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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!


Friday Freebies #5 – Fabulous Finds

Friday Freebies #5 – Fabulous Finds

Copy of Copy of Fabulous finds for You & Your blog

Hello and Happy Friday! This week I have included a number of free fonts and images along with the usual ebooks, ecourses, website apps, etc. And don’t miss out on the Just for Fun freebies from Smashwords which are available for the whole month of July.

Ebooks

At the time of this writing, these eBooks were listed as free on Amazon. Please double check the link before hitting purchase to make sure the items are still available at no cost.

Writing a Book a Week – Alex Foster

Learn how to be profitable writing a book a week for Kindle and other book sites. The process is a true test of discipline and character. Alex shares ideas that work for writing under this model and the motivation and mindset it takes to succeed. 4.5 star out of 5 star Amazon rating.

Email Marketing: Tips and Tricks to Maximize Profits – Larry Ellison

Email Marketing: Tips and Tricks To Maximize Profit sheds a powerful beam of light on what procedures you should implement to increase your sales and ultimately increase your profit. The focus of this Ebook is not only on what you need to concentrate on in your day to day business operations but it also gives you a keen insight into how your customers and potential subscribers perceive your communications. 5 out of 5 star Amazon Rating.

Make Money Online: 7 Effective Ways to Make Money Online – James Botello

7 Ways to Make a Side Income Online is written in a comprehensive manner to let the readers explore various ideas of earning an income online. This book will show you the step by step explanations of different types of media for providing a better understanding to amateur users. The online media platforms are very easy to maintain and do not require any huge investments as other businesses do. With minimum investment and modest involvement, you can expect generous returns. 4.5 out of 5 star Amazon Rating.

Webinars

Two Essential Strategies to Grow Your Email List – Melyssa Griffin

On Tuesday July 19th, Melyssa Griffin is hosting a webinar and sharing her top two list-building strategies that helped her grow her list from 2,000 to 30,000 subscribers last year. There will be two showings so claim your spot for 11 am PDT or 5 pm PDT.

Downloadables

Creative Market is at it again with some fantastic freebies to download. Just click on the picture and it will take you there.

Mix Redux by Mikko Sumulong

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Mix Redux is how your name is written on a mailing label, perfect for handmade and DIY themed projects.

Unique Magazine Mockups by Aleksey Belorukov

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Unique Magazine Mockups is a series of high quality mockups. It includes 22 exclusive mockup magazines in 3 views giving you endless opportunities for distinctive scenes creation.

 

Watercolor Feather Set by Just Create

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Hand painted watercolor set of feathers for transparent backgrounds, layered fileelements, and seamless patterns.

Hand Crafted Vintage Logos by Markydtt

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Hand drawn vintage style logos that are 100% editable with free fonts included.

Volume 1 Texture Pack by Ryantheweave

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The pack includes 12 custom made vector textures. Each texture was uniquely made from high quality photography and developed carefully to provide you with a range of subtle effects to give your art that perfect amount of grit and grain

Link Ups

Mama’s Gone Crafty is now hosting a weekly crafter-noon party on Sundays. If you have something creative to share, stop by her blog to link up and share. Every participant can have a chance to win a FREE month of blog advertising and be featured in a weekly Fab Finds Post.

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Just for Fun

For the entire month July over at Smashwords they are offering a huge selection of free ebooks in all genres. Just click on this link, add any of the books to your shopping cart, and enter SFREE at checkout.

Here are a few that I found interesting (just click on the individual book covers and it will take you right to their Smashwords page):

now that I am mature

grace bible study

self help 101

Inspirations

operation camilla

finding your career

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Freebie Fridays were you will find a lot me free ideas for your business, blog, and you. Please feel free to comment and leave any freebies that either you are offering on your sites or feel the Pursuing My Dream readers might be interested in.

Freebie Friday #4

Freebie Friday #4

Friday Freebies

Hello and Happy Friday! This week I have included a number of free fonts and images along with the usual ebooks, ecourses, website apps, etc. And don’t miss out on the Just for Fun freebies from Smashwords which are available for the whole month of July.

