5+11 Essential Books for Bloggers

I am a big fan of books (and ebooks too). That’s why when I hear someone has a list of recommended books, popular books, or anything, I am all ears. Last week, Chris Garret shares 5 influential books that bloggers may find useful.

The following five books have become not just best sellers and famous, but actually launched whole new ways of thinking about what we do and their titles have become mainstays of blogging conversation.

I agree, it’s a good starter list, but why stop at 5? A lot of my favorite books are not there, and if I am to create a top 5, my list would be different.

Here’s an expanded list of books all bloggers should know (and read). First the 5 books recommended by Chris, and my comments:

  • Purple Cow – A purple cow is remarkable, any business and marketing should start with a differentiated product.
  • The E-Myth Revisited – If you’ve ever wondered why an excellent web designer can’t guarantee s/he will be able to start and grow a successful web design business, you should read this book.
  • The Cluetrain Manifesto – Markets are conversations. I read this book back in 2000 or so but back then little did I know a blog would become a perfect application for this.
  • The Long Tail – How the Internet changes consumption and business model, from music to books and search engines.
  • The Tipping Point – The subtitle says it all. “How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.”

1. Blog Marketing

Blog MarketingThis book was the first physical book I read on business blogging and blog marketing. If you are considering to start a blog for your business, this book will save you a lot of time compiling information from multiple sources.

Blog Marketing is a real eye opener and suitable for reference too. Bloggers who are looking forward to build a blogging business may not find such information in the book, but still you can get many ideas about how others use blogs to reach out and communicate with their audience.

2. Clear Blogging

Clear BloggingClear Blogging is a more recent book about business blogging. It contains more practical information about building and monetizing your blog. This book also includes a section about podcasting.

If you want to get an overall picture of business blogging and how to make money with it, this is a book to read. It tries to cover wide range of uses for blogging from personal to professional and corporate blog, so it may be lack of focus for readers who are looking for specifics.

3. ProBlogger

ProBloggerThe title of this book was taken from Darren Rowse’s blog with the same name. As the name implies the book is about becoming a professional blogger. It covers everything from niche blogging, blog writing, blog networks and promotion and marketing aspects.

Everyone who tries to make a living through professional blogging should read this book. Earning six-figure income from blogging is possible, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

Unlearn what you read from those low quality ebooks and download the real knowledge to your brain.

4. The New Rules of Marketing and PR

The New Rules of Marketing and PRThe subtitle, “How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing, and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly,” doesn’t say it all clearly. This book also covers social networking and search engine marketing.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from this book, it is that the new rule of marketing is about remarkable content. Business owners who use news release should read Chapter 14. The new press release strategy involves writing for your buyers directly and reach them through search engines, RSS feed, and social media.

5. Awakening the Entrepreneur Within

Awakening the Entrepreneur WithinEver since I read E-Myth Revisited, I am a fan of Michael Gerber. This book is a must read if you want to turn your dream into a solid business complete with information on leadership, among other things.

The only thing I dislike about the book is the aggressive promotion of Gerber’s Dreaming Room, but overall this is a great read.

6. Ready, Fire, Aim

Ready, Fire, AimSelling should be your first business priority. When you are starting a business, it is easy to focus on the office and furniture, or anything else. Although I think Michael Masterson has done a great job with the book, some of the information don’t apply to small businesses and solopreneurs.

However, I really like the idea about Firing before Aiming. Bloggers, stop thinking about your blog design and plugins. Get a blog up and running and start building traffic first, especially if you are starting from scratch.

So common sense, but it’s not common practice, unfortunately.

7. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?By now you should realize that I believe firmly in strong business and marketing knowledge if you want to build any sort of online business. Nowadays when customers are in control more than ever, your marketing approach should change radically, if not entirely.

Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg developed persuasion architecture, a six step process addressing the needs of businesses to persuade more effectively. This is a solid book but definitely some practical information can help.

8. Getting Things Done

Getting Things DoneYou can’t read blogs for too long without stumbling upon the title of this book. While the blog post doesn’t necessary talk about the book, the phrase was popularized from it.

I believe the best action management system is the one that works for you. However, if you are a big fan of productivity, this book is an eye opener. There is a lack of information on implementation but this is expected. The concept outlined in the book is flexible for use with a paper- or software-based system.

9. Don’t Make Me Think

Dont Make Me ThinkWeb users are always in motion. They want to engage in everything but thinking. They don’t read pages, they scroll and scan. As a blogger, what should you do?

This book emphasizes on designing usability web sites. It shows you how to think when developing web sites and applications. Don’t Make Me Think is a must-read for everyone who has a web site and want to get the most out of their visitors.

10. Permission Marketing

Permission MarketingAfter reading The Dip, I started to think no one writes more entertaining marketing books than Seth Godin. Permission Marketing was first published in 1999. The information may be a bit outdated but still it is a great introduction to email marketing and also RSS feed, although the latter was still in early development back then.

A lot of things change since 1999 but the concept is still essential for every business owners and marketers. Every blogger should integrate this marketing approach to help them grow their business. After all, most people won’t buy in their first visit. Follow up is critical.

11. The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour WorkweekMy business is still far from allowing me to work 4 hours a week but I learned several things from this book, such as batch processing.

This book sounds contradictory to what I recommend for new bloggers. If you find a niche you are passionate about, you don’t have to work a single day. However, I like the idea in developing a business process and outsourcing, also what I picked up from Michael Gerber’s books.

At least, you should outsource everything that you don’t enjoy doing so you have more time on what you like. Now that is exactly what I aim for.

Darren Rowse also has a long list of books for bloggers, created in 2006 but still very relevant.

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