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20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012

This year, I tried to go outside of the social media echo-chamber and focus on people who are expanding beyond their blogs. As Michael Stelzner said at Blogworld, “You’re not a blogger, you’re a publisher!”

These are 20 people who stood out to me this year. There is no ranking, nor is there a competition. If you are after more variety, I’ve included links to other round-ups at the end of this post.

Do you know of someone that has really stood out in 2011? Let us know in the comments, or create and link to your own list post. Enjoy!

Maria Popova

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Maria Popova describes herself as “interestingness curator and semi-secret geek obsessed with design, science, storytelling and combinatorial creativity”. She is the editor of the much-loved Brain Pickings, which she described as a “a destination for indiscriminate curiosity.”

I love Maria’s work because talented curators are needed in this cluttered blogosphere. Maria goes beyond the collection of links and ideas, and provides a narrative that just enchants you. In the aforementioned interview, Maria said that “curation is all about pattern-recognition, seeing how various and diverse pieces of content fit together under the same taste umbrella or along the same narrative path, so the guiding principle has to be the sole storyteller with a strong point of view.”

I think Maria will be an influence on curators for years to come.

Kristi Hines

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, online marketing consultant, and social media enthusiast that blogs at Kikolani. She has  become famous for her weekly resource posts, Fetching Friday, and is a prolific guest poster on many high-profile sites. Her work is highly regarded in the social media community and she was recommended multiple times in the comments section on last year’s list.

Her book, Blog Post Promotion, is extraordinarily in-depth for a book at its price point, and is something I’d strongly recommend to those who need help getting more attention for their posts. You guys may also enjoy her post about making money online through blogging and writing.

Corbett Barr

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Corbett Barr is someone I’ve been watching for a few years. He had a popular blog, Free Pursuits, but focused on creating a legacy rather then just being a blogger. He started Think Traffic in 2010, and quickly built a solid reputation for building quality content. In 2011 he created the Million Dollar Blog Project and launched his case study blog, Expert Enough.

I like Corbett because he’s one of the people who evolved with the challenges that blogging presented, rather than giving up. Some of the best discussions of 2010 came from his blog and I believe that the Million Dollar Blog Project will result in a few more bloggers to watch.

Marcus Sheridan

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012

Marcus started a swimming pool company in 2001. Thanks to his blog, and inbound marketing, it grew to be one of the biggest companies of its kind in the world. Marcus had amassed a large amount of knowledge about content marketing and created The Sales Lion to teach others about the power of community.

I love his blog. He isn’t a pseudo-guru testing his theories—he only teaches about stuff he’s personally experienced. He also has a talent for community engagement. Many of his posts contribute to the conversation surrounding many facets of our industry, which encourages related companies to adjust their model to serve bloggers better.

Hands down, Marcus is one of the coolest guys online. He helps so many of us when he already has a successful business and doesn’t need the social validation. I hope we’ll see a lot more of him in the coming year.

Alexis Grant

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Alexis Grant is a publishing powerhouse. She describes herself as a “journalist, blog & social media strategist and a budding entrepreneur.” She has been experimenting with digital products and micropublishing, such as her popular eguide on building a Part-Time Social Media Business. She’s also the managing editor of the Brazen Careerist blog.

I’ve had the pleasure of being friends with her for past few months, and it’s been fascinating watching her grow. She has a unique work history, starting out in traditional journalism and evolving until she landed a job editing a popular blog. I think we will learn a lot from her experiments in digital publishing, especially during the latter part of 2012.

Colin Wright

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Colin Wright intrigues me. He runs a popular blog, but I wouldn’t called him a blogger. I don’t think anyone really knows what to call him. Every four months, his readers vote on the next country he’ll move to. He has an everlasting ebook called Exiles, runs a T-shirt shop called I Have No Shirt, and has published six ebooks.

I like Colin because of his constant experimentation with micropublishing and entrepreneurship. He closed eBookling because he’d achieved what he had set out to do, despite having a profitable model. He was one of the first in my community to experiment with Kindle publishing. He’s a genuinely cool guy with a thirst for knowledge, and a desire to improve on existing creations. I think that’s an attitude we all can benefit from.

