Photo by Molly
I also have my own projects in the works, I have a home to maintain, and mustn’t forget to work on my fitness while I’m at it!
And I do it all with a smile while raising two crazy boys… so take THAT Super Mom!
So I won’t even get into the other stuff that comes along my plate, or we’d be here all day. BUT… despite all that busy-nass, I still try and make time to learn new things and allow myself to be inspired by other people.
Because come on ladies and gents.
Inspiration is important! Inspiration breeds passion, passion breeds… well… me wanting to elope with you to Rome and get dirty under the hairy eyeballs of angels and demons.
Ew… OK so maybe that mental picture isn’t as hot as I thought it would be. Moving on.
And so, shocker of all shockers… the best way for me to learn new things and be inspired is to read up on what other people are saying and thinking! And then hold an argument with myself on how stinkin’ cool some of these people are and how I need to step up my game if I want to keep up…
So yes, I read other people’s blogs and websites too, needle-miester.
But not just for the purpose of checking out the “competition” and holding arguments with myself. Honestly, I don’t think there is any real competition in the online community the way we know “competition” in the real world—the blogosphere is just so huge you can’t possibly run out of space (or readers) for one itty bitty blog or website.
But back to my point.
I read other people’s websites and blogs for inspiration… to learn something cool… and often just for the pure fun of it.
Some of them offer killer ah-ha moments, some offer killer motivational value, and some just make me laugh my ass off… and if they happen to do the other two while making me laugh my ass off… then they’re in line for some royal treatment when we elope to Rome. Just sayin’.
That said, I decided to put together a list of the 12 blogs that have got me hooked like a hobo on crack. Along with their names, I’ll reveal just how they did it…
The sneaky little son’s and daughter’s of parentsoutofwedlock! Hmphf.
Why am I sharing these little lovelies with you exactly? Well… because I feel like it. And I can. And I want to. And I will!
I like TMFP for its blatantly anti-ordinary image. Middle finger? Yeah!
Take it from their tagline: “Rejecting the status quo and rebelling against mediocrity.”
When you scroll down the page, your eyes will immediately be riveted to that big black box that serves like an automatic billboard, highlighting the most popular posts on the site.
The layout is clean and snappy so you won’t get tired or lost in all that content. Plus, it displays more than 10 recent posts per page so you can be sure to find and read one that you really like. And did I mention Ash is just fracken cool?
I rank TMFP a fave because it hits all my convoluted criteria… I spout ah-ha on a regular basis, I’m motivated when I’m done reading, and laughing my ass off is almost a given.
For me, ViperChill has that authentic Wall-E feel. The signature small Play-Doh man that accompanies every post is a cute addition to an otherwise esoteric topic. And you have to give Glen a standing ovation—he is one of those entrepreneurial success stories that really made it.
You would think a fifteen-year-old boy would be too wrapped up in girls, high school, and getting in trouble to worry about blogging and personal freedom, but not Glen. He was already making a name for himself by the time he turned sixteen. If that’s not enough to inspire you, I don’t know what is.
And now that he’s 21, look out world. He’s smart, legal, and knows where he’s going. And he’s taking his readers along for the ride! So go read his stuff and learn something will ya? I know I do!
BizChick’s number one advantage over every other blog I’ve come across is that she writes posts based on her readers’ questions, sort of like a FormSpring but definitely much more in depth and helpful. BizChick is a real woman, (named Tia) and she’s really using her blog to help out other women who also want to enter the entrepreneurial arena.
Tia’s design is nice and clean and easy to navigate, she writes in a no-nonsense but engaging style, and the quality of information is top-notch. Definitely a blog you can learn a little something from. AND she’s a mama… what’s not to love?
What sets IttyBiz apart from the rest of the crowd is that it offers real marketing services right off the site for anyone who’s interested in learning the ABCs of marketing without… well… actually learning the ABCs.
Or at least without hiring a full-time marketing department.
Per Naomi’s tagline- “Marketing for businesses without marketing departments”. ‘Nuff said.
With fresh ideas and practical tips, IttyBiz gives burgeoning enterprises the much needed boost they need to move along their merry way towards success.
The IttyBiz store offers a variety of marketing, social media and SEO virtual classes that you can use for your business, all the while reminding yourself that “You’re investing in your future”!
Ooooh, look, they’re giving away free ebooks!
Don’t we all love to receive something both free AND useful.
That’s what Exile Lifestyle is for. The greatest thing about the site and its owner, Colin Wright, is his ability to talk about things in a genuinely grounded and philosophical fashion.
Now don’t get all worried, I’m not saying that the content is going to bore you to tears—I mean that the posts are refreshing in a way that makes you think about your priorities, about society, and whatever else is knocking around in that noggin of yours in new and interesting ways.
