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57 Must-Read Books For Entrepreneurs Recommended by Entrepreneurs

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Entrepreneurship is more than a skill, it’s a passion and way of life for many of us. With so many people diving into the world of online marketing, blogging and business, it’s important to always stay ahead of the curve and competition. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by continually improving your knowledge and expertise on whatever it is you may do. In short, keep on reading and learning from others.

With millions of excellent books in the world to choose from, there is always going to be a new topic, book cover and author just waiting to be discovered. To help with this process, we asked 57 different entrepreneurs, bloggers, business owners and marketing experts what their favorite business book was, and who it’s helped change their life or business in the process.

57 Entrepreneurs Share their Favorite Life Changing Books

Srish AgrawalI always love reading new books and they are always helping me get the upper edge in both life and business. One of my favorites would have to be “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, which stresses the importance of goal setting and knowing where you stand in both life and business. No matter what type of goal you are setting, you need to have the right elements, discipline, and pathway in place to find success. “Think and Grow Rich” is one of the best books out there for anyone looking to achieve their goals.

Srish Agrawal – Srish.com

John Sonmez

Definitely, I’d have to say “The E-Myth Revisited” by Micheal Gerber.

I was on the verge of quitting my business because I was just feeling overwhelmed and like I was doing too much. It was a constant stream of work. I would write blog posts, edit them, format them, add pictures. Then, I’d record videos and podcasts and edit those and post them. I’d manage social media. It was a never-ending stream of work every week just to keep my content going.

After reading that book, I discovered how I could build a team to do the things I didn’t want to do in the business or wasn’t most effective at so I could work more on the business instead of in it.

Without that book, I probably would have given up, but after reading “The E-Myth Revisited,” I figured out how to create processes that anyone could follow and create standard operating procedures and eventually hire the right team.

I’m much happier–and more effective–now.

John Sonmez – Simpleprogrammer.com

Syed Balkhi

Start With Why

This book by Simon Sinek completely changed the way we communicate in our company. It has helped us all be on the same page and work towards a mission that we’re all passionate about. I highly recommend this book to every CEO and founder.

Syed Balkhi – WPBeginner

Brooke B. Sellas

The book that changed my business was Mark Schaefer’s Known, which was recently released. Even though we are 5 years old this year, his book really helped me start to formulate a plan for differentiation. The workbook that comes with Known takes you through a step-by-step process for personal branding. So even though I may be a little bit late, I’m working on my own personal brand now that B Squared Media has its own reputation! “Determining Your Space” in the workbook (and the book!) is an interesting way to find your own niche — even if you’re business “space” seems saturated. This book is SO worth the investment for anyone who is just getting started or needs to give their brand (personal or business) a jumpstart!

Brooke B. Sellas – B Squared Media

Arman Assadi

FLOW, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. This isn’t a business book, it’s a book on positive psychology and life, but it has been more impactful than any other book or resource. The foundation of a person’s mindset and learning to create enjoyment in work is everything. Also learning how to create and cultivate flow has been life-changing, and the book is also very inspirational.

Arman Assadi – Superhumanlabs.us

How Rich People Think by Steve Siebold

This book has helped me to change my whole thinking. A lot of time people wonder why Entrepreneurs take exit from one startup and start another and so on. If you will read this book, it will give a sense of clarity why entrepreneurs do that and take interest in becoming a serial entrepreneur.

I personally think everything starts with your thinking. You should have certain thinking level to take your business to the next level as well and this book can certainly help improving that thinking level.

Manish Dudharejia – E2Msolutions.com

Andrea Loubier

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. It helped assimilate the feeling of not being alone on your entrepreneurial journey and how failure is such an important part of that to learn, iterate and grow within yourself as an entrepreneur and solution provider. It gives you the confidence and power to know that no matter what you are faced with you will get through it, that it is not easy, but you will get through it. It teaches you a lot about self-understanding when it comes to management, growth, and business. It teaches you about character, consistency, and persistence.

Andrea Loubier – Getmailbird.com

Brandon_Johnston_BlogReignOne of my favorite books would have to be “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” by Gary Vaynerchuk, as it’s something we all can learn from as entrepreneurs, bloggers and content creators. Not only has Gary written the book, he’s also continually used these same methods to grow his own brand and business over the years. Each ‘jab’ is important to stress key points behind what it is you have to offer, then the ‘right hook’ comes around as your main call to action and giving your audience or customers exactly what they are looking for. A must read for any entrepreneur in the world today.

Brandon Johnston – Blog Reign

Minuca Elena

When I was younger I wasn’t confident in my one skills, I was scared that I am not good enough to be successful. I thought that all entrepreneurs are part of wealthy families and graduates of an Ivy League university like Yale or Harvard. This isn’t my case, so I believed that my destiny is having a boring job and struggling to pay my bills.

At a friend’s recommendation, I started reading personal development books. My favorite was “Change your thinking, change your life: how to unlock your full potential for success and achievement” written by Brian Tracy. It opened my eyes and made me realize my fears were stopping me from achieving more with my life.

By the way, do you know that Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are all college dropouts? 😉

The sky is the limit for what you can achieve when you believe in yourself.

Minuca Elena – Minucaelena.com

For me, the most influential book has to be Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I first read this when I was 16 years old and it made me realize that having your dream lifestyle is a choice and the result of your actions. From that point onwards, I worked my ass off to build that lifestyle.

Marcus Taylor – Website Hosting Insider

Marko Saric

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson is one of the business books that has influenced the way I think and work. It’s a complete rethink of what a business book is and what good business advice sounds like in the Internet age. Very refreshing, original and inspirational advice. Everything from how to be more productive, how to do more with less, how to get rid of distractions and other useless wasters, how to think about the competition in the marketplace, how to build an audience and so much more. It’s a very practical book, easy to read with lots of valuable advice.

Marko Saric – HowToMakeMyBlog.com

One of the best books for any business owner is by Stephen R Covey called “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. The book is a wonderful read on what you need to do in order to become a success in your life and business. Stephen does a great job of making you think about what’s necessary to be a success. Reading Stephen’s advice has allowed me to be a more effective communicator. He puts together some sound suggestions on the daily tasks you can do to keep yourself on track. The book is easy to read and will make you think. Creating good habits is one of the keys to success with most people. Stephen puts it in a way that is easy to map out a sound strategy for your business.

