I hope you enjoy this month’s punny title!
I’ve decided to introduce some product management books into my reading schedule. I kicked this off in July with Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products.
This post contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission. I only recommend books I have read myself and all opinions expressed here are my own.
Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover
Hooked explores how the best products leverage their users everyday habits to keep them coming back for more. There were so many great examples explored in this book, I can’t fit it all into this short review. There are also helpful exercises you can complete at the end of each chapter to apply the theory to your own product.
The Hooked model for product design begins with an internal or external trigger prompting a user to take an action. The user’s action results in a variable reward and they continue to use the product. After a few rounds, they become hooked.
Why are habit forming products important? The short answer: you’ll save yourself a lot of time and wasted marketing dollars.
Hooked users become brand evangelists—megaphones for your company, bringing in new users at little or no cost.
- Understand your customers’ – these are the cues you can use to get them to engage with your product
- The more time or information a customer has invested with your product, the more likely they are to stick with it
- Customers will become less sensitive to price when your product has become a part of their daily routine
- Think: as a product designer would you use your own product? Do you believe it improves people’s lives? If you could see some of your users were using your product too much, would you do something to help them?
Supriya Vani & Carl A. Harte
I would have given this book 4 stars however I marked it down for not satisfying my Jacindamania.
Firstly, I found the history of New Zealand politics in this book too much. Secondly, the authors misled Jacinda Ardern in order to secure interviews with her. I love her response on the matter here.
It was well worth the read for the glimpse into Jacinda Ardern’s life. It seems as though everyone who knew her thought she was destined for great things. Growing up in a small, poverty-stricken town left a huge impression on her that follows her throughout her career in politics.
A woman with ambition, yet never lets her ego get in the way. There were opportunities where she could have pushed to be the next prime minister, however, she held back until the right time.
She never dropped her work ethic when campaigning for seats she knew she would lose. She worked even harder when campaigning for seats that were considered a guarantee. Quite simply, she never gives up.
Jacinda Ardern intentionally carved out a path that allowed her personality to shine and is an advocate for leading with empathy and compassion. This is what makes her inspirational to so many people around the world.
- Work hard and set high standards for yourself
- You don’t have to change who you are to be a good leader – empathy, compassion and generosity are all as important as confidence
- Ardern’s advice for young women:
When opportunities come up say, “Yep, I can do that job.”
This book gives you direct access to 17 successful bloggers. This had the potential to be gimmicky but I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this book. It was inspirational and I’m glad I gave it a go.
The author argues that these successful people all have three things in common:
- They have a vision & a strategy (sound familiar?)
- They never give up
- They have systems in place to get things done
Ebbs and flows are natural in business; it’s how you react to them that matter. Learning to keep a positive mindset and push forward when times are tough will be imperative to your success.
- Focus on your email marketing efforts and building your list
- Let go of any social media or activities that aren’t working or adding value to your blog
- Schedule time to write and try to post consistently – many of them talked about posting on the same days twice a week
- Use scheduling tools for your content
Picking a problem and exhaustively writing about it develops something inside of you, as a writer, that makes later writing better and more powerful. It increases your ability to persist in the face of challenge.
This book is short, easy to follow and full of helpful tips to create your best content. If you’re a beginner blogger do yourself a favour, grab a coffee, and read this book.
The first theme in this book is, you guessed it, having a vision and strategy! The author then talks you through how to create buckets for your content so you can go deep into topics your audience is interested in.
You want your content to help shift your audience through the lifecycle:
- Stranger > casual reader > subscriber > engaged subscriber and fan > brand advocate > customer (if monetising your blog)
- Maintain a swipe file of all your ideas and regularly review it
- Have a system in place to capture all of your articles and their associated content & keywords (this will save you time later when you write new articles you can search the topics)
- Use tools like Buzzsumo to see the top trending posts in your niche
- Ensure all images are SEO friendly – keyword in title, alt tag and file name (I’ve been using the Yoast SEO plugin)
- Serve up relevant content at the end of each blog post to keep readers on your blog (sounds like a tip from Hooked!)
Your ideal reader should become like an imaginary friend. You should know your ideal reader so well that you can start a conversation with her at any time. You know when she shakes her head because you say something she doesn’t agree with. You know what makes her smile or laugh. You know the questions she asks. You know how to charm and flatter her.”
If you prefer images, head to my Instagram where I share more book related content!