Torre De Roche

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012


Torre De Roche is the Fearful Adventurer. While overseas, she “fell for a 31-year old Argentinean man who had a humble sailboat and a dream to set off exploring the world.” She accompanied him on his trip across the South Pacific which led to her blog and later, a book about her journey. Within two months of self-publishing her book, she landed a big publishing deal. Her book, Swept, will be out in 2013.

I think that Torre will be one of the writers that will really stand out over the coming years. She has such a natural talent, yet is still a bit of an unknown in the blogosphere. I’m confident that will change over the next year and I think that we are in a fortunate position to watch her evolve.

Deb Ng

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Deb is an accomplished blogger. Previously she was the founder and owner of the Freelance Writing Jobs network of blogs, as well as the community manager for Blog Talk Radio. Now, she is employed as the conference director of Blog World Expo and has released her first book, Online Community Management for Dummies.

In 2012, she’ll be just as busy. She’s authoring her second book for the Dummies brand and planning is already well underway for Blogworld in New York.

I love her work, and her contribution to the industry. I especially enjoy her blog, Kommein,  where readers are fortunate enough to get an insight into the work of someone whose career spans multiple areas of the blog industry.

Jen Bishop

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Jen is mostly known as the publisher and editor of Dynamic Business magazine in Australia. Part of what makes the magazine so successful is its prominent web presence, which feature a wide range of bloggers. But I’m not including her because of that.  I’m watching her based on her work at her new blog, Interiors Addict.

Interiors Addict is a blog that curates a lot of the best information her passion, interior design. She’s leveraged her skills as a journalist to get access to industry news and interviews, and has turned her hobby blog into a very prominent force.

One of my favorite trends this year is how journalists are dabbling in creating their own digital presences. I believe they enjoy a lot more success, and learn more, when their blog is based on an obsession rather then just their personal brand. I’m also enjoying how Tumblr is aiding bloggers that focus heavily on curation.

Derek Halpern

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Derek runs Social Triggers, a site that “breaks down psychological research and business case studies into simple, actionable steps that can help you improve your online business.” His content isn’t the reason I’m watching him, although it is high-calibre and he only publishes his best work. No, the reason he’s gotten my attention is because of how he got noticed.

Early in 2011, he did blog reviews of popular sites such as Chris BroganThink TrafficSmart Passive Income, and David Risley. He showed both the blogger and those who watched the videos how they could increase conversions, which resulted in massive word of mouth from both the readers and his peers.

2011 was the year he spent working hard, and getting attention. I’m curious to see how he leverages his brand in 2012.

Jenny Blake

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012

Jenny Blake is an authorblogger, life coach, and sought-after speaker who helps others “Wake up, live big! and love the journey.”  Jenny recently took her own great leap by leaving Google after five and a half years to pursue her passions full-time.

I’ve enjoyed watching Jenny evolve as she released her first book, Life After College, and expanded her digital offerings. She is fast approaching the end of her first year of self employment, and I think she’ll really start to shine during the latter half of 2012.

Yasmine Surovec

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Yasmine is the creator of the popular web comic Cat Versus Human. She documents the everyday realities of living in a multi-cat household via a series of hilarious drawings. In late 2011, she released her first book, Cat vs. Human.

I read a lot of web comics, and I enjoy the fact that they don’t do many of the things that bloggers typically recommend. She has a cat’s bottom in her sidebar, a self-deprecating about page and a contact page that had me hunting for tin-foil. I think that we can all learn from her example and poke more fun at our work, while maintaining a growing brand.

Molly Mahar

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Molly Mahar is the founder of Stratejoy, a positive corner of the Internet that provides thousands of women the tools, strategies, and camaraderie to lead authentically joyful lives. There are many career blogs targeted at people in their twenties, but hers is focused on helping people through their “quarter-life crisis.”

I think her blog is fantastic. She invites a number of people to blog for her for a “season,” so that readers can follow their journeys over a five-month period. It’s a great way to build community, encourage new voices and make sure her content is always interesting to that demographic. I’ve heard so many good things about her blog, and how it’s helped people.

