UPDATED April 2021
The latest emerging career on the internet is the creation of content. There are different ways to blog across a variety of platforms, that nowadays anyone can be a blogger. Sometimes it feels as if the internet is overflowing with information, with blogs about every industry, niche, and interest imaginable.
There are different ways of measuring a blogger’s success but one thing is for sure – its influence. Only a blogger of credibility and passion truly influence and inspire readers. There are many bloggers that we can get inspiration from.
Read: Books for Bloggers
Among these influential bloggers are people like Arianna Huffington, Pete Cashmore, and Neil Patel, all of whom love their work and create content they enjoy.
In this list, we’ll discuss 20 of the most influential and interesting online publishers working today. Let’s get started!
1. Arianna Huffington
Huffington Post, Thrive Global
Arianna Huffington is a Greek-American media legend known for creating Huffington Post, a liberal news-media platform that has taken the internet by storm since its creation in 2005. While Arianna Huffington is no longer the editor-in-chief of HuffPo, she built a news empire “during a challenging time for all media organizations.”
In addition to her work on Huffington Post, this female go-getter also founded Thrive Global, a media group that encourages self-help, wellness, and performance.
2. Pete Cashmore
Pete Cashmore is the Scottish-born founder of Mashable, a news resource for millennials and tech-lovers. Starting Mashable at just 19 years old, Cashmore fits right in with his fellow Silicon Valley entrepreneurs as a young, disruptive tech guru.
While Mashable was successful as a tech blog, it was Cashmore’s pivot from tech blog to media resource that made Mashable a household name.
3. Neil Patel
KISSmetrics/Neil Patel website
Neil Patel is a marketer, influencer, and entrepreneur who grew up in California as the son of immigrants. His story is an amazing tale of hard work and ambition, in which he emptied trash cans, sold automotive parts, and traveled door-to-door vacuuming houses for free, all in the name of business.
Over time, Patel realized proper knowledge of marketing and software could be the key to his success (that, and creating simple solutions for common problems). After a few startups, Patel and his team have created KISSmetrics, an analytics platform for those looking to succeed in business, this then evolved into his own website/blog for SEO and blogging beginners and experts alike.
4. Rand Fishkin
Rand Fishkin is the Seattle-born, self-proclaimed “Wizard of Moz,” which is just a simpler way of saying founder, former CEO, and current chairman of the board of directors. Moz was founded in 2004, and today, it’s one of the top SEO resource websites for businesses and bloggers.
Fishkin was a college dropout who simply began working on a blog of his own design. Moz is now a multi-million-dollar company that continues to grow and help internet users.
5. Christene Barberich
Christene Barberich is a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Refinery29, one of the most popular and most-viewed style blogs in the world. Barberich cofounded Refinery29 with a few friends in a small apartment. The blog is now a rapidly growing company with billions of visitors a year.
Not only is Refinery29 a huge success, but Christene Barberich has also proven that blogs with a focus on self-help and personal interests can evolve into something culturally relevant and inspiring.
6. Brian Clark
Brian Clark is the main author and founder of Copy Blogger, which is his most successful franchise. Copy Blogger was created in 2006 to help digital creatives with marketing, copywriting, and content creation. This is one of the most influential resources in the blogging and content creation industry. Through Copy Blogger, the legacy of Brian Clark has been cemented in the history of digital art.
Other than this, he also owns Further which is a midlife personal growth newsletter. He also founded Unemployable which is a community that aids freelancers and entrepreneurs. He has since stepped down as the CEO of Copy Blogger but his influence and legacy remains. Clark continues to contribute content for the blog, giving inspiration for bloggers and influencers worldwide.
7. Collis Ta’eed
In Melbourne, Australia lives Collis Ta’eed, CEO co-founder of Envato, a company that focuses on self-learning and helping creatives. You may be familiar with Tutsplus, the Envato site with endless tutorials and how-tos. After working in web design and selling stock, Ta’eed co-founded Envato with Cyan Ta’eed, his wife.
If a typical day in the life of Collis Ta’eed is any indication, Ta’eed is a CEO who isn’t afraid to work hard and get his hands dirty. He’s an advocate for communication and organization.
