I use Google+ for two things, primarily. First, I follow interesting people so I can keep up with their content. Secondly, I post links to literary sites I find interesting and articles on Web marketing. When it comes to online marketing, my most important area of interest is on content creation.
When I evaluate content I look at it with three things in mind:
- Is it original?
- Does it provide some kind of value?
- Is it well-written or thought provoking?
Originality Is King
I don’t care how well-written something is, if it’s a rehash of what I’ve read a thousand times or more, then I won’t find it interesting. I like anything that is original – and I don’t just mean that in a clichéd SEO kind of way. What I mean by “original” is in a creatively expressed kind of way. Does the content creator do something or have something to say that no one else does or has? If so, they pass my originality test.
What Is Value?
Value is a subjective term. One person’s value is another person’s junk. For me, value can be any number of things, from information that is helpful or interesting to an act that is entertaining.
The following list of content creators fall mainly in the Internet marketing ring, but not all of them. The list is weighted toward professional marketing pros primarily because these are the people I follow to stay abreast of information in my niche. These are people I read to help me stay on top of my writing and SEO game. They’re on this list because I find them to be essential daily reading for the value that they offer.
Provocative Writing Is Well-Written Content
The journalist part of me likes anything that ostentatiously slaps reality in the face. I like controversy, but I like it best when it meets at least one of the other two criteria above: Originality and Value.
There are countless other people I could find who would probably make my list if I followed them long enough. These eight people are on my list because I’ve been reading them for a long time. It’s not objective by any means. Nonetheless, these are online personalities I could not do without. All of them are in my “A-List” circle on Google+.
The Top 8 Content Creators On Google+
- Brian Clark – If I had to give everyone else up on this list to keep following Brian Clark, I’d do it. He’s got more insight in one paragraph than most online “gurus” share in one blog post. Plus, his guest bloggers are pretty smart too. I’ve never read anything at Copyblogger that I didn’t learn from.
- Lee Odden – Lee Odden continues to amaze me. His Top Rank Blog routinely takes a topic and covers it in-depth, providing insights that either confirm my own tastes or takes them five steps farther or ten levels deeper.
- Andy Beal – Andy Beal runs the best marketing blog online. I read it every day.
- Ann Smarty – Ann Smarty is a woman who lives up to her name. I don’t read enough of her content, but when I do read them I always come away with something I didn’t know or I had forgotten.
- Michael Martinez – Michael Martinez is one of the smartest SEOs writing today. I don’t always agree with him, but I appreciate his contrarian views – and I do find myself agreeing with him more often than I should. He is always thought-provoking and articulate. What would you expect from a guy whose blog is titled SEO Theory? He hits No. 3 of my content judging criteria on the proverbial head.
- Bill Slawski – If there is anyone on this list I regret not being able to read more of, it’s Bill Slawski. His analyses of search engine patents are the best thing online.
- Jane Freidman – Jane Friedman is the Web editor at Virginia Quarterly Review. She has spent a lot of time in the publishing industry as an editor, publisher, and a college professor. Her insights into current and future publishing trends are a must-read for anyone in any niche who wants to build a publishing platform, and if you’re online, then I assume you want to do some publishing. Her latest project, in pre-launch phase, is Scratch Magazine.
- Philip DeFranco – I predict Philip DeFranco will some day have his own television show. Not that he needs one, but his videos on current events and goings on around the world on everything from pop culture to politics are funny, intriguing, and intelligent. I consider him the Jon Stewart of the Web. His YouTube channel is one of the best things going.
I tried to come up with a good Top 10 list, but I only found 8 online content creators that I could say without a doubt were my favorites. Maybe I just don’t have enough time to consume content, or it could be that I’m too discriminating. Either way, I hope you find a gem in this list.
Now, you tell me. Who are your favorite online content creators?
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