Kristin Glenn and Shannon Whitehead

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012

Kristin and Shannon started {r}evolution apparel, a sustainable fashion company based in America. They came up with the idea for their fashion line but knew they had a lot of work before it could reach the market, so they decided to blog about their journey. Thanks to their blogging and networking efforts, they’ve had massive success with their fundraising to launch their first product. At the time of writing, they have reached double their target for their kickstarter campaign and still have a week to go.

They focused on building their community while building their business. As a result, they had a lot of people willing to help them when they asked for support. Their story shows that you don’t need to wait until your product is ready to get your message out there.

Young House Love

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Young House Love chronicles the story of two DIY dorks who are turning their house into a home, and sharing every detail as they learn. The content is great, but what I really loved was how they delved into their personal lives and shared the personality behind the bloggers. Their stories are compelling and somewhat harrowing, such as the details of their daughter’s traumatic birth.

I love how they’ve transformed a personal blog into an amazing resource. Look at how they changed the sidebars for the mood board section. They are incredibly savvy. Their work highlights the potential to build your brand beyond a blog, and shows how you can leverage your archives.

I’m embarrassed that it took me this long to discover Young House Love. I plan to spend many hours delving into the archives after finishing this post.

Lingerie Addict

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Treacle is the founder of The Lingerie Addict. She started her site in 2008 because she couldn’t find any resources for people like herself—women on a budget who wanted honest, objective lingerie advice, reviews, and suggestions. She has since turned it into the #1 resource in her niche, attracting over 100,000 readers a month. In October, she quit her job to offer her consulting services.

I think Treacle has done an amazing job empowering women to embrace their body shape and buy underwear that makes them feel gorgeous.

Nerd Fitness

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012

Steve Kamb is the founder of Nerd Fitness: a community for nerds, desk jockeys, and weekend warriors looking to level up their lives. He built up a strong following and has since expanded with Nerd Fitness Message Boards, a clothing range, and several useful products. He is a natural leader—just look at how he doesn’t pressure people to join his rebellion.

I enjoy his work because he is incredibly savvy, yet has a very friendly/casual tone on his blog. He makes new visitors feel very comfortable in a niche that can feel rather alienating.

Sarah Peck

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Sarah describes herself as a storyteller who communicates ideas through words, pictures, and other visual media. Her blog, It Starts With, started as a column about making the transition to the professional world and finding out what’s important for you and your career. It has evolved into a blog on business, generating ideas, entrepreneurship, management, and design. She also leverages blogging for her professional work, and is the founder and editor of Landscape Urbanism.

Sarah emerged in the blogosphere early in 2011 and is shaping up to the one of most unique and inspiring voices online.  Her content is always thought-provoking and will force you to confront the challenge of executing your best ideas. She studies where great ideas come from and help individuals and businesses do great work. Every blogger has a tipping point and her post on 28 in 52 Notes made Sarah a blogger to keep an eye on 2012.

Tara Gentile

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012Tara Gentile is the editor of Scoutie Girl, a daily zine with the aim of getting you thinking about your creative life and the changing world around you, and the owner of a boutique web design business. She quickly built a reputation as a DIY lifestyle design expert. She has transitioned to consulting and writes about the philosophy of the new economy, creativity, social media, value and meaning, and wealth.

I really resonate with Tara. She has empowered a huge segment of the creative community to take pride in the marketing of their work. Her work has affected an entire industry. I can’t wait to see what she does in 2012.

Joel Runyon

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012

A year ago, Joel was just a guy with an inspiring blog. He wasn’t satisfied with that. He expanded his original blog to create Impossible HQ, a hub that incorporates a separate motivational community, a T-Shirt line, and a manifesto. He also created a separate site, NerveRush, to cater to the adrenalin-seeking segment of his audience.

I think Joel is just getting started with what he has to offer. He is always adding new ways for his community to engage with his site and, as a result, is creating an increasingly passionate readership. I’m really excited to see where he takes the ‘Impossible’ brand in 2012.

More bloggers to watch

Want more? Take a look at these blogging round-ups:

And don’t forget to give us your suggestions in the comments!

