A quick calculation I did before breakfast revealed that there are about 12.8 gazillion blogs and newsletters available for you to subscribe to.
Some are great, some ok and some so awful small children weep at the sight of them and grown Life Coaches (me anyway) bang their heads on their desk in frustration at the poor advice they offer.
The benefit of the the Internet, is also it’s downfall.
There is so much information out there that you can pretty much find the answer to everything and anything.
Unfortunately however, it’s not always easy to know if the answer you have is the correct one.
That is exacerbated when you *think* you know something and then see a post or article confirming your belief or beliefs.
At that point confirmation bias has taken control and you probably won’t do any further research to really make sure.
To write a book ten years ago, you needed not just to know how to write, but know your shit on whatever topic it was.
Then you needed to convince other people you knew your shit and that they should invest time and money in publishing it.
Now to publish a book, all you need to do is know how to write – and even then, you don’t need to know how to write particularly well.
Sadly, the actual quality is less important than your ability to hustle and convince people it’s good enough that they should buy it.
Blog and Newsletters Are The Same
The same goes for blogs and newsletters.
Just because they have a big audience does not necessarily mean they know what they’re talking about, or that they are adding lasting value.
It may just mean they really understand online marketing and how to build an audience.
I saw a truly desperately ill informed blog post about procrastination on a very large self development site the other day.
Not only did the person writing the post not understand any more about procrastination than how to spell it, but presumably neither did the blog owner who ok’ed the post.
I feel like I have a duty of care to you as one of my readers to get what I tell you right.
Of course, sometimes I am just offering opinions, but when I’m not and I’m talking about facts, you can be assured I’m not pulling them out of my ass.
I read the following blogs because I trust the content to be on the money.
Can they make mistakes?
Sure – we all can.
Do I always agree with everything they write? – of course not.
But, overall do they offer massive free value? – unequivocally, yes.
I’m largely focussing on sites that can help you make your business run more smoothly, but there’s an eclectic bunch in no particular order.
Click the blog title to read more. After you have finished reading that is!
My favorite blog on the planet even if I did through the owner under the bus with this post, when the reader experience got so difficult.
I’m delighted to say he has stepped back from the precipice and I’m back reading almost every post.
Dr Jeremy Dean only writes on topics that have been studied at a scientific level.
A lot of the research he talks about is very cutting edge, but it’s a great way of keeping updated on changes in psychology.
I know we’re not psychologists and shouldn’t pretend to be, but keeping abreast of how the human brain works, the benefits of meditation and a host of other topics is something I find highly useful.
And so should you.
Just be aware that some of the stuff he blogs about it still at the very early stages of research and investigation, so don’t go claiming it’s scientifically proven, until it is!
I can remember Derek Halpern when he burst on to the scene a few years ago.
I had a few chats with him on Twitter, mainly about sales and marketing – and there were a couple of occasions when I remember thinking he’d got something wrong.
Maybe I was wrong in thinking that, I honestly can’t be sure now, but it’s not something I have thought for a long time.
The one thing you have to admire about Derek is his obsession with learning and turning out huge amounts of highly actionable material for people wanting to prosper online.
Yes he’s salesy, yes he’s in your face and he won’t appeal to everybody (a bit like me, then!).
But, very few Life Coaches wouldn’t benefit from subscribing to his blog and implementing his advice.
He nails it again and again.
Then he puts nails through his nails, just in case.
3. Seth Godin
His Royal Sethness has been delivering high quality material since before I knew what the Internet was.
He blogs every single day and most of his posts are short and sweet and can be read in a minute or so.
They are an eclectic bunch of posts, but there’s a theme running through them.
Godin oozes class, wisdom and integrity – not something that is always running rampant in marketing and self development.
I say self development. My guess is he doesn’t see himself as a self development thought leader.
But whisper it quietly, he is.
There’s not many figures as well known and consistently successful as Jon Morrow in the blogosphere.
His blog is an absolute must for any Life Coach looking to use blogging to attract clients – and if you’re not, you should be.
