If youâ€™re like me, you read more blogs than books. Iâ€™ve always been a voracious consumer of the written word and that includes everything from encyclopedia entries to magazine articles. And I have always been the kind of person who checks out library books by the dozen. However, as Iâ€™ve gotten more and more immersed in the world of blogging, I have found that a majority of the time that I spend reading is spent on blogs. I like the format, I like the content and I feel like I can learn a lot about many different things really quickly.
Blogs are great. But books are different. And if you truly want to be a well-rounded person (which translates into being a more interesting blogger) youâ€™ll get in the habit of reading actual books again every now and then.
Here are five reasons that bloggers should also read books:
1. Youâ€™ll learn more. The longer format of books means that youâ€™ll learn more about the topics that interest you. You just donâ€™t always get those details from a blog post.
2. Change your writing style. Books are written with a different style than blog posts. Reading them can help challenge you to write in a different way which can catch the attention of your readers and make you stand out from other bloggers.
3. Itâ€™s enjoyable. Like I said, I love blogs. But lying down in the grass underneath the sunshine with a book in hand is an entirely different type of reading experience. It can help you feel more at peace and relaxed which helps refill your creative well.
4. Inspiration. In addition to the general sense of creativity that gets flowing when you sit down with a book, youâ€™ll get inspired with a bunch of creative ideas for your own blog posts. Take any book and read it from cover to cover while jotting down notes on the side and youâ€™ll have several weeks of blog post ideas to sift through.
5. Book reviews do well on many blogs. The truth is, many people donâ€™t want to read books. But they want to read about books so if you read them and then post information and reviews about them, you could get some new blog traffic.
Bloggers can read any type of book at all and gain these different benefits from it. However, itâ€™s also a good idea to read specifically about blogging now and then. This allows you to re-focus on what blogging is for you and what you can do to make yours better.
Here are five books that bloggers should have on their bookshelves:
1. The Cult of the Amateur by Andrew Keen. This is one of those books thatâ€™s likely to get your blood boiling. (Just look at the subtitle: How blogs, MySpace, YouTube, and the rest of today’s user-generated media are destroying our economy, our culture, and our values.) But thatâ€™s a good thing. Itâ€™ll get you passionate about why you blog and will give you lots to say, something that will make your own blog better because of it.
2. The IT Girlâ€™s Guide to Blogging with Moxie by Joelle Reeder and Katherine Scoleri. Yes, this one is designed for the women who blog. However, itâ€™s a good book for both male and female bloggers because it focuses on the world of women in blogging which often isnâ€™t a direct part of a lot of blog conversations. There are interviews with women who blog and tips for new bloggers. What I will say is that it can be almost condescending in its tone at times but on the whole, itâ€™s a book worth checking out for a quick read about a good topic. Besides, couldn’t we all use a little more moxie?
3. Userlands: New Fiction Writers from the Blogging Underground by Dennis Cooper. For those people who prefer to read blogs over books, the anthology might be a nice happy medium. This one looks at those bloggers who tested out and honed their writing online and then moved on to the book world with their work.
4. The Art of Strategic Listening: Finding Market Intelligence in Blogs and Social Media by Robert Berkman. This book is written for business professionals to learn about how to understand the modern market by reading blogs. It gives the blogger who reads it some insight in to ways to influence the market around you. And itâ€™s a good reminder of just how powerful blogging can be.
5. No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog by Margaret Mason. Every writer has probably picked up a writing prompt book now and then. Good writers use them on a daily or weekly basis to keep their ideas fresh. This is a book designed for bloggers which can be used in the same way that you would use writing prompts. Even if you donâ€™t post the posts, the exercise of writing them will make your writing better.
Itâ€™s great that we all spend time reading other peopleâ€™s blogs. Blogging is about community which is something that you arenâ€™t going to get from reading a book (although you can get it from blogging about the books that you read!) But itâ€™s important to read other types of writing as well in order to make sure that weâ€™re diversified writers.
Question of the Day: What other books about blogging would you recommend for those of us who haven’t read them yet?
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