Last week I used the blog to crowdsource some ideas for content here in weeks to come. And the idea worked magically well! You each had great ideas and I’ll be using them here, which also means about 30 seconds of fame for you and a prize!

Today I’m going to give you a list of the blogs I read and why I recommend them, which is response to Stefanie Deverey, who nominated FADS for a Lovely Blog award.  So I would like to pay it forward and, perhaps, you’ll find new blogs here that you’re also interested in reading.

1. – The Small Business Blog by Rieva Lesonsky. I met Rieva at the International Franchise Association conference in San Diego this past January and was immediately blown away by her. Not only does she have an impressive resume, she knows small business – the inner workings, the mistakes all entrepreneurs make, and how to succeed in tough times. She’s my business soulmate because we think alike in how businesses can, and should, be run.

*Full disclosure – I now write for the franchise blog on, but I was a Rieva fan and reader long before that happened.

2. – Small Business. I started reading this section of BusinessWeek in May, after I met Steve McKee at a conference. Since then, we’ve become friends (I just guest blogged for him yesterday at Find Your Nerve) and I love his style, especially because he’s an advertising guy who sees the value in PR. The blog is full of small business lessons, case studies, and ideas. His fellow bloggers on the BW site are just as smart, plus it’s fun to connect with some of their editors (like Shirley Brady) on Twitter.

3. Convenience Store Dreaming. This blog is so off the beaten path for what I read, but it’s written by someone I worked with many, many years ago and it’s a GREAT Friday afternoon read. She works in a convenience store and blogs about the people she meets. Trust me on this one – you will cry from laughing so hard.

4. Fast Growth by Doug Davidoff. I met Doug because he answered a couple of Vistage questions (he’s a speaker and past member) and then we met in real life a few weeks ago. He blogs about the sales process and how to design something that works for your customers, not for you. His theory is that customers want to know what you can do for them, not how they fit in your process, and I love this thinking. Plus he gives away so much of his own intellectual property, you’d be silly not to read what he has to say.

5. Harvard Business Review. Just yesterday, someone on Twitter asked me where I get such great content all the time. I wish I could take credit for it, but it’s all You know…the Ivy League school? Yeah. Really good information here daily. I like it because it’s smart, it’s sophisticated, but it doesn’t read like a technical paper.

6. Hunting for Big Sales by Tom Searcy. I met Tom a couple of years ago when he spoke to my Vistage group about creating a process for your internal sales teams that allows you to hunt the whales in your industry. Even though he doesn’t blog often, when he does, it’s worth reading.

7. It’s Time to Lead by Randy Hall. For those of you who know me, you won’t be surprised to see Randy on this list. Even though I nag him weekly to post more often, when he does, what he writes about is fantastic. His expertise is leadership and how executives can hone their skills to get results. He is, by far, my favorite leadership blogger.

8. OPEN Forum by American Express. There is a lot of information on this blog so you have to sift through what you find interesting. For that very reason, I send this particular blog to my Google reader and expand the list so I can quickly scan if there is anything I want to read. I suggest you do the same.

9. You’re the Boss – the New York Times blog. I started reading this blog after I met Jay Goltz, who owns a few companies here in Chicago, and he mentioned he had just started blogging for the New York Times. Curiosity killed the cat and I went there to read what he had to say. Not only does he offer great and useful information, his fellow bloggers do, as well.

And, of course, I can’t forget Stefanie! Her blog is the New York Real Estate Lawyer blog, which is pretty specific, but forward her link to anyone you know in the real estate law field and help me pay it forward!

In addition, following are some blogs I try to read at least once a week because I admire the people who write them.

1. Conversation Agent by Valeria Maltoni

2. Altitude Branding by Amber Naslund

3. Escaping Medicrity by Sarah Robinson

4.  I Think, Therefore I Blog by Jeff Lipschultz

5. Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing

6. The Sun Rises Today by Tim Jahn

7. Convince and Convert by Jay Baer

8. Marketing Strategy and the Law by Adrian Dayton

9. Exceed Your Expectations by Julio Varela

10. The Holmes Report by Paul Holmes

I’d love to know from you, in the comments below, which two or three blogs you read that you think I’d like, as well.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich