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Review: Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps

Posted By Georgina Laidlaw 2nd of November 2010 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

For the beginning blogger who has limited experience, but lots of enthusiasm, Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps makes an ideal primer.

Written by Annabel Candy, from Get In the Hot Spot, this twelve-chapter ebook (lucky thirteen, if you count the bonus chapter) touches on all the basics, from choosing a blog topic to using social media to support your blog.

I found the structure of the chapters very clear: each chapter starts with a goal — this explains in a single sentence what you’ll learn from the chapter. It’s followed by a discussion of the relevant information, and a series of action points — practical tasks for readers to complete. The checklist that ends each chapter ties together the goal, learnings and actions so you can easily identify what you’ve learned, and anything you need to research further.

Annabel’s skills in web design and copywriting give this ebook a richness that others lack. She discusses issues like branding, website design and layout, and the basics of WordPresss. She also offers three chapters on writing: writing your blog’s static content, writing blog posts (which pays special attention to the all-important headline), and writing for the web.

The author covers all the key blog-promotion techniques in chapters on social media, online networking, search engine optimization and guest posting. Importantly, she stresses the value of understanding your blog’s statistics, and using these to help direct your blogging and promotion efforts.

This isn’t a detailed how-to guide for those with some blogging experience under their belts: Annabel keeps things fairly general and approachable. Her writing is, of course, great, and the ebook has a friendly tone that makes her advice seem eminently doable. If you’re squaring up to the challenge of running your own blog — for fun or financial gain — this ebook is a sound place to start. For more information, visit Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps.

About Georgina Laidlaw

Georgina Laidlaw is a freelance content developer, and Content manager for You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • So another ebook? Judging from the steps in the book (given on the site), it just covers the basics. Its for beginners right? :) I would rather read problogger archives that buy this book. Good luck at the same time.

    Just curious. Why is the price not mentioned? (just checked the site. Its $29 for the basic deal). And why is the guest author profile not given? Is the guest author the author of the book? Then why is it written in third person?!

  • Annabel, congrats on the successful launch!

  • I am often asked advice about successful blogging by both veteran bloggers and beginners. I am glad to have something to refer them to.

  • Annabel,

    Very nice basic book. Sound advice for the beginner.

    It is a great overview of making it as a blogger. I like the hot tips and the checklists.

  • Thanks for the review! What kinds of blogs does this book target? Personal? People with businesses?

  • Yes, who is the guest blogger that wrote the review? Thanks.

  • Anabel, i hope your book does exceptionally well. These days there are several e-books and softwares that talk about gaming google’s algorithms and they seem to be doing quite well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t sell your product to the new comers!

    If you really want to match their success, you’ll have to work on that sales page of yours. I just checked your sales page and honestly i didn’t quite feel the adrenaline rush i feel other wise.

    Your sales page looks more like a blog post and it doesn’t really have a strong call to action. You might want to get more pictures(money, cars, mansions) and a few bold claims to hit big. All the best!

  • And here, ladies and gents, is an excellent example of negative social proof. Failure to be transparent and reveal the blogger has cause suspicious that it is merely a plug for someone’s own product – and whether that is true or not, the effect is the same. Lesson learned: don’t hide who you are! People don’t trust an anonymous source in the Internet, they need some level or personal connection.

  • I’d guess Annabel Candy wrote the review after reading How to Launch The ****** Out of Your eBook, as advertised above the comments on this page… :)

  • Not to be a killjoy, but this sounds like most of the information and the approach could have been taken straight from the Problogger archives. Do products like this still make money?

  • Seems like a basic book of blogging for a high price. Would be helpful for newbie’s with it’s point to point explanation

  • I’ve been following Get in the Hotspot for months now and I love it. I will definitely be picking up a copy of this book because I know I’ll learn something extremely valuable.

  • Glad to see another ebook. Hope it’s as successful as the others. Thanks.

  • Short and sweet review! Congratulations Annabel on your ebook! I am sure it will be useful to new bloggers a lot!

  • Hi everyone, many thanks for your congratulations and well wishes:) To answer the questions:

    Who wrote this post? Georgina Laidlaw, Darren’s content manager wrote this review. It’s the first time I’ve read it so a huge thank you to Darren for his interest and to Georgina Laidlaw for taking the time to read the book and review it. It’s a real honor to have my book about blogging featured on Problogger.

    Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps is aimed at new bloggers and people who’ve been blogging for a while but aren’t getting readers, comments or results from their blog.

    It’s written for small business owners and creative people who will benefit from having a blog to market or sell their products or services. Techxperts will also learn a lot from it about the principles of web design and web writing.

    The book does not cover making money from your blog – I leave that to the experts – Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett in the Problogger book.

