photo © 2009 Eric Susch | more info (via: Wylio)As part of my mission to build a successful technology company (GuideMe), I have turned to learning from others who are also doing it or have done it before.
To help others along this path, while also being inspired by Larry Chang’s VC Blog Directory, I compiled all the entrepreneur blogs I’ve been following and used Compete traffic data to sort them by average unique visitors in 2011. While imperfect, it’s a quick way to determine that other people also find them to be great resources.
(Name, Twitter, Company, Blog, Avg Monthly Uniques)
- Seth Godin (@thisissethsblog), Squidoo/Author – Seth Godin’s Blog (143,103)
- Jeremy Schoemaker (@shoemoney), AuctionAds – Shoemoney (74,136)
- John Chow (@johnchow), The TechZone/TTZ Media – JohnChow.com (53,174)
- Dharmesh Shah (@dharmesh), Hubspot – OnStartups (48,918)
- Joel Spolsky (@spolsky), StackOverflow – Joel On Software (43,762)
- Neil Patel (@neilpatel), KissMetrics/CrazyEgg – Quicksprout (41,488)
- Guy Kawasaki (@guykawasaki), Alltop – How To Change The World (29,057)
- Erica Douglass (@ericabiz), Whoosh Traffic – Erica.biz (24,342)
- Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt), WordPress – Matt (22,737)
- Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee), WineLibrary – GaryVaynerchuk.com (19,249)
- John Battelle (@johnbattelle), Federated Media – Battelle Media (16,944)
- Kevin Rose (@kevinrose), Digg/Milk – KevinRose.com (16,144)
- Jason Cohen (@asmartbear), WPEngine/Smart Bear – A Smart Bear (15,217)
- Chris Dixon (@cdixon), Hunch/SiteAdvisor – CDixon (13,282)
- Ben Yoskovitz (@byosko), StandoutJobs – Instigator Blog (11,154)
- Patrick McKenzie (@patio11), Bingo Card Creator – Kalzumeus (10,742)
- Markus Frind (@plentyoffish), PlentyOfFish – Plenty of Fish Blog (10,344)
- Gabriel Weinberg (@yegg), DuckDuckGo – Gabriel Weinberg’s Blog (9,179)
- Eric Ries (@ericries), IMVU – Startup Lessons Learned (8,081)
- Jason Calacanis (@jason), Mahalo/WebLogs – Jason Calacanis (7,279)
- Tim Berry (@timberry), Palo Alto Software – Planning Startups Stories (6,573)
- Marc Cenedella (@cenedella), TheLadders – Cenedella.com (5,506)
- Rob Walling (@robwalling), DotNetInvoice – Software By Rob (5,137)
- Vinicius Vacanti (@vacanti), Yipit – ViniciusVacanti.com (4,781)
- Noah Kagan (@noahkagan), AppSumo – OKDork.com (4,606)
- Ash Maurya (@ashmaurya), UserCycle – Ash Maurya.com (4,363)
- Jason Baptiste (@jasonlbaptiste), OnSwipe – JasonLBaptiste.com (3,834)
- Ben Pieratt (@pieratt), Svpply – Varsity Bookmarking (3,568)
- Sean Ellis (@seanellis), CatchFree – Startup-Marketing.com (2,952)
- Joshua Porter (@bokardo), Performable – Bokardo.com (2,879)
- David Cancel (@dcancel), Performable – DavidCancel.com (2,800)
- Alexis Ohanian (@kn0thing), Reddit/Hipmunk – Soaring on a Pig with Bread Wings (2,715)
- Wayne Chang (@wayne), i2Hub – Wayne Chang (2,621)
- Mike Nolet (@mikeonads), AppNexus – Mike on Ads (2,621)
- Erin Blaskie (@erinblaskie), BSETC – ErinBlaskie.com (2,399)
- Tara Hunt (@missrogue), Buyosphere – Horse Pig Cow (2,287)
- Jonathan Mendez (@jonathanmendez), YieldBot – Optimize and Prophesize (2,275)
- Pat McCarthy (@patmccarthy), GuideMe – ConversionRater (2,195)
- Rand Fishkin (@randfishkin), SEOMoz – RandFishkin.com (2,094)
- Jordan Cooper (@jordancooper), Hyperpublic – Jordan Cooper’s Blog (2,080)
- Mike Rundle (@flyosity), 9Rules – Flyosity (1,399)
- Philip Kaplan (Pud) (@pud), Blippy/Adbrite – Pud’s Blog (1,038)
- Steve Poland (@popo), MyFavorites- StevePoland.com (1,038)
- Matt Mireles (@mattmireles), SpeakerText - The Metamorphosis (1,021)
