The Best Business Blogs on Starting Up
The U.S. Small Business Administration was set up by Congress in 1953 to “aid, counsel, assist and protect … the interests of small business concerns.” Since then, they’ve grown significantly and provide a wide range of programs to encourage small enterprise. The website has a large quantity of information on virtually every aspect of operating a small business, as well as details on funding options and requirements for becoming a government contractor.
Their business blog is actually relatively hidden on the site—there’s simply so much information provided that crowds it out. Most recent posts provide advice for small to medium businesses on topics like financial tips for starting a business from home, training your first employees, and the biggest marketing mistakes new entrepreneurs tend to make.
Backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and supported by a network of 10,000 volunteer business mentors, SCORE delivers low-cost and free consulting services to entrepreneurs who need help growing their businesses or navigating uncharted territory. Their business blog features hundreds of resources covering a wide-range of topics applicable to starting up, including advice and contributions from entrepreneurs like Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran.
Derek Sivers’ blog uses one of the simplest layouts on the net—on purpose. Derek has had a varied career, which includes time as a musician, producer, circus performer, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and book publisher. He uses his blog, which is more than just a business blog, to demonstrate his fascination with the psychology of self-improvement, business, philosophy, and culture.
Derek often uses his posts to ponder topics at the intersection of work and life. For example, in his essay, Don’t start a business until people are asking you to, he wonders why people try to start a business too early: “I meet a lot of people who want to start a business. Some don’t have an idea yet. I don’t understand this. It’s like wanting to wear a bandage when you don’t have a wound.”
Known for his generosity with his time, Derek often shares tips and feedback to those who reach out to him. And in a recent piece of advice Derek shared with me on the topic of the biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make, he professed, “Start now. For an idea to get big, it has to be useful—and being useful doesn’t need funding. If you want to be useful, you can always start right now with just 1% of what you have in your grand vision. It’ll be a humble prototype of your grand vision, but you’ll be in the game.”
As its name indicates, the WPBeginner website is designed to be a beginner’s guide to using the content management system WordPress, showing newbie web designers (or anyone setting up their own blogs) how to setup a WordPress site quickly. Their business blog is full of helpful hints, tips, and tutorials on how to best set up your WordPress-powered, and how to optimize it for driving in new readers. You’ll find posts covering virtually everything from the best WordPress themes for hotels, to more advanced topics involving deep customizations.
ConvertKit is an email marketing platform, predominantly built for bloggers, podcasters, service-based business owners, course creators, and YouTubers. It is not surprising, therefore, that they’ve invested heavily in building a business blog that does a great job of teaching people how to make a living online.
They split their blog into two types of posts. Like all business blogs, they publish regular articles on various topics relating to building an online business. However, more unusually, they also publish a monthly issue of their new online magazine, called Tradecraft. Each issue focuses on a theme and contains articles related to that theme. Recent themes have included, “Building Your Businesses with Online Courses,” “The Freelancer’s Field Guide” and “Design for Non-Designers.”
James Clear himself states that the central question driving his work is, “How can we live better?” This writer, entrepreneur, and travel photographer has been sharing his thoughts online for nearly a decade. In many ways, his site is much more than just a business blog, with posts covering how to create better habits, stronger creative thinking, increased physical performance, optimal health, and lifelong learning. Of course, the core thesis being that any business in its formative stages will grow immeasurably if its owners improve on these aspects of their personal lives, too.
Entrepreneur on Fire is best known for its podcast, a runaway success that features interviews with some of the world’s top entrepreneurs. As of today, there have been more than 1,700 episodes of the podcast, a daily broadcast where host John Lee Duma chats with successful entrepreneurs, detailing their journey and lessons learned. The blog is complementary to the podcast, expanding on the audio content, sharing from behind the scenes of the business and recapping their monthly income reports.
James Altucher is a well-known entrepreneur, angel investor and prolific writer. After getting his start with a side hustle building websites while working his first job out of college, James sold that company for $15 million and promptly went broke. He has started 20 companies, 17 of which failed, but James continued to learn from each failure. In his worst moments, James became horribly depressed, but upon hitting rock bottom, realized that his successes in life only happened when he choose to invest in himself. Now, James runs a popular podcast, The James Altucher Show alongside his business blog where he writes about investing, entrepreneurship, self-publishing and choosing yourself.
Manta is a great online resource for small business owners. They provide products, services, and educational opportunities to assist entrepreneurs in becoming more competitive within their industries. Their business blog includes a range of articles providing small business news, tips and advice. They also provide research data on various topics, insight and advice from industry leaders, webinars, and a range of free courses for beginners, pros and experts at what they call The Academy.
Nolo began publishing DIY legal guides for small business owners way back in 1971, long before it became a business blog. Now one of the world’s leading online legal resources, Nolo seeks to demystify the day-to-day legalities of running a small business. With a dedication to providing readers with high quality, free legal content on topics like how to structure agreements with independent contractors, to writing a legally sound business plan, starting an LLC and more, they’re a great first stop for getting a checklist of to-do’s during your business formation days.
As its name suggests, The Penny Hoarder is predominantly a personal finance website, which has the aim of helping its visitors to save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. One of the main sections on this business blog is about side gigs, and it includes numerous articles suggesting many different ways you can earn additional income. Another important category is on working from home, which similarly showcases ideas about how to set up a home-based business utilizing your existing skills to generate some extra income.