Courses and Classes

Writing for the WebOpen2Study

Understanding the difference between writing for print versus writing for the web starts with learning about how readers behave differently online. This course brings to light how to accommodate the needs of online readers through web design, writing style, and structure and search engine optimization.

What you will learn:

  • how to structure a web page
  • considerations for search engines and accessibility requirements
  • making your content scannable
  • using keywords, headings, lists and links
  • matching your company’s tone of voice
  • creating a content strategy and style guide
  • and many other things!

How to Get More Twitter Followers – Kelsye Nelson

In this three day course, Kelsye will show you:

  • how to gain an average of 500 quality followers
  • how to get the right people to follow you
  • her favorite tool for managing following and saving time
  • her hack for fast growth without buying ads or followers
  • how to avoid mistakes that get your account flagged and locked

Fonts and Images

Bloggers that are horrible at taking pictures (like myself) are constantly looking for free images to use on their blogs. I am regularly on the lookout for images that match my blog topic and fonts that I can use with my Pinterest and Twitter images.  This week, Creative Markets (a new favorite place of mine) is sharing a number of both fonts and images for free.

creative market

Graphic Design Services

Pixlr

Make every moment beautiful with Pixlr’s family of photo editing apps.

BeFunky

Free yourself from complicated software and design the way you want.

YouiDraw

No signup, no download! You can draw, create logos, and design.

FatPaint

Make pages, vector illustrations, logos, edit photos and design products online.

Fotor

Free online graphic design tool. Design your photo, banner, poster, or card online!

Just for Fun

I absolutely love reading and find it a great form of relaxation. Some people like to take vacations, I like to find a comfy spot to sit, unwind, and escape in a good book. For the entire month July over at Smashwords they are offering a huge selection of free ebooks in all genres. Just click on this link, add any of the books to your shopping cart, and enter SFREE at checkout.

Here are a few that I found (just click on the individual book covers and it will take you right to their Smashwords page):

the journey journal

Fox Island

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Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Freebie Fridays were you will find a lot me free ideas for your business, blog, and you. Please feel free to comment and leave any freebies that either you are offering on your sites or feel the Pursuing My Dream readers might be interested in.


Self-Publishing Webinar for Bloggers

Self-Publishing Webinar for Bloggers

I usually save this for Freebie Fridays, but an exclusive webinar just came through my email and it is for tomorrow July 6th.

Are you a blogger or online entrepreneur hustling to find reliable income streams? Have you considered writing books, but you aren’t sure how to do it the right way or if it will really be profitable? Bloggers are uniquely positioned to be successful with self-publishing, and Barrie & Steve will show you the exact steps to leverage your platform, content, and expertise to build recurring income.

Barrie Davenport Co-Founder Authority Pub Academy

Barrie is a certified coach and top-ranked personal development blogger who is the author of 11 books and counting. She has used self-publishing to boost her online business and income and to attract coaching clients and over 600,000 monthly blog visitors.

Steve Scott Co-Founder Authority Pub Academy

Steve is a multiple best-selling author who has built a full-time 6-figure business around self-publishing books, with over 70 books and counting. 

In the webinar you will learn:

-How to nail down profitable book topics based on your blog niche

-The best ways to use your blog content to write multiple books

-The secrets to writing multiple books a year, even if you’re super busy

-How to ensure your books stand out from the crowd and fly off the shelf

-The best way to turn your blog followers into raving book fans

If you want to take your blog to the next level and turn your content and expertise into an income stream, this FREE webinar is just for you. Just click on the image below to take you to the registration page.

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Friday Freebies #3 – Fabulous Finds for You

Friday Freebies #3 – Fabulous Finds for You

Freebie Friday #3
Freebie Friday #3 – Fabulous Finds

Hello and Happy Friday! In this third edition of the Friday Freebies, I am posting all of the great finds I found pertaining to blogging, social media, webinars, classes, ebooks, and more. And since we can’t be all work and no play, you might actually find a few fun freebies like recipes, printable materials, events, and craft projects.

