Friday, January 23, 2009

Review: Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging

Our second review of The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging is by BlogCoach member Julie Corbett, who blogs at On the Dot Creations.

The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging is just that: complete. Practical, detailed, and interesting, this resource provides reading fodder for both newbie and seasoned bloggers alike.

Have blogs revolutionized the way we absorb news, politics, and just about every other facet of twenty-first century life? The introductory chapter of the book replies with a resounding “Yes!”

We no longer need to wait until the daily newspaper lands on our front doorsteps to learn about the previous day’s events. Not only can blogs provide us with immediate information, but they allow us to follow a subject for an extended period, contrary to "big media outlets" who are "fixated on novelty, always moving all too quickly on to the next big score or the next hot get." In fact, blog posts themselves are often the tip of the topic iceberg. One of the benefits of blogging is the ability to comment on posts, allowing the subject matter to grow and mature as others weigh in with opinions. To quote the book, "The main reason to blog is that you have something to say to the world—and you want to see what the world has to say back."

This book not only discusses the importance of blogging, but it also covers the practical aspects of blogging: what to write about and how to accomplish it. The reader learns tips on topics such as choosing a blog platform, measuring traffic, getting noticed, and making money through blogging, to name a few. Also discussed are fair use and copyright laws concerning blogging, an important topic often forgotten or ignored.

The book is sprinkled with actual HuffPost blog posts, many of which discuss the art of blogging as well as the circumstances that inspired the authors to begin blogging in the first place. The "Best of the HuffPost Blogs" at the close of the book is a wonderful collection of some of the most poignant and memorable posts since HuffPost’s inception in May of 2005.

I sheepishly admit that I had never heard of the Huffington Post blog before reading this book. After learning that the book was published by the editors of a mostly political/news blog that covers topics far removed from my blog’s themes, I was somewhat doubtful that this book could provide me with practical tips for honing my blogging skills.

I was wrong.

I come away from this reading experience refreshed and inspired to continue my blogging efforts. For those considering beginning a blogging adventure, Arianna Huffington herself says, “Time to get started. Your bloggy future awaits. Come on in . . . the water and the blogging are fine.”

Read another review of Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging.