Top Ten Blogs

Content doesn't just happen. Those of us assigned to create it are always looking for inspiration. Of course, this is true for all creators of media. Imagine the daily cartoonist, on the prowl for something new to get the readers laughing, or news editors who need to fill 3.5 minutes before the next car commercial. Where do our ideas come from? Our loved ones may not believe it, but this is work. Well, most of the time.

As much as we search for ideas, we also look for inspiration in the quality work of our peers. Writers who can articulate difficult concepts with ease, or who employ beautiful syntax can make the rest of us swoon. I have known many media makers over the years, and the good ones are always worth watching and following. Here, then, are ten blogs guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing. Some are specific bloggers, some are opinionated news feeds, some are idea launchers; but these ten are indispensable to my daily life as a content editor.

SpinWeb

http://blog.spinweb.net/

Michael Reynolds and his crew at SpinWeb produce helpful, interesting content for the rest of us. I put them first on this list because, for my day, they are always the first source I check.

FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver

http://fivethirtyeight.com/contributors/nate-silver/

I could spend all day explaining why you should read Nate Silver and FiveThirtyEight, but the answer can be found in its expansive content. This is a site devoted to the meaning behind numbers, and so much about content marketing is breaking down statistics and analyzing figures. Silver and company will help you make sense of them.

CopyBlogger

http://www.copyblogger.com/blog/

There is a lot of material bouncing around the web which reads like the same old/same old. Copyblogger sifts through the garbage and articulately disseminates the content that content marketers are looking for. You need this.

HubSpot

http://blog.hubspot.com/

This is HubSpot's blog. Honestly, do I need to say anything more?

LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/

There is lots of great, daily content on LinkedIn. I particularly look for developments in business and technology, and the clash between the public and private sector, as well as what my connections are reading. If you aren't utilizing this resource, you are missing out.

Social Media Examiner

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/

We all need people like Michael Stelzner to help guide us through the social media jungle. The terrain is always changing, and you can easily fall into a trap if you don't know what to look for. I particularly like their podcasts.

Search Engine Journal: Niet Patel

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/author/neil-patel/

Digital knowledge is digital power, and Neil Patel has it. I really like Search Engine Journal, and find myself frequently RTing a posting, but I learn so much from Patel in particular.

Social Media Today 

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/

I know that I've ranted in this space about boring social media, and particularly how the industry churns out repetitive content. Here's where you can go to sift through it all. Think of this compendium of blogs as the cream which rose to the top.

SEOmoz (moz)

http://moz.com/blog

Ah, Moz Where would we be without you? From Rand Fishkin's keyboard (and whiteboard) to our marketing hearts and minds, comes the wisdom we need to stay abreast of all that is digital. If that sounds like hyperbole, well, they just celebrated their 10th anniversary of blogging about the digital world. They are the certifiable real deal.

Smashing Magazine

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/

CommonPlaces is a digital agency, which means that we need to know at least something about what our sisters and brothers in Development and Design are dealing with. What's trending, and what news do they need to know? Moreover, how do I avoid looking completely stupid while waiting for the Keurig to finish brewing? I go to SmashingMagazine.com. I've always been impressed with the writing, and have learned much from this resource.

Those are my go-tos for great content. What are yours?

Gary Locke
By Gary Locke

A semi-professional hyphenate and the Content Editor for CommonPlaces. He has enjoyed a long career in theater and multimedia, and still hopes to one day drive the Batmobile.

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