It's getting close to Christmas and New Year's, and so next week I'll duck away from the computer for a bit to spend some much-needed time with family and friends. But I also plan to read the (small) stack of books I've packed to take along with me on vacation. I firmly believe that reading and research are just as important to your blogging career as writing, social media, and networking. If you're not learning new things and teaching yourself new concepts, it becomes really easy to stagnate…as both a blogger and a person. Earlier this year, my fellow IFB columnist Hilary Rushford put together a list of ‘8 Business Books to Inspire the Entrepreneur Inside You.‘ If you've already made it through her awesome reads and are looking for a few extra, here are 5 of my favorites from 2013.
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It – It's no exaggeration to say this paperback has completely changed the way I look at blogging. Please note: this isn't a book about blogging or fashion or social media; this is a book about how to run a small business. And if you want to make money from your blog, then you basically want to be a small business. The E-Myth Revisited gets you thinking in terms of efficiency and scalability – two things you must know about if you want your blog to grow.
You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself – If you run a blog, then you're selling yourself…whether it's to potential readers, potential advertisers, or potential collaborators/employers. One of the reasons I like this book is because it's a series of short, digestible chapters; you can pick it up, put it down, revisit it, or even skip ahead without losing anything. Like the E-Myth Revisited, this book isn't about social media or blogging specifically (also like the E-Myth, it was first published a bit ago, so some of the examples are a little dated). The core principles, however, are solid.
The Fashion Designer Survival Guide – The world of fashion blogging is really weird in that you can become a widely-read, well-respected voice in the fashion industry without ever having actually been a part of the fashion industry. While there are some upsides to that, such as a fresh perspective, a major downside is that you may not know many of the basics about the industry you're discussing. The Fashion Designer Survival Guide is a great book to get you up to speed about what goes into developing a brand. It won't make you an expert (this is definitely an intro-level book), but you will know a lot more after reading it.
Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster & Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion – These are two separate books, but I'm putting them together because I think they build upon each other extraordinarily well when read in tandem. Fashion has a very obvious aspirational component, and these books address that from opposite yet complementary angles (which I realize may sound like a bit of an oxymoron). Put simply, I understood a lot more about both ends of the fashion industry after reading these.
Do you plan to catch up on any fashion or business reading over the holidays? What books are on your wishlist?