There are many reasons why it makes better business sense to outsource certain tasks. There are things you do well, and your time is better spent on those things. If your company is big enough to have specialists who look after support tasks not directly related to your expertise (accountants, HR professionals, office managers), then you may be in a position to recruit and maintain an in-house web team, too. Even then, getting an external agency to build a well-designed, accessible and secure website is usually a better idea than trying to do it in-house. A good agency will have worked on a variety of accounts, gained expertise on all the main platforms, and have experienced developers who understand best practice. Don’t fall for false economy. A pizza delivery company doesn’t build its own motorbikes.

There are certain ongoing tasks which support your website and your other online marketing efforts, which you will need to cover in-house. Of course, a retained agency approach is an option here, but this is where a smaller business might be better off starting with a “good enough” approach in-house. There are three areas which you will need to cover:

1. Online marketing
2. Copywriting
3. Social media

They support the development of a professional image for your business and have some overlap, so looking at all three is advised. What is a social media strategy without a marketing calendar (in fact, what is a social media strategy?)? What is a website without copy that sells? What is an online marketing plan without social engagement?

Below are our book recommendations to get you on your way. They’ll kick-start you into learning how to write effective copy for your website, brochures and other documents; they’ll help you clarify the language you use, and help you get an understanding of online marketing.

Online Marketing in 7 Days (for people who can’t avoid it any longer)

If you are new to online marketing (or think of marketing in terms of mail shots and advertising), this book is an excellent basic guide. It will help you understand what marketing is and how to apply it to your business online. It is clearly written, practical, and has prompts for exercises. It’s not heavy on theory. It contains just enough information for you to get started.

Likeable Social Media

Any book on social media will be out of date by the time it comes out of the printer but this book is the best of the lot for getting a good understanding what social media is, how to use it for business purposes and what to expect in return. It is full of anecdotes and practical examples. Get the latest edition. If you want to have a crash-course on social media for business, this is a good place to start. You’ll want to keep an eye on Social Media Examiner and, of course, Likeable Media’s own blog for up-to-date information on social media.

Write to Sell: The Ultimate Guide to Great Copywriting

This book is a good starting point for people whose job it is to write your web copy, email newsletters, blog posts, direct mail and any sales document. It’s a practical guide for creating readable copy that keeps people interested and, ultimately, leads to sales.

Complete Plain Words

If your writing could appear in a typical letter from the tax office, then you might need this book. If you like to use words such as ‘expeditiously’ instead of quickly, or if your sentences run on for a paragraph, you’ll benefit from this book. It covers punctuation rules, apostrophe use, ground rules of grammar and the correct and concise use of words.

If you need help with web design and online marketing, give us a call today on 01252 413757 or send us an email at We design brilliant websites for all types of clients (and are the Surrey County Council’s preferred digital partner). We also help with branding, logo design and SEO. We are based in the Georgian market town of Farnham, Surrey and we love to help businesses succeed.