Over the past several days I’ve been looking at the tops sites in social media marketing, SEO, and content marketing.
The reason is I want to see which ones have the freshest content.
Why does this matter?
I like to know which sites I should visit on the weekend. Those are my favorite – the weekend sites.
I’m not a big fan of the 9-to-5, and sites that stick to that schedule start to bore me.
I like a guy, or gal, that can put some time in on a Sunday to get a killer post out…or at least use some tools to make it look like they did.
Yep, you can automate that shit.
So why do big sites like Search Engine Land have no content on the weekend?
We’ll get to some more observations like that in this post. I won’t pull any punches, I’ll tell you what I think.
When it’s all said and done I think you’ll have a few new sites on your bookmark bar.
One of the best sites for SEO advice is Moz. It was SEO Moz when I first started an account back in April 2013, but little has changed since then.
Yep, you still get very complicated articles that give you advice you’re not quite sure what to do with.
On top of this, the comments are very high-brow. What I mean by this is that you’re so intimidated by the earliest commentors that you don’t bother leaving a comment.
Those that do leave comments are very professional and have great advice. The others are often third-world types that are doing the “great post” stuff.
Those third-world type comments aren’t the worst, however. No, for the worst comments you need look no further than Gianluca Fiorelli.
Commenting whore would be a bit light, I find, as this guy feels putting a blog-post-for-a-comment is acceptable. Worse, his long diatribes actually scare would-be commentors away.
If you’d like to avoid the extremely popular part of the site, go to YouMoz. This area of Moz is totally underrated. They have great content and it gets few shares and fewer comments.
I’ve done a guest post on YouMoz and I’m very thankful for that. I think you can do one too, if you have a good idea and are willing to make a few edits.
Lastly, Rand Fishkin is on this site and he does a great job on Whiteboard Friday. I know all of our hearts drop on the days he has a sub.
Aside from that, he has his own blog linked to on the site, though I haven’t read a post there in more than a year.
Speaking of Rand, the guy’s quite lazy.
One post a week?
Folks, there are many, many people working their asses off and putting out content that’s 10 times better than when Fishkin manages each week.
Stop allowing him to keep coasting by on his name and past accomplishments, please!
All in all, great tips and several studies each year. Oh yeah, quality high-end advice from Dr. Pete too, though it’s sometimes hard to understand.
Did I mention you get some of the best updates here? I’d say Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Land is the only one that gets the beat on them most times.
Wow, I talked up the rating on this site.
#2 Boost Blog Traffic
This is a kick-ass site…when it feels the need to put up a new post.
Long-time readers will remember how I took this site off my bookmark bar in the summer of 2013 in frustration. They’d gone about 2 months with no post!
They’re a lot better now, going about 2 to 3 weeks, on average.
Does the content make up for that slacking off? After all, there are plenty of writers willing to write for that site?
I don’t think it does make up for it, to be completely honest.
I do like that you can say that in the comments, and I’ve put my thoughts there. I don’t like how many of the comments are rather kiss-ass, sucking-up, or generally brown-nosing in character.
Oh well, that’s nothing new.
What is new is the slant you’ll get on this site. The owner, Jon Morrow, is disabled and in a wheelchair. So he has a different perspective. It’s worth checking out, but I don’t know how long you’ll put up with their lack of fresh content.
#3 Quick Sprout
Neil Patel runs this site, and it’s a good one. I say that for a couple reasons.
- First, the content is super long. I like that, but I’ll admit right now that the content can be too long. Sometimes even I’m turned off by how long they can be.
- Next, the content is link-heavy. What I mean by this is you get lots of links. What’s great about this is you learn about new sites, and you get facts. Yeah, Patel is an expert on anchor text and knows how to couple long-tail keywords with relevant and timely facts. It’s effective.
- Finally, it was one of the first sites I began reading quite some time ago, maybe 2014 when I started to get serious. Why? Because it had good tips I didn’t know.
The SEO aspects turn me off a bit, but boy, I’ve gotten some good tips on writing posts better and making my headlines and headings work more. Not that I’ve used them, mind you, but I know them.
You should know them too. Check this one out!
#4 Social Media Examiner
It’s hard to beat Social Media Examiner. Sometimes I get a little ticked at this site. They’re content can be thin, and it’s often generic.
They have a big audience, though, and that excuse works well because it’s true.
The site is the king of the number list posts right now, in my opinion. They also have one of the most well-placed Twitter share buttons around.
The tips are nothing to write home about. When I do my annual SEO book they typically appear in the beginner sections, if I can’t put them in a small subset.
What saves the site are the detailed images. They must do really well on Pinterest. Well, judging by the share buttons on the sidebar, no, they don’t.
Anyways, those images are damn good…when you can see ‘em.
Another thing I like is how the images are so numerous and so close together that I don’t notice how sparse the content is.
If I wasn’t afraid to overwhelm my word processor by pasting the image-heavy and video-laden post I might get an idea at an actual count. I’ll put a guess at 500 words.
