We are all, as the saying goes, standing on the shoulders of giants.
If you ask most digital marketers, myself included, how they learned the trade, most of them will say that they learned a lot through their own experience, but they could never possibly have succeeded without following the right masters of the craft first.
These are all the people that I learned from. When it comes to digital marketing, they are all giants, and probably the best educators and influencers in their respective areas of specialization.
- Blogging and writing – Income School
- Link Building – Authority Hacker
- Facebook Ads (and much more) – Miles Beckler
- Copywriting – Kyle Milligan
- Youtube Marketing – Channel Makers
- Instagram Marketing – Chris Do / The Futur
- Pinterest Marketing – Anastasia Blogger
- Email Marketing – TinyLittleBusinesses
- Entrepreneurship and digital marketing in general – Gary Vee
Blogging and writing – Income School
In my opinion, the Income School Youtube channel is currently the best digital marketing channel in the world.
Out of all the digital marketing areas, my primary focus has been blogging and SEO, and that game has been very good to me. Well, I learned almost everything I know from Income School, and I tried to stick to their recommendations and school of thought as much as I could.
I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that Income School changed the digital marketing landscape forever.
In a way, before Income School became popular, there were two main camps in the blogging world – content-first, and links-first camps. The former always said that content is more important, and the latter always tried to rank by building links first. Well, I believe Income School almost single-handedly ended that debate, or shifted it so much in the direction of content-first, that we will probably never go back to the backlinks-first approach.
Of course, links are still crucial, and will be for a long time, but the fact of the matter remains that search engines would love to be able to evaluate the quality of content without having to rely on links, and that’s most definitely the direction they’re headed in. Nobody knows for sure how search engines work, and it’s uncertain how long will that effort take, but the winds are blowing that way, and Income School probably popularized the content approach the most.
So, they teach putting most of your time into creating a lot of high-quality content, with lots of research behind it, and let the links come on their own over time (and they will). They are also big on winning the search result snippets (which works like crazy, especially for new blogs), and supporting your blog with a Youtube channel if possible.
The first time I found out about their videos, I was almost in a trance. I jumped straight in and watched everything they had posted for one week straight, like when Neo got plugged into the Matrix training program and learned all the martial arts.
If you want to get a college-level education on blogging and SEO, I recommend going through the entire Income School Youtube channel. Jim and Ricky and their team are all excellent educators, very engaging and informative, but they also have this aura of empathy I would say that makes them one of my favorite people on the Internet. You can also check out their Income School blog as well, where they offer their highly-revered flagship product called Project 24, which shows you how to build a successful blog step by step.
Remember that content-first vs backlinks-first debate from before? Well, over time, content will be getting more and more important, and we could expect backlinks to gradually lose their importance.
But those days are still very far ahead. In the current reality, backlinks are still critical for blogging and SEO, and in fact, in many cases and niches, they will even trump content and be the outright most important factor for ranking!
Well, on the other side of the story, we have Authority Hacker, which are the champions in the backlinks-first camp. I’m confident that today, the guys from the Authority Hacker team are the best educators when it comes to the art and science of building backlinks to your blog.
Even though I’m a content-first kind of guy, I believe that after a certain point in your blog, after you’ll have written your most important blog posts, it pays off to focus on building links to your most important content, rather than crank out more content of medium importance. And since a lot of my blogs have followed along with my personal learning curve and I’ve probably learned most of what Income School teaches, it seems like today I’m focused on learning from Authority Hacker more than from any other source.
Just a quick side note for bloggers: my recommended approach for starting a new blog today would be to religiously follow everything that the Income School approach recommends and build amazing content for the first 6 months to a year, but then gradually incorporate link building into your strategy, and maybe get those efforts up to a point where you’ll spend your time equally between creating content and building links, as the incentive of one more blog post starts to diminish when you already have 150 articles, while the incentive from getting that Huffington Post link is now bigger than ever.
