Top 25 Marketing Blogs to Read in 2013
Just as the internet is the most productive place to do your marketing these days, so it is also the best place to discover how to do it better! But, among the plethora of marketing blogs out there, which ones do you need to concentrate on? Which are really worth spending your valuable time on and which may actually tell you something worth knowing?
We’ve already looked at the best eCommerce blogs in some detail, and you’ll find a little crossover here, but this is our selection – in no particular order! – of the best specifically marketing oriented blogs out there!
Kikolani is the home of freelance writer, professional blogger and social media enthusiast Kristi Hines, whose thoughts and advice can also be regularly found on other top blogs we like to follow such as Kissmetrics and Social Media Examiner. Her site is packed with useful blogging tips and blog marketing advice.
Quite frankly, we could do a list of Best Tiddlywinks Blogs and we’d probably still have to include Moz – it’s that essential! It’s the place to go for the latest ideas and thoughts on inbound marketing and SEO, with practical advice on improving and refining your content, social, brand and search marketing and lots of unmissable tips and tricks to make your website work better.
Smart Insights is all about Actionable Marketing Advice and is led by Dr Dave Chaffey, included by the CIM in 2004 in their list of 50 gurus who have “shaped the future of marketing”. There’s plenty going on at this blog, with several posts made each day – and in case that sounds a little too much, each week they provide a handy summary by subject matter so you can quickly find your way to what you need to know.
If you want landing pages that convert through marketing techniques rather than IT, then Unbounce is the place to be. If you need to put a landing page together quickly, there are more than 50 templates you can easily personalise and which are designed to convert. As well as loads of landing-page advice and best practice examples, the blog also covers A/B testing and social media in some depth, so it’s no one-trick pony, just a good place to help you turn more casual visitors into paying guests!
This is the site where you can find the personal blog of Neil Patel – and if that name rings a bell, let me remind you that he is one of the co-founders of KISSmetrics (of whom, more shortly). If that weren’t enough justification to spend some quality time reading the advice on offer here, it’s also worth bearing in mind that Neil’s speciality, as he details in his bio, is his ability to “help websites get a ton of eyeballs on the web” which is, let’s face it, probably the primary goal of any worthwhile digital marketing policy.
On the off chance you’ve not been keeping up with current thinking in digital marketing, we probably ought to let you know that the general consensus is that the best way to get Google to like you in late 2013 is to provide great content. If you’re not sure how to go about doing that, then just click on the link above and you’ll find yourself at a site dedicated to providing tools, tips and training for copywriters, entrepreneurs and online marketers alike. It certainly helps our main copywriter Dave out when he’s looking for a new way to talk about cardboard boxes!
Social and content accelerators Convince & Convert aim to use audits, strategic planning and ongoing advice and counsel to help their followers get better at social media and content marketing. With projects completed for clients including Wal-Mart and Billabong, their advice is clearly being sought by the rich and powerful, so now could be a good time to get on board and get a little of it for yourself.
Take the whole mix of online marketing tips, advice and experts, throw away the rubbish and put what’s left into the Marketing Profs blender, and what you get at the other end is practical and accessible advice. The ‘Profs’ bit of the name, by the way, came about because founder Allen Weiss, a marketing academic, wanted the site to be a place where his fellow marketing professors and professionals could meet, share knowledge and learn from each other.
If you’ve ever had the feeling that everyone else knows something you don’t, it’s probably because you’re not one of the more than 1.2 million people checking out the latest offerings of this superb blog every month. Every aspect of inbound marketing gets its space, including many subjects not covered elsewhere, with things like lead nurturing, closed-loop marketing and agile marketing given space alongside the more traditional content creation, social media and seo.
10 Heidi Cohen
Heidi likes to add a creative twist to the standard mix of digital and direct marketing advice, while also turning the usually complex concepts in 2013 online marketing into something more easily digested and understood. Whether you’re an old dog needing to learn some new tricks, or a new dog in need of some old tricks, Heidi has just the right blend of experience and cutting-edge knowledge to help you take your marketing to the next level.
Scott Stratten is a viral, social and authentic marketing expert. Despite this wide marketing expertise, the strapline on his blog advises visitors to “Stop marketing. Start engaging”. Scott’s approach is to encourage marketers to become the kind of trusted industry expert people will turn to when in need. If that sounds like just another content marketer, think again, because Scott is one of Forbes’ top 5 social media influencers in the world, while he has also shared his knowledge with organisations like PepsiCo, Adobe, the Red Cross and Cirque du Soleil. And if you need yet another reason to check him out, his latest book is called QR Codes Kill Kittens.
Neil Patel has had his moment in the spotlight already, but that’s no reason not to give the influential business he helped set up a plug as well. The KISSmetrics blog strapline promises to tell you what Google Analytics can’t – and if you think there’s not much left to analyse and learn from once Analytics has been let loose on your data, you’d be wrong. KISSmetrics will show you how to turn that data into your most valuable marketing weapon. Meanwhile every blog also gets conversations started, the vast majority of comments adding to the debate and being interesting in themselves rather than the usual “Nice post, John!”
