Successful Blogging book review

This blog (The ClickStarter) is my 6th blog–I know, I can’t believe it too–so I would count myself as somewhat experienced in blogging.

But creating blogs by the dozen and creating a successful blog are different things. After 6 blogs on different topics, I think I’m finally on track to make this blog a success, i.e. wide readership and effectively promoting my products.

However, I wish that I had a guide to tell me exactly what I needed to do early on so that I would have achieved more success by now. Annabel Candy’s ebook is such a guide.

Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps offers beginner bloggers a hype-free and practical guide on starting and growing a successful blog and audience, in an easy to understand, jargon-free self-study course.

Practical blogging instruction based on experience

As a blogger, Annabel has managed to grow her blog to 1,500 subscribers in 12 months and was even sent on a sponsored trip to a social media expo in Shanghai by Coca-Cola.

With this experience under her belt, Annabel has put together a course that will help beginners start off their blog on the right track and point out the important points to focus on. The ebook is divided into 12 chapters that cover planning and setup, writing and promoting your blog.

Here’s what I really liked about Successful Blogging:

  • Refreshingly hype free – no big promises of how much money you will make or sneaky upsells.
  • Well-structured content with each chapter beginning with a Thinking Point, and ending with Action Steps and a Checklist.
  • Covers important topics that are often missed like branding, improving the readability of your blog, the importance of RSS subscriptions and how to properly brief a designer.
  • Comprehensive info on blog promotion (4 chapters) which many bloggers fail to take into account.
  • Written in easy to understand, conversational language. The audio version also has an excellent reader which made it fun to listen to.
  • 10% of ebook proceeds gets donated to Kiva. I hope Annabel will announce the amount when she makes the donation.

What could be better

I thought that the book did not contain enough screenshots and diagrams, especially in Step 4: Blog Set Up where the author discusses WordPress basics.

Another point which I thought needed improvement was the layout of the book pages. This is a pet peeve of mine, so I’m probably biased. I find it difficult reading 2-column, portrait layout PDFs on my computer because I have to scroll down to read the 1st column and then scroll back up to read the 2nd column. However I admit that the layout works much better when you print it out to read.

Despite these minor shortcomings, I found the book a very good product content-wise.

Who Should Buy This Product

If you are just getting started with blogging and are not a techie, Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps is perfect for you. Despite my experience in blogging, I did learn many things from the book and found that it provided me a good reference of best practices to follow.

Who Should Not Buy This Product

The following groups of people will be disappointed with the ebook:

  • Individuals who are allergic to hard work – in fact Annabel very clearly says to expect success only 6-12 months down the line
  • Those looking to make money with their blogs – the book only briefly touches on the business of blogging
  • DIY enthusiasts wanting to learn how to setup their blogs themselves

Next Actions

The book comes in 3 different packages – Hot & Super Hot. You can also get a Super Hot Consultation package where Annabel will guide you through creating your blog.

  1. Check out the preview of the book
  2. Get to know Annabel better through her blog Get In The Hot Spot and Twitter (@GetInTheHotSpot)

Have a question? Ask your question in the comments.

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5 thoughts on “Successful Blogging book review

  1. Hey David, thanks so much for buying my book and reviewing it. I love that you included your critical feedback – some great points on including more images and the 2 column layout and reading on the computer for me to think about. I love the way if looks on my iPad though.

    Yes, I will keep my readers updated with donations to Kiva:) I like that too and it’s exciting that book sales will make a difference there too.

    • Hi Annabel, you must have better eyes than me because the font looks a bit small on my iPad :)

      Thank you for a great product and resource. It was a really well-balanced book and I’m not just saying that to suck up!

      • I agree, David. I’ve been blogging for just over a year with a strong commercial focus. Annabel’s book provided me with a useful crosscheck to ensure that my approach is taking full advantage of the latest and best thinking regarding blogging.

        Best,

        @Robin_Dickinson

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