AKA, Advertising Age ain’t got nothin on me!
So, yes. Advertising Age released its list of the 50 top Social Media blog sites for 2011. Or maybe 50 top ranked. Whatever. And I thought, “Hmm, yeah, but I mean, there are some that are missing on here!”
Now, unfortunately, I don’t have a badge to give you, and my top 50 may not have the same clout (that’s with a c, not a k) as the Ad Age list, but, well, it’s from the heart. That I can promise you. So here we go, in no particular order – my favorite 50 blog sites!
1. Jay Baer’s Convince and Convert.com: You might notice that Jay seems to appear on every list I do. It’s an unfortunate side effect of his being entirely awesome. Convince and Convert is a sweet cocktail of industry-leading knowledge, thought-provoking posts, and humor that will occasionally make you pee yourself. Or so I’ve heard.
2. Chris Brogan’s ChrisBrogan.com: The aptly named ChrisBrogan.com is a great place to go to get insights from, well, from Chris Brogan, quite frankly. There are few better places to get that kind of insight, I’d wager. Even when I disagree with Chris, his posts tend to rattle about in my brain. That’s a sign of a great writer.
3. Jason Sokol’s Aim Above The Mark: Jason is a fabulous person and a great writer. His topics cover everything from book reviews (which are always incredibly insightful and honest) to social media to general business observations. Jason’s insights are unique and his personality is bright and shiny.
4. Lisa Petrilli’s aptly named LisaPetrilli.com: I’ll have to give you a warning about visiting Lisa’s site. You don’t want to go over there if you’re feeling tired or after you’ve had a long day, because Lisa tends to get you motivated, inspired, and thinking, and if you’re not at your best you just won’t be ready for it. Lisa is about leadership and vision, and boy does she walk her talk!
5. Laura Click’s Blue Kite Marketing Blog: I met Laura thanks to Stan over at Pushingsocial.com and I’m so glad I did. If I had to choose one word to describe Laura’s blogging voice, I’d have to say refreshing. Or maybe delightful. Positive. Well, I guess I’d have a hard time narrowing it down, but however you describe her posts, they are full of smart advice presented in ways that make you smile and learn at the same time. That’s one of my favorite combos!
6. Stanford Smith’s Pushingsocial.com: If you want to hone your blogging skills, this is the site to visit. Actionable items are around every corner, and Stan will get your butt in gear if you are even remotely thinking about putting out an effort that isn’t your best. He can really light a fire under you and/or your blog. In the best way possible!
7. Heidi Cohen’s HeidiCohen.com: Speaking of actionable, who provides more actionable marketing advice than Heidi Cohen? Recently named one of the top Content Marketing blogging sites, Heidi drills down to the nitty gritty of marketing details, makes it easy to understand, and then shows you a road map of how to act on all of it.
8. Gini Dietrich’s SpinSucks.com: If Gini was just a great blogger, that would be one thing. However, Gini is ALSO a great community builder, and this is evident on every post she writes. The teasing, talking, arguing, and giggling that you see in every comment section on this site makes you want to keep on coming back for more, plus you keep on learning stuff!
9. Geoff Livingston’s GeoffLivingston.com: I like visiting Geoff’s blog for a lot of reasons. Coming from the not-for-profit world, Geoff offers insights that aren’t just related to marketing or social media. He is my “big picture” content provider (I just dubbed thee, Geoff). This is another site where even if you disagree, the posts will stick with you.
10. Ingrid Abboud’s NittyGriddy.com: Griddy-Poo, as I have come to call her, is another woman who is not just a great blogger, but she is also a great community builder. Ingrid encourages people to comment and engage, and she is always right there to engage back with you. She is capable of writing whimsical and fun posts or posts that could easily be marketed as white papers.
11. Christopher Penn’s Awaken Your Superhero: I love visiting Chris’s site. I always feel like my IQ rises by 10-15% just by typing his site’s URL. He offers a variety of perspectives in his posts ranging from the big picture to details you never thought of before. Sometimes he offers actionable advice and other times he philosophizes. No matter what he writes, it always makes a huge impression on me.
