If you're anything like me (and my apologies if you are), you like lists. And, if you also happen to work in marketing, you've probably heard of the old AdAge Power150 list -- it was a list of the top marketing blogs in the world. I use the past tense, because a few months ago AdAge said they were "powering down" the list. As the folks from Monty Python would say ... the Power150 has ceased to be. (Video link here -- you're welcome.)
Ever since that initial announcement, I've thought to myself: "Self, you should totally go build that." Well, it took me a while (and it's by no means done yet), but we now have the Inbound 50: The Top Marketing Blogs list. I hope it will become the definitive (and dynamic) list of top marketing blogs on the internet.
This list draws on a few different criteria to determine the highest "score," but the most important element is that it's a dynamically updating list -- which means the ranking will change automatically over time. Right now, the plan is to update every Sunday night.
Below is a screenshot of the top 10 blogs on the Inbound 50. I don't think you'll be surprised to see who sits at #1 today. With over 332K followers, 175K Facebook fans, and (predictably) incredible search authority, the Moz.com blog has long been heralded as an industry guidepost for how business blogging (and SEO) is done.
I thought it would be appropriate to sit down with Rand Fishkin and Moz's founder, to solicit some words of wisdom as the original man behind the blog. Meet me below the top 10 list to see what he had to say. (To see the entire Top 50 list, visit inbound.org here.)
Full disclosure: Rand is a long-time friend and co-conspirator and instigator for the inbound.org site but I developed the algorithm independently. Besides, I dare you to argue that the Moz blog doesn't deserve to be on this list. I DOUBLE-DOG DARE YOU!
Because the list is based off an algorithm that updates the rankings in real time, the list in the image above may look different than the list that appears on inbound.org. Click to see the full list of all 50 blogs.
1) When did you launch the Moz (formerly SEOMoz) blog, and why did you decide to do it?
I launched it in October of 2004, primarily with the goal of sharing what I was learning around SEO. I hoped, mostly, to be able to share ideas that wouldn't fit comfortably on the SEO forums of the time (where I was doing a lot of my content creation and community participation). That turned out to have lots of positive, serendipitous, but unintended effects, including launching our business!
2) You made the decision to switch the focus of your blog from SEO to broader inbound marketing topics. What precipitated that shift?
A few things -- one big one was a desire to help SEO-focused marketers with other tasks, challenges, and data. We also felt that SEO was expanding so much in scope that it seeped into arenas like social media, content marketing, public relations, and even email. As the engines advance and as the web's influencers expand how they discover and share content, SEOs have had to follow suit. Thus, they needed tools, data, and educational content to help with these new job requirements. SEO isn't just SEO anymore!
3) You have an incredibly engaged reader community -- what role did they play in the growth of your blog?
Our community has not only been the backbone of our blog, but also the backbone of our business. It's almost entirely thanks to the amazing people who contribute on Moz (in the comments and through other channels of all kinds) that we have the business and the community we have today. People found our content, helped it spread, and introduced new readers and contributors to our work. That pattern, over the course of the last decade, has made Moz into what you see today.
4) Is there a standout piece of content on your blog that you're particularly proud of?
I did a piece many years ago about how to create the "perfectly optimized page," and I've updated that resource many times since (including an all-nighter I pulled last year to entirely revamp it and create new graphics from the ground up). My last edit was small, but since I made it recently, that post is particularly fresh in my mind.
5) The Moz blog is an industry standard for top-notch marketing content today. What advice do you have for blogs in other industries that want to elevate their blog content?
I've found a few things to be true:
- Conversations and ideas that resonate in person are far more likely to perform well on the web. When I've made content off the top of my head while staring at a screen, it's almost always worse than when I take an idea that I've bounced off others, usually in person, and converted it into web content.
- Don't expect much in your first few years of blogging -- if you do, you'll be sorely disappointed (often to the point where you give up). Great blogs are built over many years (with very few exceptions). Pay attention to what works, what doesn't, and most importantly -- why. That's the way all the great bloggers I know have built their successes.
- With every post, be able to answer the question "Who will help amplify this and why?" If you don't have an answer to that, don't bother creating the content. It's totally OK even if you're not in touch or will have a hard time exposing your post to those people you believe would help amplify, but it's not OK if they don't even exist. That's when you're shouting down an empty hallway.