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The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging

Posted on October 21, 2012 by Blog Design Journal
Huffington Post Guide to Blogging (book)

Huffington Post Guide to Blogging

The editors of The Huffington Post — the most linked-to blog on the web — offer an A-Z guide to all things blog, with information for everyone from the tech-challenged newbie looking to get a handle on this new way of communicating to the experienced blogger looking to break through the clutter of the Internet. With an introduction by Arianna Huffington, the site’s cofounder and editor in chief, this book is everything you want to know about blogging, but didn’t know who to ask.

As entertaining as it is informative, The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging will show you what to do to get your blog started. You’ll find tools to help you build your blog, strategies to create your community, tips on finding your voice, and entertaining anecdotes from HuffPost bloggers that will make you wonder what took you so long to blog in the first place.

The Guide also includes choice selections from HuffPost’s wide-ranging mix of top-notch bloggers. Among those who have blogged on HuffPost are Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Larry David, Jane Smiley, Bill Maher, Nora Ephron, Jon Robin Baitz, Steve Martin, Lawrence O’Donnell, Ari Emanuel, Mia Farrow, Al Franken, Gary Hart, Barbara Ehrenreich, Edward Kennedy, Harry Shearer, Nancy Pelosi, Adam McKay, John Ridley, and Alec Baldwin.

A Message from Arianna Huffington

I’m thrilled to be working with Amazon.com as an online bookseller and partner for the publication of our new book, The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging. Amazon understands how to use the Internet to harness intelligence that enables people to make informed decisions.

That mission is similar to that of The Huffington Post, a news and opinion site I co-founded in May 2005, and which has grown to become the most linked-to blog in the world. Bringing people together and sparking interesting conversations among my friends is ingrained in my DNA, and the world of blogging has opened up this passion to endless possibilities.

It’s fast-paced, limitless, and best of all, there’s room for everyone. That’s why I’m so excited about our Complete Guide to Blogging–if you have ever tried to start your own blog, wondered if you could, or if you’re just an insatiable blog-addict, this book is for you. Our team of editors and contributors has put together all the tools you’ll need to build your blog, strategies to create your community, ideas for finding your blogger voice, and countless, hilarious anecdotes and stories.

What are you waiting for? Start blogging!


Questions for Arianna Huffington

Amazon.com: There are over 100 million blogs in the world, and counting. Does the world need another one? Is it too late to start one that will have any sort of impact?

Huffington: There is always room for another blog – the key is having something to say, and the ability to say it in an interesting way. That combination will allow you to break through in almost any medium, but especially in blogging. New bloggers are rising to the top all the time.

Amazon.com: When you meet someone and tell them, “You should blog!” (which it’s my understanding happens quite often), what is it about them that makes you think they’d be a good blogger, especially in the long term? Are there some writers you wouldn’t say that to?

Huffington: I invite people who have an interesting point of view, a provocative way of looking at the world. And the best bloggers tend to be a little obsessed about something. When I see those things, I get excited about offering a platform to express them. One of the original reasons for starting HuffPost was my feeling that some of the most interesting voices in our culture weren’t online–and I wanted to make it easier for them to make the transition.

Amazon.com: Has the Huffington Post turned out the way you planned? What surprises did you adapt to take advantage of?

Huffington: We had our hopes, but no one could have predicted that HuffPost would become such a huge success. One of the things that surprised us was the passion expressed by our community, so we worked hard to provide them an easy way to comment, and an environment where civil discourse is encouraged.

Amazon.com: As many people have noted, the Obama campaign was the first to really harness the power of the web for fundraising and organizing. Do you think running in the first heavily blogged election also made his victory more possible?

Huffington: Obama’s online operation was state of the art–incorporating everything from viral videos to texting-as-a-grassroots-organzing-tool to social networking sites to its online fundraising juggernaut–and was a key component in his success. It wouldn’t be overstating things to say that if it wasn’t for the web, we’d be inaugurating a different 44th president on January 20th. And thanks to blogging–and YouTube, instant fact-checks, and viral emails–it was much harder for his opponents to use the tactics of the past: fear, smear, and anything goes.

Amazon.com: You and your editors have written a book about blogging (while noting the irony of doing so). There’s a lot of talk about the relationship between blogs and newspapers, but less so about how blogs will live with books. Aside from the obvious examples of bloggers getting book deals, how do you think blogs and books will affect each other?

Huffington: Anything that keeps people reading is a good thing! And blogging has certainly led to a renaissance of sorts for the written word. We live in a culture dominated by visual imagery and communication, so having so much vital writing on the web has helped re-habituate the younger generation to reading … and hopefully blogs will be a gateway drug that leads them on to the harder stuff of books. And people blogging about books is obviously a great way to promote the best of the new releases (and some deserving older releases that never got the attention they warranted).

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3 to “The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging”

