My name is Alex, I am a blogaholic, and this is a post about inspiration, about traffic generation, about building relationships, and of course about Blogging. I spent more time coming up with a title that might reflect all of this than I did actually drafting the content, but then I love trying to be punny and clever and I’m sure “My most influential Blogs” would have sufficed – but what fun would that be? Also, I’m sure I speak for a lot of us when I say that once we start writing a post, it’s stopping that can be the tricky bit. Man I love blogging!
This is the list of the 12 bloggers who have been most influential to me in the short time that I have existed in the blogosphere.
The blogs here are an eclectic mix of people and personalities, but underlying each and every one of them is an inspirational story and a traffic generation lesson or two. One thing you will notice is that none of these blogs are huge authority sites with far reaching influence. The reason for this is that I find more inspiration in the start ups. The little bloggers who are in the trenches doing the hard work to build their brand and their traffic. I can relate to these guys, and when I comment on their posts, they usually come and do the same here – more testament to the power of consistency and the snowball effect building relationships in the blogosphere can have.
Go and comment on these blogs and your own traffic WILL INCREASE. (guaranteed!)
THE DIRTY DOZEN (in no particular order)
1. James Richmond @ The infopreneur (the power of taking action…A LOT)
OK James is almost too big for this list now, but considering how long he has been blogging, this is an amazing feat and speaks volumes for the power of providing consistent value and just ‘crushing it’ each and every day. What James has done to influence me the most is show us ‘how he does it’ as well as providing a hub for bloggers to engage and build relationships. The Infopreneur site is almost like a blogging forum and James has done a fantastic job of nurturing an environment where the comment threads on each post are so long that by the time I scroll down to add mine the wheel in my mouse needs replacing! James is also responsible for me finding over half of the bloggers on this list, but then ‘great minds think alike’ … or is that ‘fools never differ’?
2. Scott @ Scott Barron Online (the power of viral blog commenting )
I’m going to start with Scott because he is the only thing that my Norton 360 anti virus did not catch in the firewall. Seriously this guy is viral and a true testament to the power of blog commenting and having an awesome personality. Scott found me through a post on icebluebanana (coming up) and promptly started commenting on my posts. His honesty is refreshing and his enthusiasm is contagious, and if you are after ideas for posts, just invite Scott into your comment thread and watch the questions and ideas start flowing. (you’ll have a good laugh too) Scott is also really good at finding great blogs and one look at his blogroll will give you a great mix of sites to explore. (Maybe I should just cut and paste his blogroll into this post?)
3. Mark @ Ice Blue Banana (the power of the Retweet)
Mark started his blog icebluebanana.com in march 2010 as “A community where people act creatively to challenge each other to improve whatever they find to be lacking.” and looking at the community he has grown in that time is truly inspirational. Mark originally came to my attention because he RETWEETED one of my posts. Speaking with Mark about this he says “I retweeted that post because it was really well written” And although I thank him for the kind words, I think the fact that he took the time to share the love is the reason he entered my radar in the first place. Mark regularly retweets good posts, and I would hazard a guess that this has contributed to the fabulous community he has grown at icebluebanana.
4. Jeffrey @ Bloggers Market (the power of being supportive)
Jeffrey was the very first person to take his time and come and visit me when I was still talking to nobody. Remember that frustrating time (hell, I think I still feel it sometimes) where you just sort of wonder if anyone is reading this? You know success comes from consistency, but sometimes it gets a bit lonely when you are first starting out. Jeffrey found me via twitter and even though I was a nobody he came over and made a comment along the lines of ‘great blog Alex with lots of potential, but you should post more often – isn’t your blog worth more than that?’ This line has been placed on my wall at home and is a gentle reminder to ‘Just keep Swimming’. Jeffrey writes about Blogging, traffic generation and list building techniques and I really like his style too. Thanks Jeff for being supportive and asking for nothing in return.
5. Karen Ruby @ A Meaningful Existence (the power of the USP)
To steal Karen’s words “I’m Karen Ruby and I write articles about personal development and the journey of putting meaning into your existence.” What we can learn from Karen is the importance of consistent content around a well defined USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Karen first came to my attention through the Infopreneur.net and is now a regular guest poster on this amazing blog. What attracts me most to Karen is her writing style and the sheer hard work that clearly goes into each and every post. Her latest one lists 50 inspirational quotes. AMAZING! Oh yeah, and like most bloggers on this list, if you leave a comment, she will engage and even visit you back.