- Joel Gascoigne (@joelgascoigne), Buffer – Joel.is (978)
- Steve Sammartino (@sammartino), Rentoid.com – StartupBlog (924)
- Dan Martell (@danmartell), Flowtown – Dan Martell (923)
- Jessica Mah (@jessicamah), Indinero – JessicaMah.com (922)
- Lisa Bruckner (@wasabinights), Hendricks Park – WasabiNights.com (674)
- Giff Constable (@giffconstable), Aprizi – GiffConstable.com (614)
- Hiten Shah (@hnshah), KissMetrics/CrazyEgg – Hiten Shah’s Tumblr (585)
- Tristan Kromer (@trikro), MonkeyMake.it – GrassHopperHerder.com (351)
- Nat Turner (@natsturner), Invite Media – NatsTurner.com (216)
Rules for Inclusion
In order to put the rankings on an even playing field I created some rules for inclusion in this list:
- Current or recent founder of a technology startup.
- Not purely a personal blog.
- Nobody included who is primarily an angel or VC investor.
- Must be written by a single author with only occasional guest posts.
- There had to be at least one post so far in 2011.
- Must have data registering at Compete for most months.
- No company blogs are included, even if the founder is the primary writer.
- I did include authors who also founded tech startups (Godin/Kawasaki/Vaynerchuk). (Although there is a clear advantage for them in blog popularity)
Who’s Left Off
- Tim Ferriss (@tferriss) – Extremely successful author, but he hasn’t actually founded a “tech startup”. Although he did start and sell a supplement company and is a tech angel investor now. He’d be #1 on this list if included.
- Mark Suster (@msuster) – Two time tech entrepreneur who’s blog is a great resource, but he’s a full-fledged VC investor at this point. There are other VCs who were former entrepreneurs who have good blogs as well.
Why is Compete the data source?
Compete definitely has it’s faults with traffic accuracy, but it is the only service that allowed me to see traffic data by month during 2011. Some of the other services didn’t have enough data to quantify the blogs. Exact numbers are less important than the trend.
- Being a book author helps tremendously for growing a blog audience. Bloggers like Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, and Gary Vaynerchuk have a lot of popularity that was driven by being published authors. Of course, the reason they are writing books is because they are also intelligent people and great writers in the first place.
- The majority of blogs were on a downward slide of traffic, especially in the month of April. It’s unclear whether this is just something specific to Compete’s data, or if there is some macro trend that caused it. My bet is that it’s specific to Compete’s data, but almost every blog experienced it so it’s still fair to compare them.
- Consistency in posting appears to have a positive effect on traffic. (Duh).
- The types of posts on the blogs also seem to have a positive effect. The most popular tend to have more evergreen educational posts that are likely to get shared quite a bit. The entrepreneurs who also post polarizing opinions get more traffic.
- The number of years they’ve been blogging is another clear and obvious positive indicator. Although some of the newer bloggers have rose to a lot of traffic quickly due to great content.
- A successful exit or running a well known company adds quite a bit to their blog popularity.
- Additionally, last year I created a private email discussion list for technology founders called FounderList. It’s a great intimate way for tech founders to network and learn from each other. Go sign up if you are a technology startup founder.