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18 Examples of Successful (and Popular) Blogs in 2021 – RyRob.com: A Blog by Marketing-Ideas

18 Examples of Successful (and Popular) Blogs in 2021 - RyRob.com: A Blog by Ryan Robinson

Since time immemorial, stories have played a major role in shaping civilization. Unfortunately, for the greater part of mankind’s existence, only a privileged few had access to large audiences.

Enter the internet age and pretty much anybody can have an audience — and a large one at that.

How?

Through blogging.

If you’re contemplating starting your own blog and looking for inspiration, you’re in luck.

This post is a compilation of the 18 best blog examples in 2021. But before we get to them, let’s get some core issues off the table.

What is a Blog?

A blog is a website that is regularly updated with new content, typically written in an informal or conversational style.

The earliest blogs were online diaries, but blogs quickly evolved into powerful entities that fulfill several personal and business goals, like:

Sharing your passion with the world
Brand awareness
Driving traffic to the “money pages” of your website
Building relationships with customers or other like-minded people

For a more detailed look at what a blog is and what differentiates it from a website, read my in-depth article here.

3 Reasons to Study the Best Blog Examples

Here are three solid reasons every blogger (newbie and professional) should study examples of blogs that are popular in their niche.

Inspiration

Blogs that are doing well in your niche help you get inspired. Not only will you be inspired to start your own blog, but you’ll also come up with ideas for what you want to do (or avoid!) on your blog.

Insight

Another reason for studying these blog examples is so you can learn from them. For example, you can get insights on:

What kind of content works in driving traffic
What types of blog designs are favored by your audience
The tone your audience prefers

Income Generation Ideas

Over the past couple of decades, blogs have become effective income generation platforms. By studying examples of blogs in your niche that are successfully monetizing, you can build a money-making blog of your own

What Makes for a Successful Blog?

Why do some blogs drive tons of traffic while others don’t? Understanding what makes these blog examples successful will help you start and run your own profitable website. All the sites on our list have:

Relevant Content

One of the biggest contributors to a successful blog is content — relevant content. As much as the blog is yours, the content you publish is meant to cater to your readers. Successful bloggers need to:

Pick a niche. A niche is a particular carefully selected topic area that you plan on focusing your blog content around.
Study their niche. Understanding your niche is critical in ensuring the success of your blog.
Understand their audience. That way, they know what pain points to address, thus creating content that resonates with their readers.

Delivering a Great Experience for Your Readers

Besides relevant content, another factor that influences the success of a blog is the experience readers have when interacting with it.

Your blog needs to be easy to interact with.

That means the design should be clear and attractive, the navigation should be easy to use, all features should be working as intended, and readers shouldn’t feel lost or confused at any point.

Good user experience is important for readers and it’s also important to Google.

Your website should be easy to use on computers and particularly on mobile devices (as more and more people are accessing the internet through mobile).

18 Blog Examples of Successful Sites You Need to Know

Let’s take a look at some of the top blogs out there.

You can use this table of contents to jump straight to the blog examples in the niches that interest you the most:

Copyblogger (Content Marketing)
Hubspot (Digital Marketing)
I Will Teach You To Be Rich (Personal Finance)
Smart Passive Income (Online Business)
Content Marketing Institute (Content Marketing)
Social Media Examiner (Social Media)
Search Engine Journal (SEO)
Mashable (Tech News)
Smashing Magazine (Web Design)
Social Media Today (Social Media)
Gizmodo (Tech News)
Digital Photography School (Photography)
Shopify (E-Commerce)
A Better Lemonade Stand (E-Commerce)
Nerd Fitness (Health/Fitness)
MyFitnessPal (Health/Fitness)
Scary Mommy (Parenting)
Family Focus Blog (Parenting)

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products and services I’ve personally used and stand behind. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep my in-depth content free of charge for readers (like you).

1. Copyblogger (Content Marketing)

First on our list is one of the oldest content marketing blogs on the net — Copyblogger. Although it was founded in 2006, founder, Brian Clark had been using content marketing to build profitable businesses since 1998.

Started as one man’s passion to teach others how to succeed with content marketing, Copyblogger quickly grew to become one of the go-to resources for content marketers all over the world.

Drawing more than 500K visitors in a month and generating an 8-figure revenue, Copyblogger is definitely worth emulating.

So what makes Copyblogger tick?

Powerful copywriting techniques. From headlines to blog posts, Copyblogger practices what they teach. And evidently it works.
Tons of free and valuable resources. Most blogs lose readership because of not publishing valuable and actionable content. Copyblogger gives readers exactly what they need to succeed.
Great community building. Copyblogger is not just a blog, it’s a community of like-minded people who are hungry to learn.