Bill Gassett – MaxRealEstateExposure.com

A book that has followed me from sales to marketing (and is still 100% relevant) is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. It’s a classic “self-help” guide that has implications for almost any person in any position because it teaches foundational negotiation skills and how to ethically get what you want. It has helped me with everything from winning new clients, increasing my fees, and from a personal perspective – getting stuff for free. If you haven’t read it, you’re doing yourself a disservice. I promise you’ll breeze through it!

Maddy Osman – The-Blogsmith.com

Michael Erickson

I always recommend the book “Traction” by Gino Wickman. I feel the biggest issue with entrepreneurial organizations is that they’re drowning in good ideas. Traction has a really clear system to follow that organizes and centralizes a company’s ideas. It also provides a path to prioritizing, tackling, and improving quarter over quarter.

Michael Erickson – SearchScientists.com

One book tat’s had a big impact on the way I think has been The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. It’s a great read and tackles some key problems that a lot of managers face. Packed full of interesting/entertaining anecdotes plus heaps of useful insights that you can apply to your day-to-day.

Matthew Barby – Matthewbarby.com

Ted Rubin

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegiex – Taught me the value of truly connecting with people by valuing, and making it about, them. It has been the inspiration for all the relationships I have built over the years of my career, the communities I have used these relationships to build, and my ability to earn a living by reinventing myself multiple times during my life.

Ted Rubin – Tedrubin.com

Anna Bennett

1. From Good to Great by Collins

The book which is based on scientific analysis and study describing and comparing the journeys of many businesses as they try to move from being a good company to a great company. Some of the lessons in the book are particularly about hiring and especially about getting the wrong people off the bus ASAP. Plus another lesson on finding a focus and sticking to it. Many businesses try to do too many things. This research clearly explains what the superior approach is and it has saved me time, grief and helped me make a lot of money.

2. First Break All The Rules by Buckingham

This is another book based on scientific study and analysis that describes how great managers get extraordinary results from their staff. It describes what they realize and how they see the world differently compared to non-great managers. It further goes into great detail about what any manager can do to become a great manager. Fascinating research and recommendations that fly in the face of many of the common myths managers have about managing and coaching their people. Two examples include: don’t treat everyone the same and forget about coaching and developing an employee’s weaknesses.

Anna Bennett – Whiteglovesocialmedia.com

Jeremy Rivera

When I listened to The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield it was during my final days as SEO director for an SEO agency. After I read this section, I put in my two weeks notice to start my own freelance consulting business. “Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

Jeremy Rivera – Jeremyriveraseo.com

A Course in Miracles helped me think and act from a more abundant, fearless space, which inspired me to build a more successful business. Much business advice comes from a space of fear. ACIM teaches how to build your life from a space of love and fun. Even though it isn’t specifically a business book the principles

Ryan Biddulph – Bloggingfromparadise.com

Venchito Tampon

Good to Great by Jim Collins.

This book is one of my highly recommended readings as it helps business owners understand the value of practicality, passion, and purpose in growing one’s business. If you’re looking for a paradigm shift within your management team, this book allows you to see the vision of the company for the next 20 or 30 years.

Venchito Tampon – Sharprocket.com.ph

David Leonhardt

This might seem a bit strange, but there are two books. Both books convey the same message, and it is a message that is critical for 99% of people to succeed, or even to survive, in business. These are the two books:

  • The Little Engine that Could
  • The Lord of the Rings

No two books could be more different, yet both convey the same message. Do what you have to do to succeed, never give up, keep persevering, The Little Engine that Could does this by repeating to himself, “I think I can. I think I can.” Well, what do you expect? It’s a child’s book. But if more business people would read it, there would be fewer business failures.

Think I’ve jumped the shark? Well, I’m not the only one. Search Google, and you’ll find a few other entrepreneurs are Little Engine crazy.

The Lord of the Rings is the adult version. Frodo knows he has to leave his companions behind. He doesn’t want to, but failure is not an option. He perseveres long after all hope is lost. By the way, the book is on Elon Musk’s top-9 reads list, albeit for different reasons.

David Leonhardt – THGMwriters.com

Rajesh Namase

This one book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” changed my entire outlook on the subject of money. In many countries, especially India, there is a negative mindset towards people who are going after money. This book taught me that having a stable future is not just something that one should aspire towards. In the book, the Rich Dad says that when you can’t afford to buy something, instead of saying, “I can’t afford it” and not buying it, one should ask themselves, “How can I afford it” This enabled me to always work hard, in pursuit of my ambitions.

Rajesh Namase – TechLila.com

Tim Blaustein

Before reading Chris Ducker’s Virtual Freedom book I used to work countless hours every day only to realize how unproductive I was. It seemed that the more work hours I put in, the less I would produce — even if I sacrificed my social life entirely.

Needless to say, I was really stressed, tired and angry because my business wasn’t getting anywhere. At the time, I had already heard about outsourcing but had never really try it for real; all very lousy experiences to give it a more serious thought.

Until one very lucky day, a friend offered me a copy of Ducker’s book saying “I promise this will change your life”. Judging by the cover I wasn’t so sure but decided to give it a go anyway. To cut a long story short, my friend couldn’t be more right!

Virtual Freedom taught me how to go about hiring the best virtual assistants to help get more work done and, more importantly, create more free time to be with my family and friends. My business bloomed and grew in just a few months after reading that book and all the stress, tiredness and angriness are just faded memories now.

Tim Blaustein – ToolFever.com

Katy Manniche

Have you ever heard the saying that goes something like “the one who warns you your friend is”? Those who really care about you aren’t the ones who pat you on the back and tell you what you want to hear but the ones who slap you in the face with the much-needed, cold-hard truth.

