The 100 Blogs You Need in Your Life (LWB 100 — 3rd Edition)

Every artist was first an amateur ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (tweet this)

A painter painting.The vast majority of us are far more capable than we give ourselves credit for. Proof of this is all around us — there are people who have achieved more than me in their lives with less opportunity, education and experience. But this doesn’t get me down. Quite the opposite in fact — it acts as inspiration. It provides me with great motivation to achieve more with my own life.

And when it comes to achieving more it comes down to one simple concept: making the most of your available time. We all only have 24 hours available to us every day so it is those amongst us that use time wisely that prosper (in every sense of the word). And in the same way that every artist was first an amateur, every successful, happy and fulfilled business owner was once a shadow of his or her former self. No matter the position you’re in now, you’re capable of being so much more.

In this, the third edition of my LWB 100 series, I aim to provide you with the material that will enable you to make the most of your time. In doing so you can transform yourself from the proverbial amateur into a true artist of your chosen craft.

What Makes this Different

For those of you who don’t know, the LWB 100 is a list of my hundred favorite blogs that can help you leave work behind — quit your job, build your own successful online business and (most importantly) live a fulfilled and enjoyable life. It is the result of countless hours of research and reading — each and every blog on the list has been personally scrutinised and handpicked.

With this being the third edition of the LWB you may be wondering what it has to offer over previous editions. Well for starters, the list features 23 brand new blogs — nearly a quarter of the list is brand new. But that’s not all. This edition of the LWB features my personal picks per category, which you will find directly below the list. If you are rather overwhelmed at the prospect of browsing through 100 blogs then you’ll be better served by starting with my personal favorites.

Before You Start

There are a few things you should take note of before starting with the list:

  • You can sort the blogs numerically and alphabetically by clicking on the relevant header.
  • Each blog has been categorized by a consideration of its main focus, and the entire list can be sorted by category by clicking on the relevant header. If you feel that a blog has been incorrectly categorized, please let me know.
  • If you feel that a worthy blog has been missed off the list, please let me know! It may not have made the cut, or I may have missed it. Either way, I would like to know.

With that said, let’s get to it!

The Leaving Work Behind 100 [3rd Edition]

