Starting a blog takes dedication and thorough planning. Starting successful blogs requires a whole lot more.
You have to think of exactly what you want to do with the blog design, type of content, and how to engage readers, among other things.
Is it going to be a personal blog, or a WordPress blog, maybe? What about a lifestyle blog or a health and fitness blog?
You get the idea. There are so many awesome blog examples and each one could be on a different blogging platform.
So, to kick-start your thought process, we’ve put together 21 successful blog examples that won’t just inspire but will also help you monetize your own blog.
We’re going to break down the different approaches each of the best blog examples use, identify the key features that make their design effective, and give you plenty of actionable tips that you can apply on your own blog.
Humans of New York (HONY) is one of those photography and travel blogs that blew up thanks to Facebook.
Chronicling the daily lives of normal people, this blog takes user experience very seriously and it is one of the best photography blog examples out there.
The moment the visitor lands on the home page of HONY, they can choose from three main categories of the blog: stories, countries, or series.
It’s simple but effective, it’s something that many blogs do and it brings the user directly to the content they are most interested in.
This way the user can get familiar with the site in a more streamlined way. Consider creating a few main categories or curated lists to give your blog structure and simplify the user experience.
Best ideas to borrow: categories or curated lists of topical content.
This is one of the blog examples on this list that we can’t recommend enough.
Tasha and Joseph’s One Big Happy Life is living proof that if you pick a good niche for your blog, you will get your business far.
The blog focuses on providing financial advice and it is one of the best blog examples in that niche. Aside from that, you’ll learn about education, and find tips on how to build wealth and live happily, but in a real-life context.
Combining aspects of family life, a lifestyle blog, and a parenting blog, One Big Happy Life tackles difficult financial questions in a down-to-earth way and it’s part of the reason why it’s one of the more profitable blogs out there.
Knowing your niche and target audience is key to building a successful blog like this one.
Best ideas to borrow: combining multiple niches, ultra-precise audience targeting.
3. Love, Taza
If you’re still looking for lifestyle blog examples, this one could be right up your street.
Naomi is a lifestyle blogger that has been blogging about her life in NYC, Washington DC, and more recently in Arizona for the best part of the 21st century.
Love, Taza’s strong point is its overall design and ultra-high-quality photography.
The blogs’ color scheme and visual elements, from buttons to the logo and favicon, don’t take away from the big images accompanying all the blog posts.
Best ideas to borrow: high-quality photography, strong visual branding.
Cookie and Kate is one of the most popular food blog examples out there and also one of the best food blog examples with a clean and minimalist design.
This solo blogger uses a mainly black and white web design that helps the green accent color pop in the main header, as well as a highlight color for links.
Like with most food blogs and recipe blogs, the overall focus of the site is on food photography and recipes.
Cookie and Kate have paid attention to great post previews to grab the visitor’s attention and that’s what makes it one of the best blogs in the food blog sector.
Each new post features two enticing photos of the dish and a big and easy-to-notice link to the blog post.
Best ideas to borrow: bold use of accent colors, minimalist design.
In a world full of food blogs, you need to put a twist on yours to stand out. Minimalist Baker has gone and done just that.
As you might have guessed, this website is built around the topic of minimalism, both in terms of design and content.
Plus, Minimalist Baker is another blog to add to the blog examples list for having a strong niche.
It pledges to celebrate simple cooking: most of their recipes either require 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl, and 30 minutes or less to prepare.
This helps the blog to differentiate itself from every other food blog out there.
The WordPress blog also uses very colorful and well-designed icons to inform its readers about different allergens in their recipes, something that improves the user experience considerably.
Best ideas to borrow: use of iconography, a unique angle.
More inspiration this way:
Just One Cookbook is a recipe blog that’s run by Japanese Nami and, unsurprisingly, the site focuses on Japanese cuisine and home cooking.
Unlike the other food blog examples on our list, Just One Cookbook opts for a grid layout on the majority of its pages.
This, combined with clever design elements like dividers and icons, makes the pages easy to navigate and view.
The home page also focuses on showcasing different recipe collections, where the author combines recipes that go well together.
Since the best blog examples all post on a daily basis, finding ways to reuse content, in this example the author is grouping together posts to create new posts.
Best ideas to borrow: great use of graphic elements, content collections.
Starting a DIY and home design blog can be a little daunting, but Pretty Handy Girl sets a great example.
The blog’s homepage features article collections in a handy grid format, from decorating to plumbing and it’s a theme you’ll see a lot in this list of blog examples.
