If I’ve said it once I’ve said it at least a half-dozen times, I don’t like to do book reviews. I have about 1.2 gigabytes of reading a day from the internet, so the last thing that I look to do is read a book. I’m also not the fastest of readers. It adds up to spending a lot of hours of preparation before I can even sit down and write the book review.
However, when I saw that Miranda Marquit was running an Indiegogo campaign to support her upcoming book, I was intrigued. If you don’t know Marquit, you probably don’t read too many personal finance blogs. She’s written for so many of them, that she’s become almost synonymous with personal finance blogging.
Before I get to her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, I have my own confession to make. We have traveled in different personal finance circles for years and only briefly crossed paths in one small email chain back in 2008. The Indiegogo campaign gave me an opportunity to support her work, which was my way of saying, “Thank You. I See You.”
That introduction opened the door to meeting her at Fincon, an annual personal finance blogging convention. And that led to us coming to agreement where she’ll be contributing a couple of articles a month here.
It’s Networking 101, but more importantly it is an example of how seeming small gestures can lead to big things.
With that little bonus out of the way, it’s time to get to the book review itself. I initially thought the book was going to be how to run your own blog (getting a domain name, installing a content management system such as WordPress, designing a theme, getting plugins, etc.). I was wrong. Then I thought it might dish on some dark practices of bloggers such as ridiculous SEO articles like this one. This was a little closer but I was wrong here too.
It is a book mostly about being a freelance writing for blogs. If you are looking for a guide for how to make money writing articles for people with successful blogs, it is a must-read. Confessions of a Professional Blogger walks you through the whole process of getting recognized, building up a resume, deciding on which jobs to take, and more. What I liked best about the book was the pragmatic approach. Sometimes you have to pay the bills and sometimes that means taking jobs a little out of your comfort zone. As you get experience and recognition, you’ll be in a better position to turn down less desirable gigs.
The book extends beyond blogging and even freelance writing by giving advice on the business itself. For example, there’s an excellent section comparing the differences between owning a blog and writing for a blog. It’s been a long time since I’ve written about all the things I do running a blog, but there is a huge difference between that and writing for a blog that someone else owns. Each has their own pros and cons, which are well-covered in the book.
That said, there’s a lot more to writing than just pumping out a few articles. Marquit coves that in detail as well.
Finally, I really liked various part that dealt with… ummm… I’ll just call it “life.” Some examples:
- There is going to be a time when writing or blogging doesn’t come easy. When you reach that point, should you quit, outsource some help, or find another solution.
- What do you do when you realize that there are 10,000 articles about how to save money on gas? (Hint: you need to add your own spin.)
- How do you manage cash flow of getting paid by different publishers on different schedules? What kind of business trade-offs do you make to ease the bumps of collecting money?
- How to be more productive, from planning your posts in advance to something that you wouldn’t expect (in this kind of book)… eating and sleeping well to keep you in top form.
It might sound like the book is 1,000 pages, but it is quite a quick read. It’s a great accomplishment to be able to fit all that information in a small space. As a professional blogger, I’d like to say that I knew everything in there, but I still learned quite a bit. Specifically for my situation, I learned about what I can do to create a good work environment for my writers if I really go full multi-author blog someday.
If you ever thought about making money online and didn’t know how to get started, this book will build a foundation and get you headed in the right direction.
Update: I’ve been able to work out deal with Marquit to give away a book to one reader of Lazy Man and Money. To enter, leave a comment here. The better the comment the more likely I am to give you a few extra entries. (I like to reward those who create or add to the conversation vs. the “give me book” grunts in the comments.) The last date to enter is Feb 16th, 11:59PM. Contest is open to those in continental US (as I’m not sure that Marquit is willing to ship the book to Fiji).