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The 5 Must-read Books for Bloggers in 2011

I’ve read dozens of marketing books in the past six months, and these are the titles that really stood out. Reading these will dramatically help you improve your blog. I promise!

Launch

I used to work for a launch coach so assumed I knew everything about product launches. Until I read this book. This is the best business book I have read in the past year.

The author, Michael Stelnzer, focuses on the “Elevation Principle.” He talks about how to give away digestible how-to content that creates a loyal, well-fed business community.

He applied these concepts to Social Media Examiner which was started at a time when he had little industry experience. Within two weeks of its launch, Social Media Examiner joined the ranks of Technorati’s Top 100 Small Business Blogs and remains in the Top 10.

This book will resonate with bloggers who are struggling to launch products from their blogs, or who are shying away from aggressive launch tactics. You can also use the book as a case study on how to create a popular, profitable blog.

The last chapter focuses on the “momentum launch,” which is the concept most Internet marketers are interested in. If that is your main interest, I’d recommend getting Ebook Evolution or How To Launch The **** Out Of Your Ebook instead.

Learn more.

Curation Nation

Many bloggers are embracing the concept of the human curator. There is too much information to filter, and aggregation tools aren’t as good as a real person. We’ve developed a need to go beyond aggregation to break through the digital noise. Learning about curation will become increasingly important for bloggers who want a competitive edge due to their knowledge about content marketing.

In Curation Nation, Steven Rosenbaum “curates the curators”. He does the homework by interviewing collection of thinkers from the fields of media, advertising, publishing, commerce, and web technology.

This book is essential reading for those who want to stand out. It’s not a “how-to;” instead, Steven takes you on a journey that shows you how curation is relevant to your business. I believe that all micro-publishers should read this.

Learn more.

The Accidental Creative

A lot of demands are made on a blogger’s creativity. It goes beyond content creation. We have to be creative when it comes toother parts of our online presence, like marketing and monetization.

It’s hard to separate yourself from your blog. A lot of us use the Internet for fun and it’s easy to allow work to creep into our recreation time.

The Accidental Creative taught me that a lot of the activities I’d been doing were contributing to the exhaustion I’ve been feeling. This book taught me about managing my energy, fostering the kinds of relationships that aid creativity, and how to create a rhythm that supports my creative process. Since reading this book, I’ve had so many creative ideas that I can’t keep up. I also feel a lot happier and more engaged with my work.

If your blog or client work involves a lot of creative energy, then this book will really help.

Learn more.

Clout

Creating compelling content isn’t easy, but it’s the only way to influence online. This book will guide you through planning, creating, and evaluating your content.

The information would be familiar for many bloggers, however Clout gives you an insight into how content marketing can support businesses. You’ll learn:

  • how to increase the influence of your blog content
  • how to measure the effectiveness of your content
  • how to develop and implement content strategies.

Clout helped me realize that my haphazard approach to blogging was causing issues which resulted in a large drop in income. Since then, I’ve adopted many of the ideas and am enjoying a lot of success with my latest blogging venture.

I would recommend this title if content marketing forms a major part of your blogging income.

Learn more.

Real Time Marketing and PR

Real Time Marketing and PR is primarily written for businesses, but a lot of the information still applies to bloggers. Social media is real time, and you will have times where people rally against you. Writing a blog post may take too long and allow a negative situation to get worse.

This book will teach you how to respond in real time. You’ll learn the tools and strategies that will help calm angry community members and foster positive discussion. If your blog is a part of a larger community, this book is a must-read.

Learn more.

Over to you

A number of good books have been released in the past year, but these were the ones that helped me improve my blog. What books have helped you in the past year? Are there any upcoming releases you’re looking forward to?

This post was written by Jade Craven. She used the information in these books to create Launch Watch—a site that covers the latest information products for bloggers and online marketers.

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Comments

  1. I’m still going through “Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income” and its not too shabby at all. Written by some guy named Darren Rowse and a collaborator, Chris Garrett. I’m moving steadily ahead with my blogs.. nothing spectacular happening. Still, even though I’m only halfway through the book, I’ve already benefited tremendously. More than anything, these guys prepared me mentally for the task ahead, and I’m in for the long haul.

    • Gregory C. says:

      It can definitely be a long haul, so it’s good that you are prepared for that.

      Might I suggest you get a domain name and maybe check out the WordPress platform?

      All I know is that for starting blogs, I wouldn’t choose anything else =).

