Monday, June 15, 2009

Blogging Blueprint from PlugInID – Free E-Book Review

I’m a big cynic when it comes to Free E-Books on Blogging Success or SEO Success, or Make Money Online. Mind you, I’ve downloaded a lot of them; I have a ‘downloads’ folder full of them. Most of them I’ve scanned over, well, at least the first few pages and maybe the last couple to see if anything stands out as new news, and to be fair, I’m sure some of them are worth my reading, it’s just that if there’s one lesson learnt from this specific Free E-Book offering, it’s that you’ve got to make your free e-book promotional offer email GOOD. Otherwise, people will hope it’s good, but probably won’t actually follow through and read the ebook.

So that’s the first thing that struck me about this Free e-book offer - the promo blurb is straight up to start with and moreover, it had an offer that I felt I should not pass up on: write a review of the e-book and the author will link back to the review from his blog. This should result in some traffic to my blog; a much needed thing for me. It also didn’t ask for your email address in order to get the book – a big plus as my inbox too often requires cleaning from the resulting emails from such signups.

It’s not that this review and link thing is such an un-heard of offer - it’s the basis of reviewing goods for links or payment - I read this book because I read this guy, Glen’s blog and find so far, that he’s pretty genuine, doesn’t push paid for content on you at all and does at least take a moment to check out people who comment on his blog or follow him on Twitter. That’s how I try to be, so I appreciate someone who has those similarities.

I started blogging because I believed I could make money online through blogging. Those of you who read my blog regularly know I’ve been trying to translate my experiences of journeying back into the life of a 'creative' in the Caribbean, (one who makes money) into some useful advice and interesting anecdotes. And you’d know that early up I realized the money was NOT going to come flowing in from affiliate links on my blog.

So I’ve been exploring some, really just a few so far, of the options out there for making an impact online. I have a great Twitter grade 97+%, but I only have 20 subscribers to this blog and a handful of hits per day. There's work to be done still, clearly!

What I’ve  felt for a while is that blogging for me is about getting my image ‘out there’: A blog is a wonderful tool for creating your image online, they’re easy to set up – at least the basics (and the basics provide a lot of options), and while my blog(s) are by no means where I want them to be (and will change significantly in the coming months) they have made inroads in achieving my goal.

Having read through the entire Blogging Blueprint e-book – all 69 pages of it – this evening, I can safely say that it will help anyone looking to set up a blog but not sure how to get it off to a good start.

The information is presented nice and clearly with a minimum of ‘technical’ terms – and where they are used, they’re explained.  There were a number of things I hadn’t thought of and carrying out the steps seems easy and useful. Some things I’d already figured out would make sense to do – like moving to a proper domain name blog – but haven’t gotten round to doing and don’t know much about, so the info helped me feel more familiar with the process even though my husband will probably do the actual set up work for me.

The choice of what you blog about is of course very important and influences the number of readers and hits you’re likely to get, and the book has a good section dealing with sorting out this choice. I had already decided to change up the focus and content of my blogs but this section is helping me sort out the decisions on what directions to go in.

The advice and step-by-step guides focus on a specific set of ‘tools’ – hosts, software etc, but that doesn’t mean that you must go with those choices – it’s pretty easy to see that the advice and steps outlined can be translated to other options.

So, if you’ve been thinking of blogging or started like me, and figure you need to get a bit more back from your blogging, go ahead and get this FREE e-book and read it.

I’d advise also that even where Glen suggests you can skip a section if you’re already at a certain stage, that you don’t – it’s a good sized e-book, but it’s very easy to read, so if you already know some things, the info will probably at least help re-enforce that knowledge and most likely you’ll pick up a tip or two as well.

Lastly, there are tonnes of links to other articles and resources – I haven’t followed up on those yet, but I suspect I will: when you get a good lead, it usually pays to follow it as far as it will go.

Blogging Blueprint, not everything you’ll need to know, but a very useful, easy to follow guide to getting yourself well on the road. Go get it.

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Photos by Finola Prescott, just some images to inspire.