About Jade Craven
Jade Craven is a regular Problogger contributor. She wrote the Bloggers To Watch column for four years and currently manages the DPS Pinterest boards. She writes about bloggers doing amazing things at her new project, Bloggers To Watch.
  1. I hope that one day I can be of your list, 2o bloggers to watch in 2013. lol.
    it’s the first time I come here and This article is very interesting.. the only came in my mind is, do you know them well or not ?

    it’s so weird to know that the bloggers come over this article as if they hired you to do this.


    • That’s a very fair statement – it’s something I wondered before writing this post. No, there aren’t any financial relationships. I did some subcontracting work for one person, but that was moreso work she threw my way ($15/hour) because she knew I was struggling.

      I’m known as a connector and networker. It’s my job to know people – and to know people who know people. This list has always been about specific people who have caught my eye, rather then a ranking, so there is a bias towards my network. It’s something I’m always really open about.

      I’m very familiar with the work of several people here because I’ve watched them for so long. With some people, there have developed friendships and I can disclose them if you like. I’ve helped out a number of them for free via email because I believed in their work. There was also someone that I wanted to put on this list who is doing brilliant stuff, but I replaced him after he directly hired me to help them.

      I’m sure your comment is based on my comments to others. I spent hours going through peoples archives and checking out their paid products. I emailed friends seeking recommendations and have been watching people closely when they were recommended on last years list. Basically, I know a lot of people but the connection is tenuous at best. Twitter exchanges, being in the same room at a conference (but often not talking) or by really enjoying their work. I can elaborate on specific people if you like but seriously, the stories are dull. Well, one friend visited from NZ and she was talking about this brilliant blog called Stratejoy and my first thought was “I HAVE to include this!”

      If it means anything, I make about $8-10’000 a year from blogging and will turn down paid work because I know that I want to include them in a list like this.

      Hope that clears things up :-) You’re saying what others are probably thinking

      – Jade

      • What a classy response to this question.
        The blogging world is so huge and reading a round up list like yours, someone who is passionate about relationships, connecting and giving honest opinions, makes me want to dive into all of the 20 you’ve highlighted. (Now to only pick a few or I’d never get to writing my own. ;))

        • If you want me to make some personal recommendations, feel free to email and tweet me :-) I kinda rock at helping people figure out which people will be able to help them the most. It really depends on your goals. In some cases, paying for products from certain people will help you learn faster and I’ve kinda checked a lot of them out :P

          Thank you for your comments. This post is always a labour of love – I dedicate at least a work week to finding interesting people and writing about them. It’s really hard – especially since I just know so many darn people – so I really appreciate your positivity.

          Also, if you write your own, post the link here :-) I find so many cool and interesting people directly from the Problogger community!

          • thank you the clearest explanation about this. Yeah I am only capable in making a classy question. Furthermore I’m not a Englishman that to read this article forces my brain. lol.
            But the point I got is you have made a good relationship between people in internet marketing, surveyed them and even sent some mails to confirm.

            This article is questionable for some people but having no brave to approach it. Because I am just a newbie, I tried hard to say this.

            Good Job.. Thank you

      • The only thing that surprised me it was the timing of this. We’re only 10 months far form the end of this year. Usually, these articles are written on or around the first days of the year. Putting this aside, I do know some of the bloggers mentioned (Kristi, Corbett, Joel among others) and I can “vouch” for them. They’re good stuff. And I assume the rest are from the same league, they just don’t fall under my regular radar (I’m not a fashion guy, for instance).

        It was a good article, Jade :)

    • Elasri,

      believing yourself, and keep on blogging. You never know how someday you just might get featured on ProBlogger. It’s all about progress :-)

  2. I like these blogs, i hope I learn may think when try to read all blogs you listed in your post. Thank you and I always update your blog.

  3. Derek Halpern from Social Triggers is A grade. Helped me a lot with internet marketing and linked to one of my blog posts.

    Shows that qaulity over qauntity can work very well also.

    Thanks Derek

    • Totally. I especially like how he doesn’t publish everything he writes – if it’s not good enough, it doesn’t get posted. With the emphasis on minimal viable products and getting your ideas out there, it’s really nice to see. I love when someone crafts a really nice blog post.