TheSelfEmployed is a perfectly named website for the content it provides reader—its title describes the blog’s focus to a “T.” This business blog contains a large number of articles covering startups, e-commerce, insurance, the gig economy, tech, office, taxes, law, funding and marketing. Any small business owner will be able to find answers to virtually any business-related question here.
Foundr is primarily a free business blog that contains countless articles on a wide range of topics relevant to startup founders, aspiring entrepreneurs and young businesses. Their content mainly covers topics like growth marketing, getting started in your niche, productivity hacks and leadership advice.
They also have a (paid) monthly digital magazine aimed at young entrepreneurs. You can either purchase individual issues, take out a monthly or yearly subscription to get insider access to in-depth interviews with successful entrepreneurs.
This business blog is connected to The Harvard Business Review magazine. It contains the same articles as in the magazine, complete with a large archive. This means that there are limits to what you can look at online for free, but if you simply peruse articles on the site without registering, you can access three or more posts per month. If you register for a free account with your email address, that doubles your quota to six articles per month. To see any more of their highly detailed articles, however, you need to get a subscription.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business uses its Insights blog to share management research and insights from its global community of experts and leaders. They state the goal of their business blog as being, “to provide current and aspiring leaders with the information and ideas they need to help change lives, organizations, and the world.” Articles cover a wide range of business–related topics, in virtually every discipline taught at the university.
Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics produces a blog that features insights and stories from professors, notable alumni and entrepreneurs in the broader Southern California community. Although many of the posts on the school’s business blog relate to alumni accomplishments in business, much of the content looks at faculty research into various aspects of business.
This is the official website for Alex Padilla, California’s current Secretary of State. While it’s not a traditional business blog, as such, this website does contain a wide range of information that will be of great use to businesses in the state of California. While there is obviously a California bias to the content and FAQs, this site collects information relating to country, state, and federal agencies that small business owners need to be aware of. It brings together all the information a California business owner needs to know in order to navigate the often complex governmental and tax systems in the state.
The Small Businesses and Self-Employed section of the IRS website brings together a ton of information, with a particular focus on what new business owners need to know about federal tax obligations. Their content covers everything from deciding whether you’re really operating a business (rather than just working on a hobby), to recordkeeping requirements, checklists for starting a business, and how to calculate quarterly tax estimates.
This is entrepreneur and bestselling author Ramit Sethi’s flagship business blog. The blog’s title, under the same name as his book, clearly describes Ramit’s mission. Through his in-depth content, he aims to teach readers how to use psychology and systems to live what he calls, “a rich life.” Although he also provides premium courses, Ramit claims to give 98% of his content away for free. His often massively long guides cover insider techniques on psychology, negotiation, automation and earning more, alongside detailed case studies of how his tactics have been put to use out in the real world.
Seanwes is the blog of Sean McCabe, an entrepreneur and designer who’s created numerous successful online courses covering varying topics related to design and building a business. As well as the business blog, Sean recently wrote a book called Overlap, he shares inspirational videos via a daily show, and releases a weekly podcast. His blog posts cover self-development and business topics, seeking to motivate readers to build their skills and improve their performance.
CreativeLive’s business blog features insights, interviews, and detailed breakdowns from experts like Tim Ferriss, Richard Branson, Mark Cuban and others who’ve come through to teach online classes on the platform. However, business is just one of five topic categories covered on the CreativeLive blog. There are hundreds of quality posts that focus on self-employment, to small business ownership, building a personal brand, how to make it in the world of photography, and so much more.
Mixergy features interviews and courses with over 1,100 business founders. These founders come from a wide variety of backgrounds including eCommerce, social media, marketplaces, physical products, B2B and SaaS companies. The topics host and founder Andrew Warner covers on this business blog include marketing, bootstrapping, selling your business, sales, driving traffic and customer acquisition. Mixergy was started with the vision of becoming a place where the ambitious learn from a mix of experienced mentors through interviews and courses.
Influencive describes itself as a source for unconventional wisdom and influential minds. This business blog publishes posts about general business, crafting a winning mindset, entrepreneurship, growth hacking, lifestyle, branding, social media, health, fitness and more. They also include a library of their favorite books they believe every entrepreneur needs to read.
Marie Forleo describes herself as, “an entrepreneur, writer, philanthropist and unshakable optimist dedicated to helping you become the person you most want to be.” Her business blog is a combination of transformative free content and paid online training programs. Many of her business-related posts (and videos) focus on building the right mindset to be successful. She also covers topics like how to create a sustainable side hustle, retraining your psychology around business and much more.
Guy Kawasaki is renowned for his online advice and active social media presence. He’s currently the chief evangelist of Canva, the online graphic design tool suite. A large part of his past was spent as the chief evangelist at Apple. His business blog covers an eclectic variety of topics he’s written about over the past couple decades, although new content is published infrequently today. Guy has written 13 books, all of which are covered in detail on his blog, including access to his two Skillshare classes and a number of TED talks he’s delivered.
Tim Ferriss became a household name with his book, The 4-Hour Workweek. He’s subsequently written three more books and set up The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, which has received 150+ million downloads to date. His business blog has been ranked #1 on the list of the Top 150 Management and Leadership Blogs for many years. Tim has a love of technology, and many of his posts discuss how people can use technology to improve their productivity in their businesses.