Who Are Your Blogging Heroes?

Like most of you, I got into blogging and Internet entrepeneurship because I was inspired.

I was inspired by ideas, by success, by the promise of working for myself and making a lot of money. But most of all, I was inspired by people.

I thought it would be cool to come up with a list of blogging/Internet professional heroes.

So how about we each list 3+ people who inspired us to be doing what we are doing now.

Here are the three people who have inspired me the most (not all of these people blog, but that’s ok, right;-) :

1. Brett Tabke (for showing me the recipe)
2. Jeremy Schoemaker (for showing me the potential)
3. David Krug (for giving me the leverage and the ideas)

So who’s inspired you?

29 thoughts on “Who Are Your Blogging Heroes?

  1. I take inspiration from other bloggers all the time, from the z-list right up to the most popular.

    These are probably the bloggers who had most influence on me being a blogger myself
    1. Jason Kottke
    2. Derek Powazek
    3. Darren Rowse

    The people who were most influential in helping me making a go of publishing online are
    1. ASP List / ASPAlliance Charles Carrol and Steven Smith
    2. Brett Tabke and all the webmasterworld dudes
    3. Nick, Jason, Dave, Aaron, Graywolf, Patrick, Andy … the whole threadwatch crew

  2. I started blogging in March ’03, so I have a lot smaller sample size to choose from than most people. The person that really influenced me was Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit. He would never blog about the interesting business stories I sent him, so I started Businesspundit to post them myself.

    Glenn was really the only blogger I read when I started.

  3. I’ve followed many of Brian Clark’s recommendations and ideas on writing blog content; and so much of my success in that department can be attributed to him.

    Liz Strauss is an inspiration from the perspective of community-building. Very few, if any, do it better.

    I’m also going through in Venture Hacks for opening the lid up on venture capital and how that rather mercurial business is run. They don’t write as often as I’d like, but if you’re raising money, their blog is a must read through and through.

  4. 1. Brian Provost – From his devotion to musicals to his insistence on the superiority of Mike’s Hard Lemonade to beer, Brian has broken the mold of the “macho” blogger, and proven that more sensitive men can be successful in the world of blogging. This made me realize that no matter who you are, you always have to be true to yourself as a blogger and you can be successful.

    3. Hagans to suit up in a Cowboy Hat and boots will put him on my list of most admired for years to come.

  5. Since we’re not limiting ourselves to just three …

    I’m adding Ahmed Bilal, Chris Garrett, Liz Strauss, Andy Boyd, Sujan Patel, Deb Ng, Brian Clark, Leon Ho, Jon Phillips, Ben Yoskovitz, Mike Arrington, Pete Cashmore, Richard MacManus, Marshall Kirkpatrick, in no particular order (but I’m sure I’ve forgotten people). All of these blogosphere denizens have inspired me with their varied blogging and blog-related successes. [Disclaimer: I’m partnered with some of these people on web projects – pretty much because they inspire me – and have corresponded with a few of the others as well.]

    For pure writing inspiration, William Zinsser‘s incredible “On Writing Well” is a must-read. I read it back in the late 70s or early 80s (can’t remember), and while I’ve always been a writer/storyteller at heart, even when I was a pipsqueak, Zinsser’s books inspired me to consider being a writer beyond a hobby stage. It has always propelled me forwards, past poems + lyrics, past technical writing, past fiction and into blogging.

  6. Even though I don’t write fiction, On Writing is the most inspiring and encouraging book about writing I’ve read yet.

  7. Well, that’s a good question. I think Mike Arrington needs a mention, he’s doing his thing and doing it really good – no matter what you think about TechCrunch or him as a person. Same goes for Jason Calacanis and Nick Denton – they’re not outstanding bloggers, but they’re doing their thing and using their voices. Then again, I guess they’re riding on old accomplishments really. Also, I’m a big fan of Liz Strauss. She’s great. So is Tony Hung, my buddy Ryan here, as well as David Krug and a bunch of others.

    But heroes? My WRITING hero is Stephen King. That’s the only one. Read On Writing and you’ll understand why.

