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The Amazing Women of 2011

Ory Okolloh
Image via Wikipedia

Over the last year there has been lots of positive influences on Birds on the Blog, so together we have put together a huge list of all these amazing women for you to have a look at and gain inspiration from.

We are an eclectic group so the women we recommend are as diverse as we are.

They are in no specific order… Where possible we have made some notes as to what we find amazing about them.

Andrea Vahl/Grandma Mary social media made fun, fab videos and webinars, you will always learn something from the Grandma.

Ory Okolloh The Kenyan Pundit is heading to Google and will be directing policy for Africa for them. Hopefully she’ll continue her groundbreaking blog.

Beth Wodzinski – The Fiction-writing Directorate being a sci fi fan, I kick myself for not visiting as much as I should.

Catherine Caine –  Cash & Joy BeAwesomeOnline for fun filled websites, filled with visual promise. Catherine is a popular blogger with an eye for colour.

Bushra Burney is the caffeinated muslim. She writes warm and witty posts about her coffee addiction and on being a Muslim. It’s an entertaining read.

Kelly Kingman- Sticky eBooks Kelly has her eye on the ebook world and shares it in her blog. she has also created a great series on making your ecourse work with Pace Smith.

Maureen Carruthers – Low Hanging Fruit Maureen is a swift worker, and has turned around a fantastic ebook in 7 days for the readers of her site. If you are a non profit, go and check her out. Get the ebook and send it to your non profit friends, I saw an advanced copy before Christmas and it was stunning.

Naomi Dunford – Ittybiz –  A link to her that doesn’t mention swearing or x ratings 😉  Back in September she recorded an MP3 for her son, Oh the place’s you’ll go, a much loved Dr Seuss story. Go have a listen. Enjoy.

Pamela Wilson – Big Brand System: The design membership website and the one woman campaign to get us to use fonts that are not Verdana. Pamela writes pop culture style blogs about the Mad Men as well excellent, influential design blogs.

Sally Quilford One of our  Facebook writing friends, she writes a regular column for Writer’s Forum magazine, and updates the writing competition calendar as well – this can also be found on Facebook.
Inspiring because as well as writing herself, she is also very encouraging and supportive to other writers. And you can also read her nanowrimo novel online here – it’s a mad science fiction and romantic romp, with robots and everything. Ann loved it, and rewarded herself for writing her own words, by allowing herself to read the latest episode.

Nicola Morgan – Another writing blog from a self described “crabbit old bat” who knows her stuff when it comes to publishing. Her non fiction book Write to be Published is due out next year, looking forward to it.

Kayla Coo -An embroidery blog – lovely visual feast of the art embroidery of Michala Gyetvai – the most gorgeous landscapes.

Liz Plummer’s textile arts blog, where she writes about her creative processes. We love her latest quilted headboard. Also check out her Etsy shop

Diana L Guerrero aka the Ark Lady. The Ark Lady is surrounded by friends and fans. Guerrero is no stranger to the media and is an animal expert whose comments are regularly featured in the news. If you are looking to communicate better with animals, then check out Diana’s blog – Ark Animals

Dr Petra Boynton Academic and sex educator – she often comments on issues related with sexuality in the news. Everything from World AIDS day to Page 3, sex education and the media.

The Skepchick blog Several female bloggers here, taking a skeptical look at various issues in the news. Recent blogs have covered “intelligent design”,  the vaccination controversy, women in science…and regular links to interesting posts about science.

Laura Roeder is an inspiration to young women everywhere, her creating fame program was incredibly successful and her Dash newsletter is one of the fastest growing newsletters on the web. Go check Laura out

Rachel Matthews – Successful Garden Design Rachel brings garden design into the 21st century. Using internet marketing techniques she has successfully put her her business offline and online, firmly on the map. An inspiration to women with a bricks and mortar business everywhere.

Sonia Simone – Remarkable Communications Co founder of the Third Tribe, founder of the Remarkables and fabulous communicator, Sonia shows that business can be done another way. It doesn’t have to be they way “they” tell you, you can carve your own path.

Tessa Shepperson – Solicitor Online Blog Tessa also shares guest posts over here about her popular membership sites. Look out for the next installment to this in the next few days. Landlords and tenants can take advantage of Tessa’s fab resource site. If you are in property, you need to go and take a look.

Wendy Cholbi – “Wendy Cholbi – Training wheels for your website” Wendy has a terrific resources page that will help you with your website design, as well as a useful PDF if you sign up to her newsletter. More importantly her blogs are fun to read.