Classes and E-Courses

How to Sell on PinterestBrilliant Business Moms

  • Learn how to attract people who will buy what you are selling
  • The secret tool that will spread your pins all over Pinterest
  • Lean how to create a gorgeous Pinterest account that gets you followers fast
  • Learn how to get you pins in front of thousands more people – even if you are just starting out

The Ultimate Blog Challenge

Sign up to join the July 2016 Ultimate Blog Challenge where you will receive updates, tips, and daily blogging ideas to help you build lists, get you more traffic, increase your exposure, and make building relationships easier.

Webinars

Self-Publishing for BloggersAuthority Pub

Are you a blogger or online entrepreneur hustling to find reliable income streams? Have you considered writing books, but you aren’t sure how to do it the right way or if it will really be profitable? Bloggers are uniquely positioned to be successful with self-publishing, and Authority Pub can show you the exact steps to leverage your platform, content, and expertise to build recurring income. The free webinar is July 6th starting at 1 pm EST.

E-books

At the time of this writing, these eBooks were listed as free on Amazon. Please double check the link before hitting purchase to make sure the items are still available at no cost.

Supercharge Your Life: 7 Habits to Increase Your Success and Happiness – Sandra Leon

Description:  Supercharge Your Life will transform you into the person you know you can be. You will learn the 7 habits that will transform you with easy step by step ways to practice them (even on a busy schedule). Rated 5 stars out of 5 on Amazon

Applications/Design

Adobe Spark

I have to thank reader Keely for recommending Adobe Spark. With Adobe Spark you can:

  • Create social graphics – pick a photo, add text, and apply design filters to instantly start a viral phenomenon
  • Create web stories – turn words and images into beautiful, magazine-style web stories that will impress readers on any device
  • Create animated video – record your voice, add photos, select from professional-quality soundtracks and cinematic motion, and voila spectacular video!

picjumbo

picjumbo is a free stock photo site created by photographer and designer Viktor Hanacek. Viktor says “you can use picjumbo images in a lot of way: app designs, app UI kits, web UI kits, web designs, web templates, web themes, and you can include used images in your web theme package”.  He also permits you to use his photos for book covers, print it as pictures for your living room or office walls, or use it to design postcards and greeting cards.

Just for Fun

At the time of this writing, these eBooks were listed as free on Amazon. Please double check the link before hitting purchase to make sure the items are still available at no cost.

Yoga: The Begginer’s Bible – Tai Morello

Description: With The Yoga Beginner’s Bible, you will embark on an inner journey that will take you back to the state of peace, joy and happiness you were born to inhabit. Rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

The Yoga Beginner’s Bible will teach you:

      • The top 30 poses you must know as a beginner
      • What Yoga really is
      • How to turn Yoga into a habit
      • How to meditate
      • The benefits of Yoga
      • And much more!

The Gray-Haired Knitting Detective Series (Book 1-3) – D.E. Haggerty

Description: Get all three books of the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives series in one bundle! The bundle includes Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem, Jack Gets His Man, and Love in the Time of Murder. Join the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives as they solve the murder of Izzy’s grandma, figure out who is stealing money from Jack’s store, and clear Dee of murder charges. But don’t worry. Solving crimes won’t prevent the knitters from matchmaking Izzy, Jack, and Dee. Rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

How to Knit for Beginners: 9 Free Tutorials – Prime Publishing

Description: With this free eBook, How to Knit for Beginners: 9 Free Tutorials, you’ll find tons of great patterns, tips, and step-by-step instructions that will make picking up knitting a breeze. Knitting for beginners doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when you have the right tutorials at your disposal! Rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

Bruschetta! The Ultimate Recipe Guide – Over 30 Delicious & Best Selling Recipes – Jonathan Doue
Description: A compilation of the most delicious and best-selling bruschetta recipes from all over the world. From the classic favorite to Shrimp Mango Bruschetta and even Bacon Chocolate Bruschetta; over 30 unique bruschetta recipes for every event. Rated 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Freebie Fridays were you will find a lot me free ideas for your business, blog, and you. Please feel free to comment and leave any freebies that either you are offering on your sites or feel the Pursuing My Dream readers might be interested in.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend (and Canada Day for my Canadian friends!


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