Item description for Blog Schmog: The Truth About What Blogs Can (and Can't) Do for Your Business by Robert W. Bly & Thomas Nelson Publishers...
Overview Blog Schmog takes a look at the blogging phenomenon and its impact on politics, writing, marketing, public relations, publishing, journalism, and all other forms of communication. Written from a skeptic's point of view, Robert Bly holds blogging up to close scrutiny, giving practical, easy-to-use tips that can help you master blogging and its application. This book cuts through the hype surrounding blogging, enabling you to get a true and accurate picture of blogging's potential as well as its limitations. Inside you'll discover how the blogosphere operates along with real-world advice from blogging experts on how to write an effective, reader-oriented blog.
Blog Schmog takes a look at the blogging phenomenon and its impact on politics, writing, marketing, public relations, publishing, journalism, and all other forms of communication. Written from a skeptic's point of view, Robert Bly holds blogging up to close scrutiny, giving practical, easy-to-use tips that can help you master blogging and its application.
This book cuts through the hype surrounding blogging, enabling you to get a true and accurate picture of blogging's potential as well as its limitations. Inside you'll discover how the blogosphere operates along with real-world advice from blogging experts on how to write an effective, reader-oriented blog.
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Studio: Thomas Nelson
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.46" Width: 5.68" Height: 0.94" Weight: 0.79 lbs.
Release Date Jan 16, 2007
Publisher Thomas Nelson
ISBN 078521576X ISBN13 9780785215769 UPC 020049057643
Availability 0 units.
More About Robert W. Bly & Thomas Nelson Publishers
Robert W. Bly (Dumont, NJ) is a professional writer and self-made millionaire. He is the author of seventy books, including several popular volumes on writing. McGraw-Hill calls him "America's top copywriter," and he is the recipient of the American Artists & Writers Institute's 2007 Copywriter of the Year award. He has lectured on writing, publishing, and marketing to numerous groups, including American Writers & Artists, Inc.; National Speakers Association; and American Society of Journalists and Authors. He is a former adjunct professor of communications at New York University.
Robert W. Bly currently resides in Dumont, in the state of New Jersey.
Reviews - What do customers think about Blog Schmog: The Truth About What Blogs Can (and Can't) Do for Your Business?
"Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it." (Voltaire) Mar 4, 2008
Those who are about to read this book need to keep in mind that in it, Robert Bly shares his thoughts about what blogs cannot do (nor be expected to do) as well as what they can do. Over the years, he has earned and deserves his reputation as a master of reasoning, reading, and writing skills...whatever the given genre may be. Among his previously published books, my own favorites are The Copywriter's Handbook, his Guide to Freelance Writing Success, and most recently, The White Paper Marketing Handbook. In his latest book, Blog Schmog, he focuses on "the strategy of using blogs as a business-building and marketing tool, explaining how your time is best bent on strategy, not fooling around with programming or design." Bly then goes on to explain, in the Introduction, that his book "is written from the point of view of a blogging skeptic and doubter, not one who has bought into the whole blogging fad without holding it up to close scrutiny... And my conclusions about blogging, unlike those of [blogging consultants, enthusiasts, and evangelists], are not always favorable; my positions on blogging are highly controversial within the blogosphere." He urges those who read this book to share their comments ideas, techniques, and/or success stories with him at email@example.com or to visit www.bly.com.
Who will derive the greatest benefit from this book? Probably, those in need of expert advice on how to start their own blog, and, those who have done so and are dissatisfied with the results thus far.
Time Out: There are significant differences between personal blogs and institutional blogs. Therefore, those who are about to launch either a personal blog or an institutional blog should first answer the six questions posed on Pages 55 & 56 in Chapter 2, "How to Start Your Own Blog." (Bly cites Elisa Camahort's Worker Bees as their source. Her Web site is workerbeesblog.blogspot.com.) Moreover, I think that those who have already launched a blog and are not satisfied with results thus far should also answer these six questions. For those with a special interest in institutional blogs, Bly provides an insightful analysis of do's and don'ts in Chapter 7. Then in Appendix E, he identifies "Business Blogs Every Blogging Newbie Should Know" and provides links to them.
To me, some of the most valuable information and counsel are found in Chapter 3, "Blogetiquette: The Rules of Blogging." He shares his responses to a number of frequently asked questions. For example:
Is "selling" a person, a company, or a product acceptable in the blogosphere?
How to treat copyrighted material in a blog?
Why are corporations afraid of blogging?
