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100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs

The 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs from One Woman Shop

Welcome to the third edition of the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs from One Woman Shop!

Welcome to the third edition of 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs.

As a solopreneur, it’s not tough to find solo business resources — but it’s a true challenge to find the very best resources that provide the insight, advice, and tips you need to build the business that makes you want to shout from the rooftops: “I’m a solopreneur!!!

That’s what #100BestSites is all about — and because we’re so committed to you, the OWS community, we promise that it’s better than ever. (Read: more fun, more comprehensive, and more engaging. After all, the third time’s the charm, right?)

The biggest change? For one month, we gave you, our community, the chance to vote for your top resource across each of our seven categories. You’ll notice each winner highlighted at the top of each category below. 

Another addition: This year, we’re marking repeat offenders appearances on The List. ** means this is the second time the site has been featured, while *** means the site is a 100 Best Sites stronghold, appearing on all three editions.

Dig in…and be endlessly inspired to better your biz.


Digital Marketing

The sites to visit for all things marketing: blogging, social media, SEO, building your list, and developing a website that works.

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Category winner: Meera Kothand

As one nominator put it, Meera “goes out of her way to help readers with exceptional content” — and we certainly don’t disagree. Her in-depth and actionable advice on both blogging and email marketing will have all solopreneurs feeling like digital marketing champs by the time they’re done here.

Must-read post: How to Survive, Seduce and Sell With Your First Email Sequence

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Alex Tooby

Alex is all about the ‘gram, coaching you through why you’re losing followers to how to make the most of Instagram Stories to how to monetize your Instagram account. And she speaks from experience: She created and monetized the @MenandCoffee Instagram account, generating over $100,000 in revenue in just 12 months. (We’ll wait here while you go check out that account. You know, for “research”…)

Must-read post: Instagram Shadowban — What It Means, Why You Got One, How to Get Rid of It

A Prettier Web with Mel Karlik

While we’re definitely fans of the ‘90s, that fandom stops when it comes to landing on sites that look like they’re stuck there. It’s why we love Mel’s mission to help others create “a prettier web” — and turn to her for all things WordPress via her free resources and the themes she creates for fellow boss and blog ladies.

Must-read post: 4 WordPress Membership Plugins to Build a Kick-Ass Membership Site

Bailey Richert

If we had to succinctly summarize Bailey’s work, it would be teaching the ins and outs of virtual summits for “beginning and budding infopreneurs.” And she doesn’t just teach about virtual summits, she hosts them. Marianne, another #100BestSites winner, can vouch for them, saying Bailey provides “fantastic information on making money online, plus her virtual summits rock!”

Must-read post: 14 Tips for Launching a Virtual Summit

Caitlin Bacher

Should I start a Facebook Group? Ah, the question that’ll likely come up for any solopreneur as they build their community. When it does, look no further than Caitlin’s site, where she shares roadmaps, tips, and stories on running Groups. As nominator Leslie said, “She’s an expert in growing your online presence and teaches it in a way that makes sense.”

Must-read post: How to Avoid Burnout as a Facebook Group Host

Claire Pelletreau

Two words: Facebook Ads. It’s a love/hate relationship. #ThanksZucky Of course, the love is there because they work — when they’re used right. Thankfully, there are experts like Claire sharing all they know about how to use Facebook Ads, whether you’re an excited first-timer or a frustrated veteran.

Must-read post: Facebook Ads Not Working? This Is the One Tweak to Try First

Clapping Dog Media with Meg Clarke

If search engine optimization feels overwhelming (at best) or like a scammy marketing tactic (at worst), allow Meg to change your mind once and for all. In her words: “SEO amplifies your voice. Together we will build a megaphone for your business.” Bonus points to Meg for the “Give back” section on her website, where she outlines how she gives back through her biz. A girl after our own heart!  

Must-read post: Top 5 Reasons to Invest in SEO (Even When You Get a Lot of Referrals)

Crafting Creative with Meghan Hartman

We’re all about aesthetically pleasing things (read: prettyyyy) here at OWS HQ. But we know that’s not enough; functionality matters too. Crafting Creative is about “content-first, goal-driven design.” In other words? Through implementing user experience best practices, she helps readers create websites that actually convert.

Must-read post: The 7 UX Practices That Will Improve Your Business (and Life)

Danielle Zeigler**

When it comes to finding “tools to help you stand out without selling out,” we’re all about it — and fortunately, Danielle is, too. When we’re not turning to her for expert (yet simple) SEO advice, we’re definitely referring to her as an example for content curation done right, given her epic Sunday Link Love roundups.

Must-read post: SEO Basics: How Much Do URLs Matter for SEO?

Design Your Own Lovely Blog with Marianne Manthey**

Marianne isn’t on this list just because we want to keep tabs on her enviable ex-pat life in tropical Costa Rica. (Though that doesn’t hurt.) Her design and branding tutorials over on DYOB are geared to those crafty DIY types out there who want to take charge of their branding, but need a little support along the way.

Must-read post: Create Unique Graphics from Stock Photos for Your Blog and Social Media

Hey Jessica with Jessica Stansberry

“Lord have mercy, I’m a little bit of a nerd.” ← When an about page kicks off with that, it’s likely we’re going to have fun poking around the site. In the words of nominator Ginny, “Jessica’s content is always spot on, and so helpful for entrepreneurs at any level.” Her positive vibes, southern charm, and in-depth tech tutorials make learning the tech of marketing fun — and if that’s not enough, she’s co-host of the All Up In Your Lady Business podcast, to boot.

Must-read post: How to Create an Interactive Gmail Signature

Jess Creatives with Jessica Freeman**

Jess isn’t shy about her loves: sweatpants, Diet Dr. Pepper, and her pup, Morgan. What else isn’t she shy about? Helping entrepreneurs build better websites, create better systems, and attract better clients. From one nominator — fellow #100BestSites winner and OWS member Jessica — “Jess Creatives is a must-read for me! Her advice on design, productivity and business has proven invaluable.”

Must-read post: How To Stay Organized While Juggling Multiple Client Projects

Lara Eastburn

Mixology isn’t just for drinks anymore. Lara — a self-described Social Media Mixologist and cut-up (not to mention “badass digital marketer,” according to nominator Lee) — lands on this list partially because she shares our love for adult beverages and partially because she reels us in with blog post titles and GIFs that make us have to click. In all seriousness, she dishes up funny but insightful social media lessons and strategy over on her eponymous site.

Must-read post: 8 New Podcasts That Will Make You a Better Human (And Business Owner)

Learn to Love Email with Nicole Murphy

Ask Nicole why she started her site and she’ll say, “Because nowadays, email marketing is everything.” Pretty much. Not only is Nicole “insanely passionate about creating email communications that can influence someone’s behaviour,” she’s also insanely qualified, given her experience as an Email Marketing Manager for Freshbooks. Isn’t it time you let Nicole help you learn to love email?

Must-read post: The Best & Worst Emails in My Inbox – Volume 3

Miranda Nahmias

We love words, but we have a special place in our hearts for visual representations of information: flow charts, screenshots, Venn diagrams — you name it. Lucky for us, Miranda has mastered the art of presenting her incredibly thorough business tutorials alongside helpful graphics to make them even easier to digest and implement.

Must-read post: How to Automate Your Client Onboarding System for Free

Paige Media with Paige Wilhide

What do you get when you combine “video” and “marketing”? Video marketing, obviously. Jokes aside, you get Paige Media. With a promise that video content can be “FUN, engaging, and will increase your bottom line,” Paige Media helps you to stop hiding behind your computer screen and start showing your shining mug to the world.

Must-watch video: Why Scripting Sucks

PinkPot Studio with Chaitra Radhakrishna

A university-trained computer scientist, Chaitra started PinkPot Studio as a lifestyle blog when she moved away from her family and had some time on her hands. Fast forward a few years, and PinkPot is now a full-fledged photography and design studio, where Chaitra teaches solopreneurs everywhere how to shoot beautiful, Insta-worthy photos with their iPhones, curate beautiful feeds, and appreciate design in marketing.

Must-read post: How to Repurpose and Customize Stock Photos for Your Business

Skillcrush***

Must learn to code. Must learn to code. Must learn to code. ← If you’ve been repeating this to yourself nonstop and hoping those coding skills just show up, then it’s time you head over to Skillcrush. Not only does this small but mighty company create epic Blueprints for learning to code, but they’re leading the way in content creation for freelancers and women in tech. #love

Must-read post: How to Build an Impressive Portfolio When You’re New to Tech

Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn**

We’ll start by saying that the term “passive income” is a bit of a misnomer in the online biz world. But we’ll also admit that earning money while sitting by a pool, hiking a mountain, or taking a nap is pretty darn cool. Pat is one of the most popular passive income bloggers, and for good reason. Warning: Your jaw might hit the floor when you see his monthly earnings. Just promise us you’ll use it as inspiration, not a measuring stick.

Must-listen episode: Pivoting: How, When, & Why to Do It

tiny blue orange with Alison Monday***

What do blue and orange make? In this case, a stellar resource for all things WordPress. Alison and her team — that’d be her pups, Brutus and Pixel — are pros at WordPress development and security, and love sharing everything they know, with a dash of sass and sweetness.

Must-read series: Nerd Alert

WP+BFF with Shannon Mattern***

With a killer track record of being the most nominated site two years in a row, you know WP+BFF has to be the crème de la crème. In the words of WP+BFF fan Jane, “It turned me from a dreamer to someone with her own functioning website.” Don’t love the tech side of running an online biz? All the more reason you need a new tech-savvy BFF. Meet Shannon.

Must-read post: The Ultimate Guide to SSL for WordPress

XO Sarah with Sarah Morgan***

Pinterest. Email marketing. Blogging. When it comes to crucial parts of a solopreneur’s marketing strategy, Sarah Morgan’s a pro at sharing both the high-level why and the uber-tactical what. She’ll dare you to blog; we’ll dare you not to get lost in her site.

Must-read post: Why Blogging Is a Non-Negotiable If You Run a Service-Based Business


Publicity, Launching and Sales

The sites to visit when it’s time to garner attention, build your launch strategy, and make more money, honey.

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Category winner: Femtrepreneur with Mariah Coz**

Mariah’s been helping solopreneurs turn their blogs into “badass, profitable businesses” for years, and her suite of resources for building and launching online courses is key to helping them get there. From your first online course creation to your 15th, Femtrepreneur is the place to go.

Must-listen episode: How to Break Down Creating a Course into Small “Sprints”

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Alexia Vernon**

Named the “Moxie Maven” by the White House Office of Public Engagement, Alexia’s the lady behind many-a-spotlight talk everywhere. She’s back on the list this year as she continues to reign supreme when it comes to helping women “step into their moxie” and establish their influence through speaking.

Must-read post: My Least Favorite Question As a Speaker — And How I Respond To It

Evolve + Succeed with Halley Gray**

Halley isn’t for the faint of heart, but she is for those who want to do business while braless on the couch. (So it’s no coincidence that her podcast is called Braless on Couch.) If references to cockblocking don’t phase you, hop over to Evolve + Succeed for wisdom on being booked out, writing effective sales pages, and mastering the art of free consulting sales calls.  

Must-read post: Drop “Imagine” and Say This Instead on Your Sales Page

Farideh Ceasar***

Launching. Facebook Ads. Songs. Wait, what? Yeah, those are the three things we turn to Farideh for. If she’s not helping solopreneurs avoid “launch surprises” or showing them how to use Facebook Ads in said launches, she’s likely jamming on her ukelele or recording songs with her band, Rosie & the Riveters. (We might just be her online groupies.)

Must-read post: Should You Launch or Evergreen Your Online Course?

