Monday, September 26, 2011

The Blogging Bible for Newbies

If you blog and you are anything like me you started it to keep a written record of everything that happens with your children and family. I had people telling me “you should write this stuff down” or “you say some of the funniest things, you should really start a blog”. 


So I thought to myself…Why not?  It’s just like an online journal, what a fantastic way to share my voice and to chronicle all the happenings in your life while saving paper at the same time.  WIN-WIN-WIN!


So I hopped onto Blogger (because I thought that was the best place to start) and signed up for a free space.  Then BAM!  It hits me, I have to name this thing, choose a format, and design it.  “Okay, okay” I said to myself, “you can do this…no reason to panic…yet”.


But as I started navigating the blogosphere, I started to realize that there are some fantastic blogs out there.  I don’t want to compete with them by any means because my blog is mine and mine alone.  But I’d like it to look awesome, and I would love for it to draw more attention like some other blogs out there. 


Then the questions in my head started.  But how did they get that fantastic header?  How did they create those nifty buttons?  How in the WORLD did they generate all that traffic and get all those followers?


So I set on a quest to make my blog better.  But where to start?  There is SO much information out there.  Too much for me.  I have three boys and don’t have time to filter all of the websites to find the exact information I’m looking for. 


Thankfully, I don’t have to spend hours upon hours doing the research.  Because Melissa at www.momcomm.com  has created a FABULOUS DIY Blog Critique eBook.  How cool is that?  All that searching online done for you and put together in one easy place?  Yes please!


 
People, let me tell you.  As a newbie blogger this eBook has it ALL!  From designing your blog to make it stand out, to understanding what the heck a SEO is (yeah, I’m still working on that one myself), and even content.

When I started blogging I had no idea that it only took three seconds for someone to form an opinion about my blog space or that “your header is the most important branding element on your blog…It’s a powerhouse that holds your name, tagline and visual identity all in one spot”. (page 12)  The great news is that with this eBook I now know the keys and tricks to make my blog design and header POP!  Not to mention how to find rocking social media buttons and how to make my very own blog badge (currently in the works here at Staying Afloat).

There are things in the blogosphere like site navigation and SEO that I’m still trying to figure out.  But I’m thankful to have this eBook to use as a reference and quite frankly a dictionary because I’m telling you I had no idea what a SEO was, let alone what it stands for.  For those of you that are like me it stands for Search Engine Optimization.  Don’t worry, with this eBook you don’t need to be the next Bill Gates to understand SEO, it gives you the basics.  Which is exactly what I needed. 

We all want to be good hosts to the visitors of our bloggy home so we want to make it easy to find things, easy to get around and easy for our visitors to give bloggy love.   And this eBook tells you just how to do it. 

Content.  My words, my thoughts, my feelings…that’s what blogging is all about for me.  But I also don’t want to feel like I am the only one out there feeling this way, or thinking these thoughts.  So I definitely want to connect with my readers.  Through the DIY Blog Critique eBook, I’ve realized that I need to tell my readers something about me and the purpose of my blog in an “About Me” page.  It’s kind of nice to get to know the person behind the words.  I’ve also learned that if I want to eventually branch out into working with brands, I need to say so right there on my blog.  There’s no way people will know otherwise. 

There is so much in the blogosphere that can make your head spin.  Melissa’s DIY Blog Critique eBook is a fantastic tool to help stop the spinning, and give you a step by step, easy to understand process to take your blood, sweet and tears…your blog, to everything you’ve ever wanted it to be.  Which is why I think it should be in the hands of every new blogger out there.  It is what I consider to be the Blogging Bible for Newbies.


*Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the DIY Blog Critique eBook for review.  All opinions, thoughts and words are my own. 

42 comments:

vinobaby said...

I desperately need to work on and understand SEO. You are ahead of me. Sounds like a great book!

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

I've been slowly working my way through Melissa's fantastic book. Will be looking forward to seeing how you use the wisdom gleaned from it :)

Cass said...

You will LOVE BlogHer'12. Must. Go!

(you're doing great, btw!) xo

Jamie said...

All the same thoughts this new blogger has/had/etc. I used the Assessment from Eli Rose and that really helped. I'll have to explore this book to see what else I can do!

Optimistic Mom said...

Blogging is hard work and there is so much information out there, you just have to find it. It is nice to see it all posted in one place. I have been running a backwards race since the beginning.....lol Just moved to my third (hopefully last) site because I was just running out and doing instead of researching. This time I researched so I hope it pays off. I may have to check out that book too! Thanks!

Melissa {adventuroo} said...

Thanks so much for a great review of my eBook. I'm glad it's been helpful for you!

Leigh Ann @ Genie in a Blog said...

I love how so many of us started as a way to document our lives with our kids. It was a good 2 years before I started thinking about blogging more publicly. Melissa's book is definitely on my wish list!

