By sheer presence of people impacted and the amount of followers, these are undoubtedly the top personal development bloggers on the internet right now.
Leo Babauta of Zenhabits.net
Top blogging experts like Pat Flynn and Corbett Barr claim zenhabits.net as the most popular personal blog of all time. Still run by one person, Zen Habits attracts two million readers a month.
If you start reading the blog, you will quickly realize it has a focus on minimalism, simplicity, meditation, and building good habits.
James Clear runs a successful self development blog at jamesclear.com. He is well known for his writing ability and his articles. His articles have a flavor focused on improving your habits and creativity, peak performance, motivation, goal-setting, willpower, and procrastination. He stands out with scientific and historical evidence in the footnotes of his articles.
Other than James Clear, Mark is one of the only top self help bloggers who writes long form, personal articles. He has one of the world’s top read blogs, which gets at least a million readers a month. Mark started out blogging about dating advice as a pick up artist. He soon discarded that path, moved to general men’s dating, and then, to self development in general.
He calls his material “life advice that doesn’t suck” and has positioned himself as the “anti-B.S.” self development guy. His flavor of topics focuses on:
- Not caring what other people think.
- Mid to long-term relationships.
- Life skills and knowing yourself.
Occasionally, he touches on confidence and goal-setting. Mark has lately been writing more and more about political topics. He also offers a subscription service for his premium articles.
Ramit is the best-selling author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich and a blog of the same name. He built a multi-million dollar business of his blog. Ramit’s blog started out as a personal finance passion project. It has evolved into a blog and business to help people in their 20s to 40s with earning more and becoming successful CEO’s.
Ramit’s flavor of personal development blog posts are hyper focused on getting raises, freelancing on the side, automating budgets, networking, and starting online businesses. The techniques he teaches has an undertone of “mastering your psychology.” He has a distinct, outspoken style to his writing.
James run his blog Jamesaltucher.com and his podcast The James Altucher Show. Both are wildly popular. His blog attracted hundreds of thousands of readers a month and his podcast attracts millions of listeners a month, rivaling the audience of a lower quality HBO TV Show.
James’s writing is unique. Every article pulls you in with shocking, and sometimes offensive, curiosity. He reveals embarrassing and evoking stories and feelings from his past. And occasionally, he gives you some advice. The topics he writes about can range quite a bit, but often, the advice is a small tip based on daily life, like how to persuade better.
His podcast has a format where he brings a successful guest on to be interviewed. His guests range from successful entrepreneurs to authors to spiritual teachers (kind of like Addicted 2 Success). What makes it unique is that James sometimes spends weeks preparing for his guests. He reads all of his guests’ books at least once.
Maria Popova of BrainPickings.org
Maria started her blog for fun. Originally, only her friends read it. Over time, it grew to be one of the largest personal blogs in the world. Brain Pickings is borderline not personal development. I would not recommend it for a beginner.
The topics Maria writes about are often philosophical, esoteric, and intended to make you think. Occasionally, she will profile a recognizable successful person. But usually, she just picks interesting people. Her topics are all over the place. They include storytelling, history, love, powerlessness, courage, crisis, self-pity, and creativity.
Her articles usually are not “How to” or intended to specifically teach you a specific way of doing something. The beautiful images she chooses for her articles make them really stand out.
Marie worked as a bartender, fitness instructor, and for NASDAQ, but never felt fully fulfilled. She started a life coaching business online, and it slowly grew into a multi-million dollar business that teaches beginners how to succeed in life and start their own business.
Marie produces content on her blog and Youtube channel once a week. The topics she talks about focus on general self-development tips that her female-dominated audience struggle with, which are usually psychological shifts. These shifts include dealing with imposter syndrome, feeling overwhelmed, getting over perfectionism, why you should embrace gratitude, and adopting an abundance mindset.
You will not get any technical tactics on starting a business for her content because she is more focused on overarching beginner strategies. She has two taglines, which she says in every episode of her videos. These are, “The place to be to create a business and life you love.” and “The world needs that special gift that only you have.”
Brian Tracy is a motivation, sales, and self help legend. He is spoke of on the same line as other legends like Zig Ziglar, Wayne Dyer, and Jim Rohn. Brian started as a high school dropout working odd jobs. In his early 30’s, he discovered self development and sales, which transformed his life. In the next couple decades, he became a top salesperson and motivational speaker in the nation.
