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Top 100 Most Influential Business and Entrepreneur Websites of 2015

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Business and entrepreneurial bloggers have a very unique challenge of always staying fresh, yet somehow staying true to the principles that work. In a fairly packed industry, how does a blogger set themselves apart and actually make a difference in the lives and businesses of their readers? We salute the best in the market today with this in-depth study of influence utilizing statistics we've gathered from around the web. Be sure to check out the entire post so that you can hear from the top bloggers themselves who tell you their stories and give you tips on how to be successful yourself in this very competitive niche.


top 100 business and entrepreneur blogs of 2015

How Sites Are Ranked:

No matter how we rank bloggers, there's always going to be a ton of room for interpretation. This study is merely about influence, not the technical quality or substance of a writer's content. We do believe that a fair amount of correlation naturally exists under most circumstances in regard to quality of writing if there is a large social media following, lots of website traffic, and other indicators of popularity. Whether the advice given is good, bad, or neither, the fact that people are paying attention to these bloggers in itself indicates influence.

With a seemingly limitless number of social media networks popping up every day, we've stuck to a core of 3 big networks that represent a wide angle of diversity without going so wide that overall statistics became too diluted. The three big social media networks we analyzed are Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Sure, other growing networks like LinkedIn and Instagram could be appropriate, but we feel the 3 chosen provide a realistically meaningful sample of the influence for our study. Website traffic and inbound links are also huge indicators of success. After all, what use is a blog if nobody reads it. We've used tools such as SEMRush, Majestic, Alexa, Twitonomy, Facebook Insights, and more to analyze each site.

Click here for complete stats!

In Their Own Words:

We've already received an incredible amount of responses from the Top 100 and included their insights here for everyone to read. We've been trying to contact each person to get a response and are likely to have many more come in over the next few weeks. If you are on the list and haven't been able to contribute your input yet, please email us at oliveinachair@gmail.com. Now it's time for you to hear from the people behind the list- these hard working individuals consistently put in work to help you increase your business skills and knowledge. We thank each one of them for contributing to the article.

#5: theworkathomewoman.com - Holly Reisem Hanna - @holly_hanna 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship?

At the time I was a new stay at home mom, looking for ways to make money from home. But sadly, the majority of my research time was spent weeding through scams and poorly written information. It was after weeks of frustration that I came up with the idea for my website, The Work at Home Woman. It took me a few months to get it all together, but once I did, I found I really enjoyed writing about career and business development.

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche?

The field is constantly changing as technology evolves, so I’m always learning about new things, which makes my job exciting.

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own?

Take the time to REALLY research your target audience and what THEY want. It took me a while to nail down my true target audience, but one I did my traffic and profits and took off. You’ll fast-track your success if you can narrow it down from the start.

#11: businessesgrow.com - Mark Schaefer - @markwschaefer 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship?

When I began consulting and teaching, I realized that to be effective, I needed to DO this, not just talk about it. So it began as an experiment and grew into a business. 

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche? 

Feedback from people all over the world. I have a very active and engaged community and it is like opening a gift every day! 

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own? 

There are lots of great resources out there but one complete guide is the book "Born to Blog." It takes you through every step of the journey.

#17: successful-blog.com - Liz Strauss - @lizstrauss

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship? 

When I started, business blogs were an exception--most blogs were simply hobby blogs. I've always been passionate about business and I looked forward to gathering a community of likeminded thinkers. The people who added to the conversation were welcomed into the community and given a badge to show that.

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own? 

Remember that it's always about the audience. The second the world revolves around you; the universe swings wildly out of balance.

#19: thefranchiseking.com - Joel Libava - @franchiseking 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship? 

I wanted to be considered a credible resource for those looking to become franchise owners. George Nemeth, A guy here in Cleveland who was blogging about business, agreed to meet with me (because I was on the fence) to discuss my idea of starting a blog focused on franchising. Obviously he did! 

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche? 

I really like writing, although if I could type faster, it would help. I love sharing inside information about my industry, because it helps prospective franchise business owners make better, more fact-based decisions. Buying a franchise is a big deal. I write to help people lower their risk and increase their chances of success.

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own? 

As to a website or a blog, just do it! There are so many great platforms around these days that make it fairly simple to set up an internet property. And, focus on one niche. Focus. As to starting a business, research is the key. Do great research. Make sure it includes talking with people that have already done what you hope to do. 

Or anything else that's important to you! 

Have fun. Make sure to add your personality into your writing. And, if you’re not schooled in writing, find websites and blogs that provide teachable moments, like Copyblogger. Check out how my friend Chris Brogan writes. (www.chrisbrogan.com) One more thing: Anita Campbell, who owns and operates Copyblogger taught me how to write in an authoritative way so you don’t come across as being wishy-washy.

