11 Blogs Every Small Business Person Should Be Following

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What are the best blogs for small business people? I have been reading blogs for a few years now and have accumulated hundreds that I follow for various reasons. In my time reading on the web, I’ve encountered several resources that create consistent, compelling content that have direct relevance for small business people. Though there are many more out there that are helpful, I find these eleven are always writing great stuff that informs and inspires individuals to be better business people. If you only have time to read a handful of blogs, add these to your list!

The 11 Best Blogs for Small Business

The Duct Tape Marketing Blog

The Duct Tape Marketing Blog. Written by small business expert John Jantsch, this blog gives direct and explicit advice to small business people on small business marketing. John features guest writing from other small business experts and has a podcast in which he reviews authors of small business literature. John also writes about personal development, as well as web tools that small business folks can use to be more successful in their endeavors. In addition to his award-winning blog, John has written three best-selling books: Duct Tape Marketing, The Referral Engine, and, most recently, The Commitment Engine. On top of all this, John is a down-to-earth, responsive, standout guy, and an excellent writer.

Seth Godin’s Blog

Seth’s Blog. Anyone in the business world who isn’t familiar with Seth Godin needs to do some serious research. He has written countless books on marketing, branding, and entrepreneurship, such as Poke the Box (my favorite), Purple Cow, and Linchpin–to name a few. He has given some awesome keynotes and even has his own action figure. But what many don’t know is that he writes a short blog post, ranging anywhere from ten to five hundred words everyday. Sometimes it’s an argument, sometimes it’s a question. But, everyday, Seth gives us something interesting to chew on.

The Sales Blog


The Sales Blog. Writing every single day, without fail, sales expert Anthony Iannarino writes about, you guessed it, sales. His main audience consists not of small business people, but of sales people trying to work with an organization to create value for customers. Anthony’s ideas, though, speak directly to entrepreneurs as well. After all, if there’s any position in a big business that carries the same chaotic juggle of risk and reward as a small business person does, it’s sales. Sales is about getting customers–something always on the forefront of a small business person’s mind. Besides, Anthony doesn’t only write about sales. His blog is one of the most profound and inspiring resource for personal growth and professional development. If you want to get better as a business person and as a human being, read this blog!

The Sales Lion

The Sales Lion. Don’t be confused by the title. This incredibly useful blog authored by Marcus Sheridan isn’t really about sales; it’s about inbound marketing and how using it can generate sales. Marcus has one of the coolest small business stories around. Before getting on the web, Marcus had his own swimming pool company that was struggling in a tough economy. Blogging literally saved his business. Now, Marcus teaches other small and mid-sized companies how to use content marketing to promote their website visitors into leads and those leads into sales. Following his own philosophy of “They Ask, You Answer,” Marcus typically uses his blog to write answers to frequently asked questions. You definitely need this blog in your arsenal.

Hello, My Name Is Blog

Hello, My Name Is Blog. Written by Scott Ginsberg, a branding expert with one of the coolest shticks I’ve ever seen, this blog contains insights on everything from sales to customer service to personal development. Scott is really big on bringing your own personal art into your business. Scott is the nametag guy–he has been wearing a nametag every single day (he even has own tatooed on his chest) for 4,421 days and counting. The purpose? To demonstrate approachability. Scott’s blog is full of anecdotes, rants, and insights on how to be more desirable to your customers. Great stuff!

Time Management Ninja

Time Management Ninja. This blog is written by Craig Jarrow, one of the finest time management experts around. Craig’s blog is all about productivity. In addition to showing you to effectively manage your time, Craig gives solid, proven advice on how to manage your email, your employees, your projects, and so on. In short, Craig’s blog is all about getting things done. In my opinion, it is the number one blog about productivity across the entire web.

Inkling Media

Inkling Media. Making his living as a social media consultant for small businesses, Ken Mueller writes an amazing amount of content on the subject right on the main page of his website. Ken writes mostly about how small business people can leverage social media platforms like Facebook to build relationships with customers. Occasionally, ken writes a bit about personal development and staying motivated as a business person. The most important thing, though, is that Ken write directly and explicitly for small business people. Check him out!

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt. Dan is a motivation speaker who focuses on sales, leaderships, and personal development. Though his blog is not written specifically for small business people, it is written for people who are in business. Dan Waldschmidt has a way with words that cuts to your core and makes you want to do something. If you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut or don’t quite know how to move forward, read Dan’s powerful words and you’ll be on your feet running before you even realize what happened.

