Research is a blast. It really is, because you are the detective in search of clues and juicy bits of information to add to your growing knowledge of your favorite topic. The goal is that light-bulb moment that tells you you’ve finally “got it”. Feels great.
I’ve been performing online research for 20 years and know exactly how it feels to go sniffing down one path and end up on a totally different road, leading nowhere near my info-seeking destination.
… if your time is tightly budgeted, wandering the ‘net in search of info can lead to “giving up” frustration.
There are a ton of sites on the ‘net with excellent information to use for research, from which to gather material for your own articles and posts, to find articles to curate, and to add to your own Internet marketing studies.
That “ton of sites” makes it easy to lose your way, which is fine if you have plenty of time and just want to have some fun. On the other hand, if your time is tightly budgeted, wandering around the net in search of info can lead to “giving up” frustration.
Get a multi-million dollar corporate education for free …
The list below helps narrow your search to the sites most likely to have exactly what you are looking for. NOTE: You can gain just as much insight from a Fortune 400 company as from a small business Netpreneur, so don’t run just ’cause the information you’re looking for is located on Forbes or some mega-buck B2B web site. Use my AMIC formula: Adapt, Modify, Imagine, Create.
By sneaking a peek at the information multi-million dollar companies pay hy-uuuge fees for, you will in fact get a multi-million dollar corporate education for free. Just AMIC the living daylights out of what you learn to drill down the info for your start-up and/or growth requirements.
HOW TO SEARCH FOR A SPECIFIC TOPIC: Search, “[topic]+[site name]”. Example: Email subject lines+hubspot. Give it a try.
Research: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Link Building, Content Marketing, Paid Advertising, Email Marketing.
Neil Patel is one of my all-time favorites. His writing is easy to understand and full of bits and pieces worthy of highlighting and study retention. Learn about Neil HERE.
Research: Marketing in general. Ex: The Social Strategy Brands Like Marvel Are Using to Generate a 68% Conversion Rate
Hubspot was created by Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan, 2 MIT grad students. If you’re out there searching the web for IM info, more often than not you’ll see a Hubspot result on page 1. As with all successful IM companies, their main goal is to make their customers look good and it shows in the quality of the information you’ll find in their blog. Want to use some of their cool tools? They have a free section, and a personal section as well.
Research: Scroll down the right hand column to see the extensive list of marketing subjects.
MarketingSherpa is the collaboration of a brilliant team of marketing experts, whom you will find on the About page. Excerpt: ” MarketingSherpa is a publisher focused on reporting on inspirational stories of customer-first marketing. Our goal — to give marketers of the world the stats, inspiration, and instructions to improve their results.” NOTE: The site uses a tiny type size, so be prepared to zoom in. If you don’t know how to do that, search, “how to zoom in on a [the device you are using]”.
Research: Scroll over these 2 topic areas in the navbar at the top of the page to uncover what the Big Kahunas are thinking: Innovation, Leadership. For inspiration and motivation, click on Lists at the right end of the navbar. Wow.
Research: Traffic, blogging, SEO
Matthew Woodward (.co.uk) has been a mainstay of Internet marketing for years. His best feature is his ability to teach – see his list of over-the-shoulder tutorials. Nobody else does that with free, on site teaching.
Research: SEO, traffic, ranking, eCommerce, and the list goes on.
Brian Dean, creator of Backlinko, is pretty much an Internet marketing hero. There’s very little you can’t find on his site. Go on – click on over and enjoy!
Research: Internet marketing and sales, product creation, affiliate marketing, and more.
Now we’re talking about one of the Capo de Tutti Capi of Internet marketing. John has spawned more Internet multi-millionaires than anyone I know. Follow what he tells you, because he absolutely knows what he is talking about.
Research: Email marketing, Internet marketing, just about anything Internet related
I remember when Entrepreneur Mag was born – I was one of their first subscribers. You want motivation? Want to know what’s making the biz world turn? Want some fresh ideas for your own business or project? Well, Entrepreneur is the place to go.
Research: Marketing statistics
Statista.com, the beloved site of marketing stats. Plugging statistics into your articles provides accountability and credibility, 2 of the main components of the oh-so-important trust and loyalty factor. Paying attention to marketing statistics gives you a deeper understanding of where you want to take your business and why.
Research: Branding, marketing behavior, trends, more.
In The Muse Marketing Group you will find a mega buck marketing agency that caters to clients small and large. They care a lot about enhancing the local and global status of their customers and their customers’ bottom lines. There’s a lot you can research here to get a feel for what makes you look good, and what makes you a professional.
