Internet marketing is a very dynamic industry, and staying informed and effective is the responsibility of each marketer at an individual level. There’s no standardized “digital marketing 101” training, and most “established” protocols are capricious at best.
This means that it’s up to you, as a marketing manager, to make sure you’re always up to date and on top of your game.
Thankfully, there’s a thriving and extremely connected community of digital marketers a few clicks away. Everyday marketers and industry thought leaders alike often go far out of their ways to spread helpful information and to assist those in need of guidance.
To save you some time, I’ve put together a list of must-follow blogs for any serious marketing manager. (Please note that this list is in no way comprehensive, as there is an ever-increasing amount of digital marketing publications readily available.)
1. The Moz Blog – search engine marketing
We’ll start with a heavy hitter. Moz is a pioneer within the field of digital marketing, and they often feature posts from other thought leaders in the industry. If I had to settle on just one blog to follow for the remainder of my career, Moz very well might be it.
They have an all-star cast of frequent blog contributors, along with an extremely active and helpful user community. The discussion in the comments on most Moz Blog posts is lively, and often just as helpful as the posts themselves.
If you’re unfamiliar with Moz, do yourself a favor and check out founder Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Friday series. Clean, straightforward presentation, and more actionable information than you’ll know what to do with – his series alone will sell you on the blog more quickly than I’d ever be able to.
As an added bonus, Moz quite literally built some of the most-used research tools within the industry. They know what they’re doing and truly are an unparalleled resource for marketing managers everywhere.
2. Search Engine Journal (SEJ) – state of the industry/search engine marketing
SEJ is a hub for all things digital marketing, from algorithm updates to SEO best practices to social media. They publish quite prolifically, with anywhere from 2-6+ new posts each day.
Their content is sourced from a mix of in-house and guest writers, and features many powerhouse contributors like Neil Patel and Larry Kim.
3. Marketing Land – state of the industry
Marketing Land is the place to go for industry-wide news and big picture announcements. It’s definitely one of the most comprehensive digital marketing blogs out there, and you’ll find posts and articles about anything you could ever need as a marketing manager.
One great aspect of Marketing Land is its daily columns. There’s a different column for each area of digital marketing, and various industry experts contribute to them.
4. Social Media Examiner (SME) – social media
As you can probably tell by the name, Social Media Examiner is a blog about all things social media.
I particularly like SME because of how actionable their blog posts are. I’ve found that the main issue with many different marketing blogs is the tendency to frame things as a “guide” or “X steps to do X.” The actual content then turns out to be generic advice with a beginning and an end, but with the important middle steps mysteriously missing:
SME, on the other hand, will pick a certain aspect of social media marketing and go in-depth with a step-by-step tutorial.
At the time of posting this, for example, a few of the headlines on their front page are “How to Easily Create Quality Social Media Images,” “6 Ways to Use Advanced Twitter Search for Increased Influence,” and more. All are very specific, very helpful, and very actionable topics.
5. Copyblogger – content marketing
If you’re struggling with content creation, this is the blog for you.
They publish just about once a day, and the posts are always clean and well-thought-out with just the right amount of detail. There’s a good mixt of content, too – you can expect plenty of actionable improvement suggestions alongside entertaining and thought-provoking reads like “Why Haters are the Petri Dish of Great Content Marketing.”
As their “About” page puts it, “We don’t just teach content marketing – it’s how we built our company.” These guys really know what they’re doing, and they want to let you in on the secret.
6. Backlinko (Brian Dean) – search engine marketing
This is a personal favorite of mine. If you don’t know what constitutes “quality content,” Backlinko is a good goal to strive towards. Dean’s posts check every box: Well-written but accessible, long but not unnecessarily so, exhaustively thorough, incredibly actionable, and filled with charts, graphs, pictures, and videos.
It’s abundantly clear how much time and effort goes into each one of his posts. He’s also very active in the comments, replying to just about any question you can throw at him.
Nearly all of his posts double as case-studies, too. His SEO tips, tricks, and guides are based on a solid foundation of extensive data and experimenting. The knowledge he happily gives away for free is worth more than its weight in gold.
7. Content Marketing Institute (CMI) – content marketing
Another stellar content marketing blog, and another example of a company practicing what they preach. Their blog (and the website in general) is the definition of quality content marketing. CMI consistently publishes once a day and their articles are among the most informative resources I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
One of my favorite aspects of CMI is the overall style of writing. Many of their articles deal with advanced content marketing issues and practices, but all are incredibly clear and accessible. I’m confident that even someone completely new to digital marketing could glean some awesome tidbits of knowledge from these posts.
On the importance of keeping up
Just to reiterate, the only way to stay on top of your professional game within the world of Internet marketing is to never stop learning.
There are thousands of marketing publications out there simply looking to make a quick buck by regurgitating basic information, but there are also some true gems that will enhance your digital marketing expertise and improve your ability to function as a marketing manager.
So press on through the echo chamber and put together your own “must read” list of marketing publications, for you and for your department. The seven I’ve suggested are great starting places, but there are many more “must-follow” blogs out there.
What are your favorite blogs?
If you already have your own list of great marketing blogs, let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for suggestions to expand my personal rotation of blogs.