There are so many bloggers out there willing to share advice on how to grow your blog. But trying to piece all of those posts and little snippets of advice together is exhausting…. and overwhelming.
I've discovered 3 must-read books (plus a brand new bonus resource!) to help you to grow your blog. They're all written by successful mom bloggers who are earning a full-time income from their blogs. They're organized in a way that makes them easy to read, easy to follow, and easy to implement.
Best of all, their writing style is friendly and approachable! Rather than be preached at by a guru, you'll feel like you're having a cup of coffee with a friend. Snuggle up ladies, it's time to hit the couch with your favorite blogging book!
Building a Framework: Everything I Learned my First Year of Blogging by Abby Lawson
(Our affiliate links are included on this page, because we highly recommend each of these books for women who want to grow a blog.)
This book is, in my opinion, the best book on blogging available. Abby has been blogging for just over two years, so the advice she shares on how to grow your platform is incredibly relevant and fresh. What I love most about Abby's book is that she takes you step-by-step, (with screenshots too!) through each of the tips she shares in the book.
If you're anything like me, you find yourself slightly disappointed after reading a business or blogging book, because while you walk away with some great big-picture ideas and strategies, you still feel confused about how to put the advice into action. Abby's book solves that problem for the reader. She takes big-picture strategy and then breaks it down to show you exactly how it's done. As a beginning blogger, you can walk your way through this book, follow the tips in each chapter step-by-step, and come out the other side with a much larger, more successful blog.
One caveat: Don't let Abby's “newness” to blogging fool you. She and her husband Donnie are pros at turning a blog into a business. They are the most organized, thoughtful, intentional online couple I have seen to date. Add to that Abby's blog traffic of over half a million pageviews in January (just 2 years in!) and you'll find that Abby is someone who practices what she preaches.
Another bonus in learning from Abby? She and Donnie post monthly income reports on her site. Their transparency and willingness to share business strategy in the DIY/Household blogger space is rare. Not to mention, I've learned a ton about strategy, marketing, and new plug-ins and tools to help Sarah and I grow our own blog.
My 3 Favorite Take-Aways from Building a Framework
- Starting a Blog. Abby walks you through this process step-by-step, with (you guessed it!) screenshots. She discusses not just the the technical aspects of getting your domain name and hosting set up, but also things you might want to consider when you name your blog or choose your hosting provider.
- Growth. I've never seen so many hands-on, realistic, proven strategies for growing your blog. Abby shares exactly what she did to grow, not just a tiny piece of the puzzle. (Abby shares many of her strategies for growth on her first interview with us.)
- Monetization. Again, Abby addresses almost every area of monetizing your blog (other than creating and selling your own product, which she's now a pro at! You can hear her on our podcast sharing how she created, launched, and sold her first product.)
Real Moms Making Real Money Blogging, At Home, In Their Pajamas (The Mommy Blogger Next Door Book 1) by Stephanie O'Dea
Stephanie O'Dea is a wildly successful blogger. She's been blogging since 2008, but her path to success is different from many mom bloggers. She's the crockpot queen and has written several successful books on the topic. To be honest, when I first opened this book, I assumed the blogging advice inside would be similar to what I've seen in other blogging books.
I was wrong.
Stephanie approaches things from a completely different angle. She shares tips and tricks that no other mom blogger has shared before.
My three biggest takeaways?
- Be Gutsy! Stephanie shares several examples of how she put herself out there in big ways and saw huge results because of it! She's been on the Rachel Ray Show and Good Morning America, just to name a few of her accomplishments! (Hear Stephanie's great stories on how she's been gutsy on our podcast interview with her.)
- SEO Matters. It may seem like an overwhelming topic to think about, but Stephanie shares some simple action items you may not have considered that can really boost your SEO. (Stephanie's site receives 1 – 3 million pageviews per month and much of that is from Google.)
- Case Studies are an Excellent Way to Learn! I love the examples Stephanie includes of other mom bloggers who have become very successful. I always snag a bit of advice from those examples that I can apply to Sarah and my business and blog.
How to Blog for Profit Without Selling your Soul by Ruth Soukup
How to Blog for Profit is a great book! However, I think because I read Abby's book first, my expectations were set really high. Many women bloggers have recommended Ruth's book as the go-to resource for growing your blog, and they're not wrong…. they just haven't read Abby's book yet.
Ruth's book is a great intro into the different ways you can learn how to write great content, grow your blog traffic, and monetize your blog. However, Abby's book goes into much greater detail on each of these topics.
