The rise of the Internet has provided an exceptional opportunity for just about anyone to make it big online. It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, male or female, young or old. This has become especially true with the rising popularity of social media, making it easier than ever to reach an ever growing audience. And you can derive some of your greatest inspiration and glean some of the most powerful lessons from those who’ve already risen to the top.
Presented in no particular order, here are 15 of the biggest online influencers, bloggers and Internet marketing experts you should keep your eyes on.
1. Neil Patel
Having helped such large corporations as Amazon, NBC and General Motors, Neil Patel has firmly established himself as an expert in Internet marketing and optimizing revenue potential. He is the co-founder of such companies as Crazy Egg, HelloBar, and KISSmetrics, offering customer acquisition webinars and other programs to help you grow your business online.
2. Casey Neistat
Even though Casey Neistat does have his own website, it is hardly his primary portal or destination on the Internet. People know him best for his YouTube channel where he currently boasts over five million subscribers and over one billion lifetime views. His channel really took off after he started with daily vlogging, marrying a sense of authenticity with incredible cinematography, including his iconic drone footage.
3. John Rampton
Like many of the other individuals on this list, John Rampton can perhaps be best described as a “serial entrepreneur.” That’s what it takes to keep up with and be successful with the rapid changing pace of the Internet. His over-arching goal is to build “amazing products and services that scale.” Forbes calls him a blogging expert and Entrepreneur Magazine says he’s one of the top online influencers in the world today.
4. Sujan Patel
Describing himself as a “data-driven marketer and entrepreneur,” Sujan Patel co-founded WebProfits US to help companies with content marketing and growth marketing. He’s also a co-founder of ContentMarketer.io, which develops software to help content creators better promote their content, focusing mostly on email. Sujan’s writing has been featured on Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, further demonstrating his expertise in digital marketing. He published the ebook 100 Days of Growth in 2015, outlining actionable growth hacking strategies that have proven effective.
5. Josh Ostrovsky
The nickname “The Fat Jewish” may not be the most politically correct approach to the Internet, but Josh Ostrovsky has made a huge name for himself online with his unique brand of humor. He creates and republishes a variety of Internet memes, oftentimes with his own funny commentary. He has over 9 million followers on Instagram, showing that you can take existing content, add your own spin, and generate a sizable profit. Collaboration partners with the Fat Jewish include Bud Light, Virgin Mobile and Burger King.
6. David SK Lee
If you aspire to make it rich, one of your dreams might be to own a Ferrari. Or, you might want to be like David SK Lee and own nearly two dozen Ferraris. His wealth comes mostly from his Hing Wa Lee Jewelers company, but his online fame is derived from his obsession with the fine Italian supercar brand. When you share your passion online, your followers really do feel it.
7. Zac Johnson
The name Zac Johnson should probably ring a bell, as he has been an established Internet marketer and professional blogger for a number of years. He’s also the guy behind Blogging Tips, which should probably sound familiar too. Over the years, Zac has helped several companies make millions of dollars online and his expertise in affiliate marketing in particular, is among the best in the business. Perhaps even more impressively, Zac got started and made it big while he was still in high school.
8. Ingrid Nilsen
Easily one of the most popular and potentially one of the most lucrative verticals on social media is beauty and makeup. And one of the best known names in this space is Ingrid Nilsen. She currently boasts nearly two million followers on Instagram and over four million subscribers on YouTube. She has collaborated with big brands like SKII, Schwarzkopf and Cover Girl, earning a reputation as a top authority in this space.
9. Larry Kim
Founder of WordStream, Larry Kim is one of the most influential figures in the pay-per-click business. The goal of WordStream, which was bootstrapped by Kim in 2007, is to make online advertising easier and more effective for advertisers. Larry shares his many tips and insights through such publications as Search Engine Land, Moz, Search Engine Watch, and Inbound.org.
10. Shama Hyder
Marketing Zen founder and CEO Shama Hyder is perhaps best known as a web and TV personality. She is a well sought-after keynote speaker and presenter, listed as one of Forbes 30 under 30 in 2015 in the marketing and advertising category. Born in India and later educated in the United States, Hyder definitely knows her way digital marketing and public relations, especially in the realm of social media.
11. Mari Smith
Mari Smith is widely regarded as a top expert in social media marketing with a particular focus on how to grow your audience and reach new customers on Facebook. She’s been lauded by Facebook itself as a “small business and Facebook marketing expert,” as well as by Forbes and Fast Company. She offers training, webinars, brand ambassadorships and keynote speaking services.
12. Ann Smarty
With a particular focus on search engine marketing, Ann Smarty is a full-time web entrepreneur and the face behind SEO Smarty where she offers content marketing and guest blogging services. She has worked as an online marketing consultant for a decade with her writing appearing on such sites as the New York Times, Mashable, and Entrepreneur. She has also founded several businesses of her own, including MyBlogU and ViralContentBee.