      • Thanks Greg. Now I’m going to have to take a couple hours at least to go through the gold mine I’m seeing on your WP link. I’m still getting up to speed with both Blogger and WordPress. I needed a host for my domains and that took a while to get my head wrapped around. I liked the Socrates template and purchased that too. Working on the first post while I tweak the design, which is a huge challenge for me cuz I have to learn and do for myself. Some time in the future I’ll move the parenting blog over. But for now I think I want to focus on improving content. All that techie stuff took up a lot of time. I did an “about” page so far though. Take a look.

        • Roblol says:

          Yeah I have a domain that I set up for email a while ago. I’m working on getting it switched over to a different hosting service and switch to wordpress myself.

          It’s definitely going to be a weekend project for me. If you run into any complications migrating over from blogger please feel free to let me know about them. I read it’s seemless, but life tends to like throwing wrenches.

    • It seems I need to spend again!

  2. As a student blogger I am always trying to maintain new ways to push my own blog forward. I will certainly check out the books above. Even though I have been blogging in various forms over the last 6 years I still consider myself a novice (especially when I read the content on problogger!).

  3. Darryl Burma says:

    Jade,

    The first one on the list, “Launch”, looks like something I’d be very interested in reading. Thanks for these suggestions, until now I never actually heard of any of these particular blogging books.

    • Jade Craven says:

      Launch is fantastic, and I’m glad you found the suggestions useful. Another one you may like is Referral Engine.

      If you are after any other books, I can provide recommendations :-) I read a lot of them.

  4. Thanks for the great list Jade! Another book I’m looking forward to (which would probably also help bloggers) is “The Start-Up of You” by LinkedIn founder Reid Garrett Hoffman. Thomas Friedman wrote a New York Times Op-ed about it a few weeks ago. Here’s the link to his piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/opinion/13friedman.html

    Can’t wait till that one’s out!

    • Jade Craven says:

      Thank you very much for the recommendation – always on the lookout for upcoming books, and hadn’t heard of that one. Really appreciate it.

  5. Thomas Bull says:

    “Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works” by Janice Redish helped me a lot in writing my website. I could do with some help in starting a blog and “Clout” is now on my Amazon wish list. Thanks for these recommendations!

  6. How about Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson?

    • Jade Craven says:

      That’s a good book – one of my personal favourites – but it’s not directly related to blogging. The reader has to do a lot of work to apply the concepts to their particular situation. I tried to focus on books that you could read and implement quickly to improve your blog.

      Appreciate the recommendation though, I believe that book is really useful to those who are making an income from blogging. It really makes you reassess monetization and the power of free. A lot of people have been offering free access to courses, or services, in return for an affiliate commission and I’d love to see people explore the concept further.

  7. Rahul says:

    What are the chances of making a successful tech blog….powered by a fully featured community

  8. Jamie says:

    Thanks for these. Launch and Curation Nation are on my list.

  9. Jasjeet Gill says:

    As someone that is looking to get into business and social media, these books provide a great insight how to be successfull in both. All the books that you listed seem to have somethng different that would be vital for me to use in my own experiences. I think that you need to have all the tools that need be in order to strive for success in your own ambitions. I would like to thank you for the suggestions and will definetely read the material.

  10. The best book that I have read this year is Double Double by Cameron Herald. It really helped my business a lot.

  11. BRA QUEEN says:

    Nice one thanks Jade!

    • Jade Craven says:

      :-) All the books are sitting in my shelf should you want to check them out. And there are so many other good ones coming out over the next few months.

  12. Launch looks awesome. I will have to add it to my Amazon wishlist until I order my next batch! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Two that appeal to me straightaway are clout and accidental creative. Looking in these now. Thanks

    • Jade Craven says:

      There is another book coming out next month that is similar to The Accidental Creative – the trailer was just released at http://www.theuncertaintybook.com/.

      Clout was a bit dry, but really useful. Let me know if you get them and if there are any other books you’ve enjoyed recently.

  14. Thanks for sharing these Jade! They came up just when I was wondering what to start with next!

  15. Thanks for sharing the list Jade! Came up at the right time, just when I was wondering what to start with next!

  16. Harrison Li says:

    good list :D launch might be the one im going to first get if i do, oh and why are comments italic?

  17. bintang says:

    Thanks for the list.
    It saves much time for me finding a book I need.

  18. I cannot wrap my mind around *why* have you not added links to those books at Amazon. It would actually be useful! At least for me, since I’m all for reading book reviews over there. Is this about not being partial with these recommendations?