  8. First off thanks Deb… you are way too nice

    My blogging heroes…

    Jonathan Price will always be my number one. I took his class in college to pump up my business copy which is what I used to write and he made me start a blog. The first blog I ever had (ah, memories) then he told me I would (not that I could) but that I would be a successful writer and I believed him. It was the turning point of my life I guess.

    Other than that I don’t tend to think in terms of blog heroes. I have bloggers I adore but that’s a little different. I pick up tips from various bloggers but mainly consider them kind and helpful not heroes.

    If someone held a gun to my head and made me choose two more I would choose Spooky because for over a year now he’s never failed to make me laugh, shows that there’s more to blogs than text, and knows that good blogs are all about community. Also, most likely Deb Ng (not cause she said me either) more because she’s super kind yet takes no crap, always knows where the jobs are, and she’s an overall good advocate for bloggers. You know, one of the cool kids.

    This was too hard because there are too many brilliant bloggers.

  9. David Krugg as he didn’t scare me off, miracle really and if you are in NZ, drop by!
    David Peralty of http://www.xfep.com as he answered my question on easysmith. Thanks David.
    Michael at http://www.applegazette.com as he gave me a lot of time even if I am a beginner.
    And also not wanting to stick to the ruels my fourth, Sharon Sarmiento of Esoup for writing really good posts and having Rory Marie.

  10. I forget to mention my new blogging hero:

    • Stephen Fry, the writer/actor/comedian/desirer of technology

    Stephen Fry is my measuring post. My new aim in life is to try and be as relevant, informative, interesting, authoritative and as witty as him every time I sit down to write an opinion piece. Will I ever achieve this goal? Unlikely. Will my writing improve in striving for it? I’m almost positive it will.

  11. Ryan, you’re welcome.

    Tim definitely swims upstream from traditional entrepreneur culture.

  12. Indeed a tough question and I could have listed at least 10 – 15 bloggers.

    1. Would be Darren Rowse, the reason is the same as debng. He seems like a very nice and down to earth guy and I have learned so much of him. He is also a huge inspiration for me in what I can accomplish as a Problogger.

    2. Second would be Brad Callen from whom I have learned so many valuable things.

    3. The third isn’t only a blogger but is Tim Ferriss, author of the Four Hour Workweek. We have the exact same background and interests and he is for me the example of what a guy like me can accomplish if you just set your mind to it. He’s a huge inspiration.

    But I could go on and on, there are so many, but these 3 inspire me the most I guess.

    *edited a name*

  13. My choices say more about me and why I blog than anything else I guess. They’re not the type of blogger that most others seem to have as heroes.

    1. Merlin Mann – for showing that if you have something to teach your readers that will help them in their ordinary lives, they will love you forever
    2. Neil Gaiman – for demonstrating that good writing will overcome at times erratic posting schedule
    3. Wil Wheaton – who opened up my eyes that the ordinary is interesting, too.

    I guess the fact that I generally blog purely for the pleasure of writing would explain why two out of the three are writers first, bloggers second.

  14. You know, this may reveal my utter ignorance, but I had never heard of Tim Ferriss before. He’s a gem. What a great find. Thanks Dee for pointing me in that direction.

  15. Ryan, I like that term “blogging heroes”. Just fits well for some reason.

    Anyways, here are my top 3. I’m very future oriented and I love to learn new things so my top 3 is always changing based on what I’m currently reading.

    Yaro Starak
    He’s a great inspiration. I’ve been following him for about to two years. Back in the day, he wasn’t making much money. But now he’s making $4,000 – $10,000 a month. What I remember is his focus in building a great blog and reputation for the long term. Also, he’s got great content about freeing up time through outsourcing.

    Brian Clark
    He’s helping me realize that bloggers can sell their own products and make much more money than advertising alone. Check out Teaching Sells, his new membership site.

    Tim Ferriss
    He’s helped me realize you can live a millionaire lifestyle without being a millionaire. You’ve probably heard of his book.