Whether you’re a content marketer or not, Copyblogger is one blog you just have to follow. You’ll get a lot of practical information that can help you succeed in any niche.

2. Hubspot (Digital Marketing)

SaaS powerhouse, Hubspot, has one of the most trafficked blogs, not only in its niche but across various niches.

Founded in 2005 by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, the company’s core focus has always been helping businesses nail their inbound marketing.

HubSpot’s blog is built around 3 general categories — marketing, sales, and customer success. In essence, it’s actually 3 blogs in one, catering for their 3 most important personas.

What makes Hubspot one of the best blog examples out there?

Strategic blogging. Hubspot has turned blogging into a science. They invested in in-depth original research to find out what makes a piece of content epic. Each piece of content published (they publish around 20 posts a month) has a particular purpose to fulfill and is targeted at a particular persona.
Strong community. Hubspot has 150+ user groups for their software in 21 countries, helping to grow their brand.
Stimulating content. One of Hubspot’s biggest strengths is the content they produce. Well-structured, authoritative, and actionable content that helps marketers succeed. Because of this, the Hubspot blog has become a resource for marketers from all walks of life.

Hubspot’s blog is certainly worth visiting if you want to learn how to create in-depth content that moves the marketing needle.

3. I Will Teach You To Be Rich (Personal Finance)

While the name may sound like some get rich quick kind of website, I Will Teach You to Be Rich (IWTYTBR) is far from it.

Started by Ramit Sethi from his Stanford dorm room, the blog focuses on empowering people to be more successful in every area of life (particularly financially and career-wise) by implementing proven systems to get results.

So what is Ramit’s secret sauce to building a highly trafficked blog?

Launching a best-selling book. One of the biggest contributors to the IWTYTBR blog was the launch of Ramit’s New York Times bestseller by the same title. The runaway success of the book drove tons of traffic and helped generate hot leads for Ramit’s business.
Creating digital products that strike a nerve. Thanks to his study of psychology, Ramit identified common financial and career-based pain points that people face as they journey through life.
Aggressive email marketing. One of Ramith’s biggest strengths lies in his aggressive email marketing. Sending out value-packed emails that his subscribers share with their network has dramatically increased his blog readership.

If you need advice on personal development, money, or how to make a career change, then you must read I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

4. Smart Passive Income (Online Business)

2008 was a terrible year for many because of the recession. But for Pat Flynn, it was a blessing in disguise.

Laid off from his well-paying job in the architectural field, he focused on his hobby website — Smart Passive Income.

As the name suggests, the blog is all about helping people start and run income-generating websites that give them the freedom to live life on their own terms.

With many websites offering information on how to make passive income online, what makes Smart Passive Income different?

Transparency. Seen all the monthly income reports bloggers publish? Credit for that transparency can be given to Pat Flynn as he was the first blogger to open up about how much money he makes from his blog.
Tried and proven methods. It’s one thing to write about what works when it comes to running an online business. It’s a whole different ball game living it. Pat Flynn’s is the perfect blog example of one written from experience. And his readers love the candid way in which he shares everything — successes and failures.
Teamwork. If there’s one thing Pat Flynn does very well, it’s collaborating with other bloggers. From guest posting to podcasting, he enjoys sharing his time and knowledge.

Be sure to check out Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income blog as you look for some blog examples to help you get yours on track.

5. Content Marketing Institute (Content Marketing)

Born Junta24 in 2007 and rebranded to become the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) in 2011, Joe Pulizzi’s blog has grown to become one of the top resources for all things content marketing.

Although mainly serving as a resource to help enterprise brands map out strategies to attract and retain customers through brand storytelling, the blog has tons of information anyone looking to start and grow a blog can benefit from.

Let’s quickly take a look at what has helped CMI become the powerhouse it is today.

Free resources. CMI features a lot of free and very helpful resources to help bloggers create amazing blogs that their audiences will love.
In-depth tutorials. One factor that sets CMI apart from most other blogs is the fact that they specialize in creating in-depth tutorials for marketers. These are well-structured and easy to implement, attracting a lot of traffic.
Strong brand positioning. Brand positioning is important for every business, especially for niche blogs. CMI has done an awesome job of positioning its brand as the go-to blog for all things content marketing, contributing immensely to the blog’s success.

Every blogger is a content marketer. As such, studying CMI is worth the effort if you’re serious about running a profitable website.

