97391_studying_2Blogging is one of the best social networking tools available. Maintaining your own blog enables you to share your thoughts and ideas, and can even be used to make money. Blogs are popular as they facilitate a two way communication between the blog owner and visitors to the blog. The biggest obstacle is how to drive traffic to your blog. There are literally millions of blogs on the web and if yours isn’t marketed correctly, you may not achieve the hit rate you anticipated. Here are some books to get you started.

1. ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

Written by two professional bloggers, Darren Rowse (founder of ProBlogger.net) and Chris Garrett (writer and internet marketing consultant), ProBlogger aims to provide expert advice on how to create and run a successful blog. Useful for beginners and advanced bloggers alike, the book provides practical tuition on selecting a topic, analysing the market, making money directly and indirectly from blogs and optimizing advertising. The knowledge on all things blog related is extensive and best of all having being written by two professional bloggers, you can be assured that the advice is not purely theoretical but has been gained from practical experience.

2. Blog Marketing

Aimed at companies, Blog Marketing by author Jeremy Wright shows business owners and PR people how to fully utilize the power of blogs in order to raise the company’s profile, improve customer communication and transform the company’s image. It provides insight into blogging success stories achieved by companies including GM, The Disney Channel, Microsoft and Boeing. Blog Marketing is one of the best marketing resources currently on the market. It is comprehensive and while experienced bloggers may find it a little too basic, it is a great read for business executives new to blogging.

3. The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right

This is one of the best books around for novice corporate bloggers. Written by Debbie Weil, the book is witty, entertaining and informative. The book is unpretentious and the advice delivered in a concise and focussed manner. It contains background information on blogs, tips on how to write an effective blog which will prompt responses from customers, advice on how to utilize the latest technology and tools and even provides guidelines on how to convince senior managers to enter the world of blogging.

4. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly

Written by David Meerman Scott, The New Rules of Marketing and PR addresses the issues currently faced by many business – how to transform traditional marketing strategies into effective and profitable online strategies. Scott explains the most fundamental rules of defining an online marketing strategy such as targeting your demographic, using internet based tools and technologies such as blogging and podcasts to promote your business and drive traffic to your website and blog. It is written by a PR and marketing guru, for PR and marketing people.

5. Start Your Own Blogging Business (Startup)

A collaboration between Entrepreneur Press and author J.S. McDougall, this book provides sound advice to anyone wishing to start up their own blog and make money from it. It is insightful and easy to read, however it is aimed at the beginner and advanced users may find it too basic. It starts by explaining what a blog is, explains concepts like RSS feeds, SEO and other marketing techniques to raise the profile of your blog. It also describes how to generate income from advertisers, promotions or affiliation with merchants offering everything from (what were once lucrative) financial services such as credit reports to more mundane, but in-demand products such as food and utilities.

6. Secrets of Successful Blogging

Providing over 100 tips on how to create a successful blog and make money from blogging, author Ted Demopoulos provides clear and concise advice on how to drive traffic to your blog and to turn a profit from it. It is written for bloggers as opposed to professional marketing and PR people and is a great reference guide. More a booklet, than a book it is still worth having a read through especially if you are a novice blogger needing simple advice on how to promote your blog.

7. Blogging for Dummies

Written in the typical style of the ‘Dummies’ books, authors Susannah Gardner and Shane Birley disclose all you will ever need to know about running a successful blog. It is a very comprehensive guide and covers all aspects of blogging including tips on how to write a blog which is interesting and will result in repeat viewers, advice on choosing the right tools and blog applications to boost traffic and handle comments, generating revenue and how to protect your privacy. Like most ‘Dummies’ books it is aimed at the beginner and is not for corporate or professional bloggers.

8. Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers

Authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel have taken a unique approach in its advice for corporate blogging. Unlike most marketing books which suggest the appropriate tools and tricks to use to promote blogs, Naked Conversations argues that there is much to be gained from not letting a business blog being vetted by the company’s Marketing and PR department. It is not a “how to” guide but rather provides best practice guidance to companies who are already blogging.

9. Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day

It is important to integrate your social media strategy with your overall company marketing plan. In Social Media Marketing, author Dave Evans discusses the basics for setting up a Social Media strategy including the use of blogs, RSS feeds and podcasts, as well as providing reference case studies and tutorials. It is informative and provides a sound guideline for anyone wishing to define a comprehensive online marketing strategy for their business. In addition to this, it also highlights how an online strategy differs from a traditional marketing strategy.

10. eBoot Camp: Internet Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business

This book is aimed at small businesses and individuals who do not have extensive budgets for large marketing and advertising campaigns. In it, author Corey Perlman discusses the tools and techniques you can use to drive traffic to your website or blog including SEO, keyword research, press releases and e-newsletters. Tips include improving search engine rankings and traffic flow by utilizing social networking sites, affiliate links and much more. It is very comprehensive and a must read for all businesses wanting to improve their online presence.