On May 2nd 2011, Danny Brown posted an article that made me think maybe more than anything I’ve ever read on the blogosphere. The title of the article was “The Mind-Numbing Banality of Sameness, and to close his words this is what Danny had to say:


But, to a degree, there’s only so much you can say about social media before it just blends into all the other social media blogs that are out there. Some are good; others, not so much.

And, while it might be nice to have tens of thousands of subscribers – and it’d be fairly easy to attain this with popular and continuous Top 10 or List posts – that’s never been a goal here. I’d rather have the involved community that’s here as opposed to ten times the subscribers but a less questioning community.

So over the next few weeks, I’ll be doing a lot of thinking about how this blog continues.

And what has happened over the past few weeks? Well, in my opinion, Danny Brown has now reached a level of blogging—or a style of writing—that many folks never reach—and that is not caring. That’s right, Danny Brown no longer cares if you like him. His goal is not to add ‘friends’ and ‘followers’. Nor is it about adding subscribers by making everyone happy. No, Danny Brown now writes to promote action, push the envelope, and initiate real, positive change in a world that sure as heck needs it.

But DB isn’t the only writer out there that’s comfortable in his own skin. He’s not the only blogger that isn’t afraid to share his views despite the fact they may be contrary to what his ‘community’ otherwise feels.

That’s what this article is about. It’s a list of bloggers I see writing and choosing topics not based on the direction of the wind, but rather where their instincts take them. And to these men and women, I say thank you for being an example for the entire blogosphere as you aim not to please those around you, but rather the inner voice that pushes you each and every day to look at the world a little differently and ask ‘why?’……..

**Note: The lessons herein apply to small and large businesses as well, so please don’t feel this principal applies to individuals only**

7 Amazing Bloggers That Really Don’t Care If You Like Them or Not

1. Danny Brown

(see above, the guy is tremendous)

2. Geoff Livingston

The first time I ‘met’ Geoff Livingston was when we got into a debate on another blog. He shared one viewpoint and I shared the opposite– and much to my surprise, after making an argument I just knew would help him see the light, Geoff dug his heels in further and would not budge from his position. This tenacity gave me two thoughts:

1. Who the heck does this guy think he is??

2. This guy has guts…I like that.

Since that time, I’ve read more of Geoff’s stuff (like his recent A-list blogger beatdown on Danny’s site) and been thoroughly impressed with his strong opinions and general willingness to go against the grain.

But the thing about Geoff is that he’s not doing it for show. It’s genuinely how he feels. So despite the fact that I might not agree with him always doesn’t mean I don’t respect him. And to this I say good for you Geoff Livingston.

3. Seth Godin

I debated about putting Seth’s name on this list because we hear so much about the guy, but a blog article about ‘initiating change’ versus ‘trying to make friends’ wouldn’t be complete without Seth. Just read any single book of his (I’d start with Tribes) and you’ll see Seth’s entire life goal at this point is to promote action in others. In fact, whenever I’m looking for a good kick in my mental rear I just pick up Seth and start reading—and inevitably I find the inspiration to grit my teeth harder and get back to work.

4. Mitch Joel:

If you want to read a blog about digital marketing from a guy who is thoughtful as they come but isn’t afraid to bluntly say it like it is, Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation is your guy. For example, in his recent article ‘The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’, Joel discussed digital marketing professionals that join major companies, brag about it, and then when it doesn’t work out say nothing:

Because, in the end, if all you’re doing is promoting the good stuff and hiding the not-so-good, all authenticity is gone and – to make matters worse – your credibility is lost to. What looks worse: saying nothing about it (especially when everyone knows about the big change) or writing a Blog post about lessons learned, how you feel about it not working out and what you’re going to do about it next? It’s not an easy thing to do, but aren’t we constantly telling our clients how difficult Social Media can be?

5. John Falchetto

John Falchetto is quickly become the anti-Tim Ferris of the blogosphere. Sure, Ferris has a gabillion fans that drink the ‘4 Hour Work Week’ kool-aide until the end of time, but Falchetto has one major advantage on his side, and that’s called ‘reality’. Never was this more evident than his recent article that went viral across the blogosphere, ‘The 4-Hour Work Week Ruined My Life’.

Being a virtual expat life coach who has multiple clients around the entire globe, Falchetto is required to be brutally honest and frank with these folks each and every day, and he brings that same mentality to his blog, which probably explains why it’s one of the fastest growing on the web.

6. Brankica Underwood

I’m not afraid of many chicks, but I’m sure as heck afraid of Brankica Underwood of Blog Like a Star. I’m guessing Bran’s tenacity comes from her days of being a member of the special forces, but if the gal has something on her mind, she’s not afraid to write it down, come what may.

You can see exactly what I mean by this in her popular articles Are bloggers the most self centered creatures in the world? and MarketMe Suite Sucks, both of which will give you a taste of the fire within this lady’s writing voice.

7. Mark Schaeffer

It’s fitting to have Mark and Mitch on this list together, especially because they debate quite often online regarding social media and digital topics. But here is the thing—the two guys are friends and respect each other immensely. Would this relationship have happened had Mark simply shook his head ‘yes’ and agreed with everything Mitch said? Of course not, and this is an important lesson for all of us.

In his incredibly popular article “Why are the Social Media Elite Ignoring Us?”, Mark says:

Don’t get caught up in keywords, SEO and Ad Age bloggers. Your key to lasting success is originality, and the key to originality is having the courage to share your own wisdom.

Powerful words indeed, which leads me to my final thoughts:

Are you, as a blogger, more concerned about having people like you or making positive change? I would submit that although you can be ‘successful’ with either strategy, the latter is the key to making your online journey a vastly fulfilling one. Only by being true to what’s on your mind and in your heart will you define who you really are, as well as your truest of fans in the process.


Your Turn:

A couple of questions my friends: Who have I missed? Feel free to add any blogs and links you’d like, but just make sure they fit the criteria. Also, what are your feelings about trying to please everyone versus pleasing yourself? Do you at times filter your content for fear that others won’t agree? If so, when do you draw the line versus pushing through and putting your thoughts out there for the world to see? C’mon, don’t be shy, I know this is one we can all relate to.

