10 Amazing Women Bloggers and How I Found Them

Carol Tice

Writing Blogger Hard At WorkFor today’s installment of guest-posting week, I want to talk about some of the benefits of posting that are a bit intangible, but very real. For me, these fringe benefit can be a good reason to guest post. Guesters can give your freelance writing career — or your quest to be a big-earning blogger — a major boost.

Many writers resist guest posting because it takes a lot of time and has an uncertain payoff. But I don’t think of guesting purely as something where I’m hoping for immediate monetizing.

Instead, think of it another way — as a great way to create relationships with influential new friends who might help you improve your blog.

The best way to get a guest post in my experience is to get noticed and asked. You get to know people, they get to know and like your work, and then they ask if you want to guest for them.

How can you connect with wonderful bloggers and skyrocket your own blogging career? Some ways that have worked for me include:

  • Social media (for me mostly LinkedIn and Twitter)
  • LinkedIn writer forums such as LinkedIn Editors & Writers and Writer’s Mafia
  • A-List Blogger Club

I haven’t talked much about A-List in a while, so here’s an update on how the social aspect of the club Club is helping me. I’ve already written about technical stuff I learned in A-List that helped make my blog more enticing. But there’s more to A-List than just an archive of courses from the club founders that you can read and listen to and watch.

Hanging out in A-List’s private forums exposed me to a whole world of fantastic bloggers I had never heard of before. Recently, they all seem to be women — maybe just who I’m gravitating to right now. I don’t think I would have known any of them otherwise.

If you want to have a great blog — especially one that makes money — here’s a piece of no-brainer advice: Read a lot of great blogs.

Not just one or two. Get inspired! See the different writing styles and approaches bloggers are using.

Personally, I’m so focused on writing-writing-writing all the time. It’s been transformative for me to read bloggers who’re writing about something else — minimalism, the quest for happiness, sexuality, cooking. It opens up my world and makes me think of new ways to approach my own topics.

One easy way to find other wonderful bloggers, I’ve discovered, is to circulate in a community where everyone is really serious about their blog. One where they’ve paid an admission fee to learn more about blogging. It was a revelation to me when I joined to discover how interesting everybody in A-List is, and how much I could learn one-on-one from the members — they’re all over the world, blogging about many different things, and some of their blogs are just amazing.

The schmooze factor

Reaching out to a popular blogger you’re on a list or in a club with often gets a response. It’s a great way to meet bloggers you might guest for — and guesting for smaller sites is a great way to get in training for scoring high-profile guest posts.

I’ve ended up speaking live and forming friendships with writers I’ve met through A-List. You grow your support network, find possible places to guest post, and start getting useful, free suggestions on how to improve your blog.

So when you consider guest posting, think about the whole package of what guesting can bring you. You’re forging a stronger link with another blogger and helping each other succeed. It feels a lot less lonely, and my experience is you get where you want to go with your blog at lightspeed instead of snail-speed.

Given what I’ve recently learned about how much fear cripples many writers who’re trying to make it as freelancers, I think the power of finding camaraderie with other quality bloggers can’t be underestimated. Feeling that support can make a huge difference in the course of your whole career.

10 Great Women Bloggers I’ve Recently Discovered

To give you an idea of what I mean, here are 10 fantastic women bloggers I’ve discovered recently, mostly through A-List. Most of these blogs are written by A-List members or were recommended to me by A-Listers. A few came from other people in my social networks.

Cat’s Eye Writer — I had a longtime writer friend recommend fellow Seattle writer Judy Dunn’s site to me shortly before we became Top 10 Blogs for Writers winners together. I felt savvy for having already discovered her very practical, grounded advice site for freelance writers.

The Daily Brainstorm — This site is a collaborative, spinoff project from A-List, and A-Listers Barrie Davenport and Katie Tallo are at the helm (A-List co-founder Mary Jaksch is one of the founders here, too). The Brainstorm’s new free report for subscribers, 23 Ways to Rock Your Mind, gives you a taste of the quality inspirational material they crank out on topics from personal growth to food, money, and shopping.

The Happiness Project — You may know that,  as author Dennis Prager put it, happiness is a serious problem. We live longer than ever, have a better quality of life than any generation previous, and yet so often, we’re miserable. Gretchen Rubin’s great site builds on her book of the same name, providing inspiration for accentuating the positive each day.

HoboMama — Lauren Wayne’s natural-parenting blog has a strong sense of voice I find refreshing. My kids are too old for me to carry them around in a sling anymore, and some of them came from foster care too late for that anyway. But there’s something about her style that makes me want to start all over and hand-grind my own baby food and all. I did breastfeed one adopted baby (yes you can!), so I’m hoping I get some points for that. She’s not actually a hobo…I think.

