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20 People Who Started As Bloggers, Who Are Now So Much More!

By:     Topics: Blogging,Entrepreneurship

Hello Everyone,

Blogging has been great platform for so many people to become a huge success. Take me for example, because of my Retireat21 blog I was offered to host a hit new MTV show in LA just because they liked how I came across on my blog. Blogging isn’t just about making money online, for some people it could be because they want to be a best selling author but can’t get a foot in the door right now and for others it started just so they could pay there grocery bills. Today I have created a really cool list of 20 people who started blogging and now are so much more then just bloggers. Looking down at the list I have created today, I should really rename it the 20 best bloggers ever as these guys have set such high standards for all of us. Please note that the list isn’t really in any particular order, just the 20 best although I have to say Tucker Max’s story was one of the most entertaining.

If you would like to take the first steps to follow these bloggers and make it big then check out my FREE eCourse teaching you exactly how to build your first blog, drive traffic and make money!

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20 Entrepreneurs Who Started With Blogging

#1

Tucker Max

Tucker Max Tucker’s Blog
TuckermaxWhy He Started Blogging:
Tucker Max was blogging about his drunken, womanizing exploits before the phrase “blogging” even existed. Tuckers blog attracts 100,000s of visitors weekly who like to read about his ‘interesting’ exploits and enjoy his amazing writing style.
Where He Is Now:
Because of Tuckers blog, he was able to get a book published which The New York Times called “…highly entertaining and thoroughly reprehensible…” no wonder it was in The New York Times best sellers list for 100 weeks. He is filming a movie based on his book/stories/life by the title “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” coming soon!

#2

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk Garys’s Blog
GaryvaynerchukWhy He Started Blogging:
Gary Vaynerchuk’s story started as the co-owner of a wine store in New Jersey. He gained fame as the host of Wine Library TV, a video blog on the subject of wine, built his wine store into a multi-million dollar business and established his personal brand with TV appearances and speaking engagements around the world.
Where He Is Now:
He has now signed a seven-figure book deal about the things that made him as successful as he is in creating opportunities for himself via his video blog. He also is among one of the most sort after speakers for any marketing events.

#3

Collis Ta’eed

11
Collis’s Blog
Tutsplus.comWhy He Started Blogging:
Began his first blog, FreelanceSwitch, in 2006 with his wife Cyan in her parents garage when their first site wasn’t earning as fast as they expected.
Where He Is Now:
Collis is now one of the top earning bloggers in the world with over a dozen high traffic blogs, collis has been able to quickly launch new blogs because of such a rapid and loyal readership. Collis is able to work from anywhere in the world while he travels with his wife on new and exciting web projects because of the success of his blogging career.

#4

Mario Lavandeira

Mario Lavandeira Mario’s Blog
Perez HiltonWhy He Started Blogging:
Mario has always loved intrigue and who better to showcase this than celebrities so his blogs started all about celebrity gossip. After graduation from New York University in 2000, Mario attempted to be an actor, but he end up working as a very well earned blogger because he thinks setting up a website like this “seems easy” unlike being an actor. He found his talent in riling up gossip and controversies about Hollywood figures and is one of the most infamous bloggers in the United States. There are actually two sides to it since he is hated by many Hollywood stars but is loved by millions of web patrons.
Where He Is Now:
Mario rides on both fame and infamy. In 2007, Mario announced that he would be starring in his own reality television show on VH1, titled “What Perez Sez”. He is also a regular on TRL, Much Music and Extra where he reports about Hollywood gossip from his own closet studio. In May 2008, he also launched his own radio show called “Radio Perez”.

#5

Michael Arrington

Michael Arrington Michael’s Blog
TechcrunchWhy He Started Blogging:
He is a corporate attorney who left law to become a Web entrepreneur. When he took a year off, and returned to the work world, he started blogging as a way to understand the new Web start-ups that had arisen in his absence. TechCrunch took off, and he soon found himself an accidental power broker.
Where He Is Now:
Michael now spends his time scouting the internet and investing in some promising internet start-ups.

