52 books in 52 weeks: The Author Blog

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 34.

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors is by Anne R Allen. It was mentioned in a Facebook group recently, so I thought I’d take a look.

It didn’t take me very long to read it from cover to cover, so it’s a quick read with lots of short, punchy chapters – twenty-eight of them. And it’s a very good place to start if you’ve never considered starting a blog. It’s also a good book to dip into if you’ve been running a blog already for some years.

Blogging now isn’t the same as when blogging took off back in the late nineties, early noughties. And there’s a difference between blogging as a business and blogging as an author or writer. This book tells you those differences.

It’s shown me where I’ve been going wrong all this time. Most of the things the author tells you not to do, I’ve been doing for years, such as writing about writing or not always including an image. And then it tells you lots of things to do right that I’m going to try, such as why it’s important to use the headings facility in your blog platform rather than ordinary text (it’s for the spiders).

The book suggests topics to cover and topics to avoid, and why. It looks at free blogging platforms versus paid-for or self-hosted platforms. It looks at the differences between having a blog on your website or using one of the more popular platforms – or not. And it goes through monetising your blog, the pitfalls of paid advertising, what to do when you’re hacked.

It also looks at the bigger picture, such as building an online presence in the first place and deciding on your own personal brand. And much more.

Blogging has taken a bit of a bashing in recent years, but I happen to think it will make a comeback – and this author seems to agree with me. Yes, many blogs have fallen by the wayside and drifted into the wilderness, taken over in their creator’s affections by other social media platforms. But I don’t think it’s a dying breed, and nor does this author.

Over all it’s a very useful little guide and very quick to read. I shall certainly be trying some of the suggestions – and heeding some of the warnings.

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors is available on Kindle for £2.22 ($3.10) and in paperback for £5.99 ($9.99).