There is a lot of great content out there. A lot of great blogs. A lot to take in. I asked myself, which 5 Social Media Blogs, if I had to choose, would I limit myself to? Which 5 turn my head so that I read what they have to say? Which 5 rarely get delegated to the “will read later if I have time” cave on my computer (incidentally many are not revisited once they venture into that cave)? Which ones would I recommend to my clients to get the most practical info?
It was a tough choice. I thought it would be easy but as it turns out I have slightly more than 5. I have been cheeky and included 3 bonus sites, but I think you will find all of these blogs great for the “nuts and bolts” of social media, and cutting edge advice, tips, strategies, stats and creative ideas. Oh and awesome, engaging writing style too. Enjoy! Here are my top 5 Social Media Sites to Follow in no particular order:
Social Media Examiner I have written about SME before and I will probably do so again. Michael Stelzner and his team have created an awesome portal for social media content and one that engages online and off. Their regular Social Media Success Summits (online summits that last 2 weeks) are testament to the number of people that read, subscribe, and participate in SME events. For me, it was the blog that drew me in and it was the first blog I started to read regularly on Social Media content.
Their team of writers and guest writers are brilliant and I can honestly say that I have never read a blog post from these guys that did NOT provide something useful as a take away idea. Their how-to, top pick, case study posts in particular, usually “have me” at the title.
There is a reason why Social Media Examiner ‘s blog grew to 450,000 monthly page views with 40,000 email subscribers in just 12 months. Read the blog. Apply. Repeat.
Social Fresh – Just like SME I rarely miss a post from Social Fresh. Founder Jason Keath has an engaging writing style and seems to churn out practical, insightful, interesting and sometimes a little left of centre (and VERY creative, innovative, forward thinking) posts that really get you thinking. But he has taken this one step further by gathering an incredible array of contributing writers that make Social Fresh special. He has become a master curator of content while retaining a consistent style and message that keeps me coming back to Social Fresh time and time again. Suitable for beginners to advanced social media strategists, this blog is one to watch.
This blog is particularly suited to social media for businesses (kind of hinted at by their tagline “the business of social media”) and their team of c0ntributing writers is what makes Social Fresh so special. I don't just say this because I was lucky enough to be one of them last year, but because of the calibre of writers I was fortunate to be included with. I always watch to see who is posting next! One thing that stands out with this blog is their great titles (you know what you are getting before reading a post) and their easy to read format and style. And they are committed to taking their content offline regularly with their well-reviewed Social Fresh seminars around the States. Coming to Australia guys?
Social Fresh. Fresh. New. Innovative. Read the blog. Apply. Repeat.
Michael Hyatt – Michael's blog is a little different in that it is not 100% social media, but I can safely say that I ALWAYS check each post because they are just so well written and just darn useful and practical and always come at the right time for me. Michael was CEO of Thomas Nelson, one of the largest publishing companies in the world, and he recently resigned to focus on his speaking and writing career.
This is why. He is good at it. Not only that, he is good at leading, and he knows how to be productive. Oh and he rocks at using social media organically. No bells, no whistles. Just great content and awesome levels of engagement with a personal, conversational speaking and writing style. S0….. that should give you an idea about what he writes about: Social Media, Productivity, Leadership, and Publishing. His blog is brilliant. Brilliant. I can't rave about it enough.
I recommend this blog to every client – for social media strategy but in some ways moreso for personal development and inspiration. Put it this way. Michael didn't go from 500,000 page views in 2008 to 5 million+ page views in 2011 from writing about things nobody wants to read. Just sayin'. Read the blog. Apply. Repeat. Religiously.
Amy Porterfield – Amy should have a tagline of “Everyone Loves Amy” because in my experience this is the case. She is a marketing and social media innovator and whiz, and just a lovely lovely girl that is so approachable in style and SERIOUSLY practical in content.
When you read a blog post, watch a video or participate in training with Amy, she has a conversational style that makes you feel like you are in the room with her. In my experience, this is a quality that only the best speakers and trainers manage to pull off. Again (repeating myself here? Getting a theme coming through?), I have never read a blog post of Amy's that has not immediately pushed my “must try that” or “that's an awesome idea” buttons. And she puts her content across in such a clear, easy to understand, and non-condescending way, even if it is the simple stuff she is talking about.
Amy is your Facebook girl. She was one of the writers and community managers on Social Media Examiner when I first discovered them and she continues to build a massive following by providing consistently useful, fun and engaging content that we can all use.
Again. Read her blog. Apply. Repeat.
Mari Smith – what can I say about this engaging, funny, seriously personable lady with a fun Scottish-Canadian-American accent who has a love of turquoise and a talent for really really useful content? Follow Mari! Mari is the Relationship Marketing Queen. She has just written a book about it, incidentally, which I intend to get my hands on very soon to read and review. The thing I like about Mari (well two things) are:
1 Mari is in the trenches doing the hard work for all of us – not only does she produce some amazing social media articles, webinars, presentations across all platforms (but particularly Facebook)…she is there ready to check out the new stuff for us as soon as it comes online. She is an early adopter and she is not afraid to write an article about something before anyone else has even thought about their title. This is good for us readers, business owners, and social media managers. Mari is someone to know, like and trust – so her blog is WELL worth following.
2 Mari is committed to engagement and does this a lot on her facebook page and blog. She walks the talk. And speaking of talk, be sure to check Mari on out video as well as on posts, as her accent alone (and cheery nature) will draw you in, let alone her great tips and content!
Read her blog. Watch her videos. Apply. Repeat.
My 3 bonus blogs…and yes they are Australian (c'mon, it is Australia Day and I feel like I need to add some Aussie to the mix given my American faves listed above).
- www.stylingyou.com.au – Nikki Parkinson has created a brilliant example of how to grow your bl0g community using engagement and great content. I can not recommend her blog enough for an overall picture of how you can build your community. Ok, I admit, I love her posts about fashion and style, but I am not recommending this blog to you for that. I am asking you to really look at how she writes, organises her blog, adopts new platforms (like instagram and pinterest), runs competitions and promotions (from her blog!) and brings her personality into her writing and videos. If you look at the bigger picture with Nikki, and subscribe to her blog, you will get to see great blogging in Action. BUT. I really want you to do one thing for me. Don't miss her Saturday posts about Blogging. On Saturday, she posts JUST about Blogging. Simple. Great tips and content about what has worked for her. Again, I always get something out of it, so if you read just one of her posts, make it a blogging post. But I am smiling, because I know you won't stop at one. You can also find out more about Nikki here.
- www.problogger.net – I can proudly say that Darren Rowse is another Aussie who has generated an amazing business and community through blogging. His site is crammed full of blogging content and tips so it is a great place to go to learn all about blogging. Read his book, read his posts, follow his advice. There are few people who have done as well as Darren from blogging, so trust what this man says. Oh and he is a nice guy too. All the Aussies are, right Nikki?
- www.jeffbullas.com – Jeff's blog is full of great content about a range of social media platforms. Great writing style. Insightful. Forward thinking. Great curator of content, but he also manages to pull together info and present it in a way that invokes debate, creation of ideas and discussion. I have only more recently started following Jeff's blog. But he has a huge following and I am now one of those keen followers. Love his writing style.
That's it – my top 5 blogs and my top 3 Aussie blogs as a bonus. I am proud to be an Australian today and proud to be an Australian Blogger. Now, off to have a BBQ with friends.
What about you? Are any of these in your faves list? Any that you will start following after reading this? And most importantly, what are your top 5 – let me know! I am always looking for great social media blogs.