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 up processes that would lead to me having a successful blog.
Blogging as a side hustle 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, online courses, and of course, reading great books about blogging.
I personally enjoy listening to audiobooks, and I can say that I absolutely love my Audible account. I 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 the best books for bloggers in 2021 that all bloggers should read if they are serious about making a living from their website.
1. The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
About the Book: I’m starting my list of books about blogging with a very famous one. I haven’t heard a more reference 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. Ferris 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 read nonetheless. At the very least, it won’t make you feel wacky for wanting an unconventional lifestyle.
2. 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 creating a blog and give you some pretty good resources too!
Why You Should Read It: The book has an excellent group of resources for you to use from SEO to creating content. However, do not read it 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!
3. 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” covering a range of topics, including social media marketing and screenplay writing.
In this book, Clarke gives great advice on why you need a newsletter if you have a website. He also 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.
4. The Six-Figure Second Income by David Lindahl and Jonathan Rozek
About the Book: The Six-Figure Second Income 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.
5. 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 is not only inspiring but also 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. First, it has some great marketing resources, from a marketing checklist to a launching guide. Second, it goes 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.
6. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
About the Book: #Girlboss is the New York Times Bestseller’s autobiography for Nasty Gal creator Sophia Amoruso. While she was not 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, calling 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 to get her business to where it is now.
7. 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.
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.
8. The Laptop Millionaire by Mark Anastasi
About the Book: This was one of the first books about blogging 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 Anastasi’s 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 they do not take away from some of the practical advice Anastasi offers.
9. Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk
About the Book: Gary V is the man when it comes to online marketing and personal branding. These are two things all bloggers should be well-versed in. And if you are the type of person who likes to cut through the bullshit and get to the pertinent details of the subject Gary V is your guy in Crushing It! has some gym when it comes to building your business.
Why You Should Read it: While this book is not directly about blogging, it covers a lot of the fundamental topics that bloggers should know. It is also incredibly inspiring when Gary V tells the stories of other people who have used his methods and succeeded. Many of their stories are very familiar to the blogging journey.
10. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
About the Book: Start With Why talks about how to accomplish any goal you set your mind to buy starting with why do you want to do it in the first place. While the concept is simple, this book was mind-blowing for me when I first read it. Start With Why is a great book for all entrepreneurs.
Why You Should Read It: Any blog course you take always starts the same way: Why do you want to achieve your goal? And that is because of this book. It emphasizes why setting a goal and understanding why you want to achieve that goal helps you reach it in the end.
11. Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams by Jeff Walker
About the Book: If you have never heard of Jeff Walker, you may have still seen remnants of his legacy. He is the creator of the launch method online that you often see when you are being sold something on a sales page or website. Walker’s book shows you everything you need to know about selling a product online.
Why You Should Read It: The most successful bloggers have a product. And even if you do not have one yet, you have plenty to sell online, whether it’s traffic to your blog posts or selling other people’s products through affiliates. This is a great book for bloggers at any level to read.
12. One Million Followers: How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days by Brendan Kane
About the Book: As the title says, the book is about Brandon Kane’s journey on how he grew his social media following in 30 days.
Why You Should Read it: Want to grow your Instagram followers? What about your Facebook following? Growing your social media following online is just as fundamental to your blogging business as writing great blog content is. You should be growing your social media as you are building your blog so this book is a great resource to help you get there.
13. How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup
About the Book: Ruth Soukup, creator of the blog Living Well, Spending Less and Elite Blog Academy, wrote this book so you know it is filled with helpful information. Ruth Soukup is a seven-figure blogger and she teaches her strategies on how to blog for profit in this book.
Why You Should Read It: Do you want to have a profitable blogging career? Then you should read this book about blogging. She covers a variety of ways you can make money, including passive income through affiliate marketing and active income through sponsored posts.
14. Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
About the Book: Marie Forleo details her philosophy on why everything is figureoutable. Honestly, this is an inspirational read. It gives insight into how other people have taken Forleo’s advice to overcome the challenges they face in life and businesses.
Why You Should Read It: I loved this book when I read it. If you are feeling discouraged with your blog because you’re not hitting the goals you set for yourself, this will remind you that everyone has those periods in life when everything feels like a struggle. Regardless of how successful Marie Forleo is in life, she too had similar struggles.
15. Atomic Habits by James Clear
About the Book: This is an incredible book that had a lasting impression on me how long after I finish reading it. If you have a habit that you want to start or a bad one that you want to stop doing, this book is for you. Clear shares his story on how developing good habits helped him succeed in life despite huge challenges.
Why You Should Read It: The best bloggers are consistent ones. And there’s no better way to be consistent then to build healthy blogging habits. Honestly, I think everyone should read this book, even if you don’t own a blog. It will help you in the long run.
16. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan
About the Book: This book about blogging teaches something that all bloggers struggle with: focus. Learn how to pick the most important things to focus on every day so that you get more done.
Why You Should Read It: The struggle is real when it comes to working online. There are distractions everywhere. So, the idea of focusing on one thing at a time for extended periods of time sounds like a fantasy to many of us. But this book shows you how to do it, and it’s a good read.
17. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
About the Book: Speaking of habits, this is a great book on habits as well. While Atomic Habits has many details on strategies you can use, The Power Of Habit talks directly about little habits that can make a big difference in our lives like making sure we never lose our keys or stop eating unhealthy foods.
Why You Should Read It: Habits can make you or break you. So the more you can improve on your habits the more successful you will be with your blog.
18. The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho
About the Book: This is a fable, but there are a lot of lessons to learn in this book. It’s all about the story of a boy who decides to pursue his dreams and the trials and tribulations he goes through to do it.
Why You Should Read It: This is one of my favorite books of all time so of course, it comes highly recommended. This is another book that proves to be inspirational and will take you on an emotional roller coaster of sorts. Though it’s not one of the books about blogging on this list, the lessons you’ll take away from it can directly be applied to your business.
19. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life – Before 8 AM by Hal Elrod
About the Book: The Miracle Morning teaches you why it pays to get up early. Although you might not be a morning person now, you might be converted after this read. You’ll learn all the best strategies to make the most of your morning so that you have a more productive and successful day.
Why You Should Read It: Many of us are not blogging full-time. We have other things to do, like taking care of our kids or going to work. Because of this, making use of the mornings when everyone else is asleep is a great opportunity to grow your blog.
20. The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy
About the Book: This is a good book because it tells you what consistent habits can result in. Think of this book as the much-needed part two of the other habit books I recommended.
Why You Should Read It: Have you ever heard of the compound effect related to your savings account? Well, get ready to learn more about that concept and apply it to things you do every day. This book is an eye-opener for me every time I read it.
21. Guest Blogging Goldmine: How I Got More Than 100,000 Visitors a Month on My Blog in 9 Months Using a Free Marketing Strategy by Tom Corson
About the Book: If you are looking for new ways to drive traffic to your site, this book about blogging gives you a good avenue to do that through guest posts. This strategy is from Tom Corson, who details what he did to get more than 100,000 visitors on his blog every month.
Why You Should Read It: You are writing blog posts anyway, so why not use them to drive traffic to your site? This is an interesting strategy in which you write content for other people, allowing you to drive traffic to your site while also bringing in additional revenue for your business.
22. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
About the Book: Grit was an interesting read. I had never heard of the term grit prior to reading this book by Angela Duckworth. But I am so glad I know what it is now. If you want to know what it takes to have a long-lasting blog this is a great book to read for that.
Why You Should Read It: You absolutely need grit to have a long-lasting blog. It pays to know what it is and how you cultivate more of it. This book shows you how!
23. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by James C. Collins
About the Book: This is a book on the differences between good companies and great ones. If you ever wondered how the best companies in the United States came to be, this book is filled with inspiring stories.
Why You Should Read It: Creating a thriving blog business is about much more than just writing great content. It is about building a brand, growing a team, and having lasting success, all things that are important when it comes to building a great company. This book will not only inspire you but also give you some good ideas on how to run your business.
24. The Entrepreneur’s Internet Handbook: Your Legal And Practical Guide To Starting A Business Website by Hugo Barreca and Julia K. O’Neill
About the Book: This handbook is filled with answers to questions you’ll inevitably ask when you first start an internet business, such as handling your taxes and writing a concise business plan. O’Neill gives you a great overview of what to expect when operating a business online.
Why You Should Read It: You are not just a blogger, but also a blogger entrepreneur. With this book, you can make sure you are taking the right steps to keep it that way. This is an excellent, easy read that will help you feel less overwhelmed with all the legal and tech things you need to do to run your business.
25. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
About the Book: Let’s finish off our list of books about blogging with one I return to again and again. Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos, shares his story on how he came to form his brand, which was later acquired by Amazon. He shares the “aha moments” he had along the way, as well as the most important skills one needs to run a successful business.
Why You Should Read It: Tony is such a down to earth guy and it really shows in this book. He takes all the knowledge he learned while growing up and in college and applied it to his business. In this book, he shares why he thinks his mindsets and ideologies worked in his favor. This was such a good read, I still find myself quoting it when I have an important decision to make with my business.
There are so many books about blogging out there that will help you learn more about making your online business successful. Of course, you can read these books in whatever format works best for you. Audiobooks happen to be my favorite way to digest new content. I love a good book suggestion, so if you have some favorite books about blogging, please leave the titles in the comments!
Resources for Books on Blogging