If you’ve been stuck thinking there just aren’t enough clients in the world, it’s time to turn that scarcity mindset around. Reframe it like this: As a solopreneur, you’re a problem solver. And it’s likely that there are more people experiencing that problem than you might initially realize.
For the purpose of this post, let’s pretend you’re a freelancer writer. (Or maybe you are!) While you might be serving the same types of clients over and over, maybe you’re seeing the well dry up — or you’re just looking for a new project to invigorate your love of writing.
It’s time to open yourself up to niche writing markets you may never have considered.
Here are 12 niche writing markets to get you started:
1. Menus: Not every restaurant needs you to write highly creative and exciting descriptions, but they all need menus. You’ll need to be able to make any meal sound delicious and worth ordering. If you know your food, this might be your new favorite market.
2. Writing prompts: Good at brainstorming? Try writing prompts for budding authors. Everyone needs some inspiration from time to time, and you could be just the person to provide it. Try sitting down and thinking up as many story seeds as you can for your favorite genre — come up with enough, and you could become popular with fiction writers.
3. Resumes: If you’ve had a lot of success with your own resumes, why not try writing them for other people? It’s easy to find work as lots of job seekers are struggling with writing theirs. With the right set of info, it’s easy to get started.
Example of a niche website for application: Resumention
4. Product descriptions: Anyone can open an online store these days, but they need an expert to really describe their products. That’s where you come in. If you can position their products in a way that sells them to their ideal audience, you could be worth your weight in gold to any seller.
5. Academic writing: Great at essays when you were at university? Don’t let that skill go to waste now. There are plenty of sites that allow you to sell your writing to students that need it — especially if you’re a specialist on the subject needed. (And you don’t have to pull an all-nighter like you did back then!)
Example of a niche website for application: Essayroo
6. Event programs: Strike up a relationship with a local printing company, and you could be referred to anyone who needs an event program. Ideas: Couples getting married, theatre companies, tradeshow attendees, event hosts — they all need a program to let people know what’s happening.
7. Content for educational portals: A lot of what you know as a writer can be translated into advice for students. Education portals like Australian Help are always looking for people who can write grammar guides, explain what plagiarism is, or just write advice on how to complete assignments.
Example of a niche website for application: Academized
8. Instruction manuals: Often called ‘technical writing’, instruction manual writers can explain how to do something clearly and concisely. If you’re good at getting instructions across, this could be a good source of revenue for you.
9. Proofreading: Writers can always use an extra set of eyes. People who have written pieces but don’t want to proofread them could send them to you. A lot of writers find proofreading easier than writing itself, so it could be an easy way to make some extra cash on the side.
Example of a niche website for application: UKWritings
10. Greeting cards: The verses inside greetings cards are called ‘poems’, and you can make a tidy amount selling them to greeting card companies. Be aware that they will buy them, but they’re not always going to use them. They do happily accept unsolicited verses though, so it’s well worth a try.
11. Band bios: Passionate about music and know the music scene well? Welcome to your new favorite market. Bands need help with bios, websites, and pretty much all marketing for shows.
Example of a niche website for application: Bandzoogle
12. Editing: Along the same lines as proofreading, you could offer your editing services. (A more involved form of proofreading that looks at the developmental side of things rather than just grammar and spelling.) This is a good idea if you have an eye for what works and what doesn’t in any text.
Example of a niche website for application: BoomEssays
Hey, solopreneur: Think outside the box
This is just a small sample of the niche writing markets that freelancers could branch out to in order to shake up their normal routine, secure new clients, and perhaps renew their love of writing.
Whether you’re a freelance writer, designer, coach, speaker — you name it — don’t be afraid to think outside the box niche.
Unicorns are iconic. Emblematic. They symbolize the effortless realization of dreams.
The thing is, dreams are real, but unicorns are not.
That seems like a despondent note to start on, but it’s actually kick-start positive.
Having dreams is healthy. It gives you goals and ambition — a driving force for all that you do. It reassures you in the face of failure and encourages you when you’re out of ideas. Solopreneurs often have no one to rely on but themselves. We all need an inner unicorn.