Justine Grey

Justine has carved out a valuable niche for herself: Providing guidance on launching and scaling your own affiliate program. Her content helps you increase revenue in order to get your products into the hands of customers through engaging loyal ambassadors of your business. In her words, “I take this unique approach to customer acquisition because it works well with companies of any size, in virtually any industry.”

Must-read post: The Crucial Exercise You Must Do When Launching an Affiliate Program

Kathryn Hocking

Kathryn Hocking is your “eCourse secret weapon,” coming at you with everything from e-course idea generation to design to organization. Lest you be fooled into thinking e-course creation is all facts and evidence, Kathryn’s tongue-in-cheek “woo-woo” category name on her blog will change your mind. Bring on the woo!

Must-read post: Why Value Doesn’t Equal Lots of Content

Kyla Roma***

We love Kyla for sharing our philosophy that launching (and running a business) isn’t one-size-fits-all. She’s here to combat the idea that there’s magical formulas for anything in business and to encourage you to fit your launching strategy to you. (That’s right — no more falling into a launching comparison trap.)

Must-read post: There’s No Magical Formula That Guarantees Results

The Rule Breaker’s Club with Courtney Johnston***

Take note, fellow rule breakers. Built to serve “rebels with a cause,” the top rebel herself (Courtney) is a consistent source of fantastic content and advice on everything from writing the launch copy that’s going to sell out your next course to quick website tweaks you can make to land your next batch of clients.

Must-watch video: How to Add Scarcity to an Evergreen Product

Sabina Knows with Sabina Hitchen

If there’s one thing Sabina Knows (we’re sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves), it’s how to make quite the grand entrance onto the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs list. With the second highest number of nominations, this new-to-us PR site was a no-brainer to include. Her many nominators describe her as fresh, gregarious, fun, positive, and supportive, just to name a few.

Must-read post: How to Get TV Publicity for Your Business


Branding, Copy, and Content Strategy

The sites to visit for tips on designing and wordsmithing the brand and content that tells your biz story.

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Category winner: byRegina with Regina Anaejionu***

One look at Regina’s website will leave you wondering “How does she do it all?” And she doesn’t just do it — she does it with humor and grace. With a biz school called “Business School for Humans” and a Twitter bio claiming that she’s a “Stage 5 clinger to #business and healthy living,” Regina is the natural pick for fun-loving infopreneurs in need of resources.

Must-read post: Think Twice about Your Online Course’s Refund Policy

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Alexandra Franzen***

If there’s a place to turn for storytelling that tugs at your heartstrings, it’s the articles written by Alex Franzen. Her personal stories and anecdotes drive lessons in writing, business, life, and love. (As she channels her spirit animal, Mr. Rogers.) Her nominator and fellow #100BestSites winner, Veronika, declares Alex “the most authentic voice on the Internet,” and we won’t disagree.

Must-read post: You Can Make Excuses or You Can Make Progress

BraidCreative**

You’ll recognize Kathleen from the duo behind Being Boss, but here she teams up with her sister, Tara, to throw down insightful advice on brand and business design for “entrepreneurs and purposeful businesses.” As nominator Hillary put it, “This is a site you can lose yourself in for days and come out feeling like you’ve been to Boss University with actionable, unconventional, and wholly fresh insights & guidance!”

Must-read post: Here’s Why You Can’t Afford To Be Vague

Brooks Editorial with Ashley Brooks***

From how to create a consistent blogging schedule to what to blog about as a VA, freelance writer, or (insert profession here), Ashley tops the list of go-to resources on blogging and content strategy how-tos. We can’t help but want to “cozy up on the front porch” and cheers our iced mochas as we learn from this content pro.

Must-read post: 5 Steps to Planning Profitable Pillar Content

The Content Direction Agency with Lacy Boggs**

While the world is focused on content marketing, Lacy’s focused on the strategy behind it — and the results it can garner. If you like a touch of mystery and a solid reminder of Carmen San Diego, The Content Direction Agency is the place to go to unlock secrets to effective content marketing.

Must-read post: KPI For Content Marketing and the Allure of Vanity Metrics

Do You Speak Freedom with Veronika Palovska

Veronika’s many nominators call her site creative, unusual, sensible, direct, authentic, savvy, and fresh. An anonymous nominator said “When Veronika’s emails come into my inbox, I know I have to drop everything and read her blog post because I will come away with inspiration, knowledge or advice” and nominator Luciana adds, “It shows you it’s possible to have your own voice on the internet.”

Must-read post: How to Blog Like a Designer (Even If You Aren’t One)

Elena Mutonono

When it comes to working smarter, not harder, Elena’s your girl — especially if you’re ready to take your teaching online. While we appreciate that this “mother of two precious trilingual kids” is a “kids-nap-time-teacherpreneur”, the site’s nominator, Luciana, calls out Elena’s ability to “teach others how to focus and think strategically” in online teaching.

Must-read post: How to Engage With Your Audience After the Launch

Kayla Hollatz***

We couldn’t say it better than nominator L’Oreal: “Kayla is #BloggerGoals.” She adds, “She’s down-to-earth, personable, and kind. When you interact with Kayla, you know it’s a real person behind the screen, not automated emails.” (We’re going to give partial credit to Kayla’s Midwestern roots for that.) Whether you’re looking for visibility, connection, or expansion (the three paths you can take once you land on Kayla’s site), she’s got you covered.

Must-read post: 6 Things I Learned from Relaunching My Brand

Maya Elious

When someone gets their start designing Myspace pages in college, you can’t help but appreciate how far they’ve come. That’s Maya, now a coach, speaker, and content strategist helping business owners get more clarity and earn more money through content marketing, product creation, and more.

Must-read post: How Much Content Should Go Inside Of A Webinar?

The Savvy Copywriter with Kimberly Crossland

We couldn’t help but laugh when we read Kimberly’s clever mission: “Opening hearts, minds, and wallets with writing.” Ultimately, isn’t that what every solopreneurs seeks to do? If you’re open to getting “real, vulnerable, and sometimes a little edgy” in your copywriting, Kimberly is your girl.

Must-read post: Taking a Page From Television Advertisers Playbook About the Buyer’s Journey

The Write Life***

From marketing to blogging and freelancing to publishing, The Write Life is a one-stop shop for all the things that make word nerds swoon. Whether you’re looking for tips on how to improve your freelance writing business or publish your first novel, we’ll warn you now: It’s tough not to fall down the rabbit hole.

Must-read post: How to Work With a Beta Reader: 5 Tips for Success

Writing Revolt with Jorden Roper

We’ll let Jorden intro herself: “Black-clad Writer. Musician. Chihuahua enthusiast. Gamer. Leading the Writing Revolt against low pay and content mills.” Her nominators say “Jorden has on-point, no-BS advice for freelance writers” and her site is “jam-packed with useful, on-target information.” The thing nominator Kat likes best? “She gives it to us straight.”

Must-read post: How I Used Cold Emailing to Make $800 In My First Month as a Freelance Writer

Unthinkable.fm with Jay Acunzo

When a podcast earns itself a review calling it “The ‘This American Life’ of Marketing Podcasts,” you can’t help but want to listen. Then, you dive into Jay Acunzo’s episodes, where he is all about exploring intuition — you know, the unthinkable — to create better work and exceptional content, and you can’t stop listening.

Must-listen episode: The Muse Is an Excuse


Biz Growth, Systems, and Productivity

The sites to visit when it’s time to hunker down and grow your biz — and the systems and productivity tips that’ll get you there.

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Category winner: Tara Gentile***

When she’s not devising her own business strategies for challenging the status quo and stepping outside of cookie-cutter approaches, Tara’s interviewing others doing the same on her podcast, Profit. Power. Pursuit. From marketing to business models, she’s a go-to on all things “running and growing a company in the New Economy.”

Must-listen episode: Discovering a Need And Filling It–Twice–with Marie Poulin

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Amy Lynn Andrews

Declaring her mission to “teach people how to start blogging, in plain English, no technical experience required,” Amy provides that and so much more in her weekly email, The Useletter®, packed with tips on all things systems, productivity, and more. (Okay, so this isn’t a site per se, but this one’s worth breaking the “rules” for!)

Must-read series: The Useletter®

Arianna Taboada

Arianna’s site welcomes mompreneurs everywhere with open arms — as she puts it: “Consider this your official welcome to the world where business and babies collide.” When you’re done picturing businesses and babies colliding (sorry, had to), get ready to learn how to plan for maternity leave and take care of yourself postpartum — without letting your business fall by the wayside.

Must-read post: 3 Business Systems You Should Set Up While You’re Still Pregnant

Devon Smiley***

We may as well call her Devon “Negotiation” Smiley, since successful negotiating is at the core of all of Devon’s offerings and resources for entrepreneurs. The goal? Helping business owners develop the skills they need to get what they want, need, and deserve in business. And we say you deserve to know about Devon’s site.

Must-read post: 4 Tips for Negotiating with a Friend

Jessica Lawlor***

It’s not very often that you get a true, behind-the-scenes look at someone’s solo business. (We’re not talking about trumped up, out-of-reach income reports here.) From detailed posts on how exactly Jess scored each of her current clients to the “brutally honest truth” about trying to combine your passions into one business, you get it here. More reason to check out her site? Brittany, another #100BestSites winner, says “Jess’ blog is the one that originally got me interested in starting a side hustle.”

Must-read post: Here’s Exactly How Much it Costs to Run an Online Business

Mallie Rydzik

While we celebrate solopreneurship daily here at OWS HQ, we love that Mallie Rydzik encourages you to “go from solopreneur to CEO.” Her reasoning? “We should be approaching our businesses like CEOs. CEOs think big picture, take big risks, and work strategically.” OWS member Danielle praises this CEO mindset, calling it “something that makes her content feel really unique and speaks directly to me…as opposed to broader business advice.”

Must-read post: How to Fight the Online Business Echo Chamber

Megan Flatt

Megan’s tagline, “Run your business like a mother” isn’t just a funny call-to-action. (But it is that, too.) Megan is a consultant for Mama CEOs, helping them recognize and embrace what she calls the “Mama Advantage” — the idea that motherhood and business ownership can feed each other, not detract from each other.  

Must-read post: The #1 Thing Video Games Taught Me about Business

Megan Minns

Mission: “Turn your business into a well-oiled machine.” Result: With Megan’s help, your biz will be humming along gracefully. The systems pro and half of the duo behind the #Femtrepreneur podcast (with fellow #100BestSites winner Mariah Coz) is the lady to turn to for help setting up systems, tracking the data in your business, and building a website that works.

Must-read post: How to Track and Analyze Your Business Statistics

Nesha Woolery

Designed for designers; applicable to the general solopreneur population — that’s Nesha’s site in a nutshell. An anonymous admirer of Nesha calls every one of her posts “gold” and nominator Chrys praises her “design process and organisation” resources. Project management tips, marketing advice for freelance design businesses, and portfolio building strategies? She’s got it all.

Must-read post: Why Generalists are the Most Successful Freelancers

SproutHR with Ashley Cox

Just because we’re solopreneurs doesn’t mean we can’t benefit immensely from corporate best practices. Ashley gets that. She delivers her corporate HR knowledge to creative entrepreneurs to help them “hire, train, and lead a thriving team.” (Red tape and business suits, not included.)

Must-read post: 3 Ways Diversity Makes Your Business More Awesome

Work Brighter with Brittany Berger

Brittany might as well go by the “Queen Bey” of automation, as she serves up epic advice on streamlining, automating, and — as one nominator put it — “how to do the biz things, better.” But don’t for a minute think that all this talk of robots is boring…Brittany’s a pop-culture guru whose personality never stays hidden. Visit her blog to work brighter — and grab some solid advice on content creation, to boot.

Must-read post: Scheduling vs. Automation: Comparing the Best Ways to Streamline Your Systems


Finance, Law, and Other Things We Might Not Like to Think About

The sites to turn to for the “logistics”: what to do with that money you’ve made, and how to protect your business (and yourself).