    The bonus chapter is on motivation and sticking with it because blogging is something you need to do long term to see the results. I’m committed to getting people off to a flying start with their blogs and keeping them blogging for at least a year so they can enjoy the benefits of blogging.

    Many thanks again to all of you at Problogger and happy blogging everyone:) I hope blogging brings you as much value and enjoyment as it has me!

  • Thanks for this review – just got it today with the audio book bundle; am looking forward to going through this.

    Annabel really does know what she’s talking about, so I’ve got faith that I’ll come out of this learning a lot, even if it touches on something I’ve learned elsewhere (which I’m not sure yet if it will).

  • I am looking forward to launching my own e-book in January. Check it out!

    Good luck Annabel!

  • Congratulations Annabel! Wish you all the best with your ebook!

  • Good e-book for beginners . Thanks for review

  • NN

    “I would rather read problogger archives” hear hear!

  • Hi Laneth, thank you! It’s exciting to have it out there. There’s only so much you can do with blog posts and helping people one on one so I’m happy I can better help more people with the book:) I’m looking forward to watching your blogs grow and evolve. Thanks everyone!

  • Just wanted to stop by and say congratulations on the launch today of your e-book Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps and this great review by Georgina on Problogger! I was honoured to be the first person to purchase your book – and yes I got the podcast version as well so I can take it with me on my country travels.

    As someone who has had the pleasure of a fantastic blog consultation with you I am thrilled to finally have your e-book – Ive been listening to the audio this week in my travels and I have to say that I have picked up so much value from what I have listened to that supported and added to my initial consultation with you. The checklists, hot tips and sound advice and real world case studies are going to get a real work out and I am already recommending it to my small business clients who are already blogging or are looking to start blogging

    Good luck with the sales – I would have no hesitation in recommending both the book and your extensive consultation series – your wealth of knowledge is amazing!

    Love your work

    Maximising Your Business Profits

  • Kathleen


    I am a blogging beginner. I have been reading Annabel’s work for a while and find her advice very helpful.

    I am planning to purchase a copy of her ebook. I am sure it will be great.

    I am suprised by the negative and sarcastic comments related to her decision to sell this resource. I think we should expect to pay for valuable advice that can help us improve our businesses and writing skills.

    Is it fair fair for me to increase the success of my business by milking other peoples expertise?

  • Sally

    I am really happy to have bought this book; the answers are all in one place. As someone who doesn’t want to spend hours and hours searching and clicking and searching some more for answers to my blog questions, it is nice to have it all together in the one place.

    For some, the fun is in the searching and wading through archives and seeing where it can take you, I’ll grant you that. That works for me on some things, but for issues such as working out how to blog successfully, no, just give me the answer without the hours spent in the finding (and getting frustrated).

    Good luck Annabel! Rock on!

  • Annabel has a very natural way of expressing herself, so having read a few of her posts on Get in the Hotspot and found them beneficial I took the plunge in buying her e-book –
    I don’t have the time (which in real terms is costly) to go rummaging through archives, and why bother when the information I need to know to improve my blog can be presented to me here on a plate for less than the cost of decent platter?

    I also think the advantage of having all the information presented to you in a collated format is that she keeps you focused on topic instead of wandering off surfing for some other buried treasure in the archives that detracts from the coherent unified brand one is aiming to present to ones readers –

    Horses for courses –
    I’m happy my money’s on this one –

  • Hi Leanne, thanks for adding your glowing review here:) Much appreciated, I love doing business with you and it’s exciting to think that with your enthusiasm and input unsexy topics like accountancy and finance can have top blogs that people look forward to reading too. That’s exactly what the book is trying to achieve:)

    Hi Kathleen, thank you for commenting about the other comments on free information. I don’t think you can find all the info in my book on the archives of any blog. I’m happy to give away my knowledge but from my experience when you pay for advice you appreciate it and put it into practice better. Buying the book saves hundreds of hours scouring the Internet and gives people a clear plan they can instantly follow so I know it represents excellent value for money.

    Hi Sally, thank you – so glad you’re finding it a convenient time-saver. Yay!

    Hi Linda, thanks so much for commenting. I love that addition that reading the book saves you from the distractions of the Internet! So glad the book is helping you with your blog.

  • Hi Georgina,

    I’ve been blogging for just over a year with a strong commercial focus. Purchasing Annabel’s book has now provided me with a very useful crosscheck to ensure that my approach is taking full advantage of the latest and best thinking regarding blogging.



  • POG

    it’s really great tips.thanks for sharing

  • Congratulations for releasing your book Annabel, that’s an awesome achievement! I think it’s really great that you’ve shared all these great tips with the blogging community…

    Best of luck with the book ;-)

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