Thursday 21 June 2012

Book review : Blogging : The Essential Guide review - Antonia Chitty and Erica Douglas

I've reviewed a few of the no-nonsense practical guidebooks from Need 2 Know so when I was asked if I'd like to check out Blogging : The Essential Guide, I was keen to see what I'd think, especially when I had a closer look and noticed that it was written by Antonia Chitty and Erica Douglas, two people I follow online.

I've been blogging for a good few years now and, if I say so myself, I'm quite pleased at how well my blog is ticking over, so I wasn't sure if I'd get much out of the book or whether it would be like teaching the proverbial Grandma to suck eggs. Well, if I'm honest, I didn't learn a great deal that I didn't already know, but I'm also a member of various blogger forums and facebook groups where bloggers readily exchange advice and tips and answer any queries people have. If you're just starting out or are even still in the process of thinking about it, the book is a great step-by-step guide on how to get your blog set up, how to get it "out there", how to add on some of the twiddly bits that look so good on everyone else's blogs and a few of the things that you need to know about (and that probably wouldn't even cross your mind) such as copyright, disclosure and writing ebooks.

The problem with all things online is that they are constantly changing so, while it covers the thorny issue of follow/no-follow links (which caused panic in the blogosphere recently), it doesn't mention creating a declaration of how cookies are used on your site, which is a brand new legal requirement that has come about since the book's publication and which leaves many bloggers scratching their heads at what to write.

There is a whole section on grammar, punctuation and text speak which I skimmed over because it seemed irrelevant and slightly patronising. I come across the "common abbreviations" in forums (or fora as the book says, which is undoubtedly grammatically correct but nevertheless a word that nobody ever uses to the best of my knowledge !) but I have never used them or seen them in comments on my blog. As for writing correct English, I wouldn't have thought of looking up the rules of English grammar in a book about blogging to be honest !

But overall, it's a good starting point for anyone thinking of starting up a blog and not knowing where to begin. Pretty much all of the information could be found simply online, but if you'd like to keep a hardcopy for easy reference, you could do a lot worse than buying the book.

star rating : 3.5/5

RRP : £9.99

Disclosure : I was sent a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. I really should get hold of this but I alreayd know what it would tell me. It would say stop finding excuses and just update that blog regularly! I know I'll never be a blogging queen like you because I'm just not committed enough to updating it (and I can never think of enough things to say that anyone else would want to read :-)

    1. There's no right and wrong way to blog so just write whatever and whenever suits you. Getting involved in blog carnivals, linkies and bloghops can help with finding content ideas and blogger prompts :)

  2. Thanks for the review. I've only just started a blog, and still learning. So I think a book like this would be useful for me.


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