If I knew what I know now when I first started blogging, I would've been earning income within only a few months. However, it took me four years to figure out all the ways to monetize my website and set processes to do on a daily basis. Blogging isn't something you can choose as a major in college, so almost everything you learn has to be found by educating yourself using Google, other blogs, and of course, books. I love my Audible account and make a point to listen to as many books as possible while driving, running, or just taking a walk through my neighborhood. Out of all the books I have listened to, here is my list of books for bloggers I believe should read if they are serious about making a living from their website.
Blogging on the Side by Becky Mansfield and Paula Rollo
About the Book: Written by two very successful bloggers, Blogging on the Side is a great manual to follow when it comes to creating a blog with purpose so that you can earn money with it. If you have seen Becky's Income reports you can quickly understand why their book is so famous (She makes over 30k a month with her blogs), and her book gives great insight as to how she has become so successful.
Why You Should Read it: It's a well-balanced book. Blogging is a lifestyle business which means you should not be working on it for so long each day that you burn yourself out. They talk about monetizing, but they also talk about how to build the business quickly without stressing yourself out, balancing your family with what you are doing, and still finding time to learn more. Blogging on the side was an eye opener for me because many of their solutions are simple ones, and the book is easy to read, even if you do not understand blogging Jargon. I highly recommend!
The Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
About the Book: I haven't heard a more referenced to book since Rich Dad, Poor Dad, but I am here to tell you that is for good reason! The 4-Hour Workweek talks about the flaws of the typical 9-5 job and the stress it causes you in your life. Life should be enjoyed while you're young, not when you retire. He then shows you all his strategies on escaping the rat race or staying in your current role as a virtual employee.
Why You Should Read it: This book resonates with bloggers because many of us desire that “new rich” lifestyle. We want to work on the beach, find new and exciting things to get into and not have to worry about our expenses while we do it! There are some ideologies in the book that are a little oversimplified, but it's an inspiring and educational book nonetheless. At the very least, it won't make you feel crazy for wanting an unconventional lifestyle.
BreakThrough by Adeline Ganley
About the Book: Adeline Ganley, the creator of The Frugal Fanatic Blog, knows her stuff and talks about her experiences with blogging and what she's learned so far. In Breakthrough, she talks about the hardships of blogging, the positives, and she tells all. Even some of her lowest moments with blogging and the mistakes she made in the beginning.
Why You Should Read it: This book is reminiscent to Blogging on the side, located at the top of this list, but there are some differences. One of my favorite chapters in this book was her section on Pinterest and how it was a game changer for her in regards to traffic. She talks a lot about the importance of Facebook groups and how to find them. If you are not doing anything on Pinterest or using Facebook groups, you need to read this one NOW!
ProBlogger by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett
About the Book: If the name sounds familiar, it is because it was written by Darren Rose and Chris Garrett, the creators of the ProBlogger website. In ProBlogger, they discuss everything you need to know when it comes to blogging and give you some pretty good resources too!
Why You Should Read it: Because it has an excellent group of resources for you to use. Do not read this book until you already get your blog up and running because this one may be a little too in-depth to follow at first. Great insights here, but lots of jargon. ProBlogger is still a great read, though!
Email Marketing that Doesn't Suck by Michael Clarke
About the Book: If you are working to start a newsletter, Michael Clarke is your guy. He has a series of books for bloggers “That Doesn't Suck” from social media marketing to screenplay writing. But in this book he gives great advice on why you need a newsletter if you have a website and gives you ideas on how often you should be emailing, what you should be emailing, and how to go about growing your list. If you do not have an email list and do not realize that it is one of the most valuable assets on your blog, read this book.
Why You Should Read it: It's short and sweet. I'm all for getting the best bang for your buck, and you get just that in this small package. He tells you all the meaty details about getting a newsletter started and finding out what your readers want. I liked it and was able to start my newsletter the next day after listening to this book.
The Six-Figure Second Income by David Lindahl and Jonathan Rozek
About the Book: The Six-Figure Second Income book gives you step by step instructions on creating a simple product to sell online and start earning some extra side income. I have to say I was a little disappointed that it was not exactly blog related, but the info he gives on researching for your information product before creating is superb. If you are ready to establish a product for your blog, this is an excellent book to read.
Why You Should Read it: This book is SEO rich. It talks a LOT about SEO. So even if you are not exactly ready to create a product for yourself, I still suggest you read it and apply some of the SEO practices to your site.
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
About the Book: There were some references to the 4-Hour Workweek in this book, as Chris Guillebeau talks about how he used his info product to live the way he wanted to live. He talks about many others who started businesses investing $100 or less to earn incomes upward of 50k! The $100 Startup book is not only inspiring but a very well explained guide on launching something on your own.
Why You Should Read it: There are two reasons why you should read this book. 1. It has some great marketing resources from a marketing checklist to a launching guide. 2. They go into great depth about the importance of the launch and putting your best foot forward in the beginning. Great info, resources, and step by step instructions.
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
About the Book: #Girlboss is the autobiography for Nasty Gal creator Sophia Amoruso. While she was not exactly a blogger, her story of how she started Nasty Gal with an eBay store is very reminiscent of the blog life.
Why You Should Read it: Sophia often talks about how people underestimated her in her business and called it her unfunded startup. I loved this terminology and how she described her starting a million dollar business without a single investor. I love her hustle and how much she talks about the crazy things she did in the beginning to get it where it is now.
Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker
About the Book: This is a book that talks about hiring virtual help for your business. When you first start blogging this is usually hard to afford, but once you reach a certain level, you have to be able to trust other people for help. Especially people who could do a task for you faster and more efficiently.
Why You Should Read it: My website is my baby, and when I first started I did not think I could trust anyone enough to help me with it. That changed once I got a larger workload, but I know this is tough for many entrepreneurs, in general, let alone bloggers. It's a great step by step guide that shows you where to find freelancers, how to work with them, and how to know what to pay them. A great informative read.
The Laptop Millionaire by Mark Anastasi
About the Book: This was one of the first books for bloggers I read after the 4-Hour Workweek, and I was incredibly inspired by reading it. The Laptop Millionaire is Mark Anastasi describing his life with his mentor the Laptop Millionaire and how it changed his life forever. He went from being poor and homeless to being a millionaire without having to spend a dime.
Why You Should Read it: While the story is inspiring, it is also a practical guide and has a chapter dedicated to every type of way you can make money online from getting paid to tweet, to selling an info product. He also has an excellent list of tools and resources that I still use to this day! A Great read, and perfect for someone who has yet to get started blogging. Warning, there are some black hat practices in this book I would not recommend, so beware of that. But it does not take away from some of the practical advice he offers.
There are so may resources out there when it comes to learning more about blogging, but Audiobooks, just happen to be my favorite way to digest new content. I love a good book suggestion, so if you have one, please leave it in the comments!