This week visiting the boy was awesome, with lots of time off together and one of our best dates ever at the revolving Sundial restaurant at the top of the Westin in Atlanta (so awesome!). Unfortunately, the boy also had a lot of work to do. Fortunately, this left me lots of time to work on my blog and read some 006 books on blogging, which I’ll be reviewing here 🙂
Do you wish your blog had thousands of followers or was one of the best known blogs in its’ niche? I can honestly say that’s not why I write (although I love having readers and very much appreciate that people read my ramblings, thinking about having an audience while writing just makes me nervous!). But even so, the main reason I enjoyed The Rough Guide to Blogging was because it caused visions of future blogging success to dance in my head. I would honestly recommend picking this or a similar book on that merit alone; it’s just fun to brainstorm ideas to make your blog better 🙂
Technically the book was very basic. Even as a new blogger myself, being reasonably computer-competent was enough that I didn’t take much away from the book’s technological advice. The book started with a history of blogging, which I enjoyed very much, and after the technical section continued with some tips on increasing traffic, making money, and writing blog posts. Although this advice was pretty basic as well, I suspect most people will still find a few interesting tidbits. Ideas I got included:
- adding a blog roll – I read enough blogs this should be very basic, but it still isn’t something I’ve done yet!
- adding target = “_blank” to links (in the html <a> tag) so the link will open in a new page – this is both polite (so it doesn’t look like content you’re linking to is part of your own site) and makes it easier for users to return to your blog after viewing outside content
- using sitemeter to measure traffic – although without hosting your own blog you can’t get visitor IP addresses, you can see what hours of the day most of your traffic occurs. I mostly just think it’s cool to know, but serious bloggers might post content at the most high traffic times.
Current Fiction Readings
None finished this week (lame, I know!), but I did get to read some more of Flyte with the boy.
The Rough Guide to Blogging and The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging – 4 stars – Both books were pretty basic, even for someone such as myself who is new to blogging, as long as you have some previous experience with technology. Both books begin with an interesting section on the history of blogging and continue with some good but basic advice on choosing a topic and writing style, building traffic, and making money on your blog. The little extras in The Rough Guide to Blogging where more interesting to me, but the Huffington Post guide gave more detailed writing advice. For really good traffic building advice, I would suggest reading this blog post over either of the books.