#
Name
Category
1SEOmoz BlogSEO
2CopybloggerWeb Content
3ProBloggerBlogging
4Social Media ExaminerOnline Marketing
5Four Hour Work Week BlogLeaving Work Behind
6Daily Blog TipsBlogging
7Seth GodinOnline Marketing
8Freelance SwitchFreelancing
9Zen HabitsPersonal Development
10QuicksproutInternet Marketing
11Get Rich SlowlyPersonal Finance
12Occam's RazorSEO
13Smart Passive IncomeInternet Marketing
14The Unbounce BlogOnline Marketing
15Brian GardnerInternet Marketing
16Steve PavlinaPersonal Development
17Chris BroganOnline Marketing
18Shoe MoneyInternet Marketing
19Entrepreneur's JourneyInternet Marketing
20Michael HyattEntrepreneurship
21Basic Blog TipsBlogging
22Social TriggersOnline Marketing
23KISSMetricsOnline Marketing
24MixergyEntrepreneurship
25KikolaniOnline Marketing
26Duct Tape MarketingOnline Marketing
27Famous BloggersBlogging
28Buffer BlogOnline Marketing
29Marie ForleoLeaving Work Behind
30Freelance FolderFreelancing
31ViperchillInternet Marketing
32Dumb Little ManPersonal Development
33Think TrafficOnline Marketing
34Traffic Generation CaféOnline Marketing
35Income DiaryInternet Marketing
36The Art of Non-ConformityLeaving Work Behind
37Smart Blog on Social MediaOnline Marketing
38Derek SiversEntrepreneurship
39Write To DoneFreelancing
40Young Pre ProFreelancing
41Nerd FitnessPersonal Development
42Rise To The TopEntrepreneurship
43Point Blank SEOSEO
44The Sales LionOnline Marketing
45Kaiser the SageSEO
46White Hot TruthLeaving Work Behind
47Men With PensWeb Content
48Startup Lessons LearnedEntrepreneurship
49Man vs. DebtPersonal Finance
50Firepole MarketingOnline Marketing
51chrisg.comOnline Marketing
52ConversionXLOnline Marketing
53Niche PursuitsNiche Sites
54Location 180Leaving Work Behind
55Danny BrownOnline Marketing
56Jonathan FieldsEntrepreneurship
57Blog Marketing AcademyBlogging
58Paid to ExistLeaving Work Behind
59Change Your Thoughts - Change Your LifePersonal Development
60Live Your LegendLeaving Work Behind
61My Wife Quit Her JobeCommerce
62Make A Living WritingFreelancing
63Adrienne SmithBlogging
64AdSense FlippersNiche Sites
65Retire @ 21Entrepreneurship
66Sparring MindOnline Marketing
67Pushing SocialOnline Marketing
68Success WorksSEO
69Passive PandaEntrepreneurship
70Online Income TeacherInternet Marketing
71Escape From Cubicle NationLeaving Work Behind
72The Suitcase EntrepreneurLeaving Work Behind
73Chris DuckerOnline Marketing
74PotPieGirlSEO
75Steve Scott SiteInternet Marketing
76Jeff KorhanOnline Marketing
77Tropical MBAInternet Marketing
78eCommerce FueleCommerce
79Make Money On The InternetInternet Marketing
80Eventual MillionaireEntrepreneurship
81Exile LifestyleLeaving Work Behind
82Content VerveWeb Content
83Alexis GrantLeaving Work Behind
84Mike From MaineInternet Marketing
85Prolific LivingLeaving Work Behind
86Motivational MemoPersonal Development
87Reviews 'n' TipsBlogging
88Get Busy LivingLeaving Work Behind
89Grad Meets WorldLeaving Work Behind
90Income PressInternet Marketing
91Dollars and RosesInternet Marketing
92The Word ChefOnline Marketing
93Foolish AdventureInternet Marketing
94Build A Little BizEntrepreneurship
95Virtual Miss FridayOnline Marketing
96Create As FolkEntrepreneurship
97Marketing WiseOnline Marketing
98Forever JoblessEntrepreneurship
99Life StokedPersonal Development
100A Life On Your TermsLeaving Work Behind

The Best of the LWB 100

I’m not going to lie — that’s a lot to get through! And while I know from past experience that plenty of people will enthusiastically dig into the list and start consuming content, in this edition of the LWB 100 I want to give you alternative means of checking out my favorite blogs. Below you will find my personal picks from the LWB 100 by category.

Blogging

Picking a favorite here is a toughie, especially considering that there are plenty of “blogging blogs” that didn’t even make it onto the list (generally because they’re a little too technical and far removed from the whole Leaving Work Behind mindset). Having said that, my pick has to be ProBlogger. I’m pretty sure it was the first blog I actually came across when I started my journey and also happened to be the catalyst for the launch of my freelance writing business (via the ProBlogger Job Board).

There loads more to love here though — I’d like to mention Daily Blog Tips and Famous Bloggers in particular which both offer a tonne of great advice relating to the art of blogging.

eCommerce

There are only two blogs to pick from this category but I’ve got to go with My Wife Quit Her Job. You could accuse me of nepotism on the basis that I write for the blog but that’s not really the reason.

The fact is that Steve Chou (the blog’s owner) and his wife are a living, breathing case study of how to successfully launch a successful eCommerce store. Steve offers up the kind of candid view of his experiences in a way that really resonates with me and I have no hesitation in recommending his site to anyone that is considering launching an eCommerce store.

Entrepreneurship

Many of us are looking for actionable advice when in fact we would be far better served by understanding the fundamentals of business — that is what these blogs are all about. While this is the category I consider most important in terms of helping people to leave work behind, it is probably also the most neglected.

