When it comes to online marketing, copywriting isn’t usually the top focus or priority. Most people think about SEO or PPC strategies first, as well as design, conversion optimization and other sexier or more technical topics. But the fact is, you can’t do any kind of online marketing without engaging in copywriting. Even banner ads needs a call to action! And most of what marketers do to get found – and make sales – on the web involves much more extensive and nuanced copywriting.
Persuasive copywriting is an art, and strategic content marketing is a valuable skill. You shouldn’t assume that just because you were an English major, copywriting for the web is easy and obvious! The rules are different in the online space, and quickly changing industry trends and practices require even copywriting masters to devote some time to education. So if any of your marketing duties involve writing, we recommend you add some of these blogs to your regular reading list.
In addition to the great resources listed here, we’ve also provided you with some handy tools so you can get the most out of the list:
- A custom Google search engine (available below)
- A Blekko slash tag
- An OPML file so you can add all the blogs to your favorite reader
- A Twitter List so you can find all the awesome bloggers below on Twitter and see what they’re sharing
We’ve also created a badge for the winning sites:
Without further ado, here are our favorite blogs with a focus on copywriting and content development and marketing. Just like our Best PPC Blogs list, this is meant to be a living list, so if we’ve missed one of your favorites, please let us know in the comments (even if it’s your own blog)!
Probably the most well-known and widely followed copywriting blog out there, Copyblogger operates under the philosophy that “compelling content is the new advertising.” Brian Clark, the CEO of Copyblogger Media, has been named one of the web’s most influential marketers, and Copyblogger ranks among the top marketing blogs of any stripe. Topics include content marketing, SEO copywriting, email marketing and keyword research.
3 Posts We Like From Copyblogger:
- The Inigo Montoya Guide to 27 Commonly Misused Words
- Why No One Links to Your Best Posts (And What to Do About It)
- The Art of Writing Great Twitter Headlines
Heather Lloyd-Martin is a pioneer of the SEO copywriting field; she runs a training and consulting firm, SuccessWorks, and serves on the boards of SEMpdx and PubCon. On her blog, she writes accessible advice about both freelance and in-house copywriting, blogging, direct response copywriting, reputation management, working with clients and more.
3 Posts We Like From SEO Copywriting Blog:
- 10 Stupid Business Mistakes Smart Writers Make
- So What “About Us”? How to Awaken This Conversions Sleeper
- 3 Ways SEO Can Ruin Content
The Content Marketing Institute, or CMI, is a resource available through Junta42, a content development company that matches content vendors with content clients. The CMI hosts case studies, original research, a magazine and annual events, as well as daily blog posts that revolve around content marketing trends and strategies.
3 Posts We Like From the Content Marketing Institute:
- The Content Questionnaire: How to Uncover Key Details for More Effective Content
- Write a Book and Change the World: 11 Steps to Creating a Successful Business Book
- How to Turn Your Analytics into Actionable Tasks for Content Marketing
Angie Nikoleychuk (Haggstrom) is a professional copywriter and writing coach who blogs about SEO, social media, customer relations, and general tips for the marketing copywriter, including detailed guides and “master classes.”
3 Posts We Like From Angie’s Copywriting:
- Creating a User Generated Content Strategy
- The Fine Art of Creating a Guest Posting Strategy
- Fun, Free Tools for Writers
Men with Pens is a web design and content development firm that blogs about blogging, freelance copywriting and other topics relevant to the web marketer. The cheekily named site is actually run by a woman operating under a male pseudonym (James Chartrand), following in the grand tradition of George Eliot.
3 Posts We Like from Men with Pens:
- How to Wrestle Deadlines and Win
- Why Your Excuses Won’t Fly – Or Get You What You Want
- Should You Use a Pen Name or Pseudonym?
Haden Interactive is a web firm specializing in content development, search engine optimization and social media. Their mission statement is “We believe that SEO is all about web content.” Owner Rebecca Haden writes about better blogging, multimedia presentations, link building, article marketing, press releases and email copy on the company’s blog.
