It goes without saying that a blogger must be a wide reader. However, considering the sheer volume of content churned out by the Internet every day, it’s necessary to be pickier about what you read. That’s why we’ve rounded up the following websites, which are must-reads for bloggers who wish to have more productive and satisfying careers.
What it is: True to its name, Be a Freelance Blogger (BAFB) is packed with information about freelance blogging. From pointers on writing epic blog posts, to tips on marketing your blog, and even the occasional motivational post, BAFB has you covered.
Why follow it: BAFB dishes out advice in a clear, no-nonsense, and entertaining manner. It also has the BAFB Community Forum where you can connect with other bloggers, as well as the Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs for blogging jobs worth at least USD50 per post.
What it is: Like BAFB, Boost Blog Traffic (BBT) is another exactly-what-it-says-on-the-tin blog. It’s geared towards professional bloggers who want to (drum roll) boost traffic to their blogs by gaining more readers, building email lists, and becoming experts in their niche.
Why follow it: Every single post on BBT is an example of blogging done right. You’ll find well-written, comprehensive, and inimitable pieces by blogging heavyweights like Jon Morrow, Henneke Duistermaat, and Glen Long.
What it is: If social media marketing is your bread-and-butter, chances are you’ve heard of Buffer. In case you haven’t, Buffer is an app that helps you manage multiple social media accounts, track relevant statistics, and work with your marketing team. Oh, and it has a blog too.
Why follow it: Most of Buffer’s blog posts are “bookmarkable”. They’re in-depth, scientifically-backed guides on the best practices for social media marketing—including tips on writing viral blog posts. Also, the content creators sometimes conduct and write about experiments related to social media, so you can be sure that their data are taken straight from the trenches.
What it is: Since its beginnings in 2006, Copyblogger has been the go-to website for people who want to learn how to write exceptional web copy. It has since expanded into a leading authority for content marketing, and delivers 5-6 posts a week on the subject for their e-mail subscribers.
Why follow it: Any blogger who wants to be updated on the latest developments in content marketing would do well to follow Copyblogger. Not only do they tell you what’s new, but they also tell you how to roll with it.
What it is: Smart Passive Income (SPI) is the brainchild of Pat Flynn, an online entrepreneur who, like many in his field, left—or, in Flynn’s case, was laid off from—a cushy 9-to-5 job to pursue a far more rewarding career. In his blog, Flynn writes about anything and everything related to online businesses, according to his own experiences.
Why follow it: If you can’t imagine the words “honesty” and “marketing” in the same sentence, read SPI right now. It’s full of firsthand accounts on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to doing business online—all without hard sells, paid consultations, and get-rich-quick promises.
What it is: Sparring Mind founder Gregory Ciotti describes his website as “a fresh take on creative work, productivity, human behavior and habits”. In other words, it’s quite an interesting place to visit.
Why follow it: You can’t be a successful blogger without at least a working knowledge of psychology. Ciotti—a developmental psych and neuroscience graduate—skillfully distills his knowledge of the subject into posts that are informative, insightful, and applicable to the daily lives of creatives in general.
What it is: Another interesting website is Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings. The site curates gems of knowledge from multiple fields such as psychology, history, technology, philosophy, science, art, and design.
Why follow it: Being well-versed in multiple subjects helps if you write content for the web. On her site, Maria Popova writes about these subjects so beautifully and so passionately, that you can’t help but be inspired to do the same.
What it is: Its one-word name pretty much sums it up: Entrepreneur is an online magazine for businesspeople, by businesspeople. Most of its articles are easily-scannable pieces, ready to be consumed by the businessperson on-the-go.
Why follow it: At some point in your career, you’ll have to decide whether you want to turn your blog into a business or not. If your decision’s in the affirmative, Entrepreneur is a good resource for business advice, what with gems of wisdom from the likes of Richard Branson (yes, THAT Richard Branson).
What it is: It’s a job board for bloggers of various niches, plain and simple.
Why follow it: Websites that curate blogging jobs usually source from Problogger, so if you want to land a new gig, check this place first before anywhere else. Also, job posters have to pay USD50 to have their job up on the site for 30 days, so the quality of jobs is kept at an optimal level. That said, it’s never a bad idea to conduct a background check anyway.
What it is: It’s a resource on everything related to writing: freelancing, blogging, productivity, marketing, publishing, etc.
Why follow it: Blogging is, first and foremost, writing. Before you even think about marketing, publishing, and getting your name out there through a blog, it’s a good idea to master the basics of “putting one word after another” first, as fantasy author Neil Gaiman put it. This seems obvious enough—until you’ve read enough blogs to realize that it’s not that obvious at all.
Just One More Thing
And that’s about it for the top 10 websites that bloggers should follow. If you can recommend any other site for bloggers that hasn’t been mentioned here, feel free to share them in the comments section.
AUTHOR: Although Issa Mirandilla can write about any write-able topic you can think of, she prefers to get her hands dirty in the fields of blogging, freelancing, productivity, psychology and business. Drop her a line on her website, or follow her on Twitter.