169 thoughts on “7 Phenomenal Bloggers That Really Don’t Care If You Like Them or Not

  1. I’ve actually had some interesting conversations about the voice I use on most of the blog posts that I write: I do consciously rein myself in. That’s due to two facts. First, most of the posts I write are actually for clients’ blogs, not my own. There are few companies that really want a contractor going too far on their sites.

    The second is the sorts of audiences that I typically write for. In person, I tend to swear like a sailor and generally get pretty loud. That doesn’t work on my target audiences: I have to hold back a little, if only to avoid scaring folks off.

    • That’s a great point about client sites and your writing style, Thursday (LOVE your name!!).

      Like you say, often you have no choice but to hold back, especially if you want to keep your clients. 😉 Though sometimes, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the direction clients want to go when I take them through a blogging strategy.

      Gotta love diversity! :)

    • Hey Thursday!! Great to hear from you again. :-) Your two points are very valid. When working for someone else, you’ve got to be very careful to represent ‘their’ voice and not your own. This can be a tough thing so big props to you for pulling it off so well.

      Hope to see more of you in the future Thursday…and btw, are you planning on attending BWLA? I’m hoping to speak there this year. :-)


      • I’m still going back and forth on BWLA — just so much on my plate already!

  2. Hey Mufasa, thank so much for including me in such a great list. All these guys are more than great, smart and charming (esp Danny, lol).

    I missed Geoff and will correct that mistake, definitely. I always trusted your judgement.

    I learned about Mark S. after he published The Tao of Twitter and was amazed by his attitude, knowledge and writing. The ideas he had were just so actionable, yet for some reason most people still chose to got he numbers route on Twitter. I completely agreed with his strategy and just made Twitter experience even better for myself after reading his book (thanks to Ingrid, who made it a gift for me).

    Anyway, I really don’t get upset when people say they don’t agree with me. There were many times where I learned that some of my “friends” online were just, what we call in my country “small souls” (not a nice attribute).

    Did I upset some people along the way? I sure did. Am I sorry for that? I would only be sorry if I did it on purpose to hurt them, which I never do. People get upset for too many things that are not important in life.

    Do I care if someone likes me? Not really. I have my family and friends that love me and I don’t need approval from people who think they are bigger than God. People also give themselves right to make comments on things that are not their to get in.

    So bottom line, if you don’t like Chris Brogan’s blog because he has some ads on it (I am sure you heard of “the big ad-gate” on his blog) don’t read it; if you don’t like that Seth doesn’t allow comments on his blog, guess you are there for links only and not to learn — just leave.

    Thanks again, I still didn’t drink my coffee, hence the ramble :)

    • Geoff is awesome, Brankica, and one of the key reasons I evaluated where I wanted to go with my blog – I think you’ll enjoy. :)

    • Thank beaven he included you, Bran! I was about to do a “where are the women” beatdown!

      • Oh here we go with the ‘women’ thing. 😉

        Actually, a gal called me out on Twitter today for not including more women here. The thing is, I read tons of women bloggers, many of which are exceptional, but that doesn’t mean they fit the ‘style’ mentioned above. Also, I asked the lady to come back to the blog and leave in the comments section here some links of some other tenacious ladies…but alas, no dice. Guess you can’t please everyone…

        • No you can’t please everyone, wish this person would share her recs – as I will. That said dude, it’s not a ‘women’ thing. I wouldn’t want you to change your list for the sake of including more women just because they women, but because they are kick ass bloggers who fit your bill, period – the nice lady who skipped the ‘where are the women?’ beatdown being one of them. Gini’s very genial and fun but she’ll tell it like it is; I don’t get the impression she just wants to be liked, is trying to please everyone all the time. See also Ingrid Abboud, Shonali Burke. FWIW my friend. :-)

            • Call it like I see it… which I’ll have to do more often for 3 times the like. :-)

          • Davina, you forgot to put yourself on the list. You are one of the most blunt bloggers I’ve seen… actually, I think you might be at the top of the list (for now). And that was very nice of you, btw, thank you!

            • Thanks for that Shonali… IDK Last week’s post is one thing and I’d like to think I speak my mind but then I know I keep a lot inside, edit a lot of the ‘blunt’ too. And I know I want to be ‘liked’ too – how often does someone recommend or hire someone they don’t like? Had a brief chat with @jgombita about that, about being respected or liked. Still thinking.. hmm. FWIW.

    • Amen, amen, amen Bran. Tons of great points there. And I strongly agree too with what you said about Brogan. If people want to pick on his content that’s one thing, but don’t pick on the guy for being a capitalist. Who wouldn’t want to have his passive income and audience?

      Keep being yourself girl. You’re refreshing as they come and the blogosphere needs more of that.



  3. Hi Marcus,

    Thanks for listing me with these awesome people. Really, I am seriously humbled.

    I have a client who is a great photographer but doesn’t want to start a website. One simple reason, he is too worried that some people will see his photos and not like them.
    Well unless you’re a politician I don’t think we are in the business of pleasing everyone.

    There is a lot of talk about being authentic online and that is what it boils down to, some people will not like your ideas and probably won’t like you as a person.
    Deal with it.

    Filtering content to ensure everyone likes it, is the best way to create garbage. Take a stance.

    I initially posted my Tim Ferriss post after you wrote the Curse of the Tim Ferriss. As I told you many times you inspired and taught me a lot. Thanks for post on how the 4HWW ruined my life. Its exactly what I feel and standing for what we think is what it is all about.

    I draw the line at value for the community, if I feel it brings no value I don’t write about it. I know some feel they need to swear a lot in order to be ‘authentic’ but I prefer to write how I speak and since I don’t drop the F-bomb every other word, why do it online?

    As Davina would say, FWIW

    • That’s so funny John… I don’t feel like I can use “FWIW” without giving Davina attribution either. She owns it!

      • Hahahaha Adam, I think the exact same thing when I see it…heck, it’s almost hard not to use it myself she’s got that thing so branded. In fact, I think Davina needs a T-shirt:



      • Thanks for the shout-out guys. As John would say, “for wine I will.” 😉

    • Filtering content to ensure everyone likes it, is the best way to create garbage. Take a stance.

      Maybe the line of the year JF. Love it man, and so true. Thrilled to have you on this list sir, you sure deserve it. :-)

  4. Hi Marcus,

    This is a good list because (at least the folks on here that I know) are all about speaking their minds rather than regurgitating the latest meme or making nice with an oddly-anointed group of “influencers.” What are the rest of us? B-list? Maybe Kathy Griffin had it right with “my life on the D list.”