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Category winner: Making Sense of Cents with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner**

You might initially visit Michelle’s blog to grab some free advice on budgeting and paying off debt — but with nearly 300 pages of archives, you’ll walk away with so (so) much more. With endless ideas for bringing in extra income to an inside look at how she runs her blog and business, we love the mix of aspirational income reports that help us dream and solid financial advice that helps us make it happen.

Must-read post: Great Financial Lessons My Dad Taught Me

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Amy Northard CPA

Amy’s goal is to “take the accounting stress out of your business” — and if you didn’t think that was possible, we suggest you head over to her site, first. Whether you’re wondering how, exactly, to track your mileage or if you can deduct Starbucks as a business expense (aren’t we all?), Amy’s short video tutorials and blog posts have the answers.

Must-read post: 5 Things to Know About Estimated Taxes

Annette Stepanian

Annette’s site promises “Easy legal solutions for entrepreneurs.” Easy and legal in the same sentence? Sold. Since we’re all about quickies (mind out of the gutter), we especially love her Legal Quickie podcast episodes, with topics like website privacy policies, having multiple companies under one LLC, and filing trademarks.

Must-listen resource: Office Talk Podcast

Autumn Witt Boyd

We never thought we’d be intrigued enough by a lawyer’s site to consider diverting our precious podcast listening time to a legal show. Autumn changed all that with her site and her Legal Road Map™ Podcast. As OWS member Danielle says, “She provides so much great content around the legal side of online business (that I know I can trust!)… [it’s] well-explained and fun to consume.”

Must-listen episode: Make More Money for Your Business by Licensing Your Content and Brand

the artist’s J.D. with Kiffanie Stahle

Legalese is so fun…said no one, ever. Which makes us ever grateful for the resources Kiff, “the friendly legal eagle behind the artist’s J.D,” provides. Whether you’re just getting your biz started and need to know what to have in place or you’re looking to prioritize the legalities as you level up, Kiff’s got your back.

Must-read post: Why You Need to Create an Affiliate Manual

Businessese

“The business world has a language of its own. We translate the legalese and handle the fine print.” (Cue big sigh of relief from solopreneurs everywhere.) Jamie and Danielle — the duo behind Businessese — are here to help you protect #1: you, and #2: your business. (Both pretty important assets, if you ask us.) Nominator Jenny says, “Businessese takes the essential but often tedious aspects of business and makes them simple and approachable.”

Must-read post: Five Must-Have Terms for Your Independent Contractor Agreement

Careful Cents with Carrie Smith***

Carrie took a life-changing success story (paying off $14,000 of debt in two years) and turned that experience into a resource business owners everywhere can learn from. From streamlining your business finances to budgeting, and day-to-day bookkeeping to annual taxes, Carrie’s one of the few people who can distill finances down and make us feel like we aren’t alone.

Must-read post: 5 Ways to Actually Look Forward to Filing Your Taxes Every Year

Ellevest

With a bold call to action like “Invest Like a Woman,” Ellevest had us hooked. While we love other sites on this list for their practical tax time advice for now, Ellevest is the shove we need to remind us that we also need to financially prepare for later. (Even if it means one less latte.)

Must-read post: What’s Goal-Based Investing, Anyway?

Stride Health

“I love figuring out health insurance and I especially love paying for it” said no solopreneur, ever. Luckily, Stride Health is here to make the decision and buying process slightly less painless for independent business owners. Think of it as the intersection of taxes and health insurance.

Must-read post: Health Coverage in the Gig Economy


Mindset and Solopreneur Lifestyle

The sites to visit when you need a fresh start, a different take, or a reminder to love the life you’ve built as a solopreneur.

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Lucky Bitch with Denise Duffield-Thomas

Denise — a.k.a. DDT — is our go-to Money Mindset Mentor. She provides high-level, mindset-shifting advice to help you remove your money blocks and stop your self-sabotaging money habits. She says, “I’m like a gateway drug to a life-long love affair with money.” We say, “Bring on the drugs.”

Must-read post: You’re Too Expensive: How to Deal with Clients Who Say They Can’t Afford You

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Be More With Less with Courtney Carver

Perhaps best known for Project 333, a minimalist fashion challenge Courtney first wrote about in 2010 that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months, Courtney’s a minimalist go-to for all things clutter, work, health, lifestyle, and more.  

Must-read post: How to End the Endless Game of Catching Up

Best Kept Self***

What do mason jar salads, luxury vacations, and intentional posture have in common? They all contribute to solopreneur sanity — and are recent Best Kept Self post topics. Here’s to “self-help for the self-employed,” one mason jar salad at a time!

Must-read post: How to Have a Luxury Working Vacation and Not Feel Guilty About It

Cerries Mooney**

Everything on Cerries’ site makes us nod along vigorously. Like this declaration: “I believe solopreneurs should come in all shapes and sizes.” Us, too. And this question: “Can’t seem to commit to anything?” Guilty. But most of all? Everything on her manifesto page, which will make you want to print it out and hang it in your home office. (Lucky for you, that’s an actual option.)

Must-read post: The Problem with Being an “Expert”

Clarity on Fire**

Sometimes, we praise sites for delivering bite-sized insights and mindset shifts. (See: Seth Godin.) But if you’re looking for in-depth, thought-provoking blog posts that provide you with concrete action steps to shift your behavior once and for all, look no further than Clarity on Fire. Brownie points to Rachel and Kristen for including audio versions of their blog posts for those who do best with auditory learning.

Must-read post: How to Feel More Energized at Work (+ Generally in Life)

Danielle Dowling**

In the words of one of Danielle’s nominators, “Mixing psychology with coaching gives her a unique edge to helping business owners.” We can only add that we love how Danielle tackles issues that are important to solopreneurs but aren’t often talked about in the context of business. (Think: creating healthy relationships, romantic and otherwise, that don’t drain you.)

Must-read post: Why We Stay In a Relationship (Way) Too Long

Design*Sponge***

Design*Sponge isn’t just an epic resource for designing a home you love; it’s a celebration of women entrepreneurs who are designing lives they love. Once you make it past the articles showing off inviting interiors (save those for later), you’ll discover a robust Life & Business section highlighting business tips and the ladies doing it right. (Fun Q&As with people like Nick Offerman don’t hurt, either.)

Must-read category: Life & Business

James Clear

If you’ve ever tried to adopt a new habit, you know it takes more than 21 days of wishful thinking. Enter: James Clear, the prolific writer who believes that you can change your habits to change your life. Through research-backed and psychology-based writing, he demonstrates how often we stand in our own way, and what we can do to get out of it.

Must-read post: The Akrasia Effect: Why We Don’t Follow Through on What We Set Out to Do and What to Do About It

Katherine Mackenzie-Smith

The overwhelm of the online business world is real for introverts, everywhere. That’s why we love the resources created by Katherine, who dedicates her work “to all the introverts, wall flowers, quiet achievers, and sensitive souls,” and believes that “everyone shines given the right lighting.” #preach

Must-read post: Creating Your Own Success As A Quiet Achiever

Made Vibrant with Caroline Kelso Zook

From the minute you land on Caroline’s site, there’s a 99.9% chance that your day will get better. After all, her content lives up to her brand, delivering thoughtful letters to shift creatives’ mindsets with bright, vibrant personality. Whether you’re looking for a pick-me-up or a thought-provoking question, you’re sure to find it here (and it’ll look pretty darn nice, too).

Must-read post: Re-defining What It Means To Be Selfish

Melody Wilding

“Your success doesn’t have to be a source of suffering.“ (Amen.) If it is currently, hop over to Melody’s site for her advice on coping with the “unique set of emotional challenges” that top performers encounter. We’re looking at you, you “haven’t-taken-an-actual-vacation-in-years” solopreneur, you.  

Must-read post: Come From a “Dysfunctional” Family? You’d Make a Great Entrepreneur

The Mogul Mom with Melissa Bolton**

Much-loved by the mompreneur community (and therefore heavily nominated!), The Mogul Mom is dedicated to the women building businesses as they raise their babies. Covering the gamut from branding to marketing and money to blogging — with a side of family, always — expect a plethora of advice from moms everywhere on this multi-author site.

Must-read post: 39 Proven Ways To Get New Clients, Fast

Puttylike with Emilie Wapnick

You can think of Puttylike as the “Home for Multipotentialites” and Emilie as the OG Multipotentialite. Emilie is here to show current and future Puttypeeps that building “dynamic, multifaceted lives, in practical and sustainable ways” as multi-passionates really is possible. Bonus points for her tongue-in-cheek book title, How to Be Everything.  

Must-read post: The Surprising Challenge of Having Fun for Fun’s Sake

Science of People with Vanessa Van Edwards

Get your magnifying glass ready and join Vanessa, “behavioral investigator” and “recovering awkward person,” as she shares insights into human behavior that just might have a positive impact on your solo business. Be prepared for “funny, science-based, sometimes life-changing articles about the science of people.” (Beaker and lab coat sold separately.)

Must-read post: 10 Successful Phone Strategies

Seth Godin**

Once again (like last year), you might wonder how Seth — a kingpin of digital marketing — ends up under Mindset + Solopreneur Lifestyle on this list. And once again, we go back to this: Seth’s daily posts continue to completely shift our mindset — often in 200 words or less. The brain behind the man with the yellow glasses is extraordinary, and he often makes us think twice about commonly-held beliefs in business and life.

Must-read post: Who Are We Seeking to Become?

Susan Hyatt

With her motto “If you crave it, you can create it,” Susan has helped ”women who crave ‘more’ out of life” both visualize and reach their goals for a decade. Don’t let her bold approach to business and life fool you, though — this is one woman who knows what fun is all about. Grab a serious dose of mindset reframing right alongside “fun Friday” content.

Must-read post: Momentum, Not Perfection

Tara Mohr

If you want to play small, Tara’s not your gal — but if you’re looking to change the world, this might just be your new home. Tara claims her work was born out of both frustration and hope, and we’re betting One Woman Shops like you are where that hope comes in. Start with her manifesto, 10 Rules for Brilliant Women, then dig into her archives for the shoves you need to push beyond your self-imposed limits.

Must-read post: Can You Have Both?

Thrive Global

It should come as no surprise that we have a serious girl crush on Arianna Huffington. (We love anyone who tells us that midday naps are not only acceptable, but healthy.) So it’s also no surprise that we love her new online home, Thrive Global. The tagline? “More than living. Thriving.” We’re onboard.

Must-read post: How I Became Exhausted by Self-Care

Val Geisler

On the list of reasons we love Val, her ability to appeal to our “inner Humanpreneur” might just be at the very top. Providing “simple solutions for overwhelmed business owners” — from her Gmail School to her “Dinner Party Strategy,” Val shines a light on introversion and helps entrepreneurs everywhere feel more sane in business.

Must-read post: 11 Perfectly Introverted Ways To Make Friends As An Adult

Women Digital Nomads

The site name says it all…Women Digital Nomads is for our wanderlust-filled solopreneur friends who crave location independence. Complete with city guides, resources and tools for working while traveling, and inspirational interviews, Women Digital Nomads is a site after our own heart. After all, celebrating location independence has been part of OWS’ mission since the beginning.   

Must-read post: The Digital Nomad Packing List Guide


All Around

Presenting: 2017’s new category, All Around. For the sites we can’t pin down to just one topic, try as we might. We admit: It’s hard to excel at everything, but these sites succeed.

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Category winner: Think Creative Collective

Not to toot our own horn, but we know the work that goes into running a high-quality, consistent, multi-author online platform. (We never said modesty was our best trait…) Which is why we know how to spot ‘em. Props to Think Creative Collective, which, in the words of OWS member Danielle “always approach[es] digital strategy and business growth from a fresh and fun perspective.”