Hyperbole and a Half — I have absolutely no visual skills, so I’m always in awe of people who can tell a compelling story in pictures. I’m also easily impressed by people who can write funny on a regular basis. Blogger Allie (who describes herself as “heroic, alert, caring and flammable”) does both, telling stories of her childhood in a winning, bare-bones cartoon style . I gather she recently got a book deal off her blog, and well-deserved, I say. I challenge you to read this post about eating a whole cake without busting up.

The ParmFarm — Amy Parmenter is one of the first bloggers I noticed on A-List. Her helpfulness on A-List drew me to check out her blog, which is an uplifting place to hang out. As her tagline says, “Stop by. Grow.”

Pioneer Woman — If you want to see how to make your personal blog pay, this is a nice example. Ree is a self-described desperate housewife who did a Green Acres out of city life to live with hubby on a farm, and chronicles her adventures in country living on the blog. She also loves to cook, and sells her photography and cookbooks on the site. Her tagline (“Plowing through the country one calf nut at a time”) gives you an immediate sense of her frank, funny attitude. A fresh look at a way of life that few Americans pursue anymore…served up with a side order of tasty-lookin’ vittles!

Rowdy Kittens — Though the name wouldn’t tell you, A-List member Tammy Strobel’s blog is about simple living — her ebooks are Smalltopia and Simply Car-Free. I came to her blog originally after seeing her case study on A-List about how she earns affiliate commissions through her Products I Love page (a strategy I adored and immediately adopted). But I stayed for the interesting, inspirational posts on how we can make do with less, save more money, work less, and spend more time enjoying the simple beauty of life on Earth.

Toy With Me — Warning: This site is not G-rated. But if you’re looking for a frank, pro-woman look at modern sexuality that will make you laugh until pee dribbles down your leg, take a peek at this blog. Another great blog to look at for monetizing — blogger Crissy The Queen of Everything (as she prefers to be known) sells vibrators. Proudly. I could never pull this kind of tone off in a million years, and my husband would divorce me if I wrote about our sex life this way, but she doesn’t just make it work — she makes it rock. Read How My Hair Caught on Fire During Sex without laughing, I dare you.

Virgin Blogger Notes — This blog was started by Jean Sarauer, who was in the process of departing A-List to write a novel as I was arriving last fall. But good news — her blog was snapped up by A-List co-founder Mary Jaksch. Now it’s serving as an unofficial guest-posting training ground for A-Listers who’re hoping to guest for bigger sites, including Mary’s Write to Done or A-List co-founder Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits. If you’re baffled by blogging, this is a great place to hang out.

Next up on guest-posting week: I evaluate two social-media bigwigs’ opinions on whether guest-posting is the ticket to instant riches or a total waste of time. Subscribe and you won’t miss it.

What little-known yet awesome bloggers do you read for inspiration? Leave a comment and let us know who they are and how you found them.

Photo via stock.xchng user thesaint

55 Comments

  1. Anne Wayman

    Great list of blogs I haven’t found yet, Carol… thanks… and how do you find the time?

    • Carol Tice

      I try to learn something while I’m eating lunch — surf links I’ve been meaning to check out, or read a piece of A-List Blogger Club content. Feel like I can’t type or interview that well while chewing or holding a sandwich, so that’s my chance!

  2. P-A-McGoldrick

    What a great glimpse into the guest blogging venture!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Patricia
    PM_Poet Writer

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Patricia —

      Glad you found it useful…nice to see you over here on my blog.

  3. Kiesha

    Hi Carol,
    I’d have to say that Rebecca Osberg of Social Media Writing Boutique (rebeccaosberg.com) is an awesome blogger – she’s got awesome tips for business owners who dare to blog.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Kiesha!

      Well you know I’m digging Rebecca’s stuff — put her in my recent 10 Best articles for writers post for December. Great addition to my list!

  4. Tracie

    Great list…some of these women I have read and some of them are new to me.

    I am constantly inspired by Erin at The Mother Load http://www.abbyandizzysmom.blogspot.com/ Without fail I leave her blog ready to write more and aim higher.

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Tracie —

      Thanks for adding to the list — I am going to check Erin’s blog out. Sounds up my alley. BTW, one of the regular guest posters on that Toy With Me Site is Mommy Wants Vodka…I love the name of that blog so much. I feel boring now, just thinking about what a great blog name that is.

      • Tracie

        I read her! (Mommy Wants Vodka) That really is such a great blog name. It makes mine feel a little boring, I’m afraid.

        • Carol Tice

          I feel the same way…why isn’t my name also a hoot? I also want vodka…or Seagram’s, really. 3 kids. Just LOVE the frankness. I notice I keep saying that. I love people who are cut-the-bull and brutally honest. Definitely a theme for me.

