As part of this weekly feature I give links to great content that can really help the small business owner make their business better. This week in addition I thought I'd give you my top five blogs that you should subscribe to. I typically get most of the content I read from Twitter. There are, however, a few blogs that consistently show up that I get great value from so I make sure I'm subscribed so as not to miss anything.
There are a few ground rules to be included in this list.
- No Spin!!!: I want a blog that is giving me real advice written by people that are entrepreneurs or experts in the field. If the blog is being written by some marketing flack it is out.
- Business focus: Needs to be primarily about business. I can take a little variation but I don't want to see gluten free menu options in between posts on business valuation and establishing pricing.
- Needs to have regular posts: They don't have to have posts everyday but I would like something to read.
- It needs to be readable: If each post is a 5,000 word manifesto full of links and obscure references I have to be honest, it's going to be hard to keep my attention.
- The point of posts should not be to let me know how much better you think you life is than mine: If I want to read about the lifestyles of the rich and famous I'll pick up a tabloid.
- MUST have points I can put into practice.
OK there are the rules and here are my five must follow business blogs:
- Spin Sucks: When it comes to marketing and communication I begin and end here. Gini Dietrich and her Arment Dietrich team never fail to provide the best content. The nice part is that while there are some posts that are PR industry specific most are universal enough to have value for both industry practitioners and those of us outside the inner circle. They also utilize their social channels and video well to generate content and engage with their readers. The thing that I think that sets this blog apart is Gini's experiences as a business owners. While "being an entrepreneur" posts are not prevalent as PR posts there are enough that a small business owner can get some entrepreneurial support from the blog. It is well worth your time to subscribe.
- Savvy Sexy Social: Focus is on helping small business understand and implement on-line tools and techniques to better reach their audience. Amy Schmittauer is the founder of the Triple S. She provides a good mix of written, audio and video content that small businesses can put into practice right away.
- Small Business Daily: Authored by Rieva Lesonsky, the former editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine, this blog provides great posts specifically focused on small business growth. It has very actionable tips as well as strong analysis of trends that could impact your small business.
- ProBlogger: This is the must read resource on business blogging. Great content on all aspects of blogging from development to content and outreach. It is written well, easy to take in and is very active.
- The Sales Blog: When it comes to sales content and advice this is a great blog. Authored by Anthony Iannarino, the post really hits all aspects of the sales process with very actionable tips. I read a lot of sales stuff and this is the one I subscribe to.
- MidWest Tech by Rick Coplin:This a special add because it violates the "Needs to have regular posts" rule but when Rick Coplin does post it is "always" worth a read. His posts touch a chord with entrepreneurs and are really helpful to anyone trying to build a growth business.
If you have any awesome business blogs you like leave them in the comments so we can all check them out.
Now on to this weekend's business long run. Remember these are articles that I have come across this week that would be good to look at to improve your business. I'm still in a slow ramp up of miles but my knee is feeling much better so I figure I'll get in another 5 mile run and read these posts:
Here We Go: Hacking! at Show and Tell by Allison Lehman ~ If you are a blogger getting hacked is the ultimate nightmare. Maybe not quite that bad but still pretty bad. Here are some inside tips to help you prevent getting hacked.
15 Signs You're Working Too Much and Burning Out at Lifehack ~ Great tips on recognizing and addressing burnout from 15 entrepreneurs like you.
What Leaders Can Learn from a Wookiee Like Chewbacca at Thought Leaders ~ OK Star Wars nerds here is a leadership post you can relate to (I'm more of a Battlestar Galactica guy personally).
Social Media Resources for Professional Speakers on Slideshare by Sarah J Storer ~ Nice slide deck from a presentation Sarah did for National Speakers Association on Social media resources. Even more important is that you look at how she did the slides. Very innovative. Note...Those are Sarah's shoes in the picture above.
Before I close I want to give a shout-out to Carrie Wilkerson on her 40th birthday. She is a inspiration, motivation and support to me. I'm so happy to be able to call her a friend. Click her link to check her out on twitter and say happy birthday.
Be sure to get out and put in your mileage this weekend so you are ready for your business marathon.