26 Blogs That Helped Our Startup Grow From $0 to $100K in Monthly Revenue
There’s no shortage of amazing business
content online. Here’s what we’ve
gotten the most from.
In comments, emails and interviews, it’s one of the most common questions I get.
I’ve tried hard to make something very clear on this blog: we’ve learned a lot from our own experiences. But we’ve learned just as much, if not more, from reading about the experiences of the entrepreneurs who were there first.
There’s an incredible amount of information and insight out there for anyone looking to grow a business, from blogs and books to recorded talks, interviews and podcasts. The sheer quantity of content is staggering, and to a busy founder, it can be overwhelming.
But that’s not an excuse. One painful lesson I’ve been taught over the years is that if you don’t make time to learn, you’re robbing yourself and your business.
I try to make it easy on myself by putting my favorite blogs into an RSS reader that I can scan once or twice a day for new posts, which makes it relatively easy to stay on top of what’s going on.
Below, I’m sharing 26 of my favorite blogs on growth, entrepreneurship and marketing that I’ve been reading throughout our journey, and that have undoubtedly been instrumental in helping us go from $0 to $100K in monthly revenue.
Full Disclosure: A few of the companies below are Groove customers or partners, but that had absolutely no impact on my decision to include them in this list. This is taken straight from my RSS reader.
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While we’ve been focused on getting to $100K/month, Jason Lemkin, co=founder of EchoSign (acquired by Adobe) is showing SaaS companies how to get to $100 million in ARR. There’s no fluff here at all, and if you want to win in SaaS, I can’t recommend this blog enough.
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KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg co-founder Neil Patel writes more blog posts — on Quick Sprout and all over the web — than just about anyone I know, and there’s always something to learn. My favorite posts share his business experiments that offer a fascinating look at the psychology of marketing and sales.
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Copyblogger’s focus is, not surprisingly, on writing better copy. It’s a topic that’s really important to us at Groove, and we’ve gotten a ton of valuable insights from following these folks.
This is a team of hardcore copy nuts, and their copywriting tips are both sophisticated and actionable. I share it as a must-read with anyone who asks me for copywriting advice.
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Peep Laja is a conversion optimization guru that gets paid to help companies boost conversions, and I’m frequently amazed at the depth and quality of the content he and his team give away for free. The blog’s tagline, “extra lucrative conversion advice” is spot on.
This is one of the blogs on this list that has really turned on the jets recently, going from not blogging much at all to publishing fantastic, high-value content about growing a small business. Their latest posts find themselves in our team Slack room pretty often.
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David is a VC at Matrix Partners, and his posts are some of the most sophisticated, in-depth looks at the things that are important to startups. They’re rarely short and never light, but I’d have a lot of faith in any entrepreneur who reads this blog from start to finish.
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A beautifully designed blog about email marketing, Vero’s posts are usually long and packed with tips and hacks. I always learn something new.
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10) WP Curve
Dan Norris and Alex McClafferty have hustled WP Curve into a rapidly growing startup, and they’re sharing much of what they learn along the way. For obvious reasons, I love seeing other companies bare all on their blogs.
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11) Derek Sivers
Derek Sivers founded CD Baby in 1997, sold it for $22 million and put nearly every penny in a charitable trust. He’s a fascinating entrepreneur, and his posts come from deep within. They’re always a pleasure to read.
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Zapier has built partnerships with nearly 400 companies. If that sounds like a huge challenge, that’s because it is. So it’s not a surprise that their team is super-productive. Coincidentally, their blog also houses some of my favorite productivity content on the web.
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13) Social Triggers
Social Triggers is Derek Halpern’s blog about the psychology of building a business. Derek is a hustler through and through, and always has interesting new studies and research-backed tips to share.
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One of the first SaaS companies that realized that quality content marketing can have an explosive impact on your business, KISSmetrics was one of our biggest inspirations for this blog and continues to churn out some of the best online marketing content on the web.
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15) Seth’s Blog
I’m not sure there’s a marketing blogger more legendary than Seth Godin. He’s been blogging every day for years, and the amount of power his posts pack into just a couple of paragraphs (often less) make me realize how much work I have to do to become a more effective writer.
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Joel Gascoigne, co-founder of Buffer, takes a non-traditional approach to growing his business. The Buffer team is distributed, and like we try to do, they practice radical transparency with their readers. Joel’s personal blog is no less transparent, with hard-earned lessons that he’s learned along his journey as an entrepreneur.
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Rand Fishkin is a co-founder of Moz, and one of the most transparent startup execs on the internet. He shares some fantastic content on marketing, but I especially love — and connect with — his posts on the emotional side of entrepreneurship.
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Noah Kagan is the founder of AppSumo, and was the first marketer at Mint (along with a stint at Facebook). The guy understands data-driven marketing like few others, and his blog shares lessons from Noah (and an impressive list of guest bloggers) that even experienced marketers will get a ton of value from.
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While sometimes hit or miss, the HBR blog often has some really incredibly articles on entrepreneurship. They’re a more traditional publication and publish a lot (so there’s more to sort through), but the gems make it more than worth it.
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20) Andrew Chen
One of the first thought leaders in growth hacking (well before the term turned into the overused cliche it is now), Andrew’s posts are sometimes technical, but always useful.
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21) Tomasz Tunguz
Tom is a VC at Redpoint Ventures, so he’s exposed to a lot more startups than most of us. He publishes often, and I always find his perspective — from the seat of someone who sees thousands of startups a year — helpful.
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This is Brian Balfour’s blog on growth. Brian is an entrepreneur and currently the VP of Growth at HubSpot. His posts are deep and full of great insights from experiences in his job and at his past companies.
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Another one of the early SaaS content marketing powerhouses, Unbounce’s content team publishes awesome posts that have taught our team a lot about conversion rate optimization. I also really like their Page Fights landing page teardowns (in collaboration with ConversionXL, another blog on this list).
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24) Sixteen Ventures
This is the blog of Lincoln Murphy, a customer success and acquisition expert. His content on building better systems for customer success have been very valuable to Groove as we’ve worked to grow.
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Every single post on Buffer’s blog is impressive in its richness and research. Courtney, Kevan and the rest of the team work tirelessly to keep the blog ahead of the curve on the latest in social media, and I find myself clicking through to a Buffer post shared by someone on Twitter almost every day.
While Shopify focuses on eCommerce, I’ve gleaned more than a few insights that can be applied just as well to SaaS marketing, and that we’ve used with great results at Groove.
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How to Apply This to Your Business
There’s a good chance that you already read some of these blogs. Many of them are very popular.
But I hope that in this list, you’ve found at least one or two new sources of insights that will help you grow your business and become a better entrepreneur.
I’m curious to hear: what are your favorite blogs? Let me know in the comments.