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Wednesday
Nov302011

Review of 30 Day Blogging Challenge, written by Nikki Pilkington

If you're looking for a handy, no frills book of suggestions for blogging, this book should meet your requirements. Having been designed as an email course, 30 Day Blogging Challenge consists mainly of 30 very short articles on different aspects of blogging. Being able to buy the whole lot in the form of a book is excellent for those of us for whom deferred gratification is an alien concept.

Having looked at several "Improve your blog in 30 days" type articles and books, I wasn't holding my breath expecting anything too different, but I was pleasantly surprised. The main stand-out feature is that several of the suggestions made are unusual in the sense that I have not seen them mentioned elsewhere.

For example, on Day 6 we are told to write a blog post saying something nice, whether about a product, a client or whatever. A “nice” idea, although perhaps not one which comes easily to a person like me who, I am constantly told, has gradually turned into a grumpy old man (what's with the "old"?).
Other ideas include taking inspiration from a song (I've used a variation of the idea occasionally myself, and I think it works well), and a number of other suggestions which made me sit up and think "Oh, I hadn't thought of that!" I also learnt about the correct way of using anchor text (the text used for a link), and there is good, easy-to-implement advice on search engine optimisation.

There are some excellent links included too, such as 25+ places to which to submit your blog, in order to promote it, and a handy list of places where you can find free high-quality photos with which to illustrate your blog posts.

I like the fact that the advice is byte-sized. You can open the book at random and find and read a suggestion very quickly. Should you wish to delve deeper into a particular aspect, there is usually a link back to an article on Nikki’s blog. There are also a few longer articles towards the back of the book.

There are a couple of niggly things. Sometimes, especially when you’re somewhere without internet access, the byte-sized chapters with links to a more in-depth article can be a bit frustrating. Also, the section on tags is particularly weak. We’re told that we absolutely must put them in our blog posts, but to find out why you have to buy another book. Still, these are relatively minor concerns. On the whole, this book would represent a worthwhile investment in your blogging future.

The 30 Day Blogging Challenge ebook is available for £5.

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