13. Aaron Orendorff
Aaron Orendorff is another name that you should add to your must follow list, as he’s not only the brains behind iconiContent, but also a contributor on many sites like Entrepreneur and others. The majority of Aaron’s content focus on iconiContent is surrounded by the ever changing world of content strategy, marketing and copywriting — all three are methods that bloggers, entrepreneurs, and brands of all sizes are looking to improve upon.
14. Dennis Pang
Dennis Pang is well known in his home territory of Metro Vancouver in Canada, not only for the “food porn” he consistently posts on Instagram, but also as the principal behind Popcorn, a social media marketing and PR agency that boasts all “the right moves” with a “measure of success.” Popcorn has worked with everyone from Rogers to Coast Hotels, Haribo to Tourism Vancouver.
15. Ann Handley
MarketingProfs chief content officer and ClickZ co-founder Ann Handley is one to watch in 2017, though she’s hardly new to the business. An established pioneer in the world of digital marketing, Ann offers keynote speaking services, writes about marketing on Entrepreneur.com, and is the author of Everybody Writes, a best-selling book on “creating ridiculously good content.”
Be Sure to Follow Each of the Influencers through their Site and on Social Media
If you enjoyed this list of influencers to keep an eye on, be sure to view the recent expert blog post on “How to Start a Successful Blog“, with over 82 different bloggers, entrepreneurs and experts around the world contributing their own thoughts, opinions, and working examples.
Why Does It Take Time to Be a Successful Blogger?
Successful bloggers implore you: it takes time to succeed.
I advise following your fun, helping people generously, trusting the process and seeing the blogging journey through. I mention in my eBook how time saving tips make your journey easier. But in the same regard, this journey takes time. Impatient bloggers weed themselves out. Generous, patient, persistent bloggers succeed. Sometimes, successful bloggers realize not the time element and how it works, and never explain in detail why it takes time to succeed. Why do you need to be patient? Why does it take time to succeed? I uncovered 3 reasons why it takes time to be a successful blogger.
1: It Takes Time to Practice a Skill So You Become Really Good At It
Today, I can write 10 to 20 blog posts daily if I so desired. I could easily create 20 videos daily.
10 years ago, I could write 1 blog post weekly and feared doing videos, to where, I never recorded videos as a newbie blogger.
Generous practice plus time made me prolific. Nobody gains skills in 1 day. Humans gain skills practicing 1 craft daily for months, then years. I love basketball. A handful of NBA players disclose how terrible they played after picking up a ball for the first time, 5 or 10 years, prior. Patient, persistent practice and time polished their skills to the point they became successful enough to go pro. Blogging is no different. Successful bloggers practice daily for years before being skilled enough to become a pro.
2: It Takes Time to Gain Big Exposure
Gaining big exposure for success takes time. Every creative act expands your presence a little bit more but those little bits add up over time. New bloggers blind themselves to this concept, believing 1 day and 1 blog post gives them successful exposure enough to make money and gain clout. Nope. Time reveals persistently generous bloggers because getting massive exposure requires months to years of generous, patient, persistent service.
No human can begin blogging at 8 AM as a new blogger and land a Forbes appearance by 12 noon. Nobody knows you. You have no exposure. Humans require time to create and connect in enough spots to gain success promoting exposure. Relax. You are on the way. But allow for time and generosity to leverage your presence. Time is required to be seen in many places.
3: It Takes Time to Uncover and Feel and Release Fears
Do you want to know why I wrote this post? I uncovered this reason a few moments ago. I noticed one income stream yield lesser amounts over the 2 days prior and felt a tiny but palpable surge of fear. Aha! I got you. Feeling fear, I released it and proceeded. I blogged for 10 years. I still feel tiny fears if an income stream yields less money, day to day, based on my expectations. But I needed to face this fear to make more money. New bloggers generally have deep fears concerning money, success and freedom. It takes time to feel and release fears concerning making more than $1 a day until you vibe at the $100, $1000 or $10,000 monthly – or more – level of blogging income.
Time unearths fears for feeling and releasing, to reach the next level of blogging success.
Time is a great blogging ally.
All you need flows to you over time.
Generously create, connect, follow your fun and nudge into fears.
Success is yours.
What Does Your Blogging Network Look Like?
I do nothing on my own.
Everything is a team effort.
As I teach in my blogger networking eBook, the way to increased, ever-expanding blogging success is to look for, grow and tap into a huge, loyal network of blogging friends through the power of generosity. Be generous. Help people. Shout out fellow bloggers. Release expectations. Get super connected. Most of us understand this is how to succeed online; be generous and get connected because 100 is better than 1. 100 friend efforts are far better than your effort alone.
