“If you only read the stuff that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” — Haruki Murakami
What was once a manageable undertaking, reading is now a mind-numbing decision between hundreds of thousands of blog posts, ebooks and podcasts — most of which are poorly done, fake, wrong and/or just downright useless.
Because I read a lot — like a lot, a lot — as well as curate a weekly newsletter of the best things I read each week, I’m often asked what my favorite blogs are.
@LaurenHolliday_ Hi! Do you have a list of your favorite blogs? You always share such great content and I’m looking for more things to read!
— Marissa Vessels (@marissavessels) July 6, 2017
So I scrolled through my Pocket to see what blogs popped up the most and developed this comprehensive list of my “favorite” blogs.
My list covers a wide spectrum of topics (as I love to read about a lot of different things so I can connect dots faster) and all are trustworthy (according to me).
This list is in no particular order, and as I’m sure I missed some noteworthy blogs, please do leave recommendations in the comments below, along with why it’s a phenomenal blog and who would enjoy reading it.
Here are the categories I cover:
Growth Lab teaches SMBs how to start, build and grow their businesses through ACTIONABLE, step-by-step, meaty blog posts. And when I say meaty, some are 30-40 minute reads.
Trend Watching is one of my favorite hidden gems. They publish one free briefing per month, and they are ALWAYS WAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE!
First Round Review features 4,000+ word interviews with the smartest startup founders and their employees. The interviews are told in a story-like format with actionable advice weaved in throughout each post.
Product Habits publishes “the best content for creating better products.” Product teams, startup founders and marketers will all enjoy Hiten Shah’s content.
GrooveHQ’s blog theme is “Journey to $10M a Year.” It features step-by-step, actionable case studies for massively scaling businesses.
Shopify’s blog is phenomenal. It teaches entrepreneurs how to build profitable businesses online. Its blog posts are actionable and meaty.
Four Hour Work Week isn’t just a blog, it’s a lifestyle (and book). On it, Tim Ferriss provides readers with actionable advice that spans the spectrum of productivity, making money, personal development, health and marketing/scaling.
Nathan writes meaty posts about design and marketing. Do you want to become a better designer? Or build audiences and sell products? You’ll learn both on this blog.
Crew is a freelancer marketplace for designers and developers. Its blog centers around productivity, creativity and growing your startup.
Proft Well or Price Intelligently’s blog is the best blog on pricing strategies for entrepreneurs.
A modern blog on all aspects of entrepreneurship by CNBC.
Sumo publishes the same type of actionable content as Kagan’s other site: OkDork.
HubSpot’s blog is the original inbound marketing blog. While most of its content is now aimed at new marketers, sometimes you get some advanced gems!
This blog is owned by the conversion rate optimization (CRO) agency, known as Conversion Rate Experts. It features in-depth case studies, usually about real results it delivered for its clients.
ConversionXL is one of the most popular blogs on conversion optimization, featuring actionable optimization advice, the latest research and detailed process maps on conversion optimization and data-driven growth.
Learn more about all things marketing through actionable, proven case studies and tactics by the Global Head of Growth & SEO at HubSpot.
This is HubSpot’s Medium publication that shares stories, insights and ideas to help readers grow their businesses.
Long-form essays on growth and cool things going on in Silicon Valley.
DigitalMarketer is the premier online community for digital marketing professionals. It’s a place where you can learn how to market like a pro, connect with industry experts, and get the strategies and tools you need to grow and scale your business to new heights.
Brian Balfour writes detailed essays on growth and user acquisition to help you build a growth machine.
Who owns it?
Gaps is a bootstrapped, three-man operation with the sole focus of helping create more online success stories by sharing unique business opportunities based on profitable case studies.
Backlinko teaches readers how to rank higher in Google and increase traffic. This is *the* most actionable, in-depth blog on SEO out there.
Ahrefs teaches readers advanced marketing and SEO tactics. You’ll find detailed tutorials, case studies and opinion pieces from marketing practitioners and industry experts alike.
Similar to Ahrefs blog, the Moz blog will teach you everything you need to know about marketing and SEO.
Jon Loomer’s blog is all about Facebook ads — for the *advanced* Facebook marketer.
Hootsuite’s AdEspresso has a badass “academy” that not only features meaty posts about Facebook ads but also insightful, in-depth guides and resources.
SME’s mission is to help readers navigate the constantly changing social media jungle. It features original, comprehensive articles, expert interviews, original research, and the news you need to improve your social media marketing.
One of the absolute best copywriting — excuse me, kopywriting — blogs you’ll read.
Copyhackers teaches its readers how to boost conversions with words that drive people to take action. It will teach you to write copy that you’re proud to show off on your portfolio.
Copyblogger teaches readers how to create killer online content. Not bland, corporate crap created to fill up space. Valuable information that attracts attention, drives traffic and grows your business.
Quartz at Work is a guide to being a better manager, building a career, and navigating the modern workplace.
99U is an online publication for smart creatives — designers, writers, entrepreneurs, marketers, etc. It kind-of reminds of Paul Jarvis.
HBR helps you navigate all your workplace conundrums. From abusive bosses to staying focused in the office and the future of work, HBR covers it all.