12. YouTern.com’s Savvy Intern Blog: I have become a huge fan of the YouTern.com folks. I started noticing this site when I started curating posts for The Blog Library. It seemed like every day people I really respected were tweeting out posts from this site. It always made perfect sense after I read the posts myself. If you are in the business world, even if you aren’t looking for a job right now, this site is a must-read!
13. Amber Naslund’s BrassTackThinking.com: Co-founded with Tamsen McMahon, BrassTackThinking is a great way to keep me grounded regarding how smart (or not) I really am. Whether it’s a post by Amber herself, the oft-appearing Matt Riddings, or other guest posters, this site provides posts that are the chocolate fudge of the blogging world – you can’t eat them too fast or you will miss all of the fun!
14. Brandon Duncan’s BrandontheDuncan.com: Brandon is one of my favorite online people because he is so real. I have watched him really grow as a blogger and as a citizen of the social media world, and it’s been fun! Brandon covers topics that primarily focus on family life and being a dad, but he is another great community builder as well.
15. Thomas Walker’s Tommy.ismy.name Blog: Whenever someone asks me a question about Facebook, I give them the same answer. Go talk to Tommy. Tommy’s knowledge of course extends well beyond Facebook, as you will find out by reading his posts. He is a great guy, a great writer, and a great mind. Look out!
16. Rufus the Dog’s DogWalkBlog: It’s really amazing that a pup can be such a great writer, but so it is. You will find honest and uncensored thoughts about marketing, society, news, and politics – topics that a lot of other bloggers tend to shy away from. I think Rufus gets away with a lot because he’s a dog. That’s just my theory though. Anyway, you should check out his site!
17. Dawn Westerberg’s Dawnwesterberg.com: Dawn’s blog is an excellent mixture of marketing advice (which is always spot on), insight into the B2B world (always spot on), and then some fun posts about music, movies, or whatever else Dawn has on her mind. Dawn’s personality really shines through in all of her posts, which is why I keep going back there!
18. The Sensei Marketing Sensei Wisdom Blog: Written primarily by Jeff Wilson and Sam Fiorella, Sensei Wisdom offers just that – great perspectives, unabashed intelligence, and new ways to think about marketing, business, and the online world!
19. Mack Collier’s MackCollier.com: The Blogchat king never disappoints on his own blog site. Although blogging is his specialty, Mack’s Social Media advice is spectacular across the board. Mack is great for advising you to do things you can’t believe you didn’t think of before. It’s because of him, for example, that you see a “What people are reading” section over on the right there. Who woulda thunk, right?
20. Nancy Davis’ WordPress Blog: I believe I met Nancy via Chris Brogan, but however it happened, I surely am glad. Nancy is using her blog to help people who are going through or who have gone through tough times in their lives. Nancy is a perpetual inspiration and I get over to her site as often as possible. She’s a special lady.
21. Lou Imbriano’s Relationship Architecture Blog: Lou offers yet another unique perspective – that of the sports world. Lou’s experiences with the New England Patriots and his current experiences as an entrepreneur give him the unique ability to offer invigorating advice and refreshing perspectives in ways that anyone can relate to. I can’t wait to read Lou’s new book, which is now out in the world!
22. Lisa Barone’s OutspokenMedia.com Blog: Lisa Barone is one of those women who can smack you upside the head with her writing. It’s a valuable skill. Whether she is talking about SEO, social media, or why certain behaviors draw her batty, you know that you are always getting Lisa’s honest opinion and a lot of smarts along the way!
23. Carol Roth’s Unsolicited Business Advice Blog: I first heard about Carol when I was seeing SOBCon promoted for the first time. Then Carol’s book came out and she became one of my heroes. Whether she is blogging about social media, business, or her doing one of her monster curation posts of wisdom, Carol is a must-read for me whenever I have a moment to get to her site.
24. Jeff Bullas’ JeffBullas.com: Jeff Bullas is another person I discovered while curating posts for The Blog Library. Once again, every day I would see posts of his tweeted out, and every single time, I could 100% see why. Whether Jeff is providing an opinion or an actionable series of recommendations, his posts are always full of detail and easy to understand.
