It’s 2016 and there’s certainly no shortage of amazing business content out there to guide and educate you through your startup journey and beyond.
One things for sure, when you’re a part of a startup, the road is rarely straight, just ask any successful business today and I bet they changed their idea, strategy and business model 10 times over. (I once read something about how Brian Cheskey and Joe Gebbia sold presidential branded cereal in order to fund Airbnb). When people see success, they often see it in straight lines when the reality probably more resembled a meandering, fluctuating trek to the top.
What I’m getting at is, as a startup you learn a lot from your own experiences but you can also learn a lot from other entrepreneurs who have also been through the mill. Luckily for us, these entrepreneurs, marketers and growth hackers often share their wisdom and experiences online for everyone to consume.
Below, I’m sharing 12 of my favorite blogs on growth, entrepreneurship and marketing that I feel can help any startup take their business to the next level. Now by no means am I saying that by reading these blogs your company is going to grow 10X in the next 12 months, but if applied correctly, the material that these guys talk about can certainly go a long way to helping your company generate sustainable growth.
Written by Dharmesh Shah, the founder and CTO of Hubspot, OnStartups is practical advice for an entrepreneur, by an entrepreneur. With posts like “The First Rule of Disruption” and “Do Fewer Things Better” you will do well to find a blog with as strong practical advice as OnStartups. My required read which I’ve linked below out “How to get media coverage for your startup” essentially provided the foundation for Tr3Dent’s PR strategy. Get reading and you’ll reap the rewards.
Required Read: How To Get Media Coverage For Your Startup: A Complete Guide
So for all you startup founders out there, Noah Kagan’s blog ‘Okdork’ begins with the description “You’ll learn exactly how I started 2 multi-million dollar businesses, grew a 700,000+ email list, and where to find the best tacos in the world” If that’s not something that will suck you in, then I don’t know what is. That aside, there is real substance to Noah’s blog, the tips tricks and hacks he shares are all so practical that it’s impossible to come away not having learnt something. It’s worth noting that he was also one of the first 30 employee’s at Facebook and subsequently got fired 8 months in, which he wrote about “Why I got fired from Facebook )a $100 Million dollar lesson” its good, you should read it.
Required Read: Every tool I use to run a 7+ figure business
Founded by entrepreneur and serial growth marketer, Neil Patel, the Kissmetrics blog is your one stop shop to learn about analytics, marketing and testing. This blog will undoubtedly educate you on how to produce maximum ROI from your marketing and acquire new customers without spending an absolute fortune. Neil has been through the entrepreneurship mill and is highly regarded as a lead gen genius. So with that being said, if you need fresh ways to acquire new customers, Kissmetrics is your spot.
Required Read: How to Retain Your Customer’s Attention throughout the Onboarding Process
Paul Graham, the founder of Y-Combinator regularly gives his two cents on what startups need to be doing in order to obtain sustainable growth. Although he doesn’t post too frequently, when he does you tend to take note.
Required Read: Startup=Growth
I think it’s safe to say that Seth is easily the most frequent and most experienced blogger on this list. With a post every 24 hours, Seth shares his thoughts on marketing, entrepreneurship and life and his consistent sprinkles of knowledge will certainly have an effect on how you decide to run your company.
Required Read: On saying “No”
With over 3 million people already using the product, it’s evident that Buffers knowledge surrounding social media as a marketing medium is endless. The constant churning of quality content from the guys at buffer is second to none and if your company happens to rely heavily on social media as a form of lead acquisition, this blog should most definitely be on your list.
Required Read: 6 Proven Strategies for Successfully Promoting Content Across Social Media
Moz (Rand’s Blog)
Founded in 2004 by Rand Fishkin, Moz essentially focuses on making your company more visible online through SEO. The Moz blog even states that “The industry’s top wizards, doctors and other experts offer their best advice, research how-to’s, and insights-all in the name of helping you level-up your SEO and online marketing skills.” So if you happen to be a startup in a heavy B2C space that relies on being conveniently found online, Moz is your guy.
Required Read: My Single Best SEO Tip for Improved Web Traffic
Some say that email marketing is at a point of saturation, no longer provides sufficient ROI and is on the slow road to irrelevance. However, I still maintain if done correctly and uniquely, it can still be one of the most lucrative means of lead generation and customer acquisition out there. Which brings me to Mailchimp’s blog. If you’ve decided that email marketing is going to be at the forefront of your marketing communications strategy, then reading the Mailchimp blog every so often will certainly strengthen your skills in this department.
Required Read: What’s your email marketing plan?
So back in April I wrote an article called “10 Entrepreneurs you need to be following on Snapchat” In that post I featured Entrepreneur and VC, Mark Suster. Three months on and Mark’s channel has grown significantly and the demand on Mark’s snapchat advice has expanded, so much so that he now saves all his snapchats and posts them on his site ‘Snapstorms.com’ I guess you could argue that this falls into the vlog category as opposed to the blogs? Nonetheless by popping on to Snapstorms.com you’ll find mark talking about topics such as Entrepreneurship, fundraising, leadership, marketing, negotiation, recruiting, sales and venture capital. The list goes on, my best advice is to just check it for yourself.
Required Read: Hiring at a Startup
500 Startups is an early stage venture fund and seed accelerator that was founded back in 2010 by Dave McClure and Christine Tsai. Having funded companies like Canva, Makerbot and Twillo (Who just IPO’d by the way) it’s safe to say the guys at 500 Startups are qualified to give you some advice in a blog post or two. If you do happen to visit their blog you’ll see posts such as “How to pitch to a VC” and “The Startup Pivot Pyramid” Most of their content comes from what their companies have experienced while in that growth phase so it may be wise for all you early stage founders to check it out. Go do it.
Required Read: How to Talk About Revenue- What VC’s Really Look For
Andrew Chen works at Uber on their Growth team and his blog mainly consists of topics revolving around mobile, metrics and growth. Eric Ries, the author of “The Lean Startup” once said that Andrews’s blog was “one of the best entrepreneurship blogs of all time” strong words but I’ll let you decide for yourself. Not that he needs it, but to add to Chen’s entrepreneurship credibility, he is also an advisor/ investor for Dropbox, Product Hunt and AngelList. Not bad.
Required Read: The Highest ROI Way to Increase Signups, Make a Minimal Homepage
If you happen to be in the SaaS business, then SaaStr is almost a prescription. Founded back in 2012 to document Jason M. Lemklm’s story of going from 0$ to 100$m ARR, the blog has now become the largest online community of SaaS entrepreneurs with over 3M unique visitors per month.
Required Read: How can a SaaS Startup survive in a crowded market?
To conclude, the 12 blogs I’ve listed above merely scratch the surface in relation to the quality growth, marketing and entrepreneurship blogs that are out there and that can help founders take their business to the next level. All of us at Tr3Dent HQ are interested in hearing what blogs all of you subscribe to. Tweet us your top 5 favorites @tr3dent. Look forward to hearing from you. Happy reading.