I put together a list of 16 of the most influential bloggers today and added their 3 most important lessons from various interviews, podcasts and articles throughout their careers.
1. Gary Vaynerchuck
He started his entrepreneur career right after college when he took over his family wine business, and within five years he grew it from $3M to a $60M. Currently, he runs a company called VaynerMedia, which helps brands leverage social and content marketing more effectively. Besides that, he is an angel investor to many huge companies out there, including Facebook, Twitter, Uber and Birchbox.
- Self-awareness. People have to recognize their strengths and accept their weaknesses. There is no point in checking all the boxes of society and wasting time on things that aren’t naturally in your DNA. Focus all of your attention on your strengths and don’t give a damn about what you suck at.
- Hustle. Hustle means that you make every single minute count, whether it’s parenting your children or building your business. While a lot of people are trying to find the shortcut or the magic fix to their life, he strongly believes that hard work and hustle will bring the actual results.
- Patience. When he started the wine show, nobody was watching it, and nobody cared. He kept doing it every day for a year when finally, people started to pay attention. Consistency, and not giving up when you don’t see the results is one of the keys to success.
2. Noah Kagan
In the early days of Facebook, he was the product manager for eight months. After being fired from Facebook, he became the director of Marketing at Mint. Currently, he is the Chief Sumo at Appsumo, where he helps entrepreneurs promote their content with various marketing tools.
3 lessons from Noah Kagan:
- Ask the right questions. He realized that once you start tweaking your questions, you can get so much better responses. Instead of asking boring questions, you should ask questions that reduce thinking and make thinking easier for other people. When you start doing that there is a bigger likelihood that you will get what you want. Next time you ask the questions, think if you really care about the answer, and how you could rephrase so as to get a better response.
- Learn how to deal with adversity. During the Facebook times, he was surrounded by the top performers in the industry. Even though he sometimes felt that he didn’t belong there or wasn’t the smartest person in the room, he appreciates where he is today and what he learned during that time.
- Make email your #1 focus. It gives you the ability to reach your consumer over and over again, more than any social network. Algorithms at Google change all the time and if you’re running a business, you can’t just count on that.
3. Ramit Sethi
He is a NYT bestselling author and probably most known for his blog iwillteachyoutoberich.com. He specializes in persuasion and behavioral change. Over 500,000 people have read his material and systems to live a Rich life.
3 lessons from Ramit Sethi:
- Saving $3 on lattes isn’t worth it. Instead of saving money, he believes that people should start learning about investing. The 3 key factors of investing are: #1 do your research, #2 be disciplined and #3 start early. Wherever stage you are in life, the most important thing for you is to get started right now and make it as simple as possible to maintain the investments.
- Focus on stuff that matters. We all have a limited amount of time in the day that we can spend on activities we enjoy. The goal is to focus on the activities that generate the biggest results long-term. Once you do that, you never have to worry about small and minor problems again.
- Avoid losers. He agrees that this argument is politically incorrect, but he believes that you should avoid them in your personal and professional life. You are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with, and if they are bringing you down constantly, how do you expect to become successful?
There is a limit to how much you can cut but there is no limit to how much you can earn. Click To Tweet
4. Neil Patel
Neil was recognized as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 by President Obama. He is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and Kissmetrics. Entrepreneur Magazine stated that he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the whole world. Mainly he helps fortune companies grow their traffic and revenue. Today, he has driven more than 800,00,000 visitors to his clients’ websites.
3 lessons from Neil Patel:
- Give away your best content for free. If you educate people and actually provide value, the people will appreciate that. Recently he spent $30,000 on an ultimate marketing guide, which he just gave away for free. It’s an excellent way to brand yourself as the top mastermind in your niche.
- Find people to connect with. He suggests that one of the fastest ways to grow an audience is to connect with social influencers. You can find these people at local events, social networks or forums. Connecting with influencers takes time, but when you are being genuine, then the newfound relationship will always pay off sooner or later.
- Leverage your email list. We all know that the money is in the list, but how many of us are actually using the list to its fullest potential? Neil points out that your email list will be the most effective way to connect with your audience.