13 SEO Nick
Self-proclaimed former finance nerd Nick Eubanks has turned his considerable analytic, technical and mathematical expertise to the world of search engine optimisation and has, as a result, produced some of the most comprehensive guides to the mysteries of keyword research available online. Not that it’s all just theory, of course, as Nick can (and, indeed, does) claim to have increased traffic and revenue for companies like ExxonMobil and Morgan Stanley.
How could any serious round-up of marketing blogs not include The Marketing Blog? Well, obviously, if it wasn’t any good, then we would, but thankfully it’s more than worthy of its place! Of course, not everything on the site may be relevant to you, but that’s only because it’s so comprehensive. Quite apart from the usual digital marketing and social media sections, you’ll also find parts of the site dedicated to entertainment, advertising and PR. There’s even a Laughter Spot, with jokes that are mostly nothing to do with marketing, although we did like the one about the pilot, the stewardess and the airline slogans.
From the unlikely beginnings as a minister for an online department store and casual labourer, Australian Darren Rowse has gone on to become one of online marketing’s foremost blogging gurus. As a keen blogger myself, his is one of those sites I have bookmarked most prominently, and barely a post goes by without me learning something new to add to my knowledge. If you want to develop your blogging skills – and this is an increasingly essential part of the modern marketer’s repertoire – then you can’t afford to ignore ProBlogger.
The title of Jon Morrow’s site tells you fairly succinctly what it can do for you. If you’re writing a great blog with content people really should be reading, but aren’t, then Jon will show you how to turn it into one they will. His personal circumstances mean he knows what it’s like to be ignored, but he’s taken that and used it to become one of the most listened-to experts around. We particularly liked his recent post on the mistakes bloggers can make – and which nearly all of us have.
From his base in the Phillipines, search strategist Jason Acidre is making waves in the blogosphere, despite, as he freely admits, not really being very enthusiastic about it. He started his blog so he could test some experiments related to search engine marketing. The good news is they seem to be working, and you can learn with Jason as he goes. There’s some particularly good stuff on analytics, data and link building we’re finding very interesting.
Jon Cooper is irritatingly young to be producing such a good blog, but if you want to build valuable white hat backlinks, then you could do a lot worse than head over to his site and check out the wisdom that should be well beyond his years. It’s not the most regularly updated site on the list, but this is a case where quality comes well above quantity. Just look on it as case of Jon only saying something when he thinks something needs to be said – and when he does, it’s worth listening to!
19 Razor Social
Ian Cleary’s blog may be one of the newer kids on the block, but he’s come a long way very quickly – within just six months of the site being established, Social Media Examiner were so impressed with the sharpness of their approach that they named it in their top 10 social media blogs for 2013. If you want some help getting to grips with the sort of tools and technology that can make social media such a powerful marketing weapon, there are few better places to hang out.
20 Danny Brown
We’ve already waxed lyrical about the influence of HubSpot, and they reckon that Danny’s blog is the No 1 marketing blog in the world – presumably not including their own! Who are we to argue, especially when Danny’s credentials are nigh on impeccable, having delivered results for BlackBerry, British Telecom, Orange and IBM. Here he looks at where social media, marketing and influence intersect and how these factors fit into the modern business environment, as well as identifying insights, trends and new technologies that will have a positive effect on businesses of all sizes (so you don’t have to be an IBM or Orange to benefit!).
This one of those blogs that tells you what it’s all about in the title. But unlike many, this goes on to deliver what it promises, and if you don’t believe us, just take a quick look at some of their clients: Apple, Google, Sony, Facebook – not exactly companies known for aiming for anything but the best in the business. They don’t post often, but what they do share is the sort of advice that should be absorbed carefully and acted upon quickly.
Link building, traffic generation, social media and conversion rate optimisation: UK-based Matthew Woodward’s blog is a solid all-round guide to digital marketing. But there’s a bit more than the average to Matthew’s site, with the usual blogs augmented by opinionated reviews and fascinating income reports, in which he tells us how much money he’s made from his blog and what he did to earn it. And his posts generate some lively discussion as well, making it as good a place to share your knowledge as it is to learn from others.
The XL in the title (sort of) stands for Extra Lucrative and that should tell you that Estonian Peep Laja specialises in conversion optimisation, which basically means he’s good at helping you make more money. And that can’t be a bad thing, can it? The blogs on his site are well researched, extremely thorough and totally practical, so spending some time taking in what he’s saying could pay back in the way you want it to –hard cash!
24 Jeff Bullas
Jeff is out to help businesses get found online and has the experience and knowledge to do just that. He also believes in encouraging businesses to market themselves online in a way that isn’t pushy or intrusive (we could probably all name any number of companies who could do with learning this lesson!), but rather in a manner that engages with people and companies in conversations that build trust and relationships.
Whenever we’re researching new developments in digital marketing or trying to get a grip on how to evaluate some particularly complicated analytics data, somehow we always find ourselves here at some point. They’ve been around since 1999 and were pretty proud to hit the 100,000 mark in registered users in 2011. Just two years on, and that number has more than doubled to over 210,000! What that should tell you is that their advice, knowledge and resources are trusted like no other – if you’re in the internet marketing business and you’re not logged on to Econsultancy, you are missing out.
This is by no means an exhaustive selection, but they’re definitely among our favourites – are there any we’ve missed out that you think should be on the list?