The 2022 business book list

The 2022 business book list

If your New Year’s resolution was to read more business books then boy do we have a shopping list for you!

Here’s a list of all the best books recommended last year on the Whin Big podcast by our wonderful guests. Have a browse and see what might work for you this year.

Books on business strategy and marketing

Who, Not How: The formula to achieving bigger goals through accelerated teamwork* by Dan Sullivan

This is a book about collaboration, the fact that we all have our zone of genius, and we should embrace that fact. Recommended by Heena Thacker

Rocket Fuel* by Gino Wickman & Mark C. Winters

Every business needs a visionary to get it off the ground; it’s liberating to appreciate that you need a ‘who’ in your business, not a ‘how can I do all of this myself?’ Recommended by Heena Thacker

I am my brand* by Kubi Springer

This is great for breaking down branding from a top-down perspective. This looks at the brand from a practical standpoint. Recommended by Cameron Glover.

The Introvert Entrepreneur* by Beth Buelow

One of the first writers to say ‘you can run your business your way’. Recommended by Suse B. Bentley.

Expert Secrets* by Russell Brunson

Anyone who sells skills, knowledge and expertise online then you absolutely have to read Expert Secrets. Brunson unpacks all of his knowledge around growing an online community in an easy to understand way. It’s worth tens of thousands of pounds. Recommended by Alan Martin.

Hack the Buyer Brain by Kenda Macdonald

Written rather recommended by one of our guests, this is a great manual for business owners looking to dramatically improve their email marketing and especially to get things automated and running on their own. Listen to our interview with Kenda.

Personal development books for business owners

The Practice* by Seth Godin.

Talks about the importance of showing up to work on something even when it’s hard, particularly for creative people. Recommended by Gillian McCollum and Maria Jones.

Do Less* by Kate Northrup

Discusses how women are cyclical beings and how to work within our cycle. The book shows how to align our business with our energy, step away from the hustle, and still make money, especially if you’re a mum in business. Recommended by Jacky Clarke.

Find your Thing* by Lucy Whittington

About finding what you enjoy doing, what resonates with you and other people – and being comfortable about doing that thing as your business—feeling confident about doing what you love. Recommended by Suse B. Bentley.

The 4 Tendencies* by Gretchen Rubin

All about finding your way to dealing with expectations – internal & external so life is easier to negotiate. Recommended by Abi Sea. We also referenced this in a previous episode on marketing and personality.

You are a Badass at Making Money* by Jen Sincero.

As a recovering perfectionist, our guest Gillian felt empowered by this book as it spoke to the idea that you don’t have to have everything  figured out in business and life. Recommended by Gillian McCollum.

* Links marked with a star are affliate links to When you buy through these links, a small portion of the cost of the book goes to supporting your local bookshop, and a small portion comes to The Whin. The books won’t cost you any extra!

Take charge of your content planning with this 6 step process

Take charge of your content planning with this 6 step process

I thought for years that if I just made a good enough content plan it would solve all my problems and I’d be wildly successful within 6 months. Content planning was the very first thing I tried to do when I went self employed. At the time I thought it was all about spreadsheets and colour coding.

And I know I’m not alone when I say the lure of that idea is still INCREDIBLY STRONG. I bet at least 1% of the reason you’re here right now reading this is because you’re hoping that maybe this time, maybe this article, will contain that magic bullet and everything will be perfect from here on out and forever.

I don’t usually aim to start a blog post by disappointing people, but this time, I think I’d better share a few reminders…

  • There’s no such thing as a perfect content plan
  • If you don’t stick to your content plan you’re not a failure, you’re normal
  • You need more than just a brainstorming session and a calendar template to pull a decent content plan together.

So there, 2017 Katie… If only you knew!

“There’s no such things as a perfect content plan.”

What do you need to make a good content plan?

Now, if we need more than a brainstorming session and a calendar template, let’s start by having a look at the things you do need to have and do, to put together your next content plan.

You will need:

  1. An understanding of your customers and what they need (try these Customer Persona templates)
  2. An outline of your customers’ Awareness Journey
  3. An app, spreadsheet, or paper and pen to make a list (This REALLY needs to be something you won’t lose or forget about…)
  4. Search terms or topics that matter to you and your customers
  5. Time
  6. Practise

I know you can’t “gather” time and practise like they’re ingredients for a recipe. I’ve just kept them in there to remind you that this isn’t a one-and-done activity. You’ve got to start somewhere and keep at it.

“This isn’t a one-and-done activity.”

Creating a customer-focussed content plan

Step 1 is to review your customer personas and your customer awareness journey. Get really focussed on THEM and what THEY need, and write down as many ideas as possible for content ideas that would be useful for them when they’re trying to achieve the goal or do the thing or solve the problem that you help with.

For each awareness stage, you could ask yourself:

Unaware – “If I were [your customer] and I didn’t yet realise I had a problem with [their problem], what kind of information would catch my eye?

Problem aware – “If I were [your customer] and I was worried about [their problem], what kind of information would I be looking for?

Solution aware – “If I were [your customer] and I wanted to [your solution] to solve [their problem], what information would I be looking for?”

Product aware – “If I were trying to [your solution] and I wanted to buy [your product], what questions would I have?”

At the “most aware” stage, people are typically interest in more static content, like sales pages and emails, rather than the kind of thing you’d find in a blog or podcast episode, you could skip this one in your content plan, if you prefer.

For each question, write down as many ideas as come up. I always get the most in the solution-aware stage, but I think that’s because of my love of “How to” guides, like this one!

How to make a content plan that’s good for your website SEO

Step 2 is to review the search data, if you have it, or to look at your social media data, website traffic data, etc. Use this to work out what topics or keywords are valuable to your audience – what are people searching at different stages of their awareness journey.

A lot of these topics will relate to what you’ve covered in the problem- and solution-aware parts of the customer awareness journey. This is where people do the most active searching for information, without including brand name keywords that are hard to compete for.

Make a list of these keywords in a different column/place than your list of ideas. If you’re doing a spreadsheet, probably a different tab, rather than a different column.

Now take your list of keywords and this famous list of content prompts and match them up, and write all these content ideas down on your first list. If you can match them up with awareness levels, even better.

How to make sure your content plan stays in your niche

Once you have this list, it makes sense to go back through it and check that everything that’s included fits into your niche – or your job description, or your area of expertise, or however you’d describe it. That’s step 3.

This is a really important step for your sanity, and to make sure you’re offering the right content to your audience.

OK, story time.

I’ve been working with a client recently who we’ll call Melinda. She has a YouTube channel where she makes craft tutorials, and promotes related equipment and software through affiliate links. Her target audience are mostly women who want to use the crafts to build themselves a secondary source of income, so when she was thinking about what they needed and the problems they wanted to solve, a lot of her answers were to do with running a small business, packaging and shipping, and other practicalities beyond the initial crafting.

This had caused a lot of stress because she was worried about researching these topics and creating authoritative, useful content, which didn’t just repeat what everyone else was saying.

But here’s the thing – all of these topics Melinda was worried about were outside of her niche. Yes, her audience are potential small business owners, but Melinda is not, and doesn’t want to be a business coach. She’s a craft teacher. Different job description. That clarity meant we were able to go through her list of ideas and easily eliminate the ones outside her niche that were causing stress, leaving her with a more manageable list of topics that she could get excited about working on. Success.

You may need to do the same – make a note of your job description, or your niche, and then run through your list of ideas and cross out anything which doesn’t fit, and especially anything that you’re stressed about creating! Then you can be confident that everything you create is going to attract the right kind of people, and you’re going to be offering them the best content that you can.

“Don’t create content that’s outside your job description – or which stresses you out.”

Creating a realistic content plan that you might actually use

Here’s the kicker, the hard bit. 

The part about making a good list of topics and ideas – you’ve probably done that a hundred times, if you’re anything like me. 

The part where you actually decide what to create and post, and when? Ooft, hate it. Mess it up all the time!

Which means Step 4 is where the practice and experience elements come in. If you’ve only been creating content for 5 minutes, then you’ll be taking a shot in the dark – which is fine, by the way, you’ve got to start somewhere!

But if you have a little bit more to go on, then think about what kind of content you’re good at creating, and in what volume/ frequency.

  • Can you, for example, make 5 easy-going reels in one hour?
  • Can you write a blog post every week? Or once a month?
  • Can you make a podcast episode every week, or a video?
  • Can you make an Instagram carousel post every 2 days
  • Can you go Live on Instagram every Wednesday morning?