#6

Pete Cashmore

Peter Cashmore Peter’s Blog
MashableWhy He Started Blogging:
Due to his inquisitive mind and great interest with web-related matters, Pete Cashmore focused solely on writing about MySpace and other social networks. One of Cashmore’s first articles that became instantly popular was, “If You Don’t Have A MySpace, You’re a Lametard.“ It was a unique approach to blogging, but it worked.
Where He Is Now:
Peter still does writes about everything happening on the Internet although he has slightly deviated from his focus on just social network news. Given the fame of Mashable, Peter has weaned himself from writing and has begun to concentrate on the entrepreneurial side of his web-business. To further strengthen his enterprise, Peter moved to California and focuses on West Coast operations. His success has brought him to celebrity status and he has been featured on many shows in the US and the UK. Peter also travels between the two countries as a consultant and speaker.

#7

Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall Josh’s Blog
TPMWhy He Started Blogging:
Marshall started a blog called “Talking Points Memo” during the 2000 Florida election recount. He was inspired by political bloggers such as Mickey Kaus and Andrew Sullivan.
Where He Is Now:
Josh Marshall played an important part in exposing a scandal which involved the politically motivated dismissal of US Attorneys by the administration of George W. Bush. For that he was nominated by Arianna Huffington to the Time 100. After declining numerous offers to buy his company, Josh still operates it in Manhattan with a staff of seven reporters. Aside from managing, Josh also has established himself as a columnist for Washington DC newspaper, The Hill.

#8

Alborz Fallah

Alborz Fallah Alborz’s Blog
Car AdviceWhy He Started Blogging:
Alborz has always had a great passion for cars. Curiously, he started out just like a few bloggers who wasn’t sure what topic to write about, so he created three blogs at once to see which one would stick. Sticking to his passion, he noticed that the car blog got the traffic so he dropped the other two and slowly built up his site off the back of his own content.
Where He Is Now:
Alborz sold some of his blog to investors and his blog became a real serious business that he finally left his job to focus 100% on his project. Capitalizing on his success, Alborz has shifted his focus from the web to other forms of media. He has now moved into DVD sales of his videos and doing podcasts. Of course, nothing will ever pull him away from his life’s greatest passion; cars!

#9

Robert Scoble

Robert Schoble Robert’s Blog
ScobelizerWhy He Started Blogging:
Robert Scoble started blogging four years ago, when he worked for NEC, a Japanese technology company. His blog is all about a place where he could converse with NEC’s customers, give tech support and listen to feedback. He was always honest about the products, and his readership grew.
Where He Is Now:
Scoble and Shel Israel are currently writing a business bloggers book, called The Red Couch.

#10

Darren Rowse

Daren Rowse

Darren’s Blog
ProbloggerWhy He Started Blogging:
He started blogging just about 5 years ago, and it was just a hobby. After a year he began to experiment a little with advertising and affiliate programs on my blogs and discovered that they could actually make money! He began to record the things he was learning on the topic of making money from blogging on his personal blog.
Where He Is Now:
Darren’s success has earned him great fame and he was awarded the Best Web Development Weblog blog award in 2006 for ProBlogger. In 2007, he was also named in the Forbes Celebrity List. In the following year, Darren co-authored the book ‘ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income (Wiley) and founded TwiTip – a blog dedicated to Twitter Tips. Preferring to live a simple life, Darren lives in Melbourne, Australia but does frequent traveling for numerous speaking engagements.

#11

Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy Schoemaker Jeremy’s Blog
ShoemoneyWhy He Started Blogging:
Starting with absolutely no capital, he educated himself and began building ecommerce sites to earn revenue. During this time, he started blogging his experiences at Shoemoney.com and then used the blog to springboard new companies like AuctionAds, which had one of the most impressive launches of any online advertising company ever. Through his blog, Jeremy provides advice on all areas of Internet Marketing, including SEO, affiliate management, blogging, and revenue strategies.
Where He Is Now:
Jeremy continues to launch new start-ups and also chronicles his adventures on his own blog site. Given his fame and expertise, Jeremy is a frequent speaker at search engine marketing and affiliate conferences, and co-founded the Elite Retreat conference.

