How I Got Here: I have been toying with the idea of writing my own personal blog ever since I had to create an education blog for one of my Teacher Education classes at SDSU (blogging is a great medium for student journaling). So, I lurked on some blogs thinking “I could do this!”. Then, I would go down to the local library and check out some how-to books on creating a blog. I never went further than this. Finally, I found a book that forced me to take this goal
seriously! Tris Hussey’s Create Your Own Blog gave me the basic know-how on creating a blog, as well as the confidence in knowing that it’s ok to “suck”.
The Book: Hussey’s book is separated into 11 chapters, as well as a solid introduction. His introduction explains his purpose for writing the book and provides his credentials (he’s been blogging since 2004 and teaches many courses on blogging) and how to use the book. In his words, it’s “like a blog cookbook.”
His chapters are: 1. Welcome to the Blogosphere: Planning Your First Blog (a history of blogging; brainstorming ideas for your blog; choosing a name for your blog; buying
a domain for your blog) 2. Installing and Setting Up Your First Blog (hosted vs. self-hosted blogs; how to sign up for a blog; touring the dashboard; tweaking your blog’s setup and design; tracking stats) 3. Writing and Creating a Conversation (how to come up with ideas for your posts; finding your “voice”; your first post; SEO writing) 4. Building Community (encouraging discussion; spam and trolls; finding other blogs; twitter/microblogging)
Then begins his 6 blog projects which all follow a similar outline: 5. Creating a Personal Blog 6. Creating a Business Blog 7. Creating a Podcast Blog 8. Video Blogging 9. Creating a Portfolio Blog 10. Creating Your Online Lifestream The discussion in these six chapters generally is: content; how to write/record/upload; your first post; tweaking/editing; how to use
multimedia; hosting and promoting your blog.
Then, his final chapter: 11. Making Money Through Your Blog (direct vs. indirect approaches to earning
money from blogs; how to make money directly from blogging; how to make money directly from blogging)
My Analysis and Critique: As you can see, his book is “like a blog cookbook,” albeit one you buy for a just a few of the chapters. However, many still buy Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking even though they’ll never even peek at the chapter on aspics. So, it should be with this book!
Obviously a newbie at blogging, I scrutinized and highlighted chapters 1-4 and slowed down at chapter 5. Once Hussey’s “Six Projects” began, a lot of the content from chapters 1-4 is regurgitated, although it is specific to the discussed type of blog. I only skimmed chapters 6-10, as I am not interested in any more than a personal blog at this time. However, after reading other reviews, I think anyone interested in creating another type of blog would find these chapters very useful.
What I found most useful in this book was the confidence Hussey inspired in me. I have always been too nervous to “put myself out there,” and Hussey continuously reminds his readers that it gets better with time and practice. Constantly read other blogs, connect with other bloggers, and most importantly, write for yourself!
One cautionary note: this book is mainly of use to bloggers using WordPress. Hussey repeatedly concedes that he is biased towards WordPress, and this is apparent as all of his step-by-step instructions seem to be WordPress-specific .
Overall, I think new bloggers and experienced bloggers alike would benefit from reading Tris Hussey’s Create Your Own Blog: 6 Easy Projects to Start Blogging Like a Pro. It’s an easy read and provides many useful tips on how to create and tweak a blog for maximum results.
Links: Visit Tris Hussey’s website