The great thing about writing your own book, is when it comes to reading other books, you have a new found appreciation to what effort has gone in to create what you’re holding.

There’s certainly some effort put in on SitePoint’s latest title, Online Marketing Inside Out. Two authors, Brandon Eley and Shayne Tilley collaborated on this tome; their upbeat, personal styles intertwine fluently, and certainly not disjointed as you may expect when there’s two writers involved.

Pitched at business and website owners who are looking for the knowledge to promote their services or products online, this book is a great starter for those without intimate knowledge of traditional marketing techniques, or who don’t have a decade of social media and web development experience under their belts.

The 210 page colour book is divided into nine logically grouped chapters. Chapter one outlines the changing face of marketing; it covers the basic reasons why organisations can’t ignore online marketing as part of their mix, and wraps up with some great reasons why you’ll love online marketing.

Chapter two, ’21st Century Public Relations and Media’ covers the modern Press Release, blogs and importantly, how to monitor social media for mentions of you or your product.

The third chapter, ‘Turn Page Views into Profit’ may seem shallow for those hardcore technical types, but I’m sure just like me, you’ll learn something from it. The chapter covers those all important on-site tweaks that you can do, to improve accessibility, usability, browser testing, content, landing pages and testing.

Search Engine Optimisation is covered in chapter four, and is a fantastic read for both beginners and advanced SEO gurus alike. This would be a great stand alone chapter to give web development clients who want to know what SEO is, without needing a PhD.

Chapter five is very interesting, covering Social Media such as micro-blogging, photo and video sharing, social bookmarking, podcasts and more. This is a great guide for those wanting to build a social media strategy.

Email Marketing gets a nod in Chapter six. This takes you from building your recipient list, to creating the content, to designing the delivery (and choosing the method), and even covers those tricky frequency and scheduling questions. Great thing here is the very clear warnings about spamming and buying email lists.

Chapter seven of Online Marketing Inside Out takes us through the topic of ‘Affiliate Marketing’. For those with a clearly affiliate ready business model, this sure looks like an exciting avenue to take. This chapter clarifies what this mystical affiliate world is all about, and takes out the snake oil component.

This book wouldn’t be complete without a chapter on online advertising – here’s where the penultimate chapter eight steps in. Banner advertising, PPC, text links, cost per mille, agency relationships and more are clearly explained.

The ninth and final chapter, ‘Tying It All Together’ does just that. It asks and helps steer your strategy by reiterating what you’ve learnt, how to create an online marketing strategy, setting goals, and then encouraging you towards writing a detailed plan.

Although I found I knew much of the books content already (but then I have years of interest in marketing, both online and offline), it certainly helped polish my knowledge, so the book was still valuable for someone with more than a decade of experience. I also started seriously considering the possibilities of distributing copies of this book to a number of my clients.

Online Marketing Inside Out is a great book for those who want a no-hype understanding on the how and why of online marketing, written by two people who have succeeded in this field. Perfect for the web developer or indeed their clients, this book is easy to digest (I read it easily on a four hour flight), and is the perfect level for anyone yearning for online marketing knowledge, who would be happy without pages of geeky code snippets.

Well done, Brandon and Shayne!

Disclaimer: the publisher of this book also published my book. I was given a PDF copy of this title, however will not see any personal gain from writing this review. I feel no obligation to write a good review, and if I had, I wouldn’t be posting one here.

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