  5. patrice

    Carol,
    This is a wonderful list. I feel like I can learn so much by seeing others who are doing such a good job with their blogs. I will return to several of these blogs to read more. Thanks!
    Patrice
    EverydayRuralty

  6. Erika

    I had found a few of these but was VERY happy to find more! My brother introduced me to Hyperbole and a Half and I have a happy day when she posts something new.

  7. toywithme

    Hi Carol,

    Thanks for including Toy With Me and one of our amazing writers, Crissy, among your fabulous list of incredible women! I’m looking forward to reading the other women.

    Cheers, Sandy
    Owner/Operator – Toy With Me

    • Carol Tice

      Well, looks like I cocked that up…I thought Crissy was the owner! In that case, you certainly rock as well, Sandy.

  8. Amy Parmenter

    Carol:

    So flattered to be on this list. I haven’t forgotten your guest post…but I’ve just been trying to come up with something worthy! You’ve set the bar high! You know I’m a fan….

    Amy
    The ParmFarm.com

    • Carol Tice

      What? Not you, girl! You’re leaping right over that bar like a beautiful gazelle.

      I liked what you pitched me way back…just go for it!

  9. Ollin Morales

    Ok, so I’m going to keep talking about this theory I have {I hope you don’t mind me using your blog to sift through my thoughts} but I’m trying to think of guest blogging as an opening for something bigger.

    Can guest blogging not just be something that gets you more views and more potential money in the future, but can it lay the foundation for your blogging being a sort of “hub”, a “deeper” community for like-minded individuals than most blogs. A place to dry out their laundry, express, be heard, feel connected.

    Where the owner of the blog says: “Hey friends, he’re’s this real cool guy I know, let him enrich you and then you enrich him.” Sort of a back and forth. Not just a FORTH.

    I guess this is what a blog is already, but I’m getting at something deeper here…

    I’m talking about the point where a blog can become less like a classroom, and more like an airport or a cafe. Students ditch class, but no one ditches the hot new cafe spot. Because not only do they learn things there, but they find other people who they think are cool, too. They can have fun, kick up their feet, relax and feel enriched.

    What if a blog can become this “cultural center” along with a “learning” and “business” center?

    In that sense, you are utilizing guest posting not just to get seen or earn money {which I understand is your whole theme here} but as a way to become the hot spot for the issue. In other ways, everyone in your niche has to get through YOU to get to the new cool guy out there.

    Again, my thoughts may not make any sense. I’m still developing this idea.

    But I wondered what your thoughts would be? Can you understand what I’m talking about, LOL.

    • Carol Tice

      Sure, you’re saying it’s a way to become a thought leader, and to be inviting, and seen as accessible. Think that’s all true.

      Feel free to continue working stuff out here on my blog…because it’s the cool airport lounge of freelance writing!

  10. Ollin Morales

    *in other words

    not in “other ways”

  11. Mikalee Byerman

    I’m constantly amazed at truly how much the care and feeding of my blog does NOT involve writing posts — but instead, reading other people’s posts, networking, finding design and widget ideas, etc.

    But I do find it almost intimidating/demoralizing/overwhelming to constantly try to sift through the mediocre sources to find the amazing sources. That’s why I love love LOVE finding lists like you’ve provided.

    So I guess my question is this: have you really compiled this list based on browsing sites on your lunch hour? Because to separate this kind of wheat from the chaff would probably take about 6 months of lunch hours, it would seem…

    Just curious. Thanks for posting this great resource!

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Mikalee — thanks for visiting the blog!

      No, I learn my A-List courses at lunch. Most of these bloggers I either met in the Club on their forums, which I spend a good bit of time on (since I still have lots to learn!), or people in the club recommended them to me. It definitely wasn’t from browsing around…that WOULD take forever!

  12. Judy Dunn

    Carol,

    Thanks for putting me on this list. Wow. I’m honored.

    I feel so blessed to have met you through the Top 10 Blogs for Writers awards. And to think you were in my backyard!

    Looking forward to growing the relationship in 2011!

    • Carol Tice

      Right back at ya, Judy!

  13. Dalene

    Hi Carol! I love your blog, thanks so much for all the great advice and links that you provide.

    I am trying to launch my freelance career – I’ve been travel blogging for over a year and now am doing a little freelancing (need more!) so that I can fund my travels indefinitely. A question for you about LinkedIn – I’m on there, but am not sure how to use it fully to my advantage. Any tips?

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Dalene — I think this story will help you with LinkedIn.

  14. Katie

    Hi Carol, thanks so much for the mention. I’m honoured. The site you linked to is actually my professional directing freelance website not my blog. That’s okay, but I rarely get directing work via the internet and would rather your readers discovered my blog than the movies I’ve made. No biggie, just thought I’d mention it. My blog is http://www.momentumgathering.com – by the way, your post really does say a lot about the progress and connections you’ve made. Great stuff. You’ve worked so hard. Congrats on the recent award!

