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As marketers, we live and work in a unique environment, the landscape is always moving and shifting in both predictable and unforeseen ways. What worked yesterday, audiences may ignore today, what works today might be obsolete tomorrow. How are we able to keep up with this ever-changing digital world? You can’t teach what we do, not yet, and not in a classroom.
If you’re looking to become a developer or software engineer, it may make sense to make a large investment in a traditional four-year degree. Many employers still value a traditional education though in my own observations, it seems that companies are becoming increasingly focused on what you’ve built or done, rather than your alma mater.
I don’t want to bash on education too much, as many of us thrive in academic environments better than on-the-job (read: sink or swim) training. However, in digital marketing specifically, there are less expensive education alternatives. If you already have a traditional degree in marketing, these are also some great ways to stay current in your industry or just brush up on some of those skills.
The recently launched Quick Sprout University is loaded with great video content with eight different digital marketing categories. All of the content is free, which makes this one of the best resources available if you’re looking to learn on the cheap. Be sure to check out the blog also. You’ll even see Neil Patel pop in from time to time to answer questions.
With over 80 hours of video content and easy to digest lessons, Distilled U is the perfect place to start learning SEO. At our agency, the first task for every intern or junior level SEO regardless of previous experience is completing the 101 section. While it’s great for beginners, Distilled U offers courses for intermediate and advanced SEO’s as well. At only $40/month(there is a free trial available) it’s well worth the investment.
Anchored by the beginners guide to SEO, Moz recently launched the Moz learning center that includes guides and video content at Moz Academy. Most of the Moz Academy requires a Moz subscription($99/month). Outside of the learning center, Moz’s blog is always loaded with great content, they host webinars from industry thought leaders on a regular basis, and has great Q & A section with a knowledgeable community built behind it. With so many high quality learning content, Moz might be the best all-in-one place to learn SEO.
You might be aware of Point Blank SEO, a link building blog authored by Jon Cooper, that is always full of educational content. Lets be honest here, link building is tough. Jon’s link building course breaks down link building techniques from beginner to expert level. There are hundreds of ideas and samples, each of which will inspire new link building ideas in your head. The course is priced at a one-time payment of $67, great value considering the quality of content and the lifetime access you receive.
Much like Quick Spout, Hubspot academy looks at Inbound Marketing as a whole, offering downloadable PDF’s, blog posts, webinars and video content on a huge number of topics. The best part about Hubspot Academy is it’s free! You’ll find beginner lessons such as “How to Set Up a Google Adwords Account” to more advanced lessons like “Better Landing Pages Start With a Marketing Persona”. This is a wonderful resource for anyone trying to learn inbound marketing, the only problem that I see is the lack of direction it provides. There isn’t a checklist or course outline to follow, it’s simply a bunch of useful information jammed into a few pages, which makes navigating the content a little overwhelming if you don’t have a specific purpose for going there.
Unlike the previously listed resources, Quora isn’t strictly an SEO or Inbound Marketing resource or community, it’s a community generated knowledge base. There is however a very large list of industry influencers who follow SEO related topics on Quora, just check out this thread that has over 185 answers, a lot of which are from respected and trusted sources. Even if you’re not searching for answers, you will learn a lot just by contributing to Quora on a regular basis.
There is no better place to gain knowledge than industry conferences and local meetups. When I first started going to conferences I was awestruck by the speaker lineups and figured the sessions alone would be worth the ticket, travel and accommodation prices. I found out quickly that you can learn a ton by meeting and talking with the other attendees, and you’ll often come away more motivated than ever after each conversation. The top industry conferences are MozCon, SearchLove, SMX, SES, PubCon, and Inbound.
Don’t forget your local meetup groups either, chances are there are very smart marketers in your local community that you don’t know about yet. This is a great way to grow your friend circle while at the same time becoming a better marketer. Many local marketing and advertising communities have Facebook pages that organize events, another useful place to find events is Meetup.
What are your hobbies? Find a topic you are interested in and start a blog, or purchase an existing site where you can test different theories and strategies. The truth is, you can read as much content as you want online and tell yourself you know SEO, but getting in the trenches and getting to work will make you an expert.
The following blogs are either from industry resources, agencies, or consultants. The list below consists of blogs that are consistently updated with actionable blog posts that you can digest and use.
The following blogs report on the latest industry news and trends, and will occasionally publish great learning articles.