If there is one thing that practically any online marketer can attest to, it’s the importance of having a few reliable, “go-to” resources in your arsenal when you begin your journey in online marketing.
If you try to do without a few reliable sources or a dependable (and knowledgeable) mentor, you can find yourself on the wrong track, chasing pipe dreams and jumping from strategy to strategy, never sticking with the things that actually WORK in the long run.
If you feel the same way (or find yourself overloaded with all of this new info in the online marketing space), prepare your bookmarks, because you just found the only post you need to get started with online marketing.
The Essential List
Below is a hand-picked list of all of the essential reads in the blogosphere that will help you in every aspect of you online marketing efforts.
There may be a few more worthy additions to this list, but 50+ is more than enough to get you started.
In fact, I’d advise that you do not bookmark or subscribe to all of these at once: pick one from each section, read a few of their best posts, and decide if the content there is really helpful to you specifically.
If it’s not, try another.
If it is helpful, subscribe, and when you’ve really taken in some key information, try another blog from this list.
The point of this post is to give you a place to start, not to give you an excuse to browse aimlessly and get distracted!
Enough rambling, on to the list!
The Key Topics
To make things easier for you, the list is divided into the following topics:
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Online Marketing
- Social Media
- Personal Finance
- Inbound Marketing & Traffic
- Conversion Optimization
- Customer Service
- Social Psychology
Remember, don’t overload yourself on new info: try a few blogs out, digest their information, determine if it’s a fit for you and your stage of your online efforts, and then move towards action.
Information is great, but it can be a crutch if you use it to avoid doing work; don’t let that happen to you!
For many online businesses, blogs can be a foundational aspect. Bringing in new readers (and future customers), providing value, showing your expertise, blogs have shown, time and time again, to be one of the best ways to help a new business break out online.
- Famous Bloggers with Hesham
- Boost Blog Traffic with Jon Morrow
- Blog Tyrant with Ramsay
- Daily Blog Tips with Daniel Scocco
- Problogger with Darren Rowse
- Kikolani with Kristi Hines
Content marketing starts with a killer blog (above), but has many other crucial elements involved like effective copywriting (and SEO copywriting), list building, and learning how to sell within your content (without frustrating readers). These blogs will show you where to get started.
- Copyblogger with Brian Clark
- Content Marketing Institute with Joe Pulizzi
- Top Rank Blog with TopRank
Search Engine Optimization
Search engines can be a great asset to your business, but don’t build a business that depends on them, as they’ve shown in the past, they can be quite fickle.
Still, you can generate a lot of great traffic you wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise, and these blogs will keep you updated with Google, how to optimize on page, and how to build those great links that help rankings soar.
- SEOmoz with Rand Fishkin
- SEOBook with Aaron Wall
- Search Engine Land with Danny Sullivan
- Point Blank SEO with Jon Cooper
“General” online marketing as it were can start to blend multiple aspects into a few cohesive articles that cover how to implement different sections of online marketing into a well oiled machine.
These blogs will help you with your general marketing efforts online, as well as how to put everything together and how to run things smoothly.
- Seth’s Blog with Seth Godin
- BlueGlass Blog with BlueGlass
- KISSmetrics Blog with Sean Work
- ViperChill with Glen Allsopp
- Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn
- QuickSprout with Neil Patel
Social media can be a great asset to driving traffic to your “home base” (your website), it can also be a monumental waste of time.
Use the following blogs to pick up tactics that actually work, and always strive to keep you social media usage productive, friendly, and most importantly, useful for those connecting with you.
- Buffer Blog with Leo Widrich
- Social Mouths with Francisco Rosales
- Social Media Examiner with Michael Stelzner
- Convince & Convert with Jay Baer
- Social Media Science with Dan Zarrella
- Chris Brogan with Chris Brogan
- Mari Smith’s Blog with Mari Smith
Understanding basic money management is essential to growing any sort of business.
While these blogs may not make up for having a basic accounting and money management book, they are a great place to get you started.
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich with Ramit Sethi
- Get Rich Slowly with J.D. Roth
- Pocket Changed with Caleb Wojcik
Learning how to operate a freelance business can be essential to getting your online efforts off the ground.
In order to keep money coming in during the early stages of your business, and to learn the ropes and make great connections, nothing quite beats freelancing on the side for a while (or even full-time!)
- Freelance Switch with Envato
- Passive Panda with James Clear
- Freelance Folder with Freelance Folder
- BidSketch Blog with Ruben Gamez
Many online business depend on great writing.
Even if you are running a business that focuses on an “app” or software, writing great content and sales copy is essential to landing new customers, so don’t go thinking that you don’t need to understand effective writing and copy, it’s crucial!
- Men With Pens with James Chartrand
- Goins, Writer with Jeff Goins
- Write To Done with Mary Jaksch
- Young Pre Pro with Bamidele Onibalusi
Inbound Marketing & Traffic
Driving people to your site is a crucial component to any business online, but you also want to make sure you are driving the right people.
These blogs will help you build a thriving audience and superstar prospective customers with smart inbound marketing tactics.
- HubSpot Blog with Dharmesh Shah
- The Sales Lion with Marcus Sheridan
- Think Traffic with Corbett Barr
- Traffic Generation Cafe with Ana Hoffman
Once you start hitting 1000+ visitors a day to your site, you need to start taking conversion rates very seriously.
These blogs will show you how to do more with the traffic that you have, increasing sales and conversions by making subtle and effective changes to your site, bringing you more business with the same amount of unique visitors.
- Conversion Rate Experts with Conversion Rate Experts
- Conversion XL with Peep Laja
- Unbounce Blog with Unbounce
What’s an online business owner without a few entrepreneurship related blogs in their arsenal?
The following are great sources of inspiration, ideas, and tactics to implement in your own entrepreneurial endeavors.
- Fast Company with Fast Company
- Mixergy with Andrew Warner
- The Rise to The Top with David Garland
- Marie Foreleo with Marie Forleo
Once you start gaining customers, you must understand how to keep them and how to keep them happy.
These blogs focus on creating amazingly satisfied customers who will go on to help build your business by word of mouth and positive reviews.
While marketing tactics may change over time (remember when SEO was really simple?), human behavior typically does not.
These blogs will help you tap into the psychology of selling and creating great content in order to ethically move people towards saying “Yes!”, and are critical if you want your business to succeed in the long term.
- PsyBlog with Jeremy Dean
- SocialTriggers with Derek Halpern
- Sparring Mind with Gregory Ciotti
- Neuroscience Marketing with Roger Dooley
Over To You…
Now, it’s your turn!
Let me know…
- What blogs you think should have been included…
- What blogs on this list are your favorite…
- What books you recommend to get started with doing business online! (Books, who reads those?! )
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the comments!