3 Posts We Like From Haden Interactive:
- Updating Your Own Content: Things I’d Like to Say to Clients
- Making Your Point on Your Home Page
- Lab Report: Optimizing Your Site for a Particular Keyword
Web Ink Now is the blog of David Meerman Scott, frequent speaker and author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR. He writes about copywriting best practices, content marketing trends, brand journalism, crowdsourcing, Facebook, and corporate blogging, as well as offering case studies and book reviews.
3 Posts We Like from Web Ink Now:
- When failure is cheap, why not give it a go?
- Marketing ROI and what you should measure
- Switch from features to buyer personas results in 3x click-through for Brand Regard
Sparksheet is an attractive, engaging B2B website that describes itself as “an award-winning online magazine committed to exploring the ongoing convergence of story, media and marketing across new and traditional platforms.” Blog topics include “return on engagement,” design, publishing and relationships; the site also features regular Q&A’s with media industry experts, like Slate editor David Plotz.
3 Posts We Like from Sparksheet:
- Cause Marketing in the Digital Age
- Advocates Are More Important than Influencers
- Engagement Checkup: Are Corporate Blogs Still Relevant?
Director of Content & Social Media Brad Shorr authors this blog on content strategy, social media, and SEO copywriting. Other topics include blogging, branding, communication skills, PR, and SEM.
3 Posts We Like From Word Sell:
- Remarketing, or Retargeting, Explained
- How Corporations Should Adjust to New Social Media Realities
- Why I’m Getting Tired of LinkedIn
ConverStations (so named because author Mike Sansone believes blogs are hubs of conversation)is a blog focused on using blogging and social media in business, education and the nonprofitsphere. Sansone is a writing coach, consultant and speaker who advocates using the web to build communities.
3 Posts We Like from ConverStations:
Perry Marshall is a world-renowned copywriter and expert on Google AdWords. His website provides resources including AdWords guides and videos and a course on how to write a white paper. On his blog, Perry writes about various ways to get and keep the attention of prospects and customers – as well as his unconventional worldviews.
3 Posts We Like Perry Marshall:
- Inspiration Never Comes When Your Fists Are Clenched
- The Enemy Within: Self Sabotage
- The Gigantic Horrible Lie About Education
The Copywriter’s Roundtable is a blog and e-newsletter run by John Forde, with posts on creativity, psychology, writing headlines and offers, getting clients, getting paid, using science to sell, knowing your audience and other topics related to writing marketing and sales copy.
3 Posts We Like From The Copywriter’s Roundtable:
- 7 Easy Ways to Get More from Writers
- Which Sells Best, Stories or Stats?
- What Copywriters Should Know About Copyrights
Level 343 provides copywriting and SEO services for small businesses, and the company’s blog covers content development, branding, social media, and search engine optimization. Writers for the blog include Gabriella Sannino and Jahnelle Pittman. Level 343 also publishes an annual list of Top SEO Women.
3 Posts We Like From Level 343:
- Comment Spam vs. Comment Links: What’s the Difference?
- Web Usability: Color, Layout, and Writing
- Five Craphat SEO Techniques that Just Won’t Die But Should
John Carlton is a freelance copywriter and teacher of writing sales messaging. His blog has a very distinctive personal voice; you can almost imagine that he’s talking to you from a podium. In addition to offering marketing copywriting advice, John shares wisdom on general strategies for getting ahead in life, money management and more.
3 Posts We Like From the Marketing Rebel Rant:
- How to Critical Think, Part 1
- Confessions of a Story Junkie
- Top 10 Secrets to Make 2011 Your Best Year Ever (All of Which You’re Currently Ignoring or Screwing Up)
Writer, speaker and consultant Michel Fortin’s blog on “copywriting, marketing and life” covers strategic internet marketing, direct response copywriting and personal development skills. He’s a proponent of Claude C. Hopkins’ book “Scientific Advertising,” written in 1923, which advocates testing and measuring for more proven results.
3 Posts We Like From Michel Fortin:
- Forget Benefits, And You Will Sell More
- The Need for Long Copy and Other Stupid Myths
- Does Your Copy Have Personality?
