Last month I encouraged everyone to make blog reading part of their day . While it’s easy to ignore your daily reading list or think it’s not a productive use of your time, the truth is staying up to date on blogs is a great way to stay in tune with what’s happening in your industry, educate yourself on new trends, and even to keep your own creative juices flowing for material. As mentioned yesterday, by becoming part of your local ecosystem, it also makes you a more attractive link/traffic target .
I thought today I would share a short list of blogs I think every small business owner would benefit from reading, regardless of your industry. Below are some of my personal recommendations.
Business Leadership/Entrepreneur Blogs
QuickSprout is a blog penned by serial entrepreneur Neil Patel and covers a wide variety of tips from leadership, to social media, to search engine optimization, and everything in between. While it would arguably fit in any of the categories on this list, Neil’s posts on business best practices are some of his most valuable. But as an SMB, you’d be wise to listen to anything Neil talks about.
The Harvard Business Review is a great place to head for general business advice, leadership tips, crisis management information, and a host of other topics. Articles are written by expert authors and I always leave with a few new takeaways and things I want to start implementing in my own work.
Killer Startups 
As the name would suggest, you can find some ‘killer’ information here on everything you need to know to run a successful company. There’s information on the best tools, apps, how to build a great team, product reviews, etc. This blog has been in my feed reader for a long time, and with good reason.
I really enjoy checking out Mixergy to hear from other entrepreneurs who have created successful businesses, how they did it, and to get a sense of their personal stories. I think that’s something Mixery does really well – it lets you hear directly from the people holding the sweat equity. Right now there are more than 750 interviews on the site to benefit from.
Search Engine Optimization Advice
Mike is a familiar face here at SmallBizTrends.com, as we often reference some of the great finds he comes across. If you’re a small business owner trying to understand all the changes associated with Google Places, local search, and what bugs are getting fixed when, Mike’s blog is among the best in the industry to follow and a huge resource. I think he may have a secret line to Google because he seems to know things before anyone else.
David Mihm 
Known to many for his annual Local Search Rankings Survey, David Mihm is a constant source of expert local search information. He’s also known for his GetListed.org  events, which bring noted local search experts to various towns across the country to help small business owners learn more about SEO, social media, and how to increase their Web presence.
Search Engine Land is a huge SEO resource for marketers of all levels. However, small business owners will want to pay special attention to the Local Search section which is designed with them specifically in mind. There’s great tips and best practices on how to craft an effective listing, how to use social media, and other small business issues. If you’re interested in further social media reading or other topics, you’ll also be able to find that information in other SEL categories.
The folks at Blueglass cover a lot of great topics on their blog, but their content marketing topics may be of most interest to small business owners. Here you’ll find tips, tools, and personal experiences that anyone can learn from and implement in their own business. One of the most strategic, forward-thinking outlets on content marketing topics.
Andy Sernovitz 
Andy Sernovitz’s blog where he shares great examples of word of mouth marketing, oftentimes centered around the content we’re using or how we’re talking to customers. There are great case studies, as well as examples from big and small brands.
The goal of Copyblogger is to help you get traffic, attract links, increase subscribers and grow revenue through content. The site offers strategic advice on how to become better with content and is a must read for anyone looking to build a business on the Web.
Convince and Convert 
Jay Baer’s blog is a great resource for marketers looking to use social media and content to better connect with customers. What I love about Jay’s blog is it’s chock full of data that marketers can use to make informed decisions. It’s less theory and more hard-hitting evidence of success.
And of Course….
Google has an official blog for small business owners to keep them up to date on new releases, using Google tools, and other news. Some of it can be a little overly-promotional at times, but it’s worth following. This is a Google world, after all.
Above are some of my favorite blogs to help me in my daily business life. What blogs do you currently rely on?
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