Successful blogs do it this way because the visitor can quickly find what they’re looking for without having to search for it.
Pay attention to how transparent Pretty Handy Girl is about its affiliate partnerships, too because they are what make this blog successful.
The links for potential partnerships are featured as big buttons at the top of the page, and an affiliate disclosure is part of the footer of the site.
If you want to transform your blog into an online platform that really makes money, affiliate marketing is the way to go. Amazon affiliate links are a very popular and simple way to get started.
Best ideas to borrow: complete partnership transparency.
It might come as a surprise to some, but Zoe Sugg aka Zoella was a blogger before she became one of the biggest lifestyle gurus sharing her personal story on YouTube.
True to her roots, the Zoella blog covers all things like lifestyle tips, fashion, pop culture, and beauty.
The blog has a very simple and minimalist design, which makes the bold serif typography stand out.
The white space makes the images pop and grabs the visitor’s attention too.
If you’re running an online store alongside your blog, do what Zoella does: include links to particular categories of your store in your menu.
Best ideas to borrow: clever use of white space, bespoke typography.
You should add Sincerely Jules to the best fashion blog examples list because it’s just great.
Sticking with the black and white minimalist vibe, this blog started off as a creative outlet for fashion blogger Julie Sariñana but has since evolved to this go-to site for all things style inspiration.
Pay attention to how Sincerely Jules has integrated an online store on the front page and used high-quality images throughout.
At the bottom of each post, the visitors can easily browse through the items featured in the article too.
This makes it absolutely effortless for the visitor to shop the look, even if they are short on time.
Best ideas to borrow: product/shop integration on landing pages.
Looking for a way for your essays and educational articles to see the light of day?
Check out The Quintessential Mind, a self-development and psychology blog by Adrian Iliopoulos.
This site acts as the dumping ground for Adrian’s thoughts on all topics related to self-improvement.
One particularly noteworthy feature of The Quintessential Mind is its landing page header section.
Rather than crowding the home page with previews of different blogs, the visitor is greeted with a full-width featured article section.
This is a great way to create a calm and sophisticated atmosphere for your site.
Best ideas to borrow: featured hero content and posts.
11. Bad Yogi
The Bad Yogi blog makes our blog examples list for its unparalleled authenticity.
Erin Motz started the personal blog in order to create a space for real people who enjoyed yoga and who didn’t fit the stereotypical mold of a ‘yogi.’
Her blog has since grown to a YouTube channel, a clothing line, and multiple online courses, but her message still resonates throughout the Bad Yogi brand.
This blog is a great example of a well-executed niche in a giant market and how popular blogs can transform into other forms with a new online community.
Take a page out of Erin’s book and look for topics to blog about that aren’t covered by mainstream bloggers. Get creative and find what makes your blog unique.
Best ideas to borrow: choosing an underserved niche in a huge market.
Following other examples of blogs on our list, ‘almost makes perfect’ is a minimalist lifestyle, food, and DIY blog.
What sets this blog apart from the others, however, is its creative and fun home page layout, blog covers, and lifestyle posts.
Rather than opting for standardized post previews, ‘almost makes perfect’ mixes things up by varying the lengths of the previews and the number of photos and links.
This helps to liven up the white and beige-hued web design and keeps the readers engaged and moving along the page.
Note how the photos are featured with Pinterest in mind: hovering over any photo allows the user to pin it as a Pinterest post.
Best ideas to borrow: smooth Pinterest integration.
13. A Cup of Jo
Joanna Goddard’s A Cup of Jo pulled off what many bloggers with personal blogs are dying to pull off: creating a catchy and clever blog name.
New bloggers take note: an easy-to-remember blog name that also doubles as the blog’s domain is a must if you’re looking to grow your blog following.
If the blog name is too long or complicated, nobody will remember it and you’ll lose valuable traffic to your website and it doesn’t matter what marketing tools you use, you’ll never catch up/
A Cup of Jo also does a good job of keeping its layout clear and intuitive. Including a ‘You might like this’ section at the bottom of each page is a great way to keep the visitors browsing the style tips on the blog for longer.
Consider introducing something similar to your blog, especially if you’re struggling with retaining your visitors on your pages or if their average session duration isn’t that long.
Best ideas to borrow: domain-worthy blog name, ‘Read more’ section.
Breaking Into Startups is an inspirational content marketing blog that shares the stories of startup professionals and entrepreneurs and offers free resources to help your personal development.
This blog looks really simple. There is an image slider at the top, blog posts in the middle, and a newsletter form in the footer.
