Here’s five blogs which I have found a lot of value in recently:
The Nectar Collective by Melyssa Griffin (the best friend)
Melyssa Griffin brands herself as the type of girl you wished was your best friend. She’s funny, positive, passionate and down-to-earth. I discovered her blog part way through 2015, and it’s packed full of actionable tips and tutorials on how to improve your blog.
Here’s some of her content I’ve found value in reading:
- Her launch strategy for her online course – the amount of work she put in behind the scenes is incredible. She recommends sending more emails than you probably feel comfortable sending, using a Instagram and Periscope series, multiple webinars (on the same topic) and ramp up using affiliates. I’m interested in her ideas and approach since I’m working on my Launch Your Dream Food Blog course. The amount of work she put in behind the scenes is incredible. It’s a solid reminder to me that marketing is as big a part of the process (if not bigger) than content creation.
- Ideas for growing your email list by using social media – e.g. promote, promote, promote your offerings daily. As an introvert, this goes against my nature so it’s helpful having people encouraging me to do this. With social media reach being so low and with such a short half-life, it’s a good reminder that only I am seeing all my social media updates!
- Pinterest tips. Her Pinfinite Growth course was very helpful to me, and I learnt about Pinterest scheduling and looping tools such as TailWind and BoardBooster through her.
Femtrepreneur by Mariah Coz (the crazy flatmate)
If Melyssa was your best friend, then Mariah Coz would be your super intense, fast-talking bad-ass crazy flatmate. I discovered her through a Teachable summit late last year and have been fascinated by her approach and work ethic ever since. She describes her blog as “inspiration, no-bullshit guides, case studies and tools for the creatively self-employed…where I share all the details of all of my entrepreneurial experiments. Stuff like building blogs, niche websites, new e-commerce projects and product design and development.”
You only need to read through her year-end review to start to really get to know Mariah: “How I Built My Blog and Business to $100k/month in Less Than a Year (Month By Month Breakdown)”. It’s long, in-depth and full of intense details of what worked and what didn’t work for her in 2015. Like Melyssa, Mariah offs a lot of lead magnets in her blog (enticements to sign up to her newsletter).
The Sunday Dispatches by Paul Jarvis (the quirky cousin)
Hmm, so who would Paul Jarvis be? Your quirky (maybe reclusive?) vegan Canadian cousin out in the woods with pet rats, who is always inventing new things and saying something which will offend someone.
The first course I invested in last year for my business was Paul’s Creative Class which inspired me to change a few of the ways I do things and to start looking at creating my own course. Paul is a fantastic teacher – he explains step-by-step what he did, what tech he uses, the costs and what he’d do differently in the future.
Examples include podcasting, running a course and writing a newsletter.
His weekly newsletter is thoughtful, a little introspective and non-PC – e.g. “Sometimes I hate my guts“, “I don’t know what I’m doing” and “Find your rat people“.
Brain Pickings by Maria Popova (the Ph.D grad neighbor)
I’m in utter awe of Maria’s body of work. She’s the friendly-looking neighbor you’re a little intimidated to make conversation with, because she’s so highly education and well-read. It would be a disservice to call her blog as simply a book review site as it’s so much deeper and richer than that. It is a treasure trove of philosophy about life and all its meaning:
“Brain Pickingsis a cross-disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology, and more; pieces that enrich our mental pool of resources and empower combinatorial ideas that are stronger, smarter, richer, deeper and more impactful. Above all, it’s about how these different disciplines illuminate one another to glean some insight, directly or indirectly, into that grand question of how to live, and how to live well.”
Visiting Brain Pickings feeds my mind and my soul. Stepping into Maria’s space takes you somewhere else, far from the Facebook and BuzzFeed worlds. Her blog is the closest thing I experience to curling up on a chair enjoying reading a book printed on paper.
I cannot read fully appreciate her blog when I’m in a distracted, click-happy mood. Instead of linking you to a few articles, I encourage you to take time to get lost in her archives and come out a more informed person.
Baekdal Plus by Thomas Baekdal (the long-lost Uncle in Europe)
I subscribed to Thomas’ blog last year and got so much value for the small subscription fee. (Some articles are free, and some are paid.) His analysis work is well-researched, in-depth and lengthy. More importantly it is full of original insight and approaches to advertising, the future of media and analytics. In a world where there are so many articles all repeating the same things over and over in slightly different ways, Baekdal Plus stands out sharply.
I was inspired to write The 10 best-ever food blog ads after reading his article The Uncertain Future of Advertising.
(I have currently suspended my paid subscription but will pick it up again when I have the time to read his articles. Being head-down working on my course and other projects means I’m attempting to streamline the information I’m consuming in the short term.)
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