Creative Blogging: Your First Steps To A Successful Blog, by Heather Wright-Porto
If you are a budding blogger and you want some practical tips on how to create a blog on several platforms and work on ways to monetize your blog, this is a good guide that is a far easier read than its 300 pages of somewhat thick paper would indicate . To be sure, its information is not perfect, as it occasionally assumes, for example, that someone will be able to upload certain files to verify ownership of a blog that is not the case in WordPress, and contains obsolete information regarding blog networking on Facebook, but for someone just starting out who wants to know some nuts and bolts information on how to start a blog, this is an excellent resource. It is not a particularly flowery or elegant work, but as a practical book about a practical subject this is certainly well worth a few hours of time for someone who is trying to discover how they want to approach the wide world of blogging from the technical details, of how to make a blog look good and which blog site would be the best given certain constraints.
The contents of this book are as straightforward as can be imagined for this very technical and workaday book. It is perhaps humorous that a book with the title creative blogging would be so uncreative, but that is just one of the many ironies of life. The 300 or so pages of this book are divided into eleven chapters that provide tips and screenshots for the neophyte blogger to: spend some time on the beginning process of what blog title to have and what blog service to use, better understand blog layout and design, start blogging with text, add and embed pictures and video to blog entries, understand advanced blog design using html and css, set up a custom domain, increase traffic and track visitors with Google analytics, integrate blogs with social media like Facebook and Twitter, set up shop in order to monetize one’s blog by providing goods and services online to be paid through Paypal, use custom html and css to spruce up one’s blog, and some closing tips for budding bloggers. Most of the advice in the book is given in triplicate to help the would-be blogger see what it looks like to work on WordPress, Blogger, and TypePad. The result is a book that is extremely practical, even if there are likely to be some changes to the technical specifics over the five years or so since this book was published.
Ultimately, one has to ask oneself if this is a worthwhile book. There were a couple of parts of the book that interested me, and then I realized I couldn’t actually do them because the information was out of date, which was a bit disappointing. Nevertheless, if a fairly technical and basic book on blogging can give something of interest to someone who has been blogging as long (and, if I may put it somewhat immodestly, as well) as I have, then someone who is a beginning blogger will find much of interest here, especially if one is doing so as part of one’s entrepreneurial efforts. This book will not give an artistic defense of blogging, nor will it help someone determine what they want to blog about, but when it comes to keeping business and personal blogging separate, having a clear beat for blogging, and trying to keep one’s writing from becoming overwhelming, there is a lot to appreciate here. This is a solid effort, and one can do far, far worse than consulting this book for help on setting up a blog on WordPress, Blogger, or TypePad, and there are certainly many people who could use the help that this book provides.
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