If you’re looking for the best blogging books, then you’ve come to the right place.
The Internet is full of information on just about every topic. Some of it’s good, some of it’s bad—and some of it’s neither accurate nor helpful.
When it comes to blogging, there are quite a few different ways to learn, ranging from content on other blogs (like mine), online courses, video tutorials, conferences and more. One format that many overlook, is blogging books.
Believe it or not, books are still very much in use—and they often explore topics in greater depth than a single article ever can. Blogging books in particular, can cover a single topic at length, or serve as a more approachable, general introduction to a broader umbrella of subjects. The right blogging books can offer a great deal of value to readers, especially for their extremely low cost (and the fact that many of them are often even free).
Not all blogging books are created equal though. For that reason, I’ve created my list of the best blogging books in 2020, to help make your blogging journey more profitable this year. Some of the blogging books on this list are specifically about blogging-related topics, while others will simply give you practical ideas, strategies and concepts that’ll help you improve as the owner of your own blog business.
These blogging books are a must-read for any blogger that wants to eventually grow their sites to profitability.
18 Best Blogging Books for Every Blogger to Read in 2020 (and Profit From)
- The Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers
- How to Start a Blog (on the Side) in 2020
- How to Make Money Blogging This Year
- Atomic Habits
- WordPress for Beginners 2020
- HTML and CSS
- Deep Work
- Faster, Smarter, Louder
- One Million Followers
- Talk Triggers
- SEO Like I’m 5
- SEO 2020
- Affiliate Marketing 2020
- Creative Confidence
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
- Bird by Bird
- Virtual Freedom
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. When you purchase cheap web hosting using my one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep things like my 25,000 word ultimate guide to starting a blog free of charge. Know that I also only recommend products I personally stand behind.
But before we dive into this list, an important final question. It’s 2020. Do people even read blogging books anymore?
The answer is yes. Believe it or not, people are still reading (and listening to audio books). The main difference between now and the pre-digital era, is there are a lot more options for readers to consume educational content—on their own terms.
Physical books are still the top choice for reading, but audiobooks are on the rise. Digital eBooks are also very popular. The perk with eBooks, is you can buy blogging books directly from the knowledgeable authors, who can impart their experience with readers—while avoiding having to pay out fees to big publishing organizations.
The best blogging books I recommend here come in a variety of mediums, but they’re all helpful to aspiring bloggers who want to make money blogging.
Now, let’s dive in!
1. The Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers by Ryan Robinson
The first blogging book on my list, is one that I personally wrote to help new bloggers get a jump start on building a real system to support the growth of their blogs.
It’s called The Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers and it’s a guide to using transformative habits. My book is filled with the advice I would have given myself, if I could go back to the beginning of when I first learned how to start a blog.
When I wrote this book, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t waste your time. I want you to be able to sit down and begin learning something useful and actionable in the very first chapter. I won’t make you wait until the end of the book, to get to my point—and I offer valuable information in every single chapter. In The Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers, I cover three specific habits that can help every type of blogger. It doesn’t matter what blog niche you’re in, because these are concepts anyone can apply. For those looking to go even deeper and achieve more, I also include a chapter on more advanced tips & tactics I’ve used to grow my own blog over the years.
The habits I introduce in this blogging book may seem like they won’t make a significant difference at first. But put them into practice and give it some time. In 6 months to a year of regular practice, you’ll see real growth. If you’re truly ready and willing to put in the hard work and change your own limiting habits, you’re going to have more readers, more subscribers and more revenue from your blog. The Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers is available right now for digital download.
2. How To Start a Blog (on the Side) in 2020 by Ryan Robinson
The title of this blogging book says it all, right? It’s actually a digital download version of my ultimate guide: How to Start a Blog (on the Side).
In this free book of mine (which you can pick up right here), you’ll get my exact, step-by-step tutorial on how to get your blog set up. It goes from zero all the way through to learning how to write a blog post that’s designed to attract readers, to publishing your first article, finding your target audience and bringing in your readers. Since I first published this guide and blogging book nearly two years ago, more than 1 Million people have read—and taken action—on this foundation process for building a successful blog business.
