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I’m surprised it has taken me over a year to put together a post like this, since I love reading them on other blogs. Often, I’m already aware of many of the suggested reading material and products, which may be the case for you here. However, if I just discover one great book, product, or resource from them, then reading the article is invaluable.
Everything here is a genuine recommendation, meaning that I actually read all of the blogs, have read all of the books, and use all of the products. I would love to make this a community discussion as well, so please feel free to share your favourite resources in the comments below.
While they of course aren’t the only blogs I read, I make sure I devour pretty much every post of the following blogs I mention. I have a few favourites from the list, but they’re all great in my opinion. I’ve listed them below (in alphabetical order):
I don’t have to say much about this site because pretty much everyone has heard of it. Though I don’t find a lot of posts which are relevant to me, I’ve picked up so many gems from Copyblogger that I just have to recommend it.
Many people have compared ViperChill to DoshDosh, as the author, Maki, is also known for writing long posts in the marketing niche. Sadly, the site hasn’t been updated for over a year, but there are a lot of great articles to read in the archives.
Authored by my friend Everett Bogue, this blog features a mix of business advice, minimalism, and personal development. Everett finds a unique way to tie the three in all of his articles, making a great combination.
I wish Jade would post more often, but when she does, there’s usually some excellent content on offer. In fact, Jade has just started one of the first ever blogging magazines, with hers focusing on marketing. Definitely one to watch.
This is written by Michael Dunlop, who is the same age as me and is also from England. Michael writes some of the most viral posts in this industry and is also the man behind one of my favourite WordPress plugins.
Though I think I’m the only marketer in the world who can’t get on Naomi’s radar, I can’t doubt that I love her blog. I came across Naomi through Copyblogger and I love her unique, NSFW (not safe for work) approach to writing about marketing.
Adam Baker was one of the first people I made a solid connection with online when running my personal development blog. I’ve followed his website for two years now and I’m a huge fan of his monthly income reports.
I don’t have to say much about Darren Rowse’s site Problogger, since I’m sure 99% of you know it anyway. To put it simply: Problogger is the most authoritative website online when it comes to blogging advice.
I’ve been in contact with Neil Patel on and off for about four years now, after we crossed paths in the social media space. I used to be a huge fan of his old blog, Pronet Advertising, and now follow Quicksprout. Neil is a young millionaire who has a lot of business advice on offer.
When anyone burts onto the marketing and personal development scene, I always take note. When I watched the growth of Karol Gadja’s site, I really wasn’t surprised by his success. Another blog to keep an eye on.
Aaron Wall is probably the no.1 SEO authority in the world. He was the author of the highly successful SEO Book (ebook), and now runs a very popular membership site.
When I was younger I had a dream that I was on the bus home from college and met the entire SEOmoz team. Strange, I know. Anyways, hopefully that shows how much I was devouring their blog at the time and still am today. Surprisingly, my guest post there was actually their 9th most popular article for 2010.
Seth Godin is a marketing genius. He’s authored some of my favourite books including Purple Cow, Linchpin and Tribes. If you love his books, then you’ll love his blog just as much. Every post makes you rethink your ways, and I love that.
Only a small number of posts on this site are actually relevant to me, but the ones that are usually leave me with some incredible insights. Jeremy became famous after making over $120,000 in a single month with Google Adsense, and is a very successful affiliate marketer.
I speak to Pat more than any other blogger online, and his work ethic and ideas continually blow me away. The audience he has managed to build (16,000 subscribers) is a great testament to the quality of information he puts out to the world.
Tamar is one of the most influential people in the social media marketing space, having written a book on the very topic. She’s also been involved in some of the biggest blogs online, including Mashable and Lifehacker.
Another friend from the personal development space, Corbett Barr, recently started his marketing blog, Think Traffic. It has achieved some quick success with a solid following, and is definitely one to watch.
Though I may find this site far more interesting because the author is one of my best friends, Diggy has built up quite a substantial audience so I’m definitely not his only fan. If you’re interested in any aspect of personal development, then you should definitely check this site out.
Awaken the Giant Within (by Tony Robbins)
At well over 400 pages, this isn’t a short book, but it contains very little fluff. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of personal development, and while this is probably one of the most “generic” books out there in what it covers, the content is amazing.
Delivering Happiness (by Tony Hsieh)
My most recent purchase, Delivering Happiness is a great look into the business world from the founder of Link Exchange (which sold for $265m to Microsoft) and CEO of Zappos, which was recently purchased for $1bn by Amazon.
