Authors: Meghan Casserly and Jenna Goudreau
We’re thrilled to present the second annual ForbesWoman Top 100 Websites for Women.
Our final tally of the best of the Web is the sum of a year’s worth of clicking around, asking around and going down the rabbit hole of blog roll after blog roll. We’re indebted to our friends in the ForbesWoman community: from the contributors and commenters on our site, to our outposts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and all the good samaritans offering the latest just-gotta-reads.
Our criteria for the winners boils down to informative and compelling content and user interface, engaged communities and, of course, a female focus that’s kept fresh by dedicated editors, writers and designers. Intelligence is a plus; fun adds bonus points. Here’s the real challenge: Does it have that amorphous and often indefinable quality that inspires us to share–with our social networks and in e-mails and conversations with our moms, sisters, friends and colleagues.
Newcomer to this year’s list is Pretty Young Professional. Founded by three ex-McKinsey & Co. employees who quit their day jobs with the dream of building a community for Gen-Y employees, daily offerings include advice on easing into entrepreneurship and what to do after you receive a job offer. Negotiating tactics? If you don’t know, now you do.
The Everywhereist Geraldine DeRuiter offers up the world on a plate on her fantastic travel blog. Daily Mom Report does for women what Matt Drudge did for newshounds: presents the best of the day’s headlines in short order.
If there are two blogs that require nearly no debate regarding “best of” status, they’re Dooce by uber mommy blogger Heather Armstrong and Brazen Careerist by serial entrepreneur Penelope Trunk, both which made an appearance on last year’s top 100. When Forbes reporter Jenna Goudreau posted a call for candidates, she received more than 500 suggestions (and counting). “Two well-manicured thumbs up for Corporette and Jezebel,” said our colleague Kashmir Hill. We agree.
“LearnVest all the way,” shared commenter gracieb83. “Not only do I subscribe to their daily e-mails, the site is the first place I turn to when seeking financial advice.” Cameka Smith and the The Boss Network got dozens of shout-outs, and inspirational newcomer Amazing Women Rock got the nod for its series on role models.
One difference from last year is that we trimmed away the online presences for publications such as O, the Oprah Magazine, More magazine and Real Simple to make room for all the rising stars with unique voices.
We don’t know how anyone ever does Top 10 lists.
Alexandra Levit: A career blog by author and journalist Levit that regularly dispenses wisdom on all things work.
Amazing Women Rock: Curated by Susan Macaulay, a Canadian expat living in the United Arab Emirates. A standout series on international role models includes videos and interviews.
Beauty Bean: Concerned with women’s magazines’ obsession with weight loss and body image, Beauty Bean is devoted to inner beauty–without dieting tips and tricks. DIY beauty regimens take the cake.
Birds On the Blog: This London blog features career advice and breaking women’s-interest news from 11 resident bloggers (known as “the birds.”) All ad revenue from the site is used to fund the education of 5-year-old Ugandan twin girls, Princess and Perfect.
BlogHer: The premier women’s blog platform is celebrating its fifth year this year–and it’s still going and growing.
TheBloggess: Jenny Lawson blogs about sex, love and motherhood, and whatever else comes to mind.
The Boss Network: A community of entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online and event-based networking.
The Bump: The Bump, from TheKnot, is a community website for expecting and trying-to-conceive couples that offers support, advice and features to women and their partners.
Brazen Careerist: Serial entrepreneur Penelope Trunk writes about work and life for over 40,000 subscribers. Her top piece of advice? Control your professional identity to stay employable.
CafeMom: An online community for moms that hosts parenting forums, games and blogs.
Chic CEO: A brand new site for women with the entrepreneur bug. Advice covers everything from idea-generation to patents and copyrights to the pros and cons of buying a franchise. Great design and a clever blog round out the experience.
Cool Mom: TV host and pop culture writer Daphne Brogdon blogs and posts videos to fuel the “momversation.”
