You are what you read. Read a lot, write a lot is Stephen King’s advice for becoming a better writer. “If you don’t have the time time to read, you don’t have the time, or the tools, to write.” It’s especially true for blogging, where writing has the attached necessaries of knowing SEO and other technicals, of what works, what doesn’t, what’s new and improved, and how you can ride it.
I think it’s the ultimate demonstration of where your passion lies, when you gravitate to what you also consider “work” even on your free time. We blog and we read other blogs and how to blog, don’t we!
(Often, we really have no choice, because every place online has algorithms, and if we always like, retweet and comment on blogging posts, before long, all we’re going to see are blogging posts!)
Ever since I wrote “The Best Books for Bloggers,” I’ve had the idea to also compile The Best Websites for Bloggers. These are the places we go for instruction and inspiration; where we met random people from the other side of the country (or the world) who became kindred spirits; and how we stay in this sometimes-thankless and often-frustrating but ultimately-rewarding job.
That’s why everybody seems to have a list of websites for bloggers! And I’m linking to some of those in this very article.
Now, I always say readers are visual creatures who appreciate and would patronize great design– I know because I am! I have other sites I like and still visit, but I picked these for their clean design as much as for their rich and indispensable archives of blogging help!
I wanted my list to be a real resource AND a source of inspiration for blogs to aspire to.
WARNING: It would be a good idea to set aside a day for binge-reading! If you don’t follow this advice and end up with a ton of tabs open, see my tips about using Evernote to save and organize articles you found online.
Without further ado, here’s my list of the best websites for bloggers. They’re springboards toward creating and offering valuable content in your blog.
A.k.a the Bible of content marketing (Venture Beat calls them that). Their core philosophy? Compelling copy. Can be very dizzying, because they have so much in store for you, from ebooks to webinars, so they annually compile best-of lists for you to start from! Here’s Best of Copyblogger 2015. Trust me, you’d want to dig up the rest of them, year to year.
Formerly SEOMoz. ProBlogger and Copyblogger also has SEO, but for specialized expertise on the subject I go to MOZ and…
I quote and refer to Neil Patel here so often you’re probably sick of him, but what can you do when the guy is so good about SEO and marketing tips AND in presenting them in easy-to-digest articles? Read a lot of Neil Patel and you’d be writing better!
You’ve also seen Hubspot plenty of times here on Blogelina. They’re great. Sometimes I binge-read on Hubspot and come away with a ton of notes of things to do for my blog, SEO and social media. Plenty of tools here, too.
Readers love stats, and plenty of my stats come from CMI. They release reports so us bloggers would have insight to base our decisions off. In blogging, blind decisions based on fear and hearsay can be deadly, so consult the experts with the stats!
Noah Kagan has an irresistible way of presenting his own studies. He’s like that professor who always gets packed classrooms. So many beginner bloggers would do great cutting their teeth on Okdork articles. Brian Dean (of Backlinko fame) and Buzzsumo and other giants are all here! Everything’s there, pretty much. Jump off the Virgin Guide.
Content Marketing Institute has stats and surveys– Social Triggers has takeaways based on human behavior. Your doubts and excuses–Derek Halpern has touched on them. Like Neil Patel, his writing sucks you in and doesn’t release you until you’re done. And like CMI, Social Trigger also provides data to back up Derek’s pushing you in the right direction.
One click and you see such shiny article categories: Content Promotion, Influencer Outreach, LinkBuilding… Ready to go all in on a pet project like guest posting or content promotion? Good place to get your information-backed courage!
I love these two. I love women blogger/entrepreneurs, but more than that, these blogs are so pretty, and true to their name, both are your go-to places for help, advice and inspiration on making your own blog pretty! Visual branding so perfect that your random visitors become repeat customers!
A little gem of a tool so you could share exactly what colors you want to your graphic designer and/or web developer.
These two give you valuable insight about who has linked to you, and how many, and how they did it. You can pop up there and join the conversation and generally be an awesome blogger who can be counted on to participate. Awesomeness like this means more links , more traffic, more revenue.
IFTTT, SocialMention and Mention
More than links, you also need to be magically summoned when people talk about you and yours! People love it. “Wow! You read my blog?!” And you can now honestly say that yes, you read their blog. Haha. These three tools give you alerts when you are mentioned across the web and in social media. Particularly essential when you offer products– you’d know what people like, dislike, and what they wish you’d improve, including what they’re saying about your competitors!
IFTTT does more than that– it’s a free tool that acts on very specific “recipes,” IF THIS THEN THAT. If you haven’t yet, use it! It’s amazing how many fun and lovely shortcuts you can make!
Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics (of course)
They can be intimidating, but once you learn how to use them, what they tell you about your blog and your campaigns are invaluable. Some try to make a go of it without touching these tools– you mustn’t. If your SEO is out of whack, if your visitors go right back out because you actually have a wrong landing page– this is how you know!
Beginner’s Guide to Webmaster Tools by KissMetrics
Beginner’s Guide to Analytics by Kissmetrics
The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Analytics by MOZ
An Updated Guide to Webmaster Tools by MOZ
So, what about you, where do you hang out to absorb blogging prowess? I hope some of you would say Blogelina, of course! 🙂 Let us know in the comments!