That’s what you get if you read Mark Manson’s book: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”. There are no feel-good words or “think positive” advices there, just brutal honesty that opens your eyes to make you see life as it really is: a road of endless problems that you need to be aware of and deal with or confront, if you truly want to keep going. You just need to learn to pick your battles and ditch the ones that don’t deserve your worries.

Underneath all the f-bombs, bluntness and rudeness of Mark Manson’s writing, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” is an inspiring and life-changing book that slaps you in the face with what you have to hear. In summary, Manson’s book is the friend you really need in your life.

Katy Manniche – TattooOy.com

Clara Jeronimos

The entrepreneurial book which, I believe, has deeply contributed to help change my business and, consequently, my life is The Million Dollar Blog by Natasha Courtenay Smith.

After reading it and comprehending the knowledge that many successful bloggers share in this book, I got to see the bigger picture. I was able to take my blog to the next level, launch my blogging business, build a personal brand and, finally, start generating income from blogging.

The Million Dollar Blog is a true inspiration. It’s right to the point, objective and clear. It is way more than totally worth its price as you’ll get tons of knowledge, inside information, invaluable tips and tricks that will — as long as you do things right — change your life and business in countless ways, shapes and forms, as it did for me.

Clara Jeronimos – TravelRedux.com

Ben Wynkoop

10 years ago I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and one important concept this book explained has helped guide my approach to pursuing a work-like balance; the difference between being self-employed and owning a business, which many people seem to confuse. Self-employed individuals make a living by giving up their personal hours for money. Business owners still make money whether they are out sick or on vacation by delegating work to others.

Ben Wynkoop – BenWynkoop.com

Lilach Bullock

I am a big fan of Grant Cardone’s work, his books always have great insights into business and sales – particularly Sell or be Sold. This book taught me so much about how to sell better and I still use the knowledge from this book, even years later. Another favorite of mine is the Chimp Paradox by Prof. Steve Peters, which I just had to mention – this book teaches you to truly understand how your mind works and it provides enough exercises at the end of each chapter to help you apply all of the lessons you’ve learned.

Lilach Bullock – Lilachbullock.com

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

I couldn’t believe that a book can change your life in an awesome way. It took more than a month to find out the best life changing book for entrepreneurs. The book, $100 Startup, has helped me think originally, and taught me, it’s the ideas that sell. Chris Guillebeau here brings out examples of 1500 best entrepreneurs with no special skills but make a good business with an initial investment as $100. Through his narrative, he goes into the in-depths of how each individual made success and also shares with us the mistakes they made which in deed is a great source of information. The book was suggested by one of my friends and Chris Guillebeau could clearly mention how this book can be a great help for a successful entrepreneurship. So, if you are ready to spend $100, you are going to a successful entrepreneur in no time. This book helps to change our own life which is inevitable to help others to change their lives too.

Rithesh Raghavan – acodez.in

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely looks at the often strange ways in which we all behave. While we may believe that humans are rational beings and will behave in rational ways (most of the time), Dan shares numerous experiments showing the true way people react when faced with a choice.

Through insights and the experiments Dan shares, marketers can gain a better understanding of what triggers our reaction to offers and choice, integrating them into their own marketing plans. We come to see that our expectations of rational response may not always be to win. When we understand the way people really react to choice, we can better position ourselves to be the predictably irrational option.

Ben Brausen – BenBrausen.com

Moira O'Connell

Right now I’m reading Tony Robbin’sAwaken the Giant Within. One of the most useful takeaways is Robbin’s values matrix for making decisions. He takes values like love, freedom, passion, success, etc. and has you rank them from 1 through 10. Then you can make decisions based on which choice pushes forward the highest values. That’s useful, but a bigger takeaway was how Robbins talks about freedom. So, if you value freedom and you’ve already achieved it, then maybe you can prioritize another value and pursue it instead

Moira O’Connell – MuseumHack.com

Allan Pollett

The book that the greatest influence on my entrepreneurial spirit and on my business was Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. The book explains capitalism how businesses should be run in order to maximize productivity and profit. He focused on three major points the division of labour, the nature of wages, and foreign markets. His books represent the fundamentals of business. It is basis by which all business is conducted today. Another book which had a major impact on me is Sun Tzu’s Art of War, which when read with a business lens came really up your game. The big takeaways would be conducting war on your own terms rather the those of your enemies and the quote: “Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.” Business is like a battlefield and the principles can be applied with surprising success. So I highly recommend both of these books for every entrepreneur.

Allan Pollett – AllanPollett.com

For me, the book titled The Laptop Entrepreneur was the one that completely changed my life and introduced me to the online business that has no limits to growth.

I have read several books after that who moved my cheese, Tools of the Titans and many others and these are all awesome jam-packed with value. But, the one book that got me online, introduced and gave an idea of how digital marketing works.

The Laptop Entrepreneur doesn’t have everything about everything but it gives you an idea of every aspect of online business may that be blogging, Fiverr gigs, SEO, outsourcing etc.

I’d recommend it to anyone who is yet to start his online business or is interested to know how blogging and marketing works.

Swadhin Agrawal – DigitalGYD.com

Jacob Cass

Richard Branson’s book, ‘Losing My Virginity’ gave me an insight into the world of business at a young age, showing how determination and hard work pays off – even with the world’s largest airlines ganging up against you.

Jacob Cass – Justcreative.com

I am a huge fan of Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson. Classic marketing principles applied to small businesses who have to fight tooth and nail to make things work. But small businesses have something that larger firms do not – agility. This can be leveraged to great effect with the strategies and tactics detailed in the Guerrilla Marketing book. And now, in this age of digital, where platform knowledge has overtaken marketing strategy we need good, strategic foundations for our marketing efforts more than ever. Every marketer, digital or otherwise, could benefit from reading this book – I am just glad I found it 20 years ago.

Marcus Miller – Bowlerhat.co.uk

I think “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries is a must read, even if you don’t work at a startup. Companies of all sizes must start incorporating these strategies and techniques if they are to survive. The book’s main premise is the concept of using a build-measure-learn approach to creating your product/ service. Basically, you create a systematic approach to measuring progress and product improvement. You need to be constantly tuning your product and delivering a better end product to your customer. The funny thing is that I’ve used some of these approaches in my marketing for over 10 years before this book was released. The great thing this book does is gives people a clear strategy and common language for this type of approach.

