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Blogging for Dummies (4th Edition)

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How This Book Is Organized

To ease you through the process of building a blog, I organized this book to be a handy reference. The following sections provide a breakdown of the parts of the book and what you can find in each one. Each chapter walks you through a different aspect of blogging, providing tips and helping you understand the vocabulary of web logs.

Part I: Getting Started with Blogs

This part introduces you to the general concepts of blogging, including actually starting a blog today. In Chapter 1, I show you some good blogs and give you background about this young industry. You can find out what’s involved in creating a blog and take a quick tour of what works in a blog and what doesn’t.

While reading Chapter 2, you find guidance on how your friends, family, and business colleagues might react to your new blog. If you’re interested in blogging frankly, you might want to read this chapter before you start criticizing your boss or writing about your personal life online.

In Chapter 3, you make a big decision: what blogging software you want to use. I explain what your options are and how to find blog software that has the features and extras you need. Chapter 3 also helps you choose a domain name and a web host so that you can install your own blog software and control every aspect of the blogging experience.

Part II: Setting Up Your Blog

In Chapter 4, you can jump right into a real blog and start a hosted Blogger blog. Sign up in ten minutes and have fun putting up text, links, and images. It really is that easy.

Chapters 5 and 6 are devoted to helping you start blogging in two other formats. Chapter 5 covers setting up and blogging with WordPress, a software application that you install on your own server. And Chapter 6 is all about blogging with the popular Tumblr hosted blog software.

Together, these chapters give you step-by-step instructions for both starting up a new blog and adding blog posts, images, and other fun stuff to the blog you start. If you read no other chapters in this book, read these three!

Part III: Fitting In and Feeling Good

Part III is dedicated to making sure you know how to get the most out of your blog while meeting the needs of your audience. In Chapter 7, you can work on figuring out just what your topic is and how best to produce content around your subject. I even give you tips on dealing with writer’s block.

In Chapter 8, you can define your audience and work on targeting your blog content to reach that group most effectively — and keep readers coming back for more.

Chapter 9 helps you avoid a common blog problem: spam. Discover the tricks every blogger must know to keep ads for enhancing intimate body organs from dominating their comment areas. More than that, however, Chapter 9 tells you how to cultivate a community of interaction and conversation on your blog.

Chapter 10 is a new addition to this edition of Blogging For Dummies. If you are wondering how to blog anonymously (and I won’t ask why!), this chapter is a handy starting point for knowing how to assess the risks and make the technical adjustments necessary.

Part IV: Going Beyond Words

In Part IV, you find a series of chapters that help you dress up your blog with style and neat technological tools. In Chapter 11, you can find out how to make the most of photos and other graphics in your blog. Did you know that adding a photo to your blog post makes more people read it? It’s true!

If you can’t say it with a photo, say it with your mouth by creating a podcast as I explain in Chapter 12. Everyone, from the newest blogger to the seasoned professional, can use this exciting area of the blogosphere to make themselves heard.

In Chapter 13, I introduce you the idea of adding a forum, or bulletin board, to your blog. This conversational medium is a great adjunct to the dialogue that happens in your blog comments, but gives your visitors a little more freedom in directing that conversation.



Part V: Marketing and Promoting Your Blog

Make your blog and yourself known on the Internet and in the blogosphere by using the tools described in Part V. In Chapter 14, you can find out what the heck RSS is and how you can use it to direct traffic to your blog. Not only that, but you can also use RSS yourself to read other blogs quickly and find out what others are saying about you.

Twitter is showing up everywhere, even in sitcoms.


In Chapter 15, get familiar with this easy tool for keeping in touch with friends, family, and even your colleagues. You can dive in to the depths of social networking in Chapter 16. You may find more going on with Facebook than you think! Chapter 17 helps you use statistics and traffic-tracking tools to discover more about your audience members and how they’re using your blog.

Part VI: Getting Business-y with It

Part VI drills down to the business of . . . uh . . . business!

If you’ve ever thought that you ought to be able to make a little money with your blog, then Chapter 18 is for you. Find out how to put ads on your blog, form relationships with sponsors, and use affiliate programs to make a buck. If you’re a corporate CEO or small-business owner, then Chapter 19 is a mustread.

In this chapter, I show you how businesses, non-profit groups, and other organizations are making use of blogs to form relationships with clients and customers.

Part VII: The Part of Tens

In The Part of Tens, you can discover ten ways to increase the community interaction on your blog, ten indispensable tips for mobile bogging, and best of all, ten outstanding blogs that make the most of technology and the Internet.

Part VIII: Appendixes

Blogs, sidebars, blogrolls, RSS — this medium has more jargon than you can shake a stick at. I define new terms in each chapter so that you know what’s going on when you start blogging, and you can always consult the glossary in Appendix A for definitions of all those weird blog terms that have sprung up in recent years. Don’t let a few acronyms keep you from enjoying the blogosphere!

In Appendix B, you can get the goods on writing your own HTML code.

Happily, you don’t need to do much of that on a blog (unless you want to)!





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