Kristen King’s blog is directed at freelancers and other copywriters, offering tips and perspective on getting work, working with contracts, blogging, and professional conduct. She also writes about conferences and events, muses on inspiring quotations about writing, and does relevant book reviews.
3 Posts We Like from Inkthinker:
- Top 100 Books for Freelance Writers
- 7 Heinous Freelance Writing Practices You Should Stop Immediately
- The Fine Line Between Writing and Being a Writer
This blog, written by David Garfinkel, owner of Overnight Marketing, focuses on tips for making your copywriting more sales- and conversion-friendly.
3 Posts We Like From World Copywriting Blog:
- The Seven Secrets of Persuasive Copywriting
- How You’ll Know When You’re Ready for Explosive Growth
- How to Calm Your Fears About the New FTC Advertising Rules
Copywriter Bob Bly’s blog delivers quick-hitting posts on advertising, direct marketing, blogging, branding, PR and writing for the Internet. Bob Bly has written over 70 books on these topics. One of his pet topics is the supposed “death” of direct marketing methods.
3 Posts We Like From Bob Bly:
Ryan Healy, who is one of the lead writers for BoostCTR, keeps a blog about copywriting best practices, advertising and business growth. He’s been blogging regularly for years, covering topics like overcoming writer’s block, getting inside the prospect’s head and the ethics of marketing copywriting. He also publishes interviews with well-known writers.
3 Posts We Like from Ryan Healy:
- 3 Easy Ways to Start Writing an Ad
- 12 Books that Changed My Life
- Does Frequent Blogging Encourage Bad Writing?
Also part of the BoostCTR writing team, Jeff Sexton blogs about writing marketing and advertising copy and persuasive rhetoric, as well as website optimization and social media. He believes in combining clear, powerful content with aggressive testing and analytics strategies for the best results.
3 Posts We Like from Jeff Sexton Writes:
Write to Done, authored by Leo Babauta and Mary Jaksch, is a blog about craft, creativity, and productivity for bloggers, journalists and other business writers.
3 Posts We Like from Write to Done:
- 31 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing
- Learn from the Greats: 7 Writing Habits of Amazing Writers
- How Planned Disconnectors Create Powerful Articles
A guest blogger for Content Marketing Institute, Dianna Huff specializes in business-to-business marketing strategy and copywriting. On her own blog, she offers common-sense advice and tactical tips on writing for the web and leveraging social media.
3 Posts We Like from Dianna Huff:
- 57 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Website
- 25 Very Smart Business Women to Follow on Twitter
- You Wouldn’t Date a Shallow Person, So Don’t Write Shallow Content
This media company’s blog shares advice on content marketing, management and strategy, as well as SEO and blogging best practices. Writers include chief content officer Beth Hrusch.
3 Posts We Like from InteractMedia:
- Get More from Your SEO Press Release
- 10 Reasons Why Content Marketing Is Not Working For You
- Are You A Content Hoarder?
KaronThackston’s Marketing Words copywriting blog includes tips on creating all different flavors of online marketing copy.Karon is a savvy marketer who has written books on writing with keywords, e-commerce copywriting and successful PPC ad writing, as well as the popularStep-by-Step Copywriting Course.
3 Posts We Like from Marketing Words:
- Small Business Owners: Create an Easy Trail to More Sales
- Answers to 3 Questions Every New Copywriter Asks
- Think Keyword Density Is Still a Factor? Prove It!
Ben Settle is a web marketer, copywriter and email specialist who offers daily marketing tips with a focus on copywriting for emails.
3 Posts We Like from Ben Settle:
This UK-based blog maintained by Sally Ormond shares web marketing basics like how to write effective sales copy, how to avoid common writing mistakes, how to use social networks for business, and how to optimize your writing for the web.
3 Posts We Like from Freelance Copywriters’ Blog:
- Simple SEO Checks Any Small Business Can Make
- Getting More Quality from Your Web Leads
- How Many Keywords Should You Target?