6. Social Media Examiner (Social Media)

Founded in 2009 by Michael Stelzner, Social Media Examiner was established to help businesses harness the power of social media in growing their revenue.

A wealth of knowledge of trends, best practices, and industry reports on all things social media, Social Media Examiner has more than 2M monthly readers it helps navigate the ever-changing (and often treacherous) social media marketing landscape.

Here are 2 factors that have helped the Social Media Examiner blog thrive:

Original research. The team at Social Media Examiner conducts their own research to ensure they provide readers with content that’s not only unique but also practical.
Insightful newsletter. Newsletters are a great way to build a community. Social Media Examiner has designed an insightful newsletter that does a great job of sending readers to the website.

For cutting-edge social media strategies and tips, Social Media Examiner is the blog to visit.

7. Search Engine Journal (SEO)

The Search Engine Journal has a mission to educate and empower novice and professional SEOs. The Marketing-Ideas blog is well-known for providing the latest news and current SEO best practices.

What makes the Marketing-Ideas stand out from other SEO blogs?

A holistic approach. Unlike most SEO blogs that focus on creating content solely around SEO, the Marketing-Ideas also creates content around social media, PPC, content marketing, and other online marketing principles.
Building a community of experts. One thing the Marketing-Ideas founders did well with the blog was to open it up for experts in their niche to contribute to the blog. This ensures that top-notch content is published consistently.

Feel you could do a great job helping other bloggers with SEO? Then the Search Engine Journal is one of the best blog examples you should emulate.

8. Mashable (Tech News)

Founded in 2005 by Pete Cashmore in his Scotland home, Mashable has become the go-to source for tech, digital culture, and entertainment news and content.

With 45M unique views a month, they must be doing something right.

So what has helped Mashable become the blogging giant it is today?

Good at picking trends. From the very start, Pete Cashmore had a knack for picking topics that were just waiting to be turned into viral content. By giving their audience content they wouldn’t find anywhere else, Mashable quickly became the first stop for millions looking for the latest news in the blog’s niche.
Built a strong social media following. Way before social media became popular, the Mashable blog was already riding the wave. In fact, part of its success lies in choosing to publish social media news extensively back in the day when very few sites were. Today, with over 28M social media followers, it’s easy for them to drive traffic to their blog posts.

Mashable is a great example of how to please your audience with your content.

9. Smashing Magazine (Web Design)

Founded in 2006 by Sven Lennartz and Vitaly Friedman, Smashing Magazine is well-known for providing reliable information and well-crafted resources on all things web design, UI and UX.

With over 3 million unique page views a month, the blog is definitely one of the best in its niche.

Let’s quickly look at what has helped Smashing Magazine smash many blogging records.

Up-to-date industry news. The world of web development is constantly evolving, making it hard to keep up with industry best practices. That’s where Smashing Magazine comes in. By publishing the latest trends and tips, they have become the blog to visit if you want to keep abreast of the ever-changing world of web development.
In-depth tutorials. If there’s one type of content that does well in the web development niche, it’s tutorials. From how-to articles to in-depth guides, Smashing Magazine publishes great resources that help web developers be the best that they can be.

Although Smashing Magazine is aimed at designers and developers, it’s a great read for all bloggers.

10. Social Media Today (Social Media)

Another great blog example in the social media space is the Social Media Today blog.

The blog started off by publishing the latest social media news and tips but has now expanded to include content marketing and digital strategy in its categories.

What makes the Social Media Today blog tick?

Trending topics. The Social Media Today blog features the latest news, trends, and social media marketing tips that their audience needs.
Tried and tested tips. Any tips, ideas, or hacks published on the platform have been analyzed by experts at the publication. As a result, when readers put them into practice, they usually see positive results.

Whether you want to write about social media or you’re just looking for some tips and tricks to get the most from it, Social Media Today is the perfect place to begin.

11. Gizmodo (Tech News)

Everyone who’s interested in tech, science, design, and futuristic tech has read the Gizmodo blog. Gizmodo’s tagline, “We come from the future” pretty much sums up the blog’s mission — to be ahead of the curve.

And, frankly, they’re doing a pretty good job of it, especially seeing that the blog has an awesome) 22M monthly unique visitors.

Here are a couple of factors that have led to Gizmodo’s fast rise.

Strategic partnerships. One of the best moves that helped turn Gizmodo into a household name is the way it made international partnerships. These helped the blog reach wider audiences by publishing content in local languages.
Fearless reporting. If there’s one thing people look for in content, it’s the truth. Gizmodo’s fearless reporting of tech (and even political) news has been one of its strengths in building a popular blog.