There are some truly great thinkers amongst the entrepreneurship blogs listed on the LWB 100 but I have to pick Mixergy on the basis that it offers an enormous breadth of knowledge and experience in the hundreds of interviews available on the site (Rise to the Top is also a notable mention for the same reason).

Beyond that I have to mention Derek Sivers’ blog (an extremely gifted man) and also Forever Jobless — although this blog has endured a bit of a stuttering start, Billy Murphy’s entrepreneurial insights are priceless.

Freelancing

Freelance writing has essentially gifted me the life I have today so I’ll always take every opportunity encourage people to follow in my path (that is the primary reason I created my freelance writing guide). If you’d like to discover more about what I consider to be the easiest path to leaving work behind for anyone who has a remote talent for writing then check out the blogs in this category.

My top pick has to be Make a Living Writing — the hugely experienced Carol Tice has a great deal of value to offer on the topic of freelance writing. A notable mention also goes to Young Pre Pro — I love Oni’s site. Finally, Freelance Switch is an enormous resource with some truly great content and also happens to feature the likes of Carol and myself as guest posters.

Internet Marketing

It comes as no surprise that this is the second most heavily populated category in the LWB 100. You would be forgiven for thinking that selecting a favorite would therefore be difficult but I have no hesitation in naming Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income as my top pick. Pat’s site has been a true inspiration to me over the last couple of years and I don’t know where I would be right now without it.

There are a couple of newcomers in this category that I would also like to mention specifically: Mike From Maine and Dollars and Roses. Check them out and you’ll see why!

Leaving Work Behind

This category features blogs that can help you in terms of your mindset and approach to quitting your job and establishing a successful online business. They may not always major on actionable advice but they offer you something far more valuable — the tools with which you can take action in your own unique way.

There’s a lot to love here — as much in the people behind the blogs than the blogs themselves. Picking one favorite is pretty much impossible, I have to say. These are the guys (and girl) that I think really make an impact: Chris Guillebeau, Scott Dinsmore and Marie Forleo. Having said that I’ve not even mentioned superstars like Tim Ferriss and awesome up-and-comers like Liz Seda. Get exploring!

Niche Sites

Just like eCommerce there are only two sites to pick from in this category and to be honest I couldn’t single one out. Spencer Haws’ Niche Pursuits is a great one-man case study of how to launch a successful and diversified business with its roots firmly set in niche sites while AdSense Flippers is run by a two-man team of born entrepreneurs who have an enormous amount to teach in terms of creating efficient systems and building huge numbers of websites. You should check them both out!

Online Marketing

There are more online marketing blogs out there than you can shake a stick at so you wouldn’t be blamed for being overwhelmed by the huge number available named in the LWB 100 (23 to be precise). These blogs cover a broad spectrum — from B2B and B2P marketing to blog marketing and beyond.

Having said that my top pick has to be Think Traffic. As far as I am concerned Corbett Barr is on top of the world at the moment with the redesign of his site last year and the launch of Fizzle not too long ago. He has a great deal to offer to anyone who is interested in online marketing.

Beyond that there are loads of other blogs I absolutely love: Social Triggers, Firepole Marketing, Sparring Mind and even more (I have to stop somewhere!).

Personal Development

This is a much-neglected area when it comes to leaving work behind — I think a lot of us could do with expanding our horizons and focusing more about what goes on in our head as opposed to what we are trying to achieve in external, materialistic terms.

The standout blog here is Steve Pavlina’s — his site has been around for about a decade and the amount of awesome content he has available is nothing short of staggering. I also have to mention Nerd Fitness because it is simply awesome — check it out.

Personal Finance

This is yet another two-site category but my pick is definitely Man vs. Debt. I always love a blog that’s from the heart, so to speak, and Adam Baker’s journey is one worth reading about.