      Is there anyone else that stood out for you last year?

      • Jade,

        I feel the same way as you. Speaking on my behalf, I take more time today in “crafting a really nice blog post”. Are you a work at home mom? :-)

        • I’m 24 and don’t have children :-) I built up my blog while recovering from a severe anxiety disorder, and am going back to study this year. This gives me more time then most bloggers with outside jobs.

      • Totally agree and from the list above, what our media editor expression was, the most or should I say, the one that we should really look into is the “I do something Impossible” by Joel, inspiring others with the impossible, is what the new age reader are looking at. Stuff and things we all should really look into. Check out the blog and you’ll know Jade did a great job introduce or make us aware of them.


  4. Hope will be listed in 2013 list :p

  5. Already stopped at Sarah’s site….and will be visiting them all. How exciting for someone to be a part of this list. Congratulations to everybody.

  6. Thanks for including me, Jade. This was such a nice surprise. And to include me with folks like Kristi Hines and Derek Halpern, well, that’s just gravy.

    • Anytime :-)

      As an aside, I had the pleasure of meeting someone on this list recently. (I’d decided to put her on this list long before meeting her). We were with another blogging friend and were telling her that Blogworld is THE place to be if she wanted to make new connections and meet interesting people that could help her over the coming years.

      You’re a huge part of that, so thank you :-)

  7. Small typo, you forgot my site. Brilliant, witty, and plain speaking on books, film and other stuff!
    I won’t hold a grudge though, and the sites you included are great.

    Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust
    [email protected]

  8. Hi Jade
    Interesting list. Please keep an eye on my atypical mom/music blog as I enter my 3rd year.

    • I’m happy here that you all on your 30 year blogging, Jade. How is that working out for you, in terms of making money from home? :-)

  9. Jade, wow, what can I say?? I’ll happily admit I’m honored to be on the list but further humbled with your kind words. I got the trackback for this post yesterday as I was just starting a 7 hour drive home with my wife and four kids, and so as soon as I saw it, I had my wife read it out loud. She was so moved by your words that she was almost in tears.

    I say this because, frankly speaking, my blog isn’t just about me. It really is a family affair. To be able to interact with the community, and go on trips to speak, and all that jazz—-my family has to be on board but also aware of why I do what I do. It’s a sacrifice for them just as much as it is for me.

    So having my wife read this article first was very, very fitting to what was in many ways a magical year of blogging, growth, and business.

    Creating a list like this is such a tough thing to do, and I know the time you’ve spent creating it will never be fully appreciated Jade, so thank you for doing this, it truly does mean so much to me and the Sheridan Clan. :)



    • :-) THIS is part of the reason I put so much effort into these posts. A lot of people don’t know how hard we work and, like you said, the sacrifices your families have to make when going through periods of growth. For the past week, my partner has accepted that I needed to be on the computer a lot more getting things finalized for this to go live. He didn’t really know what I was doing – he asked if getting 1000 retweets in less then a day was good :P – but he liked it when I said that ‘this post will make a lot of people so happy.

      I’m really, really glad that you were able to share it with your family. That totally made my day. Your work is amazing and I’d mentally made a note to put you on this list after reading just a couple of blog posts.

      I appreciate your kind words :-) I’m not sure people realize how difficult it is to write such a post, knowing that a lot of people get annoyed because their niche, gender, or country isn’t represented enough. This years was the hardest yet but it’s also the group of people that I’m most excited to feature.

      Let me know if I can help at any time this year,


    • Marcus,

      I’m so happy to hear about your success with your blog.I just stopped by your site to check it out,and noticed the nice header with a picture of you, and the lion next to you, along with the header entitled “the sales lion”.keep up the good work and all you do, Marcus :-)

  10. Kind of like being voted to the Pro Bowl in the NFL. Now I will be checking each and everyone of there blog sites and determine who I like best. I do enjoy reading a good blog that interest me and I am learning slowly but surely how to right compelling blogs that sell my company Carpet Cleaning Orange County to my potential clients. Congratulations to all on the list of the 20!