Its design simplicity is echoed by its content strategy. When it comes to examples of blogs, you can consider Breaking Into Startups the top example of high-quality content being put out infrequently.
That’s often the best course of action for a tech blog that’s already established, but a new blog might struggle with this strategy.
Additionally, what makes tech blogs like this more engaging is that it offers a free guide full of helpful tips called “The 5 Step Challenge.”
The course explains all of the important steps that you should take before jumping into the startup industry. It’s a great downloadable resource for people new to the startup industry.
Best ideas to borrow: downloadable content, infrequent yet high-quality content.
The 500px blog is one of the best blog examples if you are looking for places to learn about photography, thanks to its up-to-date and insightful content.
If you want to create a successful blog of your own, there are a few tips and tricks that you can learn from this photography blog.
First, many photography blogs categorize posts so that the visitors can easily find articles that they’re interested in. In the 500px blog, there are thirteen categories available, from Tutorials to Gear Reviews – plenty to sink one’s teeth into.
The most inspiring categories are ‘A Day In The Life’ and ‘Humble Beginnings.’ People can read about a photographer’s daily work life and how they’ve become professionals in this field.
Secondly, 500px is a prime example of why you successful blogs should always be linked with your social media accounts.
Lastly, a good blog should offer variety, so invite your readers to write for your blog.
The 500px blog does this so that the range of content is more attractive and engaging. Just make sure that the guest posts are still about topics relevant to your audience.
Best ideas to borrow: integrated Facebook and Twitter widgets.
16. Wellness Mama
Wellness Mama is a wellness blog that mostly shares lifestyle and beauty tips, as well as healthy recipes and other related topics of mom life.
Overall, it is a reliable learning source for mothers and women who want to live a healthier life and be more environmentally friendly.
The team behind this blog is aware that health-related subjects are very sensitive. Therefore, it asks for professional help on almost every blog post, unlike most parenting blogs out there.
That’s why you will see a doctor’s profile along with the author’s details at the top of the article. This is one of the most reassuring ways to maintain your credibility and build trust when blogging.
Wellness Mama also features a disclaimer to remind its visitors to consult a professional before following any of the blog’s recommendations.
This is a perfect example of how to write blog posts on complicated topics, without risking any legal problems.
Another reason subscribers love Wellness Mama is that it seldom displays sponsored content. Even if a certain product appears on a post, it is usually because the writer personally uses it.
To top it all off, the comments section on every blog post is usually very active. The writers and readers don’t shy away from giving answers and recommendations if someone asks for help.
Best ideas to borrow: legitimate sources of information, active comments section.
17. Thought Catalog
Thought Catalog is a blog geared towards teens and young adults. Readers can submit personal stories and get feedback from the community.
People love this blog because it’s raw and honest; readers can get support from people with the same experiences, and one doesn’t have to be an experienced writer to get published with this online resource.
Currently, there are over 110,000 articles and most of them are user-submitted.
This crowdsourcing method is helpful for both the blog owner and the readers.
The owner doesn’t have to worry about running out of article ideas and the readers have a great medium to voice their thoughts and get feedback.
If you want to allow user-submitted blog posts, we recommend setting up clear guidelines that your contributors can follow.
Follow blog examples like this one and be sure to only feature articles that match your brand and your values to keep things consistent.
Best ideas to borrow: feature user-generated content.
18. Create Cultivate
Create Cultivate is an online blog example for female professionals and businesswomen. It offers tips and tricks on how to advance your career, start your own business, and improve your skills.
Featuring articles related to finance and career development requires Create Cultivate to find credible sources. That’s why most of the blog posts are interviews with employees or business owners.
People share insights from their experiences so that you as a reader can gain a different perspective on the topics being discussed.
And to prevent it all from becoming too serious or boring, Create Cultivate likes to use pull quotes throughout their blog posts to highlight the important takeaways.
This is especially helpful for skimmer readers so that they don’t miss out on essential information even if they don’t have the time to read the entire piece.
Best ideas to borrow: sign-posted copy to accommodate web skimmers.
19. The Kitchn
As you might’ve guessed from the name, this blog mainly talks about homemade recipes and topics related to kitchen life.
It’s the go-to place for anyone who wants to learn how to cook, plan a diet, or organize a kitchen.
The Kitchn is another excellent example of how to organize blogs well. Aside from providing categories, The Kitchn also has subcategories so people can easily find articles that interest them the most and even share them on social media.
Under the Recipes category, for example, you can filter out the posts based on their ingredients, meal types, and your dietary restrictions.
