The best content marketers of today need to read a curated slice of the internet with ruthless regularity. Here is our pick of the leading blogs to be following.
As a content marketer, you occupy one of the most trailblazing and creative spaces in your company. You’re the journalist, the marketer, the metrics maven, the storyteller. You corner SMEs like prey. And frankly, every now and then you have an existential meltdown. You need to fill that well of yours.
The great British wordsmith Samuel Johnson once observed, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” We would argue that the best content marketers of today need to read a curated slice of the internet with ruthless regularity. Here is our pick of the trailblazers to be following:
She’s the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, the writer of some of the best content marketing books out there, and she runs a sublime content marketing blog. We love Ann Handley for her wit, her guardianship of the written word (just read this take-down of Facebook’s suggestion that writing is dead), and the way she always nails the life and mind of the content marketer and fills it with new inspiration.
We love Ann Handley for her wit, her guardianship of the written word, and the way she always nails the life and mind of the content marketer and fills it with new inspiration
For starters, it has to be one of the most beautiful blogs on the planet. Based out of Chicago and with many posts written by Orbit Media Studios’ co-founder and strategic director Andy Crestodina, the Orbit Media Studios blog sings with relevance and is drenched in best practices. It’s like poetry in its zinging minimalism and like a novel in its exhaustive posts on content marketing, analytics, and web design. Take, for example, Crestodina’s recent post that deconstructs what influencer marketing is, why it’s essential, and how to do it right now.
Jay Acunzo cuts through the noise, and thank goodness for the man. He has an uncanny knack to get to the heart of the content marketer—to pull out the inspired creator lurking deep within (the one cowering with angst after meeting the sales team). His blogs offer fresh and canny ideas for creating top-quality content, such as this post “Rethinking How We Structure Content Marketing Teams: The Pod Approach.” But most of all, he’s your cheerleader and divining rod. (Equally required listening: His podcast, Unthinkable, “a travel show for marketers.”)
Because they’re the gold standard. Because every report they release, you need to read 20 times. Because every post is relevant and interesting, like “LinkedIn Publishing Trends Every Marketer Must Know”. Because their ‘Daily News and Alerts’ email feels like your virtual comrade who joins you every morning as you drink your latte, offering gifts of insight. We don’t need to say much here, because they are the undisputed masters of the artform—and any list missing their name would be inherently flawed.
This branded publication by the VC firm First Round Capital managed to grow an audience of half a million monthly readers—and a 100,000+ mailing list—on a two article per week schedule with a content team of two (they showed us how it works when we interviewed their head of content Camille Ricketts). Their PR & Marketing Magazine offers excellent, in-depth marketing case studies—such as this profile of the sought-after Silicon Valley brand strategist Julie Supan.
Marketing Sherpa is a research institute that runs a blog written by a team of experts diving into the data they are uncovering. This is a truly refreshing resource, a selfless guide through the uncertain and ever-changing terrain of marketing, featuring case studies with real numbers and the stories of the strategies that worked, such as SecureWorks’ story of doubling conversions through mapping demand generation to the buyer’s journey. Get the battle-tested strategies that will help you plan and optimize your campaigns here.
Contently’s vast blog is divided into seven streams: Brands, Social Media, ROI, Voices, UK & Europe, and Contently News. It’s another example of content marketing at it’s finest which also keeps an eye on the best content marketing out there—such as Jordan Teicher’s stellar round-up, “The Best Content Marketing of February: 7 Brands That Mean Business”.
Jay Baer is the mastermind behind Convince & Convert, and in this flagship blog you’ll find everything you need to know about social media and beyond. The blog features a steady stream of guest writers, such as Wyzowl’s Samantha Ferguson who recently wrote the compelling piece “6 Undeniable Reasons You Need to Invest in Video.”
Buffer offer another lesson in great content marketing with their blog, which segments into various streams such as the business-inspiration-themed ‘Buffer Open’ and ‘Buffer Social’ which offers best practices on social media and online marketing. You’ll find useful, in-depth content such as “Getting to Know the Ghost: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to SnapChat”.
As a brand powering content marketing for many global enterprises, NewsCred thinks constantly about how to provide genuine value to content marketers, with an array of longform tactical advice-driven pieces that showcase what actually works in the field. Must-read posts includes “50 Best Content Marketing Brands of 2017: NewsCred’s #ThinkContent Awards” as well as trailblazing white papers like The Rise of the UK Brand Journalist. We also loved their recent “How NewsCred Does Content Marketing” case study so much that our founder Kathryn Hawkins dove in for a follow-up interview with managing editor Heather Eng to gather more of her secrets—check out her insights here. (Disclaimer: We’re also a NewsCred agency partner. And enjoyed far too many cups of their pour-over coffee at Content Marketing World 2016.)
Just because it’s documenting the future. And you should be reading it everyday.
Curata is a leading software platform for content curation, so it should come as no surprise that many of their blog posts feature long, exceedingly helpful “Ultimate Lists” of curated resources: Planning which conferences you’ll hit this year? Their content marketing conference list is what you need. Evaluating software tools? Don’t miss their content marketing tools list. If you’re in need of a content marketing agency, there’s even an interactive map for your viewing pleasure (we’re proud to represent Maine!).
Finally, with all that reading, you’ll need a break. You’ll need a power walk around the nearest park or some entertainment to dig into during your commute via train/car/ferry home. Bring Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose—the dynamic hosts of this weekly podcast—with you and let their wisdom infuse your consciousness. To get going, hearing their prophecy from the start of 2017: “This is the Year Agencies Buy Media Companies.”
This list is by no means comprehensive—we’re discovering new treasures every day. Drop us a line to let us know who we should feature in our next round.
And of course, Eucalypt offers a monthly newsletter of fascinating blogs written by our own team of in-house word geeks and content creators. Sign up here!
Additional Image Credits: annhandley.com, contentmarketinginstitute.com
Clare Tyrrell-Morin brings 15 years of international marketing and editing experience to Eucalypt Media. Born in the UK, she spent a decade in the Asian media industry as arts writer for the South China Morning Post newspaper, founding art editor of Time Out Hong Kong, and marketing and events manager for Asia City Media. She moved to Maine in 2009 with her husband and has been enjoying the pristine air ever since.
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