I mean dude… even if you’re busy tweeting and maintaining your website and doing whatever it is that you do, we all need a little time to philosophize too. Who better to do it with than Colin himself?
You won’t find a site with a better title that just gets right down to business. I especially like the fact that Maren goes out of her way to talk to other bloggers and web-based entrepreneurs to ask them for their take on what’s shakin’ in the online realm.
Not to mention that in almost every single post she writes, you can literally feel her passion jumping off the page. It’s no wonder her blog is quickly rising and becoming quite the little hub of popularity.
Oh and scroll down to the very bottom of the page and you’ll find some of Maren’s quirky photos. As a self-proclaimed dork I’m quite partial to quirky. So my question for you is do you wish you could also escape the 9 to 5 rat race?
Well guess what grasshopper? You could, and YOU CAN. Just ask Maren. Tell her I told you to.
There’s nothing more inspiring, more practical and more believable than tips right from the lips of a blogger that’s worked hard to build something, and is finally seeing fruit from all that sweaty labor.
(OK, you’re right, how do I know if it was sweaty? I don’t, but I say so anyway!)
That’s exactly what the InfoPreneur is offering its readers. The site coaches its readers on how to be successful by showing them how T.I.P. did it his way. James’s “This is How I Do It” workbook can also be downloaded straight from the site.
But nothing lends itself better than a bit of social proof, so you’ll know that this site really rocks by checking out the long list of active commentators (who have websites of their own I might add) and their respective number of comments in the sidebar off to the left of the page. Boo-ya!
If you’ve heard of the phrase niche blogging, then Kikolani is the perfect example of a niche blogger.
In fact, this site is all about making sure that bloggers out there are armed with the essential tips, tricks, and tools to help them become successful.
With an emphasis on blogging and using social media, Kristi’s carved out a sweet little spot of cyberspace that her readers love her for and has more tricks in her little bag of tools than you might expect. She also regularly features guest posters which offer differing viewpoints and keeps things spicy. (Yours truly included.)
9. Mars Dorian
Remember what I said about The InfoPreneur’s many, many commentators? Well, Mars Dorian is just one of them. Talk about real community building!
Just when I thought that ViperChill’s little man is the cutest thing ever, I discover Mars Dorian’s amazing comic book style blog and I am blown away. I think he shoots the photos himself, does the photo-shopping himself, and packages everything into a neat little concept all by himself!
If you want passion and funky, out-of-the-box ideas to motivate and inspire you to be different, this is the site to find it. You definitely will NOT be bored.
Of all the sites in this list, BT is the only one with a WordPress look that’s a little more on the serious side. But that doesn’t mean that BT can’t make you smile.
If you want the advice of someone who’s had 10+ years of experience in the online community—yep, way before blogging even became a phenomenon—then you might better check out what Paul Cunnigham, the site owner has to say about blogging and all that goes with it.
You’ll hit jackpot with both the free online courses on email marketing and all the blogging tips. And despite the slightly more sober “voice” that Paul uses, what it all boils down to… is damn good content. The end.
Wait I’m not really done yet!
OK, I really think the name says it all don’t you? Virgin. Blogger. Notes. That must mean if you’re a new (read: virgin) blogger you might learn a little something!
I happened across Jean via the Infopreneur, and a little magic happened. I couldn’t resist subscribing to her blog because she made me laugh, and she couldn’t help subscribing to mine because I made her laugh. Total win-win though, don’t ya think?
Now my friend Jenny here is flipreakin’ funny! In case you need a definition of that word, that’s a nifty combo of flippin’ and freakin’… two of my favourite words in the English vernacular.
Yes, I make words up. I can do that.
But Jenny makes moves up. And she can do that. I highly advise you watch her dance video in the sidebar, and then go check out the 4 video contestants who recently submitted their own dance videos.
Jenny’s blog is sort of a hodgepodge of inane and funny observations and insights. Will it necessarily inspire you? Perhaps not. Will you laugh your ass off? Most definitely.
Per her tagline- “My .02 cents. You should take it. We’re in a recession.” But I’d advise you to hurry, because she’s entering a revamp phase soon, and I’m not yet sure how long her .02 cents will be available.
She was recently offered a fancy smancy NYC social media job, and switched her domain name over to her name instead of “Workin’ on a Ramp”… so… changes are coming!
(Hint: that means hurry up and visit her already!)
Sheesh… want me to hold up a green light or what?
So that’s it people.
My inspiration. My edu-mucation. My motivation. And my sh#%@ and giggles all rolled into one handy blog post you can bookmark and tweet like a psychopath.
Really, I’m not kidding.
Bookmark and tweet it like a crazy person! Facebook it too! I’m thanking you in advance. Muuuuah!
Oh and that little comment box below is just waiting for you to say something. Really. Just… waiting… waiting… wai- for cryin’ out loud are you going to make me wait all night?!