However, that’s not the only reason why people prefer The Kitchn over the other food blogs.
All posts include a link from Chicory where you can buy all the ingredients mentioned in the article. In just a few hours, you can have all of them delivered to your home.
How user-friendly is that?
Best ideas to borrow: handy integrations, category filters.
20. Dan Flying Solo
You might be surprised to know that Dan Flying Solo is a one-person blog.
Dan, the owner and its sole contributor, shows that you can design, write, grow, and make money off a blog – all the tools you need are in one WordPress website.
Dan is passionate about sharing his travel experiences with the world. His travel blog gives useful tips, lists his favorite destinations, and even recommends local businesses in every country he visited.
The page navigation is great on this travel blog too. The countries are listed by continent and there is a complete list of social media links at the top right corner – making it easy for readers to reach out to him.
Although he’s going at it alone, Dan manages to keep his travel blog frequently updated – even if he has to write using his phone.
To create a compelling traveling blog like Dan Flying Solo, you’ll also need to master your photography skills.
Best ideas to borrow: frequently publishing new content, stunning photography.
No surprise that the Financial Diet isn’t actually a health and fitness blog. Obviously, it is a financial blog that talks about money in an honest way.
Originally set up by writer Chelsea Fagan to blog about her personal budget, The Financial Diet brand has since expanded to include a YouTube channel, a podcast, and even a book.
The blog remains active and now publishes many high-quality guest posts by other aspiring writers.
This way the team behind the blog is able to engage with their community.
The web design supports this community approach and focuses on the blog’s content.
The carousel on top of the home page displays the hot and trending blog posts. Meanwhile, the static menu bar features the top categories, thus making it easy for the visitor to toggle between different types of content.
Best ideas to borrow: outstanding community engagement, clear design.
22. Nerd fitness
If you’re looking for health and fitness blogs that aren’t geared towards athletes and supermodels but more for an everyday person then the popular fitness blog Nerd fitness could be the one for you.
This health and fitness blog covers a wide range of workouts designed to help beginners gain muscle and lose weight.
We love fitness blogs like this that have a quirky design. What’s more, the blog also offers tons of free downloadable content such as workout planners, downloadable guides, and courses.
Best ideas to borrow: interesting design, downloadable content.
23. I am a food blog
If you’re a budding food blogger take note: a simple domain name can be just as effective as the cute ones.
It’s a theme that runs throughout the whole website, whether it is the high contrast style that has been used by the web designer to make all the recipes stand out or the magazine-style layout which really highlights the amazing food photography.
This blog also has quite an unusual layout which places the search bar below the fold which allows the author to present featured blogs or affiliate sponsored blogs higher up to receive more traffic and increase conversions.
Changing the location of the search bar doesn’t have to be such a big problem because this site has an excellent hidden sidebar that gives a clean look and works perfectly for anyone browsing on smaller screens.
Another interesting idea that you might want to borrow from this blog example is the top ten list which is great for user engagement as it allows them to rank their favorite recipes and offers more opportunities for user interaction with the website.
Best ideas to borrow: exciting UX, highlighting sponsored posts.
24. Hey Nadine
Nadine Sykora is the archetypal travel blogger and vlogger. Her website documents her travels around the world over the last 10 years.
It should come as no surprise that social media is a huge part of any aspiring travel writer’s arsenal and Hey Nadine is no different.
YouTube and Instagram links both feature heavily on this website and it is a great way to diversify your traffic and increase your presence on other platforms with different opportunities.
Nadine has diversified her website’s potential for profit by releasing a travel guide eBook and also offers travel equipment that she recommends through affiliate links.
Successful bloggers understand how to create additional income from their website that doesn’t require them to cover their site in advertisements that make for a poor user experience.
Hey Nadine is the perfect blog to show you how to up your output while keeping your website visitors happy.
Best ideas to borrow: affiliate selling, Instagram integration.
25. Hacker Noon
Hacker Noon is every tech lover’s dream.
0A regularly updated, well-written technology blog with a dedicated crowd of regular visitors and commenters and some of the best web designs you’re ever going to find and especially not on your run-of-the-mill WordPress websites.
Starting with that design which harks back to the early days of computing and is pretty much what everyone thinks of whenever they picture a hacker.
Well, you don’t have to open the terminal to get around this website because the navigation here is perfectly on point.
We like the way that featured posts are spotlighted at the top of the page to encourage more reading and that other suggestions are left below the fold.
One unique feature here is that anyone can contribute to Hacker Noon as long as they have an account with the website.