  11. Great list! I’m familiar with several, but have bookmarked the post to take some time to familiarize myself with the others. Thanks for the roundup!

  12. Clearly, there has been some sort of oversight here. I’ll overlook my exclusion from this year’s list, but fully expect that slightly insightful and I will appear next year ;)

    Seriously though, great list! I look forward to getting acquainted with each of these bloggers’ styles and content over the coming year.

    Happy 2012, everyone!

  13. Thanks so much for including me on this Jade – it really does mean a lot to be here with so many other great writers. Thanks!


  14. Wish I could move to a new country every four months. That guy is my hero

  15. Looks like gender biased list !

  16. Must have been a difficult task to limit the list to 20. Will definitely check them out. Happy New Year!

  17. Fantastic list Jade. Thanks so much for putting it together. Even more interesting (and classy) are your responses to some of the comments below. Worth into compiling as a FAQ post. :)

    I regret that we weren’t able to meet up at the time Farnoosh was in town. I don’t know if she said anything but I had to rush to the hospital for a medical emergency. It would have been lovely to meet you in person.

    Have a great 2012. :)

    • Thank you for your lovely comment :-) This is the third year I’ve done this list, and I learn more with each year. This year has had the least negativity surrounding it and when people do question stuff, I try to turn it into an opportunity about how to improve the list next year.

      The reality is that if you want to get on a list post, you have to be on the radar of the person authoring the list post. Or one of their friends that they turn to for recommendations. Even then, you have to fit the unknown criteria they have for the article, which is completely subjective. Often people aren’t being mean when saying stuff, they are just sad that parts of their community aren’t represented. It’s really fascinating, which is why I’ve made such an effort to ask for feedback + recommendations.

      All the best this year :)

      – Jade

  18. This list lacks diversity

  19. Great list thanks for giving such a nice information looking to follow these blogger…

  20. Very impressive list.I am impressed with the work you put to compile this list.

  21. Thanks for putting together this list. I’m looking forward to reading around on it.

  22. What I wouldn’t give to make your list as well (sigh)….

    Maybe in the next 100 yrs?????? lol


  23. Marty James says: 01/03/2012 at 12:49 pm

    Great collection, Jade, and nice to see something different from the usual bloggers and lists that come out at this time of year.

    One blogger I’d recommend in Danny Brown – http://dannybrown.me

    What’s impressed me most about him this last year is how he’s really carved his imprint into the blogosphere by keeping it real and saying exactly what he feels. It often isn’t the most popular thing to do – but that’s why I like him.

    On top of that, he started the very cool blog tips site For Bloggers By Bloggers – http://bestbloggingtipsonline.com

    This has become one of my go-to services for all my blogging tips and advice. They always have really cool ideas for bloggers, and very often in a way that no-one else is writing.

    Add on his Parables of Business premium ebook and for me, Danny falls right into your reasons for this list too.

    Thanks for reading!

    • Thanks for your nice response :-)

      I like Danny – he’s pretty cool – I was just trying something different this year. Most of us bloggers know what the cool blogs are for biz and social media, so I wanted to have different types of people. I wasn’t aware of his new site though so thanks for that! I know what I’ll be checking out.

  24. Great list! I know a few (like Corbett, Torre, and Colin), and am happy to get to know a few more.

    And I must attest to Torre’s writing; I managed to get a sneak peek of her book “Swept” before it was snapped up by a publisher, and it’s a great read. So great, in fact, that as of this Saturday, I’ll be spending (at least) a month on a sailboat in the Caribbean! (sailing in her wake, as it were)

    Maybe next year I’ll make this list! :-)

    • Hi Nora!

      I’m the author of this list and I have to admit I’m rather familiar with your work. I’m mates with Frank Wall and he recommended that my best mate, Bill Journee, help you with site work. I’ve followed some of your adventures throughout the year such as the Ultimate Train Challenge. :-) Heck, I’ve even lusted over some of the train trips you wrote abou when you were in Australia.

      Each year the list evolves and I try not to focus too much on one niche (I had two from travel), and I try and structure blogs around a theme. I just wanted you to know that just because you didn’t make it onto a list, doesn’t mean that I’m not watching and enjoying your work.

