Blogs on the Internet You Should Read
The internet is a huge place. More content is generated today than at any other time. It’s hard to keep up with all of it. I know that I have a hard time keeping up with stuff on the net; I’m woefully bad at it in fact, even though I’ve made a conscious effort to read more. There are some gems I keep coming back to that I’d like to share with you.
I’m going to share some blogs and some folks who I think produce content that is worth reading. It’s like eating Wheaties, but with your eyes instead. Consider that for a moment: You’re eating fucking cereal with your eyes! Mind blown. Poof!
About a year and a half ago something happened over at WDS. Their blog started churning out really great and often good content. It wasn’t a daily thing. But they started producing a bunch of kick ass content. What makes for kick ass content? While that is a highly subjective question, I think kick ass content doesn’t try to sell you on a thing or an opinion. It attempts to educate; to show you a new way of doing an old thing.
Elizabeth Ehrenpreis is the mad content scientist who coordinates those efforts. It’s a team effort surely. When you have some of the most brilliant co-workers, the sheer volumes of information can be overwhelming. What Lizz does is turn that fire hose into a sprinkler, which delivers concise and thoughtful content to the people who want to read it. That’s an overlooked talent in our space, which is ironic since WordPress started by being all about the words if you will. We’ve worked together in the past, and I can tell you every company that has a thing to say needs a Lizz. Take inventory of the WDS blog and subscribe to it. You’re welcome.
Bill is a cool guy, he’s a friendly guy, and he’s an incredibly gifted and giving fella. Mr. Erickson is known in the WordPress community for being a quality developer. He’s even better known in the Genesis community for his work and contributions there. While most of his articles are about development; he also posts about business and other sorts of things.
He doesn’t write as often as I’d like but does that guy churn out helpful stuff when he does.
I just started reading their blog earlier this year, but it’s clear when they decided to revamp their product offering that they went all-in on content. Their blog is a mix of business, design, and marketing. It’s not just filler either. They get into the blood and guts of tweaking your emails to get better conversion rates, and they go in-depth into the design of their updated product offering.
The mix and depth of their content convinced me to trial their software and eventually convinced me to sign up. I’ve used their product in the past, and it was a complete and well-built product that apparently suffered from a lack of design focus and also had too much stuff. They took to heart the notion that good design is when you get to a place where you can take nothing else away from the final product.
Required Reading, Required Following. I think many of us don’t like social media marketing, at least about the practice of being a social media marketer. I think social media is still misunderstood widely by many of us. I think I fall into that category. I think Bridget helps dispel that notion by posting simple common sense and actionable steps to get rolling on social media. If she had a course on this, I know it would do well. (hint, hint). In fact, I was so impressed with her “chops” I asked her if she would help us with our social media efforts for WordCamp LA. I believe WordCamp SD did the same thing. Additionally, she’s the marketing manager for WordImpress. In a short span of time, she proved what the power of social could do not only for business but also for changing one’s life.
She popped up on my radar a couple of years ago when she blew up my social streams during a talk I had done. She followed it up with a blog post and other social media mentions. I was deeply flattered someone found the things I was saying interesting enough to share them with other folks. She wasn’t trying to be a “social media marketer,” she was just doing what people do when they see something or hear something they enjoy. She shared it. She wrote about it; she posted about it. That’s it.
Her approach to social is down to earth in that way. It’s helped me change my attitude and how I practice social. If you follow her and read her articles, I guarantee she can do the same for you.
Blue Steele Solutions Blog and a Guy Named Adam Fout
Adam Fout is a mighty fine writer, that guy. I met him in San Diego a couple of years ago. I’ve seen his work pop up in my stream over the years, and he swings for the fences every time he puts out content. I took notice and saw things worth sharing and started to share it, and I engaged. One day he shot me an email and asked me to do a podcast with him. It was an honor to be invited!
Collaboration over the competition. That’s a term I’ve heard many times. I believe that following this is a big part of any business’s success. I do advocate working with the competition, and I also support finding good partners with whom you can brainstorm. Adam is one such person with whom you should collaborate.
The Smashing Mag Web Development Reading List
Smashing Mag puts out a digest post each week with articles about stuff you should know about if you’re into web development. I usually find out about some new and shiny tool.
Honestly, I don’t like HubSpot. They are great at what they do, and their customers love them. I’ve never been a customer, but they just won’t give up on me; they try hard to get me to sign up for their service. They remarket the sh*t out of me; I see them everywhere I go. Everywhere. Their marketing tech is straight up Voldemort-level. I don’t like it. I haven’t been turned yet, but I know if they keep it up it’s only a matter of time!! That said, they are splendid at what they do.
I will highlight the one thing that I do like about what they do. They do content well. They don’t just “mail it in, “they write great articles I think anyone doing business online ought to read their marketing blogs (or any of them really). They talk about boosting the quality of your email marketing campaigns. They also have a great article about building up backlinks for your website. I think their content is mostly gold, and I’d recommend anyone take some time to read through it weekly. The churn out the goods often.
- Pam Ann Marketing Blog: Boss-level SEO tips and news. They are top notch SEOs
- ManageWP.org: User voted stories revolving around WordPress. It’s news aggregator, and it’s pretty impressive.
- Forty.co Blog: It’s not really active these days. CrowdFavorite also wisely snatched them up not too long ago. James Archer, the agency principal there at the time, and now Chief Design Officer for CF. There are a lot of thoughts on design and process that I think everyone should take note of, especially developers. Design is empathy!
- Marktime Media: Michelle Schulp is an amazing designer. She doesn’t write enough. When she does, it’s gold. This mention is a campaign to get her to blog more. She owes it to herself. Help me bug her! Demand more!
- Geek Girl Life: Natalie MacLees. Probably one the raddest people I know in the community. Read her stuff and demand more content.
- CopyBlogger: You should already know this one. Go on. Go, go subscribe. Just do it. Death, taxes, and CopyBlogger.
- Web Training Wheels: Lucy Beer is a gem and so damn smart. Takes no shit from anyone and delivers the goods. She trains people on using WordPress and also rocks support at WP Rocket.
Now it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite reads about dev, business, and marketing on the web?
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Holy Toledo, Batman! I’m speechless.
I don’t have a course per se, but I have a series called Keys to Being social that teach it along with my #GuruMinute videos. I did a screensharing thing a billion years ago, but you know. I’m so glad that you are encouraged.
I cannot underestimate how your talk in 2014 at WCOC (https://wordpress.tv/2014/06/27/alex-vasquez-managing-yourself-like-a-team/) changed my life. It was a major catalyst.
You said that if you don’t value yourself, no one else will. That rattled around in my brain for the better part of a year before I promised myself that 2016 would be different.
Of course your words have effect. That shouldn’t surprise you. I’ll just quote you back to yourself.
“You have to own how awesome you are.”
This is the best opening line to a comment. I’m super jelly I didn’t think of it first.
I just try to write like you, Adam. I’m your #1 fan.
Aw, thanks Bridget! I hope you know how much I appreciate your support. It’s lonely writing, sometimes, but knowing someone reads it (and, more importantly, that it’s helping them) makes it all worthwhile.
Bridgette, it’s been neat to see your progression and to see YOU owning YOUR awesomeness. Keep growing and do that course already. It’s been three hours!!!
I know, right? One of these days I’ll have a course. But I have to learn LMS plugins, first. Baby steps.
Hey man, thanks for the shoutout! I gotta tell ya, I have an obsession with clever turns of phrase, and your first 5-6 paragraphs had me obsessed. Here’s my fav:
“It’s like eating Wheaties, but with your eyes instead. Consider that for a moment: You’re eating fucking cereal with your eyes! Mind blown. Poof!”
LOL! This is hilarious. I think my favorite thing about your writing is how clearly I can hear your voice in my head. You’ve got the whole conversational writing thing down, and that’s awesome.
Thanks for featuring us — thanks for plugging me in particular! I surely do appreciate it man. I think you’re absolutely right about the partnership thing — competition feels so… I don’t know… it just feels like something from last century, you know what I mean? I feel like we’re beyond that, and I love being able to collaborate with you guys (and everyone, hooray!)
One of these days, we’ll play some Magic, and I’ll promptly get stomped by your OP deck.
If I make it to DFW WordCamp then I’ll be sure to bring my deck. Haha.
But seriously, you do great work there. Heather is an evil genius for snatching you up. We’re not worthy!
Ha! I guess that makes me her Igor? I appreciate it man, I’m just really grateful I’m able to work somewhere where I’m given the leeway and trust to write pretty much how I want — she let’s me experiment, which is the only real way to grow as a writer, I think.
Also thanks for the note about how I write. That’s how I write, but I’m trying to “polish” it a bit more so it’s less all over the place and more compact and focused. It’s a work.
You’re welcome! Polishing is tough — I hate it the most, honestly, but it’s the only thing that turns good writing into great writing.
I highly recommend reading Bridget and Blue Steele Solution’s (Adam’s) content as well. Always good, well thought out content with a purpose.
You’re the best, Robert! We love your blog, too! See? All of the people commenting are people I met on Twitter. I love social media.
Thanks Robert! I’d say exactly the same for your content! I like to think of you as the Neil Patel of social media marketing — excellent l0ng form content that delves deep into a subject and explains the ins and outs. Alex, you gotta check out what Robert writes — really good stuff!
This is worthless reading… 🙂
Shameem… You are right. It is. I’m going to let a car run over my face. I’m done here. Haha.