Jon uses a lot of guest posters, but the difficulty in getting a post published on his site is because the standard is so high and you know, unlike the aforementioned procrastination post above, that he’s not going to publish something to fill space.
By the way, I am doing Jon’s Guestblogging course at the moment because I felt I had slipped back into some bad habits.
It aint cheap, but it’s superbly well done and if I get one client from it (which I will), then it has paid for itself.
Brian Clark, Sonia Simone et all have been at this since about 10 minutes after Tim Berners-Lee figured out how a hyperlink works.
They will give you so much free advice on how to use the power of the written word to create compelling copy that will help you communicate with your potential clients that you will be crying with gratitude….probably.
Minimal looking site? Yes. Minimal value? No.
If Copyblogger isn’t enough for you then head over to James Chatrands site ‘Men With Pens’.
I’ll not go into the whole the man is a women malarkey, I’ll just tell you that ‘James’ will teach you how to use the English language (OK Canadian) to good effect.
Oh and btw, I hired Men With Pens and I’m still talking to them, so that must say something!
SEO is getting harder and harder. Even good SEO people are bailing out of the business because Google is making it so difficult for them.
They are experts, they have to understand every subtle nuance and seemingly constant tweak to Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird (the names of different Google algorithm changes) if they are going to command the kind of sums that top SEO people do.
But you don’t.
However, not hiring somebody to help you with SEO and/or not even bothering to understand the basics of SEO good practice is both negligent and dumb if you want to market yourself online.
Search Engine Watch cranks out a lot of stuff that will be totally irrelevant to you.
So do what I do, scan the headlines and see what jumps out at you.
“Google turns the screw on big box stores’ is probably something you can skip.
Whereas, “Google looks to penalize exact anchor text terms’ may be something you want to check out.
If you have no clue what I’m talking about, check out, SEO Made Simple For Life Coaches’
This is like Search Engine Watch only more so.
There is even more information and a lot more of it is aimed at SM professionals and bigger business.
Don’t let that put off because missing the next big thing in Social Media or yet more changes to the silly Facebook algorithm (formerly called Edge Rank) is not an option if you want to remain competitive online.
There’s a reason Derek Halpern’s blog is called Social Triggers and that’s because he understands the power of Social Media.
Social – Triggers, geddit?
Forget Social Media – it’s just media now.
Sign up to this one and simply ignore the stuff that is obviously irrelevant.
I like to think of James Altucher as a more intelligent, more hirsute and more articulate version of me who doesn’t swear as much (at least in his writing).
Over at A Daring Adventure I share a lot of personal stories about my past and have never backed off from talking about my GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), drug taking past or taboo topics like politics, religion and minority rights.
James is similar in that he writes about himself a lot.
Not at all in a self-obsessed narcissistic kind of way, but in a self-deprecating ‘this happened to me and you may find it interesting‘ kind of way.
Any Life Coach who is struggling to know how to use a blog to talk and connect with people should check out James’s site.
By the way, no way have I added him to this list just to curry favor because I am so keen to get him on a Raw Voices Podcast and he’s proving a slippery bugger.
10. Coach The Life Coach
Well yes of course I am!
However, if I didn’t think this blog should be on the list I shouldn’t bother writing it. Or at the very least I should make it better.
I’ve been a full time Life Coach for 10 years and made more mistakes than Brian Williams taking a memory quiz.
I’d have killed to have found some of the blogs above in my early days of coaching because I wasted 1,000’s of dollars.
Not only do I share best practice with you, but I tell you how I have messed up in the past and changes that are happening within our industry.
Only last week in one of my ‘Insiders Guides’ that I send to my newsletter subscribers I shared the lesson I learned in recently a failed launch to help you avoid doing the same.
You may be crying, “But Tim, there aren’t enough hours in the day!”
And I’d counter with this:
“Are there enough hours in the day to go out of business?”
I’m sure I missed a favorite or two of yours, so please let me know in the comments.
Image of Seth Godin Courtesy of Rachel Lovinger