Marketing doesn’t work in a vacuum: even the best marketers spend some time every day keeping up with new information in the field. That used to mean subscribing to industry magazines, going to marketing conferences and using other resources that were only affordable if you were doing marketing all day, every day. With the advent of blogs, though, there is plenty of marketing information available immediately and freely. Even better, it’s already broken down into articles short enough that a small business owner can read a few over the course of a busy day. There are thousands of quality marketing blogs available, but there are five that we’d particularly like to recommend reading every day — in addition to SmallFuel Marketing, of course.
- Influential Marketing Blog Rohit Bhargava is the blogger behind the Influential Marketing Blog. He knows marketing inside and out: as a senior vice president at Ogilby’s 360 Digital Influence, Bhargava is out there pioneering digital marketing techniques every day. Among his other credentials, Bhargava wrote a book last year, titled Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back.
- Church of the Customer Ben McConnel and Jackie Huba — the founders of the Society for Word of Mouth — blog at the Church of the Customer. They specialize in covering marketing topics related to word of mouth marketing, but they also include posts with a wider focus. For those of you who don’t primarily rely on word of mouth as a marketing strategy, it’s worth reading the Church of the Customer to understand how word of mouth can still affect your overall marketing plan.
- OPEN Forum While not precisely a marketing blog, American Express’s blog for small business owners routinely has great posts regarding marketing. If you go to the Marketing section of the site, you can see videos from such marketing experts as Seth Godin, as well as find blog posts and articles from a variety of marketing specialists. On OPEN Forum, you get information from a variety of leading business experts.
- Copyblogger If you write the marketing copy, press releases and other communications for your business, Brian Clark’s Copyblogger is a must read. It has article after article about taking the writing you do for your business to the next step, and each one is a must read. Even if you outsource such projects to a freelance writer, Copyblogger is a key resource: the blog can give you ideas on new approaches and techniques, as well as give you the skills to evaluate the work that freelance writer is sending you.
- Seth’s Blog Seth Godin literally wrote the book on permission marketing, as well as ten other marketing books. For the most part, his blog posts are very quick reads. Each post is a concrete idea: Godin will tell the story of a successful marketer, describe an idea or mention a relevant link. Reading Godin’s blog can ensure that you’re constantly getting new ideas about how to market your own business.
These are just five of the best marketing resources you can find online. For the most part, they cover marketing as a borad topic. Other blogs focus on particular types of marketing, marketing for particular industries or even marketing in a specific geographic area. It’s worth your while to find at least one or two of the marketing blogst that are particularly relevant to your business: if you can find a shortcut through the experiences of someone else in your niche, your reading will pay off. There are many more, and if there is a blog you’d particularly like to recommend, please tell us about it in the comments.