Do you know …
… The true value of content marketing?
… Why home pages and landing pages are different?
… When to apply various copywriting formulas?
… How often to blog, when to use long-form content, and who is on which social media channels, when?
What about who the influencers in your industry are, or where and when to attend conferences?
I’m guessing not. But if you had subscribed to even a few choice blogs, you would know these stats already.
At the beginning of a new career, we all have to start somewhere. After all, as Muhammad Ali said, “Even the greatest was once a beginner.” But sometimes, that “somewhere” feels like nowhere. You have passion, but no useful resources to learn about your new industry: no blog subscriptions, no books read, no favorite podcasts. And finding them takes a long time.
You feel like a writer without a pen – how can you even dream of learning without information?
That’s where this guide comes in handy. After this, you won’t have to start from scratch or sift through the “noise.” All the best online resources for industry info will be at your fingertips.
Let’s dive in.
Blogs and Articles
Blogs are a great way to stay current on industry trends, stats, and influencers. Below are the most helpful, popular, and influential blogs and articles to date.
18 Blogs and Publications to Follow
1. The Persuasion Revolution: Get the scoop on persuasion with scientifically proven hacks by Bushra Azhar.
2. Backlinko: The most comprehensive, leading SEO resource created by Brian Dean. Subscribe if you want quality, every time.
3. Marketing Profs’ articles and tutorials: Subscribe to this expert publication to keep your content skillset sharp.
4. Content Marketing Institute: Stay informed on content marketing trends by subscribing to the most trusted authority on content marketing.
5. Social Media Examiner: You probably use social media every day, but not as a marketer. To tap into social media trends, subscribe to this expert guide.
6. SmartBlogger: This veteran blog was created by Jon Morrow, one of the most-read bloggers in the world.
7. Quicksprout: Hone your craft and get the latest trends from content marketing genius Neil Patel.
8. Andy Crestodina’s Orbit Media blog: Andy’s data-driven blog contains expert content marketing advice through the lens of internal studies. If you like strong statistics, this is your place.
9. Coschedule’s Ultimate Content Marketing blog: Want even more on content marketing? Gain insights from the company that makes tools marketers trust to organize their strategies.
10. Copyblogger’s blog: Tired of being just “good” at online writing? Build strategic skills with expert online marketing and copywriting advice from the bible of content marketing.
11. Search Engine Journal: Read about all things content marketing, SEO, and social media here.
12. ProBlogger: Blogging is an art – so you need expert advice on how to perfect that art.
13. HubSpot: There’s a reason HubSpot’s studies and stats are always cited. Learn to deliver consistently high-quality content from this marketing giant.
14. Moz: If you’ve ever heard of Rand Fishkin, you know Moz is the place to go to learn SEO and online marketing. If you haven’t, it still is.
15. Convince and Convert: Read up on current case studies on content marketing – and get advice from real-world practitioners.
16. Michael Brenner of Marketing Insider Group: More SEO and marketing advice! This time it comes from an impactful, inspiring marketing leader with a passion for strong leaders, powerful teams, and massive growth.
17. Julia McCoy and team: The Write Blog: From yours truly, my blog is the “write” one for the practical content marketer or SEO.
18. Julia McCoy: Content Hacker™: Unlock the next level of growth for your brand with my powerful content advice.
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15 Articles to Read
1. The SPI Guide to Ethical Affiliate Marketing: Smart Passive Income provides trusted education to online entrepreneurs. This article breaks down the true meaning of affiliate marketing and teaches you how to remain ethical and relevant to your audience while tapping into extra income.
2. How to Start a Blog: Easy, Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners: Want to start a blog? Learn from the best – from choosing topics to technical advice to making a profit, Jon Morrow offers the simplest, most comprehensive guide out there.
3. Steve Jobs’ Definition of “Smart” Will Reprogram Your Idea of Intelligence: The secret to financial success, Alan Trapulionis says, is being smart. But this brilliant take on business smarts challenges what that means.
4. What is Content Marketing? Find out what content marketing really is – straight from the source that defined it. This is a great intro to the field.
5. The Ultimate Guide to No-Pain Copywriting: Learn how to use every copywriting formula ever made. Brought to you by the Copyhacker herself, Joanna Wiebe.
6. Content Marketing in 2021: The Definitive Guide: Start your year of content with a bang (the right kind). Brian Dean of Backlinko shares insights on what works NOW, based on current research.