I’m nervous about including these examples, because I’d hate for you to think they reflect what you “should” be doing. When it comes to a realistic content plan, then “should” is your worst enemy.

I don’t give a crap what you should be doing. Ignore what the marketing experts say.

You’ve got to know what you CAN do! Or what you WILL do. The shoulds are completely and utterly irrelevant. “Should” is the source of guilt, berating yourself, and all kinds of bad feelings. 

One thing that helps is to have core content and then extras.

Pick a small number of things – ideally one thing you publish on your website, something for your email list, and one or two things for social media – that you’ll do for each topic, and work out how often you CAN do those things together. Once a week, once a month, once a quarter? This will be your core content

On top of that, you can then add in other stuff – extra social posts are usually the main thing – where you might cover additional topics, or expand on the main one from your core content. Or you might add in extra emails which are a different format that go out on alternating weeks or a different day. Whatever appeals to you – not the things you think you should do, remember, but the things that feel doable and interesting.

I’m a marketing consultant, so MOSTLY, I do a cycle of core content once per week. It doesn’t always happen, but most weeks I muddle through. Remember, I’m a marketing consultant, so spending a day a week on marketing – that kind of comes with the territory. Your business is different, which means the pace and quantity and structure of your core/extra content can be entirely different too.

So, decide on your plan, what’s core content, what’s extra. Sketch out the outline of how this looks for the next 3-6 cycles (6-12 weeks worth), leaving space to write in the topics you’ll cover with your different content items. This is the step where you can make that cool colour-coded calendar, if you want to. Or set up a Trello board or make a list of dates or whatever works for you.

“Don’t think about what you ‘should’ do. Focus on what you CAN do!”

Finishing off your perfect content plan

I’m JOKING! OK, there’s no such thing as the perfect content plan. But this is the fun easy step, if you’ve gone right through steps 1-4.

Step 5 is simply to assign a topic to each content cycle. For me, that means picking four topics a month. For you, it might be different. I like to have a bit of flow between the topics, which helps with linking ideas together and that helps people to read or come back for more than one thing! But other times I’ll do a big jump to a new topic, which gives me the chance to make sure I’m covering a range of different things that matter to my customer. 

You can structure it however works best for you – maybe some seasonal things come up, maybe all your ideas are evergreen – they work any time. This step at least only needs to take a few minutes

How to actually complete your content planning

Now, if you got Step 4 right, you’ve got a better chance of following through with Step 6. This one is all about the execution. The planning part’s done. 

You might need to tidy up your list or transfer the content ideas for the month onto a post-it note, so you don’t forget about them. Or you might have task tracking software and you can put all the separate sub-tasks of content creation into that. 

Maybe you’ll dive straight in and start outlining that first piece of core content – strike while the iron’s hot, so they say – but make sure you’re thinking about when you’ll finish it it off, when you’ll do the next one, when you’ll make the extras alongside the core content, etc.

I’ve talked before about habits for content creation, so I won’t rehash those all here – have a listen to some of these podcast episodes instead!

Some tips on sticking to content creation habits:

Don’t worry, I’ve got more on this to come. I know that working through a content plan is the bit which requires the most support, accountability and perseverance, so you can bet there’ll be more content in the next few weeks about how to stick with your plan once you’ve created it! We’ll be looking at batching, scheduling, motivation and accountability etc – keep your eyes peeled!

The 6 step process to create your content plan

Just a quick recap – here’s all 6 steps in a list for you to work through

  1. Review your customer personas and awareness journeys to find content ideas
  2. Review SEO and keyword data to find content ideas
  3. Review your content ideas and prune topics that are outside your niche
  4. Decide on how much core and extra content you’ll create, and how often
  5. Assign ideas to each content cycle over the next 6-12 weeks
  6. Set yourself up for success by adding content tasks to your calendar or to-do list.

And a summary of all the resources and further reading from this post:

How to connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts

How to connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts

Sometimes it’s really useful to be able to cross-post content from Instagram to Facebook. And lucky for you, it’s way easier than it used to be!


Linked Accounts in Instagram

The first thing you need to do is to link your Facebook account with your Instagram business page. This needs to be the Facebook account that you use to manage your Facebook page. Most people only have one, which makes this easier.

Ideally, you’d have the Facebook app on your phone, as well as the Instagram app. Get signed in to the right Facebook account on that app, and then switch over to Instagram. Tap your profile icon, and then the menu button in the top right hand corner. Settings is what we’re looking for, and it’s right at the bottom of that menu.

In that menu, scroll to find the Accounts Centre, and tap to open it up.


The screen here will show you the accounts and profiles you currently have connected – it’s probably just your Instagram account right now.

Tap on the arrow next to Accounts and profiles and you’ll see the option to Add Accounts.

Instagram will usually suggest you add the Instagram account your signed into, and the Facebook account you’ve got signed in on your Facebook app at the same time.

Connect multiple accounts in Facebook Account Centre

You can only connect ONE Facebook account and ONE Instagram account to your account centre.

If you have multiple pages on both platforms and you want them all connected together, you’ll have a little more work to do.

First, make sure your Facebook profile (your personal profile, not the page) owns, or has admin access, to all the relevant Facebook pages. You’ll be able to share to your own profile, or to any of the pages you manage.

On Instagram, in the app, you need to make sure to sign in to all the profiles you want to connect into a single account. You can have up to 5 profiles signed in at the same time. Then go into your Settings, as described above, and scroll right to the end to the Logins section. Click the link to set up multi-account login, and choose one of the listed profiles to be the username and password that you use to sign in.

When you do this, anyone who signs into that profile will get access to all the connected ones, so be careful if you share login details with your team.

Share Instagram posts to the right Facebook page

Once you have your accounts added, you might want to double check that Instagram will share posts to the right Facebook page! You don’t want those business posts showing up on your personal profile and annoying all your friends.

In the Accounts Centre, tap on Story and Post sharing. Under Share from tap on your Instagram profile, and see what page or profile is listed under Share to. If it’s the right page, that’s great! If it’s the wrong one, simply tap on the arrow to the right and select the right page from the list.

If it doesn’t show up, you need to double check that the Facebook account you’ve connected is the same one you use to manage your Facebook page. If your profile doesn’t have admin access this won’t work!

This is also where you set the options to automatically share Feed and Story posts to your Facebook page, if that’s a priority for you.

Of course you’ll know Instagram has a whole host of other features for marketing your business, including links, Insights, Direct Messaging, and so on. If you want to make sure you’re using those correctly, why not use our free Instagram MOT training and checklist to give your account the once-over and make sure everything’s running smoothly? 

Add your Instagram to your Facebook Page

If you’re starting from your Facebook Page and want to make sure your can cross-post things to Instagram, you can also approach this task from the other angle, starting with the Facebook settings. Connecting the two accounts also allows you to use other Facebook tools to help manage your Instagram page, such as better ad targeting and a combined messaging inbox.

It’s easiest to do this while using Facebook in a browser on a computer, not in the mobile app, or on a mobile device, to access these settings. First, make sure you’re signed into the right Facebook account and go to your Facebook Page – if Facebook prompts you to Switch Profile to interact as your page, you should go ahead and do that.

In the top right corner of Facebook, click the little down arrow and choose Settings and Privacy.

Then on the menu that pops up, choose Settings again. On the next screen, look for Linked accounts in the left hand menu, and then you’ll be able to see if your Instagram account is already connected, and if not, hit that button to add it now.

This should be all you need to do!

One of the main benefits of connecting your Facebook and Instagram profiles is how easily you can share content on both channels at the same time. This is called cross-posting. We did a whole podcast episode on how to do cross-posting properly, so make sure you check that out.

4 marketing mistakes I wish I’d sorted sooner

4 marketing mistakes I wish I’d sorted sooner

Most business owners make mistakes when they first start their business. Many of us start without much training or experience in the nuances of business, marketing, finance and other key ideas. When I first became self employed in 2016 (two full years before founding The Whin), I mostly bumbled along with my OWN marketing through networking and word of mouth.

I WANTED to be good at online marketing, but most of what I’d learned came from certifications through HubSpot, and Google, and the free workshops of the Business Gateway and the Princes Trust. None of these training courses really got into the details of what I needed to know about online marketing, so I made a lot of mistakes.

Now that I’ve learned better, my business runs more smoothly, and ACTUALLY makes enough money for me to live off! These insights are key to the marketing training offered in the All-in-Whin Marketing Method, so if any of the mistakes feel familiar, you might want to take a look!