25. Molly Campbell’s MollyDCampbell.com: Talk about a refreshing change! Amongst all of the social media, business, and marketing blogs I read, here pops Molly Campbell, one of the few writers who can make me laugh out loud as I read her posts. She also makes me think, which is an awesome combination. Sometimes she makes me cry too, but for all of the right reasons. Check out her work!
26. Liz Strauss‘ Successful Blog – One might think that a blog called Successful Blog would just be a lot of chest pounding, but in fact, what Liz provides is ways for YOU to be successful. Her posts are encouraging, motivational, and inspirational, and that’s every time she posts so far as I can tell!
27. Ian Rountree and Nic Wirtz – HardRefresh.net: No sooner did Ian and Nic get this project started then both became incredibly busy. This is good news for you though because it means you can catch up! Nic’s journalistic background coupled with Ian’s love of all things techie makes for intelligent and unique posts. Head on over there!
28. Danny Brown’s http://dannybrown.me I met Danny Brown online a bit by chance. He wrote a post about a company that was helping keep kids safe on Facebook right around the time I was starting my anti-bullying project. Then I started seeing his name more and more, and I realized, “Oh, this guy is big stuff!” Danny’s posts always make me think, whether I agree or not, and he’s a pretty nice dude, too!
29. Mark Schaefer’s Grow Blog: What can I say about this site that hasn’t been said? Hmm. Mark offers a variety of posts ranging from “How-to” posts to overviews of how he sees the social media world to, well, cartoons! Mark is another great community builder and he knows how to engage his readers.
30. Raul Colon’s RaulColon.net: Raul is not just a great writer, he’s a great bilingual writer. As if that wasn’t enough, he always offers charming perspectives, good advice, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more steadfast supporter of other bloggers!
31. The MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog: Whenever I want to get a wide sweeping view of what’s happening in the marketing and online world, or whenever I need a resource, this is where I go. There are always great writers with solid research, well-argued opinions, and actionable recommendations. It has been one of my favorite blogs for a long, long time.
32. Sherree Worrell’s WordPress Blog: Sherree happened to really get into writing a bit after I got to know her really well. I love it when things work out that way. These days, Sherree is more in the creative writing camp versus social media stuff, and that’s fine by me. Sherree’s voice is a great one and just keeps on getting better.
33. Darren Rouse’s ProBlogger.net: ProBlogger is one of the most respected sites in the online world, so it’s not really a reach to include the site on this list. When Darren does post, his advice is always brilliant and easy to understand. When guest posters submit posts they are held to the same standard. For a diversity of posts about blogging and the online world in general, this is a great place to start!
34. Michael Stelzner’s Social Media Examiner: I first heard of Michael Stelzner when I was doing some research on white papers. Little did I know that this fellow was building an entirely new empire. I recently had the great privilege of talking to Cindy King, who works with Michael at SME. It’s a fantastic site with excellent resources across the board!
35. Ted Coine’s TedCoine.com: I met Ted when I first started participating in the #custserv chat on Twitter. When I want to read well-written but unassuming brilliant posts about leadership, customer service, and more, Ted’s site is one of the first that comes to mind.
36. Ty Sullivan’s Blogspot Blog: I believe I met Ty via #usguys, but I could be wrong about that. In any case, Ty is a charismatic fellow whose energy flows into and out of all of his posts. Whether he’s writing about social media or the business world at large, Ty is a guy you don’t want to miss in the Blogosphere!
37. Debra Leitl’s eMentorMarketing Blog: I met Deb Leitl through a bunch of chats that we both participated in. She is always smart, always engaging, and this spirit certainly carries through all of her blog posts. Debra has some of the best posts on SEO I’ve seen, but she has also written extremely insightful posts on Twitter, email marketing, and other facets of the social media and marketing world!
38. The Business2Community Blog: Co-founded by Brian Rice and Michael Brenner, the B2Community blog is one I’m proud to associate with. Just a bit over a year old, the site is already evolving into one of the most respected sites in the online world, and it’s great to see how much the site has grown in so short a time!
39. S. Anthony Iannarino’s Sales Blog: I have gotten to know this fellow’s work in two ways. I’ve seen a lot of his posts tweeted out as I’ve curated for The Blog Library and I have also gotten to know him via 12most. Anthony is a no-nonsense guy who concentrates on sales. You know, that part of the business world where you hope to make real money? Yeah, that’s his sweet spot. The writing style you get is straightforward so that the advice can resonate – and it does!