      If you ever need ideas/feedback, or want to let me know what you’re up to over 2012, feel free to email me. I love helping + learning from fellow bloggers.

  25. Michelle says: 01/04/2012 at 5:40 am

    I enjoyed your list but wonder how some of them can be called blogs? A few links took me to squeeze pages looking for my email and I couldn’t find a blog post to save my life. I really really dislike ‘bloggers’ who are just trying to get my email and hide their content so far behind the ‘squeeze’ I lose 5 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.


    • That’s a very good question. Over the past two years, I’ve noticed a lot of people evolve as bloggers and have become publishers. Their main page looks like a squeeze page but takes you to the core parts of their online presence – which may include an email list, products or other types of stuff. In all cases, they do have a solid blog. They use a blogging software but in a few cases, like Young House Love, they are pushing the boundaries of the software.

      WordPress is capable of really amazing things, especially with the custom post type feature. I geek out on watching how people are using it to deliver content but I guess I assume that everyone is as familiar with the work as I am.

      Is there anyone that stands out? I could only think of three people where the content isn’t immediately available and even then, I knew how to find it. It’d help me out so I can make future posts more accessible.

      Let me know if there are any bloggers you think are standing out,


      • Michelle says: 01/05/2012 at 4:38 am

        I appreciate your response. I don’t remember which site it was–I clicked quite a few links. I’m okay with publishers, but I hate being squeezed. It screams spam to me. In my experience if I ever do get behind the curtain, with all the pop-ups and confirmation links in my email, I get hit with manipulative copy writing.

        I am the user who never clicks ads. I want content not marketing and if a site doesn’t have easily accessible content, I’m gone.

        Also, maybe there should be a distinction made between blogs and publishers. Maybe there should be definitions or a separate list? I’m old school. I’ve had a blog since the early 2000s. I hate a lot of the stuff that’s done now to make sure users are clicking clicking clicking through a site.


  26. Hi Darren,

    Just wanted to send a thank you for the post above. It was good to read about those who are just starting out like me (site has been up for about a week). Thanks for your example.


  27. I absolutely love blogs like this… it opens my eyes to new worlds!

  28. This is a really good read. I’m glad that you really picked a variety of people. Yes, there are a couple t-shirt sellers on there, but you didn’t stick to one genre. I appreciate that. And you didn’t stick to the big named “A-listers” who everyone reads because they can’t find anyone else.

    I do like that you highlighted Deborah Ng. I don’t know her personally, but I have been checking out her freelance job posts for years on and off now. It’s nice to see her get some recognition.

    Maybe my deals and savings blog, Drugstore Divas [http://drugstoredivas.net] or my brand new cooking and baking blog, Tasty Thursdays [http://tastythursdays.com] will make your list next year. Can’t wait to check out everyone on your list and would love if some of the readers of this post would check out my blogs and give me a few pointers on how to improve so I can make this list next year!

    – Lisa

    • Hi! Thank you for the lovely comment. I wrote the post and it’s really nice to wake up to this. Really appreciated! I worked really hard trying to make this relevant to a lot of people.

      You asked for feedback for your blogs. My focus is generally on those who have a strong community, and a worldwide appeal. I think Tasty Thursdays has a lot of potential for community growth. You could invite people to submit their own recipes, highlight useful products and I know that people love food photography. All the best with it this year :)

      I love Deb. She has done such fantastic work and it was my honour to write about her. I kinda know her – I ran into her at a conference, and we tweet online a fair bit, – and she is so cool.

      Again, appreciate your comment :-) It’s nice when my effort is recognized. Do you have any bloggers that you’re watching?

    • Thank you, Lisa!

  29. Either I’m not spending enough time looking at others’ sites, or the web is just getting too big anymore. I don’t know even one of those bloggers!

    I think it’s safe to say, that there are tens of thousands of bloggers on the way up. It took 2 years of creating 40+ websites for me to realize… the only way to get GREAT at something is to focus on that something. I’ll be focusing on AFA for the next year, and probably more. It’s just about ready to break into the stratusphere – I can feel it! lol.

