I've never had a blogroll on my site because a simple list of blogs with no explanation doesn't seem very useful to me. In the early days of blogging, when visitors were looking for more blogs to read, a blogroll may have made sense. These days, with millions of blogs to choose from an any topic, many readers are unsubscribing rather than looking for more.
Still, there'll always be room for another exceptional blog, even if it means kicking someone out of your subscription list who hasn't been up to snuff lately.
Today, I'd like to highlight a few of the bloggers I read, and tell you why they're worth following for me. Here they are, in no particular order:
Internet Marketing Bloggers
Nearly all of the blogs I read are related to internet marketing. Any that I don't have a more specific category for get lumped into this group.
I think I first subscribed to Andy's blog after he posted some comments on my blog. A great thing about Andy is that he doesn't just dash off little notes about whatever pops into his head. Instead, his posts show depth of thought backed up by evidence -- hard experience and research. And he doesn't advocate sleazy or lazy techniques that add litter to the internet.
Andy hasn't posted much lately, but based on his latest post, I think that's because he's been hard at work on some big projects.
Armand is a big name guru who probably needs no introduction. I don't follow all the big names, but Armand has earned my subscription by offering lots of free information that's very high quality.
I first started following him around the time of the launch of Internet Marketing Explained, when the quality of his free content made a big impression on me. Unlike many of the gurus, I haven't seen him pull any cheap stunts since then to change my opinion of him.
I started following Ryan at a time when I was looking for bloggers who were emphasizing ethics. Although I'm not always 100% in agreement with his positions, we come pretty close, and his blog is always good reading on ethical and other internet marketing issues.
I think I came across Terry through Ryan's blog. What I really like about his blog is that his posts are not too short, not too long, and almost always contain solid practical information.
I found Neuromarketing after reading Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy. I'd imagine it might make some people queasy because Roger often delves into techniques that could be used unethically (though he certainly doesn't advocate doing so). All marketers need to know what makes customers tick and how to talk to them. Neuromarketing provides valuable insights -- how you use them is up to you.
I started following Ryan at a time when I was thinking a lot about continuity income -- something anybody who wants a steady income from internet marketing would do well to think about. Ryan runs Continuity Summit, among other things.
I kept following Ryan because it's clear that he cares about ethics, and he's another guy who teaches from a solid foundation of experience rather than spouting off pie in the sky ideas that worked once or twice for him, but probably won't work for you.
If you want to read an internet marketing blog that comes across like a Fortune 500 company rather than some self-taught guy working out of his basement, The Total Package is the place to go. I'm not sure exactly what the difference is -- perhaps it's the length and depth of the posts -- perhaps it's that the blog is written by regular staff rather than one guy with a bunch of guest authors -- perhaps it's just because Clayton and several of the other writers are older than your typical IM guru. Whatever the reason, The Total Package oozes credibility.
One recommendation -- subscribe in a feed reader rather than by email. For some reason, the links from their emails go to the homepage rather than to the article the email introduces.
Michel is another person who oozes professionalism and credibility. He also strongly emphasizes ethics. I realized while writing this post that I wasn't subscribed to his blog, which surprised me. It turns out I was finding out about his blog posts by following him on Twitter instead. The fact that I remembered to include him even though he wasn't in my subscription list should tell you something.
Blogs About Blogging
After the release of SEO Content Factory, the focus of my company switched more toward blogging. I was already subscribed to a few blogs about blogging, but I figured I ought to add a few more. Here are some that I follow now.
These days, Copyblogger is written more by guest posters (some regular guests) than by Brian. Although the content sometimes feels like daily content for the sake of daily content, it's frequently insightful and useful.
Daniel's blog is often what it says -- a quick blogging-related tip -- and sometimes goes into more depth, particular in the posts by guest bloggers.
Something I like about Yaro is that his blog's banner says "down-to-earth advice...", and he delivers on it, coming across as very down-to-earth and personable. Even when he posts a guest post, he'll include a brief introduction that makes it feel like you're listening to a group of friends.
ProBlogger strikes me much the same way as Copyblogger -- as a blog about blogging that's intentionally published daily, and includes lots of guest posts because that's their business model. In other words, for example, it doesn't feel as personal as Yaro's blog. But you'll find a lot of good content there.
I was going to list a few blogs in smaller categories, but I think I've covered the one's I most highly recommend checking out. And I've got something else to say.
Why I Read These Blogs
I follow the blogs listed above for several reasons, including:
- For the information and insights they publish.
- For ideas to write about on my own blog.
- Because, as far as I'm familiar with them, I respect the authors.
- In some cases, because I'd like to have a business relationship with them at some point.
Yes, I have an ulterior motive. But it's an honest motive.
I mention this to point out that following someone's blog, commenting on their posts, or better yet writing posts based on their posts (and linking back to them) is a great way to get on somebody's radar (at least if your comments are good).
When the time comes to take it to the next level, if you've already repeatedly gotten their attention and earned their respect, you won't be calling them cold, and the odds of a positive response should be astronomically higher.
Wasn't that a lot better than a blogroll?