Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Book Review: WordPress for Business Bloggers

I recently received a copy of the book WordPress for Business Bloggers, by Paul Thewlis, published by Packt Publishing. The preface states, “WordPress for Business Bloggers provides advanced strategies and techniques to take your WordPress business blog from average to extraordinary. Whether you already have a blog, or are still in the planning stages, this book will show you how to use WordPress to create a highly successful blog for your business.” Read on to see how it stacks up.

First of all, as the title and the preface say, this book focuses on business blogging. Also, it assumes that you are already familiar with the basics of setting up a stand-alone WordPress blog. That said, it does guide you through some basic concepts of setting up WordPress, themes, and plugins.

Thewlis begins with an introduction to blogging, and how various companies have used business blogs as a tool to reach out to their customer base. He discusses various goals of a business blog, such as: Increasing Sales, Adding Value, Showing Expertise, and Customer Service, among others. He also discusses what he calls the “WordPress Arsenal” — the features that make WordPress a good platform choice for building your business blog.

Next, the author introduces a fictitious case study for an “expert blog” to be used for examples throughout the book. For this case study, we imagine someone who is an expert on chili peppers. He will establish an “expert blog” to show case his deep knowledge on the subject, and to promote sales of his books, speaking engagements, and sell products.

Along the way, Thewlis discusses design, content, SEO, promotion, monetization, and using analytics to measure traffic, study search keywords, and study where visitors come from. Each of these topics is covered with enough detail to give the reader a good sense of how to apply what they’ve learned to their own site. There are good pointers on various plugins which will help add features to your blog, and information about how to configure them to your needs. Among these are the All In One SEO Pack, Feedburner Feedsmith, NextGEN Gallery, EasyTube, cforms II, Adsense Manager, WP Super Cache, and others. He also shows how to use built in features of WordPress, such as text and RSS widgets. And where appropriate, he even discusses how to add CSS to style added content to match your overall design.

Generally, when I see the words “business” and “blogging” together, especially when it comes to books or other commercial products, my skeptic shields go up. This was the case when I started looking at WordPress for Business Bloggers. But I have to say that Thewlis has done an excellent job. He helps you become familiar with the goals of a business blog, guides you though making a plan, and then shows you how you can set up a WordPress site to accomplish those goals. But even though he focuses on WordPress, the general advice he gives is well thought out, and applicable to just about any web site.

If you need to create a web site to promote your products, services, or personal brand, or if you need to improve an existing site, I highly recommend WordPress for Business Bloggers!

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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22 Responses to Book Review: WordPress for Business Bloggers

  1. thanks! Sounds like a great book. I’ve read quite a few other material on this topic and it’s so true that most of them just wants you to sign up to their useless spam.

  2. I have been looking for this type of information. Thank you so much for pointing out a promising book. I too am looking for a way to post business blogs as way to reach out to our customers. I have been researching a few blog platforms and I always keep coming back to wordpress. I think it is time to give it a try.

  3. Denise says:

    The book sounds good for certain businesses. I don’t think it would fit what I would like to do, it sounds too text book.

  4. Hi Dougal,

    Would you say this is the best book you have read on business blogging or is there something better?

    Also, would you say that the seo part of the book is basic or advanced.

    I am looking to purchase this kind of book as earning money from my blog is my biggest problem.

    Thanks for the review. I will check back tomorrow or the day after.

    All the best

    • Dougal says:

      I felt like the SEO section was pretty good. It discussed using the Google Adwords tools to research keywords, permalink structures, page title structure, sitemaps, Google Webmaster Tools, and a few other topics.

      I’ll be posting a sample chapter (not the SEO chapter, but chapter 5, “Content is King”) as soon as I can find the time — hopefully by Monday night, if not sooner.

  5. Iula says:

    I dont understand why you need a book for wordpress. WP is so simple that every dummy can use it without beeing an internet expert. Also installing plugins is just a matter of one click, so why a book ?

  6. Bauherr says:

    The book might be worth to look at. But it could be less expensive.

  7. Product Sourcing says:

    nice post Dougal,

    this book looks very interesting, i think that business blogging is becoming more popular becuase of the results on google it can attract for many keywords. But i will get the book, it will be a good read

  8. Wholesale Electronics says:

    I’ll have to buy that book – thanks for the review. I’ve heard of all the big success stories of blogs bringing in six figure incomes on daily posts and seo alone. Hopefully the book is arranged in a way that makes it easy to learn.

    -Jason

    • Promotional Products says:

      The book may be good for affiliate marketing, software, digital products, but will it help for physical product sales? Sounds very interesting, I will check it out.

  9. Jeremy says:

    Do you feel that the book would be useful for simply promoting a given wordpress site, rather than trying to use a blog for your business?

  10. Red says:

    So many books about blogging emphasize the social aspects. A lot of the business blogs, especially for freelancers list their portfolio’s or services. They’re more into using it for making the initial contact for their business and not really running their business with it or depending on the income directly from their blog. Sounds like that’s a different take on most business blogs out there.

  11. Pingback: WordPress for Business Bloggers sample chapter | geek ramblings

  12. menozac quality says:

    Hi, thanks for review, I used WordPress for a long time, but anyway I want to read this book, because, I think, I have a lot to learn about WordPress.

  13. youngl says:

    Sounds good, will surely try it out, but i hope there is no spamming after sign up :D

  14. Thank you for this information. :)

  15. 3d Oyunlar says:

    Hi, thanks for review, I used WordPress for a long time, but anyway I want to read this book, because, I think, I have a lot to learn about good site thanks you

  16. bill rechtin says:

    this book sounds great. i think i'll most likely pick it up, although it IS a bit text booky, oh well. I think I'll use it.

  17. Greger says:

    I havn’t read any “real” book on this topic, although I have been a busy beaver searching for such information online. Only reading online can be annoying though, due to people insisting on having the opposite opinions..leaving me without clue ;-)

  18. towergem says:

    soulds good book, worthing to read

  19. ViaEmpresas says:

    Good review. I was thinking of getting this book but I was never totally convinced. Now I´ll probably get it. Thanks a lot

  20. Pingback: Review: WordPress 3 Plugin Development Essentials | Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

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