Maybe this is just my personal perspective, but I believe that the Authority Hacker Youtube channel gets nowhere near the attention it deserves. I mean they’re far from a small channel, and maybe they’ve only started to post more frequently in the last year or two, but I’ve seen content that’s a lot worse get vastly more attention, and I’m almost shocked by how few people seem to watch the Authority Hacker videos. But that may be good if we look at things from a zero-sum-game perspective, because Mark and Gael share gold in their videos, and if our competitors don’t learn from them, it’s their loss.
So, in essence, the best place to learn about link building today is the Authority Hacker Youtube channel, the guys release an episode every Monday, and if Mark happens to read this somehow, I just wanna say “how’s it going Mark” (watch their videos and you’ll get it). The Authority Hacker blog is also an excellent library of resources, and their flagship product, called TASS (The Authority Site System), is arguably the best link-building product on the market today.
Facebook Ads (and much more) – Miles Beckler
The day I first ran into a video of Miles Beckler was a good day. A very good day. It may be so that the first video I watched from Miles kind of gave me the idea to give this whole digital marketing thing a shot.
Miles has posted more than 650 videos on pretty much every digital marketing topic under the sun.
Let that sink in for a while. 650 videos (it will probably be more by the time you read this).
One of his aims is to be the most helpful marketer on the planet, and I must say he’s doing a pretty good job there.
He is probably best known for his resources on Facebook advertising, and I don’t believe you can possibly find a better library of free material on the topic anywhere else.
But I’ve learned a ton from him on other critical digital marketing skills as well – blogging, copywriting, Youtube marketing, Pinterest marketing, and his videos on how to build the right entrepreneurial mindset are very helpful as well.
The guy is a machine. If you want to get a top-level education on Facebook ads, go check out Miles Beckler’s Youtube channel, but also if you want to learn, well, everything about digital marketing, apparently. You can also check out his blog at https://www.milesbeckler.com/.
Copywriting – Kyle Milligan
Copywriting has been one of the most in-demand skills for the app course, and I know that all of you interested in copywriting will absolutely love Kyle Milligan’s Youtube channel.
Given the amount of interest that my audience has shown in copywriting, I’m kinda surprised that there are not too many big names teaching on this topic, but what surprises me even more is that Kyle’s channel, which is probably the best channel on copywriting in the world, is rather small. The content is there (he has uploaded almost 300 videos), but I believe he’s said in some videos that he’s not even really focusing on growing the Youtube channel at all, and had just wanted to offer his knowledge and experience for anyone looking to learn.
And believe me – Kyle’s knowledge and experience in copywriting are extensive! When it comes to copywriting, Kyle is the real deal. In his own words, he simply “speaks the language of copywriting”.
The level of technical detail Kyle gets into when he dissects successful copy is just heroic.
And, of course, he often introduces himself as “your boy”, which is my favorite way of starting my videos as well, so he must be a cool guy, right? 🙂
So, with Kyle Milligan’s Youtube channel being insanely underrated, I believe that it will be a true diamond in the dirt for all of you copywriting students. He also blogs at https://kylethewriter.com/, where he offers his copywriting book “Take Their Money”, and runs the Copy Squad Inner Circle group for copywriters.
Youtube Marketing – Channel Makers
Even though I consider blogging to be my primary medium of choice, it’s getting increasingly difficult today to rank if you don’t support your blog with a Youtube channel. In fact, the people I learned blogging from (Income School) recommend that, and, naturally, one of their teammates is devoted to creating a resource with the same level of quality and tactical advice, but focused on growing on Youtube.
I’m talking, of course, about the Channel Makers Youtube channel. If you’re looking to learn not only how to gain the favors of the algorithms by being strategic about your video content plan, but also how to go about creating each video, from the setup and the lighting all the way up to the content and the way you present it in your videos, Nate’s your guy, and you will find “booping” all of his videos in a matter of days. In fact, I believe I watched about 80% of all of his videos in a matter of days when I decided I want to explore building a Youtube channel, and I can pretty much guarantee you that if you choose to learn from him, you will get a strong, smart, proven framework for growing your channel (the rapid growth of his own channel is proof enough).