SEO

There are some great SEO blogs out there but SEOmoz is the king. I would however also heartily recommend Point Blank SEO — while Jon’s blog is a relative newcomer he has already established himself as someone whose opinion is worth listening to.

Web Content

Finally we have something that should be important to just about everyone reading this — the art of writing content for the web. While my first recommendation to anyone will always be to grab a copy of the Yahoo! Style Guide there is also a huge amount of free advice available across the blogosphere.

With that in mind, I consider Copyblogger to be top dog when it comes to learning about effective web content writing. If you own an online business in just about any shape or form you should be subscribed.

Please Take a Moment to Spread the Word

The LWB 100 took me a staggering amount of time to put together — in fact, this 3rd edition may well have taken me more time than the 1st and 2nd put together. I would be extremely appreciative if you would take a moment to share it with your friends and followers.

If you would like to feature the list on your own blog, you are more than welcome to do so, but please link back to Leaving Work Behind. Thank you!

Photo Credit: pedrosimoes7

Comments

  1. says

    Excellent list. I reference and read quite a few of these blogs, especially when writing freelance blog posts on my own site.

    Zen Habits is at the very top of my own list. :)

  2. says

    Thanks for the mention, Tom! It’s great to see so many friends, colleagues, mentors, and people I respect on this list. I’m digging the newcomers… I have some reading to do!

  3. says

    Excellent List Tom,

    Hard to find any sites that you missed, trust me I should know.

    This is the second year for the #IBCT, I’ve been evaluating tons of sites since last year.

    What I’ve found is the top sites in the world are there for a reason.

    They simply CRUSH IT.

  4. says

    I don’t like the list Tom, because my blog is not listed :(

    Just kidding, the list is awesome and those blogs deserved to be in it.

    Keep up the great work :)

  5. says

    Fabulous list Tom! As a career coach and writer who has specialized in lifestyle friendly careers for over 15 years, I want to thank you for alerting me to some new sites I didn’t know about. Look forward to checking them out.

  6. says

    So glad to see the idea of mentorship is alive and well on your blog still. Love what you do and the helpful information you give us..

    Rock on

    Tim

  7. says

    Good list,

    I think I’m picking up a lot of my advice from podcasts at the moment and most of them are up there.

    I usually read posts as they’re published on Twitter. It might be an idea to include the twitter handle for each one next time so people can easily follow them.

    • says

      Hi Jamie,

      It’s something I’ve considered but it can become awkward with multi-author blogs etc. However, it is something I will think about again if/when there is a fourth edition.

      Cheers,

      Tom

  8. says

    Great list and glad to be on it ;-). Here’s one that is not typically on the radar – since we work with so many startups, the VC’s and Accelerator’s are often front and centre and there are some GREAT resources along these lines – http://labs.openviewpartners.com. Check them out. A fabulous little space for companies seeking to grow. To some degree, it’s geared towards the tech sector, but still a phenomenal warehouse of information.

  9. says

    Impressive Link List! Some of the Blogs i do already know, but some are new to me. But all of them give a great insight and enlighting views on life and business. Thank you for the list!

  10. says

    Oh Tom. You did it again, and you seem to outdo yourself every time.

    Awesome list! I’m, of course, honored to be on it. I’m thinking about making my own list just so that I can return the favor. What do you think?

    Liz

  11. says

    Great list Tom – definitely appreciate the time it take to put a top 25 together.. let alone a top 100 list!

    Definitely have some reading to do….

    Tim

    • says

      No problem! Good question…about 2 hours for the post itself, perhaps 3-4 hours to create the list, and God knows how many hours of research in looking through 200+ blogs!

  12. says

    Hey Tom thank a ton brotha. It’s an honor to be a part of this list. I think this is a great way to show and filter out the not so good blogs from the good and great ones.

    With the thousands and thousands of crappy “Flogs” out there, it can easily be overwhelming, especially to a new person just coming into this thing of ours.