But business success isn’t magic, no matter how much we might wish it to be. Reality has a nasty habit of making dreams slow and difficult to realize.
Here’s your first reality check: Nothing is impossible.
Businesses are bedfellows with the Internet now. It’s almost impossible to launch a business without a website to match.
Getting your dream domain, setting down a design (either yourself or with a professional) and launching it makes it all official.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have your product ready to go yet — having a mesmerising landing page and opt-in form is a great way to get the ball rolling.
Work on amassing a stellar email list. Spread the word about your product. Send your loyal subscribers some high-quality newsletters or mini e-books with actionable, unique takeaways. Write a blog to underpin the product.
Is this quick list a lot of work? Yes. Is it worth it? 100%.
Think of it as laying the groundwork for your main product. You wouldn’t leap into a marathon without any training. If you build up a solid audience then market your product well, the launch will be far more lucrative and you’ll see a positive ROI much quicker than delving into a cold market.
Ongoing: Love your stumbles
Learning from your mistakes is one of the best qualities in any business person, particularly a solopreneur.
As a one woman shop, you can’t handle everything all at once without occasionally slipping up. Take the falls on the chin, make a note, and work to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Likewise, figure out what does work and stick to it.
Ongoing: Pen Pencil and paper
People change as they grow. You might suddenly want a tattoo, or a cat. Your dream of a skyscraper studio apartment might morph into a cottage with land to keep miniature donkeys.
Dreams can change, too. They might shift into something bigger, something with a new end game, targeted to a different market.
That’s okay. That’s natural.
Don’t feel you’ve failed. Pencilled dreams can be rubbed out and altered, whereas dreams written in pen are final and can only be crossed out.
Keep an open mind. There’s more than one way to achieve success.
Ongoing: Value your critics
That might seem self-destructive, but your naysayers act as free consultants.
It might be difficult to see the faults in your program because you’ve invested so much of yourself into it. An outside opinion could actually be beneficial.
There’s a difference between someone trying to cut you down and someone trying to cut you a break.
Listen to them. Think of what your product will look like if you implement their changes. Don’t be too proud and reject outside help, whether in the form of assistance or criticism.
View critique as a free screening. If any glaring errors are found, you’ll be glad you listened to your cynical friend.
Ongoing: Embrace your inner unicorn
Be bold. Be brave. A unicorn is a mythical creature that has stood the test of time, despite being literally impossible.
You can do the same. Know the difference between dreams vs. reality in business, then be like a unicorn and never give up on that dream. It might take a little longer than a day but you’ll get there so long as you stick to your plan, maintain your work ethic, and learn as you progress.
Keep a clear head and a focused goal. Don’t be afraid of change and criticism.
And know that when — not if — when you get there, you deserve every bit of it.
TL;DR: Even as solopreneurs, we can’t do it alone. The doors to One Woman Shop membership are open until Friday, May 26th at 11:59pm EST!
One Woman Shops:
If you’re on our email list (you rock!) you got this note in your inbox last week. (That said, it might be worth another read!) If you’re not? Keep reading…
We’re nearly halfway through the year (whaaa?) and we have no doubt your to-do list might look like this: overstuffed — with stress levels that just might match.
This is when we remind ourselves that:
a. We can’t do all.the.things, every day.
b. Of what we can do, we can’t do it alone.
We have a few stellar suggestions for taming that out-of-control to-do list and reclaiming your time (point a) — but for the purposes of today’s letter to you, we want to focus on point b.
You might be wondering, what the heck do other people have to do with getting my work done?
Our answer: Everything.
We’re not talking about building a team or outsourcing. Yes, there’s a season for both those things — but one thing that’s always in style is having a strong community behind you.
Specifically, a community of people who get what it’s like to set up onboarding systems for clients, or to design nurture sequences to sell that product, or to build a business budget. A community that also considers putting jeans on “dressing up” — because, hey, they’re not yoga pants — and who has no shame in taking an afternoon nap or waking up to work at 2am because an idea struck.