#12

Tim Ferriss

timferriss Tim’s Blog
4 Hour Work Week Why He Started Blogging:
Tim being a productive guru had a message to convey and blogging was the means he deemed fit for his purposes. Being a neuroscience graduate, Tim has many innovative ways of looking at life and gives valuable advice on how to approach situations differently. His blogs are well-written and very thought provoking. It is a favorite among CEOs around the world.
Where He Is Now:
In 2007, Tim launched his book, The 4-Hour Workweek under Random House and marketed the book mostly among bloggers. The book launched him to stardom and he is now a guest lecturer at Princeton University and has spoken in hundreds of seminars and conventions.

 


#14

Timothy Sykes

Timothy Skyes Timothy’s Blog
Timothy SykesWhy He Started Blogging:
After incurring great losses in his previous businesses, Timothy Sykes decided to write a book detailing his journey into managing the hedge fund and the lessons he learned from losing so much money. Capitalizing on the potential of the web, he then started a blog, with the goal of documenting the step by step process of turning another $12,000 into millions.
Where He Is Now:
Tim is now a writer for AOL Finance and has been featured on ABC, CNN, CBS, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business Network, Reuters, Business Week to name a few. He also starred in the TV show, “Wall Street Warriors” on MOJO. His monthly blog income is in the 6 figures and this is definitely one young man who should be checked out!

#15

Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina Steve’s Blog
Steve PavlinaWhy He Started Blogging:
Steve is someone who started blogging about his take on LIFE and other personal development stuff, and now has one of the leading sites in that niche.
Where He Is Now:
On twitter, he says he is a human alarm clock. He awakens people who are sleeping through life. Steve Pavlina has been doing some research into the art of video, and playing around with making and editing sample videos. Eventually there will be videos on the Steve Pavlina site, and we would love to see a Steve Pavlina personal growth DVD product in the future as well.

#16

Lisa Stone

lisastone
Lisa’s Blog
BlogHerWhy she Started Blogging:
Founded in February 2005 as a labor of love by three bloggers, BlogHer’s mission was to create opportunities for women who blog to pursue exposure, education, community and economic empowerment.
Where she Is Now:
BlogHer reaches more than 14 million women monthly through its conferences, Internet site and publishing networks.

#17

Heather B. Armstrong

dooce Heather’s Blog
DooceWhy She Started Blogging:
She started her website in February 2001. A year later she was fired from her job for her website because she had written stories that included people in my workplace. When most people would fear the worse when hearing “your fired”, Heather just saw it as a challenge and took on blogging as a carerr.
Where She Is Now:
In October 2005 she began running enough ads on her website that her husband was able to quit his job and become a Stay at Home Father. Since running her blog she has found that she has a loyal readership and was able to publish two books so far.

#18

Jake and Amir

Jake and Amir Jake and Amir’s Blog
CollegeHumorWhy They Started Blogging:
CollegeHumor started to posts blogs and articles through ideas form its staff and users, including humorous essays, comics, interviews and weekly columns on sports, video games, college life, and dating.
Where They Are Now:
Jake and Amir are now both making a lot of money from advertising on their site. In December 2008, College Humor.com proudly announced the premiere of the MTV Show “The College Humor Show”. Jake and Amir along with everyone else in their team wrote on the show and play fictionalized versions of themselves.

#19

Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin Michelle’s Blog
Michelle MalkinWhy She Started Blogging:
She started and still is focusing on creating blogs which are always form a conservative viewpoint.
Where She Is Now:
Malkin was a frequent commentator for FOX News Channel and a regular guest host of The O’Reilly Factor. She then quit, and concentrated on her writing, blogging and public speaking, although she still appears on television on occasion.

#20

Harvey Levin

Harvey Levin Harvey’s Blog
TMZWhy He Started Blogging:
He is an American television producer, lawyer, legal analyst and a celebrity reporter. His blogs started all about celebrity gossip since this is one of his passions.
Where He Is Now:
He still produces and hosts TMZ on TV. He is also a frequent guest of The Kevin and Bean Morning show, in addition to CNN’s Larry King Live, and recently the Fox News Channel and Local FOX Affiliates regarding Michael Jackson’s death.