    A little advice from a guy that has created many websites, written many books, shot hundreds of videos for Youtube… and still is only enjoying a moderate monthly income – enough to get by for sure, but not where I wanted to be…

    Focus on 1 thing. Put everything you have into that 1 thing. That 1 thing must be the most important topic on your mind every time you sit down at the computer. Not email, not FB, not Twitter, not Darren, not anything else that can drag you away from that 1 thing.

    Some big niches are still wide open. Many thousands of small niches exist and are waiting for someone to step in and grab 100-200 visitors per day – and make a living from it. I have one site that pulls only 140 people per day, but gives me 1/3 of my income. That’s amazing. That’s all you need in a small niche.

    Anyway – watch this list of upcoming bloggers, and then set your sites on beating every one of them this year.

    Best of luck and life! – Vern

  30. Wishing all the best this year to all of the bloggers on the list.

  31. I am so excited to see Corbett Barr on the list! He provides valuable advice and I have benefitted from being a regular reader of Think Traffic.

    Off to follow links and learn more about all the other bloggers listed.

    • I’m the author of the post so let me know if there is anyone else you’d recommend. I’d also be interested in learning more about your blog – I’ve bookmarked it to check out in the morning :-)

  32. It’s great to see my favourite Derek Halpern listed. Just checking out the others. Thanks!

  33. great list, I have been following Kristi Hines and Corbett Barr long time ago and leaned a lot of things through there awesome blog contents.

  34. I mam following Derek since a while now and I feel is is awesome :)

  35. It is great to see some of the big names up there…am familiar with few of them, but will surely check them all out.

    To make a position on this list and getting published on ProBlogger should be a great achievement and those 20 should be proud of what they do.

    One day…..

  36. Truly honored to be apart of this list and in the company of so many great bloggers! Thanks so much for including us, Jade! S&K

  37. Jade what a wonderful post to read! It’s so refreshing to see how many women bloggers you’ve featured, as lists like this often tend to be unfairly dominated by men, forgetting the female talent out there. And I’m glad to see I’ve worked with a couple of these people. Thanks for showing us some of the ones to keep an eye on :-)

  38. New Goal Alert!! To make this Very Awesome List!! :) I know of only a few on it, but since I’m just getting my feet wet in the blogosphere; I have a new goal to reach for. I guess you can say I’m a newbie in the mix! ;-D

  39. Great list, Jade.

    I’m familiar with about half of the bloggers mentioned here and will be checking out some of the others. I wonder, though, how you differentiate between A grade content and those who are good at getting themselves seen/known? I guess being able to publicize yourself is a skill in and of itself and worth of recognition, but that only get them noticed by me. If they’re not regularly putting out great content I’ll most likely lose interest. Will be interesting to see how some of the above fare in this next year now that they’re becoming more well known.

    Thanks again!

  40. There are lots of affiliate products and sites that are surely good, but how do I know if it is reliable that will
    benefit you on the long run?

  41. It’s truly inspiring to see these bloggers made such an impact and now to be listed as top 20 bloggers to watch in 2012.

  42. An inspiration for blogging more this 2012! I’m glad see that some of blogs of these bloggers, I often read and subscribed.

  43. Nice list of bloggers, I recognize a few names like Derek and Deb, seen a few others around the social nets. Kristi is certainly one of the good ones, and Marcus is just a machine – glad to consider him a good friend. I’ll check these others out for sure Jade.

  44. Awesome list Jade, other than Corbett and Kristi, I didn’t know the others. It’s always good to find new people, it’s the best way to learn new things and habits.

  45. Top stuff! There are so many top bloggers which I totally have no idea. Need to read more about them! :)

  46. Hi, Jade

    Great post! Very bare find this great resource. You wholesite is a gold mine to dig for me!


  47. I always wonder how you get on a list like this. Obviously you have to have great content, but there must be a way of putting yourself above the parapet and making sure everyone knows about you. Is this all just done within blog-land?

    I have a blog, and if I may say so, it’s a great blog – but it’s not the sort of thing that is likely to become ‘popular’, because it is about coaching – and addiction. People don’t necessarily want to share posts about addiction. It’s something I’m working on…Any suggestions?

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