The internet is a beautiful thing. It connects people sitting on opposite ends of the world, it lets them share texts, sounds, and even videos in almost real-time with anyone they want, it lets talented musicians and artists share their work and lets the world appreciate these artists and reward them for their hard work.
The internet is the reason so many of us finally have the means to follow our dreams and passions. It has also allowed people to create unique jobs and earn enough to support their lifestyles with ease.
Professional blogging is one such post-internet career option and has gained international popularity. Finally, you and I can not only write about the things we love, but also consider it as a viable career path.
Professional blogging can be quite lucrative… if done right
There are millions of people who use blogs to write about the things they love and have extensive knowledge about.
Out of this crowd, there are a handful who have completely dominated their chosen niche and have earned the loyalty of thousands of readers in the process.
These elite bloggers have not only succeeded in creating a thriving community around their work, but also turned their blogs into a means of generating revenue.
In a world where content is the king, these pro bloggers prove that not only is it possible to make a living online, but get famous while at it.
1. Steve Kamb
Blog: Nerd Fitness
Niche: Fitness, general well-being
Steve is a self-proclaimed goofball who took his love for fitness and turned into a wildly successful blog and business.
How successful? Nerd Fitness is a six-figure business today and has won Steve the loyalty of millions of averages Joes who use his guides to get fit and level up in life.
Steve treats life like a video game, where getting fitter is akin to gaining XP in the game world and becoming stronger.
His wacky style of writing, deeply insightful and well-researched articles about every aspect of fitness, and overall “nerdiness” wins over readers from every walk of life.
Must-read post: What the Hell Are You Waiting For?
2. Jeff Goins
Blog: Goins, Writer
Niche: Writing advice
Jeff Goins is a successful writer whose personal blog is a goldmine of information and inspiration to those who wish to pursue writing as a career.
Jeff does not mince his words, loves to write with a passion, and constantly comes up with insightful and helpful suggestions which help his readers write better.
An author of four books, Jeff has written extensively about the art of writing, and the top blogging resources in the world defer to his expertise when it comes to building an audience and writing better content.
An avid guest blogger, Jeff’s work has been published everywhere from ProBlogger to CopyBlogger, and his posts are primarily about his own experiences, struggles, and frustrations as a writer.
Drawing on his experience, Jeff writes posts that are short and to the point. The same style has also earned him thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook fans.
Must-read post: Stop Waiting to Be Picked
3. Leo Babauta
Blog: Zen habits
Niche: Minimalism, Zen way of life.
Leo Babauta is one of those people you can’t help but respect. He’s the creator of Zen Habits, a massively popular blog that receives over a million readers every month, and then he has made everything on his blog copyright free.
He writes because he loves to write. When he says that he wants to live minimally and in a simpler way, he actually goes ahead and follows it in every aspect of his life!
Zen Habits started as a blog where he wrote about productivity hacks which helped his readers become more efficient in their lives. It ended up being a platform that promoted the zen way of life and helped people simplify their lives.
Mnmlist – another of Babauta’s blogs – took his fascination with minimalism even further. If your heart is set on living without clutter, then mnmlist will help you tremendously!
Must-read post: Breathe
Bonus: On his now inactive mnmlist blog, you can learn why his preferred way of living is completely doable by anyone.
4. Mark Manson
Blog: Mark Manson
Niche: Personal development, advice
Mark is one of the most earnest people you will ever come across. He never holds his punches and gives blunt and painfully honest opinions.
Honesty is refreshing, especially when it is combined with knowledge and a little acerbic wit. Mark Manson writes like he does not care what you think of his words. He also writes with a very genuine intention of helping his readers.
Thanks to the combination of these two things, his personal blog now commands a monthly readership of over two million people.
From self-improvement to relationships and from cultural issues to general life advice, Mark’s words are carefully chosen. He writes neither to hurt nor flatter, but to make you think.
Must-read work: The Most Important Question of Your Life
5. Mandi Gubler
Blog: Vintage Revivals
Niche: Interior décor
Old school has always been cool. There’s a certain charm to making your home and surroundings look like you own a personal time machine.