#20

Yaro Starak

yarostarak Yaro’s Blog
Entrepreneurs-JourneyWhy He Started Blogging:
Started his first blog because he thought it would be good for SEO and a chance to talk about his business journey.
Where He Is Now:
Yaro found himself being one of the most respected bloggers and launched two blogging membership websites teaching people exactly how he has done it. Earlier in 2009 he launched a new membership site teaching how he makes money from membership websites. This guy is one entrepreneurial blogger you should all be following!

To Our Success,

Michael Dunlop

PS. Who’s background in blogging appeals most to you?

  • http://www.webdesigndev.com Andy

    Great list mike! :)

  • http://www.SuccessCircuit.com Shane – Inspiring Your Success

    What a great list. I agree that each of them deserve to be on the list, each for different reasons.

  • John

    How about Belle de jour?

    Hit TV show and book deals, newspaper columns and all without losing her anonymity

  • Wayne Liew

    I follow most of the bloggers above and I have to say that they are not your average bloggers, they are also entrepreneurs that understand the business that they are in. Awesome list, as always… 😉

  • Clinton Skakun

    Hmm, looks like I need to blog more:D

  • Scott

    Gary V has good advice and Darren has heaps of info! Definitely now much more than bloggers :)

  • Sarge

    Great to see a couple of fellow Brisbanites in there in Darren and Yaro! :)

  • baloot

    perez hilton not in listing? why?
    i thought he was top blogger too.. :)

    • Michael

      Hey Baloot,

      His real name is Mario Lavandeira – he is on the list, number 4!

      Michael

  • http://www.gobackpacking.com/Blog Dave

    I agree – great list. I didn’t realize College Humor was a blog – I have a friend who works there. :)

  • http://yvesarsenault.com Yves

    Great list Michael,

    Since I started trying to learn more about blogging, building traffic and monetizing websites…. some of these I’ve been following for a while. Darren Rowse’s blog is priceless.

    Thanks for posting!

    Yves

  • Peter Godau

    Oh inspiring list that just might have me at #21 let’s say in about 100 years. Great reading and now that’s 20 more i must follow.
    GophSTAR

  • http://Filmonic.com Liam

    Nice list. Makes me want to start a new blog!

    You should have accepted the MTV offer, just to see what happens 😀

  • Thomas

    Great List !

    I could be a Top 30 list because of all successful bloggers like John Chow, iJustine, …

    • http://nthambazale.com Clement

      I also wonder why John Chow has not been included. I think he is more successful than some of the folks on this list.

      • Michael

        Hey Guys,

        The post is about bloggers who started with blogging and then came a huge success and went into other types of business. For example Darren, Tucker, Heather and Gary all went on to write books because of blogging. John Chow is a huge success but his success isn’t writing a book or getting his own TV show, his success is make a heck of a lot of money from a “personal” blog.

        Hope that clears it up,

        Michael

        • http://nthambazale.com Clement

          Okay.

        • Dan Grossman

          I don’t think he makes that much from his blog. It’s mostly show. When I paid to have some products reviewed on his blog, there was almost no traffic or sales from the posts. Nobody trusts what he writes or cares what he recommends. They subscribe only because someone told them he was a big name.

          John Cow, the John Chow parody blog, has a more loyal readership. Far fewer people yet far more clicks and sales from a blog post there.

          • Michael

            Hello Dan,

            I would have to agree with you there, I recently bought a review for $500 and got 250 clicks. I would of been better paying top wack on Google Adwords, at least that way my traffic would of converted for me. Not sure how he can have 59,000 Subscribers and only get me a few clicks.

            Michael

          • Benny

            Well I came over from his blog and found yours, which is great by the way. But I don’t know how you didn’t get more clicks. 250 is really low. Has it gone up a lot more or just a little? For $500, I would expect a lot more.

            But great stuff here, I’ll be coming back often.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/HollywoodDolls charlino

    This is an excellent post, and your list is well composed. The only blogger missing from this list is the marketing guru, Seth Godin.

  • Mike T Nelson

    Killer list of people and I loved learning about their backgrounds and how they got started. I love reading Tim Ferris’s blog and Gary V is great.

