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
Who 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):
- 4 Quick Ways to Reoptimize Underperforming Content and Drive More Traffic (NeilPatel.com)
- 7 Reasons Your Outreach Emails Aren’t Getting Responses and How to Fix That (QuickSprout)
- 6 Tips That Will Drastically Improve Your Twitter Conversions (CrazyEgg)
2. Ann Smarty
Ann 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):
- A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating “Tweetable” Tips Article to Drive Shares and Traffic (SEOSmarty)
- How to Properly Thank an Influencer #MyBlogU (MyBlogU)
- Answer Your Customers’ Questions and Get Inspired with This Cool Tool (InternetMarketingNinjas)
3. Brian Dean
The 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:
- 21 Actionable SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now
- 17 Untapped Backlink Sources
- We Analyzed 1 Million Google Search Results. Here’s What We Learned About SEO
4. Marie Haynes
Marie 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):
- Is the order of keywords in the title tag important? An SEO experiment.
- Panda Recovery – The case for removing thin content.
- Pure spam penalty guide.
5. Gail Gardner
Writer, 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:
- Mailing Lists: What to Do With Yours
- How to Generate and Close Social Leads On Twitter
- GetResponse, AWeber or MailChimp? Which Is Best For You?
6. Michael Martinez
Michael 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:
- How Content on Its Own Brings Traffic, Links, and Leads
- How to Design the Web User Experience from Hell
- Dangerous and Irresponsible Link Advice from Experts That You Should Ignore
7. Adam Connell
Adam’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:
- How To Get Your First 500 Blog Comments [INFOGRAPHIC]
- 32 Smart Ways To Drive More Traffic To Your Blog
- How To Grow Your Blog In Record Time: It’s Easier Than You Think
8. Tadeusz Szewczyk (aka Tad Chef)
Tad 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:
- What is Your Implicit Content Strategy in One Sentence?
- Peak Outreach: Don’t Bug Influencers – Follow Engagers
- SEO is Dead – PIG is the New SEO
9. Jon Cooper
The 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:
- 28+ Stories of Failed Link Building Experiments
- The Longevity of Links for SEO
- Social Influencer Prospecting with Co-Citation
10. Ashley Faulkes
Web 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:
- 5 Simple Ways To Win More Clients For Your Business
- 7 Copywriting Secrets To Writing Insanely Addictive Content
- Need a WordPress Landing Page? Here Are Your Options
11. Devesh Sharma
Founder 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:
- 25 Beautiful Pinterest-Like WordPress Themes 2016
- How to Setup a WordPress Blog in Under 15 Minutes
- 10 of the Best List Building Plugins for WordPress In 2016
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
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.