Mandi Gubler shows you how you can make your own vintage décor items for your home in case you’ve lost your time machine.
Just because her niche is DIY doesn’t mean she works on projects that you could never possibly do on your own. The key to Mandi’s success is simple projects which anyone can start with.
At the same time, just because her projects are often simple, it doesn’t mean they will not turn out to be impressive! From painting your own home, to making your own rugs, Mandi shows you how to get your hands dirty and your home beautiful.
Must-read post: DIY Retro Diamond Focal Wall
6. Chiara Ferragni
Blog: The Blonde Salad
When it comes to talking about fashion, trends, and the latest fads to follow, no one does it better than Chiara Ferragni.
Chiara created the wildly popular blog called The Blonde Salad, and is considered one of the most followed fashion bloggers in the world today. She is also a successful fashion designer, and is a spokesperson as well as a model for the reputed style and fashion brand, Guess.
She also enjoys the distinct honour of being the only fashion blogger to have ever graced the covers of a Vogue magazine.
Chiara’s influence is far-reaching. Her blog enjoys millions of visits per month, her Instagram feed has attracted close to 4 million followers, and she has over 244,000 followers on Twitter.
Must-read post: How to Dress for a House Party
7. Brett McKay
Blog: Art of Manliness
Niche: Men’s lifestyle
Brett promises to help you rediscover what it is to look and live like a man. With over half a million fans on Facebook, and an even bigger blog readership, his audience sure do agree that Brett has kept his word.
Manliness has little to do with patriarchy or chauvinism. Brett explains that modern men seem to have lost focus of what drives them and teaches them how to be more like the men they idolise. He offers lifestyle advice which ranges from crafts and hobbies to grooming tips.
A legal researcher by profession, Brett runs this blog along with his wife, and The Art of Manliness generates impressive six figure revenue for them.
Must-read post: Undo the Damage of Sitting
8. Brandon Stanton
Blog: Humans of New York
It’s virtually impossible to have an account on Facebook and never have come across at least one post by Brandon Stanton.
Most people know Brandon as the person behind the massively viral Humans of New York page on Facebook. He started the Humans of New York project as a photo blog on Tumblr, with images being also shared on Facebook.
Brandon talks to random strangers on the streets of New York, takes their photograph, and simply shares it along with a snippet of their conversation.
The idea in itself sounds simple enough, but the HONY project has taken a life of its own, and earned Brandon a chance to work with the UN and travel across 11 countries.
Must-read post: His post about Vidal Chastanet led to a fundraiser, which raised over a million dollars for Vidal’s school.
9. Maria Popova
Blog: Brain Pickings
Maria Popova is best known for her curation blog Brain Pickings, where she shares interesting and thought provoking content from all over the internet and even books.
Brain Picking started as a small email list, which Maria sent to seven of her friends and included interesting articles and news stories she came across during her regular internet surfing sessions.
The articles that Maria curates come from fields as diverse as science, literature, politics, philosophy, and art. All of them have just one thing in common – they all leave Maria’s readers touched in one way or another.
Millions of people find the content that she discovers highly intriguing, a lot of them noted celebrities. Her work is now also included in the permanent web archive maintained by the US Library of Congress!
Must-read post: 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living
10. Deb Perelman
Blog: Smitten Kitchen
Niche: Simple cooking
Deb Perelman is the guide you want by your side when you’re learning to cook.
She runs the Smitten Kitchen blog and has mastered the art of making simple cooking popular. Her recipes are designed to be simple enough that literally anyone with a basic kitchen can follow her instructions and make the dishes she is making.
What’s more, she teaches her readers not just to cook simple dishes, but also to turn simple recipes into masterpieces!
Her motto is to cook the most delicious meals using the most easily available ingredients and in the simplest of kitchen set up, and her painstaking documentation of every recipe, along with detailed steps and amazing photographs, has helped her gain millions of readers every month.
