5 Must-Read Books for Internet Marketers

Ian Lurie

I have 5 books that I re-read at least once a year. If you’re an internet marketer, or looking to become one, I recommend having a look:

“Ogilvy on Advertising” (David Ogilvy)

Ogilvy’s book is the definitive work, in my opinion. His advice, and his methods, are timeless. Ogilvy writes beautifully, too, so this is an enjoyable read.

Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples

“Tested Advertising Methods (Prentice Hall Business Classics)” (John Caples, Fred E. Hahn)

John Caples was quite a character, I think. His book changed advertising in the 20th Century. If you’ve had enough of folks telling you about ‘eyeballs’ and ‘attention metrics’, read Caples. His advice about testing and direct marketing work just as well today as they did 70 years ago.


“Defensive Design for the Web: How to improve error messages, help, forms,

and other crisis points (VOICES) (37signals, Matthew Linderman, Jason Fried)

Contingency design is the root of good Conversation Marketing. This book is a fast read. Yet I continue to find stuff in there that I’ve either forgotten or never would have considered.


“The User Is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and

Using Personas for the Web (VOICES)” (Steve Mulder, Ziv Yaar)

The User is Always Right goes into just enough detail. You learn to create useful personas without going off the deep end.


“Clear Blogging: How People Blogging Are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them” (Bob Walsh)

Whether you’re a blogger or not, Walsh’s book will teach you how online communities work.

And a bonus:


“Atlas Shrugged” (Ayn Rand)

Because every now and then you need a renewal of faith.

And, of course, there’s always my book, too. Cough cough.

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Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (that's more than 25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team, training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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