Hey, that’s fine, you can do that, 500 words – yea.
I’m not going to go after any one writer here – they all do it – and I think that’s because the site doesn’t really challenge us.
Hey, that’s fine. Like I said, the beginner section.
#5 Search Engine Journal
This site has good information, good writers, and a terrible work ethic.
They don’t put anything up on the weekends and then on Friday they give you a podcast.
I hate Friday podcast. It’s telling me that your pay and benefits package are so cushy that you don’t even need to do any real work on Friday. Worse, you foist that shit off on me and call it work.
It’s not, it’s cutting corners. Brent Csutoras had the podcast up this past Friday, and they had some good tips. I wish he’d do a better job moderating his Google+ group however – it’s spam pit.
That same attention to detail that Csutoras gives his group is what that you’ll get on this site.
This is a commercial site that’s designed to give you disposable advice while driving up its revenue.
Alright, many sites do that, but they at least give you more than the kiddie-plate variety news commentary. They also deliver it on something other than those crappy paper plates.
I’m talking about quality. Even Barry Schwartz’s stellar updates are circumcised. I mean, can we get any fucking shorter here, guys?
This site could be good, but it chooses not to be.
#6 Search Engine Land
Search Engine Land is decked out for mobile and it lets you know it. Visitors are assaulted with a smorgasbord of strange, off-putting, and in-no-way-associated images.
Does it have meaning? It does, it’s just that you need to take the time to discern that meaning.
The site has the most recent article up front, though they’re not that recent. I counted six when I visited today and the last was from October 1.
What you will find if you scroll down are more articles. The bar at the top also has more.
Alas, the site takes the weekends off. I’m not sure why this is, but they do it. Maybe it’s a religious thing.
There are lots of great writers, but they’re hamstrung by either their own laziness or the site’s insistence on keeping articles to starvation levels.
I’m talking about word count, and it’s abysmal. This is Roman content – so small in word count it requires no zero.
They could do better but they choose not to. Weekends off in an automation world and content that’s skimpier than a tutu? My oh my indeed.
#7 Search Engine Watch
I like Search Engine Watch. It’s a fun site that has an easy interface and you know what’s going on. There are several categories to choose from for content, such as “SEO” “PPC” and “Analytics.” No drop-down menus here, and some of the pages have posts that are a bit old.
Besides that you get content each day here. I like how they have solid screenshots and good headings. They do bullets well.
It’s classic blog style – what we know and effective.
It beats a lot of this mobile stuff, in my opinion. Alas, the bigger sites get what I refer to as “acceptance shares.” These are nothing more than people sharing the content because they’ve been sharing that site’s content for months. Many times they don’t even read it.
Try reading the stuff here. There’s good insight and they’re working hard.
#8 Marketing Land
This is a tricky little site, but one you can figure out fairly easily. How it works is you get some big images at first, and those are your most recent articles. You’ll get tricked if you’re a casual visitor because the same images will appear for awhile.
Move on up to that horizontal bar at the top, with tabs like “CMO” “Social” and “Search.” Under those you’ll find a drop-down box that has more articles to choose from.
Lots of different writers here, but the main problem with this site is that it suffers from the “Land Disorder.” That’s a malady that has sites thinking 2 to 3 paragraphs is just fine.
While I’m sure you can get the info across in 238 words, do you want to? What are you saying that you’re not saying?
How about, “damn, I feel so big about myself that I’m going to feed you the spaghetti strand that I threw on the wall. Hey, it stuck!”
Pal, I came to the site for a meal, not a strand.
#9 Content Marketing Institute
This is another site that has a revolving string of writers. I like the posts because they alternate between longer and shorter.
I also like this site because it focuses more on writing and less on the SEO stuff that bores me.
Another plus for this site is that they put content up on the weekend.
It’s not much, maybe a post a day, but it’s something. It’s a reason to visit, damn it, and as we’ve seen, quite a few sites don’t give you that.
You’ll get some good advice on Forbes, if you get through the multiple pages, the annoying advertisement they bombard you with first thing, and, and then the overall shortness of articles.
I like the design on this site. I’m a fan of the 4-5 article interface right there on the front page, above the fold, where I can see it. I never use those navigation bars, sorry to say.
The best articles on this site are one page, I find. They have lots of stats. Lots of ads too, but they don’t really get in the way. Oh, and they give you stuff on the weekend too.
I like the different perspectives here. I like reading a good Jayson DeMers post…though maybe he does more on Entrepreneur too – I get confused.
All in all, good tips that are relevant and often do well with sharing.
To me, Entrepreneur is a Forbes knock-off. The site is about exactly the same, has the same types of topics, even the same writers sometimes.
There’s not a whole lot else to say. I do like that they don’t bombard you with advertising as much. The content is fresh and comes on the weekend.
The main drawback is the shortness of the articles. I like that the format is nearly always the same – that comforting number set-up.
