Five Blogs I Read

by Jason Falls |

One of the subtle tricks of building good blog traffic is organic link exchange. This is very different from link exchange, which is where two website or blog owners agree in premeditation to add links to one another’s sites. Organic link exchange is where a blogger cites a post or a blog from another with a link, naturally the linked to blogger sees the trackback, checks out the post and at some point thereafter, writes about that blogger or a post he or she files. Perhaps they even start reading the blog and link to it often. Though there is some thought that tit-for-tat links cancel each other out and Google discredits them, it’s the way a lot of top bloggers built their followings. It’s certainly one way I built mine.

Image by Moriza on Flickr
Image by Moriza on Flickr

While there are now cool tools like Zemanta that make adding relevant links easy, the semantic searches are essentially random samples. I still prefer to search my Google Reader for the topic so I’m at least linking to blogs I read. Besides the list of relevant links at the bottom of many posts, however, my blog posts are normally peppered with hyperlinks to interesting content that compliments what I’m writing. (You should click sometimes. It’s okay. They open up in a new window. You won’t lose your place.)

What gets lost in the maturation process of a blogger and a blog is the migration away from the simple, no matter how productive it can be. I spent last night systematically going through all of my feeds — over 300 of them — and unsubscribing from those that either don’t or no longer challenge my thinking, proliferate self-serving blather or were subscribed to in hopes they’d improve but they didn’t. And the one-by-one review reminded me I probably haven’t adequately shared some blogs I’ve started reading recently that I get a kick out of. I’m not technically looking for organic link exchanges here, but if it reminds these folks to read my blog and they wind up linking to something they find interesting, cool.

Five Blogs I Read

Convince and Convert
Jason Baer came to my attention commenting on my blog. After a couple of smart comments, I clicked through to find out more about him and discovered a smart blog with solid observations and a nice variety of subject matters without straying from the category. Plus, he’s started a neat series called Twitter 20 – Interviews On Twitter he started recently. I can’t wait to see some more of these. (Subscribe via RSS)

Deborah Schultz
I know, I know. The weekly roundup posts from around the net aren’t appealing when there are several strung in a row, indicating the blogger doesn’t actually post very often and uses the roundup to fake it, but trust me, when Deb Schultz posts something, it’s worth reading. She’s a super star who stays content drowned in client work actually doing social media work instead of yapping about it all the time. If you’ve ever seen her speak, you know how good she is. If you haven’t, find a conference where she’ll be and go learn something. (Subscribe via RSS)

Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik
If you want to really understand web analytics, read this blog. Kaushik is Google’s Analytics Evangelist and author of the book, “Web Analytics: An Hour A Day.” He’s one of those numbers geeks that is so excited to teach you how to read them that he almost giggles when he talks to about them. That enthusiasm carries over to his blog and, if you can get past the fact you’re reading upwards of 1,500-2,000 words (or more sometimes) on web stats, you sometimes find yourself locked into the prose. And yes, I read the other Occam’s Razr, too. (Subscribe via RSS)

The Marketing Technology Blog
Doug Karr is a smart dude. Other than the auto-post Delicious links entries (If you haven’t noticed, I don’t like these things), he brings marketing expertise to the table with a healthy background and understanding of technology. He’s the perfect guy to translate things between IT and the marketing or PR departments so we’re kind of kindred spirits. He also mixes in some sound business advice, too. (Subscribe via RSS)

The Harte Of Marketing
Beth Harte is relatively new to the blogging scene but she’s brilliant and a pistol, to boot. I could say a lot of really nice things about her, especially after spending some time with her recently talking shop, but all you need to know is Beth sees through the bullshit better than most people. That alone is worth reading since 90 percent of what you’ll find on other people’s blogs is what’s in the way of the good stuff. She’s got the good stuff. (Subscribe via RSS)

Keep in mind I subscribe to over 200 blogs (yes, I trimmed more than 100 from my reader) and websites. I picked five for simplicity sake. There are a LOT of folks I left out, but not because I don’t read you or love your stuff. Maybe I’ll remember not to migrate away from the simple better and pick you up next time around.

So consider this a request. Either in the comments or on your own blog, tell us five blogs you read. After you go subscribe to those five, of course.

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About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).