Here are the four marketing mistakes I wish I’d sorted sooner!

Trying to be everywhere at once.

There’s a LOT of social media platforms that you could be using. Step 1 of starting a business seems to be to go on all of them and create a profile for your business.

But actually posting on all those social channels sucks. It takes so much time and creativity to come up with posts just for one channel – trying to do all of them is a recipe for failure or burn out.

Although you might experiment with different platforms before you find your favourite, after a few weeks you need to make a choice.

The best marketing strategies focus on ONE social media platform at a time.

First you get really good at Instagram and build an audience there. THEN you diversify and start building your audience on Pinterest or TikTok. THEN you might consider adding a third platform as well, with some help from automation, batching or hiring an assistant!

When I first started I was posting to 3 or 4 different profiles all at the same time. I didn’t know which platform was most important to me, and I didn’t have a strategy to build a community and grow my business.

When I consider all the time I spent Tweeting when I could have been doubling down on LinkedIn, I get a wee tinge of regret! We live and we learn!

Not taking my email list seriously

On the topic of Things I Could Have Been Doing Instead of Tweeting, writing an email newsletter is pretty near the top of the list.

My early attempts at an email list were a bit half hearted. I’d meet people at networking events and get their business cards When I emailed them to connect afterwards, I’d share the link to sign up for my mailing list.

Unsurprisingly, most people didn’t sign up.

Because there were only about 15 people on the list, I didn’t feel like it was worth spending time writing the newsletters, and because I wasn’t writing the newsletters, I didn’t feel great about encouraging people to sign up! It was a bit of a downward spiral.

But here’s the thing I didn’t figure out until later:

People don’t sign up because they’re excited to read your emails, they sign up because they think you can get them results.

They sign up when you share a freebie or a discount or some kind of ‘test drive’ of your products or services in exchange for your email address. Then they read your emails BECAUSE they liked the free thing AND you’ve got engaging subject lines and good content.

So you have to START writing the good emails and offering the good freebies when your list is teeny tiny, because it won’t grow at all if you don’t.

Does it feel strange to put all that time and effort into creating content that only 30 people will see? A little bit! But if someone gave you the opportunity to give a ten-minute talk at a networking event of 30 people, would that feel like a waste of time? 30 people feels like a much bigger group when you can see all their faces!

My last email newsletter of 2020 went out to 201 people, but I only really focussed on BUILDING that list in the last year. If I’d started 4 years ago…. I can only imagine how many people I’d be reaching now!

Lacking clarity about my services

Another mistake I made early on was to try and describe my services in a way that made everyone feel included. I wasn’t sure about the kind of customers I wanted, so I wanted to try and appeal to as many people as possible. Instead of being really clear about what I was good at and WANTED to offer, I left things really open and tried to encourage people to get in touch and tell me about their projects so I could make up a service package which exactly suited them.

This… did not go well. People find it really hard to imagine what’s possible when you keep it vague or overly ‘flexible’. It’s much easier if you can list case studies of past projects, or better yet, defined services that have clear pricing, timescales and benefits.

Make sure you give details on:

  • what you do,
  • who it’s for,
  • how long it takes and
  • how much it costs.

That makes it so much easier for people to reach out to you and say “I like this but can we tweak it?”

Instead of an overview of digital marketing and a list of EVERY POSSIBLE task which might be included, I now have a page on my website which lists two specific consultancy packages. There’s a one-off Instagram Power Hour, and a monthly Marketing Mastermind. Underneath I do let people know I can do a bespoke package as well, but it’s way easier for people to engage when I’ve got concrete examples right there on the page.

It’s the same for every training course, webinar, freebie, workshop or anything else that I want to offer – there’s a specific page on the website that tells you what it is, who it’s for, how long it takes and how much it costs – with a button to click and sign up. It’s easier for my customers to understand, AND for me to share the information easily when people ask what services I offer.

Shying away from sales

You CANNOT run a business without making sales, and yet so many of us shy away from asking for the sale.

In my mind, I’ve often felt like I don’t want to ASK someone to buy, because if they want to buy, they’ll do that of their own accord. Anytime I have to pitch to someone – either in a consultation call, or on a webinar, or even in a networking meeting – I feel super awkward and usually say at least one thing I regret later.

