As an avid reader of startup and entrepreneurial advice, I thought our readers (over 200,000/monthly on metrics and KPIs) would be interested in some fun summer reading. So I selected 14 digital marketing influencers I've learned a lot from, and used BuzzSumo to create a curated list of their top 3 most socially shared blog posts in the past 12 months.
Two of these posts are actually gated landing page offers, but I still think there's plenty to learn about why they were so successful.
Here's the list. I recommend opening up and then bookmarking each of these posts, or even organizing them in Trello, so that you can return to them in your own time.
• Blog: coelevate.com/
• Twitter: @bbalfour
Brian Balfour is currently the Founder/CEO of Reforge and was previously the VP Growth at HubSpot. Brian has started multiple VC-backed companies, and has a track record of helping grow companies to millions of daily active users.
Brian’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- 7 Principles To Mastering Growth Marketing
- The First Step To Building A Growth Machine
- How You Battle the "Data Wheel of Death" in Growth
• Blog: hitenism.com/
• Twitter: @hnshah
Hiten Shah has co-founded two well-known SaaS companies, Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics. He is experienced in both boot-strapping and venture-backed startups. If you are into SaaS, Hiten is definitely someone you want to follow.
Hiten’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- How to Build a Brand from Nothing
- How Amazon Web Services (AWS) Achieved an $11.5B Run Rate by Working Backwards
- Copycat Your Competitors to Take the Market
• Twitter: @neilpatel
Neil Patel is the other co-founder of Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics. Neil shares insightful and incredibly practical advice that any entrepreneur can put into practice right away.
Neil’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- How to Get 300 Real, Targeted Instagram Followers Per Day
- How to Do SEO for a "Tiny" Website That Doesn't Have Any Visitors or Money
- 10 Free Google Tools All Content Marketers Should Use
Bonus: Neil’s top 3 most shared blogs from QuickSprout:
- If You Give Away Your Best Content, Your Business Will Grow by 290%
- 14 Advanced SEO Tactics That Your Competition Doesn’t Know About
- A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Google Search Console Like a Boss
• Blog: jeffbullas.com
• Twitter: @jeffbullas
With over 16 million readers, I am sure you will learn a thing or two from Jeff. Jeff is recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 20 Influencers of CMOs in 2017!
Jeff’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- Top 10 Social Media Marketing Trends To Look Out For In 2017
- 7 Influencer Marketing Insights You Need to Know Today
- 95 Awesome Social Media Facts You Should Not Ignore
• Blog: marismith.com/mari-smith-blog/
• Twitter: @MariSmith
If you need to learn more about social marketing, you will at some point discover Mari Smith's work. If you want to learn more about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media outlets, Mari will help you stay ahead of the curve on everything that is happening.
Mari’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- 12 Facebook Marketing Tools To Increase Your Reach And Engagement
- Video Creation Tools for Creating Fabulous Social Media Content
- Comparison of Top Social Media Image Editing Tools
• Blog: amyporterfield.com
• Twitter: @AmyPorterfield
Amy was named by Forbes as one of the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers. She's the author of one of those big fun yellow Dummies books and she shares her insights with 250,000+ loyal subscribers.
Amy’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- How to Create and Deliver Your First Wildly Profitable Webinar (Even If You Don’t Have a List!)
- #140: How to Create a 5-Day Social Media Video Series for Rapid List Growth
- #126: Operation Clear Out Your Inbox
• Blog: sethgodin.typepad.com
• Twitter: @ThisIsSethsBlog
Seth likes to write, and he has over 18 books under his belt, including multiple best-sellers. Beyond his famous eyewear, you will learn a ton from Seth about modern marketing, leadership and even quitting.
Seth’s top 3 most shared blogs:
• Blog: digitalmarketer.com/blog/
• Twitter: @ryandeiss
I only recently discovered Ryan (sorry Ryan... can’t believe I haven’t been following you sooner). Ryan is the founder and CEO of DigitalMarketer, where they are sharing insights based on $15 million spent on marketing tests. So stop wasting your money and go learn from them.
Ryan’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- Episode 50: How Frank Kern Generates Sales and Goodwill with Facebook Live
- Convince Your Boss to Send You to Traffic & Conversion 2017
- Episode 51: How to Generate Traffic, Leads, and Sales with Social Media
• Blog: andrewchen.co
• Twitter: @andrewchen
Andrew Chen is the Head of Rider Growth at Uber. He's previously served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Mohr Davidow Ventures. If you like to read, Andrew often writes essays that are extremely well thought out. He provides interesting insights beyond the usual clickbait content.
Andrew’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- 10 years in the Bay Area - what I've learned
- The Bad Product Fallacy: Don't confuse "I don't like it" with "That's a bad product and it'll fail"
- How To (Actually) Calculate CAC
• Blog: okdork.com
• Twitter: @noahkagan
Noah has built not one but two multi-million dollar businesses and grew a 700,000+ email list. And he likes to share most of his secrets and successes with his readers.
Noah’s Top 3 most shared blogs:
- Why I Walked Out on Tony Robbins
- Peek inside Intercom’s Multi-million Dollar SaaS Growth Strategy
- Ultimate Business Traveler Giveaway (Value: $2,627)
• Blog: annhandley.com
• Twitter: @annhandley
You may have heard of a fantastic site called MarketingProfs where Ann is the Chief Content Officer. Ann is a veteran in the content marketing industry, a best-selling author and a LinkedIn Influencer.
Ann’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- I Should Hate This LinkedIn Post, but It's Actually the Greatest
- 2017: The Year to Challenge Our Content Marketing Assumptions
- This Isn't a Post About Delta Airlines
• Blog: garyvaynerchuk.com/
• Twitter: @garyvee
No list would be complete without Gary Vaynerchuk. Get ready for some in-your-face, no filter advice that is always relevant. Gary is co-founder and the CEO of VaynerMedia, a social media brand consulting agency.
Gary’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- 2017 Key to Small Business Social Media Marketing
- Document, Don't Create: Creating Content That Builds Your Personal Brand
- I Can’t Code & You Can’t Sell Crap
• Blog: sujanpatel.com/
• Twitter: @sujanpatel
Sujan Patel is a marketer and entrepreneur. He has over 14 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.
Sujan’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- 7 Simple Tips for Repurposing Your Best Content
- 15 Growth Marketing “Underdogs" You Can Learn from in 2017
- Customer Delight
• Twitter: @SeanEllis
Sean Ellis is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and startup advisor. He is the founder and CEO of GrowthHackers and was previously founder and CEO of Qualaroo. He is also known for popularizing the term product/market fit, and coining the term “growth hacking” with Hiten Shah and Patrick Vlaskovits in 2010.
Sean’s top 3 most shared blogs:
- What are the Best Articles on Growth Hacking to Product/Market Fit?
- Great Guidance on Pricing from Zoosk CEO
- Key Elements of a Massively Scalable Startup
Sean’s top 3 most shared blogs on GrowthHackers:
- AMA with Belinda Langner, Product Manager at Google
- AMA w/ Steve Blank, Creator of the Lean Startup Movement and Author
- AMA with Jason M. Lemkin, Co-Founder SaaStr / SaaStr Fund
Who are your must-follows?
I personally love following all of these people. When times are tough or I need a new idea to help spur on more growth at Klipfolio, I know I can turn to one of them for a little useful nugget to act on right away.
But I'm sure there are many digital marketing influencers that could have been included here. Who is your favorite? Who did I miss? Drop me a note in the comments section.
Happy summer reading!
Originally published July 19, 2017, updated Jun, 08 2020