Never Stop Learning: Our Favorite Online Marketing Resources

By Ashley Ward

Sometime between middle school and high school, I remember impatiently waiting for AOL to dial, chatting for hours on AIM and repeatedly change my Myspace background image. Now, I create engaging social networks for businesses, while trying to keep up with the evolving online marketing world. Who would have thought social networking would blossom into what it is today from a network like Myspace?

This constant growth in social platforms forces us internet junkies to keep expanding our knowledge and stay on top of each trend. For every Facebook change or new SEO word that a coder detangles, there are resources to break it down and help us Myspace users make sense of it. Here are a few we like to use here at Thunder.

Social Media

The way we network online is incredibly interesting. The internet is known as a  “safe-haven” for people to be whomever they want, express themselves creatively and make their opinion known. Businesses are forced to put 110 percent of their marketing efforts towards perfecting their internet presence. Whether it is publishing a new advertisement on Twitter or creating an appealing board on Pinterest, users are forced to engage with each other. It’s up to you to make sure they engage with the right user: you. Here are some resources to make sure you network correctly and stay on top of each channel change: Facebook Marketingsocialmouths, Social Media ExaminerMoz Social Media Trends of 2013 and the ever-so-popular Jeff Bulla.

hey girl meme
Image: Content Amp

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Reminiscing back to Myspace days, I considered myself an in-depth coder. I knew how to change colors, text, style and add “<, /, >” symbols to almost anything. It was fun back then. Now, it’s business. SEO can be incredibly complicated, but there are resources available to simplify all those crazy html terms that are so necessary for a business’s success. There is even an SEO Dictionary and the Inbound Marketing and SEO book, which we happen to keep handy in our employee bathroom.

frank bathroom mugshot

Once you have an understanding of terms like Anchor, PPC, Referrer and are afraid of a 404 Error, explore these SEO blogs and free guides that will help you keep track of the constant html and Google changes. Need a more structured approach to your online education? Try DistilledU or Moz Academy!

Content Marketing

You say you’re the best writer around, have published articles and blogs everywhere, even a book. But, can you write marketing-focused content? With a journalistic brain and a poetic heart, I am at constant battle between fact and fiction, short sentences and long sentences, black and white. Yet, I am able to successfully write content for a real estate agent, health care provider and the hippie yoga chic around the block. Content writing is eye-catching, can’t-stop-reading that draws the attention of your client’s demographic from across the room.

Research your demographic in depth, so in-depth you can reenact them if you were playing charades. Then, write to them. Use keywords and phrases that speak to their specific audience. Don’t know how? Reference Heidi Cohen, ideaLaunch, Post-Advertising and then go back to school at the Content Marketing Institute.

Graphic Design

They say you see sixteen billion ads a day. Well maybe they don’t say that much, but you do see a lot of advertisements on your way to and from work, on the couch watching TV, listening to the radio and especially on the internet. Some of these ads are primarily text with highlighting backgrounds, others have in-depth graphic design elements that leave you remembering their ad days later. Graphic design superstars are behind this.

How do these superstars develop such eye-catching illustrations? They start with inspiration. Keep the latest and greatest graphic designers in your inbox by subscribing to their blogs. Once inspiration hits, create your graphic image using the latest CSS tricks and web design web design tips. Don’t forget to add the flash.

Image: Music Alerts Now

If theses resources weren’t enough to get your business booming, here are some other resources that help break-down overall internet marketing, and a really yummy pumpkin cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart (because who doesn’t love pumpkin anything?).

pumpkin cupcake recipe
Image: Martha Stewart Recipes

Where are some of your favorite places to learn about online marketing? I’d love to hear more in the comments!

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Ashley Ward

By Ashley Ward

Ashley Ward is a Social Media Specialist at ThunderActive. When she's not obsessing over Facebook's changes, she's indulging in hoppy IPAs, travel deals and furry cuddles.

Say hola on Twitter and Google+!