I found that money doesn’t bring you happiness, doing something worthwhile for others is much more rewarding. Click To Tweet
5. Brian Dean
Brian Dean is an internationally recognized entrepreneur and SEO expert. He is a modern marketer, and he specializes in helping professionals reach a bigger audience with practical search engine strategies. He currently is collecting 200 emails a day from his website and is getting 90,000 monthly visitors.
3 lessons from Brian Dean:
- Reach out. When you are first starting off and your blog or website doesn’t have an audience, he believes that the smartest way to grow the audience is to email 250 people about your content. Brian suggests using tool Buzzsumo, where you can enter a few keywords related to your niche. From there the website will show you the pieces of content that have done really well on social media. From there he suggests sorting the list up by Twitter shares and exporting the list of an audience who has interest in a similar piece of content to the one that you are creating.
- Blow people’s minds. It’s really easy to write content that is mediocre. As you know, most of the blogs out there are still writing generic 400-500-word articles that actually don’t provide any value. There are already 164 million blogs online and chances are, if you’re not putting in the work to create amazing content, your work will get lost in the content deluge. Ditch the forgettable content and write epic stuff that actually helps people.
- Don’t write too much. Content marketing is huge, but Google and users don’t care how often you publish. They care about how epic the content is. One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is writing two pieces of average content per week, but instead they should write only one epic piece of content per month. If you can handle more, do two.
Online marketers MUST master the art of link building, user experience and content promotion. Click To Tweet
6. Pat Flynn
Forbes named him passive income whiz. He has earned more than $3 million over the last six years by creating websites about niches like becoming a security guard to growing a food truck business. He is best known for SmartPassiveIncome blog and podcast. He has more than 100,000 email subscribers and 9.5 million podcast downloads.
3 lessons from Pat Flynn:
- You don’t have to know everything. You don’t have to actually be the expert in a certain field to be successful. You just have to know more about your niche than the people who are looking for that information.
- Make passion your business. Before you start any business venture or even anything in life, figure out if you’re actually passionate about it. So many people run out of fuel and fail because their intentions weren’t driving them in the right direction. The passion should come first and money will be a byproduct.
- Don’t follow the crowd. If you want to succeed online, you shouldn’t do what everyone else is doing. It’s really hard to come up with something new, so instead of focusing on “brand-new”, think “better new”. Find something you like and improve it. You can do that by reading comments and being active on forums, so you’ll have a better understanding of your target audience. Once you understand the consumer, you’ll know what you can do differently and what you can improve.
If you don't share things that show you're a real person people will go to someone else. Click To Tweet
7. John Lee Dumas
3 lessons from John Lee Dumas:
- Don’t do anything just for money. He clearly believes that if you are doing something for money, then you need to stop it right now. Enter any field with passion and a real desire to help people. Don’t be blinded or misled by the dollar signs.
- Wake up early. One of the habits that contributes to his success is waking up every morning at 5:20 and exercising. He gets fluids in the body, eats right and seizes the day.
- Swallow your ego. Don’t be afraid to be an apprentice. Find someone who is successful in your field, and ask: “How can he give value to you?” Once you do that, there is a high chance you can absorb their success along the way.
8. Leo Babuta
He is the author of Zen Habits, which is a top 25 blog according to TIME magazine with over 240,000 subscribers. He is considered to be one of the leading experts on productivity and simplicity.
3 lessons from Leo Babuta:
- Content is the king. Be genuinely useful, helpful and always provide as much value as possible to your audience. Remove distraction from the website so people can fully focus on what you have to provide. Instead of worrying about how you’ll get 10,000 people on your email list, you should be worrying about writing the best next piece possible.
- Learn about marketing. If you have written amazing content, start networking, writing guest posts and leveraging social media. It takes time and a lot of effort, but if people like your content, they will eventually come.
- It’s all about the reader. If you put too many things on your blog with the intention to make money, then you’ve forgotten the reader and soon, the reader will forget about you. Everything you do should be for the people who take the time to read your blog. It’s magical if you have a connection with your audience.
Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re… Click To Tweet
9. Mark Manson
He is an author, personal development consultant and, most importantly, the founder of self-named blog Markmanson.net. More than 400,000 people read his site each month and his work has been published and quoted in The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Yahoo and CNN.
