My first handbook "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey

One of the first things I did when I decided I was ready to start blogging was buy Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey.  Of course, the beautiful aesthetics of this book drew me in - it was chock full of photos of so many creative blogs - many that were already favorites of mine. It reminded me of a magazine in it's gorgeous layout, and the fact that it invites browsing.  It's not necessary to read everything in order from beginning to end.

Blogging for Bliss maintains a delicate balance between providing information and kindling inspiration.  I like the fact that it has practical info, like picking a name, blog platforms, designing your blog basic HTML, and much more.  But it also focuses on more esoteric aspects, like being genuine, having a passion, being creative, experimenting, evolving, and not being afraid to start small.  And the "Meet the Blogger" profiles interwoven throughout provide little snapshots of veteran bloggers - what motivated them to begin, what they love about it, their challenges, and what their blog is about.

This book is not a giant encyclopedia of all-things-blog and I like that!  I wasn't intimidated by a heavy, overwhelming tome.  It's also not necessarily highly-technical or filled with detail.  If you're a newbie who's at a jumping-off point (like me) it's a great place to start, but it won't give you everything you need to go from newbie to pro.  Although it does provide links to a lot of other resources I haven't even started exploring yet.

I must admit, I feel a bit overwhelmed by these more sophisticated elements of blogging.  For instance, in the book Tara talks a fair amount about photography and while I think it's fabulous that so many bloggers are using digital SLR cameras to craft stunning photos, I feel a little left out.  I'm just not ready to go there yet - the words "Adobe Photoshop" make chills go down my spine.

But this is the beginning of my journey and I hope my skills will grow.  And I'm glad to have this book as a guide while I start down the path.

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