Blogging for Bliss – Book Review

Tara Frey is one of the reasons I blog, she Alicia Paulson, Sheye Rosemeyer and Amanda Soule inspired me to create Violet Posy and take my blogging in a very different direction to where it had been going.  So you can imagine how excited and pleased for her I was when I read on her blog that she was writing a book about blogging, and what a book she’s written! My copy of Blogging for Bliss arrived on Friday morning (bought with my own hard earned money!) and I’ve not stopped reading it over and over and I really, really wish I’d written it!

The book is aimed at bloggers of all levels, new and old from setting up a blog from scratch on Blogger, WordPress or Typepad to dealing with advertising and RSS Feeds.  There really is something for everyone and she has a section in each chapter introducing you to her favourite bloggers and their  blogs, so I’ve come across some new blogs that I’ve never seen which is always exciting.

There are chapters about finding your blogging voice, why you want to write, simple HTML codes that you’ll need to know, how to style your blog, creating headers, sidebar fancies and photos to illustrate your work. There’s a great chapter on using photoshop elements which has taught me a thing or too – expect some new and improved images on here!  The chapters on building traffic, SEO and how to run competitions and dealing with advertisers which are essential if you are trying to get a new blog off the ground or revitalise an old one.

So if you want an introduction to blogging or you want to build on the work you’ve already established then this the book for you. I’ve put it in my Violet Posy Amazon Book Store so pop over and have a look if you’re interested.

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  1. I got this book because I read about it on Soulemama. Everything else I’ve ever bought inspired by a recommendation from Amanda has been wonderful BUT I am so. very. disappointed. with Blogging for Bliss (so far – I have to admit I’m only 60 pages it, I’m really having to make myself read it). It feels like one big advert for all her blog friends, and although, like you, I like a lot of the blogs Tara Frey highlights, it’s basically her blog roll (combined with the blog rolls from other blogs she links to), and so far I feel like I’ve completely wasted my money. The photos don’t do any justice to the blogs she talks about. If you haven’t yet got the book I’d say spend the tenner on some nice coffee and chocolate and just set aside some time to go through the blog rolls on the blogs that you love.

    Also by trying to be everything to everyone (ie by including a basic how to get started for blogger/typepad/wordpress she dumbs things down and doesn’t really sound to me like she knows what she is speaking about. She talks about features on typepad in a way that suggests they are not available in wordpress, and that is simply not the case (at least in the instances she’s talked about so far).

    My feeling is that MAYBE this book might be nice eye candy for someone who has *never* blogged before and who doesn’t know about any of the blogs that are out there, but if you do already blog, don’t waste your money on this book. Perhaps the second half of the book will redeem it, but it’s going to have to be stellar to make me feel like it was a good idea to spend *my* birthday money on this disappointing book.

  2. Karin – I think you’ll like it 🙂
    Madhouse & Insomniac Mummy – good idea for a Christmas pressie .
    Zoe – So sorry you didn’t enjoy it, I know what you mean about disappointment as I didn’t like Amanda’s new book that much, I didn’t think it was as good as the first one. With Tara’s book I must admit I liked the blogs she’d shown as examples of what you can do/acheive but like you say it was more a list of her blogroll rather than more diverse blogs that exist. But I still think it’s a good book for starter/intermediate bloggers, I get a *lot* of questions on a regular basis that are answered by the book. So hopefully it will help some people.

  3. I’m with Zoe – it’s a bit of a drag and a name a check to all of her buddies. I think on the technical side, that really let it down and it was a bit here we go again . That said, I’ve enjoyed the chapter on headers and photography, but the images that she shows of blogs don’t really do them justice. I think she could have had less ‘meet the blogger’ and been more choosey as they make up the great bulk of content and some are a bit samy. But I agree with you on Amanda’s latest book. Her first is better and more inspiring – the second was taking my home in to shabby but not chic territory 😉

  4. I’m a big fan of the Photoshop Elements chapter as I always feel like I’m messing about on it and find out half of what I’m doing by trial and error and I wish I could take better photos, but pretty hard with a camera phone 😉 Amanda’s book I’m giving to a hardcore crafting friend, I think she’ll get more out of it than me I was sooo disappointed!

  5. On my wish list too, but it’s good to hear a review. Definitely what I need. Thanks! Also good to know about Amanda’s book. I felt that way about the first book a bit.

  6. I quite liked it. It’s good for beginners, but a little basic for anyone else, So many books about blogging (the majority) seem to deal with the subject from a very male and/or business orietated perspective, and it’s the first I’ve seen that deals with crafty blogs (though from the comments above there must be one or 2 others out there as well). As a very visually orientated person, I found it quite inspirational, and enjoyed reading about the other bloggers, though perhaps understandably they’re mostly American. I certainly wouldn’t buy it for technical inormation though!