    • Carol Tice

      Oh, right Katie — I knew that — sorry!

  15. Justin P Lambert

    Carol,
    Thanks very much for this list. I subscribed to a bunch of them. Good stuff. I’ll throw a shout out there for Tristan over at http://bloggingbookshelf.com. Really good, in-depth and creative nitty-gritty about running a blog from zero to success. He makes excellent use of infographics too, which I especially appreciate.
    Thanks again!

    • Carol Tice

      Ooh, I’m a sucker for infographics, since I haven’t a clue how you make them…thanks for adding to the list Justin!

  16. Karen

    Great info and really useful links. I’d come across the first three blogs but none of the others. Will be setting aside some time to take a look at them all. What I need now is advice on how to keep up with all my favorite bloggers and still have time to write!

    • Carol Tice

      I don’t know how to keep up with ALL my favorite bloggers…but I do have my email folders organized so that all my newsletters go in one folder. Then I can browse it at lunch and read a thing or two while chewing. That’s pretty much my strategy.

  17. Brendan

    Okay Carol, you’ve convinced me. I’m joining A-List. Thanks for yet another great and informative post!

    • Carol Tice

      Hope to see you in the club then! If you are joining, I’d appreciate your joining through my site — I get a commission. You pay nothing more.

  18. Helen Chris

    They are really amazing and serve as an inspiration to everyone even for boys…

  19. revisaac

    Wow great to be like this famous bloggers someday or just be acquainted with them or make friends with them is already enough for me. Do you know a blogger who is great with picture articles? I am making one and I want to ask her some clue

  20. miley

    i think that it’s such a wonderful opportunity to meet these bloggers.. and i would definitely want to become someone like them too.. someone successful.. i really am inspired with this post and i am hoping to read more of your articles..

  21. Dennis

    I’ve visited their blogs and oh man… they are really amazing writers. They have this touch of feminity and professionalism on their posts. Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate it.

  22. Vincent

    I am an avid reader of Katie’s blog too! Her blog content is really insightful and creative. I like her so much. Even though I’m a guy, I appreciate her viewpoints as a woman as well.

  23. Sonny

    You were able to find really interesting collection of blogs here. How were you able to search for them? They’re all amazing blogs I want to subscribe to.

  24. sweethalley

    having online friends is such a blessing for a blogger, especially when they are worthwhile bloggers like you and they help improve your blogging techniques and blogging! thanks for this post!! every great blogger started a little puny promising writer and then grew with confidence and talent to be a great one!! like you!!

  25. Jenny

    Such an interesting collection of blogs, i find it so inspiring. thanks

  26. Nayumigrante

    I had visited some of the their blog.. And they really are awesome! Thanks for sharing this info..

  27. tiger

    Then I can browse it at lunch and read a thing or two while chewing. That’s pretty much my strategy. | 😛

  28. Sally Thompson

    I it my pleasure to follow your techniques! I learned a lot from your blog.. Thanks for the post!

  29. janetfree

    Writing is one of my stress absorber since I was in my junior years. I write a lot but for my own consumption. I just love writing anything what I feel on a certain situation. Until I become a mother I still have my journal with me, writing down every event of my kids life. I read about blogging and very interested on it. Now I am gathering information from pros like you how to be an effective blogger. My first goal is to prove to myself that I can do it and not minding if I will earn an income from it or not. Any way thanks very much for this great writers.

  30. Suzie

    I really love to meet them too.. Yo have such a great blog here! I will definitely check them out..

  31. conan0506

    I do find it almost intimidating/demoralizing/overwhelming to constantly try to sift through the mediocre sources to find the amazing sources. That’s why I love love LOVE finding lists like you’ve provided. | 😛

  32. Betty

    those are a great list of interesting blogs! will definitely check on them all 🙂 thanks for posting!

  33. maravilla

    I can do it and not minding if I will earn an income from it or not. Any way thanks very much for this great writers.

  34. beverlie

    . I’d come across the first three blogs but none of the others. Will be setting aside some time to take a look at them all. What I need now is advice on how to keep up with all my favorite bloggers and still have time to write!

  35. hunterX0506

    I just love writing anything what I feel on a certain situation. Until I become a mother I still have my journal with me, writing down every event of my kids life. | 😛

  36. Santilla

    I am gathering information from pros like you how to be an effective blogger. My first goal is to prove to myself that I can do it and not minding if I will earn an income from it or not.thanks!

  37. Marta

    The site you linked to is actually my professional directing freelance website not my blog.

  38. desperadas

    Mary Jaksch’s work is definitely an A-list! Thanks for sharing these wonderful writers 🙂

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