The 13 Business Bloggers All Freelance Writers Should Read to Earn More

Carol Tice

As I’ve gone along building this blog, I’ve had a secret advantage. It’s my background in business.

Business reporting has always been my main beat. Hanging around businesses all that time, I learned a lot that helped me when it came time to run my own freelance-writing business. It helped even more when I grew this blog into a business and launched Freelance Writers Den.

Lots of freelance writers read writing blogs — Mary Jaksch at Write to Done and Jane Friedman and Robert Lee Brewer and Jeff Goins and Larry Brooks and other great bloggers on writing. I do that too, but I spent quite a lot of time reading another type of blogger — business and marketing bloggers.

I think that focus, on constant learning business fundamentals, is one reason why I’ve been able to find success out in the wild, wild West that is the blogosphere.

Here is a list of the inspiring, useful business bloggers whose advice helps me make my business better.

These bloggers cover a range of topics, from blog design to Internet marketing to social media and more.

These are in alphabetical order — there’s no way I could rank these as who is best. They all have great information:

  1. Corbett Barr of Think Traffic. This blog exploded right out of the gate. I love his branding — his course, naturally, is Traffic School. Read and learn if you need to grow your blog. NOTE: This site is now gone.
  2. Brian Clark of Entreproducer. Bet you thought I was going to say Copyblogger, huh? But I’m digging Brian’s new thing, where he talks about the business of online business, and the huge role content marketing plays in your success.
  3. Clay Collins of The Marketing Show. Clay cranks out videos that show you exactly what’s working and not in Internet marketing. I just like Clay’s attitude — no hard sell, just great facts Note: Clay’s show appears to be canceled.
  4. Erica Douglass of Erica taught herself code as a youngster and sold her first startup at age 26 for more than $1 million. She doesn’t post often, but when she does, she shares in-depth and always with great, practical insights. For everyone who hopes to turn their writing into a real, big-money business.
  5. Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. Every design change and graphic improvement I have made to this blog got me more subscribers and made me look less like a pathetic amateur — and every one of those suggestions came from Derek. He has spent a ton of time learning about how to make a blog convert casual visitors into loyal fans and subscribers, and he presents hard data to back up his ideas.
  6. Kristi Hines of Kikolani. If you don’t have a lot of time to learn about blog marketing, Kristi’s Fetching Friday link posts are a great quick digest of week’s must-read blog posts on business, freelancing, productivity and more. (And no, I don’t just say that because my own posts have been known to appear there…read her for ages before that.)
  7. Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing. Whatever I’m trying to do, Danny is one step ahead of me. Guest posting? He’s done hundreds. Crowdsource a book with lots of buy-in from your peeps? He rocked it with Engagement from Scratch, and now he’s getting buzz for his manifesto, Naked Marketing. If you want to know how to build an audience for an ebook you’re thinking of doing, pay attention.
  8. John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing. John has been around since way before the Internet, and he’s got old-school smarts on what works today. He posts a lot on American Express OPEN Forum, which if you’re not reading it is probably the best corporate blog out there, featuring a ton of solid-gold experts.
  9. Barry Moltz. I met Barry at SOBCon — and he helps businesses get unstuck. If you’re stuck in a rut and not getting the customers you want, he’s really worth a read. Another AmEx OPEN regular.
  10. Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic. You may know Jon from Copyblogger, but his own thing is working to mentor writers on how to use guest posting to skyrocket their blogs. He helped me once for like a half-hour on a post, and it got in Best of Copyblogger 2010. ‘Nuff said.
  11. Ben Settle of Email Players. Ben is the king of email marketing. I’m getting his emails now, and often, I don’t even need to open them to learn. Take a dozen of his headlines and read them, and it’s probably better than taking a university marketing course. If you’re not getting good open rates on your emails, he’s your man.
  12. Liz Strauss at the Successful (and Outstanding) Blog. Liz is the cofounder of SOBCon, and one of the best teachers of valuable business lessons anywhere. On her blog posts, Liz tells stories about her life that help you make your business better. They’re really short. You learn how to connect with people and welcome them so they’ll trust you and want to buy from you. Read them and, as Liz says, you’ll only be a stranger to her once.
  13. Dan Zarrella, Social Media Scientist. Like Derek, Dan is all about the hard data. Need to know when you should tweet? What words get retweeted most? He’s your guy.

Get Great Freelance Clients


  1. Walker Thornton

    Great list. I read a couple of these, but many are new to me.Thank you for pulling this all together for us in one concise lists.

    • Carol Tice

      Pleasure! I’ve been meaning to share these for a long time — happy to finally get this post up.

  2. Glori S.

    Kikolani and Think traffic are my personal favorites!
    I have heard of the others but I’m trying to taper down the number of blogs I read…
    Talk about info overload!

    Great list nonetheless!

