We all love the internet—right?!?
Without the web, what would put dinner on the table and money in our pockets?
But is it OK to hate it just a little bit too?
There’s just so darn much of it!
Entire galaxies of content…
The ceaseless chirp! chirp! chirp! of notifications…
It’s one helluva BIG series of tubes.
What with all the information to distract and consume us, it’s a wonder we ever get any actual work done at all!
But what choice do we have?
Sure, you can do the occasional digital detox (and you probably should).
But if you own or manage a digital business, you owe it yourself and your customers to keep your finger on the pulse.
That’s where this guide comes in.
The SEOButler team is here to separate the signal from the noise.
We know how valuable your time is.
So, we’ve filtered out the fluff
We’ve drilled down on the five resources—from five channels—that we can’t live without.
And after you check them out, we’ll wager you won’t want to either.
Just in case you feel like channel surfing, here are the channels we cover:
5 Facebook Groups to Join
Facebook—it’s not just for puppy pics and selfies any more.
While Zuckerberg and Co. work day and night devising fiendish new ways to keep you glued to your newsfeed, Facebook has quietly become an underestimated resource for business networking and knowledge.
Unless you subscribe to Facebook groups like the ones we’ve selected below, you might never know that one of the web’s most notorious timesucks can also be a treasure trove.
As with almost anything, it’s easy to get too much of a good thing—and this is particularly true of Facebook.
We use StayFocusd for Chrome, Stay Focused for Android, and OFFTIME for iOS to limit Facebook access when willpower isn’t enough.
Each of these apps/extensions allows you to set custom limits for how much time you can spend on Facebook and other productivity killers.
Armed with these or similar safeguards, join these Facebook groups and take part.
It’s time on Facebook well-spent instead of wasted.
Digital Marketing Group and Scaling Community
Full disclosure: This is SEOButler’s Facebook group.
Like most of the best Facebook groups, it’s a “closed” or private group.
Ask nicely and we might let you join the club…
Anyone with an interest in digital marketing is more than welcome to join.
Keeping the group closed adds an extra layer of accountability for members.
In other words, it helps keep the trolls at bay.
There are bigger digital marketing and SEO-related Facebook groups (more about those later) but we’re confident in saying this is the friendliest.
SEOButler founder, Jonathan Kiekbusch, contributes daily and goes out of his way to answer any questions that get asked.
And he’s far from alone. There are over 2,000 active members including some of the biggest names in the industry.
Frequent SEOButler blog contributors, Jarod Spiewak and Schieler Mew are also regulars.
Here’s a list of topics the group and its members specialize in:
- Client acquisition
- Scaling your agency
- Client retention
- SEO strategy
- Digital Marketing
- Paid Advertising
- Facebook Ads
Members are very giving of their time and answer questions ranging from beginner level to highly technical.
There’s even an active mentorship program where more established members take newbies under their wings—often on a call.
All completely free of charge.
If you’re looking to meet and learn from fellow digital marketers, there’s no better place to start.
SEO Signals Lab
With nearly 50,000 members, SEO Signals Lab, founded by Steven Kang in 2016, is one of the largest search marketing communities online.
SEO Signals Lab is home to anything from digital marketing related memes:
to hardcore technical contributions:
…and everything in between.
One of the most popular recurring features of the group is Pick His/Her Brain.
It’s the Lab’s version of an AMA, where authorities from the world of SEO and digital marketing answer questions posted by members of the community.
Join SEO Signals Lab today and ask your own questions of the next thought leader to participate.
Or scroll through past sessions to pick up valuable knowledge.
SaaS Growth Hacks
Facebook groups aren’t just fantastic for gaining knowledge and networking with your peers, they’re also a huge potential source of new clients and leads.
Like the Facebook groups recommended here, SaaS Growth Hacks is strictly moderated and spam-free.
You’re unlikely to gain any new friends or clients by blatantly advertising your service or product.
It’s just not the right approach to take in Facebook groups.
It might even get you banned.
But that doesn’t you can’t establish yourself as an authority and subtly promote your business.
