If you’re considering a new endeavour it makes sense to research what others are doing in that space. Starting a blog is no different. Soaking up lots of varying examples of blogging at its best is an important step in my opinion because it helps maximise your chances of success.
It increases your general knowledge of what works, helps clarify what you’re most curious about (i.e. your blog topic), and empowers you to make it happen.
There is no rule book on this, nor is there anything wrong with wanting to mimic certain elements (design, voice, topic, etc) that you see on other blogs. In fact, I encourage it: this is how you’re blog will come to life.
Real blogging inspiration like this might come from one example or several. For this reason, I’m going to introduce you to lots of amazing blogs and bloggers, across a wide range of niches and popular topics. To ensure you connect with your blogging potential in a realistic way, I’ve also included an honest explanation of what it takes to make money.
Once you feel what is possible and get how it really works, starting your own blog is inevitable. Let’s get cracking!
Table Of Contents
- Best of the blogs
- Enough examples? How to start blogging
- The blogging model & being realistic
- Bloggers to follow
- Ready for lift-off?
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1. Best of the blogs
Here, you’ll find a tranche of examples, including the best blogs of 2020. I’ve selected some of the most popular blogs (i.e. incredible visitor counts) and the most famous blogs, as well as those making waves in several different niches. The idea is that you experience as many different voices, styles, topics and success stories as possible.
When one catches your eye, click to open in a new tab then spend some time there.
Explore, read and enjoy yourself. After a while make sure you take a break (get a drink maybe) but don’t try to focus on your findings. Instead, do something different, like exercise for example, and let your diffused (more creative) thoughts reveal themselves to you. Trust me, it works!
- Examples of the biggest names in blogging
Monthly Visitors: upto 29 million
Focus: Politics, Entertainment, Life, Personal
Monthly Visitors: upto 24 million
Focus: Social Media, Entertainment, Culture, Mental Health, Science
Monthly Visitors: upto 65 million
Focus: Business, Financial Sector
Monthly Visitors: upto 33 million
- Examples of Technology Blogging
Monthly Visitors: upto 31 million
Focus: Technology, Science, Entertainment
Monthly Visitors: upto 46 million
Focus: Technology Reviews
- Examples of Travel Blogging
Monthly Visitors: upto 1.9 million
Focus: Travel Resources, Advice & Destinations
Monthly Visitors: upto 2 million
Focus: Travel & Learning Languages
- Examples of Lifestyle Blogging
Monthly Visitors: upto 7 million
Focus: Life, Work, Tips & Tricks
Monthly Visitors: upto 17.5 million
Focus: Women’s Lifestyle, Fashion & Pop Culture
Monthly Visitors: upto 2.6 million
Focus: Men’s Life & Self-development
- Examples of Health & Fitness Blogging
Monthly Visitors: upto 10 million
Focus: Health, Fitness, Beauty, Life
Monthly Visitors: upto 2 million
Focus: Health, Fitness
- Examples of Food Blogging
Monthly Visitors: upto 21 million
Focus: Food, Cooking, People
Monthly Visitors: upto 2.2 million
Focus: Food, Blogging (about food)
Monthly Visitors: upto 4.6 million
Focus: Food, Vegan, Gluten-Free
- Examples of Fashion Blogging
Monthly Visitors: up to 18 million
Focus: Women’s Fashion, Beauty & Health
Monthly Visitors: up to 7.8 million
Focus: Mens Fashion & Lifestyle
- Blogging examples about parenting
Monthly Visitors: up to 500k
Focus: Mother’s Health & Wellness
Monthly Visitors: up to 4.5 million
- Examples of personal finance blogging
Monthly Visitors: upto 23 million
Focus: Personal Finance
Monthly Visitors: upto 1.4 million
Focus: Personal Finance (for younger people)
- Examples of student blogging
Monthly Visitors: upto 6.6 million
Focus: Personal Development, Mindfulness, Self-Awareness
Monthly Visitors: up to 500k
Focus: College Life & Advice
- Other examples of awesome blogging (a few of my favourites)
Monthly Visitors: upto 7.5 million
Monthly Visitors: up to 5.2 million
Focus: Home Decor, House Design, DIY & Property Advice
Monthly Visitors: up to 12.2 million
Focus: TV & Movie News
Monthly Visitors: up to 1.4 million
Focus: Photography Equipment & News
Monthly Visitors: up to 500k
Focus: Self-help, Well-being & Inner-peace
Monthly Visitors: up to 500k
Focus: Outdoors, Adventure
2. Enough examples? How to start blogging
I hope the examples have fired up your blogging aspirations and clarified what you want to do.
To be honest, the ins and outs of your actual content will develop and evolve as you get more and more into your blog. As long as you’re certain about the over-arching topic, which you’re naturally curious and genuinely excited to write about, it makes sense to get busy and make some tangible progress.
Check out my comprehensive walkthrough on starting a blog properly which covers all the necessary building blocks, from setting up and designing your blog, to indexing it with Google and everything else in between.
Alternatively, you can get going here and now by reading on to get the best WordPress hosting for beginners on your domain (jump to section 3 if not relevant).
Quality hosting is the single most important purchase for your blog so you need to spend enough money. Great hosting means you have a chance of success; bad hosting means no chance at all, no matter how hard you work.
The only provider I recommend for beginners is SiteGround because in addition to world-class performance (speed, security, and uptime) their customer support is genuinely the best in the world (click to see social proof).
This is critical because it provides total peace of mind that you’re in safe hands on all the technical stuff so you can concentrate on being a successful blogger.