I recommend subscribing to his channel, and if you’re starting out today, especially pay attention to his material on Youtube shorts, as they will probably be a critical component of your strategy and you can collect a lot of quick wins by following his advice there.
Instagram Marketing – Chris Do / The Futur
Getting attention on Instagram is getting harder by the minute. Even though new platforms emerge and threaten its current status of the coolest kid among the social platforms, it is still the most coveted platform where most influencers would prefer to have a strong presence.
Not to even mention the fact that organic reach is also declining, which is doing nobody except Facebook shareholders a favor.
No wonder it’s so competitive and difficult to build an audience.
Well, luckily, there seems to be one remaining way to build a strong and meaningful presence there, and if you’ve been around the digital marketing game, you’ll already know this – amazing content!
Unless you plan on spending a fortune on ads, the content you create on Instagram must be world-class. And for that purpose, I haven’t found a better educator than Chris Do and The Futur.
Chris himself, and I believe the majority of his team, seem to be graphic designers primarily. They know their stuff really well.
But even more importantly, one of their biggest areas of focus is helping people grow on Instagram, and they have a deep understanding of the algorithms and changes as well.
That’s a very, very powerful combination.
Their approach of focusing on carousels has helped tons of users explode, and chances are, if you’ve seen or engaged with one of those beautifully-designed carousels on the Instagram feed, those creators have probably been influenced by The Futur.
I recommend learning from them and following them on:
Pinterest Marketing – Anastasia Blogger
The amount of traffic you can get from Pinterest still surprises a lot of people, even in 2021. It can be really worthwhile figuring out how to create good content for that platform, and it works like magic in a lot of afluent niches.
I’ve checked out several Pinterest educators, and none even comes close to Anastasia Blogger’s Youtube channel. I actually believe that Anastasia covers everything there is to possibly know about Pinterest Marketing. Literally everything, from tips and hacks about the algorithm, to tactics on how to write the descriptions, to how to literally craft your content in Canva.
Personally, I haven’t built a Pinterest-first business, but I’ve seen some decent results from it, and once I’ve started to follow Anastasia’s advice, the results have noticeably improved. I still wouldn’t recommend Pinterest as a primary platform, but it is an excellent choice for a support channel. In any case, learn everything you can from Anastasia Blogger.
Email Marketing – TinyLittleBusinesses
Not mastering email marketing completely is one of my biggest regrets, and I believe that’s because I discovered TinyLittleBusinesses a bit too late.
All I can say here is that most of what I know that has worked for my email marketing, I’ve learned from André Chaperon and his email newsletter.
The way they teach email marketing is much more in line with how I want to do all of my digital marketing in general, with a strong focus on building relationships and trust with your audience. If you want to improve your email marketing game, make sure to subscribe to their newsletters, and you will see how successful email campaigns should look.
Entrepreneurship and digital marketing in general – Gary Vee
Of course, no list of digital marketing mentors can be complete without Gary Vee.
I’m not even sure if I should be writing this section, as I don’t believe there’s a digital marketing alive today that doesn’t know of him.
I still want to offer one interesting observation about him and his material.
For me at least, I’ve found that Gary Vee outputs so much useful content, that you might even start consuming it as entertainment. I believe that may be the case for many digital marketers that are fans of his.
My two cents: carefully listen, and actually take action on the tactics he provides! It’s easy to start viewing Gary Vee as more of a mindset-coach or strategy-coach or even as a motivational speaker, and those are all fine, but never forget that he’s always been about the execution, I mean he practically built his empire on that one principle and he always says so himself, so if you’re listening to what he’s saying, make the effort to apply it as well!
I recommend following Gary Vee’s advice on several of his channels:
- the GaryVee Youtube channel
- the primary GaryVee Instagram account
- the Team GaryVee Instagram account
- the GaryVee TikTok account