#28: smallbizsurvival.com - Becky McCray - @sbsurvival 

You need no one’s permission to start. You can choose any topic you are passionate about.

Before I started blogging in 2006, I had worked in economic development (workforce development) and had lead a few business workshops (most notably at three Entrepreneur Day seminars that I helped organize). Not very many people locally thought of me as an “expert”. I subscribed to lots of email newsletters of wonderful information. I could see the small towns around me shrinking in population, dwindling away. If only there was a way to share this info and help reverse this trend…

State your purpose/niche/approach early on.

With all that in mind, I started with a sheet of paper and wrote a few bullet points, defining what I saw as the overall theme of economic development and small business tied to my interest in small towns. I used that to write my very first post, explaining my purpose for readers. It also served as a good reminder for me of what I wanted to target. After about 6 months of blogging, I re-wrote the post, included some of our best articles, and called it the guided tour. It serves as an introduction and welcome for new readers.

Treat yourself as an expert. Maybe no one else thinks so, yet, but build your expertise.

This works because while you are writing your stuff, you are making yourself into an expert. You are improving your knowledge and understanding as you research for articles, read related materials and keep up with industry thinking. Blogging to position yourself as an expert can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

#38: switchandshift.com - Shawn Murphy - @switchandshift 

I started writing about business and entrepreneurship because I was frustrated by the lack of humanity in business. We spend over 1/3 of our life at work; it should be a positive influence in our lives. For too many it's a drag, mediocre experience. I know there are better ways to run a business. I feel it's my responsibility to share those ideas.

It's important to me to help people who want to succeed in business today. When I learn of changes that people make or of successes in their work because of what I've written, I'm thrilled for that person.

For anyone who wants to start a blog of their own, be clear on your purpose. It will shape your decisions and what you write about. It helps consistency. This is key for building a community.

#52: terrystarbucker.com - Terry St. Marie - @starbucker 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship?

 I felt that during the course of my career I had discovered something really cool and important about being a successful business leader, and I wanted to pass it forward, so I started to blog about it. 

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche? 

The difference I can make for the people who read my work and make a breakthrough for their own careers 

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own? 

Don't wait to start something - as a friend of mine keeps saying, "done beats perfect"

#54: startupsavant.com - Liesha Petrovich - @startupsavant

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship?

I've been a business owner for over 20 years, and I'm also working on a Doctorate in Entrepreneurship. But my research on micro businesses is really what inspired me to write and teach business. And the vast majority of businesses are small and micro businesses. Ryan and I wanted to help those businesses succeed. That's why we started Startup University.

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche?

It's really simple - connecting with new business owners! We love hearing from our readers that our articles, guides and courses have helped them. That's really what drives us.

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own?

Don't be afraid of failure. Sure, we all strive to succeed. But making a mistake along the way can actually be a great learning experience. Sometimes it's hard, but dust yourself off and just try again.

#55: businessethicsblog.com - Chris MacDonald - @ethicsblogger 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship? 

I started writing my blog over a decade ago when I realized there were good blogs on other ethics-related topics (healthcare ethics, for example) but none related to ethics in business. Basically, I spotted a market niche and dove in.

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche? 

The thing I like best is the wide and varied audience I get from blogging. I'm a university professor, so I'm used to talking to 30 or 60 or 100 students at a time. My blog allows me a much, much larger audience, from all over the world and from all walks of life.

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own? 

Keep writing. Keep generating content, and keep practicing the art of connecting with people. Also, keep reading. If you don't read, you won't have anything to say.

#57: deniseoberry.com - Denise OBerry - @deniseoberry 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship?

As a small business owner who focused on helping other small business owners, I heard a lot about what issues they were facing and knew there were more people who struggled with the same issues. My goal was (and still is) to reach those people and provide tips and tools that can help them in their business. 

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche?

The amazing people I meet along the way. The universe of small business owners is so diverse, there's always something new to learn.  

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own?

Remember that your blog / website is a business asset that should contribute to your bottom line.

#59: laraequy.com - LaRae Quy - @laraequy 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship?

I became an entrepreneur myself when I started my own leadership consulting business, The Mental Toughness Center. I began writing about 1) what I knew, and 2) how what I knew would help me breakthrough the roadblocks and obstacles before me. I spent over 20 years as an FBI undercover and counterintelligence agent and what I learned during that period of time is how to be mentally tough. I found it easy to apply FBI best practices to everyday life, especially in business environments that are constantly changing and shifting. Mental toughness is not something a person is born with; it is something everyone can learn. Through my writing and executive coaching, I’ve been able to share the importance of developing grit as an essential tool all entrepreneurs need in order to move forward.

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche?