Rick Ramos – HealthJoy.com

Janice Wald

I was inspired by Sarah Titus’s book HOW TO TURN YOUR BLOG INTO A SIX-FIGURE MONEY MAKING MACHINE.

First, Sarah Titus was an impoverished single mom. She turned her life around for herself and her child by making money blogging. Her book details how she did it. Her story gives hope to bloggers struggling to make money that it is indeed possible not only to monetize but to make a six-figure income from blogging.

Also, the content of the book inspired me. As a blogger, it’s hard to know how you’re doing compared to other people. Is your traffic high, low, or the same as other bloggers? Her book explains what marks to shoot for. She gives traffic stats that tell you how you’re progressing. When you hit that amount of traffic, it is time to shoot for the next milestone. In this way, I not only knew how my traffic measured up, but I had new goals to reach for.

Janice Wald – MostlyBlogging.com

William Harris

It might be cliche, but my favorite book is still, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. No matter what job I’ve had, this book has always been helpful at challenging me and pushing me forward with my ideas.

I remember it talking about Charles Schwab getting paid over a million dollars a year, specifically because of his ability to get the steel workers back to work, despite his lack of knowledge of the steel industry. That’s powerful.

William Harris – Elumynt.com

 

Rhys Wynne

I’ve been a huge fan of “The Four Hour Work Week”, by Tim Ferris. It’s quick and easy to read and told a great story throughout of his struggles and his successes. Since reading that book a while back I’ve been a lot more “get up and go” and willing to do things even if the money isn’t quite there. A lot of WP Email Capture’s success is based on things I’ve learned in that book.

If you’re starting a business, particularly one that is the internet space, it gives good lessons. Whilst not as relevant as it once was, the fundamentals are still good.

Rhys Wynne – Winwar Media

Whether you’re starting or growing a business, “Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat” by Michael Masters on is a just solid gold. It’s full of practices, proven strategies, and techniques.

Masteron walks you through the 4 Stages of development that are common to businesses that create their own products, do their own marketing, and therefore determin their own destiny.

For example in stage 2 “childhood” your business is often breaking even (you might even be losing money). Masterson leads you down the path to creating cashflow and profit, by taking action and not overthinking. But more creatively, he does it whilst discussing a ‘me-2’ market whereby you aren’t the first and are competing with many like-minded businesses.

This was true of me and my agency. After all marketing agencies are ten a penny!

A big takeaway is how Masterson gets you to look at your business versus your competitors and stop assuming that your customer knows what you know. Just because your competitor isn’t mentioning the little details, that to you as an expert seem redundant, it doesn’t mean your potential customer has any understanding.

It’s full of insight and inspiration for all business owners from all walks of life who face the same problem, which is pretty much all of us – consistent growth and sales.

Step outside of your comfort zone, stop forever planning and take some serious action – grab a copy of this book.

Ed Leake– Edleake.com

Henneke Diustermaat

My favorite business book is “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath. This book is has made me a better writer; and it helped me understand the basics of good communication: keeping things simple and concrete; use emotions and storytelling; surprise your readers and be credible. My favorite quote about sticky messages:

  • Concreteness is an indispensable component of sticky ideas.What makes something “concrete”?
  • If you can examine something with your senses, it’s concrete. A V8 engine is concrete. “High performance” is abstract.
  • Most of the time, concreteness boils down to specific people doing specific things.
  • Concrete language helps people, especially novices, understand new concepts. Abstraction is the luxury of experts.
  • If you’ve got to teach an idea to a room full of people, and you aren’t certain what they know, concreteness is the only safe language

Henneke Diustermaat – Enchanting Marketing

Jamie Spencer

The book that springs to mind and one I read the most at the start of my journey of blogging and working for myself was Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”.

The book was published around 80 years ago and still has some relevant advice for business people today – I first read the book around 2002 after Peter Ebdon won the Snooker World Championship and said the book was responsible for his new outlook on life.

For me, the book is a reminder that one of the only ways to achieve true wealth is to understand that more often than not our emotions and our mindset are what keep us from succeeding and that it’s our job to come up with a plan to overcome them.

Jamie Spencer – Makeawebsitehub.com

Jerry Low

Here are a few business/entrepreneurial books that I’d recommend.

“Made to Stick” by the Heath Brothers. The book comes with tons of good advice in how to be memorable, which is vital in this age of information overload.

“Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh. Tony talked about his success and failure in his years of venture. In any business, I believe “people” – be it your employees or customers, is the most important asset. Tony’s book offers great advice in building and preserving good company culture; which in turn, keeping your people happy.

“Creativity, Inc.” by Edwin Catmull is a great book about consistency: How to be creative consistently? Edwin Catmull shared some of his secrets and rules his team follows at Pixar. A must read for those in creative business.

Jerry Low – Web Hosting Secret Revealed

Nile Flores

I think almost every business owner should have a copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I find that a lot of people today either don’t know how to engage with people or are afraid. This book helped me change my way of thinking when talking to others.

People know me to be quite intense, and I can be intimidating. I’ve learned to tone it down in the right settings, and walk away having successfully acquired projects or allied myself with other influential people for collaborations. If you’re floundering around with trying to relate to others, Carnegie’s book helps. Sure, there are a ton of other books or ebooks out there, but if you haven’t read Carnegie’s work, you’ve got a long way to go when learning business.

Nile Flores – Blondish.net

Albert Mora

I’ve read a lot of amazing books about business running and entrepreneurship in my career, but I’d highlight “The Lean Startup” as the one that helped me a lot with its unique approach and methodology applicable in business. I believe in this concept of focusing on business results you’re trying to achieve, as this helps with defining your entire business strategy.

When you’re focused on your goals, when you constantly have in mind where you want to go, this creates a sort of a pathway for you and it guides you along the way. It helps with the decision-making process and it helps you understand your vision better. Basically, it guides you and it helps you reach success because the goals are something you always have in mind.

