Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bloggers Boot Camp - A Book Review

I have been reading as many books as I can to understand and learn marketing and growing your blog. Marketing is a subject that I have no knowledge about and did not study in school. However, when you write and promote a blog, you need to understand some techniques of marketing yourself. So I need all the help I can get.

I have been visiting the library for any and all books about marketing and blogging. Each week I check out new books in a variety of blogging topics. Many of the books are a bit tedious. Maybe I do not understand marketing. So then to me they are, all right I will just say it, boring. However, I did enjoy a book titled, Bloggers Boot Camp, Learning How To Build, Write, And Run A Successful Blog, written by Charlie White and John Biggs. In fact, I read half the book in one evening. I would have finished the book later in the evening but, there was an issue with a cat. I digress.

What intrigued me initially was the back cover that stated, “Bloggers Boot Camp shows you how to build a great blog from the ground up. This isn’t a book about technology-it’s a book about engaging millions of readers. Starting your blog is easy, but building and maintaining a popular one is hard.” While this may not be a marketing book, per se, this content is helpful for building your blog.

The authors are Charlie White and John Biggs. Charlie White is currently Senior Editor of one of the top five most powerful blogs in the world, John Biggs writes for his five million page-view-per-month website, In the introduction of the book, they tell us, “We know why blogs fail and we know why they succeed-we have extensive experience in many forms of media and feel it’s time to start sharing some of our expertise with other prospective bloggers.”

The authors begin by describing what is a blog and what is a blogger. Blogging is a job that takes hard work and discipline. There are two simple rules for blogging. 

  • Always be blogging
  • Post consistently

Once you have the tools for blogging, example, computer, domain and platform, start practicing your blogging skills. Read, write, and know the 1,000 word rule. If you plan to blog daily, you must write a minimum of 1,000 words a day. You ask why is this important? Because if you have a goal you can meet it, write the authors. The authors also write, “ The recommended dosage of 1,000 words a day is doable by the average writer, is a concrete number for you to strive toward, and is about as much as your audience can read in a day. Do not do less, either. This is a regimen. You must get used to producing this much content quickly and without complaint.”

Bloggers Boot Camp Book Review

Ok. Let me just pause right here. I use Blogger and Blogger does not have a word count tool. So, for this post I am writing the post, first on Google Docs, and then transferring the post to Blogger. My word count is at 529 words. Over half way there.

Getting started

After you have written a few blog posts, introduced yourself in a prepared 1-minute introduction, and written your contact page, it is time to introduce yourself. Now you can start spreading the news about your new website. The authors recommend these contact points for the new blogger. Let me just point out that this book was first published in 2012.

  • AIM
  • Microsoft Messenger
  • Google Chat
  • Twitter
  • A YouTube Account
  • Google Analytics
  • A Facebook page

When should you post?

The goal is to-Always Be Posting. You should be posting everyday. The authors write, “The blog is an animated medium. It has a life-cycle and a pace. The best blogs have a pulse, a sense that they are constantly being updated. The worst blog is updated once a week or less, with no rhythm or regularity to the posting. Blogs are popular because they are always fresh. Some big bloggers can get away with one big blog post a day, but if you want to keep your interest high and the site moving, we’d recommend a few posts, one every three hours or so. This is not an exact science, but generally it is something to consider.”

Types of Posts

  • Short Post
  • Reviews
  • Features
  • Lists
  • Infographic
  • Poll/Quiz
  • Caption
  • Interview
  • How-To

Be a Better Blogger

You can do this by-

  • Write punchy- not all sentences need to be 50 words long
  • Use quotes
  • Use short paragraphs
  • Write as if no one wants to finish your stories
  • Modern readers love brevity over longer stories
  • Look at the rest of the story- What are other sites missing
  • Do no harm-Don’t be a battle blogger
  • Leave your office-Meet people
  • Write for the F- studies have found that the average reader looks at 2 words in a headline and reads in an F pattern - sliding their eyes along the first line, then barely grazing the remaining lines, until they hit the end of the page. The remainder of the F, the downstroke, is then skimming the rest of the story. Put your most important news in the top bar of that F.

