If you’ve ever taken a writing class in school, you know that you don’t just spend your time practicing grammar and sentence structure. You also read the greats.
It’s only by immersing yourself in the likes of Jane Austen and John Steinback that you can internalize what quality writing looks like, and start to make progress on your own. The same principles apply to growth hacking. By reading the best growth hacking blogs, you can gain new insights that would be out of reach if you were trying to do everything on your own. It can inspire you and give you ideas for experimenters to run on your own site.
This article will cover the individuals and companies who are setting the bar in terms of producing high quality, actionable content in the field. Plus it’ll introduce you to the growth community you need to understand to be successful in the role. Let’s dive in.
Individual growth hacking bloggers
These 12 individuals are the people you want sitting around the table as you strategize growth for your brand. Luckily for you, they share a ton of their insights online every week. Study their personal blogs closely and you’ll get a good sense of what’s working for them right now (in relation to customer acquisition and retention).
Brian Balfour is a growth hacking giant. He’s the former head of growth at Hubspot and co-founder and CEO of the growth marketing training business Reforge. He blogs at his personal blog, the eponymous brianbalfour.com, and he’s also featured on Season 1 of our growth marketing show, Scale or Die.
Article to check out: Don’t Let Your North Star Metric Deceive You
“No metric exists in isolation. To truly understand how one single metric impacts growth, you need to see its effects on other metrics downstream.”
This post breaks down how getting too focused on any one aspect of your business (even if it’s an important metric) can stall your growth.
Noah has a wealth of insanely good startup experience — he was employee #4 at Mint and #30 at Facebook (he was fired, lost out on hundreds of millions in stock, and talks about the lessons he learned from that experience quite frequently). He blogs at OkDork and runs the e-commerce growth marketing SaaS Sumo (helps you reduce cart abandonment, grow an email list, and increase AOV).
Article to check out: What I Learned Spending $3 Million on Facebook Ads
“Remember, on Facebook you’re not just competing with other ads for attention, you’re up against wedding photos, cat videos, #blessed posts, and other content posted by friends and family.”
This article is a deep dive into all things Facebook ads. Being good at paid media is critical, and this post contains tons of tricks on how to step up your marketing game.
Nir has sold two companies, written a massively popular book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, taught at Stanford Business School, and he’s an active angel investor. This dude has insights, is what I’m saying. He blogs at Nir & Far about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business.
Article to check out: 4 Ways to Use Psychology to Win Your Competition’s Customers
“Research shows almost half of what we do, day in and day out, is driven by impulsive behaviors.”
Understanding psychology is critical to being a good marketer. This post breaks down how you can use our natural human instincts to your advantage.
Neil is a best selling author and one of the top growth hackers out there — especially when it comes to SEO and organic placement. His site, neilpatel.com, gets over 7 million monthly visitors.
Article to check out: How to Find the Right Keywords to Rank #1 on Google For
“If you happen to be lucky enough to have extra money to invest in SEO, consider expanding internationally. It’s the best move I made, and I am dumping in as much money as I can to dominate the globe.”
This is the kind of meat and potatoes post that Neil Patel does best. It’s a well written and to the point post featuring tons of actionable insights.
Andrew Chen is a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s premier venture capital firms, and he led rider growth at Uber. His articles are born from hard-earned experience as a founder and investor.
Article to check out: New data shows losing 80% of mobile users is normal, and why the best apps do better
“The best way to bend the retention curve is to target the first few days of usage, and in particular the first visit.”
Andrew Chen thinks you can do better than those that lose 80% of mobile users. This post shows you exactly how.
Ed previously led growth at the customer data platform Hull.io, and he has written for many different platforms about growth hacking over the past several years. As a practitioner himself, Ed has quite a few takes about how your data can power explosive growth for your business.
Article to check out: How Can You Be More Effective With Your Lead Generation Efforts In 2019
“Diversifying the ways you reach your customer reduces the likelihood of fatigue and increases familiarity with your brand.”
This post gives cutting edge tips on how to boost your lead generation efforts and perform more like the world’s best marketers. Plus, it contains some great examples.\
We’ll be sharing more insights from Ed Fry during his episode on Season 2 of Scale or Die.
Brianne is an investor and advisor who writes about growth and go-to-market strategies, and she was recently named a top angel investor by Business Insider. She blogs at BrianneKimmel.com.
Article to check out: Why startups can’t afford to ignore the competition
“With startups, action and iteration go hand in hand.”
Good ideas in startup land are not hard to come by — it’s all about how you execute. In this post, Brianne breaks down ways startups can stay agile and learn from their competitors.
