My Favorite Blogs of 2020 (That I Read)
Shocker, these are not all real estate blogs.
I’ve changed this list a lot in 2020. I am now just focusing “mostly” on the blogs I actually read. Some of the blogs I listed here in 2018 I really only use as a reference for articles that I am writing or to keep up with what “other” real estate bloggers are actually writing about.
Even before the Corona Virus, I noticed that my reading has divided more into two categories. “Mindset and Motivation” and “Technical Updates”. More times than not the other real estate bloggers I was trying to follow were well behind me either in terms of technical knowledge or what they were willing to write about. It has also made a HUGE difference that the podcast I co-host with Jonathon the founder of Mail Right has been gaining in popularity and we’ve had a chance to interview some of the biggest names in real estate marketing technology and I have personally been given the chance to have one on one interviews with some of the rising stars of the real estate industry as a whole. Raises the bar and changes my interests in terms of reading “bloggers”.
The following 10 blogs are ordered!
(according to the amount of times I spend on them)
#1. Neil Patel
I visit Neils blog five days of seven. He is one of if not THE top digital marketer in the world. He’s started countless digital marketing startups and is one of the most prolific creators of content relating to digital marketing that there is. I’m pretty sure he has ghostwriters do most of his stuff these days but every once in a while he posts fact-driven highly researched articles that knock my socks off. My basic and medium weight SEO knowledge came from reading Neil’s blog and even though I have never met nor spoken to him I consider him to be a mentor.
#2. Gates Notes
I hated Bill Gates in the ’80s. He was smug and his business practices where ruthless. I and many like me looked at him as the hitman of the software development world. If you had a good software product Bill would either replicate it, buy it or bury you in legalities. Microsoft took NO prisoners on their way to the top. Their products weren’t all that great either. Then Bill got sued. By the government. He spent 16 hours a day for three years trying to convince the Federal Government he wasn’t a monopoly. He and most people (myself included) attribute the case and the Governments tenacity to a single day of testimony where Bill Gates basically said “your too stupid to understand WHY I am not a monopoly but take my word for it I’m not” he then spent THREE YEARS paying the price for that attitude. When the case was over he stepped down as the CEO of Microsoft. He joined his wife and they started a foundation. He also started a blog. I find myself reading it more and more often. I read about 1/2 the books he recommends and my life is consistently better for it. I strongly feel Bill and his wife are doing some of the most important work in the entire world and his optimistic outlook on the fate of the planet and our species is truly a breath of fresh air.
This is NOT a sexy blog. Google makes hundreds (no joke hundreds) of changes to the appearance and functionality of their search engine each month. They do the same for their paid advertising services. Search Engine Journal tracks and reports on the more meaningful of these changes. While not sexy I drop in on this blog 2-6 times a month and keep up to speed on algorithm changes, AdWords changes, and general disturbances in the force as it pertains to search marketing in general. It’s a great site if you’re curious about the technical side of search engines.
The blogging website for real estate professionals. When I was getting InboundREM off the ground I blogged on this platform frequently. I don’t think I have posted much since 2018 HOWEVER I use Active Rain in my SEO efforts on behalf of clients and me or my team log’s in on a regular basis. If you are looking to learn how to blog, connect with other real estate professionals, or are trying to figure out a valuable short cut for real estate SEO then Active Rain is still the place to go. You can message me or leave a comment and I’ll recommend some top-flight bloggers that use the platform almost daily.
#5. The close
The same team that produces Fits Small Business produces the close. I mean the EXACT same team. Same writers. Same outreach team. Same everything. The team is talented and they do a decent job explaining everything from Real Estate postcards to choosing a real estate business name. This is the second blog they are doing that on however so at this point they are producing very similar content with the intent of making sure that real estate professionals that read their blogs are directed to the services that they have affiliate deals with. Sadly in the case of their real estate partners, they tend to be the ones we love to hate. Zillow, Zurple, and Placester just to name a few. I review these blog posts to study how to make MUCH better content (when possible) without the affiliate connections.
#6. Adam White
Is the founder of SEOjet a link building tracking and building service. His software is neat but the research he did in order to CREATE his software is truly amazing. He doesn’t post very often which is why he is number six on my list. I would absolutely read anything he posted EVER about link building. He was talking to me about link building tactics in 2017 that Neil Patel didn’t even mention until 2019. He is WAY ahead of everyone in the field and if you’re an SEO that stumbled onto my blog and you somehow managed to find THIS post then your relentless dedication for unearthing hidden knowledge nuggets has just paid off big.
Truthfully I never read Christophe’s blog and I’m pretty sure he never publishes much on it anyways. I follow his Facebook feed religiously. I watch most of his market updates and about 1/2 of his posts which range from Dolce and Gabbana fashion launches to Christophe sleeping on the streets in order to support his favorite charities. He has created a world-class brand for himself and was embracing both social media and video a DECADE ago long before it became a talking point for most real estate professionals. I use him as an example on the rare occasion I do a luxury real estate branding consultation (I started my career in 2007 talking to luxury real estate agents and developed my incredibly impressive list of “name drops” at that stage of my career but SEO OR Inbound is rarely a priority for that particular real estate vertical and those are the things I like to focus on)
Once again full disclosure I don’t read Tom’s blog. Instead, I follow his Instagram account. He goes live a few times a month doing little Monday motivation updates and some other cool “free” content. For ME im not moved by his particular brand of RA! RA! BUT his voice echoes in the ears of some of the country’s top real estate producers and I like to keep on top of what that voice is communicating to his audience. He’s not in the same business as me but I’ve always appreciated his tech-friendly approach to real estate coaching and I find I am frequently able to establish common ground with top-flight real estate pros by discussing the pros and cons of Tom’s approach to the real estate business.
I really use Backlinko, Brians blog as a counterpoint to Neil Patel. For every one minute, I spent on backlinko I’ve spent 60 on Neil Patel’s websites. Every once in a while I want to seek a different opinion on highly controversial or detailed SEO topics. Brians writing tends to be more “precise” than Neils and he oftentimes takes even more time in writing his blog than Neil does. The ONE concept I learned from Brian is the absolute certainty it is better to create LESS content that’s MUCH higher quality in today’s Google landscape. A theory Neil has only partially embraced having come from a “post twice a day mentality”. Dean only publishes six or so times a year and he routinely outranks everyone including Neil for almost all of the most sought after SEO related keywords. So I read him.
#10. Robert Newman inboundREM
Can you really say you follow yourself? Probably not. Truth be told I now allow the occasional ghostwriter to publish a post on InboundREM and if I actually did this list accurately in terms of “time spent” then InboundREM would be number one. I still have no marketing assistant and many of my posts lack polish. But I have yet to see ANYONE dive as deep on issues of real estate technology platforms, real estate marketing leadership, or open the doors so completely to information regarding companies that they themselves are running. I feel I am one of the more valuable email marketing lists you can get on so sign up for mine —-> HERE
This video shares some additional information on when I reference these blogs and what I use the information I learn for.