    At the risk of a mini-dose of the mind-numbing banality of sameness, apparently we’re on a similar track today. My post this morning (I think comment luv has it covered) is on “Tact and Bluntness”–and why both are useful.

    Now I’m going to check out John’s blog. Anyone who writes ‘The 4-Hour Work Week Ruined My Life’ must be a must read. :)

    • Incredibly well put Daria…To the death of ‘lists’ 😉

      And that’s awesome about your recent article. Sounds like you could happily be on here as well. :-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by to chat,


  5. My Dad loved the Bard and it was not odd for him to frequently quote Shakespeare. One quote oft repeated and modeled in my home was “to thine ownself be true.” As a writer, and as a human being, I have found it easier to be true to my vision, opinions, and values regardless of what others think. I am not necessarily brimming over with confidence about my abilities but at the end of the day am most comfortable being me, warts and all. To play to the masses requires far too much energy; energy I’d rather expend on becoming a better me. I am not an A-lister or cool kid but I can rest well at night knowing that the me I present is real.

    • Your dad sounds awesome, Karen – and it’s definitely a lot easier to be your true self as opposed to a glamorous version we’d like to be. 😉

    • This comment alone merits ‘cool kid’ in my book Karen. That was beautifully said….Cheers to you and our friend Shakespeare. :-)

  6. This is a great list Marcus since I know 6 of the 7 to some degree personally and either visited their blogs, some I have commented on their blogs, and one or two might say caused them grief sometimes with my comments occasionally when something is a hot button my tact button often disappears LOL …uhm and then there is Seth who doesn’t accept comments and who I don’t know nor read his stuff, though Mitch’s interview with him was pretty cool. I know who he is. I always knew what a linchpin is and wondered why everyone else never knew. But I find him mainstream because everyone reads him. And doesn’t everyone get to a certain level where there is an inverse relationship between the value of the insight and how many people get taught it? Thus paying a few grand for a college course at a top school with a top professor who rations his knowledge to 100-200 people a semester. Vs Seth who teaches 10k’s? 100k’s? more? of people every year many for free?

    See I bring a lesson to you blog renegades that too much success could kill your brand or yer Kilt! I mean no matter how smart you, if the masses hang on your every word doesn’t that just make one Justin Bieber? Or more succinctly ‘Don’t be a Bieb!’

    • Don’t be a Bieb!

      Well I didn’t expect to hear that one Howie in the comments section, but it sure gave me a smile and did make sense. :-)

      As far as Seth and no comments, I actually don’t fault the guy at all. Listening to him talk about it, the guy answers 100s of personal emails a day, (of which I can attest to) and so instead of focusing on commenting, he focuses on the more personal which is email…kinda cool if you ask me.

      Always great to hear from you Howie. You make me smile and think at the same time. :-)


  7. People blog to get followers?? I just want everyone to leave me alone! :)

    This is one of those cases where you can try for one thing and accidentally succeed at the other. By not caring about what people think and speaking blatantly what’s on your mind, you may just end up with a lot of followers.

    • Hahaha Eugene, “I just want everyone to leave me alone!” (Hi Marcus! Great post!) I think Eugene hit the nail on the head here.

      • Thanks Lori!!! Appreciate that!

    • That’s exactly the case Eugene, because then you’re truly able to gain like-minded fans who will go to the end of the earth to support you.

      Always great to see you bud, thanks for taking the time to read and comment.


  8. I will nominate myself as the number 8 guy because I really can care less who like me..because being me is how I got here today.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Hahahah TC, love it man, #8 you are!

  9. I have never been accused of holding back. I’m always amazed I have followers at all, and they seem to really like what I write. 😉 Imagine that!

    What I’m tired of is being told ‘how to’ do anything and everything about blogging. Let’s face it, this isn’t rocket science, so if you’ve been blogging for at least 6 mo. you should have a pretty good idea how to do it.

    I’m beginning to see a shift in the old blogosphere with fewer how-to be the best…(fill in the blank). It feels as if many of the A-listers have begun to slow down or shift gears, too. How many e-books on blogging do you really need anyway?
    That’s what sets you apart Marcus… you clearly are about community not preaching. I like that!
    Keep it up!

    • Wait, you’re not a fan of “How to Write 50 Massively Viral Posts and Turn Them Into Even More Viral Videos That Come With A Free Ebook to Help Your 50 Massively Viral Posts Go Viral”, then, Barbara? 😉

      • wow Danny… I must have missed that one! Send me the link…;P

        • I’ll have to make you read a long-ass sales letter and then charge you $297 for the privilege… 😉

          • Ahhh, the classic $297 sales letter…gotta love it DB 😉

            • Of course, you can only access that after you’ve paid the $47 access fee to my landing page. :)

    • You’re too kind B’, and I’m just grateful you’re a part of this group of great folks. Props to you for being Barbara and letting her light shine— take it or leave it. 😉

      And as far as the A-listers, yes, a shift is happening, and if people don’t start mixing it up a little, many will be left wondering what happened.

      Have a great week Barbara!!!


  10. This article resonated with me big time Marcus.

    There are so many guides out there as to how to make your articles compelling and so on, but I am far more interested in offering quality content, not razzmatazz. If my article title isn’t *quite* captivating enough to draw thousands of people in or make it go viral, so be it.

    The majority of internet marketers seem obsessed with building up a huge list. I am definitely in Danny’s camp of wanting an “involved” community; not a huge one.

    All the best!


    • Cheers, Tom – the funny thing is, the more involved the community, the bigger it actually is, because everyone converses. Much like this comment stream here. :)

    • Good for you Tom, and from the looks of how you’re doing your blog, I think you’re well on your way. Big props brother and I’m thrilled to watch your future unfold.



  11. Nice list of bloggers! I can’t wait to read the post about how the 4-hour work week ruined someone’s life… currently in maintenance mode. :)

    • We’re in the process of redesigning John’s site, coding underway. Should be live later today. :)

      • I found the cached version of the post. I never liked the idea of outsourcing everything, and that post really confirms why.

        • Smarty pants 😉

          And yep, completely agree Kristi. I always prefer the approach of “Sell your strengths, buy your weaknesses.” Outsourcing is perfect for covering weaknesses, but your core strengths should always be yours. :)

    • Hey Kristi! Glad you got a chance to go by Falchetto’s house. He’s a heck of a guy.