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson

  • http://www.vinivino.com Guy-Jacques

    Great post Michael! Thanks for sharing

  • Jacques

    Must say Michael, you showed me lots about blogging and I have to thank you but I found that your blog was becoming a bit boring. This article however puts the trust I had in you back on track. Great article. Inspires me and thank you

    • Michael

      Hello Jacques,

      I’m glad you enjoyed todays post but I do have a diverse readership and everyone likes different things. For example one of my favourite interviews was the one published on Monday with Ted Nicholas but a lot of people didn’t seem as interested as me. Everyone is different thats why I want to bring regular content in different ways so hopefully this will bring you content you are after.

      Thanks for sharing your concern Jacques, will try to publish more inspiration 😉

      Michael

  • http://www.ezyblogger.com/ Roseli A. Bakar

    These guys are so inspiring….

    It was Shoemoney’s adsense check to prompted me to started blogging.

    Thanks Jeremy !

  • http://www.ekonurhuda.com Ecko

    Great list.
    Learn so much more to motivate myself to reach my goals.

  • http://www.takemoneyfree.blogspot.com takemoneyfree

    Great list it really inspire us thanks mike! :)

  • Cynthia

    Love it-Very inspirational. My Hope is to be on one of your list within a year or two

  • http://www.domingorogers.com Domingo Rogers

    It’s very interesting to see no one on your list has made their way from blogging into vast riches and wealth in the area of commercial real estate.

    Thanks Micheal for the great content and insights into those that have gone before us to set the standard of “success.”

    Cheers ~

    • Michael

      Hello Domingo,

      I don’t think thats a very fair point to make. Why would you execpt a blogger to go into real estate? Blogging is about doing what you enjoy and have a passion for, not all about money. Money after all is just a by-product.

      Regards,

      Michael

  • James Howard

    Hey Michael,

    I was just going to say it’s nice that these people started blogs because they wanted to share information because they enjoyed it, not just to make money from it (to start with anyway lol) but looks like you just stated that in your reply above.

    So instead I will just say great post

    All the best,
    James

  • Ms. Freeman

    I always thought #4 Mario’s real name was Perez. Thanks for clearing that up. LOL;)

  • http://www.twitter.com/AlphaMares Debi

    Interesting article and bookmarked. Good references for starting my blog.

    Would love to know why there are not more women on the list.

    Thanks for posting this!

  • http://www.standoutblogger.com Tom – StandOutBlogger

    So you never told us if you were talking the MTV deal! 😛

    • Michael

      I declined Tom 😉 Wasn’t the right time, still got big plans for online. I’m sure there will be other great opportunitys for me.

      Michael

      • http://www.standoutblogger.com Tom – StandOutBlogger.com

        That is fair enough. You need to keep your focus on what is working for you. And obviously that is online 😀

  • Sergey Rusak

    You forget to include Huffington Post by Arianna Huffington. As of today, it is the most popular blog.

    • Michael

      Hello Sergey,

      The post was more about people who got new kinds of success because of blogging. Arianna was successful wtih her political career before blogging otherwise I would of included her.

      Michael

  • Ian

    Inspirational!

  • http://michaeltorbert.com Michael Torbert

    Isn’t the obvious missing person Matt Mullenweg? He started blogging with no aspirations of creating the revolutionary blogging tool that you’re using here.

  • http://www.twarketing.com JB

    Awesome list. I have been a big fan of about 75% of your list. Blogging has definitely gone mainstream and more of us are inspired to follow in these great bloggers footsteps. Thanks again for the list.

    All the best

    JB

  • http://www.wakasmir.com Wakas Mir

    Amazing list and so inspirational.. God bless 😀

  • http://hollandcox.blogspot.com Valerie Williams

    Very interesting list! I only read a small percentage of those who appear on this list, and because of that I wanted to bring your attention to Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge (http://www.designspongeonline.com/). She has a similar story that is very inspirational, but in a slightly different industry than most of those on your list.

    Thanks for the great article!

  • Mark

    This was definitely something I need to run across. I am a very new blogger and the stories here are very inspirational.

