Must Read Books for Bloggers
Hello! I'm Charlotte, and I'm the founder of Blog and Beyond. I'm a slightly sarcastic 23-year-old grandma from Glasgow who loves The Sims, Hugh Laurie and programmes about airports. I've been blogging at Colours and Carousels for over eight years and am passionate about helping other bloggers grow.
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I love blogging and I love books, so it's not really surprising that I've amassed quite a collection of books about blogging. One of my main interests, albeit it slightly geeky, is digital marketing, branding and social media, alongside a long-term love of photography so a lot of the books I'm drawn to tie in quite naturally with my blogging obsession. A quick flick through my Kindle or a glance at my bookshelf brings to light just how deep my passion goes, as both are packed with all sorts of books about branding, social media, digital marketing, photography and anything else even slightly related to blogging.
I've read (and Instagrammed) so many of these books but I've never really shared any of my absolute favourites. There are so many out there that are well worth reading, even just for a spot of inspiration, that I thought I'd round up exactly which ones I think are worth the pennies. The best of the best, really! I have so many recommendations that I'll probably miss some, but here are some of my absolute must-reads for anyone with an interest in the world of blogging.
TIPS FOR BLOGGING
There are hundreds of books out there focused on sharing blogging tips, but my absolute favourite is by the genius behind one of my favourite blogs, Forever Amber. Her book, My Blogging Secrets: A Guide To Becoming A Pro Blogger, is a refreshingly honest rundown of how she grew her blog and the "glamorous" life of a full-time blogger. Her writing style is effortlessly funny and incredibly relatable. There's no nonsense, it's straight to the point and it covers so many of the important bases you need to know when it comes to monetising your blog and defining your content. The perfect mix of entertaining, informative and useful.
Other great reads include: 101 Blogging Tips: How To Create a Blog That People Will Find, Read and Share, Blog Inc., Blogging Made Easy, 365 Blog Topic Ideas For The Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About and Blogging For Dummies
One of the first books I read this year was Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert and I loved it a whole lot more than I expected to. It's less about the "how" and more about the "why", hosting a collection of thoughts and anecdotes about living life creatively. It's encouraging and inspirational, with a strong mix of mystical and pragmatic information about how to make creativity work for you. It starts out a little bit more spiritual than I'd usually be drawn to, but it goes on to cover incredibly important topics like self-ownership, commitment, judgement and passion.
More books about creative living worth a read include: Year of Yes, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k (read my full review here), Bloom: Navigating Life & Style and Wake Up! Escaping a Life on Autopilot
SOCIAL MEDIA, SEO & DIGITAL MARKETING
A lot of my favourite digital marketing books are a bit more academically focused, however, there are some that provide a brilliant basis of information for blogging. Two of my favourites are The Art of Social Media and How To Get Your Website Noticed. These are handy guides full of easy-to-digest information about making social media & digital marketing work for you on a personal and professional level. They talk a lot about the ways in which people search for information and how to catch their interest, which is ideal when you're trying to get your blog out there!
If you want to read more about social media, SEO & digital marketing try out: The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimisation, Profitable Social Media Marketing, How To Write Better Copy and Growth Hacker Marketing
I've had a growing interest in photography since my early teens and it's a hobby that I try to invest a lot of time in to this day. I love creating images, be that for my blog and social media channels or just for my own memories. I love a good photography book, particularly huge coffee table anthologies full of glossy photos to spend a day poring over. In terms of photography for my blog, I really enjoyed Picture Perfect Social Media which is a great practical guide to styling and shooting aesthetically pleasing photos no matter what equipment you use. Earlier this month I picked up Capture Your Style after seeing it all over Instagram, which is focused more on using Instagram as a platform and taking photos for the network itself. This, again, was a really inspiring read with some handy tips about utilising your smartphone for photography and things to consider when using Instagram for your brand or business.
Other must-read photography books include: The Busy Girl's Guide To Digital Photography, A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book, The Photographer's Eye: Composition & Design for Better Digital Photographs and Social Photography: Make All Your Smartphone Photos One In A Billion
I live for branding.
That might be an exaggeration, but it is one of my favourite subjects. I find the concept of identity and the impact of branding so interesting, so it's something I really love reading about even outside of my studies. How to Style Your Brand was another Instagram-influenced purchase, as many of the things I buy are, but it was so worth it. It covers defining your vision, finding a focus, character and even colour psychology. If you care about developing a brand, be that for your blog or business, or just want to define your overall direction then this is unmissable.
If you fancy more books about branding and defining focus, try: The Creative Entrepreneur, Start Me Up: New Branding For Business, The Conquer Kit, The Badass Blog Planner, Your Best Year 2017: Productivity Workbook and Creative Business Planner and Digital Branding: A Complete Step by Step Guide To Strategy, Tactics and Measurement
INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION
Finally, I thought I'd add in a few of those good ol' inspiring reads for when you need a little kick up the backside. Whenever I'm feeling a bit burnt out I tend to turn to books, with a firm favourite being the much-hyped #GirlBoss. It's full of sass and it'll totally suck you in, fill you with a dose of motivation and leave you wanting to kick ass. You won't regret reading it, I promise.
More books for a dose of inspiration include: You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life, Leave Your Mark, I Am That Girl and Radical Self-Love