Research: Everything marketing
Ahhh … here we have the caviar of Marketing. It doesn’t get much better than this, brought to you by the genius graduate students of the Stanford University School of Business. Turn on some Classical music, or Metallica if you prefer, pour yourself a glass of wine, chuck off your slippers, and curl up for some fantastic research time. Be sure to take notes.
Research: Copywriting, email writing, content writing, swipe files
Neville Medhora is fun. You want to do some excellent research and have fun while you’re doing it? Oh hell yes. Go see for yourself what I mean. Neville is point on about everything he writes. If you are building a site, whether it be a blog site or service site or whatever, all you need to do is follow Neville and Seth Godin (below) to gain a visceral understand of who you are writing to and why you are sharing your information.
Research: Content writing, business writing, copywriting
There are a lot of good things I can say about Henneke ’cause she’s a wonderful person. She’s there for you and her writing advice and knowledge are 5 star. What you will find is down-to-earth, solid teaching.
Research: Marketing psychology, marketing philosophy, what makes your customer tick …
Seth Godin, the King of Bloggers. In his 50’s, worth more than $30 Million, Seth Godin teaches us that less is more. He is more than just a teller of marketing how-to’s, he is a weaver of marketing philosophy in as few well-chosen words as possible. If you want to understand marketing psychology without wasting your time, go see what Seth says.
Research: Email marketing
Ben Settle is literally Everything Email. From how many dots to put in “…” to killer subject lines, open rates, content, click-throughs and sales, Ben is your go-to fella’. Besides, like Neville Medhora, he’s a fun study.
Research: Copywriting, free copywriting tutorials
Written for the freelance crowd, everything on CopyHackers applies to anyone who writes for the benefit of others, just like bloggers and email marketers do.
Research: Everything blog
Here is just one example of what you will find at David Risley’s Blog Marketing Academy: Growing Your Blog In 30 Minutes: 10 High Impact Tasks You Can Do To Impact Your Blog In Only 30 Minutes Per Day. If that doesn’t drive you to want to know more, I don’t know what will.
Research: Split testing and sales funnels
Even the title of this site is delicious. Created by Russel Brunson, one of the youngest geniuses of online marketing, DotCom Secrets will regale you with information you didn’t even know to ask about. Scroll down the right hand column, click on Read the Blog to be taken to the Podblog and Russell’s written blog in the Marketing Secrets section. This is a little taste of what you get: The 12 Questions Everyone Keeps Asking About Selling $3,000,000 in 90 Minutes, and Episode #340 – My Interview With Tony Robbins…
Research: Affiliate marketing, blogging, email marketing, podcasting
What can I say about Pat … he’s got to be the most user-friendly millionaire marketer on the ‘net. I hadn’t noticed it before, but he even has an “Ask Pat” section – brilliant (see the top navbar). Be sure to look around his site to see if he’s already answered that burning question you may have before asking it. 🙂
Research: Conversion, Marketing, Design, Copywriting, Content Marketing, Social Media, User Experience, Email Marketing, Analytics, WordPress
There’s not much I can say about Crazy Egg except that I use their blog – a lot. The research blurb above pretty well says it all.
Research: Affiliate marketing and other online income material
Dean’s web site doesn’t look like any of the others, but then Dean is a force all his own. You’ll need to take notes because you’ll only find info-loaded podcasts on the site, and they aren’t all just listed in line. A bit of hunting is required, but it’s well worth the time.
Research: Content, ideas, concepts, philosophies, psychologies …
Warning! You can get lost for hours in these 2 sites. Be sure to crank your mindset to quick scan or you’ll never get that article written or follow through with Oh Wow! #12. This is a good time to apply what I taught you in HOW TO ACCELERATE YOUR LEARNING CURVE.
Research: Niche building, how to build multiple income sites
Some say you should only concentrate on one web site; truth is, the big boys don’t. Yes, you can have one main site that is your baby but by the same token, if that site goes down or the cyber fates change their algorithms just enough that your income is sorely affected, you’re up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Learn to expand. You’ll be glad you did.
Research: Living anywhere in the world while making a living online
Location independence is, well, there are no words adequate to describe the feeling of being able to pick up and go wherever you want, whenever you want. That’s what Internet marketing is all about. Sean shows you how to do that in a way that really hits home.
DID I MISS SOMEONE? If you know of a research site you think will fit in nicely with my line-up, let me know with a note as to why you enjoy performing research on the site. If it fits in, I’ll add it and give you and your site credit. No site yet? No problem. Either show me in Comments or drop me a line.