30 Must Read Blogs For Entrepreneurs
Before LaunchRock I was a High School History Teacher for twelve years. Eighteen months later my work life is typical of startups. I do a lot of work in few areas, and a little of everything else. Most of what I know about running a startup I learned the old fashioned way: hard work, great mentorship and trial and error. But I also gave myself a crash course in Entrepreneurship by reading. A lot.
Here are 30 blogs I read consistently. They’re well written, informative and actionable. Read these blogs and you’ll have strategies you can use today. Each recommendation includes a description of the value proposition and a link to a good article to start with. I’ve sorted the blogs into general categories.
- Tech & Startup News
- Experienced Entrepreneurs
- Comprehensive Resources
- Blogging & Copywriting
- Marketing & Analytics
- Social Media
- Community & Customer Support
- Design & Conversion
Now dig in!
Tech & Startup News
TC is pretty hardcore about getting exclusives. As a result a lot of news breaks here. Those looking to know what everyone is –or will be– talking about in the world of technology, startups and venture capital should start here. Making it onto TC is a milestone for any tech venture.
Where to start: Check out their startup coverage.
Pando strives to be the site-of-record for Silicon Valley. It has a smaller, more intimate vibe than Tech Crunch. It also seems founder, Sarah Lacy, can pull just about any interview she wants. This is the true Valley Insiders’ blog.
Where to start: Lacy’s interview with Steve Blank
The New York Times has extensive Technology coverage. Coverage of the Tech Industry is aggregated under the Bits Blog title.
Where to start: Facebook News Feed Draws More Criticism
Here’s a blog for anyone looking to learn from an entrepreneur who’s been there, done that and had major success. Steve Blank, author of The Startup Owner’s Manual, is now focused on teaching the science and principals of better entrepreneurship. Everyone else listens to him, you should to.
Where to start: The Customer Development Manifesto
Ben Horowitz believes CEOs are made, not born. The founding partner of Andreessen Horowitz focuses on teaching Startup founders how to manage their team and become a better CEO. Bonus: Horowit’z jumpstarts each post with theme-related rap lyrics and accompanying music to pump you up.
Where to start: Making Yourself a CEO
Dave McClure is a founding partner of the 500 Startups accelerator. His blog was recently re-invented, so the backlog exists on his old blog. What you get from McClure is a passionate, unfiltered take on Startup Life. Aka “Geeks. Founders. Startups. The Internet Revolution.”
Where to start: Fear of Flying
Andrew Chen is a Silicon Valley blogger focused on mobile/web consumer products. He has a ton to teach you about user growth. Before becoming an advisor and angel investor at 500 Startups, Chen was director of product marketing at Audience Science. Today that ad network reaches over 380 million uniques.
Where to start: 5 Crucial Stages In Designing Your Viral Loop
Comprehensive Resources (Startup Life & Entreprenuership A-Z)
Inc. covers every aspect of starting and running a successful business. Check out the instructive and inspirational How I Did It video series. In it entrepreneurs share lessons they’ve learned from successes and failures. Inc also covers the nitty gritty of business like how to incorporate. There’s engaging new content daily and a vast and valuable backlog that’s easy to navigate.
Where to start: 7 Habits Of Extraordinary Teams
Where to Start: How To Value Your Startup
The Angel List blog is a great read for any entrepreneur thinking about taking venture money. Venture Hacks will teach you how to play the venture capital game of by “demystifying the term sheet.”
Where to start: Just Say No: VC terms that can really hurt
Blogging & CopyWriting
This is the best introduction to the world of content marketing. Copyblogger teaches you how to create effective online content. Their tips can be applied anywhere you are writing to communicate with customers or leads. Improve your blogging, calls to action, marketing copy, and emails with advice that always has practical applications.
Where to start: Copywriting 101
This blog is focused mostly on full-time bloggers. So, you’ll find topics like how to monetize a blog. There’s plenty of lessongs that can be applied by someone running an inbound marketing blog for their startup.
Where to start: Neil Patel’s Guide to Writing Popular Blog Posts
Daniel Sharkov is the 19 year-old blogger behind Reviewz N Tips. He has a great sense of what someone starting out in Social Media and Blogging wants and needs to know, and how to teach it. He’s guest posted on the Buffer Blog, a clue to how well he’s respected and how widely read.
Where to Start: Tips For Blog Posts That Grab Attention
Marketing & Analytics
Neil Patel, the CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics founder, is kind of a big deal. That’s what the QuickSprout tagline says. When you’ve been ”recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama,” you really can’t quibble with the claim. Check out the case studies if you need more proof of how good he is at his job.
