Ron Hudson of the Immediate Influence Blog recently asked his friends on Twitter to nominate candidates for a list that would become "50 of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Social Media." They threw our own Ann Handley's name into the virtual hat, and when Hudson analyzed Alexa rankings, our content chief strode to a gratifying first-place finish.

It's no surprise that Handley enjoys name recognition and respect, and we think the quasi-eponymous blog she launched in January has something to do with the exceptional results. At Annarchy, an astoundingly personal project, she writes essays on topics ranging from childhood insecurities to Korean otters (not a typo).

Handley's literary, engaging storytelling routinely captivates readers. But there's something else that also makes this blog unique: stories that invariably illustrate a larger theme or concept to which readers can relate, and from which they can benefit. This isn't idle nostalgia or self-indulgent soul searching. Because of that, her blog proves accessible and useful for friends, colleagues and strangers alike.

Here's the key: While her content builds the Ann Handley brand, without question, it also provides a halo effect for MarketingProfs—the link, incidentally, that Hudson includes in his Top 50 list.

She'll tell us to stop gushing. But, hey, we're proud of her, and we see lots of Marketing Inspiration in the deft balance she strikes between developing her personal and corporate brands; Annarchy shows that these goals don't have to be independent efforts.

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