  3. Madeleine Kolb

    I’m having a problem watching the free training from Daniel Hall. All I can get is an image of the header and a link to the info about signing up for the course and another link to install Adobe Flash (which I’ve already done). Am I missing something?

    • Carol Tice

      I’m not sure…when I click it I go right there and the video queues right up and starts playing. But you’re not the only one who’s reported a problem, so I’ve let Daniel’s admin know to take a look at it.

      If you already have Adobe, I’d try a different browser and see if that makes it appear. Working in Safari for me. I feel like when things go wrong, they just keep going wrong sometimes…

      But no worries…I have a physical copy of this event so if necessary I’ll distribute it myself. But I’m hoping we can get it up and going again.

  4. Sarah

    Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn is also a great website. It is full of great tips for people who work online and although it is about passive income and niche websites it also has lots of more general tips and information that everyone can use.

  5. Kathy Kramer

    I am definitely going to bookmark this post. I’m especially interested in the marketing side because marketing is not my “comfort zone” and I need to break out of it. My desire to freelance is an exercise in me breaking out of all of my comfort zones, which is a good thing because that is what has been holding me back all these years.

    • Carol Tice

      I guess that was the reason I started reading these folks too — I came out of journalism and I had never sold anything to anyone. I knew this was an area I needed to learn a LOT about ….and those who were on last week’s Open House Call know I’m still learning 😉

      I think one of the secrets of my success though, in general, is that I always think of myself as a student. I love to learn new stuff! I think that trait has taken me far.

    • Carol Tice

      Right on Kim — that’s actually how I first met Derek, he asked me to guest on the DIYThemes blog. Then I found Social Triggers later, which is more relevant to what I want to know, all about blog conversion. I don’t have Thesis so DIYThemes not so much!

  6. Tim McDonnell

    Great resources, thanks. I also recommend “intentional leadership” by Michael Hyatt – very practical productivity tips in there on a regular basis. Was really interested in the e-book webinar but could not get it to play after numerous Flash install attempts in multiple browsers.

  7. John Jantsch

    Wait – did you just call me old 🙂

    No worries I love sharing the latest and greatest with you youngsters.

    Thanks for the shout out. I really appreciate it!

    • Carol Tice

      No, old SCHOOL, John. Like you know marketing from since before the Interwebs. I’m pretty old school myself so obviously I consider that a compliment!

      • John Jantsch

        I know, I was just kidding, I definitely take it as a compliment. #wiseenoughtoknow

  8. J. Delancy

    A really useful post. It’s going directly into my Evernote file.

  9. Missy

    Hi, Carol:

    A few of these blogs made it onto my list (link is below) as well. I keep reading about Jon Morrow on your site, must check him out. But have never heard of his Boost Blog Traffic, that one is new to me.

    Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

  10. Yvonne D. Hawkins

    I couldn’t take the webinar while it was live, so I just watched the video. How do I get the source code for the imbedded social networking link that was mentioned?

    • Carol Tice

      As I recall it’s shown during the presentation, Yvonne. If not, believe I made a copy — let me see, if so I’ll send it over to you.

  11. Tim Bradley, Writer

    Superlative post, as usual. Ben Settle’s blog was not a site for sore eyes. Instead, it’s just one very long ad for very expensive publications.

    • Carol Tice

      Indeed…but my point is, he’s making a fortune selling those! I know writers who’re doing his Email Players program and have heard it’s great. I think he has huge open rates on his emails, so it’s useful to study how he gets that done.

  12. Clara Mathews

    This is a great list. I already read Brian Clark, Derek Halpern and Kristi Hines, but I will investigate some of the others.

  13. Kristi Hines

    Thanks so much for including me on this list Carol! I always learn from your posts on freelance writing and am truly impressed that you do all you do on your own site and so many others! 🙂

    • Carol Tice

      Well thanks Kristi! I’m loving your resource posts as well. I read pretty widely around the Interwebs but always find a few new must-reads in there on Fridays.

  14. Linda

    Good morning, Carol!

    I was thinking it is about time to tidy up my reading list, so thanks for the timely and helpful suggestions. Got some of them, but always like something new.

    Could I also add to the mix, please?

    Jim Connolly puts out useful, brief and no fluff stuff related to more than just marketing your business. His blog also recently hit the top spot on some ‘Who’s Who’ of helpful blogs type thing – here’s the link:

    Kind regards,

  15. Linda

    Me again, Carol!

    Sorry to be a pain, but I tried the ‘How to Publish an Ebook on the Kindle Today That Sells Like Gangbusters’ link but the video didn’t work. Could you suggest where else I go search for this, please?
    Many thanks,

    • Linda

      Duh! Sorry – just realised the view period had ended.

    • Carol Tice

      Sure — it’s going to be posted in the Den for members next week 😉

  16. Freelance Writer

    Thanks for sharing information that are really efficient for a writer.


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