Brian creates content every week on his Youtube channel, Facebook page, and blog http://www.briantracy.com/blog/. The content is high quality, high production, and actionable. It may be too high production and cookie-cutter for some people though. Brian is a great person to follow because he has decades of actual experience negotiating, selling, and improving productivity in business to back up what he says. His content focuses on time management, earning more money, improving as a salesperson, public speaking, and running a business.
Brian is most well known for his “Eat That Frog” productivity concept, which pushes you to finish the task you dread the most first.
Marc and Angel
Marc and Angel are a couple and they run the blog Marc and Angel Hack Life. They have a large audience of 130,000 email subscribers and over a million monthly readers. They have been blogging for many years and are well known in their space. Their topics cover a broad, general range of self development. However, they have a definite focus on improving happiness, relationships, motivation, and overwhelm.
You will like them if you prefer list-based articles and a conversational tone. They tend to bounce around many general self help topics and give advice from the heart, like Zen Habits, rather than focus on data or scientific evidence.
Evan has one of the top Youtube channels to help people achieve success. Evan is most well known for his “_______’s Top 10 Rules of Success”, which are video montages of a successful people giving success advice. He covers successful people of every domain and skillset, including entrepreneurs, talk show hosts, actors, athletes, world peace leaders, marketers, motivational speakers, philosophers, and martial artists.
There are two qualities I like most about Evan’s videos. First, he spends a lot of time to create curated content in a form I appreciate most: video interviews of top achievers. Second, some of his videos are really well curated and obviously require a lot of digging to find each clip. The video below is the best example I could find. He made a montage of dozens of billionaires and other successful people talking about why you should follow your passion.
I was flabbergasted after watching this. His team probably had to manually watch and dig through a hundred hours of lectures to find the one moment when they talk about the topic.
Jon Morrow of Unstoppable.me
Jon built a multi-million dollar online business, lives on a beach, and impacts millions of readers with his articles — while only being able to move his mouth. Jon is paralyzed from the neck down and was living off the government, until he decided to deliver value to the word through his writing with voice dictation software. Out of all of these bloggers, he may be the best writer on the list. See how he writes and speaks, and you’ll get it. There’s empathy, there’s storytelling, there’s value.
Michael Hyatt is a well known player in the online space. He runs a podcast and blog at michaelhyatt.com and calls himself, “Your Virtual Mentor.” Michael has authored best-selling books like Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want and Platform University: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.
There is a definite focus on helping people stop drifting through life, discover their passion, and turn it into an online business by building an audience. If that is not for you, he also touches on how to shift your mindset for success, productivity, and leadership.
Tony got his start apprenticing under an old self development and motivation legend, Jim Rohn. Starting out as a broke janitor, Tony rose through the ranks. Decades later, he runs a billion dollar set of training companies. Tony started out in the infomercial business but has sinced transitioned to in-person live events for thousands of people.
He is still mainly an offline guy. He is well known for his book Awaken the Giant Within and live events Unleash the Power Within and Date with Destiny. He is the most well known self development man to the mainstream market.Top celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Maria Menounous, and Usher have attended his events. Tony’s content is focused on general personal development principles, such as unleashing your full potential, discovering motivation, rekindling relationships, improving your energy levels, and becoming wealthy.
Steve is known as one of the first personal development blogs to ever be created on the Internet. He is still around to this day. His articles focus on a more general, non-spiritual, daily-life style form of personal development.
Leo Gura of Actualized.org
Leo has one of the largest personal development presences on YouTube. Leo’s flavor of content has a meditation and spiritual-focus, though he keeps it objective enough so that you can learn from him even if you are not religious. Leo draws from the large amount of books he has read and the science he has learned to back up his points. Most of Leo’s content has an undertone of “becoming the best actualized, higher level spiritual version of yourself.” There is a clear focus on moving towards enlightenment.
I’m an aspiring personal development blogger. I love to analyze and discover patterns between the world’s top businessmen, athletes, artists, and people. Here’s a cheat sheet of what I’ve discovered.
Yes, I want the Secrets of Success in one digestable place.
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