8. Jonah Peretti
Buzzfeed, Huffington Post
Jonah Peretti grew up in California and is the co-founder and CEO of the pop culture phenomenon, Buzzfeed. Before he co-founded Buzzfeed, Peretti also worked with a group of people (including Arianna Huffington) to create Huffington Post. Peretti began Buzzfeed as an experiment of sorts: a platform that would extract popular content and allow people to connect over it.
That’s exactly what Buzzfeed became. Now valued at more than a billion, Buzzfeed provides news, cultural content, and entertainment.
9. Ellarie Noel
Instagram is also a great platform for blogging and content creation. Her niche focuses on single mom lifestyles, business ideas, and beauty. Her followers also love her other content which discusses lifestyle, travel, and product reviews. What is most inspiring about her is that from an unemployed single mom, she has turned her life around through blogging and content creation. Now, she has over a million followers on various social media platforms.
She inspired many single moms like herself to transform into the best entrepreneurs they can be. Noel calls this transformation as being a ‘mommapreneur’. Although she is more popular in the ‘Mommapreneur’ niche, Noel is also a well-known beauty blogger.
10. Stephen Totilo
Brooklyn-based Stephen Totilo is the Editor-in-Chief of Kotaku, a niche blog for those who like niche subjects: gaming, “nerd” culture, and everything in-between. Totilo has written about video games for MTV, The New York Times, and Newsweek.
Stephen Totilo has focused on a niche industry—in this case, blogging about video games. Because of his knowledge, interests, and drive, he’s had great opportunities to blog about what he loves.
11. Ryan Schreiber
Ryan Schreiber is the Founder and CEO of Pitchfork, the indie music blog that continues to guide both musicians and music-lovers alike. Schreiber began Pitchfork in 1995, during a time when the internet was essentially the Wild West. What’s more, he began the blog right out of his Minneapolis bedroom.
Pitchfork is now owned by Condé Nast, the media conglomerate that boasts heavy-hitting brands such as The New Yorker and Vogue. In the beginning, Schreiber was simply a youngster on a new platform, blogging about what he enjoyed (mostly because he couldn’t afford to create a physical magazine). Despite the difficult early years, Schreiber’s “labor of love” paid off—big-time.
12. Leon Ho
Leon Ho is San Francisco-based founder and CEO of Lifehack, the vastly popular lifestyle blog that teaches productivity tips in all areas. After managing a large team, applying business “hacks,” and learning lessons, Ho decided to share his wisdom with others via the blogosphere. Lifehack now has over 12 million monthly readers and counting.
While Lifehack started as a way for one person to share tips and tricks, it has become a major resource for experts and avid learners alike, bringing in numerous authors and subscribers.
13. Valeria Lipovetsky
Over the course of the last year, TikTok has become one of the most impressive platforms for influencers. One of these popular and very influential TikTok fashion influencers would be Valeria Lipovetsky. Watching her play and give tips on style, makeup, clothing, and modeling is empowering for many.
Valeria has visibility in a lot of platforms which include TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. But she also has a blog where she writes about her experiens being a model, her fashion influences, her style, and more. The model is the CEO of Valeria Inc which is a media company creating personalized brands for influencers, creatives, and digital artists. On top of that, she also has a jewelry line called Leia Collections.
She is not only a fashion blogger, but she is also a young mom of two, and a veteran model since she was 15. She also has content on parenting, health, and wellness.
14. Tim Ferris
Four-hour work week
Tim Ferris is one of the most influential lifestyle bloggers on the internet. His content focuses on how to make life so much less about work and more about living. Through his blog, he creates content about email detoxing, the joys and benefits of automation, mini-retirements, investing, and more.
This blogger is actually made famous by his best selling book – Four Hour Work Week. He advocates what he calls ‘escaping the 9-5’. Who doesn’t want to escape an 8-hour work schedule and live life to the fullest anywhere in the world?
15. Pat Flynn
Right now, being a content creator is a highly-coveted career. Anyone could create a video, a podcast, or a blog but not anyone can create a brand out of it. Pat Flynn became an influential blogger by helping creatives create their own blogs. The blog does not just focus on online creatives but on building online businesses in general. He also owns Green Exam Academy which is a LEED certification tutorial blog.