Must-read post:  4 New Ways You Can Get in Front of a New Audience on YouTube

The top picks for the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs are in!

Being Boss**

“Do the work. Be boss.” Kathleen and Emily — the team behind the Being Boss blog and podcast for creative entrepreneurs — bring both “‘you got this’ confidence, and ‘let’s get real’ advice” on the regular, between their own stories and the guests (fellow bosses, of course) they chat with. Ladies after our own hearts.

Must-read post: How To Be a Great Podcast Guest

Blacksburg Belle with April Bowles-Olin***

We’d like to say she had us at the mention of “a Ross and Rachel kinda love” on her home page, but the truth is, we’ve been referring to this Blacksburg Belle for years for reliable advice on digital strategy, creativity, and now, the inside scoop on running a membership site. It’s what’s made April a shoe-in as a 3x winner and a must-have in our All Around category.

Must-read post: The Pros and Cons of Running a Membership Program or Monthly Subscription

Freelance to Freedom Project with Leah Kalamakis***

While “freelance” and “freedom” sound great together, to achieve them together is easier said than done — which makes the Freelance to Freedom Project ever more necessary. Leah’s multi-author blog and plethora of resources provide a well-rounded look into the freelancing life — and its ups and downs — for the newbie and veteran freelancer.

Must-read post: The Freelancer’s Guide to Handling Clients Who Haggle

ittybiz with Naomi Dunford***

If you think ittybiz is about playing small, think again. Naomi’s been helping “turn smart, quirky people into smart, quirky entrepreneurs” since 2006. Her blog is a treasure trove of honest advice and actionable tips for battling “normal, human things like self-doubt, second-guessing, resistance and procrastination on the inside – and information overload on the outside.”

Must-read post: How To Stay Amazingly Productive On Low Energy Days

Marie Forleo***

The All Around category was created with Ms. Forleo in mind. Just when you think she’s all about productivity and mindset, she throws sales advice at you. When you think she’s all about launching and publicity, she hits you with biz growth and digital marketing wisdom. And just when you think she’s all about business, she breaks out in a hip hop dance. No surprise that she’s our woman crush, shiny hair inspiration, and a stronghold on this list for the third year running.

Must-watch video: How to Be Multipassionate Without Looking Flaky

The Middle Finger Project with Ash Ambirge***

It doesn’t matter if she’s riffing on business, on travel, or heck, on the wine she drank last night — Ash Ambirge is all about the truth, and nothing but the truth. (Even when it hurts. Or makes you pee your pants, laughing.) This girlboss defines unf*ckwithable, and leaves no topic unturned — making her the perfect fit in the All Around category.

Must-read post: Women Don’t Learn How to Be Strong & Confident & Brave in Home-Fucking-Ec.

Paul Jarvis**

Paul sums up what he does best: “I help nice folks build resilient & sustainable companies of one.” That’s you, One Woman Shop. Paul’s been around for a while, and his knowledge of freelancing, serving clients, and creating products runs deep. Between his Sunday Dispatches articles and podcast, there’s no shortage of things to learn — and ways to do it — from the leader of what he deems his “rat people.”

Must-read post: See One, Do One, Teach One

Psychology for Photographers with Jenika McDavitt

Don’t let the name fool ya — the insights found on Psychology for Photographers can be put to use by just about any solo biz owner. (Hence Jenika’s subtitle: “And other creative professionals.”) With a tagline of “Understand people, be a more successful creative professional,” suffice it to say this is a more fun and relevant version of your college psych class.

Must-read post: Get People To Actually Read Your Website (With A Filmmaking Trick)

The Uncaged Life with Rebecca Tracey***

If one-night stands are your thing, no judgment. But Rebecca’s here to fight against them — in business, that is. Her goal is “Mixing business and pleasure into more than a one-night stand.” If you’re ready to run a business chockful of pleasure, head to her site. (But be prepared for some hefty doses of no-BS reality checks coming at you, too.)

Must-read post: 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Running Your First Retreat

She Did It Her Way with Amanda Boleyn

Hop on to the landing page for the She Did It Her Way podcast interviews and you’re sure to recognize a familiar face — or ten. Tune in as new episodes are released or spend some time digging through the vault of interviews to hear a diverse cast of online biz’s leading ladies talk about how they’re doing business their way. (Cue Frank Sinatra’s My Way.)

Must-listen episodes: The Top 10 Podcasts


A Little Something Extra

Running a solopreneur biz is about more than accounting, marketing, and branding — you know this. These sites and apps provide just a little something more for the solopreneur who wants to develop personally, give back, and decompress.

Calm**

Our eternal thanks to Team Calm for providing us a free meditation app and corresponding mindfulness wisdom that gets us through launches (ahem, #100BestSites), stressful client projects, and day-to-day life as as solopreneur. And also? For making us feel okay about uber-short meditations. (We’re looking at you, 2-minute meditation.)

Must-read section: Mindfulness Tips

Kiva**

Earning a profit in your solo biz is great, but reinvesting some of that profit back into your community is even more rewarding. Our giving platform of choice? Kiva. Not quite charity, not quite investing, Kiva is the perfect blend of both, making it the gift that keeps on giving. Like we said last year, “You lend; you get repaid; you re-lend. It’s that easy.”

Must-join Lending Team: The One Woman Shop Team 🙂

NPR Podcasts

NPR lands on this list because their podcasts consistently make us just a little bit smarter, a little bit more empathetic, and/or a little bit happier — traits that serve us not only in business, but in life. From enhancing our storytelling abilities to providing us with fascinating psychological insights to helping us understand economics (in a fun way, no less), NPR is the home of a large percentage of our favorite podcasts.

Must-listen podcasts: How I Built This and Planet Money

POPSUGAR Fitness**

It’s tough to find a site that tackles physical wellness quite as thoroughly as POPSUGAR Fitness. Whether your exercise drug of choice is yoga, HIIT, weight lifting, running, or Pilates, you’ll find research-based articles, quick tips, helpful instructional videos, and upbeat playlists to keep you motivated and remind you that physical activity is essential for your body and your mind as a solopreneur.

Must-read post: How Do Exercise and Diet Mess With My Period?

theSkimm

If you’re a solopreneur who wants to stay informed about the world — without cutting too far into your most productive morning work hours — theSkimm is your new daily read. Combining millennial humor, a daily subject line that references a famous movie quote, and easy-to-digest world news, theSkimm will make you the girl sharing the news, not the one pretending to know the news.

Must-subscribe email list: The Daily Skimm

And with that, there you have it: 100 amazing resources to make your solo biz incredible. Check back soon to see voting results for each category!

100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs

The 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs from One Woman Shop
Editor’s note: Want even more? Check out the 2017 list of 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs!

Welcome to the second edition of 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs.

The online world is at once both a very small and a very large place. As a solopreneur, it’s not exactly tough to find resources to help grow your solo business — but it’s a true challenge to find the very best resources that will provide the insight, advice, and tips you need to build the business that makes you want to shout from the rooftops: “I’m a solopreneur!!!

That’s what #100BestSites is all about — and this year, it’s back and better than ever. Our nominations tripled this time around, making our job of compiling, editing, and polishing these entries pretty tough — but we’re confident that what you’ll find below is a goldmine of resources that will provide both inspirational advice and actionable how-tos when it comes to rocking your business. (Oh — and a little something else, too. Our last category is a new one!)

Dig in… and be endlessly inspired to better your biz.


Digital Marketing

The sites to visit for all things marketing: blogging, social media, SEO, building your list, and developing a website that works.

AmbitionAlly

Nathalie Lussier — who you’ll see again later on this list — and her husband say it best: “As allies in our marriage and business, we’re here to become your favorite allies for growing your business with elegant software solutions!” The AmbitionAlly blog reflects this — and more — with content about everything from WordPress plugins to influencer outreach to video opt-ins.

Must-read post: 5 Examples of Gamification in Marketing

Blacksburg Belle with April Bowles-Olin

“You absolutely loooove what you do, but you hate that you don’t make any {or enough} money doing it.” If this is you, enter: April — AKA Blacksburg Belle and CreativeLive star. In the words of OWS member Amanda: “She’s a business coach for creative women, and she’s got a no-nonsense style, and you can tell it’s because she cares so much.”

Must-read post: 10 Reasons Your Marketing Efforts Aren’t Working

ConvertKit

ConvertKit — the newest player in the email marketing platform arena that people (including us) can’t stop talking about — has an equally valuable blog. In between sharing best practices for making the most of their platform, they break down general best practices for email marketing. Color us “converts.”

Must-read post: The Anatomy of the Perfect Email

Design Your Own Lovely Blog with Marianne Manthey

Calling all DIY-ers! If outsourcing design and tech work isn’t in your budget (yet) or you’d love to master basic tech skills, you need Marianne and DYOB in your life. Suddenly, HTML and CSS don’t seem so scary, are we right?

Must-read post: Don’t Put Off Learning HTML + CSS! Here’s What You Need to Know

House of Brazen with Elise McDowell

We had a tough time choosing a category for Elise’s online home because, in her words, it’s a site built for those who are “ready to build a profitable business that allows you to sleep in, go for a hike in the middle of the week or take a vacation when you feel like it…” (Solopreneur mindset + lifestyle, anyone?) But in order to get there? You’ve gotta kick ass online, which she’ll help you with.

Must-read post: Why Micro-Adventures are Good for Business

Jess Creatives with Jessica Freeman

Jess says she could live on chai lattes and peanut butter and she has a dog named Morgan Freeman. (Just a few reasons you can love/trust her.) But don’t just take it from us — one nominator said: “I really enjoy how Jess breaks things down to simplify them,” while another noted her “insightful posts on design and freelance topics.”

Must-read post: Why Etsy and Facebook Can Not Be Your Only Online Presence

Kyla Roma

With a bio section in her footer that’s headlined with “Who dat, who dat? K-Y-L-A,” we can’t help but get psyched when we land on Kyla’s digital homebase. As a business coach and digital strategist, Kyla’s blog runs the gamut from building a better web presence to eliminating distractions from your essential work.

Must-read post: How to Build Community Around Your Business Before You’re Ready

Lara Eastburn

Besides the fact that she’s a PhD-bearing geek who also loves wine, we’re drawn back to Lara’s site on repeat because of what she helps small(er) businesses do: “Speak Human. Win the Internet.” Lara’s site is a go-to for everything social media: from Facebook Ads to using “linguistic disruption to restore real gratitude” in tweets. (For real.)

Must-read post: Thank You (Yawn) For Sharing

Liz Lockard

Liz’s tagline sums it up: “Getting more traffic doesn’t have to be so hard.” What a relief. As Tara Gentile (another #100BestSites winner) testifies: “If you’re listening to anyone else but Liz on search, you’re wasting your time. I’m just so tired of people being taken advantage of when it comes to SEO. I love her approach and what it stands for in terms of both business strategy & people-centric thinking.”

Must-read post: The Vanity Metric That’s Killing Your Business

Marketing Creativity with Lisa Jacobs

Marketing Creativity is the brainchild of Lisa, the owner of an Etsy jewelry shop-turned-marketing consultant. Who better to learn from about the ins-and-outs of marketing an online store than someone who has, you know, actually done it? And if you love gold and glitter? Bonus! You’ll feel right at home on her site.

Must-forward post: How to Support the Creative Entrepreneur in Your Life

Melyssa Griffin

Melyssa Griffin is the artist formerly known as the head of The Nectar Collective. We can’t promise that visiting her site won’t inspire a serious bout of the comparison trap (then again, most of these sites probably will), especially with her enviable income reports. But we can promise that she’ll offer you killer digital marketing advice backed with stats and examples.

Must-read post: How to Use Bonuses in Your Business to Turn More People Into Customers

Nathalie Lussier

If her name looks familiar, it’s because Nathalie’s a rock star who made this list twice. (See AmbitionAlly, above.) We couldn’t neglect her namesake site, though — which is perhaps best known for its 30-Day List Building Challenge — but is all about creating “a digital strategy that matches your ambition.”

