SEOlympics: Top Marketing Blogs of The Central U.S.

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SEOlympics: Top Marketing Blogs of The Central U.S.

Despite being a native of the Northeast, I’m definitely thrilled for the Kansas City Royals making the World Series. As a baseball fan, it’s always great to see an underdog reach the Fall Classic.

Now that I’ve got America’s heartland on my mind, it’s time to round out the best marketer blogs in the United States. After previously covering the Eastern and Western parts of the US, it’s time to focus on the central part of the country.

So, in honor of the Royals making their first trip to the World Series since 1985, here are 10 top-notch marketer blogs located in the central part of America, also known as the Midwest. As always, this list was compiled by using subjective criteria like voice, content strategy, and quality.

If we forget to include a blog you feel is worthy of this list, please feel free to add your suggestion in the comment section below.

Finally, the following list is no particular order. Enjoy.
SEOlympics Central US map

1. Content Marketing Institute

2014-10-22 18_10_19-Content Marketing Institute Blog _ Content Strategy _ How-To Advice _ B2B _ B2C

Screenshot of Content Marketing Institute Blog 10/22/14

In 2007, author, entrepreneur, speaker and content evangelist Joe Pulizzi launched Junta42. Despite Junta42 becoming an “industry leader in content marketing matching,” the brand realized other brands were coming to the site looking for content marketing education. To satisfy this need, Junta42 opened up the Content Marketing Institute (CMI).

By 2013, the Cleveland-based CMI was recognized as the “as the fastest growing business media company by Inc. magazine.” The brand has also publishes podcasts, the CCO Magazine and hosts the largest marketing event in the world with Content Marketing World.

The CMI blog features daily posts that include recent industry research, tips on content marketing (Go Agile: Adapt 12 Principles to Content Marketing) and examples of brands perfecting the practice (How Merrill Lynch Uses Content Mapping to Reach Affluent Americans).

2. {grow}

2014-10-22 18_13_28-{grow} - a top-rated blog founded by social media specialist Mark Schaefer

Screenshot of {grow} 10/22/14

Mark Schaefer has become one of the most recognized global resources in regards to social media, blogging, content marketing, and entrepreneurship. He’s also a college educator, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of books that include “Return on Influence” and “The Tao of Twitter”. He also been featured in top publications including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur, TIME, and CBS News.

Knoxville, Tennessee, resident Schaefer has since shared his knowledge by consulting brands of all business sizes through Schaefer Marketing Solutions, which also hosts the blog {grow}. This critically acclaimed blog is included “in the top 1 percent of blogs in the world, based on number of reader comments.”

Everyday this blog publishes unique articles, such as Dare to Be Stupid: A lesson for B2B marketers from Weird Al, to help marketers grow their business.

3.  Spin Sucks

2014-10-22 18_16_27-Spin Sucks_ Professional Development for Communicators _ Spin Sucks Spin Sucks

Screenshot of Spin Sucks 10/22/14

This Chicago-based blog was founded by Gini Dietrich, who is also the founder and CEO of the integrated marketing communication firm Arment Dietrich. She is also the author of “Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age” and “Marketing in the Round” and co-host of the weekly podcast Inside PR.

The Spin Sucks blog has become one of the most respected blog in the PR and marketing world. Over the years, Spin Sucks has been featured as a 2012 Cision Top 100 Blog, the 2010 and 2011 Readers Choice Blog of the Year, a Top 42 Content Marketing Blog from Junta42, a top 10 social media blog from Social Media Examiner, and an AdAge Power 150 blog.

The daily articles on the blog include everything from interviews, suggested marketing tools, and topics like “PR ROI Means You Have to Do Real Math.

4. Top Rank Blog

2014-10-22 18_18_08-Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®

Screenshot of Top Rank Marketing Blog 10/22/14

Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area residents Lee Odden and Susan Misukanis founded the digital marketing company TopRank Online Marketing in 2001. By December 2003, the company launched the influential TopRank Online Marketing Blog which covers content & social media marketing, public relations, and SEO.

Over the last decade, the TopRank Blog has earned accolades ranging from the #1 Content Marketing Blog by Junta42 (2011), #2 Social Media Blog by Social Media Examiner  (2011) and has been nominated by the Marketing Sherpa two years in a row for the best online marketing award.

The Top Rank Blog is frequently updated with industry news and reports, as well as numerous articles that showcase the talents and knowledge of Odden. For example, you’ll find articles like 3 Ways to Optimize Your Brand’s Social Media Marketing Success and The Role of Big Data in the Future of B2B Marketing.

5. Drew’s Marketing Minute

2014-10-22 18_20_00-Drew's Marketing Minute _ Small business marketing, branding & social media tips

Screenshot Drew’s Marketing Minute 10/22/14

With over 25 years of marketing experience, it just makes sense that Drew McLellan would want to offer his knowledge in blog form. On top of constantly writing articles on his blog, Drew has written the book 99.3 Random Acts of Marketing, co-edited the Age of Conversation series of books and has been running his own firm (McLellan Marketing Group) since 1995. You may have even come across his name in publications like the New York Times, Entrepreneur, and Business Week.

Besides being honored as one of 10 bloggers every entrepreneur should read, according to the Wall Street Journal, Drew’s Marketing Minute has been included in lists compiled by AdAge, Kred, and The Daily Review as one of the top marketing blogs.