Corporette: A fashion and lifestyle blog for corporate women: lawyers, bankers, MBAs, consultants and “otherwise overachieving chicks.”
A Cup Of Jo: Magazine writer Joanna Goddard has a great eye for art, food and all-that’s-good on the Internet. Her posts are honest, insightful and, most notably, always share-worthy.
Daily Worth: A personal finance and business site for women updated daily with money tips and blog posts. Their motto is: “We believe all women should be in charge of their financial health.”
Daily Mom Report: Think Drudge Report, only more organized, and curated with moms in mind. One-stop-shopping for every headline you might otherwise have missed.
Dames Bond: “When dames bond, dames thrive” is the motto of this networking site for women in business. In addition to feature articles on advice, it featres an extensive business directory of female services and businesses.
Deal Seeking Mom: With five kids, Tara Kuczykowski lives on a budget. She blogs about money-saving tricks, alerting readers to freebies, coupons and sales. Extreme couponers, beware: this girl’s good.
DivineCaroline: A curated blog platform for women, DivineCaroline hosts entertaining and thoughtful content about work, travel, style and relationships.
Dooce: With stunning pictures and crisp wit, mom and former Web designer Heather Armstrong chronicles her life and the world around her.
Double X: A female-focused look at “politics, culture, and anything else that strikes our fancy” from the XX writers and editors of Slate.com.
Entrepreneurial Moms: A networking community for mompreneurs and work-at-home moms in North America, Australia and the United Kingdom.
The Everywhereist: Geraldine DeRuiter got laid off and became a full-time traveling companion to her frequent-flyer husband. The result? From the mundanity of our cubicles we get an on-the-ground view of their journeys.
Families and Work: The blog from the nonprofit group Families and Work Institute features thoughtful pieces on the changing workplace and family structure.
Feministe: A feminist blog that tackles gender issues with both humor and gravity.
Feministing: An online community and blog with a feminist perspective that analyzes how pop culture and mainstream media reflect modern women.
The Football Girl: Melissa Jacobs blogs about football, “because women love football too.” Her site features game analysis, exclusive interviews with players and fantasy football tips for women.
From The Gen Y Perspective: Emily Jasper blogs about career and workplace issues with the perceptive vantage point of youth.
Gender Across Borders: Finally, a “global” feminist blog that reaches around the entire globe. Weekly roundups of posts from every continent keep readers up to date on what’s going on beyond their borders.
GetRaised: A seriously simple step-by-step guide to getting a pay bump that was created with women in mind. According to the site, 65% of women that have used it have, in fact, earned a raise. Average amount? About $6,700.
The Glass Hammer: An award-winning blog and online community created for women executives in finance, law, technology and big business.
The Hairpin: This blog, edited by freelance writer Edith Zimmerman strives to be like “a low-key cocktail party among select female friends.” Beauty, food, cocktails, general quirkiness.
Healthy Women: A go-to information source for women on all things health, with hard medical data and breezy lifestyle articles.
Hello Ladies: Calls itself “the intersection of feminism and life,” and features breaking news stories, feminist essays and work-life advice.
Home-Based Working Moms: An online community and association for work-at-home moms with useful resources to help with the juggle.
Huffington Post Women: The best part of Arianna Huffington taking over AOL? Her shrewd application of HuffPo vaudeville to the women’s space.
Hybrid Mom: This community for moms features articles and blogs on parenting and work, as well as a digital marketplace where users can buy and sell their products.
iVillage: One of the Web’s largest communities for women, featuring lifestyle stories and tips and a ton of active message boards.
Jane Has A Job: A blog and community hub for working women in their 20s and 30s. Their mission is to address the many challenges of a woman’s life, recognizing that no two women are the same but that they do share certain desires and concerns.
Jezebel: Owned by Gawker Media, a must-visit blog about celebrity, sex and fashion that bites into the media’s representation of women and critiques gender in pop culture.
The Juggle: WSJ.com’s The Juggle blog provides news and views on work, caregiving and time management for working parents.
