This is really a cross post from my Thinking Home Business blog, but as it’s about a project that has consumed many of my working hours, it seems appropriate to post it here also.
Some time last year I started a book, an introduction to business blogging. Eventually I settled on the title 7 Step Business Blog. And now it’s done.
7 Step Business Blog is written as a plain English guide to help people get started with a business blog, without any prior technical knowledge.
It’s been a huge learning experience and is in fact the first full book I’ve written. Fortunately I told enough people about it that I had to keep working on it. But then the project went on hold in November, while I focused on the recently published Happy About LinkedIn for Recruiting book I was co-authoring with my Dallas, Texas colleague, executive headhunter Bill Vick.
Anyway, every few days now, it seems, someone asks me, by email or directly, “How’s the blogging book coming along?” Well, I’m happy to say it is in fact completed and has actually been published online. At this stage I’m selling it as an e-book and am keeping my options open about offline publishing.
Part of the learning curve – and there *has* been a learning curve – has been figuring out how to get all the systems working so that people can actually buy the book online and then be able to download it successfully. We also found we needed to learn more about the automated AWeber mailing system, so that people would get the emails and instructions they were supposed to get.
7 Step Business Blog is not really a book for blogging wizards, for whom most of the information will be quite basic. It is a book written for non-techie (i.e. most) business owners, in response to recurring questions I have had from people I’ve coached and business owners I know. In fact, the book started out as a series of answers to these seven, key recurring questions:
- What’s a blog and why should I be interested?
- I already have a website, why would I want a blog as well?
- If I want a blog for my business, where do I get one?
- As a business blogger, what would I actually do?
- How will people find my blog?
- How much time do I need to commit to blogging?
- How do I make money with blogging?
Then I put more of an action focus on the book and turned the questions into answers, with action steps. So the table of contents now reads:
- Understand blogging and its business value
- Clarify how a blog fits in your online communication strategy
- Set up your blog
- Start blogging
- Promote your blog (includes RSS/newsfeeds)
- Develop your blogging strategy
- Establish your measures of blogging success
Then, as further support for those ready to take action, there are four appendices:
Appendix A: Step by Step Guide to Setting Up Your First Blog with BlogHarbor
Appendix B: Other Blogging Platforms
Appendix C: Select List of Resources
Appendix D: What to Do When You Get Stuck
Note that the strategy development comes later in the book, after the section on setting up the blog. This might seem to some an inappropriate sequencing, but I believe strongly, with my blogging mentor Andy Wibbels, that the best way (and I would say only way) to really find out about blogging is to start blogging. Then the theory starts to make sense.
While the book uses BlogHarbor with Blogware as the recommended blogging platform for non-techie business owners, most of the details of how to set up with BlogHarbor have been put into Appendix A. Information is provided in Appendix B about other platforms, including MovableType, Typepad and WordPress.org. There are also some comments on WordPress.com and even on Blogger, from a business owner viewpoint: basically, I say that WordPress.com has great promise but you can’t yet have your own domain for a wordpress.com blog and, as I’ve written consistently in my Thinking Home Business blog, I don’t recommend Blogger for business.
Having finally set a publication date for last Monday Feb 20, I’ve been very focused. There’s something highly motivating about making a deadline public knowledge, and making it public knowledge out into the vast reaches of the blogosphere is particularly exhilarating – yes, and scary.
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