When it comes to internet marketing, there’s a lot that can be learned, absorbed, and used towards building your business. Just think about the $460 billion US market share for internet marketing revenue or the $786 billion market projected for 2026. With so much out there, I drew up a list of the top 15 internet marketing books that have inspired me and countless others. After reading these, you may just be the next internet marketing billionaire.
1. Digital Marketing Strategy by Simon Kingsnorth
Technology has advanced from what it was 10 years ago, and internet marketing is evolving much the same way. In Simon Kingsnorth’s bestseller, he shows readers a more strategic approach to online marketing. If you need a book to guide you through the intricacies of e-commerce, affiliate marketing, and working with automation tools, this is the one.
It explores how to make use of analytics and AI in marketing, so you know how best to draw insights from a vast pool of data to meet your internet marketing goals. The book is a practical hands-on guide that shows you everything you need to know to be successful in your digital marketing campaigns, drawing from real-world case studies of various billion-dollar companies.
2. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
Wait, are we talking marketing or boxing? Well… both. In this book, Gary Vaynerchuk, a CEO of a multi-million-dollar company shows you how to apply boxing techniques to selling on the internet. It draws on the premise that no expert boxer would get into the boxing ring and try to knock out an opponent with a single blow. Apparently, it involves a series of jabs—‘efforts’—before delivering the right hook—‘marketing’—as a knockout effect.
He explains that anyone looking to make sales on the internet must be willing to put in the work of creating content and engaging their audience (in a series of jabs) to warm them up. This ultimately leads them to want to buy from you when you’re ready to sell. All of these would require you to make the most of each social media platform in its right context before knocking them ‘in’ to your sales with a ‘right hook’.
3. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
A masterpiece from the award-winning writer Joe Pulizzi, Epic Content Marketing offers insight into how to do internet marketing right. It brings to mind how everything about digital marketing has evolved from simply throwing sales messages to people (who may not even be paying attention), to learning how to meet your audience where they are.
It takes you through the process of developing stories that inform, entertain, and compel customers to act. It further explains how to build you following by understanding who your audience is, carving out a niche, and reaching them through the right social media marketing strategy. It's safe to say that if you're tapping into the billion-dollar internet marketing industry, you must know your audience—and what they want—before you can deliver.
4. The Digital Pivot: Secrets of Online Marketing by Eric Schwartzman
If you already have a start in online marketing, you know that a lot has changed in the last couple of years, and some strategies are no longer working. In The Digital Pivot, Eric invites his readers to take a different approach to their digital marketing campaigns. He digs into the core of internet marketing and emphasizes the need to understand the different types of media available.
Your owned media—which refers to your website presence—should resonate with your visitors when they come and inspire them to keep coming. Your shared media—which are your social media accounts—should come second, then your focus should go to third-party media which is earned and paid media which refers to your advertising (influencer marketing), last.
5. Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
Another favorite from the best-selling author of ‘This is Marketing’ you can never want for ideas on how to improve your internet marketing with Seth Godin. In Permission Marketing, he explores the intricacies of interruptive and permission marketing and shows you how to milk the latter to your advantage.
It explains how people have become bored with viewing online advertising and traditional media, and why it’s no longer effective. He further explains how you can get customers to learn more about a product that offers value by asking them to take action, repeatedly. He explains how this can be done by first taking the step to build a great relationship with your customers, as this will make them naturally willing to buy from you.
6. The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott
This is another great book redefining internet marketing for anyone savvy enough to read it. It explains why a great online presence is great for your business, explores the importance of social media marketing, and shows you how use of great content across multiple platforms can reach your audience.
In summary, it details why a great brand image is important and needs to be protected to gain loyal customers and retain existing ones. It further explains the need to explore video and audio podcast tools to tell your brand story.
7. Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller
An Amazon bestseller, Building a Story Brand explains how to sell to your customers using the storytelling strategy. In simple terms, it describes how you can make reading your brand message and sales page, or generally learning about your product, an interesting adventure for your customers. To do this, you have to think about an exciting story you loved reading or listening to.