Guillaume is the VP of Growth at Drift, former VP of Growth Marketing at Segment, and former Head of Growth at Mention. Besides playing a key role in contributing to Drift’s seamless customer acquisition flow, he also writes a fair amount for the Drift blog and guest blogs at different sites. His insights are data-driven and always worth reading.
Article to check out: The 4 Rules for Sending Cold Email that Converts in 2018
“A few years back, I had this lightbulb moment: Instead of defaulting to blasting emails out to everyone who shows intent and is a good fit, we need to start using the channel that’s most relevant to them at that precise moment.”
These cold email tips are relevant for any marketer (sending cold emails is inevitable), and he presents them in a clear and accessible fashion.
To hear more knowledge bombs from Guillaume, stay tuned for his episode in Scale or Die Season 2.
Kieran is a seasoned growth marketer who has helped SaaS companies gain millions of new users, and he’s currently the VP of Growth at Hubspot — helping power their industry-leading inbound efforts. He blogs at KieranFlanagan.io.
Article to check out: How to Optimize Your Content Marketing Team to Win!
“POV (point of view content) is thought leadership around topics your brand wants to be relevant for and have a voice around. You want to have real opinions around these to create fans, people who feel the same way as you.”
In marketing as in sports, you are only as good as the team around you. This post gives great insights into building a quality content marketing team.
For more of Kieran dropping knowledge bombs, check out his episode on Scale or Die Season 1.
Sujan is a growth marketing wizard who has helped clients such as LinkedIn, Salesforce and Expedia grow their user base. He blogs at SujanPatel.com, and he’s also been on Scale or Die, where he talked dominating a crowded market with brand, customer obsession, and UX.
Article to check out: CLV Accuracy: Are you overestimating or underestimating this key metric?
“Overspending (as a result of overestimating CLV) presents a far greater risk to the future of your organization than underspending.”
Maximizing CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) is critical for growth. This post touches on Sujan’s thoughts on how to maximize this critical metric.
Talia is a conversion optimization specialist, blogger, and public speaker, having graced the stages of Unbounce, ConversionXL Live, and MozCon. She blogs at getuplift.co.
Article to check out: Heatmaps 101: Using Heatmaps to Analyze Your Site
“Design doesn’t work alone. Call-to-action buttons don’t work alone. Everything has to support each other and work together.”
If you don’t know what people are actually doing on your site, it can be hard to optimize for conversions. This article explains how you can use heatmaps of user activity to your advantage.
Article to check out: Account expansion: if you want to grow fast, do this…
“I always say, ‘If you want to stay a small company, have the original AE also handle Upsells’ and it’s almost always met with frustration and push back. From sales.”
Lincoln breaks down what you need to focus on to grow faster than the competition, and he doesn’t hesitate to make bold claims.
Companies with great growth hacking blogs
While tons of growth practitioners share their learnings on their own blogs, there are many SaaS businesses, VC funds, and communities that share growth hacking lessons on the daily. Here are 11 you should check out:
As a marketing and CRM giant, it’s no surprise HubSpot has a high-quality blog dedicated to Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success. They’ve got a top-notch team of writers and practitioners that put out top-notch, researched content with a frequency that any brand would envy.
Article to check out: Mass Email Is Dead. Try This Better Marketing Strategy Instead
“Prospects don’t want ‘personalized,’ they want ‘tailored,’ ‘focused,’ and ‘value.’”
Email will always have its place, but this post argues that mass email is dead. And it’s convincing.
The SaaStr VC fund is a fund with a clear focus on SaaS companies, and their blog is chocked full of growth marketing insights.
Article to check out: How To Simplify Non-Transparent Pricing: Assume Everyone Knows What Everyone Else Pays
“I wouldn’t be upset to learn one of your first customers from 2013 pays less than me. I would be upset to learn a larger customer from last week pays half of what I do.”
This post dives deep into an issue that is close to our heart — choosing pricing for you SaaS product.
ConversionXL is a company that is laser-focused on providing content and research studies that empower companies to grow faster. They are all about data, and every blog post gives great examples of companies that have successfully used CRO tactics to power growth.
Article to check out: Bounce Rate: Everything You Want to Know and More
“Put simply, bounce rate tends to be a micro-metric, or something you look at as a proxy for success. It should never be the main goal, and you should always question the integrity of your bounce rate numbers in your analytics tool.”
This is about an in-depth guide as you could ever want into the always important bounce rate metric.
Not to toot our own horn too much, but we think our blog does a great job of providing actionable tips for growth marketers, especially around the concepts of social proof and personalization.
