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Pauline's Fantasy Reviews

Reviews of fantasy books, plus some mystery, sci-fi and literary works, and my random thoughts on book-related matters.

Currently reading

Dragon Queen (The Memory of Flames, #5)
Stephen Deas
The Splintered Eye (The War of Memory Cycle #2)
H. Anthe Davis, Erica Dakin

Building A Blog for Readers

Building A Blog for Readers - Nick Thacker This is a free book that purports to help you become a successful blogger by asking 101 questions; when you have answered them all, you should be able to create and build that successful blog. What is a successful blog, you might ask? That's probably question 5, 'What do you hope to gain from your blog?'. So yes, you really do have to provide all the answers yourself. It's aimed squarely at those who want to start blogging in order to make money from it. I'd always thought people start blogging because they have thoughts or events or opinions or wisdom that they want to share with the world, but apparently quite a lot of them just want to get rich. So although the book pays lip-service to those who blog purely for fun or out of generosity, there's a lot of talk about growing and business plans and profits and the like.

I'm not exactly the target audience for this book. Although I have a blog, it exists solely so that I have somewhere to dump all my Goodreads reviews so I can easily access them. I don't do anything to advertise it, apart from putting the url on my profile page, and just once linking from a book review to a series review that was only on the blog. It's a constant source of amazement to me that people manage to find it and read it and post comments on it and even tweet about it, it seems. I check my stats every day and admire the (very small) numbers. But I'm not interested in 'growing' it, and I'm certainly not interested in making money from it.

Nevertheless, I thought this book might be interesting to me as a (sort of) blogger. First problem is that on Kindle for PC, the ink is green. Seriously. It's OK on the Android app, so I don't know what that's all about. Second problem is that there just isn't much content. Each page (or question) is just a few lines long, and really, it's not exactly earth shattering. Here's question 21, for example, 'What preparation does your ideal reader go through before they purchase?':

'What kinds of research does your ideal reader do before they purchase big-ticket items?
'Do they read Consumer Reports, other blogs, Amazon reviews, or ask their spouse? Do they have enough disposable income to buy whatever they want, whenever they want it?
'Answering this question can give you a few insights:
'It can help you understand your future readers better
'It can help you offer products that they need and want
'It can give you an idea of places to promote your website and blog'

And that's it, in its entirety. And then, towards the end of the book, there's an 'inspiration from other bloggers' section, where they say - pretty much the same things. Now, I can imagine that all this might just possibly be helpful to a few folks without any idea where to start, by focusing them on what matters to them and pointing out a few pitfalls. There are also a few tips about technical stuff which are slightly informative. There's nothing you couldn't find out from a couple of hours on Google (and reading a few blogs!), but it's free, so it just about scrapes two stars. But really, don't pay for this.