      Thanks for stopping in lady!!


  12. Man, the way you write it, I sound like a dictator-type jackass. Then again, you may have a point… 😉

    I always feel the best posts are the ones unhindered by fear of what others will think. That’s not to say that bloggers whose hands are tied – whether by legal red tape, corporate policies or other reasons – aren’t good. They are, and write amazing content.

    I just feel the advantage of not needing to compromise (at least, not to the detriment of your opinion) has a slight advantage, and that can help really start a full-on discussion (that might even help improve practices).

    Here’s to full-on blogging in whatever shape it comes in, mate. :)

    • No may about it. You are a dictator-type jackass…

        • Yep, you banned me on your blog about blogging… :)

          • Ah yes – one of my wiser moves… :)

            • I think we should probably stick with you wise move, period. The singular seems more honest here… :)

      • Hahahaha Michael, well done sir. 😉

    • Sorry if it came across as ‘dictatorish’ there DB, I guess I should have sent you this draft before I published it. But then again, I don’t think you answer too many emails at 2:15 am 😉

      But hey man, you know I love what you’re doing and the example you are to the rest of the blogosphere. Keep up the greatness my friend.


      • Haha, mate, I was only joshing. :)

        You’re right, though – I do care about people and their opinions, but I’m probably non-plussed if you decide to unsubscribe because of something I (or one of my guests) write. It’s not that I’m glad to see you go; but it does mean that we can both concentrate our energies on things we like and that matter to us, as opposed to being unhappy somewhere neither of us want to be.

        Cheers as always, mate. :)

    • Ummmm…”dictator-type jackass.” May I quote you on that one day? Lol! 😉

  13. Every so often I change my tagline to read “Life is a tale told by an idiot — full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    Shakespeare’s line works well for me because to some I am the idiot and to others I am Shakespeare. I don’t have time to worry who likes me and the best part of blogging is you find out who that is quickly.

    There is no purpose in trying to be all things to all people.

    • Upon reading your stuff Jack, I’d lean much more toward the latter. 😉

      In fact, I actually thought about you as I was writing this list, no kidding. (But I had to stop at 1200 words).

      Thanks for swinging by sir!


  14. Hey Marcus – People love me at home. So I really don’t get caught up in people liking me online. I don’t want to be a bad guy…heck, I blog to in an effort to help people – but at the same time, I don’t beat around the bush…I’m not afraid to say things like “lazy people get poor results in life”. simply said – but I get emails all the time when I cover topics like luck and how I think it’s crap.

    There are some post that I do where I share more of a common take on things. I don’t do this to go with the flow – but because I just happen to have a common view-point of the subject. But with the integration of my own personal experience, I think the posts still has some purpose. Then there are those where I have a completely different frame of thought. And it’s those post that end up doing the best on my site…every single time, without fail!

    To me, this shows that people want to see something different. They want to be challenged. They don’t always want to agree with everything they read. It’s boring to just read stuff that offers nothing different than the standard view-point that everyone shares. We like to debate a little.

    Great list of bloggers here Marcus. I think Danny Brown is one of the best out there for sure. I love reading his stuff. He has a special talent for sure. John F. is a smoooooth cat and has the ability to convey a message powerful message in a short (word count) post. I always wondered how he was able to do so and just recently it came clear – he doesn’t waste time beating around the bush framing up an idea that may be controversial..he just shoots it straight! And Brankica is one of the best. I’m only recently familiar with her work but I’ve been reading her new and old stuff trying to catch up on her amazing content. She shoots from the hip. And she can probably do that literally!

    Great post Marcus!


    • Okay, how do I become a “smooooooth cat”, because that sounds cool as hell, mate! :)

      • LOL – John has to tell you that. That’s his swagger!

        But if you could tell me how to be “one of the best out there”, then I’m all ears!

        • Haha, when I find out I’ll make sure to share, dude! :)

    • Your kids love you JK??? No man, stop pullin my leg bro. 😉

      Seriously though, keen observations JK, as always. Love what you said about DB, JF, and Bran. All incredible people, much like yourself. Oh, and about readers wanting to ‘be challenged’. That was a great point as well. I think we forget that sometimes as writers. After all, if we’re not challenging them, we’re just a bunch of people in a room shaking our heads up and down, and that’s it– no growth– no learning.

      Thanks for all my friend.


  15. Every time I see Danny’s face I see him signing off on his interview with Dino… “Bahhh”

    • Now THAT’s BrAAAnding!!! 😉

  16. I don’t even have a blog yet, so not sure if anyone will care what I have to say, but here goes. I haven’t been to Blog World and I haven’t met, Skyped or talked in person to the online mentors mentioned. But, each has proven indispensable through their own, unique online presence. Everyone knows of Seth, and I must read Geoff, Mitch and Brankica. But I am a big fan of three you’ve mentioned …

    Danny Brown
    This guy’s very informative blog is creating a big time-suck in my daily routine! If you want to dive into social media, please do yourself a favor and start perusing Danny’s blog (I guess Marcus already said that!). It’s chock-full of content about marketing, PR, and social media of course. I love his take on Emotional Connection Marketing. Through a bit of research and using tools readily available you can connect with the client, based on their wants and needs, NOT what we think they should be attracted to. A true wise-guy.

    John Falchetto
    Marcus mentioned this great post, but after I read John’s post, The 4-Hour Workweek ruined my life, I was hooked! John knows how to delivery interesting and informative content in short bursts, has great insight and reaches out to freshman like me. Not even a freshman yet. John’s place has plenty of helpful information that’s not just for Expats.

    I’ve learned more than a few things, among them that building a personal brand is not so easy. It calls for reflection and takes quite a bit of effort, but it is all about You being You. Not fake, phony, or manufactured, but genuine, real, sincere. How you present yourself online IS your personal brand. I think I stole those lines from John, but I’ve been reading his blog so much these thoughts are now deep-rooted.

    Mark Schaefer
    Mark wrote a book on Twitter, and I have been punching myself for not reading it, but I will, ’cause I keep hearing about it. Mark’s Grow blog is rich, deep, and super-duper informative. There is so much information here that I’ve really just started to scratch the surface, but I’ll keep at it, I’m “growing.” Ha. Ha. … and trying to align my business goals with my future blogging efforts.