Solopreneurship is a misleading term — because even as a company of one, we need to know there are other people out there who get it. Who can help us through it. Who have the expertise, insight, and honesty, we might not have at that moment.
That’s what we’re all about at One Woman Shop: Community. A tight-knit group of ladies who quickly become friends as they support each other on this winding road of solopreneurship.
Doors have re-opened to One Woman Shop membership. We’d love to have you join us before they close again on May 26th. All it takes is a brief application so we can both make sure we’re a fit.
After all, the Beatles knew best: In business, as in life, we all get by with a little help from our friends.
There’s something to be said about not jumping on business bandwagons.
Deciding to not join in on the latest “business trend” might mean you’re keenly aware of how the trend fits into the bigger picture and whether it would be smart to adopt, or maybe you’re not taking it on out of fear even though you know it would be helpful for your business.
That last one, the fear, is something I’ve found a lot of people are experiencing with the latest business trend: live stream video marketing.
At this point, calling it a trend isn’t even accurate.
According to Livestream, 81 percent of audiences on the internet and mobile consumed more live video in 2016 than they had the year before, and 80 percent of those people also prefer live videos over blogs, while 82 percent prefer consuming live video over social posts.
With stats like that, it’s not crazy to claim that you might want to make live stream video broadcasting a defined facet of your overall marketing plan. Here’s why:
It captures attention. People like seeing people, and we also are drawn to things that move and make noise. So, in a sea of static updates in a newsfeed, a piece of media that’s moving and has sound naturally captures attention. Of course, more factors go into keeping that attention, but we’ll get there in a minute.
It helps build your credibility and trust factor. The sheer inability to edit when you’re live-streaming gives you instant credibility. You’re not able to cut out flubs, you have to respond to live engagement off the cuff, and you’re making yourself available in real time. That level of accessibility is huge for displaying your expertise and allowing people to see your personality and know they see the real you.
It’s quick and easy. With live-streaming, it’s as easy as opening an app and hitting “go live.” No need to get graphics together or have an editor on hand. Live-streaming lends itself to being as easy to create as it is to consume, which is ideal for audiences with ever-increasing demands on their attention spans and business owners who want to see a good ROI with the time and money spent on marketing.
So, now that you know why you might want to be incorporating live stream videos into your content strategy, here are the main things you need to consider when determining how you’ll create videos that get watched and drive results for your business.
1. Your content
Beyond the fear of simply going live is the fear of “what do I talk about?!,” and there’s one important thing I want you to keep in mind: Just because you’re recording live doesn’t mean you can’t go in with a plan.
Although you don’t want to sound like you’re reading off of a script, there’s no problem with creating an outline and having some notes to keep you on topic.
Some things you can talk about or show on your live broadcasts include quick tips, behind-the-scenes of your business, peeks into your creative process, exciting announcements, simple hellos to your followers, something cool you think they’d enjoy, or education content based on your expertise.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because live-streaming lends itself to sharing anything from super-short, fun glimpses into your day all the way to sitting down and having an in-depth conversation with your audience.
Start small and with some notes, and eventually, you’ll get more comfortable to the point where you don’t need to do any self pep-talks before going live (we’ve all been there), and you can speak to any topic on the fly.
Also, don’t forget to give a call-to-action in your video. Do you want people to sign up for your list, check out your latest items in your shop, or give you feedback? Tell them what you want them to do!
That’s how you’re going to see the tangible benefits of how live-streaming can benefit your business.
2. Your setting
Once you’ve got an idea of the various types of live stream videos you’ll want to create for your brand, you’ll want to give some thought to your filming locations.
Listen, as exciting and dangerous as it sounds, just because you can live-stream from the back of a motorcycle doesn’t mean you should. (Unless your business involves making custom hot rods in which case, carry on.)
Otherwise, it’s helpful to think of a few areas that you can consistently turn to as the backdrop for your live broadcasts. Maybe it’s a corner in your office or your back patio. Maybe it’s the awesome coworking space you go to a few times a week.
Then, of course, comes the scenario of live-streaming because you’re sharing the location you’re in and what you’re doing there.
In either case, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind: light and sound.
