The 19 Best Content Marketing Blogs From 2014

Michael Brenner on Dec 10, 2014 in Content Marketing

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Update: You might also want to check out:

Yep that’s right! It’s roundup time.

Time to list our favorite stuff from 2014 so we can reflect on what we learned, what we found interesting, and what we shared.

My favorite tool for finding the top content on a particular topic is BuzzSumo, who conveniently allow you to pull up a list of  articles, infographics, videos and interviews from the past day, month, week or year. In this case, I just typed in “content marketing” and up popped 15 articles, ranked on social shares.

I also listed some of my own favorites to come up with this list of the 19 best content marketing blogs of 2014. I am sure you have your own favorites, so please add them in the comments below. These are in no particular order, grouped by publisher.

1. The Content Marketing Revolution – by Alexander Jutkowitz on The Harvard Business Review
Alex opens with this great line: “We are, at present, in the midst of a historic transformation for brands and companies everywhere — and it centers on content.” Then he goes on to talk about the opportunity we have as brands to help enlighten or customers. And he provides a couple of great examples on who is doing it and how.

2. The Irresistible Power of Storytelling As A Strategic Business Tool – by Harrison Monarth, on HBR
In this article, Harrison talks about the storytelling structures that endear us to marketing, and influence our benavior. This should be required reading for any content marketer.

3. The Ideal Length Of Everything Online Backed By Research – by Kevan Lee on The Buffer Blog
In this first of 4 entries by the good folks at Buffer, the ideal length of a tweet is 100 characters, it’s 40 for Facebook. The ideal length of a Headline is 6 words. But you’ll need to 1,600 words to reach the ideal length of a blog post. Email subject line? 28-39 characters. But it’s 8 characters for a website domain name.

4. 53+ Free Image Sources For Your  Blog And Social Media Posts – by Courtney Seiter on The Buffer Blog
I am always looking for “creative commons” images I can use without registration. Some of the sites Courtney recommends require a free sign-up, but you should check out all the resources on this page and find a few that work for you.

5. The Big List of 189 Words That Convert: Write Copy That Gets Your Customers Attention Every Time – by Kevan Lee on The Buffer Blog
This blog talks bout the neuroscience behind the 5 words that are most likely to drive conversion in the English language: You. Free. Because. Instantly. New. It also lists Ogilvy’s 20 most influential words. 3 words that drive community and so much more.

6. The Anatomy of A Perfect Blog Post: The Data On Headline, Length, Images And More – by Kevan Lee on The Buffer Blog
In this article Kevan talks about the pressure of writing a blog post about writing the perfect blog post> But then provides some amazing research, perspectives and ideas to help you write the best blog post. Really helpful stuff.

7. Writing Tips: How To Come Up With 50 Topic Ideas In 30 Minutes – by Neil Pattel on Entrepreneur
This is something that I get asked about all the time. In this post, Neil provides a simple framework for generating that ultimate list of customer questions and marketing stories that you should be writing about.

8. The Art Of Thinking Sideways: Content Marketing For Boring Businesses – by Robin Swire on Moz
This is actually an interesting follow-up from Neil’s post on ideas and brainstorming. And it addresses how to tackle the challenge of coming up with ideas for more mundane businesses or challenges.

9. Woman Demonstrates 100 Years of Beauty in 1 Minute – by on Mashable
This video was just published last week and already has generated 28,000 shares on the site and more than 15 million views on YouTube. I’m not sure it’s my favorite video of the year but this is a pretty creative idea. If you’re not a fan, check out 3 Grandma’s smoking pot.

10. What Is Content Marketing Really? – by Ashley Jane Brookes on Hootsuite
This is a plain and simple guide on what content marketing is and why more and more brands are interested in content marketing practices. It’s nothing earth-shattering and certainly nothing you haven’t heard me say before many times. But I don’t disagree with Ashley’s main points. I like that she puts the focus on addressing customer needs and wants. And while the information is basic, it’s highly effective.

11. 21 Content Marketing Lessons From The New York Times – by Jeff Bullas on
In this post, Jeff does a great job of pulling out all the major lessons from the New York Times Innovation Report which I also covered more briefly here.

12. How To Use Data To Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy – by Ben Harper on The Content Marketing Institute
Ben covers a simple approach to addressing the measurement question all content marketers face at some point in the journey to success. He talks about looking at what to measure, how to use the insights to optimize your efforts and provides a great slideshare example.

13. 6 Ways To Measure B2B Content Marketing Performance – by Derek Edmond on The Content Marketing Institute
Derek uses this post to go a bit deeper than the post above and provides specific analysis you can do in some of the most widely available tools and social channels.

14. Introducing The Periodic Table of Content Marketing – by Chris Lake at Econsultancy
This is one of the most widely shared and popular pieces of content in all of content marketing in 2014. I’d love to hear your thoughts on if you think it’s helpful?

15. These Are The Six Steps I Use For Great Content Marketing – by Jay Baer on Convince and Convert
I’m a big fan of Jay’s and in this post he does a great job of distilling into a very simple process, how to plan, create, distribute and measure your own content marketing.

16. 7 Tools To Hack Your Growth (That Means Get Big, Fast) – by Murray Newlands on
I love growth hackers in all shapes and sizes and one thing that we would all agree on is to use tools to iterate, test and optimize. Murray provides a great list of tools to help you do just that.

17. 11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs [Infographic] – by Demian Farnworth on Copyblogger
This simple infographic lays out the perfect framework for creating a great post every time.

18. 6 Simple Photo Tools For Creating Social Media Graphics – by Jill Celeste on Social Media Examiner
More tools here. This post provides the ones you need to support our increasingly visual content experiences.

19. How To Use Google Analytics Behavior Reports to Optimize Your Content – by Kristi Hines on Social Media Examiner
Here Kristi provides a basic overview for the most important ways to use Google Analytics. Many of us have a love / hate relationship with GA. With this article, you might move a little closer to the love side.

Looking for some more? Here are some of my best content marketing blogs of 2014:

Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.
Showing 10 comments
  • Mael Roth

    I love roundup posts like these. I’m working on my list of my favorite articles of 2014 as well but it’s going to take a while because I go through all the articles in my “pocket”.

    Buzzsumo would have made it easier but if it has been shared the most, it’s likely that many of my readers already know these ^^

    Thank you! 🙂

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Mael, every year until this one I did an article on “the best posts from this blog” and it did not perform well at all. So I decided to try and find some objective way to identify the best posts on content marketing and to try and avoid any bias.

      In the end I think Buzzsumo did the best job but I see your point. I actually wasn’t aware of many of these. I also think, aside from the insights in these posts themselves, that it’s actually insightful to se what is the most shared. We can all learn from that!

  • Kristi Hines

    Thanks for including my post here Michael! It’s exciting to see that it was so popular! 🙂

    • Michael Brenner

      You always do a great job Kristi. It is awesome to see you get the recognition you so deserve!

  • Jay Baer

    Thanks Michael. Great roundup, and delighted to be included!

    • Michael Brenner

      You deserve it Jay! 100% earned. I am thinking about writing a post titled “Why I want to be just like Jay Baer (and you should too!)” What do you think?

  • Derek Edmond

    Thank you for including my post from CMI. Honored to have been part of this list!

  • Mael Roth

    Hi Michael!

    I’ve published my top 10 list and I thought I’d share it with you in the comments since I mentioned this list a month ago 🙂

    Especially the last one was really something which activated my grey matter. Have a good one 🙂

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks so much Mael. Your is a great list too! I invite everyone to check it out.