40. Daria Giron’s MominManagement Blog: You’ve seen Daria’s name here a lot. Her site continues to amaze me because of the variety of subjects she covers. Sometimes she covers marketing and social media, then the next day she’s talking about the joys of motherhood or the pain of doing those exercise routines to lose weight. No matter what she’s writing about, her tonality is always warm and inviting, and she always has great insights to offer!
41. Brian Clark’s CopyBlogger.com: Again, not a huge surprise that this site is here. Whereas the mood at ProBlogger is a bit more laid back, visiting CopyBlogger is kind of like visiting the boxing ring. The mood is much more tough love oriented, though you still know it’s all for your own good. Although the primary focus remains blogging and SEO for bloggers, the site covers the gamut of social media and marketing information.
42. Peggy Fitzpatrick’s PegFitzpatrick.com: Peggy just recently started blogging, but already she is blossoming into a reader whose work I love to explore. Like her Twitter self, Peggy’s blog says, “Come on in and chat!” She is charming and full of positive energy, and she’s smart to boot. Potent combination there.
43. Debra Ellis’ Wilson Ellis Consulting Blog: I met Debra Ellis via #IMCChat, and her blog is one of my most favorite blogs because she, like me, is a proponent of integrated marketing tactics. Whether it’s tying direct mail campaigns to social media or expounding on the benefits of well-planned email marketing campaigns, Debra always has excellent, tried and true advice for you on her site. She is one smart cookie, and a lovely lady as well.
44. Cheryl Burgess’ Blue Focus Marketing Blog: Cheryl doesn’t blog nearly as often as I’d like her to, but when she does it’s always a homerun. Whether she’s talking about branding or whether she’s simply promoting other people from her social media world, Cheryl is a must-read when she posts.
45. Julien Smith’s In Over Your Head Blog: In over your head is an apt name for Julien’s blog site. Once again, I have to make sure I’m at my intellectual best when I visit his site because I know he’s always going to get my little brain cells working. The interesting thing about Julien’s posts is that while he has made quite a name for himself in the online world, he often focuses on the much wider world beyond the computer screen. It’s an interesting dichotomy there. And that’s just the start.
46. Paula Lee Bright’s Almost 60 Really Blog: If you have met Paula online, you know that she is a kind, driven, ambitious woman with a lot to say and no concerns about saying it. Paula’s blog is a delightful mix of personal stories, professional views, and opinions on the rest of the world too. Paula is dedicating herself to a lot of good work, so you can learn all about that, too!
47. Jason Falls’ Social Media Explorer: While Jason Falls is one of the most respected folks in the online world, he is surprisingly approachable, especially on his blog site. Whether he is posting or whether you are scanning some of the guest posts, there is a great mix of advice on marketing, social media, and public relations. Once again, the advice is often no-nonsense, but it resonates.
48. Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation: Mitch Joel is one of the top minds in the online world in my opinion. Sometimes he voices opinions that I disagree with, but I always have to come back to the fact that he has 100% great reasons for each of those opinions. Sometimes, when you go to disagree with Mitch, you actually come right around to his point of view. Man is that awesome. And frustrating. Mitch covers a lot of ground on his site, including music and all things social media.
49. Fadra Nally’s All Things Fadra Blog: Fadra Nally is one of the first people with whom I connected on Twitter. That and the fact that she wrote a post as written by her kitty will forever preserve in my heart a special place just for her. Fadra, like Daria Giron and so many people on this list, seems to know everything about everything. She sometimes covers extremely serious topics and other times she makes you laugh your butt off. She is a great mommy blogger and a fun writer to read!
50. 12most.com: Well, I would have included this site 3 weeks ago as much as I include it now, but as community manager I have gotten a better glimpse into just how special this site is already. Bite-sized posts on everything from wine to Steve Jobs are presented every day, and every post seems to be awesome. It’s a great community of writers and editors, and there is no concern about bringing new folks into the fold!
There you have it. Fifty of my favorite blog sites. I’m sure I missed a ton, though, so why don’t you tell me who should be on my next list? Or better yet, make your own!