Born to Blog — Book Summary and Review

Born to Blog cover
Born to Blog – Building your blog for personal & business success, one post at a time

Book Title:

Born to Blog, Building Your Blog for Personal and Business Success One Post at a Time (McGraw-Hill, 2013)

Born to Blog authors:

  • Mark W. Schaefer is a longtime blogger and head of Schaefer Marketing Solutions. 
  • Stanford A. Smith of Pushing Social consults in social-media marketing.

Born to Blog — key points:

Regardless of what your motivation might be, anyone can create a successful blog. Here are several basic guidelines on how to ensure that your blog takes off. You must:

  1. Be willing to invest the time necessary to “find your voice” and “connect” with readers,
  2. Care deeply about your topic,
  3. Be willing to change course down the road if necessary, and
  4. Keep at it. Blogging is a commitment.

If you’re interested in blogging for affiliate marketing or personal blog (and make money from WordAds) you should consider starting with Bluehost.

And if you’re interested in developing a website for business, you should consider either Shopify or EasyStore. Personally speaking, chose EasyStore.

Now, this is a reminder for myself, and also for those who interested in blogging, you might think that you need to learn how to write well first, you’re mistaken. Because writing for a blog differs significantly from writing for other media.

In blogging, the following writing rules apply:

  • “Turn your blog upside down” meaning start with the most important point first before going into the details
  • Keep it short and sweet. A blog post generally works best if it’s shorter than 1,000 words.
  • The title needs to be compelling. This is the part where I’m currently struggling and also learning to improve on.
  • Be authentic. Take chances on what you shared and admit when you’ve erred.
  • “Rewrite” and proof-read. Guilty of missing the crucial steps one too many time myself. So, need to keep this in mind. Although if I’m remembered correctly, GaryVee said grammar doesn’t matter much. Plus, my grammar is not that good.

The book clearly states that

People who read blogs are starved for time and are impatient. They are not going to wait until the end to get to the punch line.

Bloggers generally have specific “skill sets.” Some are “dreamers” who feel motivated to impart their personal journeys and feelings; “storytellers” who “spin a great tale;” or “persuaders” who air their opinions on topics of public interest, perhaps from the worlds of government, health, athletics or entertainment. Some bloggers are “curators” who tend to “label” and “categorize” within their areas of interest, and some are “teachers” who create “how-to” blogs to help others with creative, artistic, logistical or practical challenges.

And based on the reading, personally I think I belonged to the ‘dreamer’ category.

However, practically you can work with one or more of these categories.

In order to keep your blog fresh and interesting, we need to be clear about our objectives and plan carefully in the following areas:

  • Your intention – be willing to be open and vulnerable.
  • Your writing style – your blog posts should be dynamics rather than neutral.
  • Your contributors – Your writers should be intimately involved with your culture, so make sure you don’t unnecessarily use outside contractors.

Typical blog content plan would include the following:

  • Blog post frequency – no rules apply, but more is usually better.
  • Who writes? Regardless who writes, make sure it keeps true to the blog intention and purpose.
  • Who Pays? – make sure your blog does put financial stress on your personal life.
  • Your comment policy – Decide how to respond to friendly and unfriendly feedback. At times, comments are just spams.

Why should you start a personal blog?

Among the possible reasons would include

  • Accountability – your accountability that is, which includes inviting your readers to monitor your progress toward a goal, such as losing weight or even quitting smoking.
  • Introspection – this typically involves documenting a journey or experience which might include life-altering illness for example.
  • Sharing – speak to dedicated, passionate ‘hobbyist’ who want others to appreciate what they love.

Born to Blog — Rating and Review

I would rate the book at 4/10 since the content is actually very helpful for a personal blogger like me. But it does give me some insight on business blogging. Honestly, I intend to learn more on affiliate marketing, since I think it might be an awesome idea for a side-hustle.

And like always, will share my notes on this blog.

And as mentioned before, in case you’re interested in blogging, check out the links below for Bluehost and Easystore. Another great read on blogging would be Gary Vee’s “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook“, “Blogger Boot Camp” and “30 days to social media success”.

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe and share 🙂



Author: Muhamad Aarif

A notorious book addict by night and an oil and gas executive by day. As Mark Twain said, "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." So, read, read, and read some more.

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