Article to check out: Social Proof: Why It’s An Essential Part Of Your 2019 Marketing Strategy
“Often, we don’t even realize how our decisions are affected by social proof. It’s something we seemingly gloss over. But that’s why it can be a powerful conversion tool in your marketing strategy.”
We want to do what our friends and peers are doing. This post breaks down how you can use that to your advantage as a growth marketer.
Growth Hackers is a well-named company, as they provide great content on every aspect of growth marketing. (Their founder, Sean Ellis, actually coined the term growth hacking.) Their site also provides a great platform to distribute content — as it’s the place where other growth marketers go to learn & digest content.
Article to check out: Learn Faster with a Growth Process
“The more experiments you run, the more you learn. It’s really that simple.”
Building processes is everything, and this post explains how you can accelerate your business with a good system in place.
a16z is a VC fund, founded by Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen. The company is an acknowledged thought leader in the venture capital and growth worlds, having helped companies like AirBnB and Asana become the giants they are today.
Article to check out: Four Key Product Principles from WeChat’s Founder
“One of the most shocking management ideas that Zhang holds dear is that over-incenting teams with KPIs (key performance indicators) — a widely held practice in the US — is in fact counterproductive.”
This post breaks down how one of China’s premier companies thinks about product.
Intercom is a customer messaging platform used by the likes of Atlassian and Shopify, and their blog is a library of awesome intel on how to growth hack. Their editorial standards are top-notch, and they are unique in that they’ve made contributions to their blog a key goal for every team member.
Article to check out: Expand your addressable market to drive your next wave of growth
“For many people, your instinct will be to build everything. Assume you can build just one to two things and that you want to be testing it in the market within a few months.”
If you want to reach the stratosphere, you have to expand outside your comfort zone. This post explains how.
Drift is a conversational marketing platform (and home to the aforementioned Guillaume Cabane.) They have been riding a growth rocket ship and work with companies such as Marketo and Clio, and they discuss many tricks of the trade on their blog. They produce content super frequently, and they’re heavily investing in channels like video and podcast.
Article to check out: A Guide to How We Run Chat Duty at Drift
When teammates join the chat duty squad, the majority are terrified. Sure – real-time support can seem intimidating. But these people build, sell and market our product. There’s no question that they’ll do great in customer support.
Chatbots are playing an increasingly important role in growth hacking, so it’s critical to learn how the best in class companies are running chat duty.
Appcues helps companies easily create great user experiences, and they count Canva and Yotpo as happy customers. Their blog is very well written and covers adoption rates, growth and reducing churn. It’s slightly more product-focused than other blogs on the list, but understanding product is a key task for a growth team. You’re only going to increase LTV if your product is sticky enough to make users not churn.
Article to check out: 10 user and customer engagement strategies for 2019
“User/customer engagement is, at its core, about creating as many stellar channels and touchpoints as you can.”
From starting community Slack channels to how to involve your power users, this article is full of great ideas.
YC really needs no introduction — they have established themselves as the premiere startup incubator in the world, and they were instrumental in bringing companies like Stripe and Dropbox to the world (plus Proof is a proud YC alum, W18). Their blog covers insights from YC partners as well as companies in the YC ecosystem looking to share their insight.
Article to check out: Jessica Livingston’s Pretty Complete List on How Not to Fail
“There’s a famous sentence we often quote at Y Combinator: You make what you measure. Pick a number you want to grow, and focus on that. The best metric to choose is good old fashioned revenue.”
Y Combinator founding partner Jessica Livingston gave a heartfelt and engaging speech at the Female Founders Conference back in 2016. This post is a transcription of that speech, and it is full of hard-won knowledge that can be applied by any growth hacker.
First Round Capital is a prestigious investment firm that has invested in companies such as Mint and Birchbox — and they have an active and tremendously useful blog, First Round Review.
Article to check out: What Sweetgreen Can Teach Startups About Scaling Intimacy
“Sweetgreen’s earliest stumble was underestimating how fast the world was changing.”
Sweetgreen took a unique approach to growth hacking, and this post details how their commitment to “intimacy” made all the difference for them.
Always be learning
Growth hacking is a slow and steady process of iterating, testing, and optimizing until you find what works best to help your business gain users. It’s all about finding the right strategy and mentality for your unique situation.
And what better way to learn about all the different strategies out there than to study the best growth hacking content from the leaders in the field? We hope that you’ll bookmark all the above growth marketing blogs and use their insights to grow faster (and more responsible) than ever.