Try to find a well-lit area where the source of the light is shining on you and not behind you so that people can see your face. The best light source is diffused sunlight, so if you have a well-light room without the sun directly beating in, that’s ideal.
For sound, indoors is preferred so you don’t have to worry about being drowned out by gusts of wind or traffic. But if you can’t help but be outdoors due to the nature of your video, try to get as far away from sources of loud sound (like a street) or find a barrier that blocks some of the noise.
3. The right equipment
One of the beautiful things about live streamed video is that people don’t expect it to be perfect, which means that not having a DSLR camera isn’t an excuse for skipping out.
However, just because it’s unedited, raw footage doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to ensure good audio and visual quality.
Circling back to having good light and sound quality, Photojojo! has a variety of unique tools to help you improve your video quality that won’t break the bank. For example, their Pocket Spotlight is perfect if you need a little help bumping up the brightness of your video and The Mighty Mic will help you achieve crisper, clearer, higher quality sound.
In addition to finding a place with good lighting and low wind (if you’re shooting outdoors), it’s also helpful to have a tool you can use to go hands-free and keep your phone or camera stable.
Now available to anyone (Prior to late March 2017, only YouTube accounts with 10K or more subscribers could go live)
If your channel subscribers receive Youtube’s email notifications, they’ll receive an email when you start your live broadcast
Platform picking tips
1. Go with your primary platforms
Are you already active on Facebook? Have an engaged following on Instagram or Twitter? Start with the top one to two platforms you already use and have a greater following on. Then, if you find that you love live-streaming, you can branch out to creating live streams and building an audience on additional platforms.
2. Get crafty with “repurposing”
If you want to share content that you think your audiences on multiple platforms would appreciate, let your content stretch further and go live simultaneously. Of course, this will take a multi-device setup, but if you have a laptop and smartphone or smartphone and tablet, it’s totally doable.
Just make sure you’re letting your followers know you’re live in multiple places. That way if you reference the platform you’re on, your watchers on the alternative platform don’t get confused. Another benefit to this method is that you’ll be helping to cross-promote your other social media channels.
3. Take it for a test drive
One of my best social media secrets is that I have “test” accounts for my top platforms that I only use when new features roll out so I can test them and see how they work before committing to trying something new on my official page.
I don’t think everyone needs to try that method; you could just ask a biz friend to give you a quick tutorial, but I’m a visual, hands-on learner, so test driving features in that way helps me decide whether I’m ready to go public using a new feature.
You can start live stream video marketing today
As you can see, today’s digital landscape has made it inevitable for live stream video to become one of the biggest mediums for content creation. You’d be missing out on a big chunk of the marketing pie if you don’t consider weaving this type of media into your content strategy.
The key thing to keep in mind is to embrace the unpolished nature of live-streaming and just start.
As you gain more practice with each video and you incorporate some simple tools into your production, you’ll look like a pro and be consistently creating content you’re proud to promote in no time.
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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Welcome to Shop Talk! While we love providing you with jam-packed, actionable posts, we also wanted to share quick, thought-provoking snippets here and there — from our brains to yours.
Today we’re coming at you with a reminder that we always tell ourselves. (Pretty much all of our Shop Talk posts could also be filed under “Notes To Self.”)
If one person is vocalizing something, there are probably other people out there thinking it.
How can this reminder help you in your solo business?
If someone emails you a question about how to set up ConvertKit, there are probably others wishing they had a useful tutorial to refer to. Consider writing a step-by-step blog post with instructions.
If you offer an e-course that’s normally delivered week-by-week and one of your community members asks if it’s possible to access it all at once, there are probably other people out there who are afraid to look demanding or hadn’t even thought to make such a straightforward request. Consider offering the e-course both week-by-week (for those who want to take bite-sized steps so they don’t feel overwhelmed) and all at once (for those who like to batch their tasks and/or want to do it in one fell swoop while they’re energized).
If one person emails you telling you that they’re having trouble downloading their brand new Solopreneur Success Bundle because of tech issues, there are probably at least two (okay, ten) others who are also having trouble. Consider double-checking the delivery process, changing the number of downloads each person can have, and having a backup method for delivering the Bundle if all else fails.