Blogger Susan Johnston is a freelance writer who shares tips for living the freelance lifestyle on The Urban Muse. She also offers an e-book based on her blog called The Urban Muse Guide to Online Writing Markets.
3 Posts We Like from The Urban Muse:
- 5 Telltale Signs of a Bad Editor
- Cash in on Industry-Specific Writing
- 10 Tips on Querying Magazines and Websites
Author Dean Rieckis an expert in writing for business. His ProCopyTips blog includes tips on design, creativity, copy editing, business smarts, freelancing, psychology, productivity and writing tools, as well as checklists, interviews and how-to guides.
3 Posts We Like fromProCopyTips:
- Fascinations: The Art of Writing Compelling Teaser Copy
- The Freelancer’s Quick Job Hunting Guide
- 117 Tested Advertising Headlines that Made Money,
Nick Usborne has written books about productivity for writers, making money in social media and other copywriting topics. His website offers advice for freelancers and those who hope to turn writing into a career.
3 Posts We Like fromFreelance Writing Success:
- Keyword research isn’t about finding the best words and phrases, it’s about finding relevant topics
- How to grow and balance your streams of income as a writer or copywriter
- Why I Love the Math of Big Crowds
Tom Chandler is a veteran copywriter who now does consulting and blogs about creativity, productivity, tools for writers, and other topics of interest to professional scribes.
3 Posts We Like from The Writer Underground:
- Writing Video Scripts For No Good Reason (And Some Very Cool Free Software To Help You Do It)
- How To Write More Good (or, Writing Advice So Bad, You’ll Get Fired… And Laugh About It)
- Writing Multiple Projects? This Top Screenwriter Uses Soundtrack to Focus…
This blog, which bills itself as “a melting pot of punchy, persuasive copywriting,” is the work of freelance copywriter Matt Ambrose. As the subtitle implies, Matt focuses on the art of persuasion, as well as SEO, email marketing and subject lines, blogging, and B2B copywriting. He often includes a quick note about what he’s been reading as well as what he’s been working on at the bottom of his posts.
3 Posts We Like from The Copywriter’s Crucible:
- Why Complex Copywriting Can Give Your Product the WOW Factor
- How to Write Email Subject Lines that Get Your Emails Opened and Devoured
- Why Brief is Better When it Comes to B2B Email Copywriting
Miguel Alvarez’s blog covers topics including SEO copywriting, persuasion and influence, blogging, video and general copywriting for the web. His website includes additional resources like lists of copywriting and SEO tools, training courses and a community forum.
3 Posts We Like from Copywriting.com:
- Copywriting for Twitter
- 3 Easy Steps to Become an Online Authority
- Top 10 Ways to Drive Traffic to a New Blog
Nikki Cooke authors this blog about copywriting, internet marketing, email marketing, SEO, social media and business networking, offering tips to improve the style and effectiveness of your web copy.
3 Posts We Like from The Word Well:
- How Active Are Your Verbs?
- The Smart Guide to Writing Your ‘About’ Page
- The Simplest Way to Captivate with Your Sales Copy
Gary Bencivenga is one of those legendary copywriters whose name gets passed around again and again. He doesn’t have an active blog, but the archives of his “Marketing Bullets” site (“short, fast and powerful”) are a good evergreen resource.
3 Posts We Like From Marketing Bullets:
- The 3 Greatest Copywriting Lessons I Ever Learned
- How to Name Your Product (Including 21 Examples of Great Names)
- The Secret “Trigger Word” that Makes More of Your Prospects Say Yes than Any Other Word in the English Language
Clayton Makepeace, like Gary Bencivenga, is no longer actively blogging, but his archives are still accessible. Clayton is another renowned copywriter who made the transition from direct marketing to online copywriting.
3 Posts We Like from Clayton Makepeace:
- Make Your Product’s Benefits Sparkle
- The 3 Most Common Blunders Even “A” Level Copywriters Make
- The Human Brain: An Owner’s Manual
Know someone we missed? Drop a line in the comments!