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….)