And after you’ve taken action steps, take a minute to thank the people who are taking time out of their days to articulate what others in your community might very well be thinking.
P.S. Because every post we write and video that we record must have at least one caveat, here it is: If someone is expressing a completely outlandish or irrational opinion, feel free to let it silently disappear into the black hole of “What in the actual…..??”
You’ve likely heard this shouted from fellow business owners everywhere: Pinterest drives more traffic to my website than any other social media platform!
Well, it happens to be true for me. I see growth in my email list daily, and I get consistent sales for my ebook, pretty much all thanks to Pinterest. But, of course, it wasn’t always that way. It wasn’t until I studied the ins and outs of Pinterest strategy — and made some strategic moves — that my website traffic, email list, and sales increased.
Today, I’m going to share one (very important) secret to getting loads of traffic to your site from Pinterest: How to create the perfect Pin.
It probably goes without saying, but Pinterest relies on visuals, so it’s extremely important that the Pins you upload look attractive and, well…pinnable.
Here are a few tips on creating beautiful, attention-grabbing Pins for your blog:
Example: If your brand is punk rock, then something light and airy with pastel colors wouldn’t be on-brand, but something edgy and bold with bright colors would be. Colors and fonts are a great way to express your brand so be sure to choose wisely!
Below are two Pins that are different, yet similar. The trick is to use the same colors and fonts, and use photos that have a similar mood.
2. Create a template (or two)
The easiest way to maintain consistency (see above) is by creating templates for your Pins. That way, you can simply plug in different titles and images while keeping the overall look the same. (Bonus: This also saves you time!)
I shudder thinking about the awful blog graphics I had on my first website. They were all over the place, with no consistency in font, color, or size. Now I create all my Pins using Canva, a free online graphic design tool. You can create your own templates in Canva or use the templates that Canva provides that already have the ideal size and proportions for an attractive pin.
3. Stick to vertical pins only (No landscape, please!)
Vertical images (tall, not horizontal or square — see One Woman Shop’s example below!) tend to get more clicks and repins. One main reason is because they’re easier to see. Most Pinterest users are on their mobile devices, so it’s important to make your Pins easy on the eyes.
Images that use the ratio of 2:3 or 4:5 are best. I make my Pins 600px by 900px and it works perfectly. When I upload the Pin to my blog it doesn’t look overly huge, yet it looks clear when viewed on Pinterest.
This tip is short, but not always easy: Make sure you use an easy-to-read text overlay. Remember, most people are on their tiny phones looking at these pins. If pins are difficult to read, it’s unlikely they’ll inspire people to click or repin.
Beautiful images are key. If you’re using your own images, make sure they look professional (even if they’re shot from your iPhone). You want to avoid anything dark, out of focus, or messy-looking.
If you’re using stock photos, be sure to steer clear of anything cheesy. (You know what I mean. We’ve all seen those goofy photos with fake smiles and garish colors. Leave the cheesiness for the infomercials!) You want something on-brand and inspiring that your ideal client will love.
Some of my favorite stock photo sites are Haute Chocolate, SC Stockshop, and Bloguettes. They’re not free, but their photos are worth it. Instead of wading through pages and pages of questionable stock photography to find one beautiful, on-brand photo, you’ll have lots of gorgeous photos to choose from.
Remember to always keep your target audience in mind and choose photos that both showcase your brand and appeal to your peeps.
6. Get strategic with your blog titles
Creating a snappy title is just as important as creating consistent-looking Pins.
Your title needs to be specific and communicate exactly what your audience is going to get out of the article. You want to stir up an emotion in them and make them curious enough to click through to read your article or repin it to their board to read later.
For example, if you’re a health coach creating a Pin about what you eat in a day, the title “What I Ate Today” isn’t going to get many click throughs or repins. It’s too general.
Instead, try a title like “What a Health Coach Eats.” That’s much more intriguing, because your reader probably assumes that a health coach is more knowledgeable on healthy eats than the general public.