  16. Come now, David Krug. Still gotta little snarkiness left in those bones afterall, eh 😉

  17. Paul Scrivens
    Jason Calacanis
    Nick Denton
    Nick Wilson

    For being the four easiest to get along with guys in the ‘sphere. Sorry I couldnt help but humor my history in the blogosphere. Now can I get back to work?

  18. Not bloggers, but Corey Rudl (may his soul rest in peace) & Matt Gagnon. I highly recommend all their courses- even if seemingly dated in 2007. Just the energy. Loren Feldman never fails to crack me up!!

  19. I’ve said most of these names in the past, but here goes…

    (1) Ryan Caldwell, just because you are who are, your success and generosity. Without realizing it consciously, I’ve been following your lead in many respects. And for giving me a lot of opportunities.

    (2) Andy Hagans, both for keeping me employed for over a year, for teaching me so much about blogging, and for being an inspiration due to his success.

    (3) Darren Rowse, for giving me my first serious backlinks back in Aug or Sep 2005. It turned the tide for me. And of course, for being a general inspiration.

    There are of course dozens of others that I’d add, but Ryan only asked for three heroes, and there’s only so much brown-nosing Perf readers will put up with.

  20. Mine is Wil Wheaton also – his was the first blog that showed me an average guy writing about things he loves could be interesting and entertaining.


  21. .. these people took ‘blogging’ to the next step, in my opinion –

    1) Maddox (my brother-in-law first introduced me to this guy’s site)

    2) Duncan Riley (who probably guessed it first or at least probably had the closest of guesses)

    3) Wil Wheaton (not the guy from Star Trek, but the famous author, blogger and poker player!)

    All of them are still in my Bloglines, and have been there since May 2005 I think, or earlier. If anybody truly talks about individuals having a “voice” out there – these are my picks.

  22. Ryan,

    I know what you’re saying, and I think it has a lot to do with who we come across first in our online lives. There are bloggers I respect and am perhaps impressed with their success but they haven’t inspired me. However, I could cite cases of bloggers who’ve done absolutely nothing significant in comparison to bigger names but some aspect of their blogging inspires me.

  23. One thing that’s interesting to me is how some people who have had huge impacts on others have had zero impact on me. I’d give you an example, but then someone would kill me.

  24. I could also name quite a few, but the three that come to mind first are:

    Wendy Piersall – I have learned so much about setting goals and going after them, teamwork, and working from the heart from Wendy – she has so much to share with everyone yet she is so real – and a real friend.

    Liz Strauss – Liz is the QUEEN of relationship blogging. She is always so genuinely happy to respond to comments on her site and her Tuesday Night Open Comments are a truly unique networking opportunity for bloggers – I can’t even count how many cool people I have met this way. I rarely miss a Tuesday night and it has opened so many doors.

    Gayla McCord – Gayla is an amazing source of really great ideas, support and tried and true advice. She knows how to really make money online and wants everyone else to be successful too.

  25. Liz Strauss – For being my inspiration and the writer I aspire to be. (She’s probably sick of hearing me talk about her at this point, too.)

    Darren Rowse – His was the first “blog about blogging” I came across when I was learning how to do this blogging thing, and years later he continues to give good, solid advice.

    Jennifer Chait – Jennifer isn’t a very well known blogger, yet, but she’s good at what she does and is one of the nicest people in the business.

  26. Here’s Brett Tabke’s blog (and I assume DK’s still blogging somewhere?).

    It’s a tough question, because I’ve been more inspired by non-bloggers in my online life (probably because I learned about internet marketing and SEO before I learned about blogging). While there are several bloggers I love to read I’m not sure they’ve been inspirational (entertaining, definitely).

    I would pick:

    1. Rand Fishkin for showing me (and everyone else, I guess), how you could go from nowhere to being a rockstar just by working hard and leveraging your talents.

    2. Brad Callen – for giving me my first ‘real’ (well-paid) gig as a freelance writer and for giving me the chance and the resources to earn a fulltime living online.

    3. Marc and Dan at PLRPro – I saw them build a business that cleared 6-figures in its first year by putting in insane amounts of time (2 people doing the work of 6-8).

Comments are closed.