Must-listen episode: Tech Checklist for a Successful Launch

Sarah Von Bargen

We confessed last year that we’ve nicknamed Sarah Von Bargen “SVB” because we reference her so often. (We’re all about efficiency.) Every time we read one of her posts, we’re struck with a “Wow, that’s so obvious, yet we haven’t been doing it” moment. (You know that feeling, right?) She encourages us to think out-of-the-box when it comes to online marketing, be creative in order to maximize our efforts, and get more honest with ourselves.

Must-read post: Just Because You Don’t Like Something Doesn’t Mean You Can Ignore It

Skillcrush

The team at Skillcrush (ladies we happen to love) is out to promote freelancing and solopreneurship by making tech skills easy to learn. While their Career Blueprints rock, their blog is a stellar place to go for advice on freelancing, design and tech, and social media marketing. (And who doesn’t love a company who can make an awesome April Fools joke?)

Must-read post: How to Decide Which Programming Language to Learn

Tiny Blue Orange with Alison Monday

The team behind Tiny Blue Orange (that would be Alison and her two pups, Brutus and Pixel, of course) believe that security, sass + sweetness make the world go ’round. We <3 sites that can talk tech and make it oh-so-delicious.

Must-read series: Nerd Alert (obviously)

Wellpreneur with Amanda Cook

According to listener Helen, Amanda Cook of the Wellpreneur podcast “shares actionable advice, inspirational podcasts, resources and great courses!” Amanda has carved out a niche amongst health coaches and “wellpreneurs,” but her digital marketing advice is applicable to any online business owner who aspires to be “authentic, vibrant, creative, and caring.”

Must-listen episode: Being a TedX Speaker with Adria DeCorte

WP+BFF with Shannon Mattern

Last year, WP+BFF was a new-to-us site that landed on the list because of a nomination. This year, Shannon was hands-down the most nominated site, which is a testament to her community’s trust in her when it comes to WordPress site-building. In the words of Cate: “Shannon is authentic, fun, and provides the best information and support for building a website…” (We couldn’t agree more.) Emily adds, “She has helped me make my own WordPress site…using real language [not tech-speak].”

Must-read post: Are You Making These Mistakes on Your Website?

XO Sarah with Sarah Morgan

From creating passive income to doubling your blog traffic, Sarah Morgan is a web designer who’s out to help you make more with less. Her badass blog is a treasure trove of resources for design, productivity, Pinterest, blogging, product creation and much, much more — and her Insta feed will make you want to drop everything and learn aerial arts.

Must-read post: 3 Blog Design Updates That Made a Big Difference in My Traffic, Subscribers, and Shares


Publicity, Launching and Sales

The sites to visit when it’s time to garner attention, build your launch strategy, and make more money.

Alexia Vernon

Alexia is all about helping rising female leaders (so yeah, you) develop their story and share it with the world. She helps followers “step into their moxie” through storytelling and speaking, with signature programs focused on “your spotlight.”  Oh — and her movement has spread to the White House, where she was branded as a “Moxie Maven.” #heckyes

Must-read post: Haters, Copycats and Raving Fans (Why They Have Everything and Nothing To Do With You)

Amanda Genther

A seasoned designer and pro in branding, Amanda’s out to help you brand and launch your next online course. If you’ve struggled with making your ideas happen, pushing past resistance, or launching a digital program, it’s pretty much guaranteed that her site has a resource for you.

Must-read post: My 8-Step Process for Writing Sales Page Copy

Betty Means Business with Kate Byrne

Sales are slimy. Pricing sucks. Playing small is safe. ← We witness these mentalities all the time, but Kate, of Betty Means Business, has answers for all of them. Spend just a few minutes on this site, and you’ll realize that Betty really does mean business.

Must-read post: Business Slow? 21 Client-Winning Moves to Make Now

Emma Lawrence PR

In a fast-moving world of Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, more traditional PR can often be overlooked. But it’s certainly not dead. Though it has evolved, the principles are still very much intact. And if you’re ready to take control of your own PR, you need the wisdom of Emma Lawrence, your new PR coach.

Must-read post: 5 Secrets to an Irresistible Press Pitch

Evolve + Succeed with Halley Gray

Halley Gray likes to do things like: send out mugs that read “Fuck yeah!” and host a series called Drunk Webinars. But amongst the goofiness, she shares some pretty powerful advice on booking yourself out with client work and rocking your launch strategies.

Must-read post: The #1 Mistake All Client-Based Businesses are Making (and How to Fix It)

Farideh Ceaser

The main calls-to-action on Farideh’s website are “I launch you.” “You launch you.” and “Songs.” So simple and practical, yet so attention-grabbing. Whether you’re in the market for a launch strategist, DIY launching wisdom, or clever biz songs (like the one called “Should I Do a Webinar?”), Farideh’s your girl.

Must-read post: 50 Ways to Build Buzz Without Doing a Webinar or a 3-Part Video Series

Femtrepreneur with Mariah Coz

Sometimes we want to skip the sugar coating and have someone give it to us straight. Enter: Mariah, who encourages — nay, insists — that you “stop screwing around with your blog and turn it into a badass, profitable business.”

Must-read post: The Truth About Content Upgrades

Hey Shenee with Shenee Howard

Anyone who uses Friends and Full House GIFs on their site is a-okay with us. Shenee also rocks long-form posts and is candid with her business struggles, which win her even more brownie points. If you’re looking for a “fist-bump and high-five…to get you going in the right direction,” it’s time to say “Hey, Shenee!”

Must-read post: 8 More Things Internet Marketers Don’t Want You to Know

Launch Grow Joy with Andreea Ayers

Andreea works with product-based businesses to get their products the attention they deserve. Whether it’s setting up an online store, getting more traffic, or gaining media coverage, her blog and podcast are a go-to resource for online store owners who want to launch, grow, and find joy. (Had to.)

Must-read post: How to Write a Product Description That Does the Selling for You


Branding, Copy, and Content Strategy

The sites to visit for tips on designing and wordsmithing the brand and content that tells your biz story.

Alexandra Franzen

Alex Franzen’s writing style is unlike any other. She draws you in with personal anecdotes and examples until you find yourself alone behind your computer whispering “Wowwww” under your breath and nodding slowly. She inspires you to take action, but more so, to shake up your mindset and start seeing things differently — especially when it comes to sharing your business’ story.

Must-read post: How to Tell a Great Story — Onstage

Brooks Editorial with Ashley Brooks

We bet at least a few of you reading will relate to Ashley’s bio: “I make the most of our rare warm weather by spending every spare minute on the front porch with a book. In a perfect world, I always have an iced mocha in hand and a book in my purse.” In addition to sharing our love for coffee, reading, and coziness, Ashley shares our love for effective content strategies.

Must-read post: 5 Myths You Believe About Content Strategies (That Are Dragging Down Your Business)

ByRegina with Regina Anaejionu

If you spend time on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen one of Regina’s branded images pop up on your feed. But a consistent brand on social media isn’t the only thing Regina does right — she’s also the queen of content for infopreneurs. We wouldn’t be surprised if you do a double-take when you start following her due to the sheer volume of quality content she puts out.

Must-read post: How to Create Super Share-Worthy Blog Posts

Canva’s Design School

It’s time to go back to school. Design School, that is. Even if you work with a designer in your solo business (or are a designer in your solo biz!), mastering basic design skills can serve you well. In addition to being an image editing service, Canva offers design lessons and inspiration — like the pros and cons of flat design and designs from around the world  — through its “school.”

Must-read post: 10 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Images

The Content Direction Agency with Lacy Boggs

Doused with mystery but incredibly clear when it comes to content and sales cycles, Lacy is Director of The Content Direction Agency. Her mission is to help your content out of its identity crisis, and her “Eyes Only Content Library” shows you how. (Oh — and if you liked a good game of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego back in the day, you’ll love navigating her website.)

Must-read post: How to Develop Your Own Brand Voice Guidelines

Copyhackers

Even if your ultimate goal isn’t to create a business based around copywriting, creating content is a crucial — and inevitable — facet of running a solo biz. Having some copywriting chops will make that next landing page or email campaign a heck of alot easier, and Copyhackers is the place to turn for all things copy. Fitting name, indeed.

Must-read post: Why Your Copy Needs to Pick a Fight with the Other Guy (Instead of Smiling and Shrugging)

The Crown Fox with Kaitlyn Kessler

You know we like pretty things — but we also like incredibly helpful things, as well. You can find both over at Kaitlyn’s site. What we love most? How in-depth she goes on topics like re-branding, creating social media graphics, and gaining authority through design. In the words of OWS member Julienne, “Kaitlyn offers really great overview posts of branding do’s and don’ts.”

Must-read post: Three Signs You Should Rebrand & One Sign You Shouldn’t

Elle & Co. with Lauren Hooker

A graphic designer by trade, Lauren has years of experience under her belt learning the ins-and-outs of building a brand and business. Through a wealth of step-by-step tutorials and how-to posts, she helps other small business owners and solopreneurs build brands, create websites, and grow audiences so that they’re poised to sell.

Must-read post: 10 Essential Design Resources for Creative Entrepreneurs

Garnishing Co. with Susannah Brinkley

It’s really no surprise that the brains behind the Feast and West blog, Susannah, would also choose a food-related term for a branding and design resource, and we can’t help but love her for it. Garnishing Co. is all about “helping bloggers and small business owners make their brands thoughtfully beautiful — on a budget,” and despite being a relatively new blog, her resources go deep in helping you DIY your design.

Must-read post: Make Business Cards That Stand Out

Kayla Hollatz

Anyone who has a fierce love for writing, creativity, and hot chocolate is a friend of ours. But what adds fuel to Kayla’s fire is her passion for community building, something she showcases through her weekly Twitter chat and ever-evolving community, #createlounge. We love her blog for tips on cultivating creativity and using social media to build your brand.

Must-read post: The Difference Between Growing an Audience and Community (and Why Both Matter!)

The Middle Finger Project with Ash Ambirge

Sass, sarcasm, and smarts: Ash Ambirge puts it all on the table over at The Middle Finger Project. She provides “unconventional advice for unconventional women,” and while you have the option to switch from Snark Mode to Censored on her site, we highly recommend the snark. We can’t quite say it better than we did last year: Sometimes raunchy; always insightful.

Must-read post: Networking Event? Try This Creative Approach to Introducing Yourself

Nicole Baute

A “writing coach and story strategist,” Nicole breaks down the barriers that keep you from writing and helps you discover the voice that is your own. We appreciate her honest approach to creating copy and content, and her candid advice for making it work for your business.

Must-read post: Stop Sounding Like Everybody Else

The Rule Breaker’s Club with Courtney Johnston

Out to serve “rebels with a cause,” we turn to Courtney’s blog and videos when it comes to sales pages, emails, and when to ignore your audience. (You read that right — she’s a rebel, remember?) Once you’ve experienced her “Rainbow of Sales,” you’ll never go back.

Must-watch video: Email Marketing Mindset

The Story of Telling with Bernadette Jiwa

Bernadette’s a two-timer on this list for a reason (or two): Her customer service-oriented approach and shunning of rational sales strategies makes us think twice, and her short-form posts pack a great deal of punch. Her real-world examples and focus on storytelling makes her resources all the more insightful.

Must-read post: What Do Your Customers Really Want?

White Oak Creative with Lindsay Humes

Lindsay isn’t your standard blogger — she’s the blogger who also builds the WordPress themes you’re blogging on, which makes her blog a haven for information specific to blogging, including tutorials, resources, and design inspiration. The depth of her tutorials makes even the most tech illiterate of us (cough, cough) feel savvy.

