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