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Book review: How To Make Money With Your Blog

A book review of How To Make Money With Your Blog by Duane Forrester (a search engine marketer) and Gavin Powell (a technical writer).

Looking to get started with a blog? More importantly, do you hope to monetize that blog? There are a lot of articles and books on blogging these days, many with limited or inaccurate information, but How To Make Money With Your Blog is one of the most complete and thorough publications on the subject that I've encountered. Authors Duane Forrester (a search engine marketer) and Gavin Powell (a technical writer) have covered all the important bases from identifying the best blogging platforms to covering the ins and outs of blogosphere culture. Oh yeah, and in between, they explain quite clearly the options for monetizing a blog.

The book contains five main sections, including Quick Starts: Top 10 lists; Blogs and Search Optimization (SEO); Generating Revenue With Your Blog; Managing Your Blog; and Extras and Inspiration. While the quick start lists were interesting and worth a read, they weren't particularly useful. The meat of the book begins with the section on SEO. Like any website, getting found in the search engines is extremely important if you intend to make any money. All of their SEO tips are excellent and would apply to any site, blog or otherwise. The blog management section is also quite good, much of it being basic business management, but some of it also dealing with syndication and promotion on the web. The inspirational section is less focused. It contains many points on blogging culture and blog etiquette, and while those with some blogging experience might find it commonplace, it will interest people completely new to blogging.

Central to the name of the book, and probably the most interesting to those attracted by the pecuniary title, is the section on generating revenue with a blog. Options discussed include affiliate programs, contextual ads, and ad networks. The authors go into detail on each one, and even recommend specific partner services in each of those industries. They also warn that, while it is quite possible to earn income off of a blog, it takes a highly trafficked site for significant money to be made. Still, the book is encouraging and makes the reader feel confident about pursuing a monetized blog.

While this book - and most technical books about the Internet - will become obsolete quickly simply because of how fast the web changes, it is a worthy investment for anyone wanting to create a blog right now. It's an easy read, flows logically, offers well-researched suggestions, and is full of quality information.