Review: Blog It! The author’s guide to building a successful online brand
When you’ve been blogging for a while, it’s really easy to forget how overwhelming the combination of setting up a new blog, new social media accounts and so on can be. Well, here’s the good news: it does become second nature. Here’s the bad news: it takes some work and time.
Molly Greene is a fantastic blogger. She has built up a loyal following by posting excellent content on a weekly basis. Sometimes the posts are from guest visitors to the blog, sometimes they are from Greene herself. They are always well shared and Greene gets great numbers. In short, her new book Blog It is definitely based in her own experience!
There were three things I loved about this book:
– It is straightforward: Greene doesn’t get too technical or formal. Instead there’s a feeling of ‘We’re all friends here’. Frankly, it kind of built up my expectations that she might walk in with a latte and a digestive biscuit for me, so that was a vague disappointment (because it didn’t happen, obviously). Seriously, though, the book has the warm and welcoming tone of a good teacher, rather than a condescending and formal approach that might send blogging beginners running for the hills.
– The book is aimed at authors (though I think it would be useful for any new blogger) and the message is very clear: this is part of your platform, part of a long-term strategy, not an overnight scheme to sell thousands of books. Blogging is just one of the (many!) things an author needs to commit to when building a following.
– Greene very succinctly extols the virtues of self-hosted WordPress. Hooray! A free blog is all well and good but self-hosted offers so many benefits. Authors struggle enough to get their books to stand out in the crowd. Why on earth would any author want a free – and likely generic – blog? To be fair, Greene shares info on Blogger and WordPress.com but I think I’m still going to have her on my team…
So, if it’s good for new bloggers, does that mean it doesn’t offer any benefit to more seasoned bloggers? I’ll be honest that I didn’t learn anything brand new BUT I have been blogging for several years. Also, I might not have expanded my knowledge but it’s so so easy to slip into bad habits. For me, this was an excellent best practice checklist, to make sure I was doing the things I should be. Certainly worth it for less than the price of a coffee for a comprehensive self-review guide!
Well-written, with smart advice, this book manages to be refreshingly free of assumptions about what beginners should and shouldn’t know, while at the same time avoiding treating readers like children. Certainly a feat of balance and care! My only question is will we see follow up volumes for intermediate and advanced readers? That would be a must-buy series for authors wanting to move from blogging basics to blogging brilliance.
(Book source: reviewer’s own copy)