Update: read our latest story how we built and grew our Slack bot from zero to profitability: Slack Bot Business Tutorial: From Zero to $25,000/mo.

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Growth is the one thing that matters the most in startups. It’s the fuel, the air — almost everything for a startup to survive.

Startups should certainly seek growth, because that’s how you evaluate and refine an idea.
— Paul Graham

The number one reason startups fail — is building something people didn’t need. Read it another way — making something that lacked users and thus didn’t grow.

In the last post, I listed 15 SaaS startups that share the journeys of their growth. These are the gems, but very few companies share such sensitive information.

Luckily there are experienced and smart authors who regularly write about growth. We’re following their publications and using the advice to build up our growth engine.

A curated list of 17 experienced and smart authors who write about #growth. Follow their publications to build growth engine for your #startup 🚀 via @standuply

Growth is a challenge for us at Standuply as well. Yet, we managed to grow from 0 to 500 customers in one year. That was hard.

We’ll share the story behind our growth in the upcoming post. Subscribe to our email list to get that story in your inbox:

Today, I’d like to list amazing authors we’re learning from as well with authors on my to-read list. Explore how we’re learning growth in our startup.

Also, I’ve included a bonus, 300 Growth Hacking Cases at the end of the post. Grab them after reading.

17 Amazing Authors on Growth

Niel Patel  

You know Neil Patel, right? If not—he’s the one to follow. I like his straightforward and practical posts. Each one is long enough to dive into insights and data. Neil talks about content marketing, SEO, and growth. Also, he runs another blog at neilpatel.com.

Articles I enjoyed:
— Why I Choose to Focus on One Marketing Channel at a Time
The Advanced Guide To SEO
How to Leverage Storytelling to Increase Your Conversions

Rand Fishkin  

When someone talks SEO, Rand Fishkin is the first person you think of. But he talks not only about SEO. I learn a lot about entrepreneurship, growth, and leadership from Rand’s posts.

Articles I enjoyed:
21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic (Updated 2014)

Articles bookmarked:
— Moz’s $18 Million Venture Financing: Our Story, Metrics and Future
— SEO 101 for Travel Bloggers
— Marketing Lessons Learned from 16 Years of Building Moz

Brian Dean  

Brian Dean is another great expert on SEO. He describes every aspect of it and does it with all the details. Brian updates his guides every year with new insights. We used his guide for on-page SEO to rank higher in Google and it works.

Articles I enjoyed:
— On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page (2018 Update)
— I Am Brian Dean, Founder of Backlinko, Ask Me Anything!

Articles bookmarked:
— 21 Actionable SEO Techniques That Work GREAT in 2018

Sujan Patel  

I find most of Sujan’s Patel posts useful to us. He speaks about content-marketing, growth, and shares tips to make a successful startup. Sujan’s posts are very into details so that you’d like to bookmark them and get back again and again.

Articles I enjoyed:
— What I Learned from Receiving 3,751 PR Pitches
— What Really Works for Content Promotion in 2018
7 Lessons from 90 Days in Customer Success

Noah Kagan  

Noah is the king of marketing. We learn not only by reading his blog, but also by observing how he approaches marketing with Sumo. There are great guest posts on Noah’s blog as well.

Articles I enjoyed:
— Content Marketing for SEO Tutorial: How to Generate 400,000 Targeted Visitors

Article bookmarked:
— Early Traction: How to go from zero to 150,000 email subscribers (at Andrew Chen’s blog)

Matthew Barby  

When it comes to long-reads, Matthew Barby nailed it. He doesn’t post so often, but the ones you’ll find will take you hours to consume. And you know, it’s worth your every minute. We learned a lot reading Matthew blog.

Articles I enjoyed:
— My Stack of Growth Tools
21 Customer Acquisition Strategies to Win New Customers
— 19 Actionable SEO Tips to Increase Organic Traffic

Articles bookmarked:
— 25 Growth Hacking Techniques for your Startup

Andrew Chen  

In contrast to gentlemen above, Andrew Chen writes shorter essays on a weekly basis. They are about entrepreneurship, growth and startup life in Silicon Valley. Andrew’s essays are so insightful and engaging so that you don’t want to miss every piece of it.

Articles I enjoyed:
— 10 years of professional blogging – what I’ve learned
— After the Techcrunch bump: Life in the “Trough of Sorrow”
— 10 years in the Bay Area – what I’ve learned

Articles bookmarked:
— Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing

Nir Eyal  

Nir Eyal is the author of best-selling book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. He focuses on the psychology behind consumers intentions and actions. As a result, Nir writes about products and ideas that move people.