Using SaaS Growth Hacks as an example, it should come as no surprise that a Facebook group full of SaaS (Software as a Service) founders, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts has its fair share of questions from members looking to better market their SaaS product.
Long-time friend of SEOButler, Karl Kangur of Smash Digital, is a master of the subtle art of Facebook group prospecting:
Not only does Karl answer pretty much every question asked about digital marketing thoroughly and helpfully, but he also builds authority with posts like the one above.
If you’re a digital marketer looking for new clients (and who doesn’t want new clients?) joining Facebook groups in your niches is a no-brainer.
Pro Tip: This approach also works wonders on Quora.
Digital Nomads Around the World
If you’re thinking of becoming a travelpreneur or transitioning to a location-independent lifestyle, this is the Facebook group to join.
No matter how exotic a destination you’ve set your sights on, with over 100,000 members worldwide there’s bound to be a fellow traveler there already thriving as a digital nomad.
We’re consistently impressed by how detailed and helpful the advice given in this group can be.
Want to go remote, but don’t know how to achieve your dream?
You’ll find no shortage of guidance and success stories from people once like you before they took the plunge.
Pro Tip: If you’ve already made up your mind about a destination, search for digital nomad Facebook groups specifically geared towards the country, city or even town you’re setting out for. Even the most remote locations often have useful groups for you to join. Location-specific “Expat” groups can also be useful but tend to have more trolls lurking in the wings. Helpful responses generally outweigh snide comments, so they’re still worth joining.
The Proper SEO Group
In SEO, as in life, things are rarely black and white.
The people who run The Proper SEO Group—like admins Matt Diggity, Daniel Cuttridge and owner Charles Floate—know all about the secrets of both black and white-hat SEO.
This group is all about shades of gray.
Formerly known as The Proper PBN Group, its members are no strangers to the dark arts of SEO.
Now, they mostly use their powers for good—or at least somewhere in that neighborhood.
As Google has become better at detecting—and punishing—black hat SEO methods, many of the smartest people in search engine marketing now operate in the shadowy netherworld of gray hat SEO.
Marketing mavens pack The Proper SEO Group and they’re always trying to stay one step ahead of the law—in this case, Google.
Many members manage multiple digital properties, giving them access to up-to-the-minute data on the effects of Google algorithm changes and SERP updates:
If you like your SEO intel raw, unfiltered, and just on the right side of the tracks, The Proper SEO Group is for you.
The Super Cool Dan Ray White Hat SEO and Link Building Group
Google SEO Mastermind
Facebook Advertising Secrets
5 Blogs To Read
Ask anyone involved in digital business, “What’s the first thing that pops into your head when I say content marketing?”
We’ll wager at least half of them say blogging.
Blogs date back to 1994—basically the dawn of the internet as we know it.
It’s estimated that there are now over 600 million blogs online.
WordPress—which began as a blogging platform and now powers over 30% of the internet—estimates its user publish 77.8 million new blog posts each month!
Even if you’re an avid blog reader and read 10 posts a day—or 300 each month—99.9997% of new content published on WordPress will pass you by.
And let’s face it, that’s a good thing…
Because most blogs suck.
Even Google hasn’t yet come up with a foolproof way to evaluate content quality—so there’s no way of knowing how many sites are serving up high-caliber information.
But if it’s a percentage point or two worth of those 600 million blogs, you could knock us over with a feather.
Narrowing your focus to digital marketing certainly helps.
But there’s no getting around the fact that it’s an over-served niche.
By nature, the caliber of content on digital marketing blogs tends to be slightly higher-grade than your average mommyblog or nutritional supplement site.
But it still takes a lot of time and effort to separate the sheep from the goats.
It was a brutal ordeal winnowing our list down to five.
That’s why we’ll be doing an expanded list for the SEOButler blog in future.
For now, if you only have time to follow a handful of digital marketing and SEO blogs, you can’t go wrong with these.
Search Engine Land
Search Engine Land has long been the go-to source for breaking SEO news.
With upwards of 10 new articles published each day, it’s fair to call Search Engine Land SEO’s paper of record.
Many a digital marketer kicks off their day with a cup of coffee and a thorough browse of the Search Engine Land homepage.
