Bloggers Boot Camp | Book Review

Bloggers Boot Camp: Learning How to Build, Write, and Run a Successful Blog | Book Review

Would you like to launch the next Mashable, or TechCrunch?  Then let’s go on a guided tour of the editorial processes behind major tech news websites like Mashable, TechCrunch, and Gizimodo?  Bloggers Boot Camp: Learning How to Build, Write, and Run a Successful Blog by Charlie White, and John Biggs offers you exactly that.  They are on the inside, and give an authentic look inside the news blogging world.

Charlie White, and John Biggs have a unique insider’s perspective from their years of experience working at various times for websites such as Mashable, TechCrunch and Gizmodo. They see blogging as mainly a journalistic, news gathering and reporting endeavor, and their focus is on helping you create a blog that has a journalistic, and news centered approach.  This is an interesting, but far from universal definition of blogging.  They focus on the journalistic approach to the total exclusion of the myriad of other types of blogs out there that are not focused solely on news reporting.

Bloggers Boot Camp: Learning How to Build, Write, and Run a Successful BlogIf you want to start a personal fashion blog, a business blog, a home decor blog, or a food blog, then this is likely not the book for you. But for what it is, a book that talks about starting a news blog, the perspective they give is pretty unique, and full of wisdom.  If you want to understand how news gathering, and new reporting blogs work, this is your bible.  They even talk about how to cultivate your own sources, and tipsters.  I have not encountered any other blogging books that are anything like it.

Most blogging books are usually generic, and not nearly as specific.

I always wanted a look inside blogs like Mashable, and this book definitely filled my curiosity.  I knew the story of how Mashable started with a lone teenager in a bedroom in Scotland, but I always felt that I had been left out on the rest of the story. This book helped fill in the gaps.  It is inspiring to see Pete Cashmore, and Mashable go from a lone man’s endeavor to a full-fledged news organization gathering and reporting news 24/7 all around the globe.

In their world you have to post 10-30 times on a daily basis while and working around the clock.  In contrast, there are a number of blogs that have success just posting 3-6 times a week.  Granted the latter sites will never have the traffic levels of Mashable, or TechCrunch, but many of these 3-6 times a week bloggers have grown multiple 6 figure incomes, and some of them make 6 figures each, and every month.  If you pure traffic numbers, you cannot compete with new sites.  News sites are some of the most popular sites on the planet.

There are so many different types of blogs in the blogosphere, and it was very illuminating to get their unique perspective.

The book cover all of the bases plus some:

  • How to pick a niche
  • Photography and writing skills
  • Basic grammar, and punctuation rules
  • Common mistakes
  • Cultivate news sources
  • Dealing with tips
  • What to write about
  • How to write blog posts
  • Building traffic to your site
  • Dealing with ethical issues
  • Growing a blog that turns into a news empire

I found the detailed section on news gathering, and developing news sources to be one of the very best, and most interesting parts of the book.  The insiders access and point of view is unparalleled. So many blogging books are very general, so it is good to see a book that narrows the focus and shines the light perfectly on growing a news centered blog.

I did feel at times that what they were discussing was not particularly relevant to me because my interests are not tied to being a journalistic blogger. I personally don’t like the always on requirement of having to report the news 24/7, and I have yet to find a news topic that I really feel passionate about.  Even with these reservations, I have to say that it was enjoyable to witness their unique point of view.  These two truly have a passion for news, and their enthusiasm was obvious, and contagious.  They made me want to start a news blog, or find a way to incorporate news into this website.  It is easy to tell that they wanted to make an authoritative and comprehensive guide on their blogging world, and they succeeded.

If I wanted to start a news blog, this would be my go to guide.

Bloggers Boot Camp Book Cover Bloggers Boot Camp
Charlie White, John Biggs,
Focal Press

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