Harvard Business Publishing
TED has even more phenomenal content hidden on its ideas’ blog. The posts are classic TED — just like the videos but written — for us people who prefer to read instead.
freeCodeCamp writes the meatiest blog posts about development, design and data science. Not interested in those topics? Me neither, but I still LOVE reading this blog.
Ramit Sethi turned his bestselling book into a hugely popular blog. On it, he shares proven tactics for salary negotiation, interviewing and getting rich.
Firehose’s blog teaches developers how to land a job and learn how to code… the right way. I also find some of its posts totally relatable as a non-developer.
The goal of this blog is to give readers the tools to identify and transform the limiting beliefs that keep you stuck. The blog offers more than 800 articles on happiness, productivity, emotional intelligence, relationships and self-improvement.
Marc and Angel Chernoff
There’s no sugarcoating with Mark Manson. That’s why I love his blog. He covers everything from happiness to dating to habits and self-knowledge.
Brain Pickings is a one-woman labor of love — a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why. Mostly, it’s a record of Maria Popova’s own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — and an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life.
Science of Us is a smart but playful window into the latest science on human behavior, with the goal of enlightening, entertaining and providing useful information that can be applied to everyday life.
New York Magazine
Seth Godin is probably the only person — besides Jason Fried — who can get away with writing such ridiculously popular short posts. The man really makes you think and question the norm.
The Players’ Tribune is written by professional athletes. Don’t write them off if you’re not into sports. I’m totally not into sports, but I find the content just completely motivating.
“Strong opinions and shared thoughts on design, business, and tech. By the makers (and friends) of Basecamp. Since 1999.”
Wait but Why is hilarious and, most of the time, pretty damn insightful. It’s also eerily on-point. Tim says what we’re all thinking. The blog isn’t about one specific topic, and it’s known for its signature stick figure comics.
Thrive Global’s mission is to end the stress and burnout epidemic by offering companies and individuals sustainable, science-based solutions to enhance well-being, performance, and purpose, and create a healthier relationship with technology.
Barking up the Wrong Tree is written by Eric Barker. He answers all of your life questions and backs it up with science-based facts and expert insights.
James studies successful people across a wide range of disciplines — entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, and more — to uncover the habits and routines that make these people the best at what they do. Then, he shares what he learns via his blog and newsletter.
Ladies, don’t let its name fool you. This blog offers lots of hidden gems for us as well — from practical career advice and productivity tips to basic social etiquette.
It’s called The Book of Life because it’s about the most substantial things in your life: your relationships, your income, your career, your anxieties.
Similar to Wait but Why, The Oatmeal features funny[-looking] comics that are so funny because they’re true.
Scott Young answers the question: “What’s the best to way learn?” on his blog. He teaches you everything he’s learned about learning and thinking. Super interesting stuff!
Josh Spector features a collection of curated and original things worth knowing, worth doing, and worth recommending on For The Interested.
The Todoist blog is obviously about all things productivity. Its in-depth guides offer great insights to how to be more efficient — with or without Todoist.
Farnam Street is helps readers develop an understanding of how the world really works, make better decisions and live a better life. Shane Parrish address topics like: mental models, decision making, learning, reading and the art of living.
Who owns it?
Zapier, the wildly popular workflow automation tool, has a phenomenal blog. Its in-depth, tactical posts will teach you how to be more productive in no time.
Danny Schreiber is the marketing director at Zapier.
Time is your most valuable resource. Learn how to use it efficiently. And don’t let this name fool you either. I’m far from an engineer, but I do extract little gems of productivity inspiration here.
“Don’t let the name fool you – this website is for anyone who is interested in time management and productivity, not just Asians.”
NY Mag has a few different publications I just love, such as SelectAll, The Cut and The Science of Us. The content is forward-thinking and usually provacative.
While I tend to steer clear of Quartz’s hard news posts, I tend LOVE its more feature-esque posts — a lot of which are syndicated from other popular blogs.
While I don’t love Bloomberg’s political stories, I do love its meaty feature stories.
Aeon is a digital magazine of ideas, philosophy and culture. Publishing new articles every weekday, Aeon describes itself as a publication which asks the biggest questions and finds the freshest, most original answers, provided by world-leading authorities on science, philosophy and society.
Paul and Brigid Hains
CJR’s mission is to be the intellectual leader in the rapidly changing world of journalism. Through its fast-turn analysis and deep reporting, CJR is an essential venue not just for journalists, but also for the thousands of professionals in communications, technology, academia, and other fields reliant on solid media industry knowledge.
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Each month Nautilus chooses a single topic, and each Thursday it publishes a new chapter on that month’s topic. Each issue combines the sciences, culture and philosophy into a single story told by the world’s leading thinkers and writers.
Paul is the creator of the Creative Class. He writes articles about creating a better (not necessarily bigger) business for smart creatives.
This blog is great for new and old freelancers who want to earn more money and work with better clients.
This blog is created by a remote design and development agency, called Hanno. It takes about its processes a lot, which I enjoy, and definitely can teach freelancers a thing or two about running a business/firm.
Nir & Far is about the intersection of psychology, technology and business. Also known as “behavioral design,” topics include: UX, behavioral economics and a dash of neuroscience.
Digital Telepathy is a top UX design agency, and it’s blog is great! It’s about all things design-related.
Orbit Media builds websites. Its blog features posts about all things web design and marketing.
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