Hacker Noon uses a great CTA – “Start writing” which leads to the sign-up page where users can get started.
This is a terrific example of knowing your audience, and knowing what will catch their interest, and using that knowledge to drive conversions, which, in this case, are signups.
Whatever kind of conversions you want to drive with your blog, Hacker Noon is a perfect example to follow to help you optimize your site.
Best ideas to borrow: Great calls to action, excellent design.
Deadspin is the ultimate sports blog and there are plenty of reasons why it is one of the most popular sports blogs in the US.
The first of which is that you get the information that you are looking for straight away at the top of the page.
Why do 90% of website visitors come to a blog about sports? To find out the results.
The very first thing you’ll see on Deadspin other than the site’s logo are the scores of all the most recent games in every sport that they cover.
It’s a terrific example of pinpointing the number 1 desire of your visitors and placing it front and center.
In other words, it’s just excellent UX.
Still, we also love plenty of other things about this website.
It’s a satirical sports news blog and yet manages to pull off the exact look of a real professional sportscasters website to such an extent that Deadspin might well manage to siphon off traffic from the big players.
Best ideas to borrow: Focus on UX, copy with pride from popular designs.
Harper and Harley have all the elements of an excellent fashion blog. It’s sleek, stylish, and aspirational and that is exactly what the readers of this online publication are looking for.
Unlike a lot of blogs of this style, Harper and Harley do not feature a large number of different posts on the homepage. In fact, there isn’t much text there at all.
Instead, Harper and Harley prefer to work with a lot of large, high-resolution images that can illustrate the looks that are being created just as well as any amount of text could do, if not better.
You’ll find new posts and outfit ideas, as well as seasonal posts, lists, and tips in the sidebar.
It’s also where you’ll find a prominent subscriber box that encourages visitors to enter their personal information by letting them know ahead of time exactly what they can expect if they do decide to subscribe to Harper and Harley.
The trick is that they let you know in a clever tagline that acts as a unifying brand mission statement for the blog as a whole.
“A black, white, and grey style philosophy is only one click away.”
It’s a simple and effective way to tell users what they can expect every time an email from Harper and Harley arrives in their inbox. Not only does this encourage email signups but by delivering on your promises you can also expect to have much higher email open and engagement rates which is going to be a godsend for your marketing efforts.
Best ideas to borrow: Increase subscriptions with clear instructions for the user, always work with only the best quality images.
What is a blog?
In its simplest form, a blog is a website that mainly consists of posts or entries about a particular subject.
A great blog is updated regularly by either one or many authors and usually aims to be informative or inspirational.
You’ve probably heard about fashion and lifestyle blogs run by online influencers, but blogs can be hugely beneficial for businesses and other niches, too.
Online stores’ blogs can feature their top seasonal products or provide tips on how to get the most out of the store’s products.
A service provider could share industry insights and expertise, and a hobbyist can use a blog as a way to connect with other like-minded people.
Blogs are great tools for strong content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing strategies, too.
Creating blog content around particular search terms (e.g. ‘best backpacks 2021’ or ‘how to keep my cactus alive’) is a great way to generate organic traffic to your website.
Similarly, being able to link your Facebook or Instagram followers to your blog for a more in-depth answer to their questions cements you as an expert in the niche.
What makes a good blog?
There are some key takeaways that you should’ve gotten from the 27 blog examples above.
Sure, they are all very stylish but you don’t necessarily have to hire a web developer if you want to be up there with the popular blogs yourself.
A free WordPress theme will do the trick and there are hundreds of YouTube WordPress tutorials to help you learn as well – and just think, with the money you make you could invest in a premium WordPress theme one day when you’re ready to level up your content.
Still, just in case it was all too much to take in, here are the top things to pay attention to when you’re learning how to start blogging:
- A simple design. A clutter-free design and a simple WordPress theme will improve the reading experience, and encourage people to stay engaged for longer too.
- Good page navigation. Make it easy for the readers to jump between pages by providing a simple menu, categories, and subcategories.
- Regular content. Consistency is important to maintain the number of readers and keep them coming back.
- Uniqueness. Your blog should have a distinct voice or angle so it can stand out among competitors.
- Engaging activities. Connect with your readers through the comment section by answering their questions and being open to their content suggestions.
- Informative content. Write posts that are useful and compelling while making sure they align with your brand image and style at the same time.
Your blog won’t become the next big thing overnight.
But as long as you do some research on the basics of search engine optimization and update your blog consistently, you can grow it into a money-making machine.