Meeting people who are full of ideas and energy! I’ve met individuals who truly are on the cutting edge of technology and business and it’s invigorating to learn not only more about them, but about where the world is headed. It’s also challenging because there is no perfect formula to grow a business. I’m learning to trust my gut instinct more and more because, all said and done, sometimes that is the best indicator of whether something is right for you. It helps when you’re presented with several opportunities or options and there is no crystal ball to point you in the best direction.

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own?

As trite as this sounds, you must love what you are doing. Too much emphasis is placed on “being happy”—it is far more important to pursue work that has value and meaning for you. Happiness is a fleeting emotion, but joy and fulfillment are things that endure. So start with something that truly resonates with you, something that gets you up in the morning because you are so excited about what you get to do that day!

Or anything else that's important to you!

I’ve been fortunate enough to publish two books: Secrets Of A Strong Mind and Mental Toughness For Women Leaders. I continue to write because I truly believe that we need to be mentally strong if we’re to continue to find ways to move forward in our challenging environment.

#61: globalsmallbusinessblog.com - Laurel Delaney - @laureldelaney

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship?

I am an author (http://www.amazon.com/Exporting-Definitive-Selling-Abroad-Profitably/dp/1430257911) and run a successful global small business. I wanted to sing a song the world could relate to and at the same time I wanted to impart knowledge with the world on how to take a business global.

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche?

Helping entrepreneurs and small business owners realize their global potential.

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own?

There is not a one-size-fits-all triumph strategy. Succeeding in starting a business, creating a website or launching a blog requires hard work, discipline, organizational skills, something remarkable to sell or talk about, and a long-term view. Oh, and it also helps to be crazy passionate about what do!

Or anything else that's important to you!

The need for all businesses to have a digital presence is here to stay and will only continue to evolve and grow in new ways. Individuals and businesses who fail to adapt and make the big tech shift will fall to the wayside and become irrelevant. Those who embrace the shift, leverage it, and discipline themselves to stay one step ahead of technology will allow every aspect of their business to prosper.

#65: getbusymedia.com - Stephen Murphy - @getbusymedia 

Get Busy Media was formed in 2011 by Jim Armstrong and Stephen Murphy, two semi-recent grads that were just getting started in marketing. They started the site as a way to learn more about the world of digital marketing and entrepreneurship, and applied this newfound knowledge to grow GBM. Eventually they brought in several other recent grads to round out a team of young hustlers that used the site as a platform to grow their careers. Today, the original founders hold leadership roles at firms like Google, Red Bamboo Marketing, iProspect, Factual, and Interactive Strategies. 

The best part about writing in the business niche is that it never gets stale. Things that were best practice last year may be completely outdated today, and new trends are emerging daily. This keeps the content fresh and exciting. 

My Advice: Focus on quality first. It’s better to have 1 immensely valuable post per month than 20 forgettable pages. Hone your craft, write great stories, then scale up when you become more efficient.

#71: barrymoltz.com - Barry Moltz - @barrymoltz 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship?

After I sold my last business 

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche?

Talking about issues that really matter for small biz and get them unstuck! 

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own? 

Find the pain your company solves and who they solve it for.

#81: danblackonleadership.info - Dan Black - @dbonleadership

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship? 

My passion to start writing stems from the desire to help people become or increase their level of influence, whether as a business leader or in a different field. 

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche? 

Positively adding value and being a part of helping people become better. To see lives change and know I was a part of the change. 

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own? 

Start with yourself, make sure you are leading yourself successfully before you attempt to lead others or start a blog. Make sure you are practicing and living what you will be writing about.

#89: entrepreneurialambitions.com - Yura Bryant - @yurabryant 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship? 

I was an avid reader of websites such as Entrepreneur, Forbes and other blogs that covered the topics of entrepreneurship and business ownership. One day I just decided I wanted to provide my opinion on entrepreneurship based off of my own experience of finding my way as an entrepreneur. 

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche? 

I enjoy helping people understand the entrepreneur process. So many people want to be entrepreneurs and the owner of a successful business but they don't know how to actually make that happen. When I write, my goal is to help people connect the dots and align the right actions together to produce successful results. 

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own? 

When it comes to starting your own business, make sure you understand the marketplace. Know your customers. Know your competitors. Know how the market works now and analyze how it will work in the future. Blogs and websites work in the same manner. It is very important to write to provide value for your intended audience, rather than writing to just promote your products or services.

#90: latebloomingentrepreneurs.wordpress.com - Lynne Strang - @stranglb 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship? 

In addition to the blog, I’m the author of a book -- Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40. I enjoy writing about this topic in part because I’m a late bloomer myself. I had a long career in public relations, including 17 years in financial services PR, before I left the traditional work world in 2010. As a freelance writer and solopreneur, I benefit a great deal from what I learn through my research. My hope is that my posts will help and inspire people who dream of starting a business but think they’re “too old.” 