For this methodology to bring business success, it’s also important to eliminate any practices that can slow you down this road. It usually means cutting down on things that are not essential to save time and money to increase the chances of success. Sometimes it might even mean releasing the product before it’s completely finished, but this approach indicates that this is the best way to test the market and explore the true potential of the product you’re designing. The methodology promoted in this book suggest assessing demands of customers and making use of their feedback, which is, in my opinion, crucial for success in business nowadays.

Albert Mora – Seolution.com

Ian Spencer

Although I have read quite a few books for the business and just working for yourself, the one book I would highly recommend is a book called The One Thing by Gary Keller. The book explains why trying to do lots of things will actually kill your business (and life) and to concentrate on achieving the one thing a day that will impact your business and make a difference if you get it done. It, quite simply, shows how to concentrate on doing what matters, and not to overload yourself with loads of tasks that in the end, make your business less productive, not more profitable.

Ian Spencer – Isdigitalmarketing.co.uk

Andrew Fortune

I read books and listen to podcasts weekly. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill has been a game changer for my business, Great Colorado Homes It covers every aspect of business and ventures much deeper into the “big picture” of wealth and finances.

The persona of a business owner will always find it’s way into their company culture. My previous mentality as a business owner was to aggressively tackle every problem head on. Brute force was my tool to get it done. Unfortunately, that left me tired and worn out after a few years.

After reading this book, I gained a much more broad view of my business and started implementing better systems to save time and energy. I also restructured our company finances and found new ways to build growth that my old mentality would never allow for.

Think and Grow Rich helped me to create a baseline of thought that took my company to new heights. I read the book twice. By the end of the second reading, I could see a change in my company and my personal business growth. I highly recommend it to any business owners and/or entrepreneurs.

Andrew Fortune – GreatColoradoHomes.com

Lawrence Tam

I remember back when I was an Engineer, the book that shifted my mind to what was possible was Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Work Week. It was the first time I started to think about outsourcing in a way that it would benefit me as a solo blogger.

Sure, I’ve seen businesses and how they operate. It’s not 1 person doing everything but when he mentioned outsourcing outside of the USA my mind woke up to the possibilities. From that one idea, I was able to increase my writing production and test organic blog traffic in different networks very quickly.

In one article directory back in the day (around 2009), I was able to generate over 400 articles through inexpensive content created from overseas talent. Now looking back on that it wasn’t the best quality content I could have put out but it helped me test different traffic methods and saved me thousands of hours in the process.

Lawrence Tam – LawrenceTam.net

Kris Hoja

To be honest I’ve read just one book related to business (that was strictly related with business) and it was Rockstar Personal Branding. I’m not sure if it’s still relevant, but I liked the ideas about self-promotion etc.
However, the biggest impact I’ve had on my approach to business was my professor at university with his great quote “any failure is just learning curve and one step closer to success”. It helps me go through failures easily and writing down decision maps (sort of an If function structure) makes it easier to analyse your business route.

Kris Hoja – KrisHoja.com

In my early years as a solopreneur, I couldn’t figure out how to let go of certain tasks and delegate them to someone else. I was apprehensive that someone else wouldn’t be able to understand (let alone help me execute) my vision so that I could move my business forward.

I read Winning by Jack Welch and gained an incredible amount of insight (as well as clarity) into what made him such a force at GE. It helped me learn how to properly lead my virtual teams so that they see my vision and have confidence in their ability to execute it.

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but for the most part, the basic principles outlined in that book have kept our ship steady; they’ve also made it easier for me to let go of certain individuals when the business ceases to create value for them and through them.

Cody McLain – SupportNinja.com

The book that changed my life was Think and Grow Rich. It’s a classic book that everyone should read.

Growing up in a small town, my mind was limited to the people around me. I never had the chance to see the world outside of me. This book opened up the possibilities, my potential and my inner desire that I never knew existed.

It got me up, head to the bookstore to search for more answers. I found it and here I am today. It’s an inspirational book I shall read over and over again. If you’re looking for answers in your life or business. This is it.

Aaron Lee – AskAaronLee.com

David Hartshorne

The one book that has helped me the most is The One Thing by Gary Keller.

In December 2015 a friend shared a post on Facebook about how the book had helped him. It looked interesting, so I downloaded it to my Kindle.

I don’t read many business books. I much prefer reading fiction books as a means of relaxation away from the blogging world. But The One Thing got me hooked.

It made sense. In a world full of productivity tips and hacks it’s easy to spend your time reading about them instead of implementing them. The One Thing tells you how to focus on one thing.

Forget about multi-tasking and never-ending To Do Lists – concentrate on achieving one thing, the most important thing.

Because at any time when you ask yourself the question: “What’s the most important thing, right now?” there’s only one answer.

Sure, a few things might spring to mind, but when you drill down, you’ll be left with just one answer. And that’s the one thing you should do.

I always have a list of tasks that need completing, but now I know I can only do one thing at a time. It’s quite simple to apply the mantra, “What’s the most important thing, right now?” And then focus solely on completing that task before starting anything else.

I always have a list of tasks that need completing, but now I know I can only do one thing at a time. It’s quite simple to apply the mantra, “What’s the most important thing, right now?” And then focus solely on completing that task before starting anything else.

David Hartshorne – AzaharMedia.com

Harris Schachter

I’d have to say Essentialism by Greg McKeown. A business leader whom I greatly respect had read this book and loved it so much he purchased over 300 copies for our entire team to read. It taught me how to prioritize my time, that it is OK to say no to colleagues, and how to slow down to improve the quality of your work. It seems counter-intuitive but it has helped me greatly in transitioning from working hard on a lot of things to working smarter on only a few things (but achieving MUCH more progress and results).

Harris Schachter – OptimizePri.me

Casandra Campbell

The book Grit, by Angela Duckworth, has had a big impact on my life as an entrepreneur. It emphasizes the importance of working hard but also working smart. I have long believed that consistent effort is the key to entrepreneurial success. It’s not about having the best ideas or the most resources. It’s about daily, incremental practice and improvement. This is what Grit is all about. Duckworth uses new research to demonstrate that anyone can cultivate grit in themselves and accomplish major life goals. This book will inspire you to do the same while teaching you how.