One basic problem arises for most new or struggling bloggers: overcoming the deep fear of networking. For odd reasons, humans cling to pulsating fears concerning reaching out to other human beings. Bloggers fear being rejected, failing, being criticized or giving up credit for their blogging success. Honor that fear. See how far you get on your own steam. Not only that, the agony of micro-managing makes you sick, broke and quite dumb, if you are honest with yourself. How silly of you! Why do everything on your own today? Why not comment genuinely on a few blogs, retweet a few blogger blog posts and mention a few bloggers on your blog? Begin networking. Build a network. Succeed online.
What’s It Look Like?
Be honest, my blogging sweet robbins. What does your network look like? Is it even there? Do you even have a network? Many bloggers publish a post, share it to Twitter and Facebook and sit there, dumbfounded. Do you honestly believe your network just materializes out of thin air? Nope. But if you buy my eBook, follow my 13 steps and build your blogger buddy network by being generous, you can land on famous blogs, earn coin and drive traffic to your blog, too. Everything hinges on your honesty. Admit having only 1, 3 or zero blogging buddies. Truths set you free to network generously and successfully.
How to Grow Your Network
Simple. Be generous. Begin now. Publish a thoughtful, personalized comment below. Be seen. I cannot read all comments but the thousands of people who read blogging tips tend to read comments. Somebody eventually reads your blog comment if you comment genuinely and generously every day on Blogging Tips after reading posts. Someone clicks your link because they love your comment and want to meet you. One visit to your blog later, you may have a blogging buddy, or even a client or customer. Or maybe you have a loyal reader. This is networking 101; be generous, engage people and you build your network.
But do not stop after commenting on Blogging Tips. Branch out. Go wide. Read and comment genuinely on other blogs in your niche. Make more friends. Life gets easier and easier if you have more blogging friends in your corner because these folks inspire you to keep going, plus your friends amplify your presence exponentially.
Be generous and genuine. Reach out to more bloggers every day. Networking is a bit uncomfortable sometimes if you look for immediate returns but gliding through these temporary feelings helps you tap into something special with your blog. Connected bloggers have no issues growing their blogging business because 100 is better than 1. Remember that they next time you try to go lone wolf with your blogging campaign.
Are You Leveling Up with Your Blog?
Every time I reach a new level with my blog, I notice another level invites me. I do not work harder. I never work longer. I love what I do and keep generously helping people but think of how to go wide as I level up. Think of that one for a moment: consider how to go wide, and what it means.
I write and publish multiple posts to my blog. Each post gains views. Going wide. 4 quality posts beats 1 quality post. But I go even wider by writing and publishing multiple guest posts daily. I speak to 2 or 3 or more different blogging audiences, going wider and wider, increasing my exposure and expanding my presence online. But I go even wider as I level up; I contribute on Quora and on the Warrior Forum daily. Leveling up is uncomfortable sometimes but always freeing. Leveling up helps you see greater success versus hitting blogging ceilings.
Be More Generous to Make More Money and to Avoid Lulls
I speak to bloggers who suffer lulls. One client signed up 4 months ago but no clients signed up since. The appearance of a 4 month client drought, or lull, simply indicates a lack of leveling up and a lack of generosity. Even if no clients signed up during your 4 months of leveling up, your eBook sales would triple. Audio book sales would jump, too. Plus you would open 2 new income streams. This just happens. Be generous and blogging will be generous to you.
Being more generous by helping more folks across multiple platforms feels uncomfortable sometimes. Who wants to go wide when doing so means leaving your comfort zone on a daily basis? I love blogging. But I feel uncomfortable writing my third post on a train ride to Connecticut. I will go super wide when I reach the destination though, publishing a combo of posts and guest posts to level up effectively, reaching more people in less time.
Most Bloggers Never Level Up
Most bloggers write and publish a post to their blog weekly. Struggles ensue because they never level up after publishing weekly for 3-6 months. Be more. Serve people generously. Go wide. Publish blog posts and guest posts more frequently to expand your reach. Increase blogging traffic and profits.
Why do you think most bloggers never make $100 during their careers? Few bloggers regularly level up, playing small to be comfortable, dodging their fears. Of course, their fears manifest as 0 dollars and 6 blog visitors daily for the next 12 months UNTIL they level up, go wide, be generous, leave their comfort zones and face their fears. This is not a fluffy, pleasant process but we all pay a fear tax to level up and to become successful bloggers.
Pay Up to Level Up and to Play Up
Pay up by spending time and generous energy reaching as many people as possible through blogging. Guest post. Publish more frequently to your blog. See increased blogging responsibility as more fun and freedom and service. I enjoy freedom offline because I level up online. I pay up, level up and play up in higher blogging circles because all top bloggers paid the same dues to reach the top. Why do top bloggers hobnob with one another? Top bloggers respect how other top bloggers pay their dues on this blogging journey and connect deeply with one another, co-promoting each other’s success.
The fun and freedom you experience through blogging is well worth the effort and discomfort of leveling up.
If you need a guide for facing blogging fears, grab my blogging mindset eBook on the way out.
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