Problogger

Posted by on Jan 5, 2009 in Book | Comments Off on Problogger

This week, I stepped away from the computer for a moment and headed to the local Borders. You know, the book store? Although the majority of my reading is done online now, there is still nothing like grabbing a new book, opening it for the first time and fully immersing myself. I had two purposes for this visit. One, I just love to scan around at the new releases to see if something interests me. The second was a business purpose. I wanted to pick up a copy of the new Problogger book. I figured two well known bloggers might shed some new light on the subject. Plus, like I always did when I was in the music industry, I feel it is a good idea to support people who are in your line of work because they encounter the same challenges and struggles you do on a day to day basis.Time for the disclaimer. I love Chris Garrett’s blog and writing style and I am a frequent visitor to Darren Rowse’s Problogger.net website. I find them both very informative and well-versed in what it takes to succeed in blogging. I am also active in Chris Garrett’s Authority Blogger forum and follow them both on Twitter religiously. I consider both of them highly influential to me and what I have learned in blogging.

First off, I am not a fan of the title. Obviously, they needed to market it accordingly and if I had written the book, I probably would have named it something similar. In my opinion, It probably should have been called “Problogger – Secrets for Blogging Your Way to Potential Income’ because as any blogger knows, it is much more difficult to earn substantial income than the current title indicates. They do a good job explaining the challenges early on in the text, but I guess it needed a sexier title to grab the attention of a passer by. I also found the price tag ($24.95) a little steep considering its relatively low page count, but as with anything, had I purchased it early or online I would have been able to save a little bit of money.

Upon first glance, the book’s layout out is similar to many beginner technical books. It is obviously written with the novice in mind, and that is how it should be marketed. Isolated tips are located on basically every page, and usually they do not go ‘over the head’ of a non-technical person. Also included are exercises to help drive the information home. Chris Garrett has experience writing technical books and it shows in the quality. The book is broken down into 11 sections, with the first a brief introduction to the authors’ story and history. After which there are 10 specific chapters relating to certain aspects of blogging, ranging from setting up your blog to secrets from other successful blogs. Each chapter breaks things down in to easy to digest segments, and the book flows very well from chapter to chapter.

The authors try to convince you this book is for beginners and experts alike but it is just geared towards beginners, in my opinion. I had very high expectations for the ‘printed’ version of Problogger and I personally feel let down. I spent an afternoon reading this book, and it will probably sit in my bookcase for years to come. I was hoping for juicy secrets and a magic wand but what I got was stale (but accurate none the less) information. I probably built higher expectation than I should have, but that is how much I respect the authors. I compare it to watching Michael Jordan score 32 points in a game. If it was anyone else, 32 would be great! But with MJ, you grew used to those ‘average’ performances and held out for a 55 point outburst. This book was a 32 point game, not a 55 point outburst.

I want to like this book. I really do. It is very well-written but I don’t feel it gives any information that hasn’t been discussed at length on hundreds of niche blogs, including their own. Darren and Chris have always gone out of their way to explain in detail every aspect of blogging on their websites, and it makes the book seem unneeded for any blogger who has already spent time researching how to build a successful blog.

One big positive I took from this book is they prove once again that there is no easy way to having a successful blog. If a printed version of Problogger cannot give me anything new, then I need to stop waiting for the secret to success to arrive at my door and continue to work hard.

Have you read the book? I am interested in hearing opinions on the book. It is quite possible that my own expectation poisoned my perception of what this book is about