Did you know that more than two million blog posts are created every day? That’s a lot of words being uploaded – in fact, a study by IBM found that a full 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone. And while those figures might be intimidating for the would-be blogger, the good news is that we have more access to more information and insight than any generation that’s ever come before us. You, right now, have the opportunity to educate yourself on virtually any topic, right there, from the comfort of your own home, and in your own time.
It’s simply not possible to get your head around the possibilities of the modern data explosion and the extent to which we can utilize it, but one of the best ways to start is to stay on top of the latest trends and activities relative to your industry or sector. But to do that, of course, you need to know that you’re following the right sources – with over two million posts going live every day it can be easy to get distracted or get the wrong information from sources of less repute.
To help you out in this regard, here’s a listing of ten of the most useful blogs for small to medium businesses, sharing a range of insights on marketing tactics, case studies, new research and business best practices. It’s worth allocating some time each day to stay up to date – and in the process, you may just find something that changes the way you go about doing business
Digital marketing is a must for all businesses in the modern era – in one form or another, there are going to be opportunities for your brand online, and as such, it’s worth staying on top of the latest trends and news in the digital sector. While its title is ‘Marketing Land’ (as opposed to ‘Digital Marketing Land’), the focus of the site is on digital news and trends – the latest in social media marketing, utilizing e-mail outreach strategies and SEO/PPC updates. Marketing Land has a reputed and reliable team of writers who cover all the latest news and announcements thoroughly and with a practical slant. They also have guest writers who are well-known and knowledgeable identities in the field who regularly share their thoughts and insights.
Social Media Today
Sticking with the digital theme (because digital truly is becoming that influential), Social Media Today is one of the best social media news sites on the web. While other blogs like Social Media Examiner focus more on the details and complexities of the latest tactics and updates – Social Media Today covers a breadth of the latest news and trends. It features a wide range of guest bloggers who submit new strategies and tips to help businesses maximize their social presence. With a particular focus on those looking for practical, applicable advice, Social Media Today is the first stop for all things social media marketing.
Harvard Business Review
A little more on the heavy end of the spectrum, Harvard Business Review produces daily content looking at business strategies and evolving trends, all backed by data, including the latest findings and developments on business effectiveness and productivity tools. HBR publishes a wide range of insightful content that are well worth finding and may completely transform your thinking around common marketing strategies and new ways to build your brand.
One of the best known – if not the best known – resource for content marketing info on the web, Copy Blogger has a great reputation for producing high-quality, informative material examining the world of blogging and content marketing. As noted in the introduction above, more and more businesses use blogging as a way to share their brand stories and build audience – the only way to stand out in that deluge is to be better than the rest. The tips provided on Copy Blogger will help guide you towards achieving just that.
Convince and Convert
Lead by digital marketing identity Jay Baer, Convince and Convert is a strategic advisory company that helps brands maximize their marketing efforts. The Convince and Convert blog is an accumulation of insights and research from experts in the field, most of whom work for C & C themselves, but there are also various guest contributors who add to the knowledge base of the site. Baer himself also conducts regular podcast interviews with representatives from major brands, providing insights into how they go about achieving great marketing results.
Google Your Business
Search Engine Optimization and PPC advertising have become increasingly important in marketing – and who better to get information on these two elements from than Google themselves. Google’s small business blog, ‘Google Your Business’, is regularly updated, mostly with product updates and news, but also with tips for small businesses on how to maximize their marketing efforts. And if it comes from Google, you know it’s correct – they are the ones who are generally making the rules on SEO and AdWords functions, after all.
While it’s another one on the heavy end of the scale, you can’t go past Forbes for business and industry insight. Forbes’ reputation as the world’s leading business publication is justified, with a wide range of market leaders and industry professionals regularly contributing content. Forbes provides updates on the latest news and also has a wide range of contributors through its CMO Network, providing analysis and commentary relevant to many sectors and industries.
Not only does Inc.’s website look amazing, their content is regularly of high quality. With sections looking specifically at start-ups, innovation and technology, Inc. provides a wide range of content applicable to all businesses and those looking to develop more effective business plans. Inc.’s editorial team are top notch, and their insights include a range of research-backed and analytical insights.
Fast Company is one of the best resources on the web for information on business and innovation. With articles ranging from the complexities of Bitcoin, to habits that will transform your everyday productivity, Fast Company covers the gamut of business information, with a particular focus on sustainability, design and new wave strategic approaches.
While there are a heap of influential business speakers and thought leaders, few have the straight talking nature of Gary Vaynerchuck. Some won’t like his over-use of expletives but if you’re not so easily offended there’s a ton of great insights for businesses of all sizes in Vaynerchuck’s advice. ‘Gary Vee’ also posts an (almost) daily video update to YouTube, sharing his thoughts in rapid-fire rants, and produces a regular podcast to share his views on modern day business. The core of Vaynerchuck’s teachings is that you are in control of your business success, that you need to accept responsibility and, like Yoda says, ‘do or do not, there is no try’. And it’s his resistance to hype that makes him so refreshing – well worth tuning in to.
While there are millions of business blogs around, these are some of the best, with the most regularly high-quality and reputable information that will help businesses understand the modern marketplace and provide perspective on the opportunities and trends worth knowing.
There are many more sources in this mould – which commentator’s do you read or listen to? Which would you recommend as the key sources of info for modern SMEs?
Top tip: Use Feedly to read and search for your favourite and most relevant publications, blogs and videos in a single place.