6. Jean Berg-Sarauer @ Virgin Blogger Notes (the power of blog commenting)
To steal her words, “Virgin Blogger Notes is a safe, supportive space for beginning bloggers to learn how to start and grow a blog.” Jean has done a brilliant job of nurturing this USP to fruition and the only thing that works harder than Jean is your tongue when attempting to say her name. Jean can be found in the top commentators thread on a lot of the blogs on this list as well as a myriad of others of course and this in itself explains how and why her blog virginbloggernotes is doing so incredibly well. This social proof is reflected in her own comments thread which are beginning to grow longer than the article itself. Jean writes about blogging and online business and her brand new header (which she won – Awesome jean!) helps define her USP even more. Jean is currently writing a mystery novel and her skills in this area are quite evident as soon as you start reading her posts. Seriously Jean, if you are reading this, you have THE BEST writing style I have seen (apart from mine)
7. Sally Neill @ SallyNeill (the power of honesty and social proof)
Although the same could be said for all the bloggers on this list, Sally’s approach to blogging and her writing style are refreshingly honest. Sally is a student of Alex Jeffrey’s and is in the process of building her business online, and her refreshing posts provide really great insight into the process behind building up your Modus Operandi and business ideology. Another thing Sally has in spades is SOCIAL PROOF. I am a student of Yaro Starak (among others) and the importance of social proof is drilled into us at all levels of our blogging career. I don’t know what the secret is, but each and every post Sally writes is filled with comments from a gamut of readers. Again this is more proof of the power of being yourself, being honest, and having an awesome personality that you let show in your writing. Perhaps that’s the secret here?
8. Brandon Connell @ BrandonConnell (the power of consistent content)
I found Brandon through Scott (again) and subscribing to his RSS feed almost crashed my Google Reader. Ok not really, but seriously this guy pumps out content like George W pumped out intangible sentences! Not only are his posts short and insightful, they are so regular that even Scott Barron can’t keep up with the commenting hahahahaha! Brandon writes about blogging, business, SEO and PR since his offline talents are aligned to these skillsets. Checking out Brandon’s blog one could easily be mistaken for thinking it’s a few years old now, which it isn’t – and that speaks volumes for his design skills and the rate at which he pumps out content. Brandon makes it clear what his goals are, and does it in such a way that I want to help him with that process – not that he needs it.
9. Joshua Black @ The Underdog Millionaire (the power of product creation)
Joshua is the blogger I want to grow up and be like (I hope the ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ rule applies here – he looks scary) Josh is the Underdog Millionaire and writes about online business in general. He specialises in helping you define your USP, create amazing sales letters, make the most from your marketing efforts and build up your online presence. He studies marketing, business, and sales with such an addiction that there is probably a place that he needs to get help for it. (He said it, not me!) The thing that inspires me most about Joshua is his ability to create products where there is a gap in the market and then cleverly market these in exactly the right formats and times, whether through email or blog posts. I have not purchased any yet, but will definitely become a customer at some point when it becomes applicable to me. Joshua is also living proof of the power of blog commenting. Everytime I go to a blog to comment, there he is already –rock on! Oh yeah, and his dog gives high fives for biscuits. Awesome!
10. Mars Dorian @ MarsDorian (the power of branding – and being a complete nutjob!)
Mars is about as out there as his planets namesake! And considering he writes about personal branding and your online presence, this can only be a good thing. Mars is also someone I found through the infopreneur ‘forum’ and I’m sure glad I did. Mars has a writing style all of his own and ironically it’s in his style that we learn the most, not simply the content. I honestly believe that Mars was a Japanese manga character in a past life, and if pushed into a corner, will surely fire sonic booms or ‘are-uken’ the bejesus out of you. What appeals most to me about Mars is his consistent ‘out there’ style and his likable character. I don’t even know the guy but I wish I did! (Now that is effective branding!)
11. Matthew Needham @ The Big Red Tomato Company.co.uk (the power of business branding)
In the words of Matthew himself: “ This website supports the work of The Big Red Tomato Company. It’s about sharing our knowledge and building our profile and promoting our services, whether that’s for consulting, interim management or web based mentoring and coaching.” What appeals to me most about Matthew is his personal plight to build both the brand of the Tomato Co. and spread the influence of his own name at the same time. Already he has created a fantastic branded eBook on achieving your dreams and the best part was that he consulted the community he helped foster to get ideas on where it should be headed. Truly a blogger for the people and by the people (and he’s not even an American)
12. Mike Roosa @ MikeRoosa (the power of documentation)
Mike is a fellow Blogger and internet marketer who is moving ahead in his blogging career in leaps and bounds. Already in the past few weeks he has added to his Blog look, experimented in building sites, flipping sites, building niche sites, testing Adsense – the list goes on. What Mike does that so many others in this space fail to do is he ‘takes action and documents this’ I love checking out MikeRoosa.com just to see what he is experimenting with today and how I can learn from this. He has a really clean site and for the time that he has been actively blogging, he really has his shit together (excuse my French). I also like that Mike is experimenting in a very similar space to me which helps keep me on my toes and is a good reference.
Now it’s your turn to go and STAND OUT!
Well, that’s all from me for now. There are plenty of other blogs that I frequent that really do have an impact on my own business ventures, but for now, since we’re at 2160 words now, maybe it’s time to sign off. If I missed you, sorry guys, there’s always next time, besides – this was also a post looking at effective traffic generation techniques. Hope you learnt a thing or two!
Now go and comment on each and every one of these blogs and watch your traffic increase as a result.