    • Jade Craven says:

      I’m a guest poster. If I include affiliate links, people question whether I am taking advantage of the blog host. This means people may question the recommendations. I didn’t want that to happen as these books are really good.

      I don’t want to show any bias, so I chose to link to the relevant sites as they have a lot of resources to help with making a decision. I appreciate your feedback though, as I strive to make my posts as useful as possible. I’ll try linking to both Amazon and the individual sites in in future posts

  19. Justin Dupre says:

    Wow! this is a great list. Thanks for sharing it.

  20. Ling says:

    Wow, so much reading!!! I don’t think I could even get through one book :P

  21. James Greg says:

    The books sure have potential. I will take time to read them one by one but launch is what fascinates me at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Gabriella says:

    Loved the post! I need to get a copy of some if not all the mentioned titles :)

  23. I’ve ready none of these 5. However, the one that really strike my interest is “Launch”. This is something that I am focusing on and would love to delve into that.

    Great stuff

    Cheers,
    Ming

  24. Thrilled to hear Clout was so useful, Jade. A few of these books were not on my radar, but they sure are now. Thanks for this well-curated list!

    • Jade Craven says:

      Thanks for your comment, and glad you enjoyed the list. It had the potential to be much longer but I wanted to focus on quality, not quantity. :-)

  25. I did read “the conversation manager” and this was really a nice book to give you some actionpoints to start conversation with your audience and other blogs/companies.

  26. This sounds like a great list of books. I’m a food blogger and culinary instructor so hopefully these would be relevant. I’m currently reading “Will Write for Food” and have found it extremely helpful. I will definitely check out your recommendations further on Amazon.

  27. Murat says:

    I have read Clout and my approach has changed since then. Now, I write concentrating only for quality. And the result can be measured with Google Analytics average staying time on the blog posts.

  28. are there ebook versions?

  29. Hey Jade!

    THANK YOU for your kind words about my book Launch :)

    Mike

  30. IT Rush says:

    Nice find. Actually, I’ve already added these books to my list and hope to obtain them one at a time soon. Thanks

  31. Kay Wilson says:

    Seth Godin has book “Permission marketing” subtitled Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into
    Customers, It has invaluable information!

  32. Deb Krier says:

    I’m reading Launch right now and it is a great book! It’s probably going to be one that I read more than once for some of the tips to sink in!! I’ll add the others to my “must read” list. Thanks!

  33. River Jangda says:

    So many books, so little time! This is a great list though, thanks Jade. I think I’m also going to check out “No Bullshit Social Media” which looks like it could be a good one.

    • Jade Craven says:

      I was able to get an advance copy of that and it is prob the best social media book I’ve read – well, no, I put it on the same level as DM Scotts stuff.

      I’m part of the social media/blogging kumbaya crowd so it’s really made me realize that a lot of what we talk about doesn’t necessarily help with the bottom line. There is no hype and it’s really, really good.

      You can buy the rough cut here if you want a sneak peak: http://www.quepublishing.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0132748886

  34. Accidental Creative is rocking my world right now. It really expresses solutions for the fatigue I’ve been feeling in my blogging. Looking forward to reading the rest of these.

    • Jade Craven says:

      If you enjoyed that one, I think you’ll enjoy Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields. It’s about dealing with the uncertainty fear that occurs when you create something brilliant. You can check out the trailer here: http://theuncertaintybook.com/

      I read it and felt it complimented the Accidental Creative, so thought I’d pass on the recommendation :-)

  35. Another great resource for building creativity is Disciplined Dreaming by Josh Linkner. He provides a ton of ideas to get the creative juices flowing and how to look at things from different angles.

  36. Jade — What awesome company. I’ve read Launch and it is great. I’ll check out the others. Thanks for including my book Real-Time Marketing & PR.

  37. David Wang says:

    Great list Jade. I put these books on my wish list.

    I was under the impression that Clout was a book about content strategy for enterprise type businesses. Could you give me an example of how you found it relevant as a small online business?

    Btw I wish Problogger.net had a subscribe to comments feature..

  38. I just finished Launch and I loved it. I just started Outswimming the Sharks by JH Hyun (not released to the public yet) and it’s amazing. And I also just finished Think & Grow Rich.

    When I finished Think & Grow Rich and Launch, my head was spinning, but I made quick changes to my blogging that brought me quick, good changes.

    The Outswimming the Sharks book is proving to be a great read and I highly recommend it so look for it on Amazon later this year.