Must-read post: Move Over, Grandma! Why Site Speed Matters + Tips to Improve It

The Write Life

The Write Life was built to help writers “create, connect, and earn,” but it’s safe to say that the site has evolved into an overall fantastic resource for building a brand as a freelancer. Whether you’re looking to improve your writing skills or your social presence, there’s likely an article for that.

Must-read post: Want to Raise Your Brand Awareness? Put One of These on Your Blog


Biz Growth, Systems, and Productivity

The sites to visit when it’s time to hunker down and grow your biz — and the systems and productivity tips that’ll get you there.

99U

Some business sites sell the idea that a business that runs like a well-oiled, revenue-generating machine is easy to come by. 99U reminds us that “‘Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.’ To truly make great ideas a reality, we must act, experiment, fail, adapt, and learn on a daily basis.” In a word? Evolve. It’s what the articles on 99U help us do.

Must-read category: Iteration

Being Boss

A team after our own hearts, Kathleen and Emily launched Being Boss as a podcast for creative entrepreneurs who identify as “the rebels, the quiet ones, the schemers, and the dreamers.” Through a mix of kick-ass guests and mini-sodes, they cover all aspects of “boss-ness” (that’s our made up term…), from launching to partnership and fitness to email marketing.

Must-listen episode: Playing Big with Tara Mohr

Devon Smiley

Whether you’re stuck on pricing a proposal or you’re in a sticky situation with a client and need to find your way out, Devon’s your go-to girl. A negotiation consultant who’s “out to make sure you’re not getting the short end of the stick when you do business,” her Smiley Sessions (bite-sized, action-driven videos) are fantastic for solopreneurs at any stage of the game.

Must-watch video: A Quick + Simple Bottom Line Booster

The Freelance to Freedom Project

We think it’s safe to say that freedom — with your schedule, your energy, your creativity, maybe even your location — is something all of us solopreneurs aspire to. While we don’t think it can happen with the snap of your fingers, we think it’s possible through strategic work. Enter: The Freelance to Freedom Project, where Featured Writers share their wisdom on just that.

Must-read post: You Can’t Do It All. Do This Instead

Heartmade Blog with Mayi Carles

In between showcasing her handmade illustrations, quoting The Lion King, showing off her adorable baby, and throwing in a few Spanish words to bump up our vocabularies, Mayi gives tips ‘n tricks on running a multi-faceted business and ditching the idea of balance.

Must-read post: Turn Life’s Messes Into Creative Triumphs

Heather Crabtree

We say “savvy,” you say “Heather Crabtree.” Heather’s got the lockdown on savviness through posts about everything from creating on-point Pinterest profiles to branding on a budget to networking for introverts. Oh, and we <3 this: “Do you feel those big virtual hugs I am giving you right now? (Sorry if you are not a hugger. Sometimes I forget to ask before I hug.)”

Must-read post: How Hiring a Virtual Assistant Can Benefit You Emotionally

Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris

An audio engineer by trade, The Stacey Harris (yes, The) has more than 250 podcast episodes under her belt and loves sharing her secrets for making it work. (Hint: She dispels a lot of myths.) Beyond podcasting, she’s a natural resource for all things social media. Take it from reader Barney: “Pink hair, brash straight talk served up with community love and goodness!”

Must-listen episode: 3 Things You Must Know About Launching a Podcast

IttyBiz with Naomi Dunford

The irony behind “IttyBiz” is that Naomi’s out to help you become less little — and in the words of OWS reader Nela, she does it in a way that’s “hype-free, honest, down to Earth and focused on what really matters.” Her posts go in-depth on the barriers holding you back from growth in your business and provide tangible (and entertaining) advice on how to break them down.

Must-read post: 11 Warning Signs Your Business Has a Serious Upper Limit Problem

Leah Kalamakis

You might recognize Leah’s name from her claim-to-fame (well, one of several): Freelance to Freedom. In addition to creating and facilitating the FTF community, she also builds valuable content about business systems and processes to help you stress less and impress — which is (not coincidentally) the name of her popular course. OWS member Julienne says that Leah “gives a great overview, so you really feel like you understand the purpose — not just the how.”

Must-read post: Why You Need More Than a Simple Contact Form

Lucky Break Consulting with Lela Barker

What’s in a name? If we’re talking about Lela’s biz, it’s a lot of luck. But she knows it takes a lot more than luck to build a business, and is out to help the handmakers and creators of the world price their products, gain those products visibility, and ultimately run an empire.

Must-read post: A Friendly Tutorial on Those Vexing UPC Codes

Marie Forleo

We know it’s cliché to worship at the feet of Marie Forleo, but we just can’t help it. She delivers boatloads of valuable content every Tuesday through MarieTV — and her perfectly shiny hair and gorgeous wardrobe don’t help our severe bout of envy either. Luckily, she manages to stay relatable with her silly intros and her philosophy that “We take our work seriously, but not ourselves.”

Must-watch episode: Redefining Success with Arianna Huffington

Nice Ops with Amber McCue

Upon landing on Amber’s website, you’re greeted with messages like “Get an A+ in running your business” and “Operations are sexy…if you’re doing it right.” We love her coy copy and her call to own a business “instead of your business owning you.” Also important? Her reminders that, even as a solopreneur, leadership and systems are crucial.

Must-read post: Is it Time to Fire Yourself?

Organized Creatives

If we could summarize Organized Creatives in one word, it would be: simplification. (Are you surprised we didn’t cheat and use “organized” or “creative”? Come on, we try harder than that!) Organized Creatives is all about simplifying your life, both online and off, so that you can spend time on the things you want to pursue creatively.

Must-read post: How to Let Go of Physical Clutter

Paul Jarvis

If we had to sum Paul Jarvis up in three words, it would be this: The original freelancer. Of course, that’s not exactly true, but Paul certainly knows what’s up in the realm of freelancing. From dealing with clients to launching courses, he tells it like it is — and offers insanely valuable tips for other freelancers in his Sunday Dispatches and on his podcast, The Freelancer (among many other places).

Must-read post: There’s No Such Things As a Big Break

RM Harrison

RM works with service-based creatives to find “business alignment” and strengthen their brands — and we particularly love her talk on client love. Here’s what OWS reader Devon has to say about the #RMTruth blog: “RM gets right to the heart of what I’m struggling with, and helps me through.”

Must-read post: How to Clone Your Favorite Client

She Owns It

We love this site for its magazine-style quality and breadth of topics that help “celebrate, support, and connect women entrepreneurs.” (A cause after our own hearts!) From networking to leadership and healthy lifestyles to inspiration, She Owns It serves as inspiration to grow our biz and better ourselves.

Must-read post: The Fortune Is In the Follow Up

Side Hustle Nation with Nick Loper

We know many of you are rocking the side hustle while working full-time jobs. (Mad props!) If this is you or you just want some out-of-the-box revenue generation ideas (think: raw land investing, brand ambassadorship, and voiceover acting), you’ve got to check out Side Hustle Nation.

Must-read post: The Mini-Victory Theory and 17 Mini-Wins You Can Get Today

Tara Gentile

Tara’s perhaps best known for her Quiet Power Strategy, “combining intense focus with uncompromising vision and strategy.” We love her focus on focus (see what we did there?), and in the words of OWS member Amanda, “She’s strategic, fun, and nerdy.” (So, basically, what we’re all about here at OWS.)

Must-read post: Have Trouble Creating an Action Plan and Sticking to It?

The Uncaged Life with Rebecca Tracey

Rebecca is like your older sister who tells you the things you need to hear — even when you don’t necessarily want to. Whenever we read anything of hers, we think “Dang. Now that girl gets it.” Then she adds in some sexual innuendo humor, which seals the deal for us. (Her signature offering, which is about creating packages in service-based businesses, is called “Hey, Nice Package!” See what we mean?)

Must-read post: Is Your Business Coach Full of Shit?

Unsettle. with Sarah Peterson

“Unsettlers are a group of people who are unsettling from the status quo, challenging career and work norms and building their dreams.” Sarah’s site isn’t for everyone — but if you’re someone ready to do the work to make a change, check out the blog and podcast to find a roadmap for identifying your skills and interests, and grab the resources to help you get started.

Must-read post: An Insanely Simple 3-Step System to Building a Business On the Side


Finance and Law

The sites to turn to for the “logistics”: what to do with that money you’ve made, and how to protect your business.

Blonde on a Budget with Cait Flanders

If minimalism is your jam (…or you would like it to be) and you could stand to improve a bit on your personal finances (um, who can’t?), Cait’s site is for you. Her bio says it best: “Blonde on a Budget is Cait Flanders’ journey from being a maxed out, overindulging girl to becoming a balanced and financially sound woman.” We think it’s safe to say that our brunette and redhead friends are welcome on the site too.

Must-read post: You Weren’t Born to Pay Off Debt and Die

Careful Cents with Carrie Smith

Follow Carrie for a bit over on the Careful Cents blog, and you’ll wonder what she doesn’t do. Her site is a goldmine for tactical resources on freelancing, finances, and productivity. (Oh — and breakfast. Yes, breakfast.) We turn to Carrie for incredibly helpful tutorials on all things logistics, and can’t help but mention that she’s one half of the Budgets & Cents podcast with Cait, listed above.

Must-read post: How to Find Affordable Health Insurance When You’re Self-Employed

Creative Genius Society with Patrice Perkins

When’s the last time you got sucked down the rabbit hole when it came to legal biz logistics, and loved every minute of it? Patrice has a way of taking something we all like to put in the very (very) back of our minds — the law — and make it…fun. (Yes, we really mean that.) She knows how to take topics like trademark law, contracts, and business structures, and make them digestible. Oh — and she’s a self-described “American Bar Association Legal Rebel.” (Love.)

Must-read post: Why You Should Hire a Trademark Attorney + The Real Cost of DIYing Your Trademark

Freelancers Union

We’re not gonna lie — buying health insurance and putting away money for retirement don’t rank super high on our list of favorite things to do within our businesses. But, since we know they’re important for our mental and financial well-being, we appreciate sites like Freelancers Union that step up to make it easier on all of us. “Building a better future for the independent workforce,” indeed.

Must-read post: 4 Ways to Put Your Tax Refund to Work

Making Sense of Cents with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Beware the rabbit hole: Michelle’s a former financial analyst who’s now self-employed and traveling the US full time in a RV, and her blog is updated daily on all things budgeting, debt reduction, retirement, and much, much more. Though her blog is packed to the brim with helpful advice, her approach to life is that of a minimalist — an added layer that we love.

Must-read post: Why Would A Person Choose To Live A Frugal Life?

Rodgers Collective with Rachel Rodgers

What if you could consistently learn from someone who’s not just a creative with a business-centered mind, but also has an ultra-firm grasp on the law? That’s Rachel, creator of Small Business Bodyguard and owner of Rodgers Collective. You’ll want to hit up her blog for advice on cash flow, income, and “intelligent law + business strategy.”

Must-read post: Why (And How) to Project Your Business Cash Flow

SCORE

SCORE is a veteran organization with a mission of helping small businesses succeed from the ground up. The organization is particularly helpful for securing free, in-person business mentoring, but supplements its physical resources with online articles covering start ups, marketing, finance, technology, and more.

Must-read post: If You Don’t Value Yourself, Who Will?  

Sweeter CPA with Helena Swyter

We hear that ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your business finances and taxes. (We’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news, friends.) Helena of Sweeter CPA keeps you up-to-date on important but often overlooked issues, like sales taxes, depreciation of property, home office deductions, and in-kind advertising. If that doesn’t sound fun to you, we promise that Helena will make the whole process feel a bit “sweeter.” (Get it?)

Must-read post: Small Business Taxes: Getting Started, Quarterly Estimates, and Forms 1099s


Mindset and Solopreneur Lifestyle

The sites to visit when you need a fresh start, a different take, or a reminder to love the life you’ve built as a solopreneur.

