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11 Pro Bloggers In the SEO and Marketing Niche To Follow in 2017

Pro Bloggers 2016

Who do you look up to in the blogosphere?

When you scour the web for authoritative sources to learn more about SEO and marketing, to initiate a relationship with (outreach) or to mention in your content, you inevitably stumble upon the same names everywhere.

Those are the names of the top bloggers in the SEO and marketing niche who made an impact on the industry in the past years.

For this post, I selected 11 great SEO and marketing bloggers I feel you should follow and read in 2017 to increase your knowledge, to use as trusted go-to sources of information and — why not? — to network with. They’re all pretty friendly people!

If you are wondering how I chose these 11 bloggers out of the many niche experts, I didn’t do it all alone. This post also contains plenty of quotes from other bloggers and marketers I asked a second opinion to: Christopher Jan Benitez, David Leonhardt and Irina Weber.

1. Neil Patel

Neil PatelWho doesn’t know Neil Patel and his work at QuickSprout, CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics? Tireless, friendly and knowledgeable a blogger, entrepreneur and expert in pretty much everything SEO and marketing, Neil is currently one of the go-to bloggers in the industry.

The nice thing about him is his responsiveness — in fact, you’ll most probably see him reply to your comments and messages if you start a truly valuable conversation. This is something I have personally witnessed and enjoyed as a subscriber to Neil’s blog(s).

I suggest that everyone should follow Neil Patel on Quicksprout. He never fails to deliver exceptional content on how bloggers can effectively increase site traffic to market their products and services. Highly recommended! – Christopher Jan Benitez

Top Picks from Neil’s Blog(s):

2. Ann Smarty

Ann SmartyAnn is a prolific blogger and an energetic content marketer, as well as the founder of MyBlogU, TWChat, MyBlogGuest and (co-founder of) ViralContentBuzz.

You can find her posts spread around the Web and every time you will walk away with more tools and hands-on knowledge than you believed possible. Plus, she’s an incredibly nice person.

Ann Smarty is one of the best social media experts. Love reading here tips about guest posting! As English is her second language like mine, she has become my inspiration! – Irina Weber

Ann Smarty continues to spin out a large volume of highly useful posts on laser-focused topics.  You can find her on Internet Marketing Ninjas, as well as pretty much all over the place. – David Leonhardt

Top Picks from Ann’s Blog(s):

3. Brian Dean

Brian DeanThe genius of link building, that’s who Brian is — the mind behind Backlinko and all those thorough, step-by-step guides that could turn anybody into a good link builder quickly (I personally learned plenty about outreach from him). He explains his techniques step by step, with humor and evidence of what he’s talking about.

Brian Dean is my favorite SEO expert and blogger, his tips about link building and traffic are very useful. – Irina Weber

Top Picks from Brian’s Blog:

4. Marie Haynes

Marie HaynesMarie is one of the top minds in the SEO consultancy industry. She’s a goldmine of SEO knowledge and hands-on experience, plus she’s friendly, helpful, responsive — I had small chats with her on Twitter sometimes. Great person to be in a conversation with and learn from.

Top Picks from Mary’s Blog (MaryHaynes.com):

5. Gail Gardner

Gail GardnerWriter, small business mentor and founder of GrowMap, Gail is a reliable source of hands-on information on how to grow your business and what tools you can use toward your goal. Her blogalso features in AllTop.com under the Social Media and Instagram marketing category.

I don’t think I miss any editions of GrowMap, Gail Gardner’s blog that also frequently features another favorite of mine, Deborah Anderson (two for one deal!). – David Leonhardt

Top Picks from Gail’s Blog:

6. Michael Martinez

Michael MartinezMichael Martinez is not your regular SEO expert. He’s quite knowledgeable in the technical side of SEO, design usability and the computer science behind search. You can trust Michael’s view of these aspects because of it, even though many of his ideas appear controversial at first glance.

He is the president of web marketing company Reflective Dynamics and the owner of SEO-Theory.com, where he also runs a premium SEO newsletter. You can get in touch with Michael via the contact form on his website or at @seo_theory on Twitter.

Top Picks from Michael’s Blog:

7. Adam Connell

Adam ConnellAdam’s blog BloggingWizard.com is one of my new go-to places for blogging advice since last year. Adam writes in a way that captures your attention and keeps your eyes on the page until the end of the post. Great copywriting skills, a friendly attitude and a wealth of knowledge to share. Need anything more to start following?

Adam Connell runs an awesome blog called Blogging Wizard where you can find a hundreds of useful posts about blogging. – Irina Weber

Top Picks from Adam’s Blog:

8. Tadeusz Szewczyk (aka Tad Chef)

Tad ChefTad is almost a friend. We had plenty of interesting conversations about SEO, marketing and tools over the last few years. Why should you read Tad’s SEO 2.0 blog? Simply because he offers an alternative view to SEO that isn’t just SEO, but “Web for people from people”, as I like to call it. To Tad, people come before search engines and, in that, our views are pretty close.

Tad’s blog is a must-read because it will help you put SEO and marketing in perspective and look at it from more than one angle.

Top Picks from Tad’s Blog:

9. Jon Cooper

Jon CooperThe mind and blogger behind PointBlankSEO and its mammoth guides. Jon structures his tips and techniques in a way that make them fun to read and easy to put in practice, as he tries to help both beginners and experts to build good white hat links without stress.

His huge Link Building Strategies guide was the first I read and put to use back in 2012 (yes, it earned a permanent place in my browser bookmarks — check it out to see why).