Nothing surprising here, and maybe that’s one of the problems.
#12 Business 2 Community
I don’t like this site as much as I used to. It seems to me that a year or so ago they were more focused on business. Now it seems like cultural (read click-bait) topics get a lot of play.
They still have some good insight. They also have tons of different writers, many with un-pronounceable names, and sometimes even no profile image.
Yeah, fly-by-night shit here.
Like I said, this site used to be good, but it’s gone downhill a lot since then. I still visit from time to time, though I’ve taken it off my bookmark bar in frustration before and probably will again.
I don’t think the site cares.
#13 Social Media Today
This is one of my recent favorites. This site does a very good job putting several articles up each day. They’re all there on the homepage, easy to see.
Content is of middling length. I mean it’s not to long, not too short. Many articles are on the short side, however.
Sometimes a good text article is what I want, and this site has those frequently.
Not a lot of bells and whistles here, but some good ideas presented in a good way.
#14 Buffer Social
I like this site. They have longer content, good screenshots, and relevant stats. They don’t post on the weekend, and you know how I feel about that.
Kevan Lee’s posts stand out to me. They’re longer than most posts. Most posts on this site have images and are good that way, but man, the written content leaves you wanting most days.
Still, something about this site’s tips stand out. They just put a bit more into the content, a bit more expertise.
I think you get a little more expertise on this site. Usually it will be one name on a site that does most of the work, or at least has most of the home runs.
I’d say Kevan Lee is the real power here, and I’d check out what he’s up to.
#15 HubSpot Blogs
This is a good site for tons of information. Many call them HubSpot and I do the same. The thing is…you’re getting three different blogs on this site.
They’re Marketing, Sales and Agency. Each one is on the homepage and you get about 5 to 6 articles for each.
They update quite a bit through the week, so you’ll have numerous new things to look at each day. On the weekend it slows down.
Why is this? We see lots of big sites do this, the same sites that bombard us with their Goddamn tools posts all the time.
Shit, you’re telling me you can profile social media and SEO tools until the cows come home but you can’t even get some basic site automation going?
Remember, many of the “expert” sites are called that solely because they call themselves that.
It’s kind of like someone doing gender reassignment surgery – all of a sudden one day they want you to call them something else.
Yep, Basement Bob is now a marketer. You might remember him with the nacho-stained T-shirt and 3-day-beard, but now he wants you to call him an expert.
Folks, experts’ actions speak for themselves. If an expert doesn’t want to post on the weekend, that’s fine. Should you still call them an expert?
I dunno, but sites like HubSpot could do better here. Aside from that they have good content and it’s worth checking out.
#16 Hot in Social Media
Reginald Chan does a great job on this up-and-coming site. No new content on the weekend here, but you do get good stuff through the week.
I like the design with all the articles presented in an easy manner. Mobile-heavy sites could take note from this – people like the desktop look…don’t fuck with it!
They will, though, they always will. It’s because many people have to fill 8 hours each day with work even though there’s only 4 hours worth of stuff to do.
Yes, the office. People in offices like to do make-work so the boss doesn’t get on their ass. That’s why we have site redesigns so much.
Not of that dribble here. You’ll get actionable tips, the kind that have the Big Boys glancing over their shoulders saying, “shit, I better not be so lazy this week.”
Kissmetrics is another Neil Patel-run site. I’m not sure who writes the content, but I’ve seen some different responders in the comments.
The articles here are a bit shorter, though they delve a bit more into SEO-type of stuff more than Quick Sprout does.
Good screenshots, actionable tips, relevant material – that’s what you get here. Simple and effective.
#18 Crazy Egg
I like this site a lot more than Kissmetrics. I like that it has new names writing and I like that the posts here are short.
Yeah, I spend the whole post complaining about short posts and then I tell you here that I like ‘em.
I dunno, on some sites they work. When you’re giving me 5 tips for instance, maybe it doesn’t need to be that long.
I’m sure some of you don’t like it.
When I say some of you, I mean the people I name-dropped.
So do a better job, damn it!
I live in poverty in a fucking basement and most months I don’t now how I’m going to pay the rent.
I can still run circles around many of these big names with my content. I write more words a month than they do. I read more. I’m more socially active. I respond to comments and emails.
A lot of these experts don’t. Maybe that’s why they’re experts.
For you, the lowly marketer that’s trying to beat them at their own game, take heart. Take heart knowing that for many of these experts, writing a sizeable blog post is difficult.
They don’t do that kind of stuff much anymore, nor are they expected to.
That creates a huge opening for you, a huge opportunity to show them up.
You can do that.
Never forget that many of the names you read at the beginning of the year are gone by the end. Those are mid-level experts, and they are fleeting.
You can reach that stage, and if you keep at it, don’t get lazy like many of these sites do, and keep staying hungry, you can beat them.
I want you to, I want you to beat them, I want you to beat them bad.
Go do that for me – go write some awesome shit.