Missy said...

Great book! I'm glad you found it so helpful!

Bits of Bee said...

I love this! I'm so excited to sit down and read through the Ebook (as I have alot of the same questions as you did). Next on my list is to set up an About Me page where I can open up about who I am (I've been pretty secretive about my identity so far). Thanks for giving me one spot to look instead of me having to rely on Google!

Bridget said...

Thanks for the tips. I've kind of given up on all that, but it's time to start again right?

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

vinobaby,

Oh I don't understand SEO by any means. But this book helped me know what it is! HA! I'm slowly getting there.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Alison,

Isn't it a wonderful book? I'm on a slow track, but I will get there, and this blog will be awesome someday!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Cass,

I'm sure I would LOVE BlogHer but I'm not sure I will be able to go since it's in NY next year. :o(

Thank you so much for the encouragement! xo

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Jamie,

I plan on doing the Assessment as well, but the great thing about this book is that it gives you things to do on your own...at your own pace. LOVE THAT!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Optimistic Mom,

Blogging IS hard work and with all the info out there I get information overload really quickly.

This book is fantastic! I hope you check it out and let me know what you think!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Leigh Ann,

Blogging really is a great family journal of sorts isn't it? I say you should definitely get Melissa's book. At $14 it a cheap investment in your space. But it packs so much info it, it's well worth it!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Missy,

Isn't it fantastic? It has been very helpful. I'm taking things step by step and moving slowly, but its great to have goals.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Melissa,

Thank YOU for writing the eBook. It is FAB-U-LOUS!!!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Bits of Bee,

You are going to LOVE this eBook. Promise!! So glad I could help you find the info you needed.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Bridget,

I'd say if your ready to start it all up again then go for it. This eBook really gets you thinking. Love that!

Minivan Mama said...

There is always so much to learn! Looks like you are rocking it girl!

January Dawn said...

Thanks for sharing!!! I started my blog in January and still have no idea what I'm doing most of the time. I don't know what SEO means and I'm always wondering "how do people DO that, get that, put that there..." I'm so clueless. This sounds like an awesome resource.

By Word of Mouth Musings said...

You will be teaching me stuff before we know it - which would be awesome because i could not be any less techy ;)

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

I went through all those new blogger questions too! I've heard great things about that book so I'm glad it's helping you!

Kimberly said...

I've heard great things about that book. We all have those questions, not necessarily at start up, but throughout blogging as well.

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I'm still so clueless about so many blogging things. This book looks like it would be a great resource for me.

And I was just thinking about how much I love your background as I was reading this. Your waves are very soothing.

Jessica said...

How exciting you took so much away from the book.

Amanda said...

I may just have to give that book a try (when I can find a few minutes to dedicate to it - I'm already so overwhelmed by trying to read all the blogs I follow as well ad posting at least a couple times a week)!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Minivan Mama,

Well I don't know if I'm rocking it or not. But I'm definitely learning a lot!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

January,

This book helps you to understand the basics of SEO but also gives you tons of supportive links. It's FABULOUS!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

By Word Of Mouth Musings,

Now I highly doubt I will be teaching anybody anything. But I thank you for the compliment! :)

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Rach,

The book is great, easy to understand and allows you to go at your own pace. It's really be helpful.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Kimberly,

The book is fantastic. I'm sure my questions will continue for years and years to come. Which is why this eBook is so helpful. Doesn't matter which stage of blogging you are in, its got something for everyone.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Grumpy Grateful Mom,

OH I live in the clueless camp most of the time. This book really has been a great resource for me.

I'm glad you like my background. Thank you!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Jessica,

I'm super excited abou it!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Amanda,

The great thing is that you can go at your own pace. There is no rush. Its an easy and quick read. The whole thing is a WIN-WIN!

Eat. Live. Laugh. and sometimes shop! said...

Melissa certainly knows her stuff! I considered signing up for one of her critiques but I was too chicken.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Eat. Live. Laugh,

Melissa definitely knows her stuff. In this eBook you get a lot of her knowledge. I don't know why you would be chicken. Your blog is fabulous! :)

Kristin @ What She Said said...

I don't have Melissa's book, although I've heard great things about it (and her), but I've found I've learned so much through Eli Rose Social Media. Their posts are quick, concise, and easy to follow.

Whatever works, it's always good to have resources - and drive, of course - to make your blog better. With that combination, you really can't go wrong!

Melissa said...

I return and there are so many great comments here... both yours and your readers. Wow- I'm so flattered and I love seeing the engagement you have. Impressive!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Kristin,

YES! I LOVE the posts from Eli Rose Social Media. They have been big helps.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Melissa,

Thank you so very much for the compliment! I love engaging with my readers!

You've done a great thing with you eBook!