    Seems like Marcus is all about making people shine, and I’d love to do the same one day if I ever have a stinkin’ blog :) … because it really is amazing how much information is being offered and how several of the people mentioned reach out to help, and even if they don’t, they help you (me) so much indirectly. I bow down and give thanks :)

    You have to include Seth in a list like this.

    And I must to spend some time reading Geoff, Mitch and Brankica.

    Sorry to be a bit long-winded, but I do appreciate the great advice you and those mentioned offer.

    Thanks, Marcus.

    • Hey there Craig,

      Cheers, mate, sincerely, and so glad you’re enjoying the blog. And I LOVE you take on it, since that’s exactly what I’m aiming for – so thank you for the heads-up! :)

      • Meant every word! Now I must go and follow that bling bling stuffed monkey on Twitter!

        • PS – So, when does your blog go live? 😉

          • No set date, but getting close and a wee bit nervous about hitting that Publish button.

            • Look forward to seeing it when it does, mate – feel free to ping when Live. :)

    • Craig,

      Loved your comment, and since you mentioned you don’t have a blog YET, I thought I would add a thought or two.

      While I am a bit concerned about inflating Danny’s head anymore today :) I must tell you that one thing Marcus didn’t mention about Danny (as it was not really on-topic) is how very cool he is about supporting newer bloggers — Marcus is the same way. They really are both princes in that regard.

      Also, absolutely buy the Tao of Twitter. I’m probably the last person who should be giving Twitter advice, but I can say that if I had bought that book at the beginning I could have saved myself a lot of trying to sort through contradictory advice gleaned from the Internet.

      Good luck!

      • Adam,

        Thank you, Sir. And, yes I am finding out that a few of the cool kids in the “A-Listers” crowd are willing to reach out to the little guy. And Danny, Marcus, Mark and John are at the top of my list at least. I’ll definitely get the Tao of Twitter.

        • Craig, this list is great and if there is one thing I think of first regarding the three bloggers you mentioned, it’s community. All three will seriously get some great comments going and really mix it up, as will their guests. Much more than the ‘oh nice post’ and ‘happy to see you here’ these characters – they are 😉 – don’t just let it end with the post, they’ve attracted a community of smart folks who’ll add a lot, challenge them once in a while, carry the conversation forward. And as Adam said, they’re also willing to read and help new bloggers. FWIW.

          • Davina, I’m finding out and it’s a pleasant surprise.

          • A community of smart folks……like one Davina Freaking Brewer maybe?!! 😉

      • Toporek, did I not ask you to say “very awesome“??? John Falchetto already has Jk’s seal of approval on the cool tag. Sheesh…. 😉

        Thanks, mate, appreciate the kind words – besides, we’re all in this together, no?

    • Craig, you may not have a ‘blog’ per se, but you’re getting fans fast with awesome comments like this one bro. Sounds like you’re certainly reading the right people. 😉

      Thanks so much for taking a few moments to share bud,


  17. Despite the whole Danny Brown bit, that is one hell of a list (who am I kidding, I just can’t quit him). The only one I haven’t read (and don’t read regularly) is Brankica and I am leaving right from here to subscribe. For a long time Mitch, Seth and Danny have served as sage voices in my head (the other voices are there, too, but they aren’t nearly as useful). Some seriously smart guys who genuinely seem to give a shit about anything but the point they want to make. That Falchetto character ain’t so bad either. I like his 3 hour work week idea… It’s just like the 4 hour work week but with one hour less!

    • Michael, may I just say you could have easily been on this list, because your style fits it perfectly, but you hadn’t yet reached the ‘minimum at bat’ number 😉

      Cheers brother,


      • That is a list to strive for, not to be on… yet.

        Thankfully, I’ve got my bat and have no intention of putting it down any time soon.

  18. You know, for a mad-as-hell New Yorker, you’re all right, Schechter. 😉

  19. Marcus, this was one of the coolest themes for a “who you should read” list I’ve seen. Absolutely love it! One of the interesting parts is that they are a fairly diverse group.

    Read Mark, John, Brankica, and, of course, Danny regularly. What I really like is each of them has their own style for speaking their mind (which you captured well!). I recently discovered Geoff, and am now a big fan! Godin is Godin, you either like him or you don’t — I do. I’m glad you reminded me of Mitch Joel, as what I’ve seen in the past I have liked.

    Great collection, truly!

    • Geoff is awesome, no? :)

      I’m surprised Dietrich hasn’t been by here yet to complain of her omittance, mind you… 😉

      • Yeah, he’s a sharp guy. Unique insights.

        I think Gini’s off babysitting her Livefyre stream. Thing’s been blowing up my inbox all day long! :)

    • Great to hear from you here Adam, and glad you’re diggin the list, because these are some of the best of the best, and they make you think—big time. And you’re going to dig Geoff, I promise you.

      As always, I really appreciate all your support my friend,


  20. Lots of comments! Yay!

    Many thanks for the kind words. I am always interested in growing my audience and to get my ideas to spread, so the numbers matter… but only if I’m being true to myself in the content that I’m pushing out there.

    Thank you.

    • That’s the thing Mitch, you choose being true to yourself over bland content that could ‘possibly’ achieve more nodding heads. There is clearly nothing wrong with wanting more viewers, community, traffic, and influence—so long as we listen to our gut and say what’s on our mind.

      Thrilled to have you stop by Mitch and looking forward to reading more of your excellent stuff in the future.


  21. I think I may need to bring Mitch and Mark together on BlogcastFM and have them battle it out. That would be interesting don’t you think?

    • Now that, Srini, is one heck of an idea!! Sign me up!

    • Oooo Brilliant!
      Please let us know when you do! I’d love to listen to that!
      Cheers Srini

  22. Adam

    Marcus great post. I truly value people who can speak their own minds and don’t become conformists. Like you mentioned you don’t have to agree with someone to respect them. I see this in sports all the time. There are people I can’t stand (to play against) but know I would love to have them on my team if I had the chance.

    I have only been following you for a couple of weeks now but I am always with impressed with the engagement levels of your blog. You are doing something right…. must be pissing a lot of people off!

    • That’s exactly it Adam, you don’t have to agree to respect. I think many of us forget that. Heck, I wish more people disagreed with me at times.

      As for the engagement here, thanks for that. Honestly, it has taken time. But once the snowball started down the hill, it has gotten much, much better…..and I’m a grateful guy to know so many stellar people.



