Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done a book review! I’ve been working on a Kim Stanley Robinson novel for the past 6 months–that will be coming eventually. I do want to start reading again–hello library (which I don’t leave so near to anymore, but whatevs, I have a car and bus tickets, don’t I?)!
Anyhoo. Last week, Ryan Biddulph of Blogging For Paradise contacted me for a book review. As I haven’t read an ebook about blogging in a while, I thought, why not? It’ll give me something to read and also some blog fodder. So I added Blogging From Paradise: How To Retire To A Life of Island Hopping Through Smart Blogging to my Dropbox.
So, okay, the cover is kind of meh. Picture of a tropical paradise, some text boxes. It looks like what it is: a self-published ebook. It’s short too: 67 pages and you’re done.
The first impression I had with the first few paragraphs wasn’t an overly positive one. The guy definitely needs an editor. But I didn’t let that stop me from finishing the book, despite how annoyed I grew with missing commas and then/than errors, and plenty of other things that could just easily be corrected with a second pair of eyes (and I write this to a majority of my students, who make no money whatsoever with the papers they write for me).
You know I’m a fan of depth. If you’re going to write a book, make it something worth my while. On this front, this book kind of fails. With 11 chapters for 67 pages, you don’t get much space for each.
But sometimes, a wide overview of something can be just what you need. It’s definitely not a step-by-step, follow my blueprint type of book. It’s more of a “here’s a general idea of what I did to be successful”.
My favourite chapters were the early ones: chapter 1 covers the kind of attitude you need to be a successful blogger, chapter 2 covers some common mistakes bloggers make, and chapter 3 effectively clarified for me how to define your blog topic. Which, on the moment, I actually needed for my Writefulness project.
Chapter 4 is also nice because, in the end, creating and connecting are the true keys to success. Not marketing, not SEO. Creating and connecting.
The rest (including the chapter on monetization) was really too thin for me. If you want more information on monetization, there are much deeper books you can get. This one just tells you that you can sell ads and your services when you become an expert. Which is obvious–at least to me. But a beginner might find this information useful.
As I am not particularly interested in island hopping (more like just living on one of them), the constant references to “living a life of island hopping in paradise” quickly became grating. The cover clearly expresses that, so I don’t think it’s necessary to weigh the writing down with constantly mentioning that the author has been to Bali and Fiji and Thailand and whatever. I think that it crosses the line between “inspiration” and “bragging” at this point.
So, my honest take on this? Don’t spend $13 on this book. You can get much better for less. Wait until there’s a special, or a giveaway, or something of the kind. I mean, I got Jeff Goin’s You Are a Writer for $2, and despite its faults, it was a great inspirational read.
But if you like Ryan’s content on his blog and you need something to kick your butt into gear to start blogging, and $13 is no chip off your shoulder? Go ahead, I guess. It’s your money.
This gets a 3 stars from me. Despite its faults and its high price, it still had some good bits of insight.
Disclaimer: I received this ebook for free from the author. All opinions are my own. Links may lead to affiliate programs.