Inbound Marketing Resources for Getting Started
So, you've decided to make the plunge into inbound marketing for your small business. You're sick and tired of wasting money on expensive direct mail campaigns that just go straight into the trash. If you're hoping to get started with business blogging, social media and email automation to build relationships with contacts, where do you start? Here are some of our top tips for beginner's inbound marketing resources:
Go Back to School
For a comprehensive, free crash course in all things related to Inbound Marketing, there is no single resource better than Hubspot's Inbound Marketing University. Students are given free access to 18 hours of video lectures by real experts and plenty of resources to prepare for the timed, 50-question exam. From starting a business blog to generating inbound links, no topics go uncovered in the lectures. Did we mention your expert certification is completely free? For more information on how to pass Inbound Marketing University with flying colors, see here.
Pick Up a Book
Print books aren't dead, and Hubspot founder Brian Halligan authored one of the most comprehensive print resources on Inbound Marketing, which he aptly titled Inbound Marketing. For a comprehensive guide to the basics authored by an expert, there are no print works that can rival the actionable information in the 226 pages. SEO, getting started with business blogging and building social media communities are all covered in depth. Another exceptional print resource is Laura Fitton's Twitter for Dummies.
Some of the best Inbound Marketing experts are happy to share their expertise for free. The SEO, social media and business blogging realm is home to some of the world's best blogs. If you're looking for some fabulous and free resources delivered to your reader multiple times a day, it could be time to start boning up your RSS feeds. Blogs are terrific and no-cost inbound marketing resources for all levels. We recommend getting started with the Hubspot blog, SEOMoz, Social Media Examiner and The Sales Lion. While all of these blogs deliver content suitable for all levels, Hubspot designates their content as "beginner," "intermediate" and "advanced" to give you a head start. Best of all, blogs are interactive. If you're left with some burning questions after reading, leave a comment and start a dialogue with the authors. Blogs can blend education with networking.
Social media and major search algorithms change overnight. Most Inbound Marketers at all levels make a commitment to continuing education and start each day with a cup of coffee and some news sites. For the latest news on trends and developments, technology news can be fantastic inbound marketing resources. We recommend getting started with Mashable, Inc. and Slate. The Atlantic, Business 2 Community and CNN's Technology News are also fantastic inbound marketing resources for real-time updates.
If immersion is more your style, it isn't too late to pick up tickets to Inbound 12, held August 27-30 in Boston! The Hubspot-sponsored conference will offer multiple "tracks," meaning attendees have the freedom to design their own study course. The scheduled speakers include some of the top minds in the Inbound Marketing arena, like Rand Moz, Mike Volpe and Susan Cain. Cyndi Lauper's even scheduled to give a performance. If you're feeling ready to make the plunge, register for Inbound 12 here.
There is no such thing as a 4-Year degree in Inbound Marketing, and getting started with learning about social media, business blogging and email marketing doesn't need to cost a dime. From webinars to podcasts to eBooks, you can learn the most effective marketing techniques from the best in the business without having to re-enroll for years of study at your local University.
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