Our Free Guides
Every month, we publish a new free guide to help our clients and web visitors to improve the way that they market their business online.
We guarantee them to be as jargon-free as possible.
Practical Content Strategy (Updated September 2014)
Below, you’ll find our staff recommendations for the best books that we’ve read on various topics related to marketing, advertising, and related business topics.
The Copywriter’s Handbook by Bob Bly
No fluff in this one. Direct explanations of how to write ads and other commercial copy for every category and medium that you can think of. Every page has valuable knowledge. It’s strongly biased towards old media, but all of it can be applied to similar and ad types on the internet.
Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
If you’re stuck on headlines, buy this book. It not only gives you formulas that have been proven to work, but explains to you exactly why they work and how to use them.
Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
Be sure to grab one of the paper editions. The reproductions of classic ads are what make it worth buying. This is an essential overview of how the advertising business ought to work. It deals in principles of human nature, so it has held up well over time despite all the technological change in the industry.
Crackerjack Positioning by Don Reynolds Jr.
A more broadly-applicable book than the description as a niche marketing manual might indicate. If you’re having trouble developing a unique selling proposition for your business, this can boost you over the hump.
Advanced Google Adwords by Brad Geddes
This is the best book on how to run an ad campaign on Google’s platform. Although it’s a long technical manual, every chapter has valuable information. It’s far more efficient to spend a few days studying this book, taking notes, and putting stickies on the most important parts than it is to spend too much time hunting for free resources.
The Man Who Sold America: The Amazing (but True!) Story of Albert D. Lasker and the Creation of the Advertising Century by Jeffrey L. Cruikshank and Arthur W Schultz
This gripping biography of an advertising entrepreneur who prospered during the Great Depression makes for some educational reading. In particular, it explains advertising’s role in modernizing the United States. It took an enormous amount of persuasion for people to adopt new machines, foods, medicines, and habits of life. People like Lasker were responsible for creating an entirely different sense of life around new technology. Read this if you want to find out about how Americans learned to use toothpaste.
My Life in Advertising by Claude Hopkins
An autobiography with a quick tempo. This will give you an appreciation of an early 20th century advertising tycoon who made no apologies for his line of work. He’s a guy who worked incredibly hard to understand every aspect his clients’ business. Hopkins is also the author of Scientific Advertising, which is the data-driven advertiser’s ur-text. Yup, they tested as many ads as possible when they had to tabulate everything by hand.