The Top Social Media Blogs To Follow
Each year, Social Media Examiner invites readers to nominate their favorite blogs and bloggers from the previous year, asking who they read and find to be most valuable. It's an extreme honor simply to be nominated, as that demonstrates the value those bloggers are offering their readers, and there were over 300 nominations this time.
This year, I have been extremely honored to have been chosen alongside 19 of my colleagues as a finalist for the Top Ten Social Media Blogs. Regardless of who wins, this is a fantastic opportunity for each of you! What follows is a complete list of the 20 finalists, making it easy for you to read and follow the outstanding bloggers whom you may not yet have met. You can also vote up your favorites and mark those that you've already read.
I have also compiled a complete Twitter List of the finalists, along with the judges (whom you should be reading too!).
The judges include Ann Handley (chief content officer for MarketingProfs, author of the book Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content and co-author of the best-selling Content Rules), Darren Rowse (founder of ProBlogger.net and author of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income) and Neal Schaffer (founder of Maximize Social Business and author of three books including Maximize Your Social).
Do yourself a favor. Follow all of the above bloggers on Twitter and subscribe to their lists. I guarantee that over the next year, you will be richly rewarded with a wealth of incredible marketing advice.
And incidentally, if you aren't already, you should consider attenting Social Media Marketing World in San Diego in April. Most of these bloggers will be there, including myself, either presenting or attending. I am personally looking forward to meeting so many fantastic people! If you're going too, leave a comment below and let me know! It's always an honor to meet one of my readers.
Finally, I'd like to thank you, my readers, who have stuck with me through the good articles and bad, and for those who took the time to nominate me for this (in particular Randy Hilarski, Jenn Herman, Todd Lohenry, Nicky Pasquier). It's extremely gratifying and humbling to be recognized.
UPDATE: The Social Media Hat was selected as a Top 10 Social Media Blog. Congratulations to all of the winners and other nominations!
A Note About Lists
Some of you may ask, "Isn't this just another arbitrary list of buddies and cronies?" The answer, of course, is no. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I know there are new lists that come out daily that are simply someone's personal opinions about the top whatever. There are also lists that are designed to be nothing more than an affiliate promotion, self-promotion, or buttering up to the listees.
But that doesn't mean there are aren't good, valuable, insightful, and honest lists out there. And this is one of them.
- It starts with a nomination process open to anyone. Social Media Examiner doesn't pick their own favorites, and they don't nominate themselves.
- The final selection is then handled by three impartial judges who don't work for Social Media Examiner and who aren't nominated themselves.
And beyond all of that, there is the unimpeachable reputation of Michael Stelzner and Social Media Examiner. For 7 years now, they have been using this contest as a means to highlight and promote their peers and colleagues. It's one of the real blessing about working in the social media industry - it's a very open and collaborative business.
So when I tell you that each and every one of the 20 finalists above are worth reading and following, not to mention SME and the judges, you should have no hesitation in believing me and the selectors.
Happy reading! (And best of luck to all of the other finalists!)
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."