  23. Even more reason to speak my mind all the time. I remember my post on whether having children brings fulfillment went crazy viral. I think it matters how we articulate our message even in our disagreement. In that post, I absolutely spoke my mind and explained my deepest concerns without passing judgment on others who choose a different path but with questioning that same path for me. The self-reflection and questions brought out the countless conversations. I think it’s important not to write for the sake of being controversial. There has to be a deeper reason beyond our message and if it happens to be outrageously different, then so be it. Being loud and controversial just to get attention without delivering substance, now that I would say is the worst approach to blogging. Thanks Marcus for all the thought-provoking content here day in and day out.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more Farnoosh. And if anyone out there writes from the heart, it’s certainly you. It took some serious guts to write that post of yours on motherhood, as such a subject can be very ‘charged’, but you felt the prompting and listened, and it was one of your most successful and interactive ever.

      Keep being amazing my friend, and thank you so much for stopping by. :-)


  24. Interesting post Marcus,

    I recently commented about this on Lori’s blog. Sometimes I can’t help but feel like in certain communities all blog commenters agree all…the…time. It just gets boring! There’s no discussion, only “Awesome. I agree man!”.

    Blogging offers a great way to expand your horizons and challenge your thinking, so why not make use of this opportunity? This doesn’t mean you should be controversial in everything you do. Controversy for the sake of controversy gets boring too.


    • Adam

      Wim I agree!

      • That Wim is a smart cat Adam. Check out his blog if you get a chance :-)

        • Adam

          I was in agreement and at the same time being a bit of a smart-ass with my “agree” comment. And Wim does have an excellent Blog I have been following it for a week or two now and actively posting.

    • I’m glad you brought this up Wim. I completely agree and it’s something I’ve thought a lot about as well. Heck, I’ve seen bloggers agree with one author about a topic, and the next day agree with someone else who shares a completely different view. Like what the heck is up with that????

      So let the debate begin I say! 😉


      • Adam

        I will admit when I was guilty of this when I first started posting on blogs, in order to get engaged I would convince myself I agree with a lot of things I might not necessarily concur with 100%.

        My next step was I began to just void making any comments when I didn’t feel I would add to the conversation and/or I didn’t agree completely with what was said.

        Next step I can try and tactfully share my view point or grow a pair and say what I feel in my own mind. Like you have eluded to Marcus one doesn’tt have to agree with every opinion someone has to respect their viewpoints.

  25. G’Day Marcus,
    How could you possibly have omitted Erika Napoletano? If ever there were a blogger who expresses herself without fear or favour, it’s Erika. More importantly, she knows her stuff abou tmarketing and related issue.
    Of course, if swear words and earthy language aren’t your style, you may find Erika a tad confronting. That’s part of what makes her blog so engaging.
    Add her to your list mate.


    • I second AND third Erika :)

      • I third and 4th Erika as well. And I’d also add Ashley Ambirge from The Middle Finger Project to that list! Hell of a voice and no fear whatsoever! I’m a big fan of both of these fab gals.

        • I also vote for Erika + Ashley. Both epically badass and personal inspirations :)

    • Erika is great. I met her at BWNY and we had a nice conversation. Honestly, I don’t read her a lot because of some of the 4 letter stuff but that doesn’t mean she isn’t gutsy, because she sure is. Quite a writer too…and speaker. Thanks for mentioning her Leon!

  26. A fine list sir… you even got me to comment bomb and I’m trying to reform!! 😉 Will admit to not being an avid Godin reader or fan, think everyone else on your list is in my “how the heck do I make/find/manage the time to read it all?” list.

    Meant what I said about community earlier, that’s been a standout for me as is ‘sticking to your own voice’ even if people don’t like you. One thing this group does (getting to know Geoff a little better, having lurked on/off for a while) is they don’t do this for the sake of doing it, for being different. They don’t filter to please, but it’s not about thumbing their noses at others just for controversy either – it’s just them. Even when I disagree with their posts, I can’t help respect them for going with their guts. FWIW.

    • GREAT point Davina. That’s the key to all of this. It’s got to be genuine. And it can’t be every stinking post either, because then it just turns into the boy (or girl 😉 ) who cried wolf. As always, well said my friend!!!!

      • Wolf crying, Monday morning quarterbacking.. yeah, can’t always point fingers at others, sometimes gotta take a hard look at yourself too – something else these folks do once in a while.

    • I love you for the fact that you take this approach, Davina – to me, that’s as “gutsy” as the bloggers Marcus highlights, since you’re not afraid to challenge someone on their own turf. IMHO FWIW. 😉

      • Wow thanks Danny. Think I’ve seen a few too many ‘hit and run’ commenters that challenge a blog owner with questions or dissent, then disappear; not my style. If and when I disagree I try to do it respectfully, professionally and hopefully, in a way that adds something. Or at least, stumps someone w/ a silly acronym.

  27. My “old school” ways are not going to endear me to most people on the net, Marcus, and that’s OK. That was never the plan anyway. Happy to have a few people in my corner, though.

    Looking forward to checking out Danny and the rest, thanks for the list!

    • Actually Joe, I think your old-school ways may be your greatest asset. There are certainly people out there that appreciate your style….heck, I do 😉

      Really appreciate your support my friend.


    • Hi there Joe,

      Thanks, mate, look forward to welcoming you, and hopefully I live up to Marcus’s kind words. Be sure to make yourself at home in the comments, sir. :)

  28. I am rarely impressed to be included on a list. I’ll take this one. Sorry that I am late to the game, and I really appreciate this shout out, Marcus. Cheers!

    • What I didn’t say in the article Geoff is that anyone who puts a hairy animal’s face as a avatar automatically gets on this list. :-)

      Love your stuff man, keep being you, and I’ll happily keep debating. 😉


    • Am I seeing a dog and a lion talking to each other? Now you don’t see THAT at BlogWorld…. 😉

  29. thanks for the post- i’d add myself to the list :) i’m new, and my purpose is to teach people how to take better care of themselves and the planet, and while i’d love for people to ‘like’ me, it’s just to be able to reach more people so we can turn this boat around together… i welcome disagreements and challenges to my ideas, and hope more communication and sharing of knowledge will positively change the world!!