If you prefer to be notified when new content is posted, the Search Engine Land Twitter feed is worth a follow.
There isn’t much original content on the feed, but it’s a handy way of keeping track of when new articles are published.
Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin has long been one of the most recognizable faces in SEO.
Even though Rand left Moz after 17 years in 2018 to start his new venture, Sparktoro, the Moz blog remains one of the best SEO resources on the web.
In fact, it was one of the first.
Before becoming an essential SEO toolset in the arsenal of many digital marketers, Moz was established in 2004 as SEOMoz—one of the first dedicated SEO blogs and communities.
The Moz blog publishes new articles almost daily and remains essential reading for beginners and experts alike.
While Rand’s presence is missed in Moz’s popular Whiteboard Friday video series, newer Mozzers have taken over and it remains essential viewing.
The entire Whiteboard Friday archive is available going all the way back 2007, if you feel like taking a trip down SEO memory lane.
For SEO beginners—and those looking to burnish their skills—Moz’s SEO Learning Center is an invaluable free resource.
Ahrefs is a standout product for digital marketers in a highly competitive field.
While SEOs love to debate the merits of Ahrefs vs. its competitors, it’s difficult to argue that the Ahrefs blog isn’t one of the best out there for search engine marketers.
Even if you don’t use Ahrefs, you’ll find plenty of valuable information and insight on their blog.
Whether you do content marketing for clients or your own business, the Ahrefs blog is a stellar example of a brand that gets it right.
There is very little certainty in the world of SEO, but the closest thing to universally accepted wisdom is that backlinks are essential for boosting your site in the SERP rankings.
As you might guess by the name, the Backlinko blog is largely focused on how to acquire more backlinks* for your digital properties.
From creating skyscraper content to guest posting, Backlinko covers backlink building strategies in-depth as well as more general digital marketing topics.
Backlinko is the brainchild of Brian Dean who’s built a thriving business out of helping people to build better backlink profiles.
If you’re looking for technical SEO content, look elsewhere—like the other blogs recommended here.
But for backlink building strategy, Backlinko is a good place to start.
*You’re going to have to offer up your email address to access that link. Sorry about that! We’re not big fans of gating blog posts, but it must work for Backlinko.
Last but not least, we have to mention the blog you’re reading right now.
Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve really stepped up our game in the last six months.
We’re always looking to improve, so if there are any topics you’d like to see us cover, please let us know in the comments.
Here are our top five greatest hits, just ICYMI:
The SEOButler Content Mega Guide
Zero = Hero: This Is Why Schema Matters for SEO
The Definitive Guide to Life as a Travelpreneur
3 Internal Linking Strategies That Will Make You Rank! (See what we did there?)
Bonus Blog Pro Tip: If infographics like this one…
(Source: SEO By the Sea)
…look like gibberish to you, you may not be ready for Bill Slawski’s blog (more about him in the Twitter section). But if deep dives into technical SEO float your boat, head straight over to SEO By the Sea. Full steam ahead!
5 Podcasts to Listen To
Launched as an alternative to radio in 2004, a few years after the first iPod was released, podcasting has grown exponentially.
There are now more than 700,000 active podcasts and almost 30 million podcast episodes!
The beauty of podcasting is that almost anyone can do it, from anywhere, with very minimal equipment.
The downside is also that anyone can do it.
Listening to podcasts requires significantly more commitment than quickly scanning a blog post.
Even if you don’t mind listening at chipmunk pitch to save time, podcasts still take a chunk out of your day.
That’s why we’ve selected five podcasts to make your daily commute or lunch break time well spent.
Here are five podcasts you won’t mind getting stuck in traffic with…
(Note: This section is intentionally free of graphics—these podcasts speak for themselves.)
One thing many of the channels we recommend have in common is an abundance of free resources.
Authority Hacker isn’t one of them.
We’re kidding (kind of).
If you want access to their (admittedly awesome) Authority Site System, you’ll have to pony up almost a thousand bucks.
Think of it as an investment.
