Whether you plan on having a personal blog, writing posts for a client’s blog or want to make your existing blogs better, the best places to look for information about blogging is in books. The only problem with books about blogging is that some of the information is obsolete by the time the book is published. Don’t take for granted that all of the websites mentioned in blogging books still exist. For the most up-to-date information, you have to check on the web.
The Everything Blogging Book
This is part of “The Everything” book series put out by Adams Media (a series similar to “Dummies” or “The Complete Idiot’s Guides”). It’s written by prolific blogger Aliza Sherman Risdahl, who first began her Internet adventures by making her own web pages. (Ouch!) The only problem is that this was published in 2006, so information about AOL Journals is moot since that service died in 2008.
This book is geared for the absolute beginner, but there are some good tips for experienced bloggers, such as notes on what makes readers prefer some blogs over others. It also has some interesting history about the web and about blogging. There are also sections on how companies can best use blogs, how to moblog and an excellent resources listing.
Publishing a Blog with Blogger
Blogger is free, flexible and easy to use, so chances are your first forays into the blogoshpere is going to be with Blogger. This small but heavily illustrated paperback by Elizabeth Castro came out in 2005 so that should tip you off that some of the material will be outdated. But a second edition was released in November 2009.
However, if you are like me and only have the first edition, there are also some basic HTML tips you can use with Blogger to help make your blog stand out a little more.
The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging
The Huffington Post is one of the few news and political blogs given the same respect as print journalism. Ariana Huffington is one of the most eloquent and interesting writers of traditionally dry topics such as the democratic process and Congressional backstabbing. She only writes the forward here, but her stable of editors and writers do the rest. The writers on her blog are high-caliber and are often featured guests on cable news networks and traditional news programs.
The book was published in 2008 and consistently hits the top 10 blogging books on Amazon.com. This book doesn’t have the technical aspects of the previous two. This gets more into the heart and soul of what good blogs are like and how blogging can benefit society as a whole – or, well, benefit the sanity of the individual blogger, anyway.