Casandra Campbell – CasandraCampbell.com

Evgeniy Garkaviyt

The entrepreneurial book that has had the most profound impact on my life, including my business life was Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins. I have always known that I wanted to start my own business, but I kept procrastinating. After reading Unlimited Power, and learning how to get things started and staying motivated, I have not looked back.

Evgeniy Garkaviy – MarchesHour.co.uk

Gill Andrews

The book that affected my business the most is not a world-known bestseller but a free ebook I stumbled over online: “How to Save 23.3 Hours Each Week (And Get Twice as Much Done)by Chris Winfield.

My biggest challenge used to be staying focused and using my time efficiently. I used to spend 5 hours at my desk but accomplish as much as an hour of work, procrastinating or trying to multitask. And as much as I tried to stay focused, I just couldn’t do it.

So when I saw someone tweeting about that book, it immediately got my attention. I didn’t have high hopes for it (how much can you expect from a free ebook?), but I clicked anyway, because I needed any advice I could get.

The system introduced in this book radically changed the way I work, and, most importantly, how fast I can get things done. It talks about the Pomotoro technique – a system where you work in 25-minute intervals on one task with no distractions taking a 5-minute break after every 25 minutes.

I was skeptical at first because I was afraid the short intervals and many breaks will interrupt my train of thought while I write, but it appeared to be the opposite.

The very first week I used this system, I managed to tackle 5 days of workload in just 3 days with a bad cold. Since then, I’ve been using this system daily. In fact, I’m writing these lines while my Pomodoro timer is running.

Gill Andrews – Gillandrews.com

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This book is the best psychology book I have read so far. It teaches you how to deal with people in a way that makes anyone like you more. Very powerful.

Rafi Chowdhury – Chowdhurysdigital.com

I have always been quite influenced by the many times inconspicuous messages that books and movies offer us. I love inspiring and motivating stories that push you to follow your dreams and drive you to reach your goals.

It has always been like so for me since forever, so I can’t really say that it was one book (or anything else) in particular but maybe a set of things that shaped my mind into pursuing my objectives and try to excel in life and business.

With that said, I would recommend anyone needing some inspiration and motivation to read “Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography” by Walter Isaacson to get to know one of brightest minds of our times and be contaminated by Steve Job’s philosophy and way of thinking business.

Louie Luc – BuzzNitrous.com

What’s Your Favorite Entrepreneurship or Business Book?

Now that you’ve had the opportunity to hear from some of the best experts within our industry on what their favorite books are, it’s time for you to share as well. Feel free to leave a comment with what you’ve currently been reading, and how it’s helped transform your life or business.If you enjoyed what you read in this post, be sure to check out my other article on

If you enjoyed what you read in this post, be sure to check our other expert roundup on how to start a successful blog.

 

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Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at ZacJohnson.com, as well as the founder of BloggingTips.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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The Importance of Eye-Catching and Trendy Topics for Your Blog Content

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Today, there are more blogs on the internet than ever before and over 3 million blog posts gets published on the Internet every day. So, you have to develop a strategy to separate yourself from other blogs and show your audience that you’re worth remembering. Getting your blog noticed requires three essential elements: focusing on a niche and writing for a targeted audience, balancing evergreen topics with trends and ensuring shareability. As we see, it all starts with eye-catching and trendy topics. But why? Let’s explore.

Driving Traffic

What keeps a blog alive? It’s consistent flow of traffic – new as well as returning. Creating a perfect balance between evergreen topics and trendy topics is one of the best ways to have sustainable traffic. Ideally, your blog should have a perfect mixture of both trending and evergreen content. While evergreen content never expires, trendy content keeps it relevant. Eye-catching and trendy content proves that your blog is living “in the moment” and paying attention to what’s happening around. That’s why it’s always important to cover the space that’s trendy and interesting to your audience. One of the most significant ways to develop a loyal online following is being part of the conversation. Readers value fresh and trendy content. And they prefer frequent sites that feature constant updates about whatever matters most to each individual user. So Be There or Be Square!

Creating Value

Avinash Kaushik, the author of Web Analytics 2.0 and Web Analytics: An Hour a Day, once said “Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life”. To rise above the noise, you need to provide incredible value to your readers consistently using your blog. Timely and relevant content is the best way for creating value for your audience. That’s why when it comes to capturing and holding attention, trending content always wins over other content. Trending topics get more traction as they’re relatively more valuable to the reader. Being useful and relevant is the only way to get readers to tune-in. They relate with your post, thank you and engage. When users are engaged, they will be your returning visitor, interact with your content and share it.

create viral content

Better Search Ranking

Creating fresh trendy content is much more fun than creating back-links but it has the same effect. Such content is more likely to get organic links and social shares as well. Always keep in mind that social networks represent a huge mass of people who stand behind the web page and the brand. So, increase “shareability” of your content with trendy and eye-catching topics. That’s how you outrank the competition when there are millions of people posting content daily. At its core, fresh content is content that is up-to-date, newsworthy and relevant to current events. When it comes to Query Deserves Freshness (QDF), Google tries to identify the topics and search requests where the user has a desire for new and current contents. Thus, when the spike in search volume occurs, Google prioritizes websites with high freshness score (fresh results) compared to websites with low freshness score (stale results). Celebrities’ death, affair, break up, new release etc. always create a massive amount of new articles around the topic. For example, Stan Lee died in 12 November, 2018. If we look at the Google trends data for that particular week – 12 November, 2018 to 18 November, 2018, we notice that Google marked the search term “Stan Lee” as “Breakout”. It means this particular search term grew by more than 5000%. Now let’s see how content publishers leveraged this spike in search volume. If you google “Stan Lee”, you should find lots of articles on the Google first page which were actually published on 12 November and the following week! These pages didn’t even exist before 12 November. They just outranked thousands of pages with their fresh contents.

