We are coming up on the end of the year (and the decade too) fast.
Since Thanksgiving is next week and I’m not going to post (too many things going on for you and me), this felt the right time to say what I’m thankful for.
Last year about this time, I called out some tools that I had found valuable during the course of the year.
This year, I thought I would give a special call-out to the resources that I turn too when I’m looking for answers or just trying to learn something new.
There are five sites that I am extremely thankful for this year.
These sites have one thing in common, they provide great information and resources.
Are you ready to find out what they are? Then read on.
Have you read any of Ann Handley‘s books? You really should. She has two that I think everybody should read, Content Rules and Everybody Writes.
Ann has a way with words and that’s what lead me to Marketing Profs.
To say there is a plethora of information there is an understatement.
In addition to a blog, it offers an array of formats to deliver information on everything marketing. There are courses, guides and reports, podcasts, and video tutorials.
They also offer a steady diet of webinars. It seems like I attend at least a couple of webinars at Marketing Profs every month.
Simply stated, they are a great resource for marketers.
When I went back to school my major was Communication with a focus on Public Relations. Unfortunately, we never talked about SEO. In fact, I had been out of school for at least a year (maybe closer to two) when I heard of it for the first time.
Over the years, I’ve had to teach myself SEO and Moz has been a great help (check out the video One-Hour Guide to SEO by Rand Fishkin if you’re new to SEO or even if you’re not).
It goes without saying that Moz has some great SEO tools. Keyword Explorer and Moz bar are indispensable for keyword and topic research. Link Explorer and Free Domain Analysis are fantastic for giving you valuable information about not only your website but competitor’s sites as well.
The blog is a wealth of information on SEO that hits on all skill levels and the Whiteboard Fridays videos are fantastic.
Like Moz, SEMrush is probably most known for its SEO tools which are robust. Talking about them would require another blog post but I love the different reports that I can run that focus on social media, domain comparison, and Google My Business Insights.
SEMrush has courses that cover SEO, content marketing, social media marketing (SMM), and pay-per-click (PPC).
There is a blog and ebooks that hit on many of the same topics as the courses.
As with Marketing Profs, I find myself attending at least a couple of webinars every month that SEMrush offers.
While I originally went to SEMrush to check out the tools, I’ve found it to be a great resource for learning.
I found Orbit Media through Spin Sucks. Actually, it would probably be more accurate to say that I found Andy Crestodina, the Co-Founder / Chief Marketing Officer of Orbit Media, through Spin Sucks.
Gini Dietrich did a Fireside Chat with Andy he blew me away. I immediately followed him and Orbit Media on Twitter.
Then I hit the blog. It’s a gold mine for analytics, SEO and content marketing, digital strategy, social media, web design and usability, and Web Development. Orbit Media has one of the best blogs you will ever visit. Period.
The one thing I can guarantee you is every blog post and video is thoroughly researched and presented in a way that engages all skill levels. Just make sure you have some time because you will get everything relevant to the topic.
I make it a point not to miss a webinar that Andy is on if I can help it.
Also, check out Andy’s book Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing. It should be required reading at the college level.
You knew Spin Sucks would be part of this list, right? There isn’t a site that I reference on this blog more than Spin Sucks.
There also isn’t a blog that I visit more than Spin Sucks. In fact, I visit so often that the daily email they send out promoting new articles has become redundant.
I discovered Spin Sucks in 2012. I would visit a few times a year but in the fall of 2016, I read an article written by Gini Dietrich that resonated to my core.
Of course, this prompted me to look through some older content and I was hooked. I made a huge four-year mistake. Ugh.
Spin Sucks is more than just a blog though. Its focus is on professional development for PR and Marketing professionals.
There is a Spin Sucks podcast. I’ve taken classes, attended webinars and AMA’s (ask me anything sessions), and Twitter chats.
One of my greatest discoveries through Spin Sucks is the PESO model, that Gini created. Yes, I talk about it frequently here because it is the best model for PR and Marketing.
I’m saving the best bit for last. There is also a Spin Sucks community on Slack. It has been a great place to meet other professionals, ask questions, provide help to peers, and share information.
And I kid you not, there was a time when I asked a question and a couple of days later Gini sent me a link to a blog post that she’d written specifically to deal with my question.
There is a joke within the Spin Sucks community that Gini loves CoSchedule so much she would marry it.
I feel the same way about Spin Sucks. If I could I would marry it. I love it that much.
After checking out the Spin Sucks blog and joining the community make sure you pick Gini’s books, Spin Sucks and Marketing in the Round.
So there you have it. Five amazing resources that will help you immeasurably (which would freak all of them out because they believe strongly in measurement).
I have full confidence you will find them as valuable as I do.
We’ll talk again in a couple of weeks. In the meantime have a great Thanksgiving.