Succeed As Your Own Boss

Succeed As Your Own Boss. Known by many as the Small Biz Lady, Melinda Emerson is one of the most prolific writers on all things small business. She teaches her readers about how to start businesses, how to run businesses, and how to market businesses. She is the host of #smallbizchat, a “Tweet Chat” on Twitter in which she discusses small business issues with other small business experts and practitioners. Her writing is positive, upbeat, and inspiring. Her advice is grounded and practical. Definitely a must-read!

Hubspot Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

Hubspot Inbound Internet Marketing Blog. If you’re trying to grasp the intricacies of the web and its implications for your business, Hubspot should be your number one go-to resource. This inbound marketing company puts out more content than you could imagine. They’re always offering free eBooks, free webinars, free infographics, and so on. The blog posts in and of themselves are well-researched and thought-provoking. The company taps into the creative powers of its team and puts out content from a variety of authors, including Corey Eridon and Pamela Vaughn–a few of my favorites. Read Hubspot’s blog and you’ll become an Internet marketing genius within a single month.

Ariel Marketing Group Blog

Ariel Marketing Group Blog. Ariel Marketing Group is a full-service marketing agency for small businesses founded by Amy Tobin, who writes a killer small business blog for her business. Her writing style is bold and honest. She speaks directly to creative issues, productivity problems, and marketing struggles all small business people face. Amy is entrepreneur who runs her own business and knows what it’s like to grind it out in the trenches. She writes from the perspective of someone’s who’s “been there” (and is still there). She is encouraging as well as informative. Read her blog and you’ll be well-equipped for success, no matter how small your business is.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while and you add these amazing works of art to your weekly reading, you’ll notice something. I am a thief. These brilliant folks, and many more like them, have been my inspiration. I am but a vessel for all of the brilliance I’ve been blessed enough to have channeled through me. These people, these brilliant writers, thinkers, movers, and shakers are the source. Read the content these sites are producing, sift through it to find what’s relevant to your business, and put it to work. If you do that, you can’t go wrong. Success is inevitable.

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6 comments
ShohanAhmed
ShohanAhmed

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opik
opik

Do you read ConversionXL? Best performance marketing blog IMHO

maryhruth
maryhruth

I think you should add yourself to this excellent list, Doug!

creativeoncall
creativeoncall

Agree on all the above, save for Godin's blog, which too frequently veers  too close to aphorism and/or arrogance to be of daily use or practical inspiration.  One example: his post "Do the (extra) work" a few months ago. In that, as I replied in my own blog,  he posits "The working man or woman as fool.  The creative, artistic, entrepreneurial visionary as enlightened being and altruistic miner of intrinsic value." His tone strikes me a bit like Oprah, the cultural figure ascended to role of an oracle – as a small business person, I need the blogs I read to fill me up with useful information, not talk down to me from on high.  I had to delete his feed in favor of more useful input.

iannarino
iannarino

Thanks for including me in your killer list, Doug! I appreciate you!

douglaserice
douglaserice moderator

 @creativeoncall Thanks for the comment, Chuck. I'm  a huge fan of Seth Godin; he has inspired me, I think, more than any other thinker. I've read most of his books and follow his blog fairly regularly. Sometimes, his pithy posts admittedly don't make a lot of sense. They're more like philosophical musings. Still, I've encountered many gems that alter the way I think about business.

 

I've heard many criticize Godin for being too philosophical, and "pie-in-the-sky" with his advice, but I tend to disagree. It could be perhaps that I'm similar to Godin (for better or for worse) in that I'm a creatively minded person and a dreamer more so than I am a get-your-hands-dirty and do the work kind of guy. But, nevertheless, I find that Godin (at least in his books) qualified the claims he makes and backs them up with solid research. 

 

The blog post you cite is, I think, a reference to a post he wrote a few days prior, found here: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2012/12/industrialists-vs-the-rest-of-us.html

 

Godin is contrasting the person that wants to follow the rules and do what she's told ("the industrialist") with the innovative person who wants to change the rules and improve the status quo. I agree with him wholeheartedly that we should all be innovators in our work--regardless of the industry we are in. I don't think Seth is criticizing people in industrial industries (manufacturing) so much as he is criticizing people with the industrial mindset. Similarly, I think his reference to "the artist, the freelancer, and the creator" has more to do with the people who have creative mindsets than it does with people who work in creative industries (design).

 

I've got to stand by Seth. I enjoy the aphorisms. (Clearly you don't appreciate quotes, positive affirmations, etc. as much as I do, but to each his own). No, they aren't heavily-researched, elaborate, strategic plans, but there are other places to find those. Seth serves his purpose, I think, in the repertoire of small business readings.

 

Thanks for the comment and it's great to connect to another great content producer on the social web.

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