Lowering bounce rate

One of the most common blogging obstacles is finding a way to hook and keep your audience engaged and lower bounce rate. Time sensitive content can be the answer. Trendy and fresh content is catchier than general truths or case studies. Time sensitive trendy content shows that you’re on top of the news and you’re ready and willing to write something that can be used immediately. So, do not hesitate to get going right away when you are working with eye-catching and trendy topics. By introducing an element of urgency, you can get your target audience to take notice. While working with trendy contents, don’t go for random trends. Identify the core target audience of the blog and create trendy content around that audience and your niche. Google loves niche content on websites. When someone clicks a result on the SERP, Google pays attention to how long they stay on that particular website or blog and there are no better signals than engaged users on a specific site.

Increasing shareability

Love it or hate it, social media is integral to how audiences discover, consume and engage with content. That’s why shareability of your content matters. But what makes a piece of content shareable in the first place? There are certain qualities that shareable pieces have in common. And undoubtedly, eye-catching and trendy topics is one of them. If more people share your content, it will increase your reach and the likelihood of others engaging with your content. Anytime a reader shares your content on social media, search engines count it as a “vote of confidence” in your brand.

Now you know the importance of eye-catching and trendy topics for your blogging. So, the next question is: how to find trendy topics? There are many ways to tap into trends, understand what your audience is searching for, and discover unexpected ways to reach new people. Let’s explore some very effective tools.

Google Trends

When one term in particular spikes in relation to other searches, Google classifies it as a trend. And Google suggests us to use Google Trends to find the trends. While traditional keyword research tools tend to be very one-dimensional, Google Trends shows you a multidimensional view of queries. If you want to check factors like seasonality, geographic location, and media coverage, Google Trends is second to none. It helps us to “Explore what the world is searching.” Google Trends enables us to compare search terms and see their popularity over time. Google has recently revamped the Trending searches option available within Google Trends. This revamped Trending searches section shows what is trending in search right now, both daily and minute-by-minute. If a trend is going up this means to focus energy on creating content for this trend.

Google Keyword Planner

Keyword research is the process of learning the words and phrases people typically use to search for information online. If you want to do keyword research to understand what people are actually searching for, Google offers a free keyword research tool: Google Keyword Planner. It’s a wonderful tool for the bloggers looking for topics to blog about. Google Keyword Planner enables you to stay on top of keyword trends and ensure content remains relevant. With Keyword Planner, you can find trendy topics for your blog that are relevant to your niche. Google’s Keyword Planner tool has very recently undergone a rigorous revamp. With this revamped planner, you can see beautiful chart illustrating the keyword volume trends for a certain period of time. The new mobile, location and trending data paired with these super-useful visualizations should help bloggers to find trendy topics for blogging. But keep in mind that Google Keyword Planner has been designed with Adwords advertisers in mind. So, it is quite natural that there are some features in the tool that might not be useful for the bloggers.

Ahrefs Content Explorer

When it comes to topic finding tools, there are a few that are as effective and efficient as Ahrefs Content Explorer. Content Explorer helps blogger find the most shared and ‘linked-to’ content. You can use publish date filter to figure out latest trends for a particular niche. You can also use any keyword into content explorer and it will generate a list of the most popular articles based on their “performance metrics”. There are different types of metrics including Social shares, Organic search traffic and Referring domains.

One final tip. Each type of blog has its particularities, rules, and trends. So, go with the trends but don’t forget your audience and you niche. Don’t forget why you do blogging or the reason that prompted you to initiate the blog. You might have a million trendy topics bouncing around your head, but stay focused on and loyal to your niche and choose the ones that your audience is waiting for.

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8 Brilliant Ideas to Improve Customer Service for Your Business

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The business world is booming across the globe and America is leading the way with 30 million registered small businesses in operation across the country.

Why is business so hot right now? Because the economy is on fire.

Consumer confidence is up, unemployment is down, and people are spending money. All of that means tremendous opportunity for business owners who are willing to throw their products and services into the fray.

Just because opportunity is out there though doesn’t mean that cashing in on it is easy. With all of the competition, it can be hard to attract and retain customers.

One of the best ways to cut through your market’s clutter is to have outstanding customer service. Therein lies the aim of this article.

We want to teach you how to improve customer service within your organization so you can boost consumer retention and create brand evangelists!

1. Don’t Aim for the Lowest Common Denominator

You may be surprised to hear this, but when it comes to how to improve customer service, for most organizations it’s not about building policies around offering outstanding consumer experiences. It’s about building policies around competition.

That’s a horrendous way to approach your customer service philosophy.

Having good customer service doesn’t mean offering the average of what everybody else is offering. It means taking the time to dig into the consumer experience and ask yourself what it is your customers want.

Once you have an answer to that question, even if the resulting directives put you ahead of what’s expected per industry standards, implement them.

Be a trailblazer when it comes to your customer service experience. Be consumer-centric. Don’t be a copycat.

2. People Want Their Issues Solved… Period

A lot of people mistake offering good customer service as being over the top. You hear stories all the time of companies sending people pizzas or giving them $1000 worth of products because they experienced a simple shipping snag with a product.

That’s not where your team’s head should be at.

Doing outlandish things for customers isn’t scalable and it isn’t what’s going to put your business on the map as one that’s noted for outstanding customer service.

What’s going to move the needle for you systematically is simply being able to solve people’s problems, fast.

Focus on what consumers need, not on what they don’t.

3. Get Customers In Front of a Person Immediately

There is nothing more frustrating than arguing with robots on the phone. Do not subject your customers to that experience.

Only have them interfacing with robots for the most necessary reasons and get them to an operator, ASAP.

4. Make Customer Service a Priority

Answering the question of how to improve customer service isn’t something that can be done by making it the keynote in a meeting, coming away with some bullet-point directives, and revisiting the issue in a year.

Good customer service takes being made a priority.

Remember, people are willing to pay more for products and services if they know they’re going to get good service.

Because of that, you don’t want to look at customer service attention as something that’s going to drain your resources. You’ll want to look at it as a financial investment!

5. Find Opportunity in Negative Feedback

If you’re annoyed whenever you see a 1-star review come in on Google, Facebook or Yelp, don’t be. There is a lot of opportunity that can come from bad reviews.

