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Book Review: Born to Blog

Withholding Water

Taking a departure from my regular topics of taxes, retirement accounts, and Social Security, today I’m reviewing a book dedicated to the topic of blogging.  This is another of the books that McGraw-Hill has provided for me to review (see note below). 

This book, by Mark W. Schaefer and Stanford A. Smith, provides a quick-read overview of the activity of writing a blog successfully.  As with any venture, it’s important at the start to have a goal for the activity, and for many folks it’s simply to get a message out there about a product or service.  For others, the goal is to be a source of information; others yet look to showcase collections of graphics, photos, audio and/or video.  And many hope to gain an audience that will somehow pay off for them – either from sales of products, services or subscriptions, or from ad revenue from third-parties who pay the owner of the blog to advertise on the site.

Schaefer and Smith take you through this entire process, step-by-step.  The perspective of an independent blogger is discussed as well as that of a corporate marketing effort.  With the tools discussed in this text, virtually anyone can start up a successful blog, on virtually any topic.

I particularly liked the early sections on the types of bloggers based on how they produce content – and there are several.  Storytellers write about their own or others’ experiences; dreamers write about things they’d like to change or see changed; persuaders attempt to get the reader to undertake their point of view (often politically, economically, or religiously); teachers provide lessons on topics that are of interest to their readers; and curators collect things – quotes, photos, audio, video, etc..

If you are just starting out on your mission to produce a blog, an excellent place to start is to pick up this little book.  It’s a short read (165 pages, good for a long flight or an afternoon or two on the beach), and the writing is straightforward, understandable and complete.  I would recommend this book to anyone starting off with a blog, or anyone who has already been blogging and is beginning to have difficulties getting the results you’d hoped for.

The above book review is part of a series of reviews that I am doing in an arrangement with McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, where MH sends me books with the only requirement being that I read the book and write a review – like it or not.  If you find the information in this review useful, let me (and McGraw-Hill) know!

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