Blogger is one of the most popular blogging platform using by bloggers across the globe. It not only offers free hosting service, but also provides an easy to use interface and other Google services to enhance and grow your blog. Recently, Lee Jordan has released her second book entitled 'Blogger: Beyond the Basics, available from Packt Publishing which provides in-depth coverage of blog publishing system 'Blogger' by Google. With over 350 pages and 10 chapters, the book covers almost every aspect related to blogger publishing system. After going through the book, I have divided it into three parts. viz.,
- Blog set up and design
- Customizing and enhancing the blog
- SEO, monetization and advanced concepts
The first 2 chapters explains about basic blog set up and basic template customization process. Readers will find the section dedicated on changing a two-column template into three-column template very useful. Throughout the book, a sample blog using the default Minima template is used as an example, which is then developed and enhanced in each chapter to transform it into a more professional and impressive blog. The companion web site containing the code and images helps the readers in creating and testing the techniques given in the book. Chapter 3,4,5 and 6 is dedicated on Social media marketing, advanced customization of template and blog promotion methods. Chapter 7,8,9 and 10 gives you in-depth coverage on blog monetization methods, Blog traffic statistics ( Detailed coverage of Google Analytics), advanced SEO techniques and configuring custom domains with blogger.
The colored images could have added that spark, to better visualize the changes in the template. (Note: they may be in color in the ebook) A whole chapter is dedicated on integrating social bookmarking options to the blog. All the major social media sites are explored, with methods to add social bookmarking buttons to blog posts. I particularly liked the 4th Chapter, explaining about backlinks and linkbaiting. If you are a fan of widgets, and want to learn adding widgets to your blog, then Chapter 5 is for you. I was amazed to see, how easy it is to create your own widget in blogger. If you have elementary knowledge of HTML, still you can create your own widget in no time. In chapter 5, you will also learn to integrate a mini e-store to your blog, to sell your products to potential customers. The whole process and very easy and requires no programming (HTML, CSS, XML) knowledge.
One of the most popular option to promote our blog is to offer feed subscription to our visitors. Unfortunately, blogger does not have one click solution for that. Chapter 6 addresses this issue, and discusses about feed promotion methods. The most popular feed promotion service, FeedBurner is explained in detail.
Who doesn't want to earn money, and if our blog generates some revenue for us, nothing can be more better than that. Chapter 7 have all the vital information about monetizing the blog. Here you will find detailed information about Adsense, the most popular advertising network and Amazon Affiliates, the most popular affiliate network on the globe.
Chapter 8, gives valuable information about harnessing the power of Google Analytics, and creating advanced filters to better understand your blog traffic patterns.
If you struggle to pull traffic to your blog, and wonder why your blog doesn't show up in Google SERP's, then Chapter 9 can answer your questions. This chapter is dedicated to search engine optimization techniques. After reading it, not only you will get the grip of SEO basics, but you will also learn some advanced techniques to optimize your blog for search engines.
The last chapter addresses some interesting topics like Multi-level menus, integrating SpringWidgets and adding Twitter updates to your blog. A section is also dedicated on selecting the right colors and fonts for your blog. If you want to use a custom domain for your blogger blog, but can't find the right information to configure it correctly with blogger, then last section of this chapter can make your life easy. Here you will find useful information about various ways of publishing your blogger blog with custom domain.
Who should read this book?
If you are currently using the blogger platform, and want to make most of it, then this book is for you. Bloggers planning to switch to blogger platform will find this book as foundation to learn the basics and advance concepts of blogger publishing system.
Book: Blogger: Beyond the Basics
Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: Packt Publishing (April 30, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.7 inches
Also available as an e-book from Packt Publishing