What stood out to you? Likely, it was the hero, and how the story connects to your personal experiences or that of someone you know. This book invites you to do the same—make your client your hero, help them feel connected by talking about something personal that your product or service can solve, and then describing the change they can hope to have when using your product.
In short, use stories to help them visualize where they want to be and how you can help them get there. This is a classic guide for beginners and business owners alike.
8. The Art of SEO by Eric Enge
The Art of SEO is another masterpiece for anyone looking to dive into search engine marketing. It takes so much more than just keywords and blindly adding links. It details everything about a compelling SEO strategy, with important facts and statistics to bear in mind at any level of your marketing plan.
It’s not your everyday fun read, but if you’re looking for a practical guide to take you from zero knowledge of search engine optimization to as close to a hundred as you can or want to be, the book is your SEO bible. As you might already know, information is critical to internet marketing, and to be in the faces of those who need what you offer, you need a complete SEO strategy.
9. Youtility by Jay Baer
The goal of every internet marketer is to see their marketing campaigns convert. In Youtility, Jay Baer invites you to momentarily take the focus off yourself and your marketing efforts, and instead direct it to your customer.
Instead of simply hyping your products, think about how your content can help customers make better decisions. Done correctly, they’ll eventually trust you enough to make a purchase. Of course, you can only get that to happen if you appear early enough in the buying process with the right, relevant information.
10. Traffic Secrets by Russel Brunson
No one shows how to generate online traffic better than the CEO of ClickFunnels himself. In this book, he shares the secrets behind the success of his company, sharing with his readers a step-by-step guide on how best to get customers who are already online. He claims that if you go to where your customers are, inspire them to join your mailing list, and don’t stop providing value to them, they’ll be ready to buy when you launch your next product.
Of course, before you’re able to find your customers as a business owner, you must know who they are, what they want, and what’s going on in their minds. With this, you can leverage any available platform to hook them in, tell them a compelling story, and share an offer they’ll always be ready to buy.
11. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
To sell anything online, you need to understand the psychology of your prospective customers. In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr. Cialdini takes readers through the principles that influence human behavior and makes anyone want to buy a product even if they don’t need it.
As an internet marketer, understanding some or all of these tools can get you raking in more sales online even faster than you imagined. All principles identify patterns that are etched deep in the human subconscious that could easily make them yield where they have naturally been rigid.
12. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
If you’ve been thinking about getting your products and services in the faces of more people, add this masterpiece to your list. A product of years of experience, he explains how content, products, and brands have gained popularity over the years and how you can leverage similar principles.
He explains how word-of-mouth marketing supersedes all other forms of marketing, especially for small businesses, as it’s more direct and almost of zero cost. It’s effective because it’s solely based on trust and targeted at the very person who needs it. One of the most popular books read by CMOs in 2022, you sure don’t want to miss this one.
13. Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer
Another classic must-read for internet marketers and startup founders, Baer invites online marketers to make ‘lemonade’ out of a typical online ‘lemon’ situation. If you’re finding it difficult to deliver a satisfying user experience to your customers, then don’t joke with Hug Your Haters.
He explains how to make the most of your negative feedback for better results, and how to prioritize all of your customer feedback for increased profit. It’s a go-to on how to manage negative feedback using the H.O.U.R.S. method and how to win back distraught customers using the F.E.A.R. method.
14. The Big Data-Driven Business by Russell Glass & Sean Callahan
Data is the lifeblood of successful internet marketing and Russell Glass, head of Product, Linkedin marketing solutions, draws on real-world case studies to prove this. Anyone looking to take marketing to the next level will find this book a useful guide on how to understand their ever-evolving customer base.
It’s a great guide to learning how to use data to understand where your customers are, where they’ve been, and where they will be. It also shows you how to harness all that information for your profit.
15. Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson
In this Amazon bestseller, Russell Brunson breaks down everything you need to know to take your online business from a lifeless website into one that’s buzzing with potential customers. He explains his funnel creation secrets; good bait, front, mid, and back-end funnel offers that ultimately convert to sales.
He shows readers how a great persona, great product, and reverse-engineering other people’s successful funnels can also lead you to the path of success.
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