Are you ready to treat your blog like a business? Here are the top business books for bloggers to take your blog to the next level.
If you had asked me five years ago what I pictured my life would be like, I never would have guessed that I would have a blog. Or that I would start my own business hoping to one day earn more than my husband.
Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme. While some blogs are instantly lucrative, for most bloggers it takes years of hard work to build up a profitable business.
One way to set yourself apart in the blogging world is to continuously improve your craft. Learning as much as you can about improving your blog and building your business.
Being a book person, I’ve taken to reading as many great business books as I can to improve my business. Last Christmas, my gift to myself was a stack of business books for bloggers that I hope to read.
If you are looking for business books for bloggers and female entrepreneurs, these are the best I have found. I’ve either read all of them, or they are sitting on my nightstand right now. While some are specifically blogging books, others are just great business books.
Since most bloggers are women, I’ve highlighted a whole section of books for female entrepreneurs – books by women for women.
However, if you aren’t a blogger, you’ll still find something for you. I’ve also got some of the best business books I’ve read, along with some books to improve writing skills.
2020 is going to be the year I propel my blog into a successful business, in part due to these incredible business books for bloggers. I would love for you to join me.
*Update: Although it’s in the featured image, I’ve removed The Lean Startup by Eric Ries from my list. After reading it, I found it doesn’t much apply to blogging.
Best Blogging Books to Read in 2020
When you google business books for bloggers, Ruth Soukup’s classic is generally the first result. Speaking to new bloggers, Soukup gives advice on content marketing, using social media and improving the visual appearance of your blog. Later in the book, she includes some discussion on advertising, affiliate marketing, and selling your own products. I have a really hard time judging this book. Just weeks after purchasing it, she released an updated edition. The Second Edition, which I read, was severely outdated. If you are just starting out, this is a great intro to the different aspects of blogging. Else, if you are already an established blogger, you won’t be awed by the book, but I did find inspiration in a few places – especially concerning to sponsored content and blog organization.
Hobby bloggers are just people keeping an online journal. On the other hand, professional bloggers are content marketers. Pulizzi shows you how to become an expert content marketer, positioning yourself as an informational expert in your chosen field. With advice on social media, search engine optimization, growing a business, and, of course, content marketing, Pulizzi will help you transform your blog into a must-read among your customers.
Social media has become a huge part of blogging in recent years, and any list of business books for bloggers would be remiss if it didn’t cove the topic. If you’ve ever had dreams of being a social media influencer, Brittany Hennessy’s book is for you. Having worked with thousands of influencers at Hearst Magazines Digital Media, Hennessey knows exactly what brands are looking for an influencer. Hennessey’s book is geared toward hugely successful Instagram accounts, generally in the fashion and beauty niches. However, even as a small blogger, you’ll garnish a few good tips to understand how influencer marketing works.
Books For Female Entrepreneurs
Although not all bloggers are women, women do make up a majority. For all of you female entrepreneurs out there, are some business books for bloggers by women for women. Not that men couldn’t use their advice, but they are intentionally speaking to a female audience. It’s nice to read relatable examples when talking about growing a business.
Lindsay Teague Moreno
After making millions selling essential oils, Lindsay Teague Moreno found her true passion in life in inspiring female entrepreneurs. In her book, she takes the lesson she learned as a serial entrepreneur to share her 10 successful philosophies to help other mothers realize their dreams. Her discussion on finding your thing and thinking long-term will leave you taking pages of notes. She perfectly explains how to figure out what you want to do and how to think ahead towards scaling up to a multimillion-dollar company. After that, many of her success philosophies get more into ideals than actual items.
Don’t Keep Your Day Job starts with tons of generic advice about finding your passion and realizing money isn’t evil. From there, the middle of the book is chock full of actual usable information. I found myself highlighting sections left and right with concrete advice and great examples of marketing tactics. If you have a side hustle you are trying to make successful, just skip the first half and solely read the chapters on growing your tribe, expanding your influence and teaching/running a podcast.
I listen to a lot of female entrepreneur podcasts, and on the Simple Pin Podcast, Kate Ahl mentioned this book as one of her favorite business books for bloggers and entrepreneurs. During her career, Lydia Fenet rose from an intern to head of strategic partnerships at Christie’s Auction House. Through personal stories and case studies, Fenet aims to empower you to gain the confidence to be the most powerful woman in the room. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s at the top of my TBR.
