As I’ve gone along building this blog, I’ve had a secret advantage. It’s my background in business.
Business reporting has always been my main beat. Hanging around businesses all that time, I learned a lot that helped me when it came time to run my own freelance-writing business. It helped even more when I grew this blog into a business and launched Freelance Writers Den.
Lots of freelance writers read writing blogs — Mary Jaksch at Write to Done and Jane Friedman and Robert Lee Brewer and Jeff Goins and Larry Brooks and other great bloggers on writing. I do that too, but I spent quite a lot of time reading another type of blogger — business and marketing bloggers.
I think that focus, on constant learning business fundamentals, is one reason why I’ve been able to find success out in the wild, wild West that is the blogosphere.
Here is a list of the inspiring, useful business bloggers whose advice helps me make my business better.
These bloggers cover a range of topics, from blog design to Internet marketing to social media and more.
These are in alphabetical order — there’s no way I could rank these as who is best. They all have great information:
Corbett Barr of Think Traffic. This blog exploded right out of the gate. I love his branding — his course, naturally, is Traffic School. Read and learn if you need to grow your blog. NOTE: This site is now gone.
- Brian Clark of Entreproducer. Bet you thought I was going to say Copyblogger, huh? But I’m digging Brian’s new thing, where he talks about the business of online business, and the huge role content marketing plays in your success.
Clay Collins of The Marketing Show. Clay cranks out videos that show you exactly what’s working and not in Internet marketing. I just like Clay’s attitude — no hard sell, just great factsNote: Clay’s show appears to be canceled.
- Erica Douglass of Erica.biz. Erica taught herself code as a youngster and sold her first startup at age 26 for more than $1 million. She doesn’t post often, but when she does, she shares in-depth and always with great, practical insights. For everyone who hopes to turn their writing into a real, big-money business.
- Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. Every design change and graphic improvement I have made to this blog got me more subscribers and made me look less like a pathetic amateur — and every one of those suggestions came from Derek. He has spent a ton of time learning about how to make a blog convert casual visitors into loyal fans and subscribers, and he presents hard data to back up his ideas.
- Kristi Hines of Kikolani. If you don’t have a lot of time to learn about blog marketing, Kristi’s Fetching Friday link posts are a great quick digest of week’s must-read blog posts on business, freelancing, productivity and more. (And no, I don’t just say that because my own posts have been known to appear there…read her for ages before that.)
- Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing. Whatever I’m trying to do, Danny is one step ahead of me. Guest posting? He’s done hundreds. Crowdsource a book with lots of buy-in from your peeps? He rocked it with Engagement from Scratch, and now he’s getting buzz for his manifesto, Naked Marketing. If you want to know how to build an audience for an ebook you’re thinking of doing, pay attention.
- John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing. John has been around since way before the Internet, and he’s got old-school smarts on what works today. He posts a lot on American Express OPEN Forum, which if you’re not reading it is probably the best corporate blog out there, featuring a ton of solid-gold experts.
- Barry Moltz. I met Barry at SOBCon — and he helps businesses get unstuck. If you’re stuck in a rut and not getting the customers you want, he’s really worth a read. Another AmEx OPEN regular.
- Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic. You may know Jon from Copyblogger, but his own thing is working to mentor writers on how to use guest posting to skyrocket their blogs. He helped me once for like a half-hour on a post, and it got in Best of Copyblogger 2010. ‘Nuff said.
- Ben Settle of Email Players. Ben is the king of email marketing. I’m getting his emails now, and often, I don’t even need to open them to learn. Take a dozen of his headlines and read them, and it’s probably better than taking a university marketing course. If you’re not getting good open rates on your emails, he’s your man.
- Liz Strauss at the Successful (and Outstanding) Blog. Liz is the cofounder of SOBCon, and one of the best teachers of valuable business lessons anywhere. On her blog posts, Liz tells stories about her life that help you make your business better. They’re really short. You learn how to connect with people and welcome them so they’ll trust you and want to buy from you. Read them and, as Liz says, you’ll only be a stranger to her once.
- Dan Zarrella, Social Media Scientist. Like Derek, Dan is all about the hard data. Need to know when you should tweet? What words get retweeted most? He’s your guy.