Tools and tricks to stand out online.


This page contains every website or book I wish I'd know about (or taken seriously!) eight years ago when I started making websites.

Links marked with a star are affiliate links. This means I get a small commision if you buy the linked product. So please do! Thanks —John

how ideas go viral

Jonah Berger is a professor of marketing and an expert on word-of-mouth and virality.

His book Contagious is full of practical advice for creating viral products and ideas.  Read more about it here. 

book cover for contagious by jonah berger

by Jonah Berger

highly recommended


Good typography gives your writing authority, makes it easier to read, and—since most people don't bother with it—will help you stand out.

by Matthew Butterick

highly recommended

Matthew Butterick has made his book freely available for anyone to read online, but it's not free. You should pay for it, it’s worth it.

He's also written a physical book with many of the same valuable insights:

by Matthew Butterick


Writing is hard. It takes a lot of practice to feel confident—but reading about writing can be helpful too.

Absorbing the advice in these books has helped me a lot:

book cover of the boron letters

by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

highly recommended

The elements of style is probably the most read style guide, and for good reason. It's insightful, fun, and—most importantly—short.

book cover of the boron letters

by Gary C. Halbert

The Boron Letters contains great practical advice on writing copy that sells. It's also really weird. It's a series of letters written from prison by Gary Halbert to his son Bond.

Halbert was an expert at writing junk mail. He also has a lot of opinions about excercise and diet. It's a weird book.

More Soon

This list is a work in progress. There will be more added soon. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading,