Ever wonder what Tim Ferriss’s first blog looked like? The Old Designs of Big Blogs

It’s a little tricky working on your own blog, where there’s no guarantee of an audience like the one you’d get when writing for magazines and websites. And it’s next to impossible when you compare your beginnings with other robust blogger enterprises.

Pamela Slim, Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi, Marie Forleo, and Gretchen Rubin are hands-down five of my favorite bloggers, covering everything from entrepreneurship, personal finance, life hacking and happiness. How did they build their great online operations? By creating great content and getting better–not by starting out perfect.

Tim Ferriss

Before there was The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss blogged over at Cubicleescapeartist.com/blog, titled “Tim Ferriss: The Human Experiment Blog.” And no, it was not a looker:

As we know from the book, Tim used Google Adwords and Adsense to optimize his book’s–and new blog’s–title. His last ‘I’m moving to a different website’ post has two comments; now his posts get thousands of comments. And of course, it’s beautifully designed:

Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi, like Pamela Slim, is a graduate of the school of Typepad.

Yes, I am trying to embarrass Ramit Sethi.

What I love about this screenshot of his website circa 2006 is that you can see how he’s never tempered his brash personality. Title of the book review? Rich Dad, Poor Dad (this book irks me) Sethi’s sense of humor really shines through the awful design–which, again, is still more than I have on this piece of crap.

Today, it’s beautiful and genuinely intimidating to all new bloggers:

And of course, his book I Will Teach You To Be Rich has given him license to add “New York Times bestselling author” after his name for the rest of his life.

Gretchen Rubin

I was a huge fan of Power Money Fame Sex, which Gretchen Rubin wrote years ago, and started reading her blog The Happiness Project back when it launched. I was amazed at the amount of content she produced for the blog back then in 2006:

And it’s been amazing to see it turn into this:

What’s even better is her amazing book, The Happiness Project, which she managed to write at the same time.

Marie Forleo

The Tony Robbins/Richard Branson/Oprah/Jay-Z love child powerhouse started out like this:

And now, of course, is purely fabulous:

Pamela Slim

Pamela Slim’s book Escape From Cubicle Nation and the eponymous blog—-is a perfect combination of inspiring and practical.

In 2005, it was a plain old Typepad blog!

Today, it’s beautiful:

Upward Spiral

So keep posting. Keep blogging. Don’t compare your beginning blog to other people’s blogs–they’ve been at it for a lot longer than you have.