But that doesn’t mean I get to avoid sales entirely, or else I wouldn’t have much of a business! What I’ve found works best for me is to try, as much as possible, to connect the sales pitch to something I’ve already offered that’s valuable, and usually where I don’t have to deliver it live or unscripted. So in a blog post or a podcast episode, for example, or on an Instagram Story or post.

The more often I say or write out the pitch for a product or service, the more it gets ingrained in my mind, and the less awkward I feel about sharing that same information on a live video or in conversation.

I think of it like this – I’m completely comfortable sharing information about how to follow me on Instagram, how to sign up to my mailing list, where to find the show notes for the podcast episodes, or how to access the freebies that I offer. I don’t get anxious about sharing that information, because I do it ALL the time.

The only thing that’s different about pitching a training course over my email list is that I don’t do it so often, and it costs people money. There’s never going to be a time where it DOESN’T cost money, so I can’t work around that part, but I CAN practise the pitch (and you can too!)

You guessed what comes next….

Each of these marketing mistakes is something I’ve battled with and overcome. I’ve funnelled all of those insights and experiences into the All-in-Whin Marketing Method.

Online marketing is pretty intimidating as a new business owner, and so it’s helped me enormously to develop an easy-to-understand method of marketing my business which I can adapt and repeat across all my different products and services.

Now’s your opportunity to stop muddling through and making it up as you go.

Instead, you can join us on the All-in-Whin training course and learn a marketing method which will work for your business and for you. It’s a 12-week course with training videos, step-by-step guides, exercises to work on in your business, and weekly live training/coaching calls to guide you through everything. You can buy the course once and get life-time access to all future updates, so there’s no pressure to race through everything. And you can use it again and again for different services as your business grows.

There’s lots more information available on the course page, so click the big yellow button below to take a look and get registered. We start in February 2021 – I can’t wait to see you there!

Best business books for small business owners

Best business books for small business owners

When was the last time you got a really great book recommendation? One so good you just had to follow it up and read it straight away? If you’re on the hunt for your next favourite book, or you’re looking for a bookish gift for your favourite book worm, then check out our round up below.

The Whin’s Business Book Roundup 2020

If you’re anything like us, you’re always on the lookout for the next great read, especially if you love learning new ways to make a positive impact on your business or your own personal development.

Over at The Whin Big Podcast, we get awesome book tips on a fortnightly basis. Our podcast guests come armed with their favourite business and self development books to share with you, our listeners.

Warning! May cause excessive book shopping!

Thanks to our inspiring guests, The Whin Big Podcast listeners (and everyone on the podcast team) has an ever-growing pile of Tsundoku.** Be warned that you’ll no doubt end up buying a few extra books for your own pile after reading The Whin’s 2020 Business Book Roundup.

Most recommended

The 3 most recommended Whin Big Podcast books of 2020 are…

Atomic Habits* by James Clear

Make tiny changes for huge leaps towards your goals

Get Rich, Lucky Bitch* by Denise Duffield Thomas

Break through your money mindset for transformation in your life

Building a Story Brand* by Donald Miller

Focuses on telling your story in a way that engages people.

a graphic show thing covers of Get Rich Lucky Bitch, Atomic Habits and Building a Story Brand

Best Business Books for 2020 and beyond

Super Forecasting – the art and science of prediction* by Philip Tetlock & Dan Gardner

Practical advice on using predictions for your own benefit

The Founder’s Dilemmas* by Noam Wasserman

Anticipating and avoiding the pitfalls that can sink a startup

The Lean Start-up* by Eric Ries

How constant innovation creates radically successful businesses

Company of One* by Paul Jarvis

This book focuses less on scaling and growing a large business and instead on the positives of keeping it small.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On* by Jonah Berger

How to build word of mouth in the digital age

Psycho-Cybernetics: Thoughts to Live By* by Maxwell Maltz

Understanding how the mind works and how you can use that knowledge to visualise success and achieving your goals. The audio book version of this book does not come recommended by our guests!

The Multi-Hyphen Method* by Emma Gannon

A book about about working in different areas that excite you and inspire you. You can have a portfolio career and have great success.

The Indie Roller Handbook by Leona Thrift-ola

A business handbook for creative small business

Sticky Branding* by Jeremy Miller

Another great read about building a strong brand.

