By Eloise Keating, Broede Carmody and Ronelle Richards
Are you looking for some banking advice or tips on how to make your e-commerce site shine?
The blogs on SmartCompany’s annual list of Australia’s Best Business Blogs may be just what you’re looking for.
These are the blogs we think offer some of the best free advice for small business owners in a range of areas – from human resources and leadership to content marketing and design.
Some of these blogs have appeared on our lists in previous years; we think they continue to provide valuable insights and tips for small business owners. But there are new faces on this year’s list too, some of which cover sectors such as digital marketing that are becoming increasingly important for business owners.
Selling goods and services is about telling a story; The Story of Telling is a blog dedicated to this art form. Bernadette Jiwa is a freelance brand story strategist, keynote speaker and author, and her blog is all about how to tell meaningful stories about your brand to your customers.
2. Naomi Simson
RedBallon founding director Naomi Simson continues to delight her followers with inspiration, insights and business lessons. The Shark Tank judge has been blogging for over 10 years, including for SmartCompany, and her blog combines motivational posts with practical business tips – and behind-the-scene snippets from the reality television show for entrepreneurs.
Wattsnext specialises in human resources, recruitment, compliance and people performance services, and the wattsnext blog is full of practical advice for SMEs looking for help in this area. Blog posts are written by different members of the wattsnext team on topics such as mental health in the workplace, surviving workplace restructures and why you should encourage your employees to use social media at work.
eCommerce Blog is creation of Pixc, a startup that helps online retailers create high-quality product images for their sites. This blog is a treasure trove of useful tips for retailers of all shapes and sizes – from how-to guides for photographing furniture and clothing for ecommerce sites, to lists of the best photo editing apps on the market. There’s even a list of 50 ecommerce social media ideas for your business.
Banking and finance can be a difficult area for small businesses to navigate on their own and that’s where websites like theBankDoctor come in. This not-for-profit organisation provides free, practical advice for small businesses on how to get the best banking set up for their business. As well as the blog, which covers the latest news and advice, theBankDoctor also collates banking resources for small businesses and regularly provides answers to common banking and finance questions from small business owners.
Nicole Matejic’s blog is a must-read for those interested in marketing and social media. Matejic regularly consults with government and the private sector and writes about everything from social media stuff-ups to the marketing genius behind hit TV show House of Cards.
The Australian Businesswomen’s Network’s herBusiness blog contains practical and useful advice from women in business. The range of topics it covers is diverse – from how to stop wasting time to how to fire someone properly. It is also updated regularly, so you’re bound to be greeted with fresh content.
Kate Cook has been a digital marketer for the last five years and at Small Paper Things, she blogs about how entrepreneurs can take their online marketing to the next level. A great resource for anyone who is doing their own digital marketing and in need of some fresh ideas.
Market Economics is an independent economic analysis firm run by Stephen Koukoulas, who has more than 25 years experience as an economist having held positions as chief economist at two major banks and as economic adviser to former prime minister Julia Gillard. On the Market Economics’ blog, you’ll find Koukoulas’ analysis about all aspects of macroeconomics. Koukoulas regularly analyses the latest economic data releases, from inflation and employment figures to data from the property markets.
Dr Greg Chapman is the author of a book called The 5 Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success. He also runs the Australian Small Business Blog to share his wealth of small business knowledge. Chapman tackles big issues such as how to get the balance right between trusting staff and not micromanaging them and understanding the purpose of your business.
Want to know how to build a killer sales team from scratch or how to make your app stand out from the crowd? Then the Appster blog is for you. The majority of the posts are written by Appster co-founder Mark McDonald and cover everything you need to know about running a growing tech company.
12. The Savage Truth
The Savage Truth offers honest, no-bullshit advice on how to recruit well and manage your employees. Recruitment and human resources can be tough areas for business owners to navigate, particularly if they’re just starting out. Author Greg Savage has 35 years experience in managing employees and his blog is a must-read.
Leanne Faulkner is the Council of Small Business of Australia’s small business champion and her blog offers an insight into life after running a small business. Faulkner regularly blogs about mental health in business, fear of failure and mindfulness. Her blog is separated into two categories: her thoughts on business and her thoughts on life in general.
14. Antelope Media
A fun and quirky copywriting and content marketing firm, Antelope Media is fronted by former top tier firm lawyer Ralph Grayden and journalist Emma Sorensen. Antelope Media will have you learning everything from why you should write listicles to the parallels between content marketing and a Jane Austen novel.
15. Bluewire Media
Bluewire Media is like the shopping plaza of marketing and web strategy, offering a multitude of resources for your business, including online courses in web marketing, social media training, regular blogs and podcasts. Bluewire Media founders Adam Franklin and Toby Jenkins are the authors of Web Marketing That Works and have previously appeared in SmartCompany’s Hot 30 Under 30.
16. Design School
Almost 8 million users are reaping the benefits of using Canva to design their presentations and social media graphics. The startup’s blog Design School is brimming with inspiration for designers and entrepreneurs keen to develop new ideas and get creative at work.
LeadChat is a Melbourne based company that helps SMEs generate conversations from their web traffic using pop up live chat boxes. The LeadChat blog contains useful insights into using Live Chat, as well as how to run a startup with a friend and boost online sales.
18. Coping with Jane
Coping with Jane is the brainchild of Jane Copeland, a former management executive who launched her blog from her kitchen table and turned it into a business that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses grow by using the internet. Copeland shares informative videos, podcasts and training programs to help SME owners be self-made.
19. StewArt Media
Stewart Media is the a little obsessed with search engine optimisation and with good reason – it drives business. Founder and SmartCompany blogger Jim Stewart has been running entertaining weekly videos blogs on SEO since 2006, providing easy-to-follow steps to improve your website’s rankings.
20. Safety at Work
Occupational health and safety consultant Kevin Jones brings two decades of experience to his editorship of the Safety At Work Blog, bringing together news and commentary on workplace safety and health. Regularly updated, this blog is a great resource for SMEs operating without a dedicated human resources team.