If you have ambitions to build an authoritative (and lucrative) affiliate site, the Authority Site System might be worth the steep price tag.
After all, many graduates of the System have gone on to build sites worth six or seven figures.
As Thomas Smale, founder of website brokerage powerhouse FE International put it:
“If you could only get one course and wanted to build a long-lasting passive income business, then the Authority Hacker courses would be my #1 recommendation based on my past experience where I reviewed and sold many of their member’s businesses.”
Even if you’re not ready to outlay $1K, that doesn’t mean that Authority Hacker isn’t still an excellent resource.
Their blog has expansive, well-researched content.
But their podcast is where Authority Hacker really shines.
Founders Gael Breton and Mark Webster’s weekly podcast should be mandatory listening for digital marketers of all stripes, not just affiliates.
Recent topics include:
- How to Use Trademarks to Protect Your Business Without Paying a Fortune
- Why Link Exchanges Are Not as Toxic as You Think, and How to Do Them the White-Hat Way
- Nerdy SEO Debates with Matt Diggity
The Authority Hacker podcast is nearing the 200 episode mark, so there’s also an extensive archive to peruse if you’re a newcomer.
The Tropical MBA
One of the few digital marketing podcasts able to boast of being a decade old, The Tropical MBA podcast began with hosts (and business partners) Dan Andrews and Ian Schoen mostly trading war stories about building their location-independent business.
10 years later—with a multi-seven figure exit in their rearview mirror and a newly published e-book—The Tropical MBA has shifted towards hosting other entrepreneurs and thought leaders.
It remains essential listening…
Recent topics include:
- How to Get Rich Without Getting Lucky
- $50,000 a Month from 1 Blog Post ?!
- Going All In On a Side Project
It’s rare to have a living record of a business and partnership from the early days through a successful exit and beyond.
Yes, that means there’s a lot of episodes—over 500 of them.
Tropical MBA’s helpful Top 14 is a perfect place to start.
To call Noah Kagan an industry veteran is a severe understatement.
Noah is Chief Sumo of a group which includes Sumo, AppSumo, and King Sumo.
But his credentials extend far further back than that.
Noah was the 30th hire at Facebook and the fourth hire at Mint.
Kagan jokes “if a company want[s] to be super successful they should hire me…and then fire me.”
Being part of the early stages of one of the world’s most successful digital businesses, then building his own highly successful empire has taught Noah a lot.
His podcast (and blog) are the best places to benefit from that wisdom.
Kagan boasts that Noah Kagan Presents “features the world’s most interesting people.”
His guest roster makes it hard to argue the point.
The very first episode of Noah Kagan Presents featured Tim Ferriss discussing the secrets of his success.
Recent guests include:
- Three-time SuperBowl winning coach, Michael Lombardi
- Founder and ex-CEO of Groupon, Andrew Mason
- Robert Kurson, author of Shadow Divers and Rocket Men
What sets Noah Kagan Presents apart from the other podcasts recommended here is that he interviews exceptional people from all walks of life, not just from the world of digital business.
Kagan then explains how listeners can apply this knowledge to their own lives and businesses.
(Spoiler alert: Noah Kagan really loves tacos)
Getting back to the world of SEO, we have Charles Floate’s new podcast, DFYLinks.
With only three episodes aired to date, Charles doesn’t yet have the podcasting track record (or back catalog) of our other recommendations.
But if you’re looking for “expert insights into link building, Google’s ever-changing algorithms and how to beat them,” we’re confident the DFYLinks podcast is a must-follow.
Craig Campbell’s Digital Marketing Podcast
With over 17 years of experience under his belt, Craig Campbell is far from a newcomer to the world of digital marketing.
He is, however, a fresh voice in the podcasting game.
Let’s face it, many of you are likely familiar with Authority Hacker, The Tropical MBA, and Noah Kagan Presents.
So we decided to highlight two new podcasts.
Ones that might still be flying under your radar.
Craig Campbell’s Digital Marketing Podcast has been running a tad longer than the DFYLinks podcast featured above.
The number of episodes is just hitting the double-digits.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of valuable knowledge to be gained from listening.