That’s why I’ve packaged it into the format of a digital book, and give it away for free to my readers. Get your copy for free (right here) today!
3. How to Make Money Blogging This Year by Ryan Robinson
The last of my own blogging books, is another free (in-depth) guide to learning how to monetize your new blog. You can pick up a free copy right here.
I wrote this book, pulled largely from this guide right here on my blog, to highlight how an ordinary person can learn to make a massive profit from blogging—not overnight, and not without putting in a lot of hard work, but to show you that it’s possible. I launched my blog in 2014 and have steadily grown it into becoming a full-time business (and source of more than $450,000 in annual revenue). This book is ideal for new bloggers or people who have started a blog but simply aren’t making a profit. It’s not written for experienced bloggers that’ve already mastered monetization, but rather for those still learning how to best carve out a profitable niche and start earning back from their blogs.
How to Make Money Blogging covers topics like how to strategize on a smart blog niche, actionable ways to earn money through your blog, how to grow your traffic, and more. Since this blogging book is constantly updated, the information (and strategies I’ve broken down) are always as fresh as possible. The book version is available for free digital download right here.
4. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Atomic Habits was written by my good friend James Clear. Some of his ideas helped inspire my book The Habits of Highly Successful Bloggers, and he has been gracious enough to appear on my podcast. This book discusses how creating good habits will help you achieve your greatest goals. James Clear is an expert in habit formation and in his book he gives away genuine practical strategies that just about anyone can use.
He explains the need to focus on habits and systems before you can really reach your goals, which is why I’ve ranked it so high on my list of the best blogging books here. Goals are good for inspiration, but the system you use is the vehicle that gets you there. For example, if you want to be an incredible blogger—you’ll need a content schedule you can stick with.
In Atomic Habits, James covers things like why small habits make a big difference, how to build better habits, how to change your environment to become more successful, how to make good habits more appealing than bad habits, and many other very useful very practical insights. He keeps things interesting with engaging writing and incredible stories. He includes his own real-life experiences as well as stories from Olympic gold medalists, successful business leaders, physicians, comedians, and artists.
His book is currently available in hardback, paperback, audio, and Kindle versions on Amazon right here.
5. WordPress for Beginners 2020: A Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering WordPress by Dr. Andy Williams
Regardless of the type of blog you want to build, I always recommend WordPress as the best blogging site to use when creating your own blog. It’s a free and very powerful platform that millions of bloggers use around the world. That being said, there is a learning curve when you’re just beginning. There are a lot of online tutorials for WordPress as well as an online help forum for WordPress users. But if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop consider WordPress for Beginners by Dr. Andy Williams.
Author Andy Williams has written several books related to websites, SEO and other topics pertaining to running a website, and this book dives into things like how to register your domain name, how to design your WordPress website, securing your blog, an introduction to basic HTML and tons more content. If you’re already quite familiar with WordPress, you may not find this blogging book as useful, but there’s probably still insightful information you can use to further customize your blog.
This book is currently available as an eBook or in paperback form on Amazon.
6. HTML and CSS by Jon Duckett
If you’re a more experienced blogger and you’re ready to take your site to the next level, you’re probably going to want to learn a thing or two about HTML and CSS. That’s why the blogging book HTML and CSS by Jon Duckett will come in handy. At this point, you may not be ready for behind the scenes work. If that’s you, don’t worry. You don’t have to be a coding expert to make a great website, though. On the other hand, if you want greater customization and control of your site, learning some code is an excellent way to do it.
Jon Duckett’s book is packed full of extremely helpful information about links, images, structure, tables, forms, text, color, and a lot more. He covers both HTML and CSS for many of the same topics.What’s really exceptional about the book is just how visually beautiful it is.
You may think that a blogging book about coding would be really basic, but this book was designed in a way that makes you want to flip through it even if you have no interest in coding at all. HTML and CSS can be helpful for people who have a strong understanding of coding, but it’s geared primarily for beginner to intermediate users.
This book is currently only available in a print version on Amazon here.
