Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More Thoughts For The Day, Startup Start Your Own Blogging Business Entrepreneur Press and J.S. Macdougall

Hello, a few more thoughts for the day. I went through about half my blog and put in the little Amazon pictures for some of the books. It creates a kind of strange redundancy where I have a list of items from Powell's bookstore as well as links to images of the books from Amazon. I am thinking of the saying by William Strunk that if you have something important to say, say it twice.

I also received a few more books to read today from my reserves. I have the business book on blogging and the Rumi book which I will be reading shortly.

Today has been a mildly impatient day. My thoughts are on ordering nursing and GED (General Equivalency Diploma for high school) books for the Job Information Center. We get so many requests for GED books that we run out of them very quickly. One of the largest associations in our area is the National Black Nurses Association. A way for many people to escape dead end jobs in our area is to become either a nursing assistant or a practical nurse. So, we have to order a lot of books for nursing exams. People are looking for the quick path to nursing, not so much the RN but the two year degree.

GED classes are often a first step on the road to becoming gainfully employed. Many people take the GED classes as a first step for qualifying themselves to become a home health aide or nursing assistant.

I sometimes think the civil service exam preparation books and the professional exam preparation books are some of the most important books in our library. People have been coming in and asking for post office exam books and immigration security exam books for homeland security. Some of the homeland security positions are so new that they haven't created test preparation books for them yet.

There are three big test prep companies, Arco, NLC-- National Learning Corporation, and Barron's.

Startup Start Your Own Blogging Business, by Entrepreneur Press and J.S. Macdougall is a short book on how to start a blog for business. It is broken up into three parts; choose an idea for your blog, choose a publisher, and then make money.

The first section talks about how you should choose an original idea without a lot of competition. It tells you that you should choose an easy name for people to understand, something which you know a decent amount about. It suggests that to appear professional, you should buy your own domain, something which I have not done, because it looks more professional and people take you more seriously. It also tells you that you need to post consistently every day on the subject you are writing about. It should take 2 to 4 years to build up a large enough clientele before you are making money. The first few months should be about setting the tone and creating the idea of what your blog is about.

The second part of the blog is about choosing a publisher for your blog. It rightly suggests that you shouldn't use myspace or facebook for a professional blog. I thought this was kind of funny. They go into details about the major blog platforms, blogger, wordpress, typepad, and a few places I'd never heard of before Lifetype and b2evolution. The book says that once you choose your platform, you need to get the blog rolling quickly by joining sites like Technorati, optimizing your keywords, joining link exchanges and trying to create traffic generating activities. There are a few things which I hadn't heard of before like blogexplosion.com and weblogs.com. It also correctly says the way you make money is from the sidebars on your blog. Having a good sidebar system is critical to running a business blog. Think 3 column blog.

The last part is about making money. The first part covers donations... (begging for money). It evens gives a few sites that will help you beg like Click & Pledge and Amazon Honors System. Then it goes into affiliate programs and merchandising. The book makes excessive promises about the results of affiliate programs. It has a very nice section on advertising with quite a few advertisers listed. I joined one of them Adbrite. There is a fairly comprehensive list. It says, ultimately the best advertisers are direct sponsorship of items that exactly match your blog. There is a description of a media kit for advertisers.

The final section of the book suggests that you should incorporate as a business and treat your blog as a business.

I thought the book was expensive for a 97 page book, $15.95. It had a few useful suggestions, however. Get it from your library for a few helpful hints.


Cowgirl Betty said...

Hmmm good post on exam test prep. I'm thinking about taking a civil-service exam myself.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to go back and re-read that blogging book. I bought it a while ago, before I got serious about blogging.