  1. Chicago Book Addict says:

    Comprehensive guide to blogging As someone who has long been a blog reader and commenter and more recently, blogging on a small scale, I was naturally very interested in this book and whether it would live up to its name as a “complete guide to blogging.” While like most books it is not 100% perfect it does come close and gives some great information. It is a great mix of practical advice as well as commentary from Huffington Post bloggers and other bloggers from around the web.The book starts by giving the history of blogging and then in Chapter 2 goes into the basics of getting started. This chapter reads like a FAQ section giving the reader advice on everything from figuring out what to write about to mentioning the variety of software available to blogging to the issue of copyright.Chapter 3 is all about getting your blog noticed which will be especially appreciated by those who have already started blogging but who may want more traffic. The tips are very practical and from my own experiences actually work. It also gives tips on monetizing your blog but is realistic about the fact that a blog isn’t an instant ticket to riches.Chapter 4, my personal favorite, is about finding your voice. Given how many blogs are already out on the internet I think for many new bloggers this chapter is helpful as it asks you to consider both what you will feel most passionate about and what you think your potential reader would want out of your blog.Chapter 5 takes the notion of getting your blog noticed one step further by talking about how you can foster a community through your blog.Chapter 6 is the history (albeit a brief one) of the Huffington Post and Chapter 7 talks about the impact of the blogosphere on mainstream media. These were honestly my two least favorite chapters as they were less practical in nature and particularly in the case of chapter 7, I have seem similar content covered in other books. (I work in communications so the impact of bloggers on mainstream media is something that is constantly up for discussion.) However, I imagine that if I were a bigger Huffington Post fan I probably would have enjoyed chearing more about the history. I imagine the same would be true for Chapter 7 if I had not already read so much about this.The last section of the book features the blog roll, more blogging terms, website resource list, and also a ‘best of’ Huffington Blog posts.Overall I think this was a pretty solid book and provided a good balance of giving tips, providing blogger commentary, and giving a lay of the land. I think the blogger quotes were especially interesting because it was intriguing to see their takes on things. I also loved when the book contrasted how a mainstream newspaper covered a particular even with how they thought a blogger would cover it. It did a good job of highlighting the difference in tone.The only thing that I disliked about the book at times was the heavy use of sidebars. On one hand, I liked it because this content was interesting and calling it out as a sidebar made it easy to reference. At other times I found it distracted me from the main text because the side bars sometimes took up the majority of a page. I often had to flip back and reread content to remind myself of where I was which broke the my flow. In my opinion, this is only a minor complaint. I also think the book had a lot of perspectives of writers/actors/reporters turned bloggers and could have benefited from having more tips from more ‘citizens turned bloggers’ as they say. This isn’t to say they don’t have any, because they do, but given that I think many of those who read this book will fall into that camp I think having more can only be helpful.Overall, I think this was a great book. I definitely walked away with ideas of how I could make my blog more successful and enjoyed reading some of the ‘best of’ content.

  2. Scott says:

    Very disappointing I don’t know what I was expecting when I saw this book, but what I got certainly wasn’t it. First of all, the book is extremely short, much shorter than it looks. That’s because the text barely fills up the page. This is very common with these types of books, especially the “Dummy’s Guide To” books, because they usually fill up the margins with tips or additional information on the articles. This book very rarely does that, so it’s just wasted space. You can go 15 pages without seeing anything in the margins but wasted space. The real problem with it however, is that there is very little instructional information. If you want a biography on the web site “The Huffington Post,” come here, because that’s pretty much all it is. And advice from people like Jamie Lee Curtis and Steven Weber? When I think of great bloggers, I don’t think of Steven Weber. He doesn’t even have his own site. Do you know why these people are included? Because they all have written articles for “The Huffington Post.” More advertising.Sure, if you love The Huffington Post, or if you are friends with Arianna or Mike Drudge and they are planning to let you write articles on their sites, which already get huge amounts of traffic, you “may” find this book useful. For the other 99% of you, I suggest looking elsewhere, like . Sure it is geared to a tech crowd, but the information in it is much more general and has actually useful topics, like “How to Build Your Audience.”

  3. Furry Girl says:

    A good beginner book in spite of all the self-reference and name-dropping I give this book three out of five stars, and while its good points have been covered by other reviewers, I’ll air my three grievances. This book would be better if it were 2 inches smaller and about two-thirds the length, and if it was targeted more towards people who have something useful to say to a wider audience.First, the book has extra large outside margins to accommodate occasional quotes, but a quick flip through the book shows that as just a lot of blank space padding out the book and giving it a more square shape that your average book. Seems like a waste of paper meant to make the book’s uncommon shape stand out in physical book stores, and my little eco-gripe with the book.While no one would deny that The Huffington Post is a successful and influential blog, and is therefor in a place to offer advice, the incessant talking about how great it is and the stories it broke, combined with a lot of “best of” selections is overkill. I suppose if one had never read or heard of blogs before, it would be useful to read so many examples of what gets written in blogs (anything!), but I would imagine most of the book’s readers read blogs every day already. At least one-third of the book is about how the Huffington Post got started or excerpts from the site. Personally, I didn’t find it all that relevant in a “how to blog” book. It’s not as though a reader has no other way of finding out, if they wanted to, “What kind of things are on The Huffington Post?” The authors repeatedly entice potential bloggers with the fact that one of the great things about blogging is that there is no editor dictating a piece’s length to you. It seems like this book could have used a cut-happy editor.Lastly, there’s a bunch of rally-the-troops, “Even YOU, a lil’ stay-at-home mom, who wants to write about your boring and petty frustrations, CAN HAVE A BLOG!” stuff. Some of us, however, don’t need to be sold on the concept of blogging. Some of us already have topics that interest us and experience writing about them. Some of us aim to reach wider audiences than sharing summaries of our daily lives on LiveJournal. I would have liked to see a chapter about fine-tuning one’s messages and reaching target audiences for people who, pardon my snobbery, but actually have something of value to say to the world. I realize that most blogs are just tiny personal journals meant only to entertain the author and their friends, but I’d have liked to see a lot more from this book beyond the predominantly surface-level advice for people who are coming from a place of, “Golly, what could I write about? What are my interests? What are blogs?”All in all, though, I do recommend the book for beginners, and cautiously recommend it for non-beginners. I wish it had less fluff and more intermediate-level advice. Many of the reviewers here praise the book for helping readers find their voice and a topic that interests them, and that’s all good and well, but what about people who already had those two things covered long before picking up the book?

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