OK, it’s a little hard to succinctly explain Brain Pickings, a weekly Sunday newsletter, from Maria Popova, who has been publishing it since 2006. So we’ll let Maria do the honors: “It is a record of my own becoming a person – intellectually, creatively, spiritually, poetically – drawn from my extended marginalia on the search for meaning across literature, science, art, philosophy, and the various other tentacles of human thought and feeling.” 

One edition explored Virginia Woolf on “finding beauty in uncertainty; lessons on survival, sanity, and connection from the 1964 earthquake.” 

Maria recently launched a midweek newsletter (separate signup required) that pulls from her essay archives. 

Her first newsletters were sent to seven friends. Today, they’re part of the Library of Congress Permanent Web Archive.

Brain Pickings also operates a Facebook page (4.8M), which includes an email digest tab, Twitter (947.5K), Instagram (304K), and Tumblr.

Why we’re a Stan: Well, Maria’s been doing this for 15 years. That’s impressive in itself. She repurposes her older content, another smart move. And she makes a living with her content business without relying on a third-party platform. Monthly donations can be made directly through her site. She even accepts Bitcoin donations.

About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.