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Cornered Office

with Mir Kamin

I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.

To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/

Review/Giveaway: Professional Blogging for Dummies

Categories: Product review, Things you should be reading

36 comments

I’ve known Susan Getgood for years, and when I heard that she’d be tapped to write Professional Blogging for Dummies I immediately thought to myself that she was exactly the right person for the job. As I talked with Susan throughout the process—both just on a general level, and because I spoke with her as part of her research—my anticipation mounted. The most basic way to put it is that Susan gets it, from the dual perspective as a strategic marketer and as a blogger, herself. So I knew the book would be spot-on.

Last week Wiley (the publisher) was kind enough to send me two copies, and even knowing everything I did, beforehand, about Susan’s acumen and how she was planning to structure this, I was still absolutely blow away by how thoughtful and comprehensive this manual is. You could truly pick up Professional Blogging for Dummies if you’d never blogged a day in your life and—after reading through the advice herein—start a professional blog and make money with it. Moreover, if you’re already a problogger, there’s still great information in here for sharpening your approach.

The book is separated into five sections, and Susan suggests that real newbies simply read the book in order, while established bloggers will probably find sections 2 and 4 (Making Money with your Blog and Maximizing your Blog’s Success, respectively) most useful. Throughout the volume, the standard “for dummies” graphics in the sidebar help to pull your attention to tips, warnings, points to remember, and more.

I think what impresses me most about this book is that it’s exactly as simple or as comprehensive as you want it to be. That is, if there’s a specific area in which you want more information, it’s simple enough to look up that particular thing and get your answer. On the other hand, as someone who’s been blogging for over six years (and professionally blogging for five), I didn’t expect there to be a lot in this book that was new to me, and I was wrong. There’s actually plenty of information here both in terms of tools/resources with which I maybe wasn’t already familiar and more philosophical, business-plan-consideration type issues I hadn’t considered. So there turned out to be numerous places where I’d be reading along and think, “Oh, look at that! Here’s one of my blogs being used as an example!” But a page or two later I’d read something and kind of go, “Huh. I never even thought about that.”

Needless to say, my copy is now sprinkled with little post-it tabs where I want to be able to go back and find this or that salient point for future reference. This book really drove home for me that this is not a field where you establish yourself and then tread water; any successful professional in blogging is still going to have to keep up with technology, trends, and market needs. What I do today is different than what I did five years ago, and is likely different than what I’ll be doing in a year.

In short, this is a great book if you’re just starting out. And it’s also a great book if you’re an “old hand” who wants to keep up. If you blog in any sort of professional capacity (or wish you did), get your hands on a copy.

And I have some good news—one of you can get a copy of Professional Blogging for Dummies for free! I have an extra to give away to one lucky Work It, Mom! reader. Simply leave a comment on this post by 5:00 p.m. Eastern (that’s 2:00 p.m. Pacific) on Sunday, August 15th, 2010 for a chance to win. I’ll use a random number generator to select a winner, who will be announced next week. One entry per person, please.

May the dumbest one win! (Wait, that didn’t sound right….)



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36 comments so far...

  • Hootie hoo! I’d love to win this. Although I suppose if I want to make money on my blog, I’ll have to start writing again…

    Dave  |  August 10th, 2010 at 7:56 am

  • I’d LOVE to win this book! I totally respect and admire Susan Getgood so I imagine this book is gonna rock!

    Melissa {adventuroo}  |  August 10th, 2010 at 7:59 am

  • Considering a start in professional blogging and expanding my very small freelance writing portfolio, currently as a part-time income supplement, but hopefully moving more toward full time in the future. I think this book would be very helpful.

    Molly  |  August 10th, 2010 at 8:02 am

  • Please, please, please can I win this…..I am a recent addict to blogging and social media, and I’m in the process of planning to start my own blog. This book would be a HUGE help.

    Sarah Ferguson  |  August 10th, 2010 at 8:09 am

  • Thanks Mir. For the review and for sharing so much of your story with my readers.

    PS - This is obviously not an entry. I’ve read the book :-)

    Susan Getgood  |  August 10th, 2010 at 8:14 am

  • Susan Getgood is so awesome, I would love to win this book. Plus, I love, love, love her name.

    mona  |  August 10th, 2010 at 8:34 am

  • Yes, please! I’d love a copy.Thanks!

    schmutzie  |  August 10th, 2010 at 8:35 am

  • I NEED to get started. I have had a blog floating around in my brain for years now and this just might give me the kick in the pants I need!

    Sharon  |  August 10th, 2010 at 8:51 am

  • I would love to win this–an old hand at blogging but I never have given it a go as a “real” profession.

