By Austin Talbert
Whether you’re a green rookie or a seasoned vet, the best strategy for staying sharp as a content marketer should not come as a surprise to you. After all, you are a member of a highly-engaged group of professional communicators.
Read, read and read some more.
And because this is content marketing we are talking about, that reading always starts with blogs. Lots and lots of blogs.
“Digital marketing blogs may be numerous, but I find them to still be critical. I’ve been in digital marketing for 20 years, and the only way you can stay relevant that long is to read a lot. In digital marketing, if you don’t learn you die. Period.”
As you have no doubt discovered, the internet is flooded with great content (not to mention the untamable oceans of mediocre to awful stuff). Busy enough fighting for your own content efforts to rise above the noise, it’s important the time you spend sharpening your skills be as efficient as possible.
Which is why you should start your efforts to stay informed with these seven amazing resources.
The Dallas Cowboys, err New York Yankees…scratch that, let’s just say the “most recognizable team” of content marketing (with apologies to CMI founder, the orange-obsessed Joe Pulizzi, the Cleveland Browns of content marketing doesn’t do your team justice)—the Content Marketing Institute became synonymous with the field by consistently educating practitioners and promoting the value of content marketing.
That and their strategic choice of name.
While they didn’t invent the field of content marketing, CMI’s dedication to serving content marketers, and commitment to producing consistent, enlightening and inspiring content has nurtured, encouraged and equipped thousands of professionals to become better content marketers.
Delivering fresh research, practical advice, and in-depth resources on a daily basis, CMI is a can’t-miss resource for the smart content marketer.
Recent read: Can we please stop using branded content?
After a long, successful run as Copyblogger Media, Brian Clark and co. relaunched their brand under the Rainmaker banner. But don’t worry, they are still dishing out practical advice and thoughtful commentary at Copyblogger.com.
In fact, with almost 10 years of amazing, insightful content in the archives, the team over at Copyblogger is digging up and curating the best of the best to help you tackle common issues and questions that plague all content marketers. That is, in addition to fresh content they dish out on their blog on a daily basis.
“I never take my eyes off Copyblogger. I don’t think any publisher has a crystal ball like theirs. That said, what they do isn’t mystical. Copyblogger is forever in touch with the information needs of content marketers and proactively answering their questions.”
Recent read: A 7-point plan for more shareable content
Lee Odden and his crew at the Top Rank blog excel at delivering in-depth guides packed full of real-world examples, useful advice and dead-simple explanations of complex subjects. Top Rank also thrives at exploring the intersection of content marketing, PR, SEO and other digital marketing disciplines, always focused on helping you proactively tackle the future.
The CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group and former head of strategy at content marketing whizkid Newscred, Michael Brenner consistently shares his invaluable insights on content marketing on his own blog. With help from other content marketing thought leaders, this blog is an amazing resource for both high-level strategy and practical, on-the-ground advice to improve your execution.
It would be dumb to miss free access to the content marketing smarts from Jay Baer. If that isn’t enough for you, Convince & Convert’s blog delivers 10 high-quality weekly posts from other bright minds in content marketing.
A great source of impactful inspiration, Baer has an impressive knack for being able to craft memorable, and shareable, snippets that perfectly encapsulate a topic—the perfect ammo for impressing your boss or colleagues.
Recent read: Does your content marketing pass the mom test?
Produced by Contently, The Content Strategist thrives at explaining why the latest development in digital marketing matters to you as a content marketer, and how to best position yourself for success as a result.
Neil Patel— QuickSprout and NeilPatel.com
A content marketing machine, Neil Patel is constantly experimenting (and most importantly documenting and sharing the results) with content marketing (and related digital marketing practices), sharing insightful and in-depth posts that you shouldn’t miss.
Neil’s biggest problem—he puts out too much great content. Focus on his personal sites (QuickSprout and NeilPatel.com), but keep an eye open for his name all over—as he hustles like no other.
Neil’s brother in content marketing awesomeness, Sujan (no relation) also cranks out quality, well-researched and helpful content on content marketing that is well worth your time.
This post originally appeared on OneSpot.
About Austin Talbert: Austin could never contain his curiosity or stop communicating (talking, writing, sketching out his own pro-wrestling storylines)–just ask his mother. So he matured a tad bit and became a content marketer. Now he helps organizations of all shapes and sizes grow their business with compelling content. Follow him on Twitter @AustinTinAustin