Yolanda Facio – Marketing Unhinged This is so the name of the website that I want… really it is… cool name, useful posts. What more could you ask for?

Take a Break, Anne Gael Anne is a photographer and a creative blogger. She makes cards and writes passionately about creating things. It’s a good read… go take a look.

Vanessa Warwick is another leader in the property arena. Vanessa with her husband Nick have a successful company, 4 walls and a ceiling as well as a networking site that is well respected by other property professionals. Vanessa is not camera shy and has embraced video blogging enthusiastically, no surprise considering she’s a former MTV presenter and director of movies.

Carole Brown if you have an interest in nature, plants and making the world a better place (naturally) then you will love Carole and her blog. As well as being a visual feast it’s filled with useful information.

Goddess Leonie Allan it speaks for itself really… unleash your inner goddess.

Su Butcher leading architectural practice manager, Su blogs on the things than matter. She is one of Twitters great influencers and a great advocate for women in the architectural business. Go Su. You can find her at Just Practising.

Havi Brooks – The Fluent Self Havi has a thriving community, with it’s own language. A perfect example of finding your niche and making it your own. If your Brunch fails and you are having an Iguana, then Havi is where you need to chat.

Jamie Ridler Reflection and finding yourself are the themes that run through Jamie’s blog.

Jill Chivers regular guest blogger Jill has several guises – I’m Listening Now and Shop Your Wardrobe

Ann Smarty is name you may have heard of, and if guest blogging is your thing them you are already a member of her hugely successful guestblogging community. Ann is an SEO expert and she contributes many useful articles on SEO all around the web, go check her community out.

Kathryn Hunter – The Social Caterpillar Kathryn helps shy women get to grips with social media. She may seem outwardly confident but inside, like a lot of us she is quiet. Her blog is calming and reassuring that a lot of people like. Stop by and take a look, I bet you know someone who would benefit from Kathryn’s wisdom.

Linda Lopeke, CEO of  Smart Start. Linda is a confident networker who is supportive of women everywhere. Her advice is well respected and well thought out.

Marsha Stopa – Winter Blues Coach Marsha helps people with Seasonal Affective Disorder, she is opening a community to help sufferers beat the winter blues.

Michelle Howard’s Blog if you care for someone, and I mean in the “look after them sense” then you will find this blog to your liking. Michelle helps carers deal with the stress and pressure of looking after someone they love. Go Michelle, what you do is so worthwhile.

Sally G in her own words – I do Card Readings. That’s the Elevator Speech version, anyway.  In truth, I am able to allow some part of my Self to connect with the Spirit of the individual seeking guidance and direction ~ and offer pathways for reflection, insight and even comfort and validation through seven different Oracle Decks of cards I keep on hand and a strong connection to my own Intuition.

Stacey Curnow – Midwife for your Life stacy is a midwife, a coach and a whole heap of other things that will help you get on the right track. If you follow Sarah on Twitter you will regularly see links to Stacey’s blog, as she is a big fan.

Susan Johnstone – The Heart’s Voice Susan Johnstone, molecular biologist turned mystic.

Jade Craven Jade has overcome so much in 2010. She has networked when her heart was breaking and her mind was not co-operating. She did not give up, she did not collapse in a heap she carried on influencing. We read her networking books and loved them. If she can do this when she is less than perfect, then she is an inspiration to all of us, especially the ones hiding under the blanket fearing what to do next and thinking they are not good enough. You are. Get out and go rock our world like Jade did.

Ali Luke Ali writes about writing in a warm and engaging way. She is also Ann and Sarah’s writing coach so you will see her influence here, in our posts. She sponsors a little girl in India as well as donating profits from her ebooks to help an orphanage. That’s just a few of the reasons why we love Ali.

Joanna Paterson – writer, teacher, photographer Joanna writes in a way that makes you feel welcome and want to take action.
Ronna Detrick – in her own words… I will not be silenced. I will live out loud. I will not edit or censor myself. I will tell the truth. I will not be safe; I will be dangerous, provocative, risky, and bold.

