After I wrote Book and Blog Highlights last month, I had the good fortune to connect with Laura Christianson, who offered to send me a copy of her latest e-book, Blogophobia Conquered: Overcome the 7 Most Common Fears & Create an Amazing Blog, if I wanted to write a review.
Not only did I enjoy this e-book, I learned a ton, and it’s now my go-to guide. I’ll read all 88 pages two, three, four, maybe five times. The advice is practical, concise, and not at all intimidating.
There are seven chapters, named for the fears that occur when writers ponder the great question: To blog or not to blog?
4. Formatophobia (my favorite chapter, more on that in a bit)
I love Laura’s writing style and her use of similes, metaphors, and analogies to make her point. For example, on page 5: “Fear is a powerful force. When you allow it to creep in, fear squelches you, paralyzes you, and keeps you stranded on Someday Isle in the middle of the writing ocean.”
I also appreciated the idea of The Ready-Made Pie Crust Method, as someone who burns food often. Don’t fear that you aren’t technically inclined enough to write a blog. A blog-hosting service is like a ready-made pie crust. The shell, the structure, is already prepared, and all you have to do is pour in the filling you created.
Another great analogy, on page 13, discusses how a blog is the hub of your online social network. The spokes are sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and these spokes are attached to the hub. As I read this, I visualized a wheel.
While the focus is on how to write a blog, there’s guidance that can be applied to all forms of writing. For example, the last paragraph on page 31, about voice, is some of the best advice I’ve ever read on this subject.
Chapter 4, “Formatophobia,” my favorite chapter, contains step-by-step instructions on how to make your blog stand out and look pretty for bloggers who fear they can’t design a blog (like me). I cheered when I read this section (literally).
Sprinkled throughout are text boxes to reinforce points. My favorite text box is “5 Types of Blog Commenters” on page 53. There are tips on how to deal with less-than-desirable commenters. The encouragement file on page 56 is such a great idea, too!
As I read, I kept going back to my blog to check and make sure it lined up with what’s written in the book, and made notes for changes. I plan to utilize her suggestions on my own blog to the fullest. If you’re thinking about blogging or you’re a new blogger, this book is a must-read. Spring the $19.99 and avoid the pitfalls; it’s more than worth it. Before I started writing my blog, I read and studied blogs I liked, and I learned some of the information that’s contained in this e-book on my own. However, that process took me eight months. You can save lots of time reading and applying the information to your blog. I’m grateful to have read this book at the beginning of my blogging endeavor to save me time in the future.
Thanks to Laura Christianson for the opportunity to review her fabulous e-book!
What a great find! Thanks for the tip. I just plunged right in and had no clue, but I've noticed some problems and like to get things right so it's good to know there's a source that someone else has found helpful. Thanks.
Thanks for the fantastic review, Alanna. Really appreciate it.
Hi Kass! I did find it incredibly helpful and I'm so happy to be able to share it! I think even experienced bloggers would find this e-book helpful in fine-tuning and making their blog even better. Thanks for your comment!
Hi Laura! Thanks again for the opportunity! I enjoyed reading and reviewing your e-book!
I found your presentation at the last FCWC very helpful, and have been subscribing to your material ever since. After last year's conference, I took the plunge and entered the world of social media – FB, Twitter, LinkedIn. My goal this year is to start a blog – especially since my first book will be released in the fall.
Guess I won't qualify for a free copy of your book since I can't review it on a blog, but I am looking forward to getting started with my own blog soon!
Thanks for all your encouragement to us neophytes!
Just reading this gives me hope! Once I get a blog going I wil be happy to mention this. I would love a free copy!
Hi Ava! Congratulations on your upcoming book! Thanks for your comment! I find Laura's material very helpful, as well! I'll look for your blog, too.
Hi Letitia! Thanks for your comment! I would've loved to have this book when I started blogging (luckily I'm only a couple months into it), and I think it will be a great help to you!
Sounds like a great resource, particularly the technical aspects. Laura's Blogging Bistro tips are always good. It's easy to get a blog going and easy (for me, at least) to think of topics to write about. The tough part I feel is understanding the finer technical points to keep it improving and growing.
Good review. Best,
Hi Lori! I agree with you about Laura's Blogging Bistro tips, and I'm sure you'll love her book. I also agree with you about the easy part being getting going and thinking of things to write about, and the harder part being the “finer technical points,” as you say. Laura really gets into that in chapter 4, and I was so excited to read about how to improve in that area. I sent Laura your e-mail. Best of luck, and thanks for reading my review!
Great find, Alanna! Looks good!!! 🙂 A writer friend who just started his blog was asking about resources. Will tell him about this one too!
Hi Kristine! Thanks for your comment. I hope you enjoy the e-book! Thanks for telling your writer friend about it, too! Happy Writing!
Thanks, all, for your comments. Your Blogophobia Conquered books are on their way (check your Inbox for an e-mail from BloggingBistro.com).