Gizmodo is a good blog for tech lovers that you can use as a template for your own.

12. Digital Photography School (Photography)

The next blog on our list is Digital Photography School, from the “ProBlogger” himself, Darren Rowse.

Founded in 2006, DPS has a community of over 2 million readers. It’s one of the most popular (and longest-running) photography blogs on the web.

So why is DPS so successful?

Photography challenges.DPS has regular “challenge” posts where readers are encouraged to take a photo on a theme — and share it in the comments. This has proved hugely popular and has helped build a strong community around the blog. (The DPS Facebook group alone has over 135,000 members.)
Beginner-friendly tutorials.DPS is very welcoming and accessible to beginners, with some of their most popular posts covering basics like “How to Hold a Camera.” In episode 043 of the ProBlogger podcast, Darren explained he thought that post might be too basic, but it became incredibly popular over time and attracted DPS’s ideal readers (beginner photographers) through search engine traffic.

Digital Photography School shows how building a strong community and catering for beginners (always the biggest group in any niche) can take you far.

13. Shopify (E-Commerce)

It’s nearly impossible to talk about e-commerce without mentioning Shopify — as a platform or a blog. The Shopify blog is one of the top resources online sellers use in order to refine their online business skills.

While most of the content on the Shopify blog was initially geared towards the platform’s users, the blog has evolved to become a resource for everyone regardless of the e-commerce platform they’re using.

So what helped the Shopify blog become one of the top e-commerce blogs around?

Practical advice. One of the biggest contributors to the success of the Shopify blog is the way they dole out practical advice for their community. Reading the blog is like taking a course in how to successfully run an online business.
Personal stories. Another factor in the wild success of the Shopify blog is the personal stories they share from their community. Filled with valuable lessons and tips for other entrepreneurs, this user-generated content has proven to be very popular.

If e-commerce store owners and other online businesses are the target audience for your blog, be sure to check out the Shopify blog for inspiration.

14. A Better Lemonade Stand (E-Commerce)

A Better Lemonade Stand might sound like a food blog, but in fact, it’s an online e-commerce incubator (founded by Richard Lazazzera) whose mission is to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their e-commerce stores.

The blog exists to inspire and educate readers in the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey by providing reliable advice and resources needed to launch and grow an e-commerce business.

So what makes this blog with 250,000+ monthly readers stand out from the rest?

Intimate details from the founder. If there’s one person who’s seen it all in the e-commerce industry, it’s Richard Lazazzera. From helping Shopify scale its operations to starting e-commerce stores, he has the experience. And he shares his experiences candidly.
Easy to follow blueprints. Aimed at those just starting out and planning on scaling their online businesses, A Better Lemonade Stand does an excellent job of providing its audience with detailed blueprints to succeed.

From dropshipping to selling on third-party marketplaces like Amazon to online marketing strategies, you’ll get it all on A Better Lemonade Stand.

And if that’s the kind of blog you want to build, then this is one of the best blog examples for you.

15. Nerd Fitness (Health/Fitness)

For those in the health or fitness niche, one of the best fitness blog examples to help you get yours on the right track is the Nerd Fitness blog.

Established in 2009 by Steve Kamb, the blog focuses on helping busy people stay in shape. The blog also covers mindset, nutrition, and anything that can help readers live a healthy, happy life.

With over a million unique visitors a month, this is definitely a fitness blog that is loved by its target audience. But what key lessons can you glean from the rise and success of the Nerd Fitness blog?

Fun writing style. Many people feel pressured to get into shape. The Nerd Fitness blog goes against the grain and makes getting fit fun with its humorous approach.
Success stories from normal people. It’s easy to relate to the topics covered on the Nerd Fitness blog as most of the posts highlight stories from normal people who live hectic lives like you.

Fitness blogs are some of the most challenging to get off the ground, but by following in the Nerd Fitness blog’s footsteps, you can easily build a good following.

16. MyFitnessPal (Health/Fitness)

Founded in 2005 by Albert Lee and Mike Lee, MyFitnessPal is a fitness app and blog that publishes all things fitness.

From diet and nutrition to fitness regimens to motivation, the blog is a valuable resource for those looking to live life to the fullest.

The success of the app (80 million users around the world, at the time) caught the attention of sports apparel maker Under Armor who eventually purchased it for a whopping $475 million.