For starters, your bad reviews may reveal places where you can make improvements to your business. That insight is extremely valuable.

Second, when you respond to negative (and sometimes irate) reviews with professionalism and tact, you show onlookers that they can trust you.

That will translate into more level-headed customers taking the leap and doing business with you.

You can read more here about the opportunity that exists in angry customers.

6. Survey Customers

Feedback is essential to successfully navigating all of your “how to improve customer service” concerns. Don’t be afraid to ask people for it.

When a customer service call or chat is over, ask people if they’ll take a quick survey. After a call, send a follow-up email to customers asking for their feedback.

Whatever you can do to get people’s honest perspective on how your team is performing is well worth any time and investment it takes to get those features in place.

7. Have Self-Help Resources, but Don’t Make Contact Impossible

Having an FAQ document on your website is a great way to answer consumer’s simple questions without tying up your phone lines. They are not an excuse to not let people contact you though.

So many companies hide their contact information behind pages and pages of tutorials and FAQ’s when all customers want to do is speak to someone.

If your customers don’t want to read, don’t make them. Always give people the option to reach out to someone on your support team.

8. Never Tolerate Unprofessional Behavior From Your Team

We appreciate that irate customers can be difficult to deal with and that some of those customers may not be worth the money they bring to your company. Still, there is no reason for your customer support team to stoop to customer’s bad behavior.

If you’re noticing your staff firing back at rude customers in a way that is unprofessional, reprimand them. If the behavior continues, re-train them. If it persists, let them go.

As a business, you’re held to a higher standard than your customers. If you or your team doesn’t believe that, you have no business competing in today’s market.

Wrapping Up Ideas on How to Improve Customer Service for Your Business

We’ve just shared with you 8 outstanding ideas on how to improve customer service for your business. Our recommendation is to implement as many of our suggestions as possible as quickly as possible.

If you do, you’ll notice the benefits almost immediately.

For more of the best business advice you can find online, check our additional content on Blogging Tips!

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The Top 10 E-Commerce Blogs Every Store Owner Needs to Follow

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E-commerce is a very wide business that has many different branches, niches and it is always expanding and changing. Therefore, in order to become or keep being successful, we need to constantly update our knowledge and look for ways to improve our business strategies.

A fantastic and very interesting way to do it is by reading the best blogs about e-commerce on the internet. We enjoy success stories like 30 under 30 in e-commerce, so why not read more content like this? In this article you’ll find short reviews about 10 e-commerce blogs that we recommend reading.

A Better Lemonade Stand

A Better Lemonade Stand is one of the most popular e-commerce blogs lately that is mostly read by entrepreneurs of new projects but also remembered by experienced business people.

The blog mostly focuses on practical articles that give useful advice to entrepreneurs. Currently, it has more than 35k subscriptions and can offer video training and some interesting case studies.

Bloggingtips.com

Bloggingtips.com is a fresh yet very interesting blog that we started about e-commerce to read and grasp some new ideas for your current or future business.

It is mainly focused on blogging and can truly offer some valuable tips on how to gain more profits by adding a blog to your e-commerce website. It also explains the advantages of committed long term blogging that will help you not lose motivation for continuing to write it. Also, it has many articles on how to do it correctly and efficiently.

Profitindustry.com

Profitindustry.com is another new e-commerce blog that is full of useful information, innovative ideas, and articles about the best ecommerce platforms which is very handy for anyone who is interested in this kind of business.

Here you’ll also discover some interesting interviews and reviews. There aren’t so many of them on the website yet, because it’s a completely new project, but some promising content is coming up very soon.

eCommerceFuel

eCommerceFuel is both an e-commerce blog and a private community that is mostly focused on the experienced 7-figure plus e-shop owners.

Here you can find interesting and inspirational podcast to listen to, a listing of e-commerce jobs, a private discussion forum with thousands of monthly contributions, and exclusive tools to help you grow your business even more.

Get Elastic

Get Elastic is an e-commerce blog that has an insanely high amount of subscriptions and was named to be number one e-commerce blog by the PosRak, which is a serious evaluation.

The blog has much valuable insights on e-commerce and is absolutely worth subscribing and reading. It was even chosen as top 15 entrepreneur blogs worth reading by the Wall Street Journal, which is a high rank too.

Shopify Blog

Shopify is one of the most known e-commerce platforms worldwide, so there’s no surprise they have a pretty insightful blog of their own where you can find valuable advice on e-commerce.

It’s believed to be one of the most favorite blogs to read between people who work with e-commerce because it is more social than any others. This is because the articles receive many comments and there are always lively discussions happening.

Bigcommerce

Bigcommerce is an e-commerce blog and platform with 99,99% uptime which is highly reliable and valued by their customers. On the blog, you’ll find useful articles and posts on marketing, e-commerce, and also selling.

It’s also a great treat for those of you who enjoy some quality case studies – you’ll discover quite a few of them here.

Volusion

Volusion has more different content than the usual e-commerce websites and blogs. Volusion also offers webinars to their readers where you can learn more about the topic you care about.

The blog focuses on fresh e-commerce insights so that you would be always updated. Here you’ll discover some wider topics like SEO, marketing, and much more.

Internet Retailer

Internet Retailer is a place for those of you who like to read about strategies, data analysis, and technical information. It even has different segments of Research & Data, New & Analysis, and Learning Lab on their website so you could focus on the topics you care most about.

And for those who want to keep up with the trends and the newest information possible – there is also a “Trending Topics” segments with the latest news and updates.

Bootstrapping Ecommerce

Bootstrapping Ecommerce is both an e-commerce and marketing blog, which is very useful because these two topics couldn’t possibly function without each other.

The blog is written by Shabbir Nooruddin and is mainly meant for entrepreneurs, kickstarters, and startupers – the ones who are new to the business and want to learn more.

The World of eCommerce and Online Business

If you enjoyed this list of top ecommerce blogs, be sure to check out my other article on how to get started with your own online business, and finding the right dropshippers and payment processors for your ecommerce site. Once you start to compile a list of trusted and recommended companies and solutions to work with, it will make the launch process a whole lot easier.

 

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