Top Picks from Jon’s Blog:

10. Ashley Faulkes

Ashley FaulkesWeb designer, blogger and content marketer at MadLemmings, Ashley offers advice with humor and clarity on topics that range from copywriting tips to website design and solopreneurship.

Great person to spend some time chatting on Twitter, too!

Top Picks from Ashley’s Blog:

11. Devesh Sharma

Devesh SharmaFounder of WPkube, Devesh is a brilliant blogger and digital marketer who delivers hands-on, quality advice with every blog post. His blog is all about WordPress, plugins, hacks and tutorials.

Because 51% of the entire Internet uses WordPress as the CMS of choice — especially big bloggers and businesses out there — you’ll want to listen to what Devesh has to say (or better, read what he has to write).

For WordPress tips and tricks, Devesh Sharma has been doling them out for years at WPkube. – David Leonhardt

Top Picks from Devesh’s Blog:

More Bloggers to Follow?

Read who David Leonhardt’s and Irina Weber’ recommend:

Emory Rowland mixes common sense with humor and cartoons, so I enjoy his SEO-related posts at Leverable.

Shobha Ponnappa always brings forward good, general Internet marketing advice at the blog of her own name.

This has nothing to do with blogging, but it has to do with perspective on life, business and everything.  I enjoy Roy Ackerman’s Cerebrations blog because it makes me think.

– David Leonhardt

I can also recommend Jeff Bullas, Jordan Kasteler and Zac Jonson for reading. –Irina Weber

Who do you already follow in the top ranks of your industry or niche? Who are you going to follow this year?

Share your reading list in the comments.

Note: all top bloggers’ photos are repertoire photos from their respective social media profiles or websites.

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Being Social on Social Media to Grow Engagement

Achieve Your 2014 Social Media Marketing GoalsLack of engagement is one of the most frustrating parts of social media marketing. If you are not consistent in posting on social media, then if you are lucky, you will sometimes get a like, but no regular follows, comments, or likes. This situation is disheartening and costly, and means that your social media marketing is not delivering to the audience what they expect.

Social media is one of the most famous ways of direct marketing. With social media marketing, you can connect one-on-one with the customers, and you can speak directly to the buyers. This is an opportunity every business owner wants to capitalize on, and it’s possible only through the right kind of engagement.

Here are some of the key steps which you can follow to increase your engagement with your target audience:

1.    Stop Them from Scrolling

The first sign of success you will get is when your content is interesting enough that it stops the viewers from scrolling down. The best way to catch their attention is by posting something that they like, want to see, or desire to know more about. To catch the eye of your viewers, you can follow the following steps:

     a)      Find out why your audience is present on social media

  • Chances are, that your audience is on Facebook to read or view the latest news. So, post content with news or current events.
  • Your audience might be on Instagram to view photos of their friends and family. So, you should post more of your business’s behind-the-scene photos.
  • In this way, if your audience stops scrolling to read what info you are providing, they are more likely to get engaged with your post. Similarly, if they notice any of your team members doing something interesting in a photo on Instagram, they will most likely take the time to look at it.

     b)     Find out what your audiences do when away from social media

  • You can also stop them from scrolling by knowing what your audiences do when they are not on social media and then target that.
  • For example, if you are a seller of dog products, you can target dog lovers and can use dogs in your posts. For example, a photo of your team playing with a dog can attract viewers who spend a lot of time with animals.

     c)      Be funny

  • Most consumers come to social media to be entertained. If you forget this, then you will lose your audience’s attention.
  • For that continuous engagement, add humor to your posts. People like the humorous posts¾they might share it and tag their friends to watch it.
  • Ultimately, your posts will get plenty of likes, comments, and shares.

2.    Inspire a Reaction

Facebook has brought a very good feature to increase engagement. They have introduced five new ways by which a person can react to a post: Haha, Love, Angry, Wow, and Sad. This has opened a whole new world of opportunities for businesses. Facebook encourages your audience to react to what you are sharing. These steps can be followed:

     a)      Use emojis as prompts

To get a reaction more frequently, you can use emojis in your post. By this, the tone is set, and the reader will get to know how you expect them to react. For example, when sharing something humorous, use the laughing emoji.

     b)     Ask for specific reaction

Sometimes, when you ask for a reaction, you get more engagement, and Facebook’s reaction buttons helps. For example, you can host a contest and award the audience for hitting “love” button rather than just “like.”

     c)      Ask them to review

You can ask your audience for a review in the comments section on Instagram or in the form of a Facebook reaction. For example, you can share a blog post regarding your industry and ask the people to react through Facebook reactions.

3.    Spark Intrigue

Intrigue not only increases the engagement, but also supports your digital marketing funnel. Some ways you can spark intrigue amongst your target audience are:

     a)      Share some compelling data

You can offer some surveys or compelling data because people love to know the facts. To know more, they will visit your website. Remember not to give everything away on social media. It should be a teaser to encourage them to visit your site.

     b)     Launch new products and offers

You can tell your audience about the new product to be launched and offer them some freebies. This way you can get more clicks on your website, and when they enter their email address to get freebies, you can get their email addresses also.

     c)      Stream live videos

You can increase the engagement through videos because videos have audio, eye-catching movement, text, and imagery. Live streaming is the latest way for companies to engage with their audience.

These are some of the ways by which you can increase your engagement on social media. Always remember that to get more comments, likes, and shares on your posts, provide your audience entertaining, inspiring, and intriguing content¾and be sure to do it regularly. Fone Dynamics wants to know what works for you in engaging with your audience on social media; comment below to share your best practices!

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