Some of Drew’s most recent articles include Are you social sharing to your best advantage?; Plant some marketing seeds and 5 tips for creating a company culture that connects with your sweet spot clients. ]

6. Logic + Emotion

2014-10-22 18_23_01-Logic+Emotion

Screenshot of Logic + Emotion 10/22/14

David Armano is the global strategy director for public relations firm, Edelman Digital and has also served on several advisory boards such as marketing and analytics platform Appinions. David has made a name for himself building brands “by focusing on the intersection of strategy, creative, and business.” Over the course of his career, he has worked with some major brands like Adidas, Allstate, Blue Cross Blue Shield, eBay, LEGO, and Kellogg’s and has written articles for Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Businessweek, AdAge, Adweek, and Digiday.

When not doing all of that, this Chicago resident also writes for his blog Logic + Emotion. While he doesn’t publish articles everyday, David writes some serious thought-provoking pieces such as Is Sharing Link Bait a Huge Mistake?; Responsive Marketing in a Real Time World and Brandshare: Is The Value Exchange Between Brands and Consumers a Myth?.

7. The Conversion Scientist

2014-10-22 18_25_29-The Conversion Scientist Blog - The Conversion Scientist

Screenshot of The Conversion Scientist Blog 10/22/14

For over 20 years Austin, Texas, resident Brian Massey has built a ton of experience as a computer programmer, entrepreneur, corporate marketer, and national speaker. He is also the author of the book Your Customer Creation Equation: Unexpected Website Formulas of The Conversion Scientist. However, this online marketing veteran is most known for being the “Conversion Scientist” – and, as Brian notes, he has the lab coat to prove it.

Brian and his team publish a variety of content regularly. The blog features everything from infographics (Mobile Advertising), case studies (How to Present a High-Converting Value Proposition) and good ol’ fashioned advice (Grow Your Email List With These Recommended Tools).

8. Duct Tape Marketing

2014-10-22 18_28_30-Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing - Small business marketin

Screenshot of Duct Tape Marketing Blog 10/22/14

John Jantsch came up with the idea for the Duct Tape Marketing System in 2002. For the next several years he used this practical marketing system to train and consult small businesses. In 2007, he launched the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network which provides businesses with effective marketing strategies. Today, his blog offers daily advice ranging from “How to Get Paid for Everything You Do” to “7 Networking Tips for Shy People.”

Over the years, the advice from this Kansas City, Missouri, native has been discussed in the Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, and the New York Times. Fast Company stated the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is a “must listen” and the blog has been selected as a Forbes favorite for marketing and small business.

9. Orbit Media Studios

2014-10-22 18_31_05-Practical Web Marketing Advice _ Orbit Media Studios

Screenshot of Orbit Media Studios Blog 10/22/14

The origins of this Chicago-based company began when Andy Crestodina and Barrett Lombardo met in high school back in 1988. In 1997, the two friends incorporated Orbit Media Studios, a multimedia comic company. Orbit was then re-incorporate as a client-service company that offered custom web design to businesses. Since then, Orbit has been received numerous local and national awards, such as a Silver Medal in Consumer Goods Category at 2013 W3 Awards and a Golden Trumpet Award in 2010 from the Publicity Club of Chicago.

As for the Orbit blog, it features “practical web marketing advice” with articles ranging from Survey of 1000+ Bloggers: How to Be in the Top 5%; The Ideal Length for Blog Posts, Tweets, and Everything Else in Your Marketing; Increase Targeted Website Traffic in 10 Steps and;  How to Write a Headline That Won’t Get Ignored: 7-Point Checklist .

What I like most about Orbit Media, however, is that they host Wine & Web events on the last Tuesday of every month – which includes wine, pizza, and discussions involving web marketing.

10. Marketing Agency Insider

2014-10-22 18_34_26-Marketing Agency Blog

Screenshot of Marketing Agency Blog 10/22/14

In 2005, Paul Roetzer launched PR 20/20. This Cleveland-based inbound marketing agency went on to become the first agency in HubSpot’s value-added reseller (VAR) program – which now includes over 450 firms. Since then, Roetzer has become a respected industry speaker and author of the book The Marketing Agency Blueprint. He’s also launched another site, Marketing Agency Insider.

Marketing Agency Insider is an industry hub that provides news, resources, and training. Some of the most recent useful articles found on the blog include: How to Create a ROWE™ at Your Agency;  Q&A with Michael Reynolds; The Quest for a Unified Client Services Theory; How to Gain Buy-In with Client Decision-Makers; and 5 Elements of an Effective Internship Program.


There was our list of the best marketer blogs in the central/Midwest region of the United States. Did we get it right? Or did we miss one or two you believe deserve recognition? If so, please share your favorite blogs in the comments.

Albert Costill
Albert Costill is a co-founder of and a freelance writer who has written for brands like and Search Engine Journal. When he’s not... Read Full Bio
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  • Mark W Schaefer

    Albert, thank you SO MUCH for recognizing the work I put into my blog. This is a tremendous list and I am humbled to be mentioned. Thanks for the effort.

    • Albert Costill

      My pleasure Mark. You earned it!

  • Gini Dietrich

    Ah, man! I wanted the Royals to win. They came sooooo close. What a bummer! But I am delighted to see Spin Sucks on your list so thank you!

    • Albert Costill

      I was pulling for KC as well. Maybe next year. And, keep up the great work at Spin Sucks Gini!

  • Joe

    Content Marketing Institute does a very good job and represents this area very well!

  • Vicki

    Excellent list of SEO’s … I personally remember hearing about Duct Tape Marketing on one of my favorite business podcasts, so good to see this site make this post!

  • Bill

    I am a fan of some of those sites, most especially darmano.typepad and contentmarketinginstitute. A pool of marketing information is provided by those two and writing is indeed their greatest strength. I read their content nearly every day. Thanks for putting others sites down. I might try reading reading on them too.

    • Albert Costill

      Thanks Bill. Let us know what you think of them after you check them out.

  • Nasim

    ConversionXL is also in Austin, TX