Recent podcasts include:
- Can an Agency Owner be an SEO Expert? (With Deepak Shukla)
- Common Mistakes with Technical SEO (With Arnout Hellemans)
- Digital Nomad Life (with Jason Barnard)
5 Conferences to Attend
OK, OK, OK.
Let’s not quibble about whether or not conferences constitute a “digital channel.”
The reality is, every once in a while, it pays to shut down your laptop and silence your smartphone.
Networking through Facebook groups and Twitter is all well and good—and way more scalable than attending conferences in person.
But ask any politician (or don’t), there’s still no substitute for pressing the flesh and meeting your peers in person—at least once in a while.
If you’re a solopreneur, you know how isolating your mission can sometimes be.
If you have a team, what could be better than meeting with fellow entrepreneurs and managers to share your experience and the lessons you’ve learned?
There’s no shortage of conferences aimed at digital marketers these days—and no possible way you can attend them all.
So we’ve handpicked five of our favorites.
From the biggest and most established to the upstarts that may still be under your radar, here are five conferences you should consider attending in the next year.
Chiang Mai SEO (CMSEO)
It seems cruel to post about a premier SEO event in a tropical paradise when it’s already sold out for 2019.
If you haven’t booked tickets yet, put it in your calendar for next year.
CMSEO is consistently excellent and getting better every time
If you have already booked your tickets—we’ll see you there!
SEOButler founder Jonathan is delivering his presentation, The Sleeping Giant Strategy: A Calm Approach to Growth alongside some of the biggest names in SEO like Matt Diggity, Charles Floate, and Matthew Woodward.
Not only that, members of the SEOButler team from all over the world are gathering to storm the conference.
If you’ll be there, we’d love to see you.
Drop by the SEOButler booth to meet the team or email [email protected] to set up an appointment.
We’ll pick up the check for coffee or a sundowner! ☕ ?
Who would’ve guessed our (not-so) sleepy seaside hometown of Brighton would become home to one of the biggest SEO conferences in Europe?
Having originally started as a small gathering in a pub in 2010, the September 2019 brightonSEO event had over 3,000 attendees and tickets sold out in less than 13 minutes.
brightonSEO prides itself on focusing on hands-on practical training and workshops.
The next installment of brightonSEO has been announced for April 16th and 17th, 2020.
Traffic and Conversion Summit
Perhaps the most heavily attended and star-studded digital marketing conference, the next Traffic and Conversion Summit takes place from March 31st to April 2nd, 2020.
Traffic and Conversion Summit is a huge event.
There are seven different tracks depending on specialty:
- Digital retail
- Digital advertising
- Content marketing
- Conversational marketing
- Growth hacking
- Digital agencies
- “Big ideas” designed to inform and inspire founders and entrepreneurs on what’s next.
The 2020 speakers have yet to be announced but with past luminaries like Richard Branson and Gary Vaynerchuk having graced the stage, there’s little reason to think the lineup will be less than stellar.
Digital Marketing Skill Share
Unless you like to travel last minute, DMSS is most likely a conference to pencil in for next year.
If you do like to fly by the seat of your pants, there are still discount tickets available at the time of writing!
If not, you might want to consider working remotely in South East Asia for a month next fall.
DMSS takes place annually in another tropical paradise—Bali, Indonesia—which is just a hop, skip, and a jump (and a few weeks) away from Chiang Mai SEO.
You could even make it a trifecta and add travelpreneur conference DCBKK to your itinerary!
Sadly, we’ll only be attending CMSEO this year, but DMSS is definitely on our to-do list.
Spread over four days of presentations, networking, and workshops DMSS not only has speakers from the likes of Google, Ahrefs, Hubspot, and ActiveCampaign, it takes full advantage of its idyllic location.
With events like Slow Yoga and Sex Magic: Using sexual energy to achieve life and business goals on the agenda alongside 11 advanced uses for Screaming Frog and Implementation of AI in Marketing, DMSS takes a truly unique and refreshing approach.
Balance and mindfulness are nearly as much of a priority as standard SEO and digital marketing fare, and there’s no better place for it than Bali.