3 lessons from Mark Manson:
- Passion is practical. You can be motivated by something beyond simply money or glory. If you are pursuing your passion, it means that you will pursue your work with more energy, better clarity of ideas, an ability to want to work more than 9 hours a day, and so on.
- Deal with procrastination. Whenever you feel stuck or don’t want to do something, simply focus on doing one small viable action. For example, if you know you need to write something, tell yourself, “Just write one sentence today, and then I’ll be done”. Quite often one sentence will lead to five sentences and then it will turn into 2500 words. You can apply this strategy to other parts of your life because if you chunk up the task and start with a tiny step, there is a much greater success rate than trying to finish your big task all at once.
- Stop caring what people think. The vast majority of people in this world don’t care what you think, how you walk, how you dress or what you have to say. The beautiful thing is, this is liberating. You can be yourself and realize that it’s a good thing.
You cannot be a powerful and life-changing presence to some people without being a joke or an embarrassment to… Click To Tweet
10. Tim Ferris
He is the author of the famous #1 New York Times bestseller book “The 4 Hour Workweek”. Besides that, he is also an angel investor in Facebook, Twitter and other companies. He speaks 5 languages and is considered the Indiana Jones for the digital age.
3 lessons from Tim Ferris:
- Start now. Don’t wait for a green light, because perfect timing never comes. It’s always risky to make a big change in your life and the situations are never perfect. You’ll make mistakes, but you’ll learn along the way.
- Be the best at one thing. There are so many companies who try to implement new features constantly. Instead of adding all these new features, focus on just one or two things that consumers are asking about that add the most value. The internet is huge and you need to stand out from the huge crowd, and the easiest way to do it is to be absolutely amazing at one thing or niche, at least.
- Be comfortable with discomfort. He advises us to write down our fears and think if they really are rational. Ask yourself: “what’s the worst that could happen?” You need to put yourself in uncomfortable situations and step out of your comfort zone, because bravery pays off in life and in business.
11. Maria Popova
She is a Bulgarian blogger who is known for her blog BrainPickings. It’s one of the biggest blogs out there and it has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Wired UK and others. The blog is completely ad-free and supported by her readers. BrainPickings has a huge following on social media, with 3.7 million likes on Facebook.
3 lessons from Maria Popova:
- Take it easy. Meditate, go for a walk, ride your bike without knowing where you are going. There’s a lot of freedom and creative purpose to daydreaming. Some of the best ideas can come to us during these moments. Most importantly, sleep, because it affects our every waking moment and influences our moods.
- Anything worthwhile doesn’t happen overnight. She is a strong believer that overnight success is a myth. Flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom rapidly, and still so many of us are waiting for that magical fix when we can just be happy with the process, the tedium of the blossoming.
- Be generous. You have limited time, resources, credit to give and words to say. It’s always easier to be the critic than the supporter. If you want to live a happier life, learn to understand and be understood, because there is an opportunity for every interaction.
12. Seth Godin
He is the author of 18 books and many of them have been bestsellers all around the world. He runs a personally named blog, where he writes about ideas on marketing, leadership and quitting. He has some amazing insights and fresh perspectives with actionable lessons.
3 lessons from Seth Godin:
- Build remarkable products. You need to build something that is worth shouting about. If you are building junk, you might as well just procrastinate and watch TV. Innovation is important and building products that are worth talking about should be the central part of your strategy.
- One fan at a time. When Zuckerberg started Facebook, he didn’t have one billion users when he started off, right? He first told the idea to a few friends, who then told it to their friends and so on and on. People are generous and if you have something that is worth talking about, your product or service will take off.
- Trial and error. Society doesn’t want to talk about failure, but it’s important to be wrong and learn from it. Testing and failing will finally lead to a great lesson, and with that, you can solve your customers’ problems even better than ever.
Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from. Click To Tweet
13. Corbett Barr
He is a blogger, podcaster and co-founder of Fizzle. He teaches entrepreneurs how to grow their business, revenue and personal fulfillment in life. He has consulted fortune 500 companies and venture backed dozens of different startups.