7. Deep Work by Cal Newport
There’s work, and then there’s Deep Work. There are plenty of times when you set out to work but you’re filled with so many distractions that you can’t give your work attention that it needs.
When you are able to work without distractions, you’re able to push your cognitive skills to their limits. As a result, you can produce incredible work that creates new value. The valuable work your produce is difficult for other people to replicate and it stands out in the world. It has the potential to impact a lot of people in positive ways. That’s what author Cal Newport calls deep work. His book Deep Work contends, when a person is in a state of deep work, their brain begins working more rapidly and effectively.
But how do you get to this point?
Cal Newport is an MIT graduate and professor. In Deep Work, he explains how you develop your ability to engage in deep work even with a busy schedule. And the real reason I’ve ranked this on my list of the top blogging books, is that he gives real-life advice for ways to work without distractions and produce meaningful work that lasts far longer than a Tweet or Facebook post ever could.
This book comes in a variety of versions including print, digital, audio CD, and audio download on Amazon.
8. Faster, Smarter, Louder: Master Attention in a Noisy Digital Market by Aaron Agius and Gián Clancey
There’s absolutely no secret that digital marketing is essential for your blog. The only problem is—sometimes it’s hard to stand out. There are millions of other users trying to attract attention to their accounts. Couple that with algorithm methods that don’t always work in your favor, and you may find digital marketing extremely frustrating. That’s why books like Faster, Smarter, Louder are so beneficial (and sitting high up on my list of blogging books you need to read).
This book, written by successful digital marketers Aaron Agius and Gian Clancey, talks about how you can effectively use digital marketing for your blog (and other forms of businesses).
Their book talks about the importance of reaching your audience through authenticity, value, and real human connections. In the introduction of this blogging book, they write, “A powerful brand is one part technical savvy and one part social smarts… This book balances process with humanity, proven marketing strategies with a heartbeat. After all, it doesn’t matter what you do if you can’t relate to the mindset of your prospective customers.”
Faster, Smarter, Louder is available in eBook and print on Amazon.
9. Storytelling by Daniel Anderson
Social media is an incredible resource for marketing your blog. People spend an enormous amount of time on social media and many acknowledge that social media influences their purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, like digital marketing in general, social media can be a hard nut to crack. You can spend a lot of time working on the perfect photo for Instagram and end up with minimal reach—and this lives on my list of the best blogging books, because it gives you a much more useful skill: storytelling.
The book Storytelling by Daniel Anderson dives into the art of engaging your audience with stories. His book explains how you can use your stories to create interest and make people want to return to your platforms. The same advice can be used for your own blog posts. People want something they can connect with and a good story has always had the power to pull people in.
You can get this book in print or as an eBook on Amazon.
10. One Million Followers: How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days by Brendan Kane
Another really useful book for growing your social media presence, is One Million Followers by Brendan Kane.
Brendan Kane is a digital strategist that has worked with people like Rihanna and Taylor Swift, and he’s also worked with brands such as MTV, Skechers and IKEA. This blogigng book also includes interviews with influencers, celebrities, and marketing experts who explain their insights on developing their social media presence.
The first chapter of his book details how he gained a million followers. He writes, “Although it may sound like a ludicrous undertaking, building a massive social following in thirty days or less is possible.” He goes on to say that he used a growth hack to garner that many followers, but “without the other strategies, mindsets, and processes shared in this book, you won’t become a rock star at content creation.”
His other processes teach you how to gain diverse and authentic followers, create valuable content, and develop branding on social media. The main social media platforms that he discusses in his book are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.
One Million Followers is available in print, digital download, and audio digital download on Amazon.
11. Talk Triggers by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin
One powerful way to create interest in your blog is by word-of-mouth marketing. When someone takes the time to promote your blog—or a particular blog post—people are far more likely to click. Think about it. Your best friend tells you that you absolutely have to watch a brand new TV show. You and your friend have similar interests and generally like the same things. You’re way more likely to watch it after your friend recommends it than you are from a random ad.
That’s what the book Talk Triggers is all about, and why it fits squarely amongst my picks for blogging books you need to read this year. Written by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin, this book looks into strategies for getting people to share your work.