Sponsored by LinkResearchTools, LRTcon is the only conference dedicated to links and only links.
Another thing seting LRTcon apart from other digital conferences is that all proceeds go to charity.
Let’s face it, the price of admission to conferences can be exorbitant—and that’s before you factor in flights and hotels.
At least with LRTcon, you can rest assured knowing your entrance fee is going to a worthy cause.
But nobody goes to SEO conferences only to help the less fortunate—you go to get actionable advice for your business.
Unlike monster events like Traffic and Conversion Summit, LRTcon keeps it tight.
Admission is limited to 140 people and LRTcon lasts for one day only, with networking drinks the night before.
Judging by the fact that tickets for the May 29, 2020 event are almost sold out, LRTcon could certainly move to a bigger venue and sell more seats.
But then it would lose its intimate nature, which is part of what makes LRT so unique.
At a larger conference, chances are far slimmer that you’ll be able to interact one-on-one with SEO luminaries like Matt Diggity, Rick Lomas, and Aleyda Solis.
If you’re based outside of Europe, a trip to Vienna for a one-day conference may be hard to justify.
If not—and you’re looking to supercharge your off-page SEO—LRTcon is well worth a long look.
5 Twitter Feeds to Follow
Here at SEOButler, we’re not the most avid adopters of the 280-character titan.
But there’s no denying that Twitter has become where news breaks first—and even where it gets made.
Just because we don’t actively tweet ourselves doesn’t mean we don’t keep tabs on some crucial Twitter accounts.
Here’s a handful of the best:
If you’re an SEO, you’ll want to hear the latest Google news straight from the horse’s mouth.
SEOs tend to be a suspicious lot, so there’s been much speculation about how much to trust this official feed—and Google’s public statements in general—when it comes to the specifics of Google’s search algorithm.
However, there’s no denying Google Webmasters is an invaluable resource.
Even more so with the recent launch of #AskGoogleWebmasters.
John Mueller is also a member of the Google search team well worth following.
The technical SEO’s technical SEO, Bill Slawski’s feed may be a tad overwhelming if you’re a newbie or novice SEO.
But if you’ve already developed your chops, Bill’s feed is a must-follow.
As well as being Director of SEO Research at Go Fish Digital and the author of the fascinating SEO by the Sea, Bill holds a Juris Doctor degree and is recognized as the foremost expert on Google’s patents as related to SEO.
By closely studying Google’s patent activity, Bill is able to make very educated guesses as to where Google is headed with search in the future.
We already sang the praises of Ahref’s content in the blog section.
Joshua Hardwick is the man who makes the magic happen.
As Head of Content at Ahrefs, Josh is a sought-after speaker and often shares his presentation decks on his feed.
With barely over 1,000 tweets under his belt, Josh is hardly the most prolific Tweeter.
But when he has something to tweet about it’s usually worth listening.
On Twitter, like almost everywhere else, quality trumps quantity every time.
Like Bill Slawski, Nick Eubanks’ feed tends towards the technical.
Not only are Nick’s tweets entertaining and informative, but he’s also a great filter.
He reads an insane amount of SEO-related content and retweets the very best.
It’s like having your own SEO content curator—and who can say no to that?
Another pro at separating the wheat from the chaff, Barry is the founder of the well-respected Search Engine Roundtable.
His RustyBrick agency has been in the digital business game since 1994.
With a tweet count rapidly approaching 100K (!), Barry is one of the more prolific tweeters out there.
While Barry casts a wide net when it comes to retweeting SEO content, you can cherry-pick from his feed and rarely be disappointed.
Bonus Twitter Pro Tip: Our head of SEO, Florian is the most avid Twitter user on our team. He reckons it’s one of the best information-sharing platforms out there.
Here’s Florian’s handpicked list of must-follow feeds—in no particular order—for technical SEOs:
We hope you’ve found this selection of The Top 5 x 5 Channels You Must Follow Today helpful.
Selecting the best sources of information is a highly subjective process.
There was much friendly debate in the office about should be included—and who should be left out.
Have we missed anyone you feel must be on the list?
What are your favorite channels?
Let us know in the comments!