What I Read About When I’m Reading About Marketing

Post by Tom Baker
25 May 2018

One of the aims of this blog is to help others to become better marketers.  Undoubtedly one of the most fruitful means of improving my appreciation of all things marketing has been to read widely and as frequently as possible.

When I first started out in marketing I didn’t have a clue how to learn, where to find information and perhaps most frustratingly who to trust.

There’s an abundance of information online, at conferences and in books but I didn’t really know how to be selective, after all, I didn’t know what I was looking for and had no way of qualifying what was good and bad advice.  And let’s be honest, sadly there are plenty of snakes out there giving bad advice all in the hope of making a quick buck out of people they should be helping.

Before we start I should say that I’m constantly adding to this list. If you have any recommendations then please add a comment below. I’d love to know why you recommend those resources too 🙂

So without further ado here’s my regular reading, listening, watching list. I’ve added notes to give some context so you get a flavour for each blog/video/podcast and can decide whether they’re right for you.



www.firstround.com – stands out as one of the best resources for anyone working in a start-up. A fantastic array of contributors who have been there and done it. What I love is the richness of the information provided. There’s sure to be something to take away from each post no matter how relevant it is to your subject matter. Very few blogs manage to achieve that.

www.reforge.com – there is an awful lot of nonsense out there about growth marketing. Fortunately, Reforge are here to bring some common sense and humility to what is often the land of misguided short-term marketing tactics. Led by Brian Balfour, formerly of Hubspot fame, the blog provides considered and thought-provoking strategic thinking. I recommend for anyone interested in learning about rigorous marketing planning and sustainable approaches to growth.

www.coelevate.com – this is Brian Balfour’s personal blog. He hasn’t blogged for a long time (as of May 2018) but I include this because his earlier blog series looking at the nuts and bolts of growth marketing is the best exposition of the practice that I’ve read.  Most of it is still highly relevant and provides fantastic insight in to those looking to establish a growth team and process.

Data, Measurement and Analytics:

www.kaushik.net – one of the kings of web analytics. I recommend subscribing to Avinash’s newsletter. He doesn’t blog very often but he has a treasure trove of previous blogs that provide a wealth of expertise regarding analytics and measurement. If you want to think strategically about digital marketing and e-commerce then devour everything that Avinash has to offer.

www.measurementschool.com – taught me most of what I know about Google Tag Manager. Great for anyone new to tag management. I regularly re-watch Julian’s videos to refresh my skills and double-check my implementations. As a beginner, I found that being able to watch his demos was invaluable – easy to follow and crystal clear instructions. His videos are also available on YouTube (obvs).

www.analyticsmania.com – another fantastic Google Tag Manager resource. The blog has an abundance of tips and practical demos of how to get the most out of GTM.  It’s written in a welcoming and non-technical style which is great for marketers like me!

www.benlcollins.com – one of the best resources for Google Sheets and Data Studio tips.  Ben also provides a range of free and paid courses if you want to delve much deeper in to data analysis.

www.simoahava.com – another superb Google Tag Manager resource. Simo is an expert, someone that many other GTM bloggers consistently refer to. If you need to set up a particularly complex GTM arrangement or have a niggly GTM issue then Simo’s blog is the go-to resource.

Conversion Rate Optimisation:

www.conversionxl.com – fantastic blog and courses for anyone wanting to specialise in conversion rate optimisation. You can also access regular webinars to stay up to date with the latest trends in a/b testing, methodologies and research.

www.conversion-rate-experts.com – some consider them to be the fathers of conversion rate optimisation. The team certainly know their stuff and provide plenty of resources to help you improve your conversion rates. CRO is all about process and attention to detail so pay particular attention to their tried and tested (pun intended) methodologies.

Paid Acquisition:

www.jonloomer.com – a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about Facebook advertising. Jon’s blog has been around since the early days and has now spread into a weekly newsletter, podcast and training courses. If you’re interested in Facebook then this is a site you have to follow.

www.brainlabsdigital.com – highly regarded UK programmatic agency. The team regularly blog and share the processes they use with their clients.

SEO & Content Marketing:

www.ahrefs.com – as well as being a leading SEO software provider Ahrefs generate high quality how to guides. If you’re looking for advice on backlink analysis and technical SEO then Ahrefs is always a good place to start.

www.moz.com – where I first started to learn about SEO and the wider digital marketing world. The blog content covers a range of SEO and SEO-related topics from beginner through to expert.  Moz is renowned for it’s active and welcoming community. It’s a great place to ask questions and be confident that you’re going to get a good answer.

www.seobythesea.com – one for the SEO enthusiast. If you want to become a genuine SEO expert then you have to spend considerable time reading and comprehending Bill Slawski’s regular blog posts. Bill specialises in researching Google patents and interpreting what they may or may not mean in terms of how Google’s algorithms are evolving.  Highly recommended if you want to stay ahead of your organic search competitors.


www.junglescout.com – one of the best-known software providers in the Amazon Seller community. They advice can sometimes be a bit too salesy and inevitably geared towards using their products but putting that to one side

www.sampriestley.com – I found Sam’s tips extremely useful when I was setting up my own Amazon business. He’s been there and done it which makes his advice highly trustworthy. Sam doesn’t only blog about Amazon. I encourage you to keep up to date with his other projects as they’ll give you an invaluable insight into his entrepreneurial mindset.

Tom Baker

The guy writing this stuff. Previously worked in-house doing all sorts of marketing for start-ups and large brands. Now helping business to sell on Amazon and growth their D2C revenue

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