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Blogging Tips

12 Must-Read Books for Bloggers To Help You Succeed and Make Money

Just starting your blog and looking for some good reading inspiration?  Or perhaps you’ve had your site for a while but you embrace continuous learning?  Either way, you’ll find some amazing books for bloggers to inspire you and shift your business practices!

I’ve put together a list of what I think are the 12 best books for bloggers and online entrepreneurs (plus some extras at the bottom that I haven’t read yet, but are on my to-read list this year).  With the New Year right around the corner, it’s a great time to set a goal to read one new book a month!

There are a few books on this list specifically related to blogging, but many are broader books that are focused on business, sales, marketing, or money mindset.  I think it’s important to regularly incorporate these other types of books into your routine, as you’ll find they give you out of the box ideas.  Plus, when it comes down to it, your blog is your business (or at the least, part of your business) – and you should treat it like that!

12 Must-Read Books for Bloggers

Disclosure:  This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  As an affiliate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.  It does not change your user experience in any way.

1. The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

I’ve read this probably five times since I started my business back in 2011.  The premise of the book is to actually enjoy life now – rather than waiting for retirement – by taking control of your work experience.  Ferris pushes for things like remote work, online passive income, and outsourcing tasks.  Every concept may not be one that works for every person, but I guarantee there are some valuable tidbits in this book that will help your business.

2. Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media by Brittany Hennessey

This book, published in 2018, is a quick read – but is chock full of helpful information.  It’s somewhat focused on Instagram influencers, but the information is mostly relevant to anyone in the influencer realm, from bloggers to YouTube starts and beyond.  The author previously managed influencer marketing for a major brand, so you’ll get tips from “the other side” of the industry that you don’t always get access to hear.

3. Go Givers Sell More by Bob Burg

I never read the initial Go Giver book, but I’ve heard it’s a great quick read in parable form.  I decided to skip ahead to this sequel, which is focused specifically on how the principle of giving can increase sales in your business.  Whether you’re a blogger hoping to gain more sponsored contracts, or you’re a wellness entrepreneur that’s looking for more in-person work – you’ll love this book.  The principles are relevant to literally any area of business, and provide a good mental attitude shift for how you approach sales and marketing.

4. The Digital Mom Handbook: How to Blog, Vlog, Tweet, and Facebook Your Way to a Dream Career at Home by Audrey McClelland and Colleen Padilla

This book was published in 2011, so some of the information on social platforms is admittedly outdated.  But there’s plenty that has remained timeless – including the key tips about how to start a digital business and make money from it.  This was one of the very first books I read when I shifted my career focus to blogging, and I found it quite valuable.  It’s a good option if you’re just getting started in the blogging/influencer world, and need a guide to the basics – plus, it’s an easy read and you can grab it for just a few bucks on Amazon.  (Ironically, earlier this year I ended up on a press trip and my roommate happened to be one of the authors, who is just fabulous!)

5. How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup

Similar to the book above, this was published a few years back – in 2014 – so some of the information is a little outdated.  But again, there is a ton of valuable content in here, especially if you are just getting started.  The author successfully grew her site, Living Well Spending Less, to over a million monthly visitors – so she’s walked the walk.  She discusses how to grow blog traffic, different monetization strategies, and ways to improve productivity.

6. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

If you’re worried about how to create truly valuable online content, this is the book you want to read.  Ann combines practical writing guidance along with tips for developing stories with empathy and inspiration, all of which can be applied to blogging and social media communications.  If you feel like your readers are not connecting with your content, or you’re wondering why you’re not getting more shares – definitely check out this book.

7. Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz

This book is so valuable for getting you to think about how to ensure you’re actually making money in your business.  So many bloggers start to make a little cash, but then immediately reinvest everything in their business for the bells and whistles – new courses, new web design, new scheduling software, etc.  And while some of those may be necessary expenses, often they’re just “extras.”  In this book, Mike flips the traditional formula of “Sales-Expenses = Profit” to the unconventional “Sales-Profit = Expenses”.  In other words, you need to set aside your profit first, before you can determine what you can spend on expenses.

8. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

I’m not really a woo-woo, manifesting, vision board kinda person – but there’s something about You Are a Badass that just resonated with me.  Perhaps it was the occasional curse or the author’s humorous way of describing anecdotes in her life, but this was a great read that definitely got me thinking about how to create my best life (now).

9. Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business by Chris Drucker

If you’re at the point in your business where you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, this book is an excellent read for you.  It’s focused on how to use virtual assistants and staff in order to outsource your tasks. The concept is simple:  Let’s say you can make $100 an hour when working in your area of genius.  Then why waste several hours of your own time doing a task you’re not great at – when someone else can do it for $20 an hour?  The book also covers tips for how to effectively use virtual staff that will be relevant for one off projects or regular work.

10.  The Influencer Economy: How to Launch Your Idea, Share It with the World, and Thrive in the Digital Age by Ryan Williams

This book combines practical advice with compelling stories, making it a great read for any blogger or online entrepreneur.  Ryan describes how to discover your own big ideas, grow influence in your industry (as we’re all becoming personal brands in this day and age), and tips on launching your campaign or product out into the universe.

11. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

Want to know the magic secret to success? Darren Hardy is clear that there is no magic – instead, it’s simply a series of choices we make every single day that lead to accumulating success over time.  It’s a simple yet profound concept, and one that he elaborates on through many examples in the book.  This is a key read for habit building, goal setting, and success inspiration!  (As an aside, he’s a wonderful speaker as well – I had the chance to listen to him at IDEA World a few years back and it was great).

12. One Million Followers: How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days by Brendan Kane

I haven’t read this yet, so it seems odd to add it to my “must-read” list – but it came from a recommendation from a blogger pal and I’m going to trust her judgement!  This was just published in late 2018, so it should be fairly up to date as far as social media strategy goes.  The book focuses on three areas:  a) gaining a following, b) creating unique content, and c) building an entire brand.  I’m grabbing this for myself now as a little holiday treat!

Need more business, mindset, and blogging book inspiration?

Here are a few new picks that are on my own to-read list for 2019 – the title is listed, and in parentheses you’ll find the overall topic/focus:

Share with me:  Which book here are you adding to your reading list?  What are some other books for bloggers and online entrepreneurs would you recommend?

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