Iliyana's Blog

My Weekly 23 – What I Read and How I Learn

[fa icon="calendar"] 16-Nov-2015 10:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

reading is learning Turns out I’m not really normal. Let me ask you something: What do you usually do on a Saturday or Sunday morning? Rest, have breakfast, chat with your loved ones, prepare to spend the day somewhere nice or travel? Can’t say if that’s good or not, but my usual Saturday or Sunday morning doesn’t look like that.

I love waking up early on a Saturday morning, making myself a nice cup of coffee, snuggling on my sofa in my blanket with my laptop in my lap and catching up on all the reading that I’ve missed during the work week. That’s the perfect rest for me. And the additional perk – I learn that way.

Over the years, I’ve garnered a pretty long list of blogs and magazines that I religiously follow. And my little tradition on a Saturday morning is to open up my feedly – where I have all the RSS subscriptions of those blogs and magazines – and go over about 200 articles.

Reading inspires me and feeds my inner need to always learn.

Going over my feedly gives me energy for the rest of the day and the following week as well as new ideas – whether for blog posts that I could write or for advice, tips and new things (e.g. the ‘new kids on the block’ like that I could implement at work or show my customers. To quote Jack and Suzy Welch in “The Real-life MBA”, this is my “learn-it-today, apply-it-tomorrow  technique”.

And because a few people have already asked me a couple of times “What do you read? Tell me some blogs I should read too”, I decided to share with you my weekly 23 – the blogs and magazines I have in my feedly list that I go through on Saturday or Sunday mornings (divided by the main topics).

I encourage you to share your must-reads in the comments below, too. Spreading the knowledge is just as important as individual learning.  

My Weekly 23 – What I Read and How I Learn:

Agency business

  • HubSpot Agency Blog - being an agency advisor, I have to always be up-to-date with what's going on in the agency business world, so this is a great resource that offers advice on positioning, pricing, services, business models (including examples and stories from other agencies).
  • Propulsion Blog - fantastic blog about how the agancy business model as we know it is broken and what you can do to fix it.
  • Win Without Pitching - the go-to guide for all creative firms to becoming trusted experts and not giving their thinking away for free. 
  • Marketing Agency Insider - practical advice from an agency for agencies, e.g. new business, growing the internal team, processes etc. 

Digital and the future of business 

  • Brian Solis - the absolute best online resource about transforming your business in the world of digital and the connected consumer. You'll see I'm putting this blog among some really renowned names from more of the research space, but Brian Solis has it all backed up by facts. I'm a huge fan
  • McKinsey - catching up on research and expert knowledge about global economies, digital disruption and adoption, business innovation and the future. 
  • HBS Working Knowledge - a lot about entrepreneurship, leadership, social economy, management.

Public Relations 

  • Stephen Waddington - most well-known person in the PR industry in the UK, always at the forefront of what's going on, what the issues are, how to fix them and always coming up with awesome projects tapping into his community (e.g. #PRstack). 
  • Spin Sucks - the most lively PR community that exists; great varied advice for PR pros on communications in general and social media, but also on business and marketing. 
  • SHIFT Communications - advice from a modern PR agency that understands how our world and the way we buy has changed, and how PR really needs to adapt to it. 
  • Behind the Spin - as many of my readers are PR students and I'm no longer one, I need to keep up with what's going on in their world and in the industry in the UK. 

Inbound Marketing 

  • Square2Marketing Blog - the absolute best blog out there on inbound marketing, can't even tell you how much I learn from it - lots of practical advice, easy to read and follow, these guys really are the experts. 
  • HubSpot Marketing Blog - all about inbound marketing and the world of online and digital coming from HubSpot. 
  • Jeff Bullas's Blog - I'm putting this blog here, but it's a wealth of ideas about marketing, social media, content marketing, SEO, blogging, really everything online. 
  • Moz Blog - mainly about SEO, but still important to know about what's going on with Google for inbound marketing. 
  • Kissmetrics - all about online marketing, from social media, to lead generation, SEO, email, content; great practical advice. 
  • Web Ink Now - David Meerman Scott's blog about marketing, sales and PR then and now; some cool real-life examples too. 

Social media, comms and PR news

  • Social Media Examiner - all social media here, including news around new networks or research and many hands-on how-to guides. 
  • PR Daily - can sometimes overflood your feed, but still good to skim through the new things happening in the industry, e.g. some research on social media networks usage, consumer behaviour, new tools, nice infographics. 


  • Guardian Sustainable Business - all about how businesses and economies need to become more sustainable, cherish our planet and resources and our health and well-being.  
  • Taiga Company - my friend Julie Urlaub is an avid reader too shares lots of advice on sustainability communications, leadership in the field, practical knowledge on supply change management, waste reduction, business strategy etc.  

Work-life integration


What do you read and how do you learn?


Topics: Personal Development

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is Global Partner Program Manager at HubSpot where she plans and executes major cross-functional change across the globe. She spends her free time dancing salsa or writing about Inbound PR, Inbound Marketing and Agency Business, expertise gathered from years of agency experience and agency business consulting across Germany, the UK and Ireland.

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