Mastering Growth from A to Z: Who and What to Follow

Recently, people have been asking me a lot what my favourite Growth resources are and which blogs and influencers I think are a ‘must’. I’ll be writing an article about my favourite books for Growth soon, but I think that some of the most important and valuable insights are to be found online in resources that are constantly updating and adapting to rapidly changing world.

The problem with content these days is that there is a lot of amazing stuff, often buried under a lot of rubbish, clickbait and spam. Below, I have listed the top resources that I have found to be consistently useful for both strategists and executors. Just like the best Growth specialists, the best blogs and influencers are usually multidisciplinary and have the ability to go in depth on a range of subjects within the field of Growth. Still, I’ve tried to categorise them according to what I feel are core pillars for Growth and the ones that they truly specialize in.

General Growth

I am fortunate to have a big network that is constantly sharing amazing content with me. When somebody sends me a new article they’ve discovered, there’s often a good chance that someone else has already beaten them to it.

That is why I am a big fan of Zest; a browser extension that replaces your New Tab page with a dashboard with carefully curated content by and for Marketers. You can segment by topics most interesting to you and even promote your own content through the dashboard.

I am consistently seeing great quality content that I’ve never seen anywhere else.

“If you could follow just one person, who would it be?”, is a question I get all the time. My answer is always Andrew Chen or Brian Balfour, two of the brightest minds in Growth.

Andrew Chen heads up Growth at Uber and he publishes incredibly practical and in-depth essays on everything from developing scalable experiments to mastering Mobile Growth. If you read his work, it becomes immediately clear that he’s been working at a high level for some time.

Many of you will be familiar with some of Seth Godin’s books, in particular Purple Cow. His blog covers a whole range of topics and often makes you think about the bigger picture when considering things like strategy.

Seth Godin has an interesting way of thinking and even though some of his posts can seem random, there are often really valuable tidbits to be found.

The world’s leading online community for Growth Hackers, founded by Sean Ellis needs no introduction. It’s a great place to share your content and find that of others, no matter what niche topics you’re most interested in.

I often complain about Growth Hackers who believe that a great idea alone is enough to Grow a business. However, looking at others’ successes is still great for inspiration and ideation.

The team over at Ladder has curated a playbook with almost 1000 successful experiment ideas, categorized into ‘traffic’, ‘conversion’ and ‘retention’. Great for brainstorming!

Growth Team & Process

Co-hosted by Roland Smart and Frank Days, this is one of the best niche podcasts in Growth as it focuses on how the processes and principles of Agile can help you develop a lean, experimental and effective Growth Team.

As I mentioned above, Brian Balfour is one of my absolute favourites and I could easily mention him in every category here. The amount of quality material he puts out is stunning.

If you’re looking to scale your team and optimize for Growth, his insights can be invaluable.

Tools and tech provide important support to Growth teams and can facilitate the process too. The Growth Insights series by Growth Tribe features regular videos that cover countless awesome tools for every stage of the funnel.

It’s one of the best ways to stay up ton date on what tools are out there.

Data & Analytics

Justin Cutroni’s blog has tons of unique and practical insights into Analytics for Growth. His articles are often in-depth with great examples and helpful walkthroughs.

If you want a deeper dive into Analytics, Cutroni’s blog is definitely worth a read.

Unsurprisingly, Mixpanel’s blog has a lot of useful tips and insights for those looking to dive deeper into events tracking and analytics. Ever since Neil Patel (sneakily) redirected the Kissmetrics Blog to his own site, Mixpanel’s is probably one of the best of its kind.

Driving Traffic and Awareness

For a lot of the following recommendations, I’d suggest you observe what they do, and not just listen to what they say. They’re popular for a reason!

With only 30–40 articles on the entire site, Brian Dean’s Backlinko receives hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. The blog is itself a great example of good SEO and is worth reading just as a case study.

There are also a lot of articles that explore cool SEO tactics

Josh Fechter’s Badass Marketers and Founders is a great online community for anyone interested in Customer Acquisition Growth. Though members share tactics for all stages of the customer journey, it is the top of the funnel stuff that really helps with ideas and inspiration.

Again, BAMF is a great case study to observe if you’re interested in building online communities.

If you’re interested in Inbound Marketing, HubSpot is pretty much where to look. To me, HubSpot is THE company to emulate if you value Inbound.

The amount of quality content this company pushes out is staggering. I’ve linked to the Blog above, but I recommend you check out their other resources too.

Not only is Rand Fishkin an entertaining guy, but he has in many ways become the poster child for SEO. If anyone asks me what the best resource for SEO is, I always tell them to follow Rand Fishkin and to check out Moz’s blog first.

I’d also recommend checking out his weekly series Whiteboard Friday for a fun and quick look at what’s happening in SEO today

If you’re interested in Social Media and Influencer Marketing, there aren’t that many outstanding blogs out there. One that I’d always recommend is Jeff Bullas’ blog, where he shares some good tips and tactics.

Besides Moz, Ahrefs is another powerful influencer in the SEO sphere. Thei blog has some great content! Given their niche, their articles on backlinking tend to be particularly interesting.

Converting Traffic into Users

If you’re interested in Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), ConversionXL is by far the best resource I have come across to date. There are few blogs out there that have a range and depth comparable to the CXL Blog, which features all sorts of articles on CRO tactics from copywriting to A/B testing.

People tend to underestimate how important copy is when trying to optimize for conversions. Communication is the foundation of Marketing and Copy plays a vital part in that.

Copyhackers has everything, from low hanging fruit to more complex psychological insights. It’s an absolute must!

If you’re interested in Email marketing, Customer.io is the place to go. It’s full of ideas for getting the most out of your email campaigns and places a special focus on actionable content.

Activating and Retaining Users

Of all the product blogs, Appcues is one of the best. Onboarding isn one of the most important parts of Growth for a lot of companies and the Appcues blog provides insights like no other.

If you want to real practical tips for improving your onboarding process, the Appcues Blog is always a good bet.

NN/g is responsible for some of the most impactful studies for activation and retention. They have a great collection of articles for those interested in user Experience and invaluable reports for anyone wanting to gain a deeper practical understanding of User Psychology.

If you‘re working with UX, chances are you use Hotjar or a similar tool. Hotjar’s blog, Outside the Jar, has a lot of great articles on all aspects of Growth, but of course has particularly valuable insights into user behaviour and UX.

If you’ve read Nir Eyal’s book, Hooked, chances are you’ve come across his blog too. Nir Eyal has a talent for writing pieces that make user behaviour and human psychology very tangible.

Many of his posts have great takeaways, even if you don’t tend focus that deeply in the funnel.

There is so much good stuff on the intercom blog, especially if you’re interested in using customer support and engagement to reduce churn and maximize retention.

So there you have it, kudos if you made it this far! I could easily have included a bunch other resources, but that will have to wait for another post.

If you’re thinking this list is too long, here are my absolute favourites from the resources and influencers above: Zest.is, Andrew Chen, Brian Balfour, Nielsen Norman Group, ConversionXL, Appcues, Hubspot and Rand Fishkin…

…Ok I realise that doesn’t really narrow it down…it’s the best I can do!

Let me know what your favourite resources are in the comments!

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