And finally, Seven Ways to Enhance Your Blogging Efficiency

  • Bigger computer screens
  • Comfortable chair
  • Silence
  • Kill the telephone
  • Work at home
  • Minimize spam
  • Automate everything

While the blogging practices that are mentioned in this book are unique, could one really follow their blogging rules. 1,000 words a day. Or one post an hour. By the way I am at word 954. I am glad I read the book and found the information helpful. This book is useful as a resource to beginning bloggers and maybe bloggers who need some direction.

Do you have any recommendations for any other blogging related and marketing books?

And that my friends is 1,000 words. Go ahead and count them. If you have the time.

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  1. Point one... This book says to write 1000 words, in a blogging post?!?

    I am not totally sure, of the above, because there are too many words here, in this post. So I had to skim.

    Bingo... If they tell us to write 1000 words a post, this has already backfired. Cause I had to skim. Not enough time, to read all 1000 words.



    1. Yep Tessa 1,000 words a day! "That is your goal." Or blog posts with less words, but more posts a day.

  2. Point 2... "keep your interest high and the site moving, we’d recommend a few posts, one every three hours or so."

    Are-they-kidding?!?!?! Who has the time, to read more than 1 post a day, on any blog?????? Get real Authors.

    I'm retired, with hardly any "duties." Even I don't have the time, to devote to constant posts, on any blog.

    Who are these guys??????? (authors)

    1. Tessa, great points. I was so blown away with what the authors wrote that I wanted to share with everyone. I could not stop thinking about that 1,000 word a day tip.

  3. "Who are those guys?" quote from "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid" -grinnnnnn-

  4. Oh my Kathy, the thought of writing 1000 words a day and trying to get out a few posts a day sounds overwhelming and exhausting. But I do like the idea of consistency. And I know it's good to advertise on social media, but that's hard to keep up with sometimes. Thanks for all the great info!

    1. I agree with you Sally. Even though the tips given were extreme, they did make some good points. Consistency is a big tip. And something other bloggers express also.
      Thank you for stopping by. Have a great day!

  5. I am a pretty verbose blogger. I usually come in over 500 words, sometimes closer to that 1000 mark...I have a lot to say! However, I do not post every day. I used to post every Tuesday and Thursday without fail for about 18 months. Then the second summer came along I decided to post once a week. When fall came around again, I went back to two posts per week. This month, I'm back to once a week and I am so much happier. I think my dedicated readers are happier, too. How many emails do people want in one week? Every day? I don't think so. I actually have found that the people who open and click through to my posts have gone sky high with just one post. I also read a few articles that said write something and then really spend the time to promote it. I don't know who is right, here, I guess it's all about finding what works for the individual and what goals you personally set for yourself. Either way, I am on my way to the library. I want to see what else they have to say! Thanks for sharing, Kathy! Great food for thought!

    1. I have no idea how many words I write. According to this book, you are right on with the 1,000 word count! I have also read to write one good post and then social media that post everywhere consistently, I agree do what works for you.
      Thank you for the sweet comment. Have a great day!

  6. I think each person has to do what works for them. Some people want huge blogs and push for that. There are others, like me, that think a small blog that really "connects" with people is what is important. Heck, I don't even have a real I certainly don't write 1000 words at day (at least not on my blog). When I go to a blog that is too wordy I just don't have the time to read it---so that means I will either skim it/scan it or just bypass it completely.

    I do think the biggest thing is consistency and understanding what your readers want to hear. I, personally, write for myself as a history for my grandkids. People either like it, and read it, or don't...BUT, then again, I am not trying to monetize my blog nor am I looking for a million readers.

    Interesting subject, Kathy! xo Diana

    1. It was a very interesting book. I had to share I just could not get that 1,000 words out of my head! I will read longer posts if I am really interested in the topic such as planners. I love a good planner tutorial. :)
      Consistency is always a great tip.
      Thank you Diana. xo


Comments are greatly appreciated. I read every one.