What is the "bloatosphere" and what's wrong with it? (Note: Bly cites Steven Streight, president and CEO of Streight Site Systems, as his source for much of the response provided.)
What is "ghost-blogging' and why does it occur?"
What about other types of blogs such as "simulated," "drivel," "sleazy link," "fictional persona," and "link farm?" What does Bly think of each?
Throughout his narrative, Bly inserts a series of "Rules"(also listed in Appendix B) and provides a context for each. (I highlighted each of them to expedite periodic review of them later and suggest that other readers do the same.) He concludes this chapter with Rule 8A: "To be effective marketing vehicles, blogs should be relatively free of marketing. They should contain useful content and the truth, not hype or sales talk. To violate this rule not only costs you sales and credibility, but it also incurs the disdain and wrath of the blogosphere." He makes essentially the same assertion about white papers in an earlier book, The White Paper Marketing Handbook.
In the final chapter, He shares a number of opinions whether or not blogging has a future and many of these opinions are certain to generate controversy. (Bly urges those who disagree with any of them to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He plans to share feedback with readers of the next edition of this book.) I strongly recommend, however, that the first nine chapters be read with great care, first. I cannot think of a better way to conclude this review than to share the conclusion to Bly's book:
"So blog if you want to. If you don't like blogs, don't bother. And if you think the advice in this book is great, and you want to let me know, or if you think I don't know beans about blogging and that my advice is useless, you can certainly say so - on my blog.
"Best of luck to you in the blogosphere - and outside it!"
Should I Start a Blog? May 29, 2007
Finally a business book that is unpretentious. Blog Schmog is not one of those books that takes one good idea and then tries to stretch it beyond its boundaries just to get a specified page count.
Bob Bly is a direct mail copywriter and by his own admission does not buy into the blogosphere hype. But he decided to delve into the world of blogging and find out what it was all about (probably so he could write a book). The fact that Bly is not a blogging expert is exactly what makes this book valuable to someone thinking of starting a blog.
This book gives you an unbiased view of starting a blog from scratch and leaves out the sales pitch you would get from a blogging guru trying to sell you the latest patented system for starting a blog.
BS is short on technical advice but does give you resources and plenty of website addresses to get you started. What you will get out of this book is why you should start a blog (if you should) and what is the most effective way to write a blog. If you are already a seasoned blogger, this book is probably not for you.
If you are thinking of starting a blog, or just trying to get more comfortable writing one, I recommend this book. You won't be an expert after you read it, but you will have a better perspective of blogging.
Dead-on advice on blogging May 10, 2007
I just finished reading Bly's book and as a direct response writer, I found his observations on the "blog scene" to be dead on.
When blogging first starting coming up on my radar, I looked into it briefly and didn't understand the fuss people were making over it. It seemed very much like what people used to do on BBSs (I used to be a sysop of a BBS back in the late twentieth century). Anyone could access a BBS and anyone could comment on the author's writings for all the world to see. So, what do I see on blogs? Much the same thing. People read what you write, choose to comment, link to you or you link to them. Same thing, different year.
I also echo Bly's observations that many blogs are unreadable and do little to further marketing goals. Many I've read have interesting things to say, but they're written in long, unbroken blocks of text, which cause me to stop reading part way through out of boredom.
But, the main reason I don't like blogs is because of the toffee-nosed way it's being promoted. That, and I just hate the word "blog." It sounds like something a cat coughed up--which, now that I think about it, might just be an apt description for much of what passes for content out there in blogland.
Many blog evangelists talk about blogging like it's something new and revolutionary. Psh. It's old technology with a facelift! I've heard that "blogging is all about having conversations!" Someone in Bly's book said this very thing. This same guy spoke of blogging in a weird Jack Kerouac-ish way that made me want to reach for an air sickness bag. I envisioned him wearing a tie-dyed shirt, a grateful dead headband, and little John Lennon glasses--typing furiously with two fingers in some off-campus "Café Nervosa."
A great read, Bly's book. I'd recommend it to anyone contemplating blogging so that they can avoid the hype and not be taken in by dewy-eyed blog-angelists.
The Fantasy World of Blog Mar 22, 2007
Robert Bly's BLOG SCHMOG is a balanced, openly honest, "no pie-in-the-sky" assessment of the craze which has swept across the internet, namely blogging. In short, the book's subtitle "The truth about what blogs can and can't do for your business" tells the buyer exactly what to expect if they buy and read this book. In fact, that is exactly why I purchased this book because I am on the cusp of setting up my own blog. I was not disappointed.