    • So you’d like to add yourself Andrea…hmmmm, OK, you’re added 😉 But you also need to get your avatar so we can see your face :-) Just go to http://www.gravatar.com , it’s free and easy.

      Good luck being a gutsy blogger, true to yourself Andrea!!


      • thanks :) and i tried, but i can’t figure out the gravatar thing. it both says i already signed up from my blog, and also that i don’t exist. ah, technology. so you’re free to imagine what i look like. make me ridiculously good-looking, please! and i’ll keep blogging what i think will help, even if people think i’m nuts 😉

  30. I hope I can always stand by making a positive change. They only thing I am tweaking is writing on topics that the readers want (not tweaking the actual content). By this, I am only watching what gets read the most and providing value in this manner. Because there are some interesting topics I think are worth while but the readers may not want or need so then why write it?

    Thanks for highlighting some of my favs as well: Danny, Brankica, John and Mark. Will be certain to check out the others as well!

    • Hey Rajka, I think as long as your content is the real ‘you’, then you’re going to be successful, but I do understand you being selective with the type of content. For example, I don’t do religion and politics on this blog, although most of my close friends know me as one that cares about both.

      Really appreciate you stopping by, as always!


  31. Hello Mr Marcus, interesting post indeed.

    I think Danny summed his take quite nicely when he said: ‘You’re right, though – I do care about people and their opinions, but I’m probably non-plussed if you decide to unsubscribe because of something I (or one of my guests) write. It’s not that I’m glad to see you go; but it does mean that we can both concentrate our energies on things we like and that matter to us, as opposed to being unhappy somewhere neither of us want to be’.

    For better or worse, I do want people to like me. They don’t have to agree with me and I’m certainly open to different views, debates or opinions and I can respect that; but I still care what you have to say and how you feel about me. When I stop caring is probably when I should stop writing.

    I’m not afraid to push the envelope and talk about uncomfortable topics IF I think it is interesting, informative and will make people think. I too ask ‘why’ a lot and sometimes it leaves me vulnerable on how little I really know at times.

    End of the day, I do care what you think about me and if for whatever reason you don’t like me, then so be it. Like DB said, we can both move forward and concentrate on things we like.

    • I really like what you said here Bill. I think we all ‘want’ people (at least the good ones 😉 ) to like us. I’m no different. But the problem that often occurs in the blogosphere is the reality of changing your content (even though your gut feels otherwise) because you’re worried about what your audience might say or feel. The moment this occurs, we have a serious problem, and the strategy often times will backfire. But I think as long as ‘you’ are ‘you’ Bill, things will be splendid my friend.

      Good to see you bud.


    • I said something sensible? Damn it!! :)

      I think I like both you and Marcus’s take, Bill – of course we care, but hopefully not at the expense of losing who we are in the process. I think that’d be another good reason to stop writing. :)

      • Bill Dorman

        And that is the question some of us face; I never want to lose who I am in the process, but what does that mean?

        You’ve seen my stuff, what if that is good as it gets? I’m a smart enough guy to know people are coming by my site because they ‘like’ me, I engage and someone who cares. If that is my persona, then I’m ok with that because that truly is who I am. What does that equate to in the blogosphere; I have no idea?

        You gave me good advice on a previous post about just being yourself and it’s good advice because that is one thing I know how to do. If it means anything in the big scheme of things, who knows but probably something I don’t need to be concerned about.

        • This is interesting Bill, and I want to talk about it for a minute longer, because you’re ‘liked’ as any blogger I’ve ever known.

          It is my feeling that the longer you are in this thing called the blogosphere, the more you’ll develop as a person, writer, and thinker. This being said, you’re opinions are going to develop too, and there will be moments when you’ll want to write about a topic that’s bugging you, but you’ll also be worried it might hurt some of those passionate ‘likes’ you get from others.

          My point is Bill, when that moment does come, and I think it will, you’re going to have to take one of the paths. And if you choose not to follow your gut, the fire you have within for this whole blogging thing will start to burn out.

          Not sure if this makes any sense to you my friend, and I could be dead wrong….so time will be the only one to tell. 😉

          Thanks again brother,


          • It makes a lot of sense and there will be a time those decisions will have to be made. Hopefully it is presented in a respectful way and allows for open, back and forth dialogue and my community doesn’t think I haven’t been presenting a false picture of myself.

            In some way, I sense this is where you are now and hopefully you can keep that fire burning and be passionate about your message and your writings.

        • Not sure which one to reply to Bill (plus can’t let Danny have all the comment bombing fun) – You write like yourself, you write what you know and feel because anything else will eventually ring false. I don’t think your blog or writing can or will get stagnant if for no other reason, you’re already thinking about that. Your focus on reading other blogs, writing good comments, and therefore, better blog post – all of that IMHO means you’ll get better.

          As to the first comment, yes I want to be liked – that’s a given. I also know I am who I am, like what I like, dislike what I don’t and can’t pretend otherwise. If and when I write something that gets me unliked I hope I’m professional enough to either 1) take a look and see if I need to reconsider, apologize and/or 2) learn to let go and move on. FWIW.

          • How can I be mayor of Twitterville if I have haters out there?

            I can’t imagine you or I would write anything that would flip the switch and people quit liking us. Maybe they don’t like what I’m writing about or my writing style, but then they would probably just leave.

            If I started writing about things that were very divisive and had a lot of for and against opinions then I would think I would be moving away from who I really am. FWIW…………

        • Hi Bill,

          I think just being true to yourself at the moment you find yourself in is the way to be truly you.

          My voice has changed immensely in the three years my main blog has been around. In the beginning, I wrote posts that I don’ t think I’d write today.

          Growth is natural; as long as it’s genuine, and you can look those that matter in the eye and know you did your best and did it ethically, that’s all that really matters mate. :)

  32. Nice post, its my first time on this site and I’m very glad i stumbled upon it. Thankyou for introducing me to some great writers! Its a very brave move being an honest blogger, but it makes for much more engaging and interesting debates. Who wants to have a debate with someone who always agrees!? Trying to avoid stepping on peoples toes is boring. Not to say you shouldn’t care what people think though, I care what people think about me, but I feel its important that it’s what they think about the real me, not some alter ego who tries to get on with everyone.

    • Hi Will, and welcome to the site. So glad you found it as well. :-)

      Like you said, debates (assuming they’re done the right way) are a great thing. They promote serious thought on both sides. Instead of nodding heads, they lead to give and take. In reality, that’s what we’re all about.