Julie Daley – Julie works as a coach and teacher of Creativity in Business (and other adapted courses) she has varied with the setting, from one-on-one to groups and businesses. She has worked with corporations, including Microsoft, as well as teaching Creativity and Leadership at Stanford University Continuing Studies. Julie has coached hundreds of women and men who lost loved ones in 9/11, and 9/11 widows who wanted to learn to love again. We think she is amazing.
Bridget Pilloud – . Bridget helps distill intuition. She does it well.
Kim Gould – Kim is another inspirational woman after collapsing with severe chronic fatigue syndrome Kim began a journey that enabled her to get her life back. She shares her philosophy over at her blog.
Lea Woodward – One of the most influential women on Twitter, Lea makes all the lists. She makes ours too for following her passions and getting things done. We need more women who get things done. Take inspiration from Lea, we do.
Hiro Boga – Hiro wears many hats and her blog reflects her creativity. She shares her thoughts, spiritual and otherwise as well as her love of adventure.
Randi Buckley – For 20 years she has been involved in experiential education with the Concordia Language Villages, a residential language- immersion program for youth in 16 different languages, offering program-wide training, leadership and coaching to staff from over 30 countries and is Assistant Dean of “Skogfjorden” the Norwegian Language Village.

Mrs Donovan (and her husband) have been / are going through a nightmare since their son was murdered. Even after all their suffering and devastating loss of their son, they chose to forgive their son’s killers. They visit schools and prisons talking about gang violence and forgiveness. They are also involved with the Sycamore Tree who teaches victim awareness in prisons. This amazing act of forgiveness inspires me to look at my life and let go of the past events that have hurt me.

Lauren Childs (author of Charlie and Lola) Not only does she write and illustrate fantastic children books, she also is helping UNESCO – Programme for the education of children in need, by raising funds to help children affected by poverty with her book – ‘The Pesky Rat.’

She inspired Anita to write for children.

Camila Batmanghelidjh – Runs the Kids Company helping vulnerable young people. We admire Camila for the voice she gives to disadvantaged young people, who often don’t have anyone to stand by them.

Claude Knights, director and Michele Elliott, founder of Kidscape – Kidscape does a fantastic job working to keep young people safe from abuse. Claude, Michele and the Kidscape team do such valuable work that they will always have our support.

Darla, a producer from Pixar and the Pixar team, put together a great video in support of the – ‘It gets better project ‘ Their message is to help those who are being bullied know that it will get better, in response to young people committing suicide, because they were being bullied due to their sexuality. We loved the fact that a wonderfully talented team from Pixar, loved by millions, shared their stories of how they were bullied for being a lesbian or gay. They share their message of hope; that it will get better, to help those who see no hope.

This inspires me to always look for opportunities to help those who are affected by bullying, because when you are being bullied, you often can’t see the way out of a never ending nightmare. No one should feel that the only way out, is by taking their own lives.

Jacqui Lawson An amazing artist who creates, along with her team, the most beautiful e-cards and this year a magical Advent calendar. We love her art, which she paints by hand, and then turns into a flash e-cards and screensavers.

Paloma Faith – We ‘discovered’ Paloma this year and really enjoy her music. In particular we like ‘Do you want the truth or something beautiful’ and ‘Stone cold sober’ both have great messages!

Dawn from No Nonsense She wanted to make creams that were chemical free, promoting a more natural approach to skin care. Her business started as a hobby and quickly grew into a business this year. Her creams only include 4 ingredients, including organic ingredients which are also SLS and paraben free. The skincare range is great for those wanting to live a more natural, chemical free life.

Kirsty Allsop for her series encouraging us to reuse and recycle by making handmade items and buying second hand / antiques for our homes. This series was a delight to watch, opening the doors to the joy of making things, for those who didn’t think they could. ‘TEFL Matters’ from Marisa Constantinides who lives and works in the centre of Athens, and writes interesting and thought-provoking posts on foreign language teaching, teacher education and new technologies. ‘Teaching Village’ by Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto , an English teacher currently living in Kitakyushu, Japan.  Lots of variety on this blog, including Barbara’s experiences teaching English to young learners, and learning how to use web 2.0 tools and virtual worlds in the classroom. ‘Separated by a Common Language’ Interesting observations on British and American English by American linguist Lynne Murphy, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Sussex. Jane Hart is a social business consultant and founder of the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies. Her blog ‘Jane’s Pick of the Day’ has regular posts about different tools / technology for learning and working. Lee Kolbert’s ‘A Geeky Momma’s Blog’. Lee is a US blogger blogging about technology and education. We love Carol Cooper-Taylor’s blog for its wide range of thoughts on elearning and eteaching. Carol is formerly from the UK and now living in New Zealand. “Her passion is engaging, interactive learning and teaching, and this spills over into creating business sites and teaching business women and men to manage their own applications.” Nikki Pilkington – We’ve learnt loads about SEO, blogging and social media marketing from Nikki. She knows her stuff. Babs Saul aka The Blog Mistress – lots of useful ideas, information and support to help people run their WordPress blogs Enjoy reading Anita’s enthusiastic posts about trees, flowers and nature, and her trips to gardens and parks across the UK. She brings nature to life and reminds us there is life beyond the laptop.