    Tarrant  |  August 10th, 2010 at 8:52 am

  • How cool…. I have been trying to figure that one out. Been blogging for over a year now. Attended a conference, networked, but the spark, the momentum is missing..
    Well.. hoping I win and learn the tricks of the trade!

    Garima  |  August 10th, 2010 at 8:55 am

  • ME! Me! Pick ME!!!

    Melissa  |  August 10th, 2010 at 9:02 am

  • This would so help me!

    Pam  |  August 10th, 2010 at 9:42 am

  • I’m dying to read this!

    mayberry  |  August 10th, 2010 at 9:52 am

  • I have nothing but admiration for Susan Getgood and would love to get my mitts on a free copy of this book.

    Marketing Mommy  |  August 10th, 2010 at 10:04 am

  • Oh, trust me, when it comes to me & blogging….you got it right when you said…”May the dumbest one win! ” ;~)

    Thanks for the opportunity.

    -Aileen

    Aileen  |  August 10th, 2010 at 10:45 am

  • Pick me, please!

    dma  |  August 10th, 2010 at 10:49 am

  • Would love to win this one!

    Flossip  |  August 10th, 2010 at 11:11 am

  • Would love to have this resource. If I ever have any time to myself again, my computer is just waiting for me!

    Lucy  |  August 10th, 2010 at 11:13 am

  • I’d love to win a copy of this book. I’m a writer, blogger, consultant, and mom, and have been interesting in blogging as a work-from-home job for the past several years, looking ahead to the imminent time my girls will both be in school and I will be ready to focus more on writing for income.

    Shannon  |  August 10th, 2010 at 12:32 pm

  • My mother blogs and I frequently send her here for salient info but think putting a book in her hands, to which she can easily refer, will be a welcome addition. Please enter me in your contest on behalf of my mother. Thanks, Mir!

    Midj  |  August 10th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

  • I need to create a blog for my job. This book sounds like it will put me on the right marketing road.

    Bill English  |  August 10th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

  • I’d love to have a copy!

    Katie  |  August 10th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

  • This could not be more timely — I started out as a “mommy blogger” but of late have been questioning the purpose of the blog and how to change it up. I would love to win this book to help move me in a new direction!

    Lisa (Mama Blah Blah)  |  August 10th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

  • I love reading Susan’s blogs so I have no doubt the book is thoughtful and packed with great info.

    becky  |  August 10th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

  • I’ve been blogging for decades (OK, maybe not DECADES…though it feels that way) but I’ve never even glimpsed the level at which I’d be considered a problogger. So I definitely want this book. Really. WANT.

    TC  |  August 10th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

  • Would love to check it out!

    el-e-e  |  August 11th, 2010 at 7:28 am

  • Would love to read this!

    Diane  |  August 11th, 2010 at 10:03 am

  • I’m pretty dumb! Pick me! ;)

    Lisa  |  August 11th, 2010 at 10:24 am

  • I gave up on my personal blog several months ago (and my husband his a few years ago), but we both want to get back into it and see what we can do with it. I plan to go back to college to obtain a second bachelor’s within the next several months, and this would certainly help us out, if we had a reference to help us figure out what we could be doing with our blog(s).

    the celt (jessica)  |  August 11th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

  • I would love to learn about blogging and how people are able to take their expertise, advice, knowledge and life experiences and share this with others.

    momofthree  |  August 11th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

  • I promise I am the dumbest, but would love to learn and this sounds like the best way!!

    Sue Tompkins  |  August 11th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

  • I’d love to win a copy of Susan’s book! I know how smart she is on this topic, and I’d love to have my own copy of Susan’s wisdom to refer to any time of day.

    Christina  |  August 13th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

  • As far aS blogging goes I promise to be the dumbest so please pick me!

    Sue Tompkins  |  August 13th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

  • I’ve always been apprehensive about blogging, let alone blogging professionally, despite having three (!) blogs (and freelancing for a local magazine). Perhaps, if I win this book, I’ll have a clearer idea of what it all entails, and will be able to put the knowledge to use to increase my cash flow! And I won’t have to bother you (Mir) to personally ‘pick your brain’…

    Aaannd, if I don’t win, at least I know what book to pick up at the friendly neighborhood bookstore.

    Wendalette  |  August 13th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

  • This book looks so useful . . . and it would make a great birthday present for me on the 15th!

    Texas Susan  |  August 13th, 2010 at 8:09 pm

  • I would love to win this book. Running two blogs already and there is so much information to sift through.

    Jacqueline D'Elia  |  August 14th, 2010 at 7:03 am

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