      Hope you come back in the future Will, our community always appreciates folks like you. :-)


  33. Amenda Winter

    Thank you for sharing this kind of information to all the readers…I hope you can post more of this…

  34. It is amusing how more people prefer to write comments in direct response to Marcus, rather than responses to each other. Imagine if someone received an email of 10 responses to a comment rather than one email of one response to the comment.

    • I think you’re reading the wrong comment stream, Ari – I see a HUGE amount of conversations here, independent of Marcus.

  35. Oh, Marcus! I so hate you for not making it a list of 8! If so, I know you’d put me there. LOL! But yeah, these guys – and girl – so rock that nothing in news catches my attention. And yeah, because you pointed ’em out 7 folks, you are the rockiest, you Lion you!

    These peeps are the kind of people I’d like to have for dinner. And a few more. Hey, why not make it a cool people weekend of barbecue. I’m just a fan!

    I’m a new “Brankican”, by the way. Discovered her through you, as well. Spunk! Guts! Wisdom. Gee. Crossing fingers! You know…

    • Ahh Ruzanne, your enthusiasm is so very infectious, just love the way you put this and boy did it give me a smile. :-)

      Yeah, I wouldn’t mind having a little barbecue myself with such folks—heck, we’d probably be debating on the best way to eat the stuff. 😉

      Thanks so much for bringing your sunshine Ruzanne!


  36. Well flagged up Marcus. You make an unwritten observation here that comes to my mind – take ownership. You can write, blog, speak, or live to please and to be liked or you can go about your business your way and stand your ground if others throw a hissy fit when they don’t like it. You can’t please the vast world out there so be your unique personal self please and live to your own standards and beliefs inside. And don’t argue with me on this….;)

    • Hahaha John, I think you’re just about impossible to argue with my friend, as your words of wisdom always seem to settle just right on my ears :-)

      Yes, it is absolutely about leadership. That’s exactly what this is about.

      Cheers mate and have a great weekend!


  37. Another great post Marcus and I must admit, I’m only familiar with a few of these wonderful bloggers.

    I also agree with what Mr. Bill says. I do want people to like me but at the same time I am going to be myself. If they don’t like what they read or are offended in any way I’m sorry. Obviously what I have to share isn’t for their reading pleasure. You definitely can’t please all of the people all of the time. Just be yourself and the right people will appreciate you.

    One blogger who is like the others on your list is Mitch Mitchell of “I’m Just Sharing”. He’s actually lost some readers because of his bluntness but I like that unless I’m insulted by something. So far, so good.

    Thanks Marcus, another winner. Now I guess I better go visit some of these blogs I’m not familiar with. :-)


    • Hey Adrienne, thanks for dropping in with that smile of yours. 😉

      Yes, I’ve read some of Mitch’s stuff and he does say what’s on his mind, and like you, I very much appreciate that.

      Keep being yourself lady—it’s working and your readers certainly appreciate it. :)


    • Nice call on Mitch, Adrienne – he may not be to everyone’s tastes, but then, what blogger should be? 😉

      • Thanks Danny, he’s definitely my cup of tea. I appreciate someone who speaks their minds.

    • Wow, 3 mentions and I learn about it from some other guy’s blog that quoted Marcus; wow again!

      I will say this, though. I think we all want to be liked, but I think we also determine to have our standards. We write what we write because it’s the truth, not because we’re trying to make everyone like us. Those people who agree with what we say or recognize that we’re not castigating them as though they were the worst people on earth will respond however they respond and hopefully will respect that we were telling it as we see it. That other group… well, it’s the risk we take for our bravery.

      And of course, as y’all have seen, I’ll disagree in a heartbeat, though I still try to be civil and as nice as possible. :-)

      • That’s what I like about you Mitch, you may disagree but you do it as nicely as possible…

        • Mitch is a great example of how to do it the ‘right way’, that’s for sure Adrienne.

      • You’re a cool cat Mitch. I like the fact you’re not afraid. There needs to be more ‘Mitch’s’ in the blogosphere. 😉

        • Thanks Marcus; course, I’m happy there isn’t another me. Then I wouldn’t be an original. 😉

  38. Clark Minn

    Hi…I have really learned a lot from this post…Thank you very much for sharing this to us…

  39. Nice post! I’m a big fan of Brankica Underwood, I like what she writes in her blog.

    • Hi Faissal. Yeah, Bran rocks, no doubt.

  40. I remember that post Danny wrote – it was a good one. It’s hard not to care what others think. As humans, we all want to be liked and accepted. We want the approval of others. But, strangely, in the blogosphere, standing up and causing a ruckus is what gets you noticed. It’s also what helps you build a legion of loyal fans.

    Sure, you’ll piss some people off. But, those who like your style will come rushing to your defense when people come at you with torches and pitch forks. Naomi Dunford and Johnny B. Truant are two excellent examples of that. They blog with passion and really get some people all wound up. But, you can’t beat their passionate community of fans.

    A couple of others to add to the list are Stanford Smith at Pushing Social and Margie Clayman. Both are incredibly smart folks who love to stir things up and write about the sometimes unpopular things. It takes courage to do that.

    Great list!

    • I like the cut of your jib, Laura. :)

      It’s one of the reasons I cut down so much of my blog feed list – so many just churning out the same old, same old. Come on, you were writing that stuff two years ago – change the damn record!

      And I didn’t know you blogged – now I do, time to check it out. Oh, and if you like Margie, keep an eye on my blog in the next week or so… 😉

      • Thanks for the kind words, Danny. That means a lot coming from you!

        And yes, I’m definitely in the Margie fan club! I’ll keep my eye on your blog for a Margie appearance! :)

    • I also vote for Johnny B. Truant and that reminds me of some others over at The Badass Project: Jon Morrow + Anissa Mayhew.

  41. Thanks for the tips.!

  42. Robin

    Hi…I am still hoping that I can meet them in person…And Marcus, I strongly agree that we really cannot please everyone and sometimes, even ourselves…People have different attitude towards other people so we really cannot say…

  43. Thank you, Marcus, I really love your writing style. I ‘m going to visit them all. It would be a great opportunity to learn from the best. Or at least from the most interesting ones :)

    • You’ll learn a ton from them if you stop by Vahtikoira! Thanks!

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