Go to the sign-up page at SiteGround when you’re ready. I would choose the ‘GrowBig’ plan if you’re going to promote your blog to actively increase traffic as soon as possible; otherwise, go for the ‘StartUp’ plan (both have a 30-day money-back guarantee in case something changes).
First, hit the appropriate ‘Get Plan‘ button:
Second, choose a domain. This shouldn’t cost much money (anything from £10-15 per year), but getting one that is exactly the name of a blog can be difficult.
To avoid wasting time, use SiteGround’s domain search engine to get ideas for a blog name directly from available domains related to your subject area.
When seeking blog name ideas and a domain, keep the following in mind:
- Try include a keyword that represents what your blog is about;
- Try find something that is catchy;
- For personal topics use your name for the blog or a variation of it;
- Choose a .com if possible (more memorable).
Note – I advise getting a domain with SiteGround because your website will automatically work with it – keep technical things as simple as you can. But, if you already bought a domain elsewhere, tick the appropriate option then ‘Proceed’. After signing up, contact SiteGround support to give you the IP address of your website’s server, then, ask your domain provider’s customer services to alter the A record for your domain on their side):
Third, complete the form and choose how long your initial purchase is for.
Ideally, you want to take advantage of the introductory prices for as long as possible. If your budget allows, go for a 2-year or 3-year subscription. If not, a 1-year subscription on the StartUp plan will cost £86.26. This is the best value I know of for managed hosting with award-winning customer support.
Once you’ve decided, hit ‘Pay Now’:
The last step is to install WordPress on your new hosting account.
After signing up with SiteGround, you’ll have received all the necessary information to log in. On logging in for the first time, a notice appears.
Click on ‘Set Up Site‘:
A new section will appear presenting two options: ‘Start New Website’ or ‘Migrate Website’. Click ‘Select’ under Start New Website.
Choose WordPress and enter the preferred login details for your new WordPress application and write them down offline. Once you’re ready, click on ‘Continue‘, then ‘Finish‘:
Good work – your domain and hosting is now set up with a fresh installation of WordPress. Whenever you’re ready, pick up my ‘starting a blog properly’ tutorial at step 4 (Design your blog – how to install a WordPress theme).
Read on to learn more about the realities of blogging and what it takes to be successful.
3. The blogging model & being realistic
As you’ve seen from the examples above, successful blogging can take many different forms on a near-limitless number of topics. Behind the scenes, however, all of them have two core facets.
Every blog’s purpose is to share information with people online who find it useful in some meaningful way. Whilst there are several metrics worth studying about your blog (using Google Analytics) the number of people that visit it every month is the most significant. Obviously, you want this to be as high as possible!
The second factor at the core of most successful blogs is the amount of money generated (monthly or annually). Obviously, this is subjective because what is enough money to one blog owner might not be to another. I guess some bloggers might never monetize their traffic and still consider themselves a success (and fair play to them if this is the case).
The bottom line is, there is nothing wrong with starting a blog to make money one day. But (and, it’s a big but) you have to make sure you’re expectations are aligned with reality because it takes a long time to start seeing results, let alone make money from them.
As I explained a moment ago, to be successful in any way a blog has to build an audience (think thousands of visitors per month, if not tens of thousands). Once this begins to happen, then you can focus more on how to monetise your traffic not before – don’t try running before you can walk.
As you know from the blogging examples great content engages visitors whilst ensuring they return for more. But, how do visitors find great blog post in the first place?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
The truth is SEO is a serious profession and specialist skill that people spend whole careers mastering. Most of us acknowledge we’ll never stop learning.
To be successful at blogging you do not need to be an SEO professional or Master Jedi! But, you absolutely need to know the basics, including the fact that it takes time (months and months, sometimes years) for fully optimised content to rank highly (let alone page one) on Google even if everything has been done correctly.
What this means is the most important factor to be successful at blogging is you, specifically your grit determination. There is a lot to learn and it takes time for any of your hard work to begin paying off.
Even when you’re ‘succeeding’ there is still so much more to do. More brilliant content to create, more SEO to learn, and definitely more time to see any real change in your traffic and money-making potential.
Most bloggers lose their enthusiasm when their audience doesn’t grow quickly enough due to misguided expectations. Go into this ready to fight for every visitor and never stop learning. This way you have a much better chance of finding your version of success.
4. Bloggers to follow
Being a blogger means I, of all people, value wonderful content shared by other awesome bloggers. As the last section explained, there is a lot to learn especially on the SEO side of things.
For this reason, I’ve found myself going back to these blogs (below) to deepen certain areas of my technical know-how. Bookmark the following homepages now and remember to study them down the line when necessary.
Better still, follow my tutorial on how to start a blog properly which provides a solid foundation on everything, including initial on-site SEO which you can then need to build on going forward (with resources like these).
I also visit them for fresh motivation from time to time, especially if I’ve just pulled an all-nighter and am still wrestling with a troublesome blog post!
5. Ready for lift off?
Blog inspiration is how it usually starts for most people. It’s a while ago now, but I remember exploring great blogging examples myself: that tectonic shift underneath then the earth moving realisation… ‘I can actually do this!‘
And you can, you really can.
Just make sure you harness your excitement in the right way (by starting properly) and set your expectations in the right place. This prepares you for the realities of blogging and protects you from yourself, where misguided expectations in an unrealistic time-scale can crush enthusiasm.
Everything is readily available here if you’re willing to work hard, learn well and never give up. And, remember the Golden Rule – failure only occurs if you stop trying to succeed.
I’m excited now! Are you?