For extra credit, include a tantalizing subtitle. For our health coach example, you can try “What a Health Coach Eats (It Might Not Be What You Think!)” That title suggests that perhaps the health coach doesn’t eat healthy all the time, piquing your curiosity even more as to what exactly they eat. Makes you want to click through and see for yourself, doesn’t it?
The Pin description is the text that shows up under the Pin.
Your description should include keywords and phrases relevant to your blog post and brand to help people find your Pin when searching Pinterest. Explain the purpose of the article without giving too much away and perhaps even invite the pinner to click through to read more.
For instance, if someone was looking for a yellow chair on Pinterest, they would search “yellow chair.” If your pin is a picture of a yellow chair but doesn’t have the words “yellow chair” in the description, it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to find.
How exactly do you add descriptions to your Pins? When you upload your Pin to your blog post you’ll want to add the description to the Alt Text of the image. And if you’re using an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO you’ll want to write a description for the meta description, because sometimes this shows up on Pinterest too.
Once the Pin is uploaded to your site you can use your Pin It button to save to your Pinterest boards.
Make the most of your Pinterest presence
In addition to creating pinnable Pins, you’ll want to repin fresh content to your boards daily or almost daily (a mixture of your content and others’). Consistency is key! Pinterest rewards those who pin great content and often.
Pinterest is an amazing platform with tons of potential for driving high-quality traffic to your site. (And it’s so much fun!) Use these tips on how to create the perfect Pin and you’ll be on your way to growing your business using Pinterest!
Welcome to Shop Talk! While we love providing you with jam-packed, actionable posts, we also wanted to share quick, thought-provoking snippets here and there — from our brains to yours.
Often, our coaching clients and community members come to us feeling overwhelmed and like they have no space or time to breathe, let alone create. They’re stuck in firefighting mode and their wheels are turning…but the car ain’t moving. If you’re in this mode often or always, that’s part of a larger problem (a time scarcity mindset, a lack of prioritization, or an inability to say no, perhaps?).
But, inevitably, there will be times over the course of your solo biz when you will feel like you can barely keep the biz going because of a lack of time — self-care seems laughable and focusing on growth? Impossible.
Two common times for these feelings? During the holidays and during a product launch.
During these periods, we urge you to find the wiggle room. What do we mean by that? Find the moments here and there where you can make adjustments — i.e. wiggle free a bit more time.
Does your at-home workout need to be 1 hour or would 30 minutes of HIIT accomplish just as much today?
Do you need to make a gourmet meal or would a Crockpot meal — or even a microwavable meal — suffice just for tonight?
Do you need to walk to your coworking space or would it be okay to pay for an Uber (or tuk tuk, if you’re Cristina) this afternoon?
Do you need to post 25 pins on Pinterest per day or would 15 be enough this week?
Do you need to stick to your 4 times per week blog post schedule or will your readers understand if you cut it back to 3 times per week just this month?
You get the gist. Where can you find a bit of wiggle room today?
P.S. If you find yourself in this mode often, it might be time to reclaim your time. We can help…for free. Grab our free, 5-day email course below.
Your days, back in your hands.
Get instant access to 5 Days to Reclaiming Your Time, a free email course with the mindset shifts + action steps you need to get started in reframing your relationship with time. Sign up below!
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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 the past month, we opened up voting to let our readers pick their #1 site across each category below. We’re behind-the-scenes gathering those results as we speak — so check back soon for the results! (Or, better yet — get on our mailing list if you’re not already!)
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.
The sites to visit for all things marketing: blogging, social media, SEO, building your list, and developing a website that works.
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”…)
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.
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!”
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.”
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.”
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
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.)
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.
“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.
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.
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!
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.)
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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
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.”
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).
“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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.)
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.)
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.”
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.
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.)
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to Shop Talk! While we love providing you with jam-packed, actionable posts, we also wanted to share quick, thought-provoking snippets here and there — from our brains to yours.
One of our biggest takeaways from reading The E-Myth Revisited was how often business owners are focused on their own interests, wants, and whims instead of those of their customers and clients.
