“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. That expression never applied to my outlook on life. I’d rather curl up with a good book, any day. Books take me anywhere in the world and provide a wealth of knowledge that I can use to turn the tides on almost any situation. There are so many new things to explore, places to add to my bucket list, and suggestions to apply to my blogs after reading a book.
My storehouse of books has exponentially grown throughout the years. To share tidbits of what comforted me on this blogging venture, I decided to create reviews (or provide highlights from read books) to help influence the resources you acquire on your journey. Think of it as a blogger helping another blogger out. The blogosphere is big enough; we all can thrive.
There are so many misconceptions and myths out there about blogging, and I know the resources I review can be of immense aid to you.
*This post contains affiliate links. Please see full disclosure.
To commence my review series, I’ll be looking at Blogging for Dummies (4th Ed.) by Susannah Gardner and Shane Birley. There is a revised edition of this collection, but I’m just reviewing what I’ve read. If you wish to buy more recent editions of the Blogging for Dummies collection, find them at the link below.
What to Expect from This Review
The life of a blogger is rough. There’s just so much to do. Because time is precious, I’ll be reviewing the book in sections/parts. What does that mean? Don’t expect to get everything all at once.
Blogging for Dummies (4th Ed.) has thirteen different parts which are all segmented in chapters. To review everything at once is overwhelming and cumbersome. Hence, I’ll be providing reviews of this edition by looking at each section.
For example: Part 1 of Blogging for Dummies has three chapters. Since this is the very first series in this book highlight, I’ll tackle chapters 1, 2 & 3 and proceed from there. Each chapter will outline what that segment is about and how you can benefit as a budding blogger.
Part 1: Getting Started with Blogs
The headline is transparent. Part 1 of Blogging for Dummies (4th Ed.) provides you with an introduction to the blogosphere. If blogging is going to be your bread and butter, you at least need to know the basics, right?
Blogs aren’t only written by CEOs or people who reek of money. I’m going to go out on a limb and say a blog is for everyone. They just need a bit of guidance and hand-holding to get started. Seriously, you don’t need a college education to launch one.
This section of the book will teach you all you need to know about blogging and the blogosphere, but it won’t teach you basic computer skills. I’ll assume that you do know how to work around a computer since you did find this blog entry, right?
In Part 1 of Blogging for Dummies (4th Ed.), I’ll be covering three chapters - Discovering Blog Basics, Entering the Blogosphere, and Choosing and Hosting Blog Software
Note: The segments and chapters in this review will appear as is in the book.
Chapter 1: Discovering Blog Basics
This chapter gets your feet whet with blogging. If you have a decent understanding of the blogosphere, it’s not advised to read this section. It doesn’t hurt to, however.
After being introduced to blogging back in 2013, I thought I had the basics covered. However, subsequent to reading chapter 1, my perspective was realigned. It pays to know proper terminologies, the history behind blogging, and how people use blogs.
To assess your level of knowledge, try to answer the preceding questions:
What is the anatomy of a blog? How do you identify a blog?
If those questions are difficult to answer, you probably need to get this book and skedaddle to the drawing board.
Discovering Blog Basics also provides tips and suggestions on how you can choose what to blog about. Deciding what I wanted to settle for was a challenge which led to the creation of several failed blogs.
Laying the foundation for a successful blog is important and that includes deciding on the tone you want to take on, setting realistic goals, and designing a blog with eye-appeal. It’s not advised to spend months getting your blog’s design right but ensure readers can easily find what they want.
To better understand what this chapter holds out for you, please find below a few topics discussed in the book:
- How to get comfortable with blogs
- How (and why) people use blogs
- How to identify a blog
- The elements of a blog
- How to start a blog
- What to blog about - choosing a topic
- Setting your blog up for success
- Designing your blog for appeal
Chapter 2: Entering the Blogosphere
After digesting the basics, you’ll be ready to dig deeper into the blogosphere. Entering the Blogosphere chapter includes just that - all the nitty-gritty you need to know about getting involved with this aspect of business, publishing a blog entry, and so much more.
As a novice to the blogosphere, it’s easy to dodge blogging etiquette. (Yes, they are a thing, even though thousands of bloggers flout them). When you don’t know, you just don’t know. This chapter provides a digestible synopsis of what it means to blog ethically and owning up to mistakes like a boss when you’ve made them. Things happen but that doesn’t mean you have to shut your blog down and give in to despair.
Whether you decide to blog anonymously - as a make-believe character - or sport your identity, this chapter breaks down what is involved and how you should conduct yourself.
If you’ll also be writing product reviews and content similar in nature, this chapter tackles those too.
Entering the Blogosphere chapter is replete with knowledge to help you gain an edge in your blogging business. Even if you’re not yet a professional, having the knowledge from Blogging for Dummies will make you appear as one.
I don’t believe in the ‘fake it until you make it’ mentality, but it’s important to set your blog up for success and lay the right foundation.
In a nutshell, here’s what to expect from this chapter:
- What blogging involves
- What to expect when you publish a blog entry
- How to blog ethically
- What to do when you’ve blundered
- Interacting with people through comments (concise)
- How to handle blogging when you still sport a 9-5
- Protecting yourself, family, and friends while you blog
Chapter 3: Choosing and Hosting Blog Software
Have you had enough yet? Well, I’m just getting started. The fun begins in chapter 3. Get your pom-poms ready.
At this stage, you’re ready to decide on a domain name, identify suitable hosting options, and decide on the blog management system you want to have an affair with.
I call this chapter the “brainstorm”. It’s where you do all your research and then make a decision. It’s one of the most important chapters in Blogging for Dummies because the decisions you make here, will decide the name of your blog and where it’ll live.
You’ll be provided with tips and suggestions that will make choosing and registering a domain name seamless. All my blogs are registered with Namecheap - just in case you’re curious. You’ll also learn how to go about deciding on a web hosting company. Hosting is important. There are free hosting options out there, but you’ll lack control of vital aspects of your blog. For professional blogging, it’s best to self-host.
Here are a few items discussed in chapter 3 of Part 1:
- Choosing and registering a domain name
- Finding and buying suitable hosting options
- Benefits of self-hosting
- Choosing a blogging software
- Choosing an ideal blogging package
- Upgrading your blog after launching to improve performance
- A look at hosted blog software
Are you ready to learn about blogging in an organized and systematic way? Blogging for Dummies (4th ED.) not only provides insight into the blogosphere, but it gives actionable tips that you can use to create and launch your own blog. The information the book provides will also help you to create your own strategy, one that resonates with your blog structure and goals. Are you ready to lay the right foundation, build an online empire of your own, and earn from home? Start digging for gems in Blogging for Dummies (4th ED.).