Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cwafty Reviews: Building A Framework E-Book

Hello everyone! Today I'm writing about a book I recently read that was basically a treasure trove of blogging knowledge gems, Building a Framework: Everything I Learned My First Year Blogging By Abby Lawson.  If you are a blogger looking to add some new strategies to your playbook, or just a person who has aspirations of being a blogger, you really should check this book out.

And yes, as of right now this book is only available as an eBook, but there's plenty of ways to read it even if you don't have an eReader like me. There's a kindle app available for most phones, tablets, and computers, you can read it as a PDF on your computer, you could have it printed and bound at an office supply store, there are many ways you can absorb all of this useful information!

Let me start off by saying I wish I'd had this book 10 months ago when I started this whole blogging thing, I did have a book (Blogging For Creatives) but this one really outshines it. Starting a blog is a giant undertaking, there's so much you are either going to have to know or get ready to be a quick study. I went with a little of option A, a little of option B. In July 2011 I decided that I was going to open an Etsy shop and start selling some of my handmade plushies, clay creations, and jewelry online.With this I also wanted to launch a blog for my creations I didn't sell and because I really wanted to share my creativity with the world.

I didn't end up starting this blog until August 2013, partly because my shop on its own was a surprising success and I had too much to handle with that alone, and learning everything to start and run my own blog was intimidating. So I waited, and forgot, and then would remember, and do a little planning only to get caught up in something else and forget again. I would read articles online about utilizing social media, photo editing, hosting, wordpress v. blogger and tons of other topics and just feel completely overwhelmed. My solution was eventually to buy a book where it was all laid out right in front of me, which would be my advice to you as well if you're feeling similarly. And this is the book  you want.

Abby Lawson is the girl behind the blog in Just a Girl and Her Blog (that play on just a boy and his dog is too cute isn't it?!), shes a blogger, wife, mother, and now a published author. Over at Her Blog you'll find crafty tutorials, home improvement DIYs, and loads of organizational tips and ways to make your life generally run smoother. Ex. How I Organized My Whole Life(literal lifesaver right here)  She's such a well of information on her blog, I knew her book would be bursting with info, and I was correct!

Her book is split into 8 sections with varying chapters per section. Each section focuses on an important blog topic, such as content, relationships, working with brands, etc.  At the end of each chapter Abby was nice enough to both summarize the chapter and leave us with takeaways, little tips that are the main points of that chapter.

Some of my favorites include:
  • It's normal to be nervous- just start! (This one is gold, I wanted to wait until I was 100% ready but that never truly happens)
  • If you made the same mistakes that I did when starting your blog, the world will not end and it will probably still be okay. ( Abby and I made many similar mistakes, like not looking into our names enough, but everything has worked out for us so far!)
  • Improve your writing by reading good writing, writing often, and finding your "voice." (Finding your voice is difficult, but just be you.)
  •  Follow bloggers you like and want to get to know on social media and interact there-- be consistent. ("Consistency is key" and you really do make friends if you put in the effort)
 Abby walks you all the way from the beginning of your blogging journey, picking a name, choosing a platform, etc. to the big leagues where she discusses how to pitch ideas to brands you want to work with and ways to monetize your blog. There's really something there for everybody. I especially found the chapters on domain names/hosting, and the importance of relationships to be some of the most helpful for me. It's a far off distant goal to transfer The Cwafty Blog over to Wordpress and self-host. My current goal is to improve/start blogging relationships, not only with bloggers, but my readers as well.

Oh! Another thing I loved about this book is that it has a chapter each for the major social medias most bloggers currently use. Pinterest, check! Facebook, check! Twitter, check! and a few more. These we're also invaluable to me because keeping all my social medias straight is one of my weakest points as a blogger I feel, but I can work on that now with these wonderful tips!

Are you thinking, oh well I would read this book and finally start that blog I've been wanting to for so long, but I just don't have the time! Well first, ask yourself if you have time to devote to a blog? (cause trust me, its a big investment, but very rewarding)  Secondly, don't worry, the book is a very quick read at 178 pages, about 2 hours for me, but I'm a marathon reader. Even if you don't have time to read it all right now, just read the sections that would benefit you and read the rest when you need it! Or just read the summaries if you need a quick lesson on a topic and go back to that chapter when you have more time. There really is no excuse to not start your blog and/or make your blog the best it can be!

I haven't had a chance to implement any of the things I've learned yet but I am planning out ways currently! I know that the second I do, things will start changing around here. I just finished this book and had to share it with you though, so maybe I'll post about my changes and results later.

Seriously this book is a must read if you are at all interested in blogging. Its written by a blogger for bloggers, and it reads like Abby and I are just sitting around discussing the stuff we are passionate about. If you want to purchase the book you can do so through Abby's site here.

(The above link is an affiliate link but I was not compensated in any way for this review, I'm just a fan. If you choose to make a purchase you'd be helping support The Cwafty Blog. Thanks a bunch!)

I'll be back on Monday to talk about my favorite sport, and I bet you'll be surprised by what it is! Hope you all have a good weekend.

Til Next Time!

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