We want our businesses to be so fulfilling for us that we often overlook an extremely important end goal of any business: to generate profit by satisfying customers.
We’ve, of course, experienced this at OWS HQ. For example, around this time last year, we wanted to provide a content upgrade (read: bonus) on our 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs list. We wanted to add value to the already jam-packed list. Something new and exciting and special.
In the midst of the brainstorming process of what that upgrade should be, Sara had a simple idea: Why not use something valuable that we had already created that we thought would perfectly fit those who landed on #100BestSites? (That thing = The Road to Solopreneur Success ebook.)
We wouldn’t be creating something just to create it. We wouldn’t be pouring hours of work into something new.
But? It wouldn’t feel special. We wouldn’t be lit up by watching something we had created be put out into the world for the first time. (Because, as any solopreneur knows, you can’t beat the rush of launch day.)
But we quickly realized that we weren’t taking the easy or lazy way out. We were taking the most effective and efficient route — the one that made the most sense for us, yes, but also, for our audience. And there’s something to be said for that.
How can you put aside your own need for “specialness” and instead choose efficiency and effectiveness for your audience today?
“Having a 9-to-5 is the only way to get a mortgage, you know.”
“Don’t you want job security?”
“I guess you’re on a journey of ‘self-discovery’, right?”
If these quotes sound like your last family gathering, then you’re not alone.
Explaining your solopreneur venture to your family can be like trying to explain algebra to a trilobite. (That’s an extinct marine arthropod, FYI.) The idea of talking work at Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving or whatever it happens to be can fill solopreneurs with dread.
You haven’t got a “normal” answer. You can’t answer with a one word job title because you’re a saleswoman, a marketer, an accountant, a visionary, and an investor…all in one.
At best, being a solopreneur is brave, and at worst, it’s career suicide — according to family.
Explaining your vocation to your family will be different for everyone; no one family is the same. Levels of support vary and mindsets change.
First thing’s first: Take a deep breath. You aren’t alone.
Upsetting the apple cart
I know the struggle.
I moved to a place where there were no starter jobs. It was a place populated with the semi-retired. Moving again wasn’t an option and I spent months trying to land jobs that weren’t quite right for me. I had hundreds of rejections.
It was soul-destroying.
I knew in my gut that my writing ability was exceptional. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t got a mathematical bone in my body, but words? I can do that. I was also well-educated and published in several newspapers.
But I was never the right fit. Not enough years behind a desk. Not enough willingness to subscribe to the outdated keyword-stuffing SEO ideas that still run this city.
Despite this, my personal blogs were getting shared and commented on. I was the go-to for friends who needed something written, so why was the corporate world so dead set against me?
One day, I snapped. They didn’t want me, so I didn’t want them.
I discovered the world of copywriting, an industry I — somehow — never knew existed.
They wanted what was best for me and could only express that by chiding me, trying to nudge me in the direction of a safe, secure 9-to-5.
Remember…a lot of these naysayers — parents, grandparents, extended family — spent their working lives as small cogs in big machines. They could only achieve success by joining a company young and staying there until they retired, slowly climbing the rank ladder.
There was little room for career moves, and entrepreneurship belonged only to those who could afford to be idle. In other words…it only happened to other people.
They don’t get it. They’re not being malicious, they’re just confused and worried.
The best way to assuage their fears is to be confident.
Know exactly what you’re doing and be proud of it. If you’re unflappable, they’re more likely to realize they don’t need to fret.
You never know. A cousin might be belittling your work because they’re envious of your bravery and wish they could do what you do.
When they realize how much you’re willing to sacrifice for your dream, they’ll be far more likely to offer a helping hand or a hug — without the whisper of, “I told you so.”
You’re in control, but you could use a sympathetic ear. That’s no different from someone in an office job suffering from burnout.
The uncertainty and quips about “real work” mostly stem from misinformation. If you break down that barrier in a calm, friendly way, you’ll never have to worry about awkward, talking-to-a-brick-wall moments at family gatherings ever again.
(Yes, they’ll still worry. They’re your family.)
But they’ll also be happy for you, and when you work for yourself, that counts for a lot.