that this book is so perfect for the beginner blogger but I think you can see that after a couple of years of blogging I still got so much out of it!!! And I love having a concrete list of things to figure out and change to improve my blog and the service to our readers. My one regret regarding this book: I should have read it as soon as it came out. If you are a blogger, who is just journaling or one that is looking for exponential traffic growth… then this is the book to read. This book is packed with so many good, do-able, tips it is a goldmine of information.
AnnabelCandy did not pay me for this review, though she did give me a copy of the book to review. She did not pay me to say anything good about her book… It simply is fantastic, her website has been a fantastic source of information for me and unlike most fabulous bloggers about blogging she takes the time to answer every single question with her own personal touch. She has no problem sharing where she failed and where she was successful or what really works and what doesn’t. Also I did just sign up for her affiliate program because I have no problem endorsing a great product when I see one.