I love reading business blogs, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are not mainstream; I’m looking for fresh insights and going non-mainstream is the way to go. Secondly, as I own and manage business blogs, I need to watch for some of the players in the industry to learn what they are up to, and adopt one or two things that I think beneficial for my own blogs.
You can probably pick at least three identifiable blogs out of the following list. However, I’ll hazard a guess that there are more than a few that you didn’t realize existed. Follow the links and have a look for yourself. Bookmark them, subscribe to their RSS feeds, and follow their twitter accounts.
This is Anita Campbell’s brain-child. It’s safe to say that Anita has her nose in almost everything related to small business in North America. She’s highly respected as the CEO of Biz Sugar, and frequently mentioned, quoted and tweeted about in the SMB world. Smallbiztrends.com has tons of information about marketing, software, investing, SMB-related tax advice and much more. There are near hourly posts by Anita and guest posts from plenty of influential business names you’ll recognize. If you’re not reading this blog, you’re seriously stunting the growth of your business!
This is a great blog brought to us by Martin Zwilling. If you’ve never heard of him, it’s still very likely you’ve read something insightful from him on Forbes, Newsweek, Huffpost, etc. He’s a frequent guest poster, but his main expertise is consulting with startups. Follow him on twitter. I could spend an entire week reading his blog, learning about everything from how to secure angel investors, interviews with folks like Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin, to advice on precious metal and stock market investing.
This is an interesting blog run by John Jantsch. Perhaps you’ve read his book “Duct Tape Selling“? Jantsch’s credo is all about budget marketing. Browse this blog once or twice a week to pick up new shoe-string marketing tips, discussions related to the psychology of selling, and weekly guest posts from other small and large business heavyweights. He’s no Ashton Kutcher, but his twitter has close to 100,000 followers.
I was directed to this blog by a friend who, at the time, was interested in investing in a Subway Restaurant franchise. I was hooked by the advice and general musings of Joel Libava. The site has a really sort of tacky feel to it, but don’t let that dissuade you. He talks about, you guessed it: Franchising! How to secure investment capital, the ins-and-outs of getting your foot in the door with various franchises, running your franchise successfully, and much more. He’s frequently featured on smallbiztrends, has guest posted on HuffPost, and his twitter is definitely worth a follow.
5. Paul Graham
Ever heard of the seed capital firm “Y Combinator” or “ViaWeb” (now the Yahoo! Store)? His site is kinda hard to call a blog. Follow the link provided and you’ll be met with a list of crude links to what Graham and his loyal following call “essays”. He posts rather infrequently, but the site is packed with information related to startups, investments, computer hacking, inspirational quotes and archived “essays” from Paul, dating well back into the mid-nineties. Get on with his twitter – Matt Cutts even follows this guy!
It’s safe to say the Virgin magnate is anything but (a virgin) – considering he has boatloads of cash, 4+ million twitter followers, and a few grown children. Branson’s site could easily make it to the top of any list of “must read” material. Everything from investing, trending, startups, running a successful business, travel, the environment, and social issues are constantly covered in daily posts. This is one of the higher quality blogs listed here, from a visual appeal/editorial perspective, however it isn’t laser-focused toward SMB’s.
You might be thinking “Ha! Just what I’ve been looking for, a social media marketing blog!” Nope, this is a blog headed by Derek Halpern, an investor and sales genius. He’s also the host of his own popular podcast “Social Triggers Insider“, which has hundreds of thousands of weekly listeners. His blog is scaled back – very simple theme with lots of great posts related to the psychological triggers involved in successful selling, garnering testimonials for your products, business networking, startup advice, website optimization, freelancing, product pricing strategies, and plenty more. Check Mr. Halpern out on twitter too.
Try to say the title of this blog ten times really fast – bet you can’t! James Altucher is another lesser-known who’s very popular, but whom you may not have heard about before. He’s an entrepreneur, which is why he’s posted on this list. He’s also a published author, and public speaker who’s made his name inspiring people to do better and find balance in their life. You’ll find frequent posts on everything from being a successful entrepreneur, to copywriting, marketing, sales, relationship building, and book publishing. Read the titles of his posts for great link-baiting ideas! His twitter posts are entertaining.
9. Viral Blog
It’s hard to imagine that anyone hasn’t heard of this one, but I frequently cross paths with business/marketing folks who haven’t. Viral Blog posts about everything viral. This isn’t a blog that’s led by a figure-head in the business or marketing community, but more of a collaborative site. An aggregator of everything in the viral social sphere, with fresh perspectives to help you learn what’s trending and how you can use it to get more customers. They dissect and offer insights into what all the big companies are trying to achieve through their global marketing campaigns. There’s so much quality information on the site, I was shocked to see they only have about 12k twitter followers.
10. What’s your favorite business blog?
Please share yours!