Articles bookmarked:
— How Two Companies Hooked Customers On Products They Rarely Use
— Die Dashboards, Die! Why Conversations Will Reinvent Software
— The Secret to Sending Emails and Notifications That Work
— 4 Ways to Use Psychology to Win Your Competition’s Customers

Brian Balfour  

Brian Balfour was VP of Growth at Hubspot working on new product initiatives such as the HubSpot Sales products. Now he runs Reforge program that focuses on growth mentorship. On his blog, he shares his experience and tips on growth.

Articles I enjoyed:
Don’t Let Your North Star Metric Deceive You

Articles bookmarked:
— Building a Growth Team from Zero to Fifty
— Why Product Market Fit Isn’t Enough
— Why Retention Is The Silent Killer
— Building a Growth Framework Towards a $100 Million Product

Casey Winters 

Casey Winters has a lot of experience in growth—he helped multiple startups with scaling. Later he joined Pinterest and led the growth product team. Casey blogs on a weekly basis and sometimes runs podcasts with other experts on growth.

Articles I enjoyed:
— Why Focus Is Critical to Growing Your Startup, Until It Isn’t
— The Real Value of PR for Startups

Articles bookmarked:
— Why Onboarding is the Most Crucial Part of Your Growth Strategy
— What Are Growth Teams For, and What Do They Work On?
— Feature/Product Fit

Dmitry Dragilev  

Dmitry Dragilev is the growth expert and founder of JustReachOut. Check out his articles if want to know how to pitch press or send cold emails the way people respond to you. Dmitry goes into details making every piece an exceptional guide.

Articles bookmarked:
— How to Develop a Marketing Communications Strategy on a Budget
— Email Pitch: 40 Best Cold Email Tips Proven To Get Press
— 100 Cold Email Subject Lines To Guarantee a Response

Ryan Battles  

Ryan Battles is an entrepreneur, web developer, designer, and marketer. For the past 10 years, he has worked with clients as large as Google down to small non-profit organizations. On his blog, Ryan shares his practical advice and marketing ideas.

Bookmarked articles:
— Analyzing 1,028 SaaS-Related Blog Posts: Key Takeaways
— Strategic Guide to Reposting Content on Medium and LinkedIn
— Tracking Conversions with Intercom

Bryan Harris  

Bryan Harris made 100’s of videos for himself and other people, he loves that. As for his blog, it’s about ideas and insights how to get more out of social networks and email list building. Bryan’s posts are way long and thus contain so many interesting details.

Bookmarked articles:
— The Ultimate Product Launch Plan: How We Made $220,750 with a New Product
— Download 11 Killer Lead Magnet Ideas & Templates

John Egan  

John Egan is the Head of Growth Traffic Engineering at Pinterest. On his blog, John shares insights and experiments from Pinterest. It’s engaging to read his practical posts seeing how a large company approaches growth.

Bookmarked articles:
— The 27 Metrics in Pinterest’s Internal Growth Dashboard
— When do features drive growth?
— How Pinterest increased MAUs with one simple trick

Sean Ellis 

Sean is the author of the term ‘Growth Hacking’, so he knows the deal. Sadly he stopped blogging in Jan 2017. But despite that, Sean’s blog contains a lot of highly valuable posts that are still relevant today.

Articles I enjoyed:
— Using Survey.io

Bookmarked articles:
— Getting to Product-Market Fit
— What are the Best Articles on Growth Hacking to Product/Market Fit?

Aaron Ginn  

Aaron studies people, habits and applies his studies to marketing and product development. He worked as Head of Growth at StumbleUpon. He doesn’t blog anymore, but still you can use Aaron’s blog as the source of ideas and insights.

Bookmarked articles:
— How to hire a growth hacker
— 8 practical tips for growth
What is a growth hacker?

Bonus: 300 Growth Case Studies

In addition to those authors, there are numerous growth cases online. They provide you inspiration, insights and practical advice.

We’re gathering links with such cases and explore them in the spare time.

At the moment that list consists of 300 links. I’d like to share it with you. Enter your email below and grab that list.

Get PDF List with 300 Growth Case Studies

A curated list of links with growth case studies and tips to get inspiration and insights.

Do you know other amazing authors who also write about growth? Tell me and others about them in the comments below.

Wishing you lots of growth.

P.S. Read my latest post on how to choose a Scrum Master: 12 Scrum Master Interview Questions of Real-World Situations.

Alex Kistenev

Alex is CEO and co-founder of Standuply where he's in charge of strategy and marketing. Alex is a snowboard fan and travel addicted. Contact him via Twitter or email.

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