Start with Why* by Simon Sinek

How great leaders inspire everyone to take action

Pitch Anything* by Oren Klaff

An innovative method for presenting, persuading and winning the deal

All Marketers Are Liars Tell Stories by Seth Godin

Explains how marketing really works and proves that authenticity is the best marketing of all

Hype Yourself* by Lucy Warner

A no-nonsense PR toolkit for small business

Personal Development

The Obstacle is the Way* by Ryan Holiday

The ancient art of turning adversity to advantage

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People* by Stephen Covey

Advice on taking control of your life, teamwork, self renewal, proactivity and other paths to private and public victory.

Playing Big* by Tara Mohr

A practical guide for brilliant women

Dare to Lead* by Brene Brown

Daring greatly and rising strong at work


Shoe Dog* by Phil Knight

A memoir by the creator of Nike. Recommended as it’s a great reminder that you don’t start off really successful. It’s a valuable lesson in how you have to keep going.

Bad Feminist* by Roxanne Gay

Essays that look at the ways in which culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better

Between the World and Me* by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A book to tackle racism. Drives home the point that racism is a visceral experience

Your book recommendations

When you’re looking to learn something new for your business, or improve your own development in some way – what books do you turn to again and again? 

We’d love to know which books would feature in your list for getting through challenging times in 2020. Would any of our featured books make your roundup? 

If you’d like to recommend a book for future business and self development round ups, please email Katie Goudie at The Whin

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** Nerdy book fact: Tsundoku is the Japanese word for a pile of unread books intended to ‘read later’. vs vs

When talking about WordPress websites, people are usually referring to one of two services. This blog includes affiliate links.

What is is a service which lets you download the free WordPress software, and a host of themes and plug ins. This software you can then install on your server and use it to build your website. Although the software is free, you’ll have to pay elsewhere for hosting and domain registration.

What is is a service which lets you build and run your website using the same WordPress software, but without having to download it, to buy server space, or anything else. It’s essentially a hosting service with WordPress software built in. You can register your domain through too.

Should I use or

The short answer:

If you’re sure you want to build your website in WordPress, then the question is less about how you get the WordPress software, and more about how you want to host your website. If you’re not sure what a server is, or hosting, we can use a simple metaphor.

Imagine your sever is the building that your website lives in. Like choosing a home for yourself, you’ll find that many of the basic features are the same. Houses have walls and doors and a roof. Your hosting will have a control panel, email tools and security certificates. A nice house will have more space and extra features, and so will a better server. In general with hosting, as with housing, you want to compare the prices and features offered and choose the combination that works for you.

Where to host a WordPress website

My own recommendation, after years of working with clients across all kinds of hosting platforms, is to host your website with SiteGround. You get 24/7 support, which you’ll probably never need. They offer a one-click WordPress installer to make thing easy for you. So although you’re using software, you never actually have to visit the site!


Price wise, you can get SiteGround for £2.95 + VAT per month for up to three years! 

In terms of the features you get, with SiteGround, you can choose any theme you want, or even install one that’s been designed for you. You can add payments through any merchant tool you like (WordPress only allows PayPal), and you can add SEO and performance enhancing plug ins to make sure your customers find your website and can use it quickly.

WordPress does have some great features built in, including Jetpack, which protects from spam, supports some SEO features, and lets you schedule social media posts to publish at the same time as your blog posts. If that’s the only thing swaying you however, you can install Jetpack on any WordPress site, and it has variable pricing depending on what you can afford.

Do I need to buy a domain name? allows you to register a domain name, if you haven’t already, as part of the price of your plan. Any additional domains are charged at $18 per year for a website. SiteGround also offer domain registration, at around $14 a year for domains. If you do need to register domains, however, there are cheaper options, and unlike hosting options, there’s not much difference in service between one provider and another. offer the best value domain names that I’ve found, with prices around $7-10 for a domain, so I’d recommend you check out their options before deciding where to buy.

The Final Word

I’m a huge fan of WordPress and genuinely think it’s the best tool around for building your website. is a great option if you’re nervous about setting up hosting and domains, and you don’t have a budget for additional support. However, I’d always opt to use the WordPress software, free from If you’re comfortable setting up your hosting, or you can connect with a web developer or WordPress expert, you can really benefit from the additional flexibility, and set up a faster and more effective website for your business.

I will get a small commission if you purchase any SiteGround product through one of these links, but I’ve chosen to affiliate with them because I love their product so much!