They explain, “Nobody says ‘let me tell you about this perfectly adequate experience I had last night.’ The strategic, operational differentiator is what gives customers something to tell a story about. Companies (including the 30+ profiled in Talk Triggers) must dare to be different and exceed expectations in one or more palpable ways. That’s when word of mouth becomes involuntary: the customers of these businesses simply MUST tell someone else.” Talk Triggers gives you tangible ways to stand out against your competitors, reach people in meaningful ways, and truly understand what your customers (or blog visitors) really want and need.
Talk Triggers is available in print, digital download, and audio download on Amazon.
12. SEO Like I’m 5 by Matthew Capala
Learning to nail your blog SEO is an integral part of marketing your website and getting your content discovered in search engines like Google. Without a good SEO strategy, you simply won’t rank high on a search engine. You can’t afford to miss out on search engine traffic because 51% of website traffic comes through organic searches.
If this is the first time you’ve heard about SEO, or if you only have a minimal understanding of it, you’d benefit from reading a very foundational and comprehensive blogging book like SEO Like I’m 5. And although the book is written in a way that is accessible to beginners, it also offers valuable insights to people more well versed in SEO. SEO Like I’m 5 also includes screenshots, step-by-step instructions and SEO templates, making it a more helpful blogging book than your average.
This book is available in print, but is more accessible as an eBook, both on Amazon.
13. SEO 2020 by Adam Clarke
For another fantastic blogging book focused on SEO, check out SEO 2020 by Adam Clarke. It’s been updated and expanded to include recent information for SEO best practices—and gets frequent updates from the author. Clarke explains, “Most published SEO advice is either outdated or just dead-wrong. Google’s constant updates have made many popular SEO optimization strategies useless.”
His blogging book includes more recent changes to Google’s algorithm methods like the Google 2018 industry change update, sometimes referred to as the “Medic Update” and much more. SEO 2020 also covers topics like how to survive Google updates, what keywords are, how to structure your site for automatic SEO, attracting high quality links and quite a few other topics.
This book is available in print and eBook form on Amazon.
14. Affiliate Marketing 2020 by Christopher Clarke and Adam Preace
Let’s say you’ve started a blog and you’re now ready to monetize. What should be your first step? Affiliate marketing (by promoting the right products with healthy affiliate programs) is one of the best monetization channels for bloggers. If you’re interested in learning more about affiliate marketing, check out Christopher Clarke and Adam Preace’s book Affiliate Marketing 2020.
This blogging book is up-to-date and covers a huge range of topics for affiliate marketing. In it you’ll learn important things like picking a niche, finding the best affiliate offers, building a marketing plan, and a lot more. This book is a really good option for people who are new to blogging, people who want to be more successful with monetization, and people who are already successful but want to gain some additional insights.
Affiliate Marketing 2020 is available as an audiobook, eBook and paperback on Amazon.
15. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
Many people are attracted to blogging because it’s an opportunity to express creativity. When you start a blog you’re able to use your vision and make something that didn’t exist before. If you love creativity (or if you wish you were more creative) Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley is just for you. The first chapter of this blogging book begins with:
“When you hear the word ‘creativity,’ what do you think next?… You may equate ‘creative’ with ‘artistic.”…As brothers who have worked together for thirty years at the forefront of innovation, we have come to see this set of misconceptions as the “creativity myth.”…This book is about the opposite of that myth. It is about what we call ‘creative confidence.’ And at its foundation is the belief that we are all creative.”
Creativity increases productivity, helps problem-solve, and helps you come up with fresh and interesting ideas. Creative Confidence will give you strategies and principles to help develop this key skill, which is why I’ve ranked it amongst my picks for must-read blogging books.
This book is available as an eBook, in print form and as an audio download on Amazon.
16. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Let’s go old school for a moment. Can you be a successful blogger and be a terrible writer? The answer is probably not. You may have really great ideas to share, but people aren’t going to stick around if your writing is dull—or they can’t understand what you’re saying. Your writing has to grip your readers. You have to give them some reason to keep reading. So let’s go back to basics.