In conceptualizing and framing his book BLOG SCHMOG, Robert Bly has targeted a wide audience: new bloggers, blog enthusiasts thinking about designing and launching their own blog, and internet surfers who have been blogging for awhile.
BLOG SCHMOG is a three-tier crash course in how to realistically analyze blogging application and effectiveness, how to measure the effect of blogging on current marketing and media trends, and how to create your own effective blog that will lure in readers and participants. The back matter or appendices of BLOG SCHMOG contain invaluable information: detailed notes from each chapter, blogosphere rules & etiquette, a comprehensive list of blogging books & guides, blogging consultants with their emails and phone numbers, blog software, blog search engines, a litany of successful business blogs covering an array of topics, and a glossary of blogging terms so the newbie does not remain a newbie. . A word to the wise should be the mantra for this book. In other words, underscoring all of the above is a golden thread that runs through his book, namely, do not miscalculate or overestimate the effect that your blog will have on your business. Do not live in the fantasy world of blog. Be very clear about what your blog can do for you, in terms of a return on your investment ROI, whether it is financial, advertising, or just broadening your reputation via the web. Your ROI is always a balance between weekly time invested in your blog versus what do you get in return for giving up that time. What Robert Bly makes clear in BLOG SCHMOG is that blogging is a new phenomenon whose long-term effects are yet to be measured in the commercial marketplace. He does cite instances where bloggers have influenced politics; they have fanned the flames of a sweeping news story; and, through the mainstream media, blog designers and analysts have attempted to alter the path of the meandering river of public perception.
All-in-all, though some critics view Robert Bly's perspective and tone more akin to a parent who negatively discourages his child by undercutting his child's goals, I found Robert Bly's BLOG SCHMOG to be an informed primer that encourages the newbie blogger by giving him all the tools he will need to succeed, but Bly does so with words of caution. BLOG SCHMOG reads with experience and careful consideration. In short, it informs. As a writer and businessman, Robert Bly blends his knowledge of writing, marketing, advertising and persuasion into a most pleasing and rewarding work. BLOG SCHMOG is worth every penny.
John M. Weiskopf Author, The Ascendancy [...]
A good book that seems to accurately put blogs into perspective for people interested in including them in their marketing mix. Mar 3, 2007
I enjoyed reading this book. It confirmed what I already knew about blogs and blogging. I highly recommend anyone interested in exploiting blogs for financial gain get a copy of this book and read it.
The overall message of the book is that blogs help increase a marketing-focused Web site get favorably ranked with search engines. Therefore, indirectly they help in marketing. But blogs are not a marketing tool in and of themselves unless one treats article writing as a marketing tool.
Building Web sites has always been pretty easy. And blogs are Web sites. What has always been somewhat hard is designing a Web site and filling it with content so visitors to the Web site will be inclined to buy a certain product or service. Since blogs by definition are not seriously researched or planned, their ability to convince visitors to buy is limited. And, as a result, their marketing value is not that great. However, Web sites do not exist in a vacume. They rely to some extent on getting traffic from search engines on the Web. And blog entries help in a few ways with getting a Web site some traffic. First, they provide content in a Web site that search engines index. At least this is the case when the blog entries are stored on Web pages within the blogger's main Web site for marketing purposes. Second, blogs are possible "hit pages" surfers will click through to when trying to find information. Such pages will then direct the surfers to "marketing pages" in the blogger's main Web site set up for marketing purposes. And third, if the blogs are freestanding, then they can provide external links directing Web surfers to the blogger's main Web site which has marketing umf. Search engines rank a Web site more favorably when other Web sites direct traffic its way.
The book also points out that the best blogs from a business' standpoint are "topical blogs." And the businesses that usually benefit are service oriented (as compared to retail oriented). For example, a consultant who counsels small business owners might have a blog that only includes entries about small business. A life coach might have a blog that only includes entries regarding life coaching issues. Or a bankruptcy attorney might have a blog that only includes entries regarding Chapter 7 personal bankruptcies. The blogs will probably help boost surfer traffic to their main Web sites, but they will also help build credibility for their respective services. Assuming the blogs have accurate and timely content, then the bloggers arguably will be viewed as "experts" even though they haven't gone through the hassle of getting a book published or passed some professional exam.
But there are many blogs out there that are not topical, are not accurate and timely, and don't really say anything worth reading. Those are the blogs that the author says are not worth producing. And I agree. 5 stars!