I’ve been blogging for quite a long time now. In fact I launched my first blog 8 years ago this month.
The other day my friend, Shane, was asking me how I kept motivated with blogging especially after doing it for so long. I told him that I have bookmarked a handful of blog posts which I revisit whenever I feel unmotivated, tired or frustrated. After all blogging can be quite a lonely and daunting process especially in those first few months.
And this got me thinking, what blog posts have been influential on some of my favourite bloggers? So I reached out and asked them.
Below are the twenty excellent responses I received.
This is a free eBook from Seth Godin on starting a business with nothing at all. This eBook, as well as Guy Kawasaki’s Art of the Start, were the two biggest influences on me starting Content Marketing Institute.
Joe Pulizzi – Founder Content Marketing Institute
There was one article from 2010 that has continued to challenge my thinking and perspective and this was a piece that Malcolm Gladwell wrote called Small change: Why the revolution won’t be tweeted.
Remember that this was written before Arab Spring, before Occupy Wall Street and other seemingly crowd-sourced revolts. When he wrote it, he was largely criticized but looking back, we must consider whether is it possible to create a societal change through the weak relational links of social media. What change has really occurred through the Spring and Occupy movements? The piece continues to provoke discussion five years later.
Here is the most inspiring post I’ve ever read: A Speech You Will Never Hear Again by Mark Schaefer. It’s actually a transcript of a talk he gave at a conference, and picturing Mark saying these words on a stage makes it all the more powerful.
It starts “I’m just a guy with a blog. A blog that saved my life…” and goes into the most personal account I’ve read about how the act of creating something, content even, can take you from a very bad place in life to a much better place, physically, mentally and emotionally. Rarely have I read such a personal account on such an important topic. I recommend spending a few quiet minutes with Mark’s words.
Andy Crestodina – Principal, Strategic Director, Orbit Media
One post that comes to mind is this one from John-Henry Scherck: Creating Efficient Data Collection Systems for SEO and Social.
I remember reading through this article and lightbulbs were just firing up above my head. I’d been looking for a lean data collection process like this for some time but I had hit so many brick walls. Off the back of reading this I went away and started experimenting with data scraping via JSON and XPath and it helped me do all kinds of awesome stuff. If you’ve never read this and you’re a bit of a data geek (like me) then you need to stop what you’re doing and read it now!
Meet Steve, my brain tumor: http://t.co/VefRbHxx
— Geraldine (@everywhereist) June 27, 2012
In 2011, Jon Morrow shared a post on Problogger which was hands down, the most inspiring post I’ve read in a long time.Jon was the Associate Editor at Copyblogger and helped to launch the Kissmetrics blog. But that’s nothing to do with why this post is inspiring.
This post shows us that no matter what circumstances we’re faced with, we have the power to do great things and make a difference.
I’ve been a huge fan of Ross’ past works – but this particular blog post have had the biggest impact on me as a content creator. The way this post was constructed, its extensiveness, plus the substantial value I got from reading the entire post over and over influenced me to build my own standards when publishing my own work.
The blog post that made the biggest difference in my life I can no longer find. But it was on Hubspot’s blog 7 years ago.
It said: “If you have an inkling of what you want to write about start a blog”
That “inkling” was a fascination with the power and global reach of social media and especially Facebook and Twitter.
Starting my blog and the ongoing creating, publishing and sharing has transformed my life.
Jeff Bullas – Social Media and Blogging Expert
These posts of Jon Morrow’s give me hope.When I’m down about blogging, I read them to lift my spirits. When I want to live vicariously through the eyes of someone who struggled – mightily – yet still rose to the top, these posts give me a front-row seat. When I worry my blog will never reach the level of success that allows me to quit my job, work from home, and spend more time with my wife; Jon’s posts tell me “yes – you can!”
Hope is a powerful thing. It keeps us going when we feel like giving up. It assures us there is light despite all the darkness. It allows to optimistically walk into a new year thinking maybe, just maybe, it will be better than the last.
I can’t recommend these two posts of Jon’s highly enough. They’re 3,164 words of hope-filled goodness.
In February of this year I stumbled across this YouTube video entitled: “What Does 5 pounds of Fat Look Like” – it’s the most gross/disgusting video I’ve ever seen in my life. Check it out here.
Anyway, it motivated me scared me into trying to lose some weight. And since February I’ve lost just over 40 pounds! That’s around 6 pounds every month. Every time I’m struggling to go for a run or wanting to munch on something delicious, I just re-watch that stupid video, haha! :D
Larry Kim – CTO WordStream & Blogger
For me, one of the most influential blog posts that I ever came across was Brian Dean’s post on Google’s 200 Ranking Factors. The content of the blog post itself was great, but what was more helpful to me was that it was a living case study of a link building tactic known as The Skyscraper Technique. It’s a must-have for any content marketer looking to increase traffic and bring in more qualified leads.
By implementing the Skyscraper Technique (among many others), we were able to bring in over 100K pageviews to our blog from a single post in just 6 months and ultimately grow the When I Work blog from 20K pageviews per month to 250K in less than a year.
I share his post and it’s great concepts with all my clients. It concisely breaks down just how to earn an income from your blog. And it works in real life – which is what really matters!
So what is your most influential blog post? Which blog post has inspired you the most to make a positive change in your life?
One of my favourites is How to Be a Capitalist which really helped me to focus on creating a stable financial future for my family.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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