Do You! (by Russell Simmons)
This is the book I read the longest time ago, but I still remember many of the lessons it contained to this day. Russell Simmons was the man behind Run DMC and also the $300m clothing line, Phat Farm. He shares 11 business lessons he lives by, in fascinating form.
Drive (by Daniel Pink)
Do you think that if I gave someone a raise there’s a good chance they’ll do better work for me? There isn’t. At least, that’s the conclusion you’ll come to after reading Drive. Featuring dozens of examples, Pink looks at what really drives people to be productive in the workplace.
Linchpin (by Seth Godin)
There’s no more space in the business world for companies who try to be the cheapest. There’s also no space for employees who are simply mediocre. Linchpin shows you how to leverage your talents so you can become indispensable to not only your boss, but the world.
Made to Stick (by Chip and Dan Heath)
Chip and Dan Heath, authors of another book I love, Switch, set out to find if there was any correlation between ideas which spread and ideas which don’t. Well, they found seven of them, and use hundreds of examples to help you create a message which captures minds and ships products.
Psycho Cybernetics (by Maxwell Maltz)
The book that really got me into the field of personal development, Psycho Cybernetics is a mind-blowing account of what we can achieve with our minds. Though it was written over 30 years ago, the lessons it shares are still very relevant today.
Purple Cow (by Seth Godin)
To stand out in this day and age, you need to be remarkable. That’s the message Seth puts out in his book Purple Cow, and I completely agree with him. This is one book I could read over and over again.
Rework (by Jason Friend and Davin Hansson)
I’m a huge fan of 37Signals, the blog by the creators of the programming framework Ruby on Rails, and founders of such web properties as Tadalist and Basecamp. With just a small team who never meet in person, this book goes against the standard advice in the business world, and shows how the company makes millions of dollars per year.
The Power of Now (by Eckhart Tolle)
If you’ve ever wanted to read more about spirituality but don’t think it’s for you or just don’t quite get it, then definitely pick up this book. Practicing what is contained in this book has made me look at the world in a totally different way.
Tribes (by Seth Godin)
If you want to grow an audience online, it’s important to learn the qualities of a leader. Tribes looks at how you can lead a group of people (your tribe) and accomplish great things.
Who Moved My Cheese? (by Dr Spencer Johnson)
A short book with a powerful lesson, Who Moved My Cheese is something I had been meaning to read for a while. I eventually got around to it, and I’m glad I did. It looks at four mice, who each have different personalities, and looks at how they interactive, survive, and thrive in the world, based on their actions.
Disclosure: I created and own affiliateSkin. I made this tool because I wasn’t happy with what is out there for quickly and easily creating affiliate sites. I can now create a site that is SEO friendly, cloaked links, a contact form, and a unique design, in just a few minutes. I use (and love it) so I decided to share it with the world.
Aweber (affiliate link)
You’ll hear time and time again that “the money is in the list” when dealing with affiliate marketers. That’s because it’s true. I get far higher conversions on email broadcasts than any other form of selling that I do. If you run small affilaite sites, it’s also very helpful when giving away free products or just collecting emails to promote to later.
Bookmarking Demon (affiliate link)
I’ve used this tool for about three years, and it has made me well over $15,000 in that time. That’s just counting the sites where I only ranked highly in Google because of Bookmarking Demon. The links it builds are actually of very poor quality, but they still help me rank time and time again.
For $5 a month, this is both the cheapest and the most valuable resource that I use. It allows me to automate the process of selling digital products online, and has not let me down once in the three years that I’ve used it. If you want to sell products and have peace of mind that your system is in the right hands, then give eJunkie a try.
GetClicky (affiliate link)
While this isn’t so much a product, I do pay for this service, so it deserves to be mentioned here. I’ve pretty much stopped using Google Analytics because of Get Clicky, as it offers real-time analytics for my websites. There is a free version which is awesome, but the added features of a premium account ($60 per year) are worth every penny.
Due to the barrage of people who ask me about this tool, I finally decided to purchase it last week. Though I have seen videos of MS in action before, I was blown away when using it. If you’re researching industries, especially for SEO, then the competition research this tool provides is invaluable.
SPBAS is not only the most expensive product I use, but also the one I hear others talk about the least. I use it to power the backend of affiliateSkin, which handles the payment processing and the licensing system. This means that you can sell software and reduce the risk of people pirating your offering.
Now that I’ve shared the resources I use, I would love to hear about yours in the comments!