Kristi Hines, author of the fab Kristi  writes some of the most amazing guest posts that you will see anywhere, if there is a new tool on social media, Kristi will have a “how to” post in place so you can maximise it’s use.

Melissa Dinwiddie you may know her from the thriving artists project, but we know her from 365 days of creative genius. Melissa is a creative genius herself and passionately believes that starving and artist shouldn’t be in the same sentence.

Heather Claus – if you thought Sarah was hell bent on World Domination with her on the blog series, you will see  that Heather has one up on her with of 365 series. Heather herself runs 365 days of Style and if clothes, shoes and more shoes are your thing –  you will feel right at home here.

Tia Peterson – Good luck with the new style Tia, we are big fans of the Biz Chick Blogs who are getting a revamped, new look for 2011. Go Tia and the team.

Lisa Johnson – Lisa is a pilates coach and makes fab videos to show you can get fitter in minutes. No excuse really. She also has a post on fitness for bloggers

Shama Kabani, author of  “Zen if social media marketing”, Shama also has to share her insights with us. Entrepreneurial-ism and technology blended together .

Corvida Raven, we love the she geeks, go take a look 🙂 Corvida has a unique style that is engaging and informative – check it out, I told you so…

Bizzy Women with Miriam Schwab. Miriam aims to bring top quality information together in one place to empower busy professional women.

The Fast and the Fabulous with Valli Hilaire The blog about motorsports from a female perspective

Fabulously Broke in the City FB is a female personal finance blogger living in Canada. Interesting, informative, funny. Take a look.

Geek Girlfriends with Christina Tynan-Wood the place for women who like technology but need a little help in keeping up with it all.

Good Life Zen with Mary Jaksch. Mary focuses on spirituality and self-development and offers practical inspiration for a happier life. She is living proof of how working with someone can boost you, and your blog. We find her blogs very inspirational and her attitude to life is one worth adopting.

For top predictions, take a peek at Allison Reynolds’ blog The Secret Business Women’s Network, shhh! It’s a secret 😉

Laura Petrolino is another 365 themed site, this time it’s awesomeness in the form of business start ups. There is a cracking pic of Laura with a lightsaber and C3PO, which is enough to get any business on the right track 🙂

If internet trends are your thing, then go and subscribe to Noa Gafni’s blog – Webutantes, which leads us nicely into what to do with all this information.

Valeria Maltoni – we love her blogs, her feisty writing and vibrant outlook on life. We love her sharp mind and her way with words.

Catherine Anne Clark and her celebration of women blog is one to look out for. Catherine uses Facebook to reach out to other women bloggers and sends them positive affirmations. Yes, we are worthy! Celebrating women and their achievements is a blog to read when you feel that you can’t go on, the whole positive vibe is uplifting.

Heather Thomas is @destinboats and another offline business that is maximising what is available online to market her offline boat rental business and she does it well. You can learn a lot from Heather, go take a look.

And no list would be complete if it didn’t include LaVonne Ellis and her customer love blog. LaVonne has interesting insights and ways to get your customers giving more. She also has an elf. Yes. Really.

What do you do with a list like this?

I suggest you set up a new email address, and go and subscribe to all these blogs. Don’t add them to your feedreader, you’ll never read them. Get them by email and add that email to your iPhone or Blackberry. Next time you are in a queue, on a bus or train, take a look at what these women are writing about.

Once a week catch up on what they are sharing and talking about. It takes just a few minutes and over a few months you can finely tune your subscriptions to the ones that ‘talk’ to you, the ones that you connect with the most. By reading and supporting other women you become stronger yourself. Try it, what have you got to lose?

Now, no list is comprehensive –  add links to who we have missed in the comments below – thank you.

All the Birds on the blog.
PS you can subscribe to us -here

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Sarah Arrow

Blogging an issue for you? Not getting the subscribers or feedback that you desire? That's okay I understand. I started blogging back in 2006 and grew into a kick-ass blog coach, as well as creator of Birds on the Blog (listed 3 times by Forbes as a top 100 website for women), I'm frequently listed as both a top content marketing expert and as an influential marketer.
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