Where to start: How I Grew TechCrunch’s Traffic by 30% in 60 days.
If you follow @LaunchRock on twitter you’ve probably noticed that we find the KISSmetrics blog very sharable. We’re not the only ones. Their posts get hundreds, even thousands, of shares. Neil Patel and Hiten Shah masterfully mix best practices, how-tos, infographics, case studies, interviews, and guest posts to make this blog indispensable.
Where to start: A Beginners Guide to Google Analytics 5
Easy to digest tips about small business marketing. Resources include the blog, free Ebooks and a small business resource directory.
Where to start: The 5 Small Business Marketing Pillars
Social Media ( Enjoying this post? Please share it.)
Hubspot is an internet marketing software giant. They give away huge amounts of free content. Both on their blog and as free E-books. It’s all part of their own inbound marketing campaign. So they sell you but they share a lot of valuable research and tips. The focus is on lead generation and social media marketing.
Where to Start: 14 Unique Types of Content Every Marketer Should Try
One thing I’ve learned about Social Media, is that it’s always changing. It helps to have someone else keeping you up-to-date. That’s where SME comes in. “Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle,” does the research you don’t have time to do. You can access their findings via the blog and their annual Social Media Marketing Industry Reports.
Where to start: How to Use Hashtags In Your Social Media Marketing
In their blog, Hootsuite, mixes editorial coverage of social media culture and weekly reporting on trending twitter topics, with excerpts from their Free White Papers and other content marketing. The marketing feels a little more forward than on most of the other blogs in this list, but there’s a lot of value to be found, even if it comes with a pitch.
Where to start: Instagram best practices for brands
Community & Customer Support
UserVoice has a great blog about supporting customers, building community, and establishing great workplace culture. All with the goal of keeping your customers by keeping them happy.
Where to start: Your Top Performing Ad? Your Loyal Customers
B2C reports on news and trends in a wide range of topics from Technology and Business to Social Media and Lifestyle, mixing in advice and best practices for running a business.
Where to start: The 5 Don’ts of Customer Service
Full of great articles on Customer Support, the HelpScout blog also has damn sexy design. Something we’re partial to here at LaunchRock.
Where to start: 15 customer service skills every employee needs.
The buffer blog sets itself to covering: productivity, life hacks, writing, user experience, customer happiness and business. This blog is followed closely and shared widely by loyal readers who admire the company and it’s product. It’s well researched, insightful and takes an intersting angle on business and life.
Where to start: 5 Customer Experience Metrics Every Successful Company Tracks
Design & Conversion
Reviews, tips, and expert guest posts on how to make websites that sell. Extremely practical and useful advice about the holy grail of internet business and marketing: designing websites that get visitors to convert. The clean design makes it easy to get at the information.
Where to start: 6 smart ways to capture emails
The CrazyEgg Blog covers conversion optimization, analytics and copywriting tips. It’s easy to find exactly the right content with their Category and their All-time Hits sidebar navigation.
Where to start: The Best Website In The World Do These 6 Things…
The Codrops blog is a great introduction to current web design trends. The look of the web is always evolving. and everyone running an online business should be paying attention to it. Visit this blog for to get ideas, inspiration and learn about design experiments.
Where to start: A Creative Year: Distinctive Web Designs In 2012
If you’re running a startup you’re probably doing a little bit of everything. If your job isn’t the actual design and development of your product or website, you’re probably managing it or giving feedback to your team. Follow trends in web design & dev, get inspiration or dive into the technical tutorials with this site.
Where to start: Designing Website To Increase Traffic and Conversion
At the time of this posting, this blog was on week 51 of 52. So there is an incredible amount of content here on what User Experience (UX) is, why UX matters, and how to design a great User Experience.
Where to Start: Week 1: The First Rule of UX
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
A blog with contributions from many SEO professionals. SEJ Covers SEO relevant news, Social and SEO with frequent tool tips and reviews. There’s also a section on Link building. Links are the holy grail of SEO. SEJ focuses on building quality links aka “White Hat” SEO as opposed to spam linking, aka “Black Hat.”
Where to start: How Search Works
The free SEO tool Rank Checker from SEOBook is great. They also have an informative blog on SEO techniques and tool tips. The posts in this blog are kind of wonky and technical. If you’re a serious SEO geek you’ll love it. If so you probably already know about it. There’s plenty to get out of it for the rest of us too.
Where to start: Keyword Research Strategies
There you have it, 30 blogs to make yourself a better entreprenuer and help your startup succeed.
Have blogs you think should have made this list? Share them in the comments.