    Thanks again brotha, keep crushing it ;-)
    Joey

  13. says

    Great list as per usual Tom!! Some newbies on here I’m already checking out!

    I did notice a little that women seem to be a bit under represented in these topics (though under the boom of Marie Forleo’s b-school marketing at the moment it might be hard to stand out!!).

    I did write a little post on it this afternoon just wondering aloud if we have some biases toward certain roles online (i.e geared toward men) just as the traditional world jobs or if it comes about due to inherited history, culture, perceptions, education, predispositions etc :) It’s good to get my brain ticking!!

    I’m not an all screaming feminist, I just noticed it whilst I was looking over the list this morning.

    Thanks again for the list! Love the work you do!

    • says

      Hey Lis,

      I totally understand where you’re coming from but I’m not sure if under represented is the right way to put it — I’m not just not aware of many female bloggers that could be up for contention. There seem to be far more male bloggers operating in the quit your job/make money online/etc niche than female. If you have any suggestions I would happily consider them if/when I publish a fourth edition :)

      Cheers,

      Tom

      • says

        Hey Tom,

        Absolutely!

        My thoughts actually developed more to the area of in the corporate world we know there’s still quite a perception and segregation in certain areas (i.e managerial and tech role are predominantly men) for lots of reasons of course and I’m wondering aloud if we have this in the online world too? It’s interesting to me because the online world is ‘new’ whereas traditional jobs have a whole history of the gender divide in roles coming about.

        You’re right, I don’t have as many women on the radar in these areas though I know there’s some more kicking butt and I love the ones you’ve listed. There’s a book long psychology behind this too due to popularity once you’ve begun, biases etc etc but it interested me to analyze it!

        Thanks for you list again!

  14. says

    Great list Tom!

    Personally, I’d also add your ManageWP blog in there for funsies – thanks to your step by step guide on how to set up a WordPress site, as well as the nuts and bolts of managing one, I think any newbie (including myself!) can now set up a fully functioning and attractive website within a matter of hours! And with a website critical to expanding your reach worldwide, your blog is a great resource in order to figure out how to do so.

    I’ve also now got tons of material to research, so thanks for the updated list!

    • says

      Hey Daryl,

      Thanks! I toyed with including ManageWP but concluded that it was too focused on the technical side of things, while this is list is focused more on creative thinking etc.

      Cheers,

      TOm

  15. Casey Dennison says

    Awesome list! I visit a lot of these. Someone you should def. check into is Matthew Woodward, of http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk. The guy was mentioned the other day on problogger, as a blogger to watch in 2013. Hes provides a ton of value and has grown his blog pretty fast, using a technique that nearly noone is using.

    • says

      Hey Casey,

      I know Matthew and he’s got a great site but unfortunately it didn’t quite make the list this time. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Cheers,

      Tom

  16. says

    Thank you so much for this list! I’m looking to make my site good enough to be on lists like this, and so I’m always looking for new amazing blogs to follow and get ideas from. ;)

    There are a lot of people/blogs here that I had never heard of or had forgotten about. I bookmarked a lot of them into my tiered “great blogs” folder.

    Brilliant list – thank you again for taking the time to put it together. :)

  17. says

    Thank you very much for the list, Tom! Thanks to you I found really great blogs to follow as liveyourlegend.net, thinktraffic.net or zenhabits.net. I would add expertenough.com to make the list of 101 :D

  18. says

    Hey Tom,

    Well don’t I feel like a duffus just now having found this post! Totally by accident too. Wonder why my alerts never showed up for this one, I’m so darn sorry. Here you went and put me on a fabulous list and I didn’t even show my gratitude.

    Thank you so much Tom and I’m truly flattered, late or not I definitely appreciate it. See, it’s never too late to thank someone for their generosity and I’m honored to be on this fabulous list.

    Thank you again and hope you’d had an amazing year.

    ~Adrienne

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