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Book Review: Blog by Number

Book Review: Blog by Number

Book Review: Blog by Number
Book Review: Blog by Number

When the ebook Blog by Number from the author Suzi Whitford was first presented to me I thought, why would I (a childless woman) want to read a blogging book tailored to stay at home moms? I had countless people say, just read it and you will understand.

So there I sat one Saturday afternoon propped up in my comfy couch corner with my Kindle in hand ready to read, but thinking “this is going to be a waste of a good Saturday afternoon”. Now I am not normally skeptical, but first and foremost my Saturdays are sacred time as I have little free time. If I am going to spend it reading, then it better be a cozy mystery or a book that is going to really help me with my website.

Page 8 on the ebook caught my immediate attention. Author Suzi Whitford laid out the basic plan; we were to look at this ebook as a “paint by number” for blogging instead of an in-depth analysis of art. In other words, this was not going to be a book with technical jargon and way too advanced blogging concepts. Then she hit me with the warning… beware of shiny object syndrome in blogging. What the what? I thought.

Shiny object syndrome is when you are reading/researching and every article you run across has you doing tons of action steps for your blog. They will have you in a frenzy trying to learn about monetization, going after traffic, collecting email addresses, and creating sellable materials. Before you know it you are pulled into a tangent of social media marketing and how to manage your posts and scheduling your social media. This is all shiny items waved in front of your face pulling you away from your initial task (creating a blog), causing loss of focus, the feeling of being overwhelmed, and burn out.

This book does include information on social media, Pinterest, getting traffic, and making money, but in an organized fashion and with helpful hints/tips so that you are not jumping in too fast and without a life jacket.  Okay, Suzi Whitford, you got my undivided attention! I am ready to just sit back, read, and absorb without the distraction of all the next steps in my journey.

Blog by Number Roadmap
Blog by Number Roadmap

The Review

The ebook slowly but confidently takes you through the full cycle of setting up a blog. The first few chapters begin with setting your goals, finding a niche, picking a domain, and then hosting your blog. You move into setting up your website starting with a good theme and pleasant color palettes (with lots of examples).  So far so good! There is nothing overwhelming and a lot of great information.

Did I mention she breaks down things by days so that you aren’t trying to do everything in one weekend (unless you choose to)? There is a whole chapter on content (with resources) for brainstorming your posts, working with templates, using checklists, developing headlines, and creating a variety (25 types) of posts. This is the section that I grabbed my notebook and started really taking notes.

Blog by Number templates and workbook pages
Blog by Number templates and workbook pages

Now that you have your blog set up and assistance with content (via checklists and templates), it is time to go at it and write.  This is when Suzi introduces the reader to the shiny object which I like to call bling. The bling consists of dozens of chapters on Pinterest such as creating pins, templates, boards, resources and generating traffic. Suzi also includes money making strategies via ads, affiliates, sponsored posts, blog networking, and product creation (products or services). But she doesn’t stop there! As some great added bonuses, she includes time-saving tips, her favorite resources, and a number of great website tools.

Blog by Number Pinterest Boards
Blog by Number Pinterest Boards

Recommendation

I can’t say enough about how much I thoroughly enjoyed Suzi’s book Blog by Number. To be honest, I even forget that this book was initially geared towards stay at home moms as so much of her book was about setting up a fantastic blog on a reasonable time frame. While I have a running blog, her book made me take a second look at it. I discovered superior ways to create better content, Pinterest pins, and interest in my blog. This book gets a two thumbs up in my book and is definitely one that I will be referencing constantly during my blogging career.

Author Information

Author Suzi Whitford studied Industrial Engineering and working for several Fortune 100 companies before becoming a mom and starting her blog StartAMomBlog.com. She finds blogging a very rewarding and extremely flexible activity with the potential to grow into something amazing.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review on Blog by Number. If you have read the ebook, I would love to hear your thoughts. Are there any ideas or strategies that Suzi mentioned that you are currently using on your blog?

*** DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I may earn a commission or free items. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I oftentimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere.  Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff. :)  Thank you, in advance for your support!


Book Review: Make Money Blogging

Book Review: Make Money Blogging

Book Review: Make Money Blogging by author Sarah Titus
Book Review: Make Money Blogging by Sarah Titus

I was recently given the opportunity of reading a brand new ebook this week called “Make Money Blogging: How to Find Ideas That Are Right For You” by Sarah Titus. Before I go into the book itself, I want to give you a little background on this inspiring author.

Sarah Titus is a single stay-at-home mom who was able to take her family from homelessness to making six figures due to her enduring faith and vision. She is now living her dream life, found a way to become completely debt free, and teaches others how to do the same. As she loves to mention (and amaze her readers with the fact) that she was at once able to live an affluent life on only a yearly income of $18,000.

That was more than 5 years ago, as today Sarah has become the successful blogger at SarahTitus.com and author of more than a half dozen Amazon books (see below for all her books). She has a talent (and years of experience) of teaching others how to make money from home legitimately and in ways that fit their personal lifestyle.

Make Money Blogging: How to Find Ideas That Are Right For You

In her latest book, “Make Money Blogging: How to Find Ideas That Are Right For You” Sarah demonstrates how you can take your blog to the next level by monetizing it. In the first two chapters, Sarah discusses learning your boundaries, deciding what products/services you will be sponsoring, and how to be firm in what you do advertise to your readers.

In chapter three, you are introduced to ads. The one item that resonated with me from this chapter is that Sarah suggests not putting ads on your blog until you have at least 50,000 page views/month. Her reasoning is that having ads (of any kind) can be perceived by the reader as being “one of those kind of bloggers” who is more interested in trying to take my money instead of truly blogging to teach. This may not be true, but perception by readers is everything.

That is one reason why you will now see my blog is almost ad free. I don’t want my reader to perceive me as wanting their money. Yes, I would like to make money off of my blog, but my main reason for blogging is to share my experiences and expertise with my readers. So, my blog only has an ad for Amazon (where I like to list my favorite books), one for Ebates (as I believe everyone should earn dollars back for shopping online), and one or two ads for affiliates (those I truly believe in their product/services and use personally).

As this is a book about making money off your blog, the last few chapters delve into products, affiliates, sponsored posts, and other ways to generate income. The theme of the chapters again is focused on you the blogger, your brand, your expertise, and the services/products that you either personally offer or support. As an added bonus, not only does Sarah lists a number of her favorite affiliates and why she personally uses them, but she gives you a link to a complete list of affiliates. This includes affiliates for mommy and lifestyle bloggers on items such as recipe books, organizational tools, money saving guides, and so much more.

The Review

After reading the “Make Money Blogging: How to Find Ideas That Are Right For You”, I give it a “thumbs up” and recommend it particularly for either the newbie blogger or someone new to monetizing their blog. Sarah has a way of sharing her knowledge and experience that comes across sweet, genuine, and encouraging; making this reader feel like she was getting advice from a trusted friend.

Other Books

As mentioned earlier, Sarah is the author of several books on Amazon and each have been rated over 4 stars out of 5. If you want to further your personal and professional growth, you might want to consider reading:

  • How to Become Financially Free: From Home to Well Off

  • 7 Reasons Your Blog Isn’t Making You Money

  • How to Hijack Link Up Party Traffic

  • How to Boost Your Alexa Score Organically

  • How to Turn Your Blog Into A Six-Figure Money Making Machine

  • How to Reduce Your Power Bill Dramatically in 60 Days

  • Money Saving Tricks: 30 Days to A Better Life

If you have read this or one of Sarah’s other books, I would love to hear from you in the comments section. Tell me and my readers what you enjoyed about the book and any of the practices that you have incorporated into your life or your blog.


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