When planning for a month long focus on blogging, I looked for resources that would help people think about how they blog, why they blog and what they could blog about. In doing so, I stumbled across Robin Houghton's series of support books for bloggers. Robin very kindly sent me 'Blogging for Creatives' and Robin has just published 'Blogging for Writers' too.
Who is the book for?
This book carries the subtitle: 'How designers, artists, crafters and writers who blog to make contacts, win business and build success'. In other words this is a book aimed to helped creative businesses develop a place online that they use to share what they make and do. However, when you dive into the book you will quickly find that there's useful information in here for every blogger such as choosing great images and formatting a blog template to look clean and stylish. The big emphasis here is on presenting a professional looking blog but most of the rules still apply for you and I.
Inside you'll find a walk through of key elements of blogging. Chapters include 'Step-by-Step Setup' and 'Creating Great Content'. There's an in depth look at popular blog sites such as Blogger and Wordpress and plenty of jargon busting that means you can access this book even as a non blogger who is ready to publish something. If you're looking to crank it up a notch, you can jump ahead to 'Monitoring Your Blogs Performance' or 'Promoting Your Blog'.
I really liked the visual layout. Seeing real blog pages broken down with useful captions, pointers and explanations really appealed to me as a blogger. It was a familiar layout except this time I had the stabilisers on and Robin was walking me through what I should be paying attention to when I'm looking at my own blog. It meant I could grab the information I needed no matter what my entry level is.
I particularly liked the insights and advice Robin collected from bloggers I respect and admire. She brought a great cross section of some of the most exciting bloggers out there and introduced me to some I had yet to discovered. Reading Grace Bonney (DesignSponge) talking about her need to release all the energy and excitement that she had about design was really uplifting. So many of us start blogs in excitement and burn out. It's fascinating to see how many bloggers use their blogs creatively with entirely different purposes and approaches and develop it to suit their needs at the time.
This is a book that I would recommend dipping into if you want to start or a blog or improve how you present it. For creative business owners this would be really helpful. However, it's worth noting that the blogging world moves fast and even in the short time period since publication, things have changed again. I do think that there's enough basic rules here that you aren't running the risk of being left behind. A handy resource to complement others or a starting point for getting serious about the way your blog looks and how you go about creating and presenting content.
Interested to know more and get some tips from Robin? I've interviewed her for the podcast and will be pushing it live this Saturday. She offers some great insights and thought provoking nuggets about the way blogging has changed so I hope you'll tune in!