Content for fitness junkies. Unlike Nerd Fitness, MyFitnessPal is a blog that caters to serious fitness junkies. And the articles don’t disappoint.
A healthy mix of content. Another contributor to the success of the MyFitnessPal blog is the holistic approach they take to fitness. This is evidenced by the different categories on the blog like food and recipes, inspiration, and other fitness-related categories.

Feel like this is the kind of blog you want to build? Then go ahead and study this blog example and mirror what’s working.

17. Scary Mommy (Parenting)

Thinking of starting a parenting blog? Check out the Scary Mommy blog. Their mission is helping parents understand that you don’t have to be perfect to be a great parent.

From funny anecdotes to gripping personal stories, the Scary Mommy blog covers all things parenthood. And yes, it caters to dads too.

Here are a few things that helped the Scary Mommy blog become the success it is today:

Community. If there’s one thing every parent needs, it’s a community of other parents who understand them. And community is exactly what the Scary Mommy blog is all about.
Confessional. Committed a parenting sin and need to get it off your chest? Well, the Scary Mommy blog has a confessional section where you can do just that. You can also read other parents’ confessions too.

The community, the confession section, and the candid nature of the blog have helped the Scary Mommy blog become one of the most visited parenting blogs on the web. By following their example, yours can too.

18. Family Focus Blog (Parenting)

Another parenting blog example you definitely need to check out is the Family Focus blog.

This award-winning blog run by Scarlet Paolicchi (who quit her job in retail to blog full-time), has categories like green living, arts and crafts, family food, family travel, and more.

So what makes the Family Focus blog so popular in the parenting niche?

Real talk. Scarlet doesn’t mince her words on the Family Focus blog. By addressing real-life issues parents face, the blog has attracted the following of parents who need a little help in navigating the treacherous waters of parenthood.
Real stories. Another factor that has led to the Family Focus blog growing so fast is the personal stories that form the basis of most lessons on the blog. Scarlet’s openness and frankness make readers feel like they’re part of the family.

Starting a parenting blog is a great way to share your experiences with other parents. Done right, it can even turn into your main source of income as in Scarlet’s example.

Lessons From the Best Blog Examples of 2021: How to Make Your Blog Stand Out

Now that you’ve taken a look at these 18 blogs, let’s go through some of the most important lessons you can draw from them.

Master Your Message

If there’s one lesson you need to take away from these blogs, it’s that you need to master your message. In short, you need to create content that your readers will love, remember, and share. How do you do that?

Understand your audience. Study your audience. Know their pain points and the issues that strike a nerve in their lives. Write posts that help them in these areas and they’ll be flocking to your website every time you publish a new article.
Get your tone and voice right. Besides getting your message right, you need to determine the tone that works best for your audience. For instance, do the most popular blogs in your niche have a humorous tone or are they more formal? Do bloggers share a lot of their own experiences or focus more on the reader?

Nail Your Design

Blogging is all about story-telling. That, however, does not mean you should ignore the design aspect of your blog. Blog design is also a great part of the stories you share.

As you design your blog, make sure it’s:

User-friendly
Simple and uncluttered

Nothing turns readers away as much as a chaotic-looking website. Especially if your monetization method is ads, you must ensure they don’t impede your main message.

Pay Attention to SEO

With over 70 million blog posts being published on WordPress alone in a single month, getting your blog noticed will take a bit of work. You’ll need to pay attention to SEO best practices.

Understand User Intent. User intent means what a searcher on the internet is looking for and wants to achieve. Understanding this allows you to position your content strategically and helps with your search engine optimization.
Keyword research is critical. Once you understand user intent, you can then conduct proper keyword research. This means finding out what words and phrases your readers are likely to type into Google. By designing content around these keyword ideas, you increase the chances of your posts ranking well and being found organically.
Proper blog post formatting. Structuring each blog post properly helps search engines scan your text. This means using heading tags, short paragraphs, and bullet points where appropriate.

Best Blog Examples 2021: Key Takeaways

There you have it, 18 examples to inspire you into building a successful blog. Just remember:

Every blog started off small. But with a bit of hard work, you can grow your blog to be counted among those that are doing well.
Learn from popular blogs. Learning from other blogs is essential to the success of your blog.
Content is still king. Content rules the blogosphere. People are hungry for practical and easy-to-digest content. If you give it to them, they’ll help you grow your blog by sharing your posts with their network.

While you’re still here, why not study this blog for more inspiration? With over 500k monthly readers, I’m pretty sure we’re doing some things right.

To get you started, why not check out our guide on how to start a blog— and make money from it.

Want to Start Your Blog the Right Way?

Head over to read my comprehensive guide: How to Start a Blog (on the Side)

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