Following her 2018 bestseller Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis returns with a followup Girl, Stop Apologizing. While Girl, Wash Your Face was aimed at reminding women not to hold themselves back, her latest book release is more geared toward achieving goals. The weakest part of the book is the beginning where Hollis lists excuses that hold you back – I don’t have time, good girls don’t hustle, etc. This section feels like a lesser copy of her previous book. The book finds its stride in the second half when Hollis describes the specific behaviors and skills you need to achieve your goals. If you approach the book with a specific goal in mind, you have a much better chance of enjoying this one.
It’s not a secret that most modern moms feel overwhelmed. In her new book, Tonya Dalton explains that this feeling of overwhelm comes more from not having your priorities in order than from having too much to do. Dalton focuses on finding your motivations and be more productive by doing less. If you like a down-to-earth style writing style with relatable examples, this is a great alternative to Greg McKeown’s Essentialism.
Founder of B-school and Marie TV, Marie Forleo’s new book is all about empowering female entrepreneurs. Forleo tackles all the topics that tend to hold you back from reaching your dreams: imposter syndrome, handling criticism, recovering from failure, the need for perfection. All about reframe your mindset to overcome obstacles and fear, Forleo’s book is at the top of my to-read list.
Business Books For Bloggers
Gary Keller gives your to-do list the minimalist treatment with his complete overhaul on how you evaluate your time. For the biggest results, Keller wants you to embrace the concept of The One Thing – stacking your day (and life) around doing what’s most important first, not what’s easiest. By challenging yourself to always focus on your number one priority, you’ll find you can make giant leaps forward, making this one of my favorite business books for bloggers.
If you truly wanted to move from hobby blog to a successful business, you’ll need to get ahold of your finances. Finances and accounting can seem overwhelming if you have no first-hand experience, so that’s where good business books for bloggers come in. Mike Michalowicz takes an easily managed profit-first approach to Accounting – ensuring that you don’t let your business become a “cash-eating monster.”
No matter what niche you are in, if you are a blogger, you are a storyteller. Thus, if you want to be a successful blogger, you need to be a successful storyteller. Donald Miller teaches you how to share your story to best connect with your customers. With insight into universal story points, how to simplify your brand’s message and how to improve your content marketing, Building a Story Brand is a must-read business book for bloggers.
Whether you are a checklist kind of person or not, Atul Gawande will convert you to the power of checklists. Using fascinating stories, he’ll show you how checklists have revolutionized such industries as pilots, surgeons, homeland security, investment banking, and more. When you’re finished, you should be inspired to create your own blogging checklists to ensure that your business runs as smoothly as possible.
If you want to find success in your career or your life, you need to establish solid habits. While Charles Duhigg’s bestseller The Power of Habit does an excellent job of teaching the science of habits and telling interesting anecdotes, Clear’s book takes on a much more hands-on approach. In Atomic Habits, Clear outlines in detail the steps you can take to build good habits and break bad ones. With excellent insights and workable tips, Clear’s methodology will allow you to design your habits to improve your life. Of the business books for bloggers, this is the one everyone should read.
Similar to Gary Keller’s The One Thing, Greg McKeown encourages you to the pursuit of less into all aspects of your life. Described as essentialism, McKeown urges you to learn how to decide what is most essential and then cut out anything else. All about reclaiming your life through powerful choices, McKeown will make you realize it’s not about having more time, it’s about doing the right things with the time you have.
Books to be a Better Writer
Stephen King’s classic book is a must-read for any writer. Although his focus is on writing fiction, every blogger could benefit from his insights. The first half of the book is a memoir of King’s journey to becoming a writer. While this isn’t much of a business book, it’s a fascinating read. It’s the second half where you’ll want to concentrate your attention. King explains his writing process as well as his editing process. Learning to omit unnecessary words, especially adverbs, will help any blogger improve their posts.
William Strunk and E. B. White
When Stephen King recommends a book to improve your writing, you listen. Considered the Holy Grail of grammar, Strunk originally published the book in 1920, and then E. B. White revised and enlarged it in 1959. Yes, nowadays you can just use Grammarly to check your writing, but wouldn’t it be quicker if you could write better in the first draft?
Let me add one last entry to my list of business books for bloggers. As a blogger, I know you have your own website for your content. However, if you’ve ever wanted to see your name in print, Shapiro has the exact method to get you there. With specific instructions on how, where, when, and why, you’ll have the inside track to see your name in the byline.
What business books for bloggers have you read?