One of the best ways to learn about blogging is to watch other bloggers.
Read their posts. Check out their sites. Get a feel for what each blog is about and a sense of what you like and don’t like.
Compare writing styles. Are the posts formal or casual, long or short? Are they mainly personal stories, business topics, advice, or a combination? Lengthy paragraphs or quick, short bites?
Evaluate the reasons for the blog’s popularity or why it looks like a sinking ship. What’s done right? What are the problems?
A lot of factors combined make a blog successful: interesting topics, solid writing, good blog design, and some form of marketing, just for starters.
But a strength in one area can cancel out a weakness in another.
Sometimes the writing isn’t all that great, technically. But the personality that shines through or the inspiration, lesson, or shock value in a blog post can make the writing itself less important.
The information alone might make it worth a visit or a subscription, even if you don’t hang around for long or comment.
Then there are those startling facts, surprising revelations, or sleight of hand in the headlines and content—subtle psychological manipulation—that can get controversy going and even make the post go viral.
In some cases, the blog design might not be all that great, or you might see just a lot of white space, but the message is one that people want to hear.
Keep in mind that what one reader considers an interesting topic, great blog design, or good writing might be different from what another reader likes.
The topic or purpose can dictate the blog’s design and even writing style. Many personal development or writing sites favor a minimalist look, while business and marketing sites sometimes look cluttered. But it all comes down to the owner’s personal tastes and business or design savvy not to mention budget.
Keep your eyes, ears, and mind open, and be sure to read the “About” or “Welcome” pages. Check out videos and podcasts, and don’t forget to browse through the comment sections.
The last five sites listed here aren’t individual blogs, but they’re great places to find other popular blogs and some good reading, and any blogger should be familiar with them.
Which blogs do you think should be on this list? Add them in the comments.
- Lifehacker Adam Pash, Editor-in-Chief
- Man vs. Debt Adam Baker
- Copyblogger Brian Clark
- Brian Gardner Brian Gardner
- Productive Flourishing Charlie Gilkey
- Chris Brogan Chris Brogan
- chrisg.com Chris Garrett
- The Art of Non-Conformity Chris Guillebeau
- Think Traffic Corbett Barr
- Daily Blog Tips Daniel Scocco
- Daily Writing Tips Daniel Scocco
- white hot truth Danielle LaPorte
- Problogger Darren Rowse
- Digital Photography School Darren Rowse
- Blog Marketing Academy David Risley
- Kommein Deb Ng
- Social Triggers Derek Halpern
- The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin
- Men With Pens James Chartrand
- Dumb Little Man Jay White
- The Creative Penn Joanna Penn
- John Chow dot Com John Chow
- Johnny B. Truant Johnny B. Truant
- The Badass Project Johnny B. Truant
- Boost Blog Traffic Jon Morrow
- jonathanfields Jonathan Fields
- Storyfix Larry Brooks
- Write to Done Mary Jaksch and Leo Babauta
- Zen Habits Leo Babauta
- mnmlist Leo Babauta
- Lolly Daskal Lolly Daskal
- Tiny Buddha Lori Deschene
- Freelance Folder Mason Hipp and team
- Remarkablogger Michael Martine
- Social Media Examiner Michael Stelzner
- Big Brand System Pamela Wilson
- Smart Passive Income Pat Flynn
- Penelope Trunk Penelope Trunk
- Seth Godin’s Blog Seth Godin
- StevePavlina.com Steve Pavlina
- Positively Positive Positively Positive, LLC
Three more for the road:
Oh, just one more—I can’t resist! If you really want to find even more great blogs and “new media experts,” head on over to New Media Expo (the event formerly known as Blogworld and New Media Expo).