As is the nature of technology and marketing, it changes and develops at breakneck speed!
What was current one day is suddenly obsolete the next. Everyone starts talking about some emerging tech and you have no idea how to talk about it. A new buzzword starts flying around (CX I’m looking at you) and you don’t understand what it means or where it came from. Google releases a new whitepaper and somehow you’ve missed it.
Yes it’s exciting but it can also be a very frustrating time suck to try to stay on top of it all. Working in a digital agency, I subscribe to a couple of hundred blogs and do a tonne of reading everyday and even then it can be a struggle.
Now I’m not suggesting that you subscribe to hundreds of blogs – that’s impractical, too time consuming and information overload for most people. Most people would declare blog bankruptcy before you have had a chance to read an interesting article
So I’ve curated this short list of 10 marketing and technology blogs that I cannot live without. These aren’t necessarily my favorite blogs, but are blogs that I regularly turn to to stay up-to-date and informed across all facets of marketing and tech. Hence you will notice that this list covers a broad range of subjects including UX, Design, Social, Marketing, Digital Strategy, Search, Tech, CX, and Research.
By subscribing to these you will have a manageable collection of go to sources of content that will keep you informed and digital smart.
BUT FIRST, RSS…
If you don’t already, start using RSS. It’s impossible to type hundreds of URLs into my browser everyday. I need my content pushed to me as it is published and then ready to read on any of my devices.
I use a free RSS reader app called Feedly. It has a great interface (particularly on mobile) that makes reading and managing your favorite blogs easy. Just signup and start adding the URLs of blogs you want to follow. It will pull in and collate the articles from each blog in a single feed that you can sort, save and share.
Okay have you got yourself an RSS reader? Good. Let’s get into it.
For tech news, the major players (e.g. TechCrunch, The Verge & TNW) all virtually publish the same articles so there is really only ever a need to follow one of these sites or else you will find yourself with a reader jammed up with news articles you that you have already read.
The Next Web is my preference of these sites, mainly because it doesn’t publish as many “filler” articles as the TechCrunch or The Verge (on average it publishes 40 less articles a day than the other two) so you get a more manageable source of actual tech news.
Search is not an easy subject to get interested in. It can often be dry and very technical. But it is crucial to be on top of, particularly when/how Google will be making changes to its algorithm.
For example, March last year saw Google roll out its “mobilegeddon” update which separated its mobile and desktop search results, penalising any site that didn’t have a mobile friendly experience in its mobile search listings.
The Search blogs wrote about this months in advance, as well as providing advice on how to make changes to ensure your website wasn’t negatively effected by the change. Of all of these (and I subscribe to a few) I find Search Engine Land to have the best mix of search news as well as tactics and guides.
By far the best of the UX blogs out there. It publishes wonderful guides, case studies and sometimes even free ebooks – I look forward to UXPin’s “Web Design Trends” report every year.
Think With Google is Google’s (I want to say “think tank”) marketing research blog. Their “Micro Moments” report published last year was one of the most important pieces of research that I can think of in recent memory and changed the way that marketers approach the digital path-to-purchase forever.
This site regularly publishes wonderfully researched articles and often localised content too (which is great as I’m in Australia). I never miss one of their articles as they are always of value to me and also my clients.
Speak to any web designer and they will reference Awwwards as one of their favorite sites (with Behance probably up there too). Awwwards is a site where designers submit their website work to be featured and reviewed by their peers (Awwwards user base). Then each day the site awards the “site of the day” which is an award coveted by designers.
I subscribe to Awwwards mainly to be inspired and keep on top of what is trending in web design so as I can apply this to my clients and projects wherever possible.
Though their complete research is only available to their paying customers, the public announcements Gartner publish on their website always contain their key findings and stats from their reports.
These little pieces of info are gold for me, whether to include in pitches or to just share their information with my clients.
Great blog for social and content marketing. Their articles are a nice mix of news, links, case studies and articles categorised by industry.
It would want to be pretty good as its one of the key inbound channels for Contently – one of the world’s leading content marketing platforms ?
Hubspot also have a terrific blog, but I prefer Marketo because it has a slightly more “Enterprise” spin on its articles where as Hubspot’s content caters more to small business.
This is a great source of “How to” marketing articles for business. These articles span all disciplines across digital marketing and often separately cater for B2B or B2C businesses.
If you are reading this outside of Australia then this is probably less useful to you. CMO is an ANZ based marketing news and editorial online magazine.
Their articles are solid and relevant and they often have interviews and guest posts from some of Australia’s leading marketers.
Its pretty hard to find a solid CX (Customer Experience) blog to follow. Most blogs out there that claim to be about CX are just advertising blogs with the name changed to CX (that can be said for most agencies claiming to be CX as well, but I’ll leave that topic for a future blog post).
People Metrics’ blog is a great mix of industry specific CX case studies, articles, guides and research.
What blogs do you follow? I’ve limited this list to ten, but I’m always on the lookout for great new content. Please share your favorite blogs in the comments below.