Alex Beadon

Alex is all about helping you discover what you love to do, get past the fear of doing it, and learn how to make money in the process. Though she rocks social marketing and blogging (she shares the behind-the-scenes of her entrepreneurial life via Snapchat stories), it’s her Monday Mantras that landed her back on this list.

Must-read post: Monday Mantra — “How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything”

Art to Self with Steph Halligan

A stellar cartoonist, Steph started creating illustrations to accompany her daily notes to herself — then decided to share them with the world. And we’re so glad she does. From getting started to getting past mental blocks, her daily notes in your inbox or RSS reader are the perfect way to start the day as a solopreneur.

Must-read post: Let It Ebb and Flow

Best Kept Self

Us solopreneurs are a proactive, independent bunch — but who can’t use some assistance in kicking ass, taking names…and making it back home for our bedtime? That’s why we love Best Kept Self’s tagline: “Self-help for the self-employed.” Even more than that? We love their Instagram bio: “Because you should invest as much into your soul and mind as you do your website and biz cards.” All we can say is: YAAAAASSS. (Sorry, we had to).

Must-watch video: Concrete Takeaways for Overcoming Self-Sabotage

Chasing Creative

Despite having just been born in early 2016, Chasing Creative quickly joined the ranks of this fine list for its unique topic: Making creativity a priority in our busy lives as women. Ashley and Abbigail bring on writers, musicians, photographers, and more to talk about what keeps their creative juices flowing when the day-to-day grind takes over.

Must-listen episode: Make A Mini Creative Retreat with Jennie Moraitis

Clarity on Fire

For the ladies who don’t feel like you’ve found your “sweet spot” where your passion meets your skill set: Clarity on Fire is for you. Our favorite way to take in Rachel and Kristen’s insight? Through their #ClarityGems. In their words, “Think of #ClarityGems as your weekly shake of the good ‘ole Magic 8 Ball…you never know what might bubble up and how it might be exactly what you need to hear today.”

Must-read post: Confession: I Have No Desire To Be a #GirlBoss

Coach Jennie with Jennie Mustafa-Julock

If you’re in need of a bit more tenacity in your life, you need a dose of Coach Jennie, our resident giver of “cathartic shoves” and the Queen of Blab (our favorite video platform). If that’s not enough to tempt you to check out her site? Go there to discover who the heck Hilda is. (We guarantee you know her.)

Must-watch video: Stop Standing In Your Own Way

Danielle Dowling

With a title of Dr. (yes, Doctor) Danielle pairs psychology and life coaching to inspire lasting change that helps you “say yes to you.” (For sanity’s sake!) We absolutely love that Danielle is “unabashedly intellectual,” putting those masters and doctorate degrees to work serving women the world over.

Must-read post: Dear Danielle: Help Me Be a Confident Introvert

Danielle LaPorte

Don’t let your fear of the “woo woo” steer you wrong: Danielle LaPorte knows how to get after it, from expressing your creativity to building relationships and clarifying your purpose to owning the fact that you’re a woman. Her “Public Library” is chockful of reading material that is bound to light a white-hot fire inside of you, sister. (/woo)

Must-read category: For Your Ambition, and Your Doubts

Danielle Zeigler

Sometimes, in addition to being great writers themselves, the bloggers we love to follow are amazing curators of content. That’s Danielle. We love how she combines the best of both health and business-related finds into her weekly roundup, Sunday Link Love. Sunday afternoons have never been so fun.

Must-read post: How Your Physical Environment Affects Your Work

Design*Sponge

Besides being a one-stop shop for DIY and interior decorating advice, Design*Sponge shares stories of entrepreneurship through their Life & Business section. Want to know what types of profiles and topics you’ll find? We spotted the following titles: “Art Meets Recycling,” “Unhooking from Praise and Criticism,” “What Baking Has Taught Me About Business,” and “Rolling with the Punches.”

Must-read column: Life & Business

Get Gutsy with Jessica Lawlor

Whether the call to #GetGutsy lights you up or instills fear in the pit of your stomach, we bet you’ll love Jess’ approach to getting out of your comfort zone. And if you need more inspiration to #GetGutsy? Just follow along with Jess’ transition from a side hustler to a CEO in her Becoming CEO blog series.

Must-read series: Becoming CEO

Jess Lively

Whenever we hear the word “intention” in everyday life, we immediately think of Jess Lively and her tagline, “Designing a life and business with intention.” (No, really, we do.) If you’re ready to stop living and working aimlessly and instill more intention in your actions, you’ll love her blog and her podcast, The Lively Show (cute name, right?).

Must-listen episode: Better Than Before: Mastering Habits Based on Your Personality With Gretchen Rubin

Kylie Patchett

Since we’re big fans of alliteration, Kylie immediately had our attention with her fun job title: “Mind, Money, + Mojo Coach.” If learning to “bust through fear, self-sabotage and overwhelm to grow [your] business” sounds pretty darn tempting, you’ll want to check out Kylie’s work. (Warning: A serious case of accent-envy is in store when you watch her videos.)  

Must-read post: The Whole Truth About Entrepreneurship (It Ain’t All Sunshine + Lollipops)

Ladypreneur League

Sometimes as a solopreneur, you don’t want to read marketing advice or productivity tips. You want to crack open a bottle of wine (how many times do you think we’ll mention wine on this list?!) and focus on life outside of work — whipping up a meal, reading a book that’s been on your Amazon wishlist a little too long, or flexing your yoga muscles. For those times, Ladypreneur League is for you.

Must-read post: 5 Tips for Keeping Fit – From Your Desk!

Laura Simms

As people who like to cuddle up with a mug of coffee, a good book, and a cozy blanket at home, we feel an instant connection to Laura’s tagline: “I’m Laura Simms, and I help people find careers that feel like home.” She adds, “Using an approach that is practical and holistic, you can find a meaningful career that also supports the kind of life you want to live.” Speaking our language, sister.

Must-read post: The Top Three Traits of People Who Do Meaningful Work

Lucky Bitch with Denise Duffield-Thomas

Maybe you’re all about the money. Or maybe thinking and talking about money makes you want to hide under the covers (with a glass of chilled white wine and Netflix, obviously…does that count as #NetflixAndChill?). Either way, Denise gives you a “fresh and funny roadmap to create an outrageously successful life and business.” We’ll take it!

Must-read post: 3 Money Taboos Nobody Talks About

mindbodygreen

Wondering if we’ve spelled and capitalized mindbodygreen correctly? In their words, “…we want to give you everything that’s great for you: mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and environmentally — because we believe these pillars of wellness are vital and interconnected. Hence mindbodygreen (one word, not three).” Our response? Bring on the wellness!  

Must-read post: 5 Days To Eco-Friendly: One Simple Swap To Make Every Day This Week

The Mogul Mom

Not everyone in our community will be a mom one day, but for many, mompreneurship is a current or soon-to-be adventure. The Mogul Mom — led by Editor-in-Chief Melissa Bolton — will help you navigate running a biz alongside your mom duties with posts on everything from creating a media kit to whether moms should put themselves first.

Must-read post: Transitioning from Motherhood to Entrepreneurship

Project Healthy Happy Me with Naomi Arnold

When we saw the name of Naomi’s site, we were sold. Add in that her community member Fleur says Naomi’s work “radiates love,” and we couldn’t stay away. Naomi calls it “a safe place for big-hearted and mission-driven people who want to make a difference in the world” and she provides that by highlighting worldwide events like Global Sisterhood Day and sharing insights from Elizabeth Gilbert.

Must-read post: How to Give Back as a New Business Owner or Coach

Raspberry Magazine

The content in Raspberry Magazine is as fresh and inspiring as its name. From overcoming business burnout to recipe writing, creator and editor Alana has created the perfect digital magazine for the female entrepreneur who knows that business and life overlap. Subscribe to get the newest issues first, as well as a pass into the library of back issues, with cover stars like Alex Franzen, Natalie MacNeil, Hilary Rushford, and more.

Must-read article: How Gratitude Can Help You Navigate the World With Ease

Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette

When we think about why we love Real Talk Radio, we can’t get past Nicole’s description of it: “refreshingly honest conversations about the wonderful mess of being human.” That’s exactly what it is, and exactly why we can’t stay away. Each season (she’s had four so far) brings on a mixed bag of athletes, entrepreneurs, parents, artists, and more, to talk things like self-care, productivity, secret dreams, and guilty pleasures.

Must-listen episode: Emma Gannon on Freelance Life, Supporting Other Women, and Avoiding the “Shoulds” of Life

Seth Godin

You might wonder how Seth — a kingpin of digital marketing — ends up under Mindset + Solopreneur Lifestyle on this list. Well, Seth’s been blogging for two decades, and somehow his daily posts continue to completely shift our mindset — often in 200 words or less. The brain behind the man with the yellow glasses is extraordinary, and he often makes us think twice about commonly-held beliefs in business and life.

Must-read post: Getting Ahead vs. Doing Well

Soul Rising with Lindsay Weisenthal

We’re suckers for pretty visuals that help us better understand a message — and Lindsay’s got ‘em. There are line graphs. There are pyramids. There are Venn diagrams. *record scratch* (Wait, whaaaa? Showstopper.) And all of them are geared toward understanding and feeding your soul, both at work and in life.

Must-read post: My Fake Plants Died


A Little Something Extra

Running a solopreneur biz is about more than accounting, marketing, and branding — you know this. These sites and apps provide just a little something more for the solopreneur who wants to develop personally, give back, and decompress.

Calm

Just landing on Calm’s homepage inspires instant stress relief, but it’s the app that we love the most. Calm brings simplicity to meditation, making it easy for even the most stubborn meditators (cough, cough) to make it a habit. And the calendar tracking feeds our little Type-A hearts.

Must-try series: 7 Days of Calm

Clients from Hell

Whenever we need someone to confirm that we are not going crazy and that, yes, our clients are wackos, we first turn to the One Woman Shop community — then to Clients from Hell. We’re all about taking responsibility as solopreneurs, but sometimes we just need a good ol’ dose of “WTF?! That actually happened?” to make us feel better about our own situations. The name says it all.

Must-read page: Top Client Stories

Happify

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: We’re nerds. So a tagline like “Science-based happiness games and activities” makes us giddy with…well, happiness. If you love gamification and don’t like stress, head here to get measurably more happy — starting today.

Must-view graphic: This State of Mind Is Where Your Best Ideas Come From (Is The “Tortured Artist” a Myth?)

Highbrow

If the endless learning you experience while running your solo biz isn’t satiating your appetite for knowledge, Highbrow is for you. They offer “bite-sized email courses delivered to your inbox daily” but the catch is that you can only sign up for one at a time in order to avoid overwhelm. Courses include The Fundamentals of User Experience, Trials That Shaped the Modern World (for our fellow The Good Wife lovers out there), and Most Important Numbers in the World.

Must-try course: Incredible Female Leaders Through History

Kiva

Wanna know something that has been proven to increase your happiness? Giving. And more importantly, it serves others. Kiva “works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems.” You lend; you get repaid; you re-invest. It’s that easy.

Must-join Lending Team: The One Woman Shop Team 🙂

POPSUGAR Fitness

We think taking care of ourselves physically is pretty freakin’ important for solopreneur sanity. That’s what POPSUGAR Fitness is all about. The site talks about everything from cardio hip hop routines to mason jar lunches and killer plank variations to the importance of rest days.

Must-read post: Here’s Your Primer on HIIT Workouts

And, because we’re so generous, we wanted to leave you with a bonus resource. When you need to escape for a few minutes and meditation or Netflix aren’t cutting it, we recommend the game 1010. You’ll either love us or hate us once you become addicted…TBD.