Kontrary: Entrepreneur Rebecca Thorman writes with fury on the state of the Gen-Y generation, women and work.
Ladies Who Launch: An active and engaging site for female entrepreneurs that provides a resources for starting, building and running a business.
LearnVest: Easy-to-understand financial advice, information and tools for women hoping to take control of their financial lives.
Lindsey Pollak: LinkedIn spokesperson and Gen Y expert Lindsey Pollak blogs about social media and work for the next generation of leaders.
Loren’s World: Pet project of marketing exec Loren Ridinger, this site is buzzing with beauty tips, current events and A-list celebrity spotting. Business advice has start-up sensibility but focuses on glamour, entertainment and media types.
Maggie Jackson: Author and journalist Maggie Jackson posts about the balancing acts of working parents and how technology is changing the way we live and work.
Make Mine A Million: Just what it seems–an entrepreneurial initiative to help turn your business dream into a million dollars through events, coaching and online community support.
Mint.com: A free tool for setting a budget–and sticking to it–by synching bank accounts and sending email reminders to stop spending and start saving. Easy to set up, easier to stick with.
Minti: User-generated blogs discuss pregnancy, parenting, childhood and education.
Mom Invented: Tamara Monosoff launched this online community for entrepreneurial moms. It supports and inspires women inventors with business advice and product licensing opportunities.
Mommy Tracked: This “multi-tasking” website for modern moms provides a fresh take on motherhood with sharp columns and commentary.
Moms Rising: Members of this “motherhood movement” take to the site to rally behind family-friendly policies like paid sick days and parental leave, flexible work options and quality health care.
Motherlode: This New York Times’ blog by Lisa Belkin tackles studies, news and first-hand insight of modern motherhood.
Ms. Magazine: The Web presence of feminist frontrunner Ms. magazine, the website boasts the most extensive coverage of U.S. and international women’s issues.
Ms. Money: A personal finance resource for women that covers everything from investing and budgeting to debt reduction, all to give financial peace of mind to its users.
On The Ground: Here, New York Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristof expands on his award-winning human rights coverage.
The Nie Nie Dialogues: The world has been watching Stephanie Nielson as she’s raised her family of four and miraculously recovered from a plane crash that burned 83% of her body. We can’t stop watching.
On The Job: A workplace blog from columnist and author Anita Bruzzese, On The Job tackles outsourcing, unemployment issues and procrastination with just the right quantities of journalism and snark.
One Louder: Microsoft staffing manager Heather Hamilton blogs about marketing, recruiting and corporate culture.
Our Bodies, Our Blog: A blog from the nonprofit group Boston Women’s Health Book Collective that aims to educate on women’s health issues through topical newsy content.
Pioneer Woman: Ree Drummond juggles homeschool, career and life on a ranch, and blogs her recipes, photography and family stories. Inspiring and delicious.
PopSugar: The parent site for all of the PopSugar Network blogs that cover all manner of life, from work and fashion to kids to celebrities. PopSugar is one-stop shopping for hip female-friendly content.
Pretty Young Professional: A career advice hub for the Gen-Y careerist, the newly redesigned site features accessible (and entertaining) advice for recent grads and working gals.
Rachael Ray: The queen of 30-minute meals offers her unique brand of getting things done with a smile, and her site offers advice and features culled from her daytime TV show as well as must-cook recipes.
Salon’s Broadsheet: The women and pop culture blog from Salon is always entertaining and enlightening and more than worthy of a bookmark.
Savvy Auntie: A kid-friendly site for those of us who love other peoples’ kids. Because it’s always more fun when you can give them back!
Sharp Skirts: “No pink. No platitudes. Just success for smart women.” This Austin-based site is a network of resources for entrepreneurs looking to break out of the mommy mold.
SheKnows: She knows everything–entertainment, beauty, parenting, shopping, health and more. The entire busy woman’s lifestyle hub wrapped up into a slick, searchable website.
