I'm a big social media guy. I love Twitter. I read blogs more than I read books, watch YouTube more than live news and I like to think I have a pretty good blog at Ideas To Deals. Having said all of that it gets real noisy on the internet. Tough to figure out what is good and worth your time to follow and what is crap. Sure you can follow the big names but sometimes it feels like, while they have great content, it doesn't quite hit the small business target.
I'm here to help by giving you my top nine blogs that you should subscribe to. Before we get started here are a few ground rules to be included in this list.
- No Spin!!!: I want a blog that is giving me real advice written by people that are entrepreneurs or experts in the field. If the blog is being written by some marketing flack it is out.
- Business focus: Needs to be primarily about business. I can take a little variation but I don't want to see gluten free menu options in between posts on business valuation and establishing pricing.
- Needs to have regular posts: They don't have to have posts everyday but I would like something to read.
- It needs to be readable: If each post is a 5,000 word manifesto full of links and obscure references I have to be honest, it's going to be hard to keep my attention.
- The point of posts should not be to let me know how much better you think you life is than mine: If I want to read about the lifestyles of the rich and famous I'll pick up a tabloid.
- MUST have points I can put into practice.
OK there are the rules and here are my six must follow business blogs:
- Spin Sucks: When it comes to marketing and communication I begin and end here.Gini Dietrich and her Arment Dietrich team never fail to provide the best content. The nice part is that while there are some posts that are PR industry specific most are universal enough to have value for both industry practitioners and those of us outside the inner circle. They also utilize their social channels and video well to generate content and engage with their readers. The thing that I think that sets this blog apart is Gini's experiences as a business owners. While "being an entrepreneur" posts are not prevalent as PR posts there are enough that a small business owner can get some entrepreneurial support from the blog. It is well worth your time to subscribe.
- Savvy Sexy Social: Focus is on helping small business understand and implement on-line tools and techniques to better reach their audience. Amy Schmittauer is the founder of the Triple S. She provides a good mix of written, audio and video content that small businesses can put into practice right away.
- Small Business Daily: Authored by Rieva Lesonsky, the former editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine, this blog provides great posts specifically focused on small business growth. It has very actionable tips as well as strong analysis of trends that could impact your small business.
- ProBlogger: This is the must read resource on business blogging. Great content on all aspects of blogging from development to content and outreach. It is written well, easy to take in and is very active.
- The Sales Blog: When it comes to sales content and advice this is a great blog. Authored by Anthony Iannarino, the post really hits all aspects of the sales process with very actionable tips. I read a lot of sales stuff and this is the one I subscribe to.
- Kikolani: Kristi Hines leads the reader on a" how to" of using the interent with blogging tips and blog marketing advice catered to personal, professional, and business bloggers alike. Very readable and actionable items to help you reach your target.
- ThoughtLEADERS: Mike Figliuolo, author of One Piece of Paper, is the founder and lead contributor to this excellent blog on organizational and business leadership. Well written with just enough attitude to get you off your butt and down to business.
- Barefoot.com: Carrie Wilkerson's blog provides great tips to those starting or building a small business. While Carrie's nitch is the work from home audience her motivational posts apply to anyone. Her recommendation can really get you focused, keep you on track and on your way to making things happen in your business.
- The Sales Lion: Marcus Sheridan is a great example of how to use social media and video to build a small business. As the Presdient of River Pools and Spas he used innovate methods to reach cusomers and build awareness of his business. He provides great ways for small businesses to apply on-line tactics to promote off-line businesses.
- MidWest Tech by Rick Coplin: For those of you locals to Columbus or the midwest I thought I'd add a speacial mention. This a special mention because it violates the "Needs to have regular posts" rule but when Rick Coplin does post it is "always" worth a read. His posts touch a chord with entrepreneurs and are really helpful to anyone trying to build a growth business.
So what is hitting your reader or email account? If you have any awesome business blogs you like leave them in the comments so we can all check them out.
Be sure to check out my blog too, Ideas To Deals, for more small business growth tips.