What makes writing engaging and captivating? Even if you’ve never read a Stephen King novel, you probably know who he is. He’s written over 50 novels, a couple hundred short stories, and his writing has been adapted for both film and TV. He obviously knows a thing or two about writing—hence why his writing tutorial makes an appearance on this list of blogging books.
The good news for the rest of us is he chose to impart some of his writing knowledge in his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Stephen King shares some of his best writing advice. He talks about his own personal experiences and passes on his habits and even blogging tools to help other aspiring writers.
This book is available in audio, digital download and print via Amazon.
17. Bird by Bird by Anna Lamott
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is another blogging book dedicated to writers on this list. Anne Lamott is an author of both fiction and non-fiction books and she is also a writing teacher. Even though her book Bird by Bird came out almost 25 years ago, it still holds deeply valuable thoughts about writing.
The concept of this blogging book came from a childhood memory. When her brother was ten, he had a huge assignment due for school. He was supposed to write a report on birds. He had been given three months to write it, but he had waited until the day before it was due to start. At the kitchen table and almost in tears, her brother was feeling extremely overwhelmed. Their father came to him and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.” Anne Lamott took the idea of simply doing one simple thing at a time and applied it to writing. She explains that you have to start by giving yourself short little assignments before you can tackle big huge concepts. If you’re going to write a novel about your childhood, first write a single description. Don’t worry about writing an entire novel at once.
In the case of bloggers, don’t worry about creating an entire collection of work when you first begin. Write one valuable piece of content at a time.
Bird by Bird is available for digital and audio download and is also available in print on Amazon.
18. Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker
You’ve gained some success, you’re making some money, people are starting to notice your blog. Maybe you’ve even experienced significant success and you’ve reached heights greater than you ever thought you could. The only problem is the tasks are starting to become more than one person can handle. You’re trying to juggle writing content, marketing, photography, customers, affiliates, website design and a million other things. What should you do now?
That’s where Chris Ducker’s blogging book Virtual Freedom comes in. Virtual Freedom is for entrepreneurs who know they need help but don’t know where to start. It’s also for people who struggle to let go. It’s your creative genius and you know best how you want everything to run. At some point though, you have to take that leap and hire out some of the workload.
Chris explains, “Entrepreneurs often suffer from ‘superhero syndrome’—the misconception that to be successful, they must do everything themselves. Not only are they the boss, but also the salesperson, HR manager, copywriter, operations manager, online marketing guru, and so much more. It’s no wonder why so many people give up the dream of starting a business—it’s just too much for one person to handle.”
To overcome this battle, Ducker offers helpful advice about finding and hiring a virtual staff, training your staff, and managing your staff, which is why it ranks amongst my favorite blogging books every blogger should read.
Virtual Freedom is available in print, audio and eBook versions on Amazon.
Can (the Right) Blogging Books Really Help You Succeed?
If you’re not a book person—or even if you are—you’re probably wondering at this point if even the best blogging books can actually help you.
If you read them, will your blog become an overnight success? The answer is no.
None of the blogging books on the list will automatically make your blog explode with traffic and excite all of those new readers. You’re not instantly going to have hundreds of valuable blog post ideas that nobody else is competing for. You won’t start making more money from your blog the day after you read one of these blogging books.
The problem is… too many beginning bloggers quickly read about helpful blogging tips, tricks, hacks and advice—then do absolutely nothing with it.
It really won’t help grow your blog if you only read these top blogging books… yet never take action or follow their advice.
The truth is that the simple act of only reading blogging books—will do nothing for you.
Your success as a blogger will come only through your own action.
These blogging books here today will all give you a foundation—a blueprint to follow—but unless you start implementing the ideas, strategies and adopt the mindset of experimentation these authors advocate for, you can’t expect to see a change in results.
Not only that, but anyone who tells you to expect instant success after reading a book, isn’t being truthful with you.
Every blogging book on this list has actionable, valuable information. But it takes time, commitment and endurance in order to implement the lessons you’ll learn.
You can do incredible things with your blog, but be prepared to put in the hard work.
My advice is to start with one or two of these blogging books that you connect most with. Use them as a guide post to start improving your blogging business.