7. Why Your Niche Marketing Strategy Needs to Be About Your Content Differentiation Factor: Got a niche idea? My article is about just that – and why you might need to reframe how you think about them.
8. How Corporate Values Guide Marketing Through a Crisis: Do values guide marketing, or does marketing guide values? Mark Schaefer’s perspective will recenter your thinking and bring you back to what really matters in business and marketing.
9. When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Create Long-Form Content: I’ve long been a proponent of long-form content, but it’s not for every situation. CMI reveals when and how to use long-form content – and what’s even more important.
10. Read to Lead: How to Digest Books Above Your “Level”: Ever get discouraged reading something you can’t understand? Learn how to comprehend anything from the guy who reads hundreds of books every year.
11. Stoicism: Practical Philosophy You Can Actually Use: You’re a person of action. Ryan Holiday knows it, and he’s got the perfect guide for you: a way to apply an ancient philosophy to your modern life.
12. A Model for Link Building: Beyond “Great Content”: Content isn’t everything. What? Learn why Ross Hudgens would say such a thing – and what a successful link building strategy really requires.
13. The Career Advice I Wish I Had at 25: When you’re middle-aged, you’ll wish you had taken this career advice. So take it – and give your career a solid foundation.
14. 13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want to Be Successful: What’s holding you back from success? This article has 13 ideas.
15. Seth Godin’s Email Checklist: Read this before you hit “send.” Seth Godin knows what he’s talking about.
Podcasts and Audiobooks
For the on-the-go learner, podcasts and audiobooks are convenient and immersive. You can listen while cleaning, working, exercising, and more. They can also build listening skills.
Buy or download audiobooks from the following sites:
This blog also lists over 11 more websites to find free audiobooks.
Download or stream podcasts from the following sites:
Now let’s get into the audiobooks and podcasts that are well worth the listen.
12 Podcasts and Shows to Listen To
1. #ClassroomWithoutWalls: Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang is a disruptor of traditional education. Her social media marketing show airs every Wednesday at 5pm EST. For live advice and discussions, tune in on Facebook.
2. Podcast Launch Lab: Learn everything you need to know about podcasts in 30 days. Sebastian Rusk offers the best solution to launching a show in under six months.
3. Savage Marketer: Drawn from the philosophies of William James, Jeff Hunter’s raw, unfiltered marketing strategies and insights reveal the path to a revenue-generating sales funnel – without B.S. and fluff. That’s savage.
4. Marketing Made Easy: Get actionable, profitable online marketing tips and tricks galore from Amy Porterfield’s top-rated podcast. She interviews other experts and reveals her own launch secrets.
5. Tutorial Tuesdays: Joanna Wiebe breaks down numerous aspects of freelancing for about 20 minutes every Tuesday. Learn podcasting, authority building, income diversification, proposals, client management, and more.
6. Marketing Over Coffee: Grab your coffee and sit down with John J. Wall and Christopher S. Penn to get the scoop on classic and new marketing every Thursday morning. This podcast is conversational but packed with useful information.
7. Copyblogger FM: Content, content marketing, content creation, oh my! Darrell Vesterfelt and Tim Stoddart from Copyblogger talk everything content and content marketing in this podcast. Find it on Spotify or iTunes.
8. The Growth Show: Got the entrepreneurial bug? Listen to HubSpot’s podcast for inspiration and insights into growing a business from scratch.
9. Experts on the Wire: Hosted by Dan Shure, this must-listen podcast offers SEO tips and discusses digital marketing from an SEO standpoint. This is not your average marketing advice.
10. The Weekly Wrap: Get insights from the Chief Strategy Advisor at the Content Marketing Institute. The podcast airs every Friday.
11. The Content Strategy Podcast: Kristina Halvorson made content strategy a thing. She’s also its biggest fan. If you don’t love content strategy already, you will after Episode 1.
12. The Content Experience: Looking for tips to take your content marketing to the next level? Convince and Convert has a show just for you. Learn how to be meaningful, useful, and engaging to your audience.
12 Audiobooks to Listen To
1. The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win: Jeff Haden challenges the popular misconception about motivation in this practical guide to achievement. If you struggle with motivation, this is for you.
2. The Creative’s Guide to Starting a Business: How to Turn Your Talent into a Career: After listening to Harriet Kelsall’s easy-to-follow guide, you’ll be inspired and equipped to build and sustain a business around your talent.
3. Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career: Scott Young displays how to future-proof your career through what he calls “ultralearning” – best practices for learning based on current research.
4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change: This famous bestseller by Stephen Covey has transformed presidents, and it’ll transform you. If you can remember these 7 habits, you’ll be among the millions of people made effective by this book.
5. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich: Working four hours a week? Yes, it’s possible. If you want to be a lifestyle entrepreneur, give this book by Tim Ferriss a listen.
6. Thinking, Fast and Slow: Is quick thinking better? Not necessarily. Daniel Kahneman’s stimulating audiobook will change how you think about thinking. This is for you if you like psychology and want to reap the benefits of understanding yourself.
7. I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was: Barbara Sher lets you in on the secrets to discovering your goals and matching them to a satisfying career. After four hours of listening, you won’t feel directionless anymore.
8. #GIRLBOSS: Contrary to the title, Sophia Amoruso’s book isn’t just for girls. It’s for anyone seeking success – anyone who doesn’t want to be typical. Through her story, you’ll learn the importance of trusting your gut.
9. Woman Rising: A True Story: This is the true story of my own rise from darkness in a cult to brilliant entrepreneurial success. After listening to my shockingly detailed, inspiring account, you will see how possible success is – no matter what you’ve been through.
10. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In: Conflict exists in every aspect of life, including business. That’s why you need this efficient, proven guide to conflict resolution.
11. How to Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie wrote this best-selling classic over 60 years ago, and it’s still applicable today. Considered the reference manual for human relations, it is well worth the listen.
12. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know: Malcolm Gladwell questions how we interact with strangers in this immersive, thought-provoking scrutiny of society. Complete with interviews, a theme song, and re-enactments, this is a reinvention of the audiobook – a must-listen for those with a curiosity for human relations.
YouTube is the go-to for inspiration, relaxation, and even alternative lectures – there’s no end to the content you can find there. The channels in this list are of superior quality.
13 YouTube Channels to Subscribe To
1. Ryan Stewart: Learn from an SEO and marketing genius to get more traffic and conversions for your website.
2. Dan Lok: This high-level copywriter also has great business advice on his channel.
3. Brian Dean: Turn actionable strategies from Backlinko into video form and learn everything you ever wanted to know on SEO and how Google works.
4. Marie Forleo: This is a thoughtful, inspirational channel for writers – or anyone who wants to succeed in life and business.
5. Kimberly Ann Jimenez: Kim teaches content creation and strategy for entrepreneurs. You can also find her Business Lounge Podcast on YouTube.
6. iNinja – Digital Marketing Courses: Become a digital marketing ninja through these valuable tutorials on social media, blogging, Facebook Ads, email marketing, and more.
7. Ahrefs TV: Gather practical tips on SEO, content writing, and growing your traffic organically from this marketing giant.
8. UX Mastery: This channel helps you get started in User Experience, track the customer journey, and understand how content supports both.
9. Think Media: Here you’ll find everything you need to know about building online brands and influence through weekly growth videos.
10. Leveling Up: Eric Siu provides business and marketing advice for solopreneurs working online. Follow his channel to level up your success.
11. HubSpot: Mentioned earlier, the HubSpot channel brings quick and easy-to-digest explanations on digital marketing and content concepts. Their authority and expertise are second-to-none.
12. Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays: This is a video series about SEO from a leading expert on the subject.
13. Julia McCoy: My YouTube hub is ripe with tips on content strategy, marketing, and writing. Follow me to start getting lasting results.
Music for Focus and Productivity
Ready to buckle down and start studying? Check out these chill study music channels:
- Quiet Quest – relaxing background music for studying (from Simon, a fellow studier)
- Calmed by Nature – relaxing white noise and various creative locations for mindfulness
- Chillhop Music – the best channel for lofi hip hop and chill beats, 24/7 chillhop livestream
- Yellow Brick Cinema – 24/7 livestreams, beautiful imagery
- Halidon Music – classical music for reading
Which Online Resources Will You Use?
Without resources, your access to quality information may be limited. Now that you have this grand list, though, your opportunities are nearly endless. You know which blogs, the articles, the podcasts, the audiobooks, and the channels to follow. You even have the best study music now. Most importantly, you’re driven to learn.
What are you waiting for? Pop in the earbuds, crack open your digital “textbooks,” and dive into the world of self-education!
Ready to take your self-education to the next level? Buy your copy of Skip the Degree, Save the Tuition.