And with that, there you have it: 100 101 amazing resources to make your solo biz incredible. And, if you’re not fully satiated yet, why not read some stories of solopreneurs who are making their way toward success? Download The Road to Solopreneur Success ebook for free today for even more actionable insights into running your solo biz.

Behind-the-Scenes of 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs

behind the scenes of 100 best sites for solopreneurs

We always appreciate when business owners give us the inside scoop on the behind-the-scenes of their business. Those income reports from big-time bloggers? We eat that stuff up. We admit it: we’re super nosy — and we love to learn.

Given that we love transparency, we figured you might, too — which is why we launched our monthly Behind-the-Scenes column. Instead of cramming information on our recent 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs list into that post, we decided to dedicate a whole post to the secrets behind our recent launch — so you can learn alongside us (and we can reference it when it comes time next year!).

The end goal was two-fold: first, we wanted to provide an amazing resource for solopreneurs just starting out or looking for sites to help them level up in certain aspects of their biz — sites complementary to ours, from digital marketing to finance, and more. Second, in the spirit of true transparency, we’ve seen how effective bundled opt-ins and roundup posts can be to engaging others in sharing. By highlighting 100 different sites, we hoped most who were nominated would share the win with their audiences, thereby expanding our reach.

We’ll start off by saying one thing: we had no freaking idea how time-intensive building the list would be! #truth

That being said, we were delighted that we met both goals. Solopreneurs mentioned their excitement over having such a comprehensive resource at their fingertips and most of the people on the list were more than happy to share their accomplishment with their communities. So without further ado, let’s get into the behind-the-scenes.

Here’s how we made it work:

  • We involved our community from the get-go by putting up a nomination form on the site and promoting it through an email to our list and on social media. We asked for their favorite solopreneur resources and why they liked the site.
  • In the 11th hour, we realized that we needed a bit of external help to finish things off, so we turned to our members. For the nominations that were missing the why piece, we asked members to weigh in. It saved us tons of time and ensured a variety of unique insights and perspectives.
  • We set several internal deadlines, but other projects kept taking precedence. We eventually knocked things out with several long, live Google Hangouts sessions (complete with wine, popcorn, and perhaps a few too many Reese’s Cups — just kidding, never enough).

Here’s what we learned:

  • When in doubt, get on a Hangout. Don’t have a business partner? We host both general and themed coworking sessions for our One Woman Shop members, as well as a monthly accountability group for our Espresso Level members. Live Hangouts helped us to get out of our own heads, talk stuff out, and get back to action.
  • Google Docs = a life savior. Okay, we more re-realized this than learned it, but WOW — thank you, Google Gods, for all that you do! If you’re not a Google Doc user yet, finish reading this post then make it a priority.
  • Categorization is tough. We felt strongly that The List should be divided into categories, because a list of 100 of anything is overwhelming. But — we found it tough to create fitting categories and then categorize each site accordingly. We chalk this up to the fact that many solo business owners dabble in a variety of different services and products.
  • Coming up with unique descriptions is tough. While every site is certainly different, our vocabulary only expands so far when we’re time-strapped and tired. In later editing rounds, we had to remove “cute” and “spot-on” from many a-description 🙂

Despite the challenge of compiling The List, the result was well, well worth it. One word to sum up feedback and outcomes? Stellar. Here’s what we saw:

A ton of people mentioning the list, including:

(If you included the 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs in a post on your site, let us know and we’ll include a link above!)

The most traffic in one day that we’ve ever had on the site:

results of 100 best sites for solopreneurs

These kind words + awesome reactions (and names in our inboxes that made us nerd out):


What surprised us + where we made mistakes (oops):

  • Surprising: Facebook was far and away the biggest driver of traffic for the post. We credit this to the fact that we invited (read: asked) all winners to share our Facebook post about The List.
  • Surprising: There are a TON of sites not on our radar. We were so thankful for the plethora of nominations that alerted us to new sites + resources!
  • Oops: We forgot to include the hashtag #100BestSites, so we had to do some last-minute edits.

What we did right:

  • We made it easy for all of the site winners to share about their wins by providing them with pre-drafted social media content, as well as a handy dandy badge (making things easy for those you collaborate with is something we talk about a lot in our new Building Your Online Community e-course)
  • Instead of sending a mass email to all of the winners, we sent personalized emails (which we think contributed to the fact that the engagement from those on the list was so high)
  • We created individualized recurring tweets in Edgar mentioning the Twitter handles of each winner (so that they can easily retweet and spread the word to their respective audiences)

What we still need to do:

We love the idea of repurposing content into more than one form to make the most of it. And given how much time we put in, we plan to milk this baby for all it’s worth! Here are some ideas we’ve had (more to come, we’re sure):

  • Create a YouTube video announcing the winners
  • Turn the list into a Slideshare

What we’ll do next year:

Our hunch is that next year’s list will be a million times easier to create, given that we have a previous example to refer to, we know how to #getitdone, and people might know the list a bit more and want to be on it. Here’s what we plan to do to ease our workload:

  • Email all previous list winners to ask for their nominations and self-nominations
  • Email all those who commented on the post on our site
  • Email all previous nominators
  • Encourage people to write more unique, specific descriptions, beyond “great tips!” or “fantastic resource!”

Even still, we’re sure there will be surprises in store for us next year, as well! (And we can’t wait.)

4 Simple SEO Tips to Optimize Your Content and Attract Your Ideal Client

Using SEO effectively can seem like a headache. Keywords? Links? Content marketing? I’ve been there. If you’re a small business owner, you have enough on your plate, and learning about SEO can seem like more trouble than it’s worth.

But SEO is so much more than a marketing strategy. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is simply helping Google understand your site so that you can easily connect with people who are already seeking the solutions you offer. It’s a necessary foundation for your brand or business, not an online “trick” that requires endless research.

In fact, according to Search Engine Land, SEO is considered one of the most cost-effective digital marketing practices to grow your business. And, let’s face it — you’ve likely invested hundreds to thousands of dollars on designing your brand and developing your website, but is it worth the investment if no one can find it?

Here are four quick ways you can utilize SEO to find your dream clients and elevate your business in an authentic, non-salesy way.

1. Keep a list of Frequently Asked Questions from your target audience.

Keep an ongoing list of questions that continuously pop up among your target audience. You could find these questions in Facebook Groups, past client consultations, in replies to your email newsletter, or even while taking a class at the gym.

Use these questions for content inspiration. Answer them on an easy-to-access landing page or turn them into blog posts. Pay attention to the specific language your potential clients use and the way the questions are asked. Word questions and your answers in a way that you could see your clients Googling them. If you have Google Analytics set up on your website, you can see which Google searches have led people to your website, and form questions out of those phrases.

2. Take time to use categories and tags effectively.

When it comes to that “tags” box you see when creating a blog post in WordPress, do you fill it with related terms you think of on the fly? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. But it’s time to get organized! Think of categories as the top level, main topics of your blog. Then think of tags as supporting keywords. Choose 5-6 main categories and only a handful of tags for each category. For example, a main category could be “Fitness” and supporting tags could be “muscle recovery,” “at home workout,” and “activewear.”

3. Use Yoast and fill in your metadata.

Metadata is mostly behind-the-scenes data that helps a search engine understand and rank your site. The preview text that appears in search engine results when someone sees your site link is comprised of metadata. Take a few extra minutes to fill in the title tag, meta description and alt tags of your posts. The Yoast SEO plugin makes these updates, and therefore upping your SEO game, much easier.

4. Audit and update your old content.

If you’ve had a blog for more than a few months, chances are you already have a ton of content. In order to make sure your website is working for you, and not the other way around, go through your old content and see which posts and pages could be improved.

Find which posts are your best and make sure they’re properly tagged and categorized. Edit any content that is outdated or no longer relevant. Auditing your content will make sure your site is full of high-quality, valuable content for your readers. For more ideas, check out my post on 50 ways to give an old post new life.

SEO doesn’t have to be so hard

For many solopreneurs, SEO remains an elusive concept that’s just out of reach. But it doesn’t have to be. The four quick tips above are just a few examples of how you can optimize your site for search engines and make it easier for more of your ideal clients to find you.

Content might be king…

but it doesn’t have to rule your world. Drop your email below to get even more great tips on content as a solo business owner!

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The Road to Solopreneur Success: Day Four

Road to Solopreneur Success

Note! We are officially at day four of the Solopreneur Success Bundle Week! That means you have less than two days left to get this epic deal of 19 products worth $1,504 for just $99. (Ah!)

The Road to Solopreneur Success looks different for each and every one of us. The most powerful thing we can do? Share our stories and shorten the learning curve for everyone around us.

So we turned to our community to share their Road to Solopreneur Success — the ups, the downs, and the lessons learned as they work toward more celebrations each and every day in their solo businesses.

We are super grateful for what they shared — and can’t wait for you to learn from them, too. Grab your coffee + a pen, and get ready to take notes from these great reads on day four of our Road to Solopreneur Success:


The Road to Solopreneur Success – Nat Real, The Website Superhero

Nat’s getting real on her blog (how perfect that it happens to be her last name?) and sharing her ups + downs of solopreneurship on the road to get to a place where “things are going so well and smooth and cheesecake-delicious that pretty much every moment is bliss.” Yes, please.

Our favorite quote: “The way I see it, it’s up to me to make the decision that will put more Xs in my successes column than in its gloomier counterpart of a column.”

The Sting of Underquoting Never Lessens. But Here’s What I’m Going to Do About It.
– Christine Funke, Spark Virtual Assistance

Underquoting on a project: we’ve all been there. And as Christine shares, the sting is potent. But we love how she’s changed her mindset to a place of learning — and how experience will only make the future better.

Our favorite quote: “The uncertain feelings have roots in perfectionism (shouldn’t I just be able to do this perfectly from the beginning?) and that may never go away, but having a different mindset has made me feel less stressed.”

The Productivity Tricks That Have Improved My Business – Kayli Barth, The Freelance Hustle

Kayli’s a self-proclaimed scatterbrain — not exactly the textbook definition of a successful person. Yet she’s got some tricks up her sleeve that have turned her year around. Fellow scatterbrains: try these on for size.

Our favorite quote: “…even disorganized scatterbrains can get it together and be a boss.”

The Road to Solopreneur Success – Danielle Ziegler

Work-life balance is a lot easier to achieve when you don’t try to go it completely alone. Danielle’s sharing how she’s asked for help, implemented no-work weekends, and pivoted to enjoy the road to success in her solopreneur business.

Our favorite quote: “While being a one woman shop is a wonderful thing, it’s okay to get help when you need it.”

On Managing Overwhelm as a One Woman Business – Indigo Colton

Indigo’s a solopreneur and a college student, so she knows a little something about overwhelm. Get her tips for managing it so you can enjoy more success in the journey as a solo business owner.

Our favorite quote: “I track my time for my clients, so why not make myself a client and do the same?”

Who’s Driving Your Bus? – Kerry Swetmon, Life Business Growth

In realizing, two years ago, that her business wasn’t fulfilling her at all, Kerry took a new look at what was holding her back: fear. And in recognizing the purpose fear does have and imagining a life without it, she found her path to solopreneur success — and wants you to do the same.

Our favorite quote: “Courage battles the darkness on the path to your truth.”


All of these posts were written as part of the Road to Solopreneur Success blog tour, promoting the Solopreneur Success Bundle: a roundup of e-courses, e-books, and subscriptions designed to help you succeed in all aspects of your solopreneur biz. Your chance to grab over $1,500 in products at just $99 is only here from September 14-18th — learn more and get yours now!

We think this deal is pretty freakin’ spectacular, but don’t just take it from us:

Carrie, of Careful Cents, puts it in a way we can’t beat: “Seriously. Imagine if you only had to push the “buy” button one time, and save yourself over $1,400. Would you do it? Duh! Of course you would.” She’s also calling it “the only investment you need to make for the rest of the year!” Yep — it’s that good!