3 lessons from Corbett Barr:
- Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive. There are so many entrepreneurs who are living well outside of the status quo all around the world. For example, Corbett and his wife traveled to Mexico and lived there for less than $1000 per month, which is one-third of the money that he regularly spends in the U.S.
- Learn from different sources. If you want to become an expert in any field, the smartest way to get there is by reading books and listening to other people’s experiences. Still, you need to find the balance between learning and doing, because it’s really easy to get caught up in one or another.
- Make mistakes and embarrass yourself. If you have ever started to learn a new language, you know the fear of making mistakes and embarrassing yourself by speaking incorrectly. But in doing so, you’ll learn and grow, and the sooner you get comfortable with making these errors, the faster you can learn a new skill.
14. Chris Ducker
He is one of the world’s top outsourcing experts and Virtual CEO’s. He has many businesses including Virtual Staff Finder and Live2Sell as well as a personal blog where he provides entrepreneurs with all the tools, tactics, and practices to grow a successful business in the 21 century.
3 lessons from Chris Ducker:
- Don’t forget your client. If you’re working on a project, then always deliver the highest quality, even if the budget is lower than usual. Being transparent with every single client is so important, and you never know if how much money you can make because people like to spread the word.
- SEO is still important. If you create solid content, you need to know how to promote it. Having a firm SEO will skyrocket your online videos, podcast episodes and blog posts. It’s a long-term investment that will bring you consistent traffic.
- Writing can be hard. When he started writing his first book, he was full of energy and passion in the beginning. It’s like when you launch your first product and service and you can’t sleep at night because you’re wondering how many sales the last hour brought in. Once the initial excitement is gone it can be a struggle, and sometimes you want to quit. There is no secret sauce, sometimes you need to take a break and return to the computer once you’re ready.
15. Gina Trapani
She is the CEO and founder of Lifehacker. She has written many bestselling books and has a really popular personal blog. Her net is considered to be more than $100 million dollars.
3 lessons from Gina Trapani:
- Have a doable to-do list. Nobody wants to see an email inbox with 3,555 unread messages. The same thing goes with endless to-do lists. It can be really depressing and overwhelming when the tasks seem to be endless. The rule of thumb is to keep the list short, to-the-point and always have under 20 items.
- Take time off. You’re supposed to work to live, not live to work. Sometimes it’s really easy to forget to eat and sleep because there is so much to do. Being mindful and taking care of yourself is one of the best things you can do. She tries to have one day off, where she doesn’t use the computer at all. It really helps her to get into a completely different mindset and switch gears.
- Patience. Lifehacker is one of the biggest blogs out there, and it got there one post at a time. For over 2 years she wrote thousands of words a day. The only thing that kept her going wasn’t money or ego, it was love, the best motivation in the whole world.
16. Derek Halpern
He is an expert marketer and entrepreneur. His blog has attracted more than 1,000,000 page views in a single day. He uses data-driven marketing with academic research to help people like him attract customers and sell more online.
3 lessons from Derek Halpern:
- Your name matters. He remembers the 17th-century artist Jan Vermeer who was mostly known for his deceptions of middle-class life. One of his paintings was sold for $30 million back in 2004, just because his name was attached to it. No matter what niche you are in, you need to actively build your name and brand.
- Say “no” more often. When he started off his blog in 2013, he traveled all around the world doing TV shows, podcasts and giving interviews. In 2014, he made a decision not to speak at any conferences. There are only 24 hours in a day, and he knew that if he wanted to take his business to the next level, he had to free up some time. It’s important to say “no” to some things, so you’ll be able to have time for things that truly make you happy.
- Get it done now and perfect it later. When starting a new project, people tend to strive for perfection. The problem with this is, nothing will ever be perfect and there is a danger of wasting a lot of time in the process. Focus on getting stuff done right now, and worry about getting it perfect later.
What you study in school, doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you study after you graduate, so go buy a book. Click To Tweet
There are only a handful of bloggers and entrepreneurs who are putting out really great content and are actually providing amazing value to people. I really believe that these 16 people all do that.
You might not be able to apply all these lessons to your personal or business life, but I’m sure you can implement a few.
Who is the entrepreneur that has inspired you the most?
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