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche? 

The interviews. Over the years, I’ve spoken to a wide range of business owners – from cybersecurity experts to candy importers. I’ve also interviewed networking experts, lenders, personal coaches, marketing specialists and career changers. Writing about entrepreneurship has given me the opportunity to meet so many inspirational, accomplished and knowledgeable people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise. 

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business, an entrepreneur website or a blog of their own? 

Each of these areas is distinct and requires different steps. But no matter which way you’re leaning, here are some suggestions to keep in mind: 

1. Start small. This will allow you to keep pace and avoid overextending yourself. When you make mistakes (which everyone does), they won’t be as expensive or embarrassing. 

2. Get to know yourself better. Even people with decades of work experience can benefit from a SWOT analysis. The simplest way is to take a piece of paper and draw a box with four quadrants. List your “strengths” and “weaknesses” in the upper two quadrants and your “opportunities” and “threats” in the bottom two. When you’re finished, share your work with people who know you well for their input. 

3. Do what you love. Just remember that passion, by itself, isn’t enough to succeed. You also need discipline to base key decisions on facts, data and your target market’s preferences rather than your own. If your research suggests that a personal interest or favorite cause can be turned into your next act, go for it. 

Anything else that's important to you! 

I’d just remind late bloomers to view their age as a positive factor. A business or a blog isn’t for everybody. But if you have the drive, dedication and vision, the second half of life can be an ideal time to start this type of endeavor. Also, here’s a suggestion if you’re planning to work from home: Find a comfortable desk chair. This may be your office’s most important item since you’ll spend a lot of time in it. Don’t use a kitchen stool or folding chair that you have lying around. You’ll be sorry later.

#91: ceoafterlife.com - John R Bell - @johnrichardbell 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship? 

Unlike most bloggers, I am not posting blogs to expand my brand or improve my business. To start with, I’m retired, so I don’t have a business. Retired doesn’t mean I am not working. Writing is work, but I don’t get paid for it, nor do I want to. As a service to today’s generation of leaders and managers, I’m sharing my perspective on leadership, marketing, branding and life. Seemingly, someone is listening. I started In the CEO Afterlife 4 years ago; 135 posts later, the site has generated 600,000 hits from 105,000 unique IPs and it continues to garner over a thousand hits a month. 

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche? 

I particularly enjoy staying abreast of current business practices so that my views remain relevant to the target audience. Importantly, my own CEO afterlife affords the luxury of stepping back from the day-to-day to ponder the present-day pertinence of the stratagems that worked for me in the line of fire. Several of these past practices remain intact, ready to be unbridled, ready to address the issues that inhibit business performance in the 21st century. Some require significant adaptation. Others, I’ve buried in the resting place of turntables, Betamax players, boom boxes, and Walkmans. 

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own? 

I think a critical spoke in the wheel of blogging success is to write what you know. Secondly, in business and entrepreneurship, it is important to keep the concepts simple and concise with plenty of current examples from both small, medium and large companies. Thirdly, if you want to teach, you must continue to learn. So, read, read, read. Comment on other blogs. Build your social media presence. 

What is the biggest misconception in business? 

Leaders think the only way to grow is to keep “doing more and more.” The surprising secret to success is actually, “doing less, better.” This message comes out loud and clear on the sight, and recently became a book, published by Palgrave Macmillan in January of 2015. The title? “Do Less Better: The Power of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World.”

#97: zachhellermarketing.com - Zach Heller - @zheller 

What made you decide to start writing about business and entrepreneurship?

I've always been interested in business. It was what I studied in school, and when I graduated I wanted some way to continue to build and explore this interest outside of my 9-5 job. So I started my first blog when I was 22 and have never stopped. The topics and subjects have changed over time to match my specific areas of interest and how I think I can be of assistance to others in the area. But I continue to use my writing as a way of both offering advice where I can, and learning about new areas that interest me or impact my career in some way.

What is your favorite part about writing and being in the business niche? 

Part of the reason I started writing is because I didn't feel that there were a lot of places one could get marketing advice in the real world. Outside of living and working in the profession, for a small business owner or someone running a home business who didn't take marketing classes, there was very little out there to help them. So I thought I might help fill that void. As I've grown, I've realized that the research I do for my writing actually leads me to learn more than I ever would without it. And so not only do I feel like I can help others, I know that I'm helping myself grow.

Do you have any advice for people hoping to start a business and entrepreneur website or blog of their own? 

The best advice I can give is to recognize that this is now a very crowded field, so if you want to really connect with people you need to stand out. You do that be finding your own voice, your own unique way or writing or storytelling that is different from all the rest. And in the end, you have to do what makes you happy. If you see it as work, and you don't genuinely enjoy it, try something else.

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