Comparison of How to Blog for Profit versus Building a Framework:
Ruth focuses solely on Pinterest for social media strategy, but Abby delves into Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and other sites to share your work.
Ruth discusses a few general ways that you can use ads on your site, but Abby shows you step-by-step how to get Google Adsense running on your site.
Even in terms of Pinterest strategy, Ruth shares examples of killer pins, which is excellent, but she's fairly vague on the finer details of Pinterest. Abby outlines her own strategy in great detail, shares many tips and details you won't want to miss, and then, of course, she shows you step-by-step, screenshot by screenshot how to make things happen.
How to Blog for Profit is an excellent book for the price. It will give you a clear overview of the steps and strategies any blogger needs to grow. In addition, it does cover a few things (outlined below) that Abby's book doesn't.
My 3 Favorite Takeaways from How to Blog for Profit
- Pin Examples. Ruth is the Pinterest Queen! She's become an expert at selecting and cropping the perfect image for Pinterest, and her own examples of killer pins are incredibly helpful!
- Income Case Studies. Ruth interviews several bloggers who make a part-time or full-time income blogging. She keeps the names anonymous but shares what topics they blog about, how long they've been blogging, how much money they make blogging, and how their income breaks down in terms of advertising, selling products, sponsored content, and more. I found these case studies to be quite enlightening, since it shows how many different ways there are to grow a blog.
- Writing Tips. Ruth shares excellent advice on how to create great headlines and how to write content that's helpful to your readers. In the old days, bloggers could get away with making their blogs more like an online journal, but in today's online world, every blog post should be informative, helpful, entertaining, or a combination of all three! Ruth gives great guidance on how to write for your readers.
(Learn how Ruth sold 1400 copies of her best-selling book in the first day in her interview with us.)
The Knowtbook – A Brand New Blogging Resource from Amy Lynn Andrews
Amy Lynn Andrews just came out with the Knowtbook less than a month ago. It's not a book on blogging; it sits in its own unique category. The Knowtbook exists on a site called Workflowy, and it's essentially Amy's brain on blogging, online business, social media, and more. She gathers all of her notes and outside resources on a wide variety of topics and keeps them all organized in neat categories with expandable bullets. It's a really cool system that makes you feel like you didn't just pick up another book, but rather picked up this interactive resource to help you grow online. You can use the search bar or just scan all of the major topics covered and then click the bubble to expand them.
My very favorite part of the Knowtbook is that it's essentially a lifetime membership to the club of Amy's brain! (If you subscribe to Amy's Useletter, you know just how valuable having access to her brain is!) It's truly just the neatest concept I've seen, and I can't wait to see what Amy continues to add to her Knowtbook.
Here are a few of the topics covered in the Knowtbook: Defining your Target Audience, Tips on Various forms of Media such as Podcasting or Video, Design Tools, Content Creation, Email Newsletter Marketing and Lead Magnet Tips, Traffic Building, SEO, Social Media, and Time Management. Many of these are covered in great detail with many sub-heads and bullet points. Amy is a minimalist by nature, so you won't find excessive words or fluff. Essentially, if, on a given day, you're ready to figure out your Facebook strategy, just head to that section in the Knowtbook and you'll have multiple, excellent bulleted steps, tips and links to other resources to get you going.
I read many blogs and sites about growing an online business, blogging, and marketing, but I'm bumping the Knowtbook to the top of list to check out when I'm ready to up my game or learn something new. Unlike blog posts or books, which, by nature, have to be conversational, the Knowtbook cuts straight to the chase and feels like you've peeked in on your friend's notes from Harvard Business School.
My 3 Favorite Takeaways from The Knowtbook
- The Cut-to-the Chase Style. Again, I just love that with a few clicks, I can find exactly what I need to take action on a topic. No skimming, browsing, or hunting is required.
- The Never-ending Nature of it. I'm in awe of the fact that Amy will be updating the Knowtbook regularly, and I can only imagine what kind of an Encyclopedia it will be a year from now!
- Amy's Ability to Pull in the Best Resources from Everywhere. More than any blogger I know, Amy has an ability to consume vast amounts of content and pull the very best tips from the wide expanse of the internet. She does the heavy-lifting for you, saves you time, and shares only the very best tips and resources around. I also love the fact that she doesn't shy away from recommending others' posts, videos, or resources when they're the best fit. She's truly interested in what's most helpful to the reader.
(Learn guest-posting tips and the pros and cons of selling e-books on Amazon in our interview with Amy.)
Have you read any of these resources? What were your thoughts? Have you taken action and seen great results because of it? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!
~ Beth Anne
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