With the plethora of blogs and other information sources available online, it can be a little daunting to know what you should be looking at. After all, it wouldn't be hard to spend most of your day just reading other people's blogs; and while it can be an all-to-easy means of procrastination, you also know that keeping abreast of what's going on in the blogosphere is incredibly important to successful internet or affiliate marketing. When I started in this role at Affilorama, I immediately set out to subscribe to every blog RSS under the sun that could offer me even the slightest insight into my new industry.
What's interesting about subscribing to that many blogs is you very quickly identify a few that deliver significantly better content than the majority. Interestingly, it's not always the blogs with the highest search engine ranking that give you the best content. The 10 listed here are the blogs that I find most useful for day-to-day reading. I typically start my day at work by reading over these with my morning coffee – at the very least they get me in the mindset for work, but more often than not they inform me of an important industry development, or inspire me creatively in some other way. Though not an exhaustive list to be sure, if you're just starting out in online business, I would recommend subscribing to these 10 for a start. From there you will be able to find out what you like and dislike, and be able to find other blogs that more suit your personal and business tastes.
So let's get started...
Although this isn't a ranked list, there's a reason I've listed Copyblogger first; quite simply, it's awesome! Finding a daily blog that delivers this level of consistent quality content is rare. Whether you are a natural writer, or if you find a Twitter update hard to fill, if you have to do any writing as part of your online marketing (which, let's face it, you do), then the tips and advice in this blog will be of use. Copyblogger articles cover everything from how to come up with blog topics, to writing with SEO in mind and many other internet marketing topics.
We all know SEO is important – but easy? Not so much. While there are many many blogs on SEO out there, all to often they are either trying to sell you their SEO consultancy services, or, impressed by their own degree of knowledge, attempt to explain concepts in a fashion that leave us laymans simply saying, 'huh'? SEOmoz on the other hand offers some of the best, easy-to-understand SEO advice and material I've have found on the web. In addition they back this up with a range of great SEO tools – most of which are available to free members. Be sure to check out their 'white-board Fridays'; resident guru Rand Fishkin offers brilliant video lessons (yes, with a white-board), where he explains critical SEO concepts in clear, simple and entertaining clips.
Think of Blog Herald as the local paper for Internetland. Covering news on social media, internet marketing an emerging trends, Blog Herald is often where I'll hear something first. Also, because Blog Herald is not a confined to an overly specific topic, you may frequently find little gems that fall just outside your normal reading scope; the same gems that are often the most creatively inspiring, or that will take you and your business somewhere you hadn't thought of before.
Bestselling author and internet entrepreneur Seth Godin was called the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age by Business Week. Read his blog and find out why. His posts are typically brief, well written, to the point, and entertaining. Seth is more like your own business guru than just another blog you read. So while you might not find the latest and greatest affiliate marketing trick – what you will find is a brilliant clarity of thought that allowed Seth Godin to produce the most downloaded ebook of all time. Highly recommended. “The only thing worse than starting something and failing... is not starting something.” - Seth Godin
Get the inside scoop on SEO from the guy who not only knows what works – he DECIDES what works. Matt Cutts is a key member of the Google Search Quality Group. This is his personal blog, not a Google blog (see below). In it he gives great SEO tips and advice, as well as his perspective on where Google is going and what they're trying to achieve. We all want to avoid the Google Slap – so learning from the man who does the slapping can't hurt! His content is fairly easy to understand, and he offers simple explanations to questions he receives in great video responses.
Let's be honest; Google is King. They have expanded their presence like no other web-based organization – and considering it was only founded in 1998, their 20,000 odd employees and 21.8 billion dollar revenue for 2008 is even more impressive. Frequenting the Google blog will keep you abreast of new and coming developments in the different facets of Google's business; new products and services a few tips on how to be seen by the search giant. While not necessarily a blog I'd read everyday, it is nevertheless an important one top check out every once in a while so you know what they're up to!
Small business trends is an essential subscription for any entrepreneur, and while not focused on the online space or affiliate marketing, it gives broadly applicable small business advice that is easily applied to the web arena. Editor in Chief Anita Campbell is a well known and respected entrepreneur with a wide range of corporate and small business experience. Small Business Trends won the Forbes 'Best of Web' distinction for small business s blogs in 2005 and 2008.
While Twitter may just be the latest and greatest fad to hit the internet, it's effect on online marketing has been truly profound. TwiTip offers great advice on how to leverage this new medium, as well showcasing a wide variety of tools and apps to help you manage your Twittering. Worth a look.
Being a new comer to the affiliate marketing game, I have been trying to learn as much as I can from a wide variety of sources. Linda Buquet is widely regarded in affiliate marketing circles as one of the most influential and well respected experts in the field. In her blog, Linda offers her take on industry news and trends as well as links to other equally interesting and relevant content.
Like Linda Buquet, Shawn Collins is one of the top experts in affiliate marketing. Co-founder of the Affiliate Summit, as well as co-editor in chief of feedfront magazine, Shawn brings his 12 years of affiliate marketing experience into his well-written and daily updated blog, offering new tips and strategies, as well as his take on affiliate marketing and online business news and trends.
Are there any blogs that you find useful that you think should be on this list? These are the ones that I find really helpful, but feel free to post links to the blogs you subscribe to in the comments below.