Not only does Flynn have a couple of successful blogs, but he also has a podcast. He is also the owner of Flynndustries, LLC. He is quite influential because of the inspiration he gives to people. He was originally laid off from his job and he created opportunities from his tragedy. Especially now that people are spending more time at home, because of the same reasons, this is very inspirational. On top of that, creating online content from anywhere in the world is a dream.
Pat Flynn may not be the richest, with only about $2 million in net worth, but he certainly is one of the most inspirational.
16. Jonathan Van Ness
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
Coming from a multiple generations of journalists, he grew up with knowledge and expertise in media. Although he has taken a different route from traditional written work, his social media presence has taken the world by storm. He has his own podcast, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. Van Ness is also one of the hosts of the popular show Queer Eye. Recently, he also published his own memoir and a couple picture books.
Thinking about taking LGBTQ+ to a whole new level, Jonathan Van Ness is one of the most popular LGBTQ+ influencers in the industry. Not only has he broken barriers with being transgender in fashion, but he has also continuously advocated for many sensitive discussions like HIV awareness, and mental health.
17. Michael Arrington
Michael Arrington is considered as one of the richest bloggers in the world with average monthly earnings of around $800,000 and a total networth of around $15 million. For his work in TechCrunch, he is named as Time Magazine’s most influential person back in 2008. During this time, many of the well-known blogs of today are just in their early stages. Also, the blogging industry is just about to skyrocket into what it is today making his selection such an impressive prestige and great milestone. Recently, he has ventured into a new trending industry – cryptocurrency.
18. Vani Hari
The Food Babe
Who knew that food can be so influential? The Food Babe is not what you think, it does not create content on baking, cooking, or anything remotely related to recipes. Instead, The Food Babe is a food critic blog. Vani Hari is also a best-selling author best known for promoting food safety, natural food alternatives, and clean eating. She has published books on recipes (The Food Babe Kitchen) highlighting her food safety advocacies. She lobbies towards using the best quality natural ingredients to create the best quality food for consumption. Her goal is to change the food industry and provide safer and healthier alternatives for consumers.
Vani Hari is not just a food blogger, she is also an activist. Her work may have influenced the menu and ingredient selections of a handful of fast-food chains in the US.
19. Brett McKay
The Art of Manliness
Oklahoma man Brett McKay knows all there is to know about “manliness.” As the founder and editor-in-chief of The Art of Manliness, McKay has been writing for men like himself since 2008, while he was studying law. After browsing men’s lifestyle magazines and failing to see articles that interested him, McKay decided to make his own men’s lifestyle magazine—online.
The Art of Manliness is a full-time business for McKay and his wife, Kate. The blog covers applicable topics, such as fashion, business skills, affordable clothing, health tips, and financial tricks. Nearly a decade ago, McKay observed the need for a change in men’s reading; he now garners over 10 million page views per month as of 2017.
20. Susan Yara
Skincare has gained so much following in recent years that many beauty bloggers shifted from content about makeup to skincare. Susan Yara is one of the OGs on skincare as she is a well-known #skinthusiast. She co-founded a blog called Mixed Makeup. Her work has been featured in People Magazine, The New York Post, CNBC, Businessweek, and more. Besides co-owning Mixed Makeup, Yara also runs a personal blog and owns a skincare line called Naturium skin.
Not everyone has the financial capacity and skin adaptability to test and try skincare to find the best. Her blog has got that covered. Her content includes brand comparisons, skincare type comparisons, testing, and more. This is what makes her blog so influential – taking care of your skin is self-care. Beauty is more than makeup.
These are just 20 amazing bloggers, but there are numerous others. And sure, being a modern blogger can feel daunting, especially considering how saturated the market is. However, if there’s one thing to be learned from the bloggers above, it’s this lesson; writing about your interests can pay off with the right ambition and the proper skills.
These bloggers teach us perseverance is a major step in creating success; they also teach us that learning from mistakes is crucial. Most importantly, these bloggers reinforce one simple truth; it’s okay to pursue new projects. After all, a new project today could be your livelihood in the years to come.