She Takes On The World: One of our picks for the 20 best marketing and social media blogs by women this year, She Takes On The World is an award-winning business and lifestyle blog for women.
Smitten Kitchen: New Yorker Deb brings us mouthwatering recipes and just-as-delicious photographs. Want to make your own ricotta? It’s possible–this site has turned many a ForbesWoman into a foodie.
Start Up Princess: A resource for female entrepreneurs by female entrepreneurs through education, encouragement and networking opportunities.
Style.com: Vogue‘s online home for fashion news, runway shows, trends, designers and insider industry tidbits. A great resource for women looking to update their working wardrobe, or to keep on top of trends each season.
Tech Mamas: A tech blog for mamas, a mom blog for techies, this California-based site offers advice on software, hardware and marketing for the working-from-home set as well as marketers in the tech sector.
Technorati Women: Scours the web for female-focused blog posts with no concern for editorial slant. Consider it a homepage for a quick scan of what’s going on around the Net.
Total Leadership: Stew Friedman blogs for Total Leadership on improvement in all domains of life–work, home, community and self, advice all women can take to heart.
TrustLaw Women: The newest channel from TrustLaw, the international legal news and assistance hub sponsored by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
UN Women: The online presence of UN Women, the recently created United Nations arm led by former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
WAHM: An online magazine and resource for work-at-home mothers that includes features and advice on finding work, self-marketing and keeping the kids busy while you freelance.
WFN: The blog of Boston College’s Alfred P. Sloan Work and Family Research Network is a destination for information on work and family alance, and features articles on public policy and evidence-based information on workforce issues, talent management and the impact of work and family issues on business.
WiserWomen: The nonprofit Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement offers the best steps for your financial future.
Women Entrepreneur: The female arm of Entrepreneur.com, this site is a resource for current and aspiring women business owners, featuring in-depth profiles of success stories as well as up-to-date advice on funding.
Women For Hire: A hub of recruitment services for women, this site offers career expos, blogs and feature articles as well as an online job board that connects leading employers with professional women.
Women On Business: The goal of Women on Business is to expand the international network of businesswomen online by promoting conversation on common issues. It was founded by writer and consultant Susan Gunelius.
Women Success Coaching: A blog from success coach Bonnie Marcus, Women’s Success Coaching weighs in on the many building blocks of empowering women in business, from assertive communication to self-promotion to sensitivity training.
Womenetics: A networking platform for professional women that features daily content on business and personal relationships.
Women Fitness: Aims to improve women’s nutrition and activity levels. “Wanting to look and feel good may feel shallow,” they say, “but if it means reducing body fat and building toned muscles, it’s a truly wonderful thing.”
WomensForum: As one of the first online women’s communities, it still boasts 8 million pageviews a month as a destination for working women.
Women On the Fence: Torn between two things? Erica Diamond’s site encourages women to “get off the fence” and act on their dreams.
Work It Mom: A community and blog for working mothers. Their philosophy is that if mothers share their experiences with each other, working women can successfully juggle career and family.
Work Life Fit: Resource for work life fit and flex scheduling for organizations and individuals.
Works by Nicole Williams: Author Nicole Williams curates WORKS, a resource for young professional women with a sophisticated voice.
WowOwow: WowOwow is a daily blog and newsmagazine written by an A-list cast of female writers and entertainment icons who share their opinions on news and women’s issues.
Women & Hollywood: Women are more than 50% of the population, film ticket buyers and TV watchers, yet are not represented in equal numbers on screen or behind the scenes. Melissa Silverstein’s W&H is a call to arms.
xoJane: Former Sassy Editor-in-Chief Jane Pratt resurfaced this year with a women’s site as irreverent and informative as her previous lady mag. A smart stable of bloggers and Pratt’s celebrity friends keep the content fresh.
Yahoo Shine: A women-only curated blog platform that serves up career advice, style tips, whatever’s-in-your-fridge recipes and pithy takes on current events.