I was excited about reading this book. I was looking for some low-cost or at least cost-effective ways of boosting traffic, making money, and just having a “website that kicks”. This book ended up giving me a huge amount of useful information, but at the same time it left a bit of a sour taste.
First the bad: The entire book is a marketing tool, yes, but more for Antion than anyone. There are many references to his products and his services, and when he’s not selling his own products he’s endorsing those of colleagues. There’s nothing wrong with using your book to sell your product, but I would be slightly less annoyed if the approach used a certain subtlety instead of a sledgehammer. Others may miss that facet of it, so don’t write it off because I’m oversensitive to sales pitches.
Another problem is the material in the beginning. For someone who has a small business with either no web presence or a very small, default web site (think no online purchase ability), this book is top notch for information. For someone who already has a professional website, the first half of the book may put you to sleep. It is designed to take you from the ground up, but be prepared – there’s a basement too. If you don’t mind the review, it’s not time wasted. For more advanced web users or site owners who are looking to get into the meat of online sales and marketing, then you might want to skip ahead.
That’s enough negativity – now for the good stuff.
Antion writes like he’s sitting in your living room. His tone is part wise entrepreneur and part big brother, and the mixture draws you in. His writing style, I would guess, is just like his speaking style. He was almost able to carry the less exciting or less complicated material, and once he finds his voice in the later chapters, you’ll cover a lot of ground without realizing how much you’ve learned. The entire book is also one large pep talk, so you will finish it itching to get started making your website.
The book itself is set up into sections that you can turn back to over and over. Descriptive titles let you go right to the part you need without having to wade through campy catchphrase titles. The information is very neatly laid out, with many links to resources that will help you get things going or even help you i you’ve already begun. He covers just about any question you could have about online marketing, such as how to draw them in, keep them there, and even how to make sales from people leaving the site.
It’s applicable for blogs who want to make money, too. Even though blogs don’t have shopping carts or a need for live tech help and customer service, blog owners can benefit from the chapter on maximizing affiliate income, advertising, and marketing your “product”—your blog.
All in all, it’s a book worth picking up. Even if you don’t read it all this minute, it’ll come in handy many times when you have a question about web marketing, want to spice up your blog with some key marketing techniques, or just want to know how to go about making money with your blog. If you’re a newbie, it’s a must-have. I give it 8 out of 10.