Susanne recently asked me,
Do you know of any good books to read about blogging or writing up my website for our business? We are getting ready to take our furniture business online. I feel ask though I have so much to say but I don’t know how to say it. Thanks.
There are two books in particular that I consider to be “must reads” for new bloggers or website owners, particularly in terms of getting started and writing.
These books are
If you ask pretty much anyone, they will tell you the same thing: these books are essential resources for anyone writing for the web.
Why are These Books so Good?
I suppose the easiest way to describe why they are so good or why I find them so essential is to tell you how they changed how I do things.
I’m a reader first and foremost, and I have always loved to write. I have a knack for being a little too verbose.
It wasn’t until I read these two books a few years ago that I realized writing for the web (and creating a website that works) is completely different from writing for a magazine or writing a book.
Both of these books helped me to see how the average modern web surfer thinks and how they read content on the web.
Skimming Vs. Reading
I don’t skim. I love to read. Simply put, most people don’t.
Most people skim over content first and read it only if they feel like it will be helpful at first glance. For me, this changed how I wrote (shorter, more to the point), and how I laid out my pages and posts (more headlines, lists, etc.).
Both of these books (Ginny’s more for writing, Steve’s more for design) helped me to recognize areas that I could change to not only get more website visitors but also keep them hanging around. More importantly, I was a bigger help to those I was writing to help in the first place.
In Short: Get These Books
Obviously, I recommend both of these books to any potential web design client of mine. I think they should be essential reading for anyone thinking of starting a blog or website for any purpose. If you want to do more than just talking to yourself and three friends online, you need these books.
Now if you are only able to get one, I’d recommend Letting Go of the Words. She mostly covers the topic of writing for the web and organizing what you write so as to be most helpful to your readers. Her book is essential reading.
Don’t Make Me Think is also helpful, but more from the perspective of how you set up your website or blog, including design principles and wording.