  • Mary Ann Halford

    Just launched my own blogand find this very inspirational . . . regularly read many of these . . . but will make sure now to check out all of them. Thanks!

  • http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com Alejandra

    Great list, although it would have been great to see some of the big female bloggers who have done well for themselves. Wonkette or Julie Powell, for example. And I certainly hope to find myself on a list like that one day!

  • Ammon

    No mention of Leo Babauta of Zen Habits fame? Fantastic blog, by a fantastic human being.

    • Michael

      Hey Ammon,

      Leo is the man but unfortunatly this isn’t the top bloggers list, that comes out in a couple weeks 😉

      Michael

  • http://www.travistasset.com Travis Tasset

    Inspirational indeed…thank you!

    Wish all fellow bloggers out there continued success…

  • http://www.twitter.com/jenncloud Jenn

    /sigh. oh, pete cashmore.. 😉

  • Oscar

    Interesting how the list is 17 men and 3 women. I wonder why that is? Not being flippant – seriously thinking this through.

    • Tiara

      My guess is that because a lot of top female bloggers would be involved in other industries that wouldn’t be noticed by people predominantly seeking wealth through SEO. Arts, crafting, social enterprise, etc etc. Notice how a lot of the list don’t deviate greatly from web marketing.

      • Michael

        I don’t think you are right at all Tiara. The above people are successful because they took action and did it. Not many bloggers look at SEO much, they get traffic because of the content and value they provide.

        Also your comment regarding its a bunch of web marketing.. its hardly like that, only a few mention web marketing, they all just talk about what they know, from celeb news to wine.

        Michael

  • Lynn

    WOW. Inspiring. Thanks for pulling this list together.

  • http://www.bloggingelements.com Mike J

    This is an amazing list largely from the diverse group of bloggers on it. Another top blogger on my personal list is Brian Clark of CopyBlogger.com his work in teaching the skill of copy writing has probably benefited some of the above bloggers. I really like your list posts here, I could handle seeing more.

    Thanks,

  • http://somebodyliedtome.blogspot.com Saundra

    Great list. Interesting reading about how they started. I would love to have seen more women on the list so I guess I will have to step up and start blogging. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Vijay

    Hi Michael,
    As usual, your lists are always good. They inspire me a lot as I have just begun on http://home4bucks.com
    Your site sets great standards and brings me back to read success stories of top performers and top blogs. Infact your site also features on my preferred readings link on my page.

    Keep it up Michael!

  • http://www.youwanttoberich.com Issa

    Out of 20, there were only 3 women. I wonder why that is? Is it because there are more men bloggers or more men readers? And again, the question – I wonder why that is.

  • http://www.winelirious.com winelirious

    That’s great to give the opinions and write something on website and give something back. Anyway even some feedback make us (as a blogger) happy.

  • http://thedesignsuperhero.com aravind

    Amazing post.
    Really inspirational… Thanks a lot

  • http://makeahomemom.blogspot.com/ Shelley

    I think there is more men simply because so many women bloggers are the *mommy bloggers*- myself included, and they might not have the opportunity to commit to blogging full-time. One of my personal favorites is Danielle Ice, of HomeEverAfter- http://www.homeeverafter.com/ -(previously HomemakerBarbi.) Her site is extremely popular, and she has created a business empire around it. Really great list, though, thanks for sharing.

  • Stuart Wooster

    Great list, how the hell you keep churning great articles out as you do I don’t know! Hahaha! :)

    • Michael

      Hey Stuart,

      Great to hear from you as always, you know what, I always ask myself that question. I go to bed most evenings thinking what have I even done today for my business…. Must of done something if I can get so much content up I guess :)

      Michael

      PS. Beer with me and Daniel in Portsmouth soon?

  • http://www.alessandrocosimetti.com Alessandro Cosimetti

    Stories are always very fascinating. I started blogging to supplement my salary.

    Today I run 3 blogs, one personal, one centered on a corporate blog and on services for Italian cars, the company created with my brother.

  • JesusFreak

    Brilliant!

    I’m coming soon.

    I started blogging over 1 year ago simply because i wanted to give words to my numerous thoughts to help people!

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