As a small business owner, entrepreneur, or freelancer, you have enough on your plate managing the day-to-day operations of your business. But now, in a digital age, you also have to be concerned with the management and maintenance of your website. It’s a lot to consider. Keeping in mind that content is king, once your site is launched, continually updating your website content is among your top priorities for the management and success of your website. While there are online tools that can help you with blogging and content creation, we decided to kick it old school by recommending five books you need for your small business website. Books are not only nostalgic, they are handy—dare we we say, sometimes even more user-friendly than the internet. So if you are already building a library, we suggest you add these five books to it.
WordPress for Dummies, 8th Edition by Lisa Sabin-Wilson
Is it any wonder that we recommend a book by our very own COO and founder? Lisa Sabin-Wilson is a WordPress and website design pioneer with a passion for guiding others toward a journey of empowerment and success when it comes to their own websites. Whether you’re a seasoned WordPress user or a newbie, WordPress for Dummies is chock-full of information about how to download and install WordPress, use plugins, create content, optimize images, and more. Everything and anything you need to know about running your own WordPress-powered small business website is in this book. Why depend on Google each time you have a question about your WordPress site or encounter a glitch? Just open this book up and locate the solution yourself. It’s like having a website support tech available to you when you need them.
Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies by Bruce Clay
Once you’re learned about WordPress and small business website creation and management from Lisa, now it’s time to turn to Bruce Clay, author of Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies, for guidance on SEO. Even experienced authors struggle with the intricacies of SEO. That’s because the strategy goes beyond merely blogging and requires knowledge of keywords, search engines, and audience profiles. This book begins with the basics, for those readers who know absolutely nothing about SEO, but for those that do, there are also sections that dive deep into the technical aspects of SEO. Think of it as the SEO guide for practitioners of all levels, making it an essential book for your small business website.
The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani
It’s time to play Pied Piper, boss person. If your business fans and customers are hanging out on Twitter, you had better make the effort to connect with them there and lure them back to your website. That’s where social media marketing comes in, and who better to learn about the nuances of social media than from a Millennial? In The Zen of Social Media Marketing, author Shama Hyder Kabani takes you through the basics of online marketing to the power of podcasting. The opportunities that social media has to offer are endless and multilayered. Shama gives you tips on using them all. If you have ever felt overwhelmed trying to figure out how your small business website can benefit from the merits of social media, this book will help you solve that.
The Associated Press Style Book
Which words should be capitalized within a blog post title? When is it appropriate to use compliment versus complement? Should punctuation be placed within quotations or outside of them? Unless you’re an English teacher, chances are that you have forgotten much of the grammar and spelling rules you learned in school. It happens to the best of us, but keeping The Associated Press Style Book (aka AP Style Book) on your desk will jar your memory. Sometimes you’re not even sure where your confusion lies, making it even more difficult to Google it. Keep an AP Style Book nearby. It will be easier to find your answers than typing your query into a search engine.
Bonus tip: While the AP Style Book is updated yearly, there’s really no reason why one from two or three years ago wouldn’t be of use today. You don’t need to buy a new one every year. Unlike technology, the rules of English grammar and spelling do not change severely year after year.
As if we weren’t being old fashioned enough by recommending (gasp!) books, here we are recommending one of the oldest ones ever—yes, the dictionary. It doesn’t matter if you get one by Merriam-Webster or Oxford, a simple dictionary will open up a world of words to you. While some online tools are not compatible with Google Docs or WordPress, one thing that never conflicts with either is a dictionary. Every small business should have one.