Must-read post: Why You Should Always Toast Your Nuts
11. Yoshke Dimen
Blog: The Poor Traveller
Niche: Budget travel
Yoshke Dimen is proof how all your excuses about not being able to travel because you do not have enough money are invalid.
His real name is Ed Dimen. He started writing about his love for travelling and his experiences as a perpetual nomad under the pen name, and found millions of readers who hung on to his every word.
He is one of the top bloggers in the Philippines, and has an international readership, comprised primarily of people who want to find out budget travel destinations.
The thing that most readers love about Yoshke’s travel diaries is the superb ease with which he conveys his feelings about every place he visits.
Must-read post: How to Quit Your Day Job and Become a Full-Time Travel Blogger
12. David Thorne
Blog: Go away
You might remember David Thorne as the guy who tried settling an outstanding bill against his name by emailing the company the picture of a spider that he drew.
The spider incident gave David incredible fame and propelled his blog 27bslah6 to the top of the charts in the satire category. David uses satire to passive-aggressively convey his thoughts and opinions, and his readers love him.
David is a published author, and his blog is usually about various incidents in his life, or the kind of shenanigans he gets into.
Similar to his spider email story, David later posted another email story titled Party in Apartment 3, which received so much traffic that his blog’s server crashed multiple times and he had to get a high-performance dedicated server based out of the US!
Must-read post: Dear Neighbour, You Are Not Invited to My Party
13. Dr. Laura Markham
Blog: Aha! Parenting
Dr. Laura Markham is the creator of Aha! Parenting, and offers advice to parents through her blog to help them through the challenging task of being responsible for a new life.
In her own words, her blog is about all those moments where we go “Aha!” and realise that we have been presented with a unique opportunity to do something tremendous. Couple who have just become parents love Laura and her ability to cut away all the nonsense and get straight to the point.
Laura offers advice to help parents change the behaviour of their child, and on occasion, work on their own attitudes. As a trained psychologist, she knows exactly what she’s talking about, and provides clear instructions that get the best results.
Must-read work: Siblings 101
14. Randall Munroe
There is an often repeated saying among those who spend way too much time on the internet: “There are no more original ideas in this universe. Everything has been covered by xkcd already.”
Randall Munroe is the genius who created xkcd. Stick drawing and some lines of text – this is all that xkcd comics are. They look like a kid drew them, but they regularly leave you confounded, confused or deeply moved.
This is to be expected from someone like Randall, who may not have the most impressive artistic skills but used to be a roboticist for NASA in his previous job.
A little nerdy and often a little geeky, xkcd is not for everyone, but for those who do enjoy that genre of humour, there is nothing better out there.
But wait, there’s more to XKCD than just comics! There’s a section on the blog called “What If?” where Randall provides plausible scientific answers to absurd, hypothetical scenarios posed by readers—and as you may well imagine—hilarity usually ensues.
15. George Ouzounian
Niche: Absurdist humour, anti pop-culture [Slightly NSFW]
George Ouzounian literally has the best page in the universe. Better known as Maddox, George is an irreverent, brash, rude, and outright mean blogger who truly does not care what you and I think of him.
Absurd humour and satire with a personal touch, George – better known as Maddox – makes you laugh and cringe with his over-the-top opinions. Every single blog post gets thousands of shares despite the NSFW language and illustrations.
George does not keep a comment section on his blog. If you want to tell him how you felt about his posts, you need to send him an email. If Maddox does not like what you have to say, he will post your email on his website and make fun of you.
His rants are amusing, and often leave you in mad fits of laughter.
Must-read post: I Hate Buzzfeed
Niche blogging is the fastest and most efficient way to establish yourself as a pro blogger, and gain a loyal audience. An overwhelming majority out of the most popular blogs around the globe are dedicated to one or another niche.
If your heart is set out on becoming a pro blogger, then these are the men and women you need to emulate. Work hard like them, come up with your own unique idea, and you too can be the rockstar of your own niche.
With inputs from Mridul Verma.