Wednesday 16 April 2014

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about my obsession with advice columns. Some of the advice columns I listed then are no longer with us, so here's an updated list of the 10 best advice columns online today (according to me).

Advice Shop
  1. Captain Awkward is super into having Scripts and Boundaries. A must read. 
  2. Carolyn Hax is one of my favourite reads. Refreshing, personal, and with a loyal readership.
  3. A Queer Chick on The Hairpin. Let's not talk about how The Hairpin has failed us as a website in so many other ways. A Queer Chick is still updating monthlyish, and it's still great. 
  4. That Bad Advice takes questions from other columns and gives the advice the letter writers were hoping to hear.
  5. Ask Polly mixers experience with her own life in with the answers. Long, but lovely. 
  6. Ask E. Jean belongs to Elle Magazine, but it's refreshing, pithy advice.
  7. Friendzone is hosted over on Jezebel (speaking of lady websites which have failed us). It's fairly solid, and updates regularly. 
  8. Dan Savage's podcasts are entertainment masquerading as advice. Dan's been roundly criticised for being problematic but I listen anyway. (NSFW.)
  9. Miss Information answers sex and dating question for kids these days over on Nerve. It's interesting, how differently things are handled in the States. It seems more complicated.
  10. Dear Prudence is great for absurd, probably fake, questions, and not so great for helpful advice on "modern" issues. Puts out the most content, three updates (plus a video!) per week.
Those are my favourite advice columns! Did I miss yours? Tell me in the comments.

Go to Italy, be a cobbler.


  1. Hi Rachel,

    We just found your posting while doing some research for our company's new blog. We're launching a social media site for people to exchange curated advice anonymously. Our thinking is that these advice columns are great reading, and we'd love to see more of them with more varied points of view. Also, we think there's a lot of wisdom in crowds. If you just ask one person for advice, you can get some kooky things. But if you ask a bunch of people, the "normal" point of view tends to emerge. We've just started out with a group of beta users, and we'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!

    1. Hi Buzz, I am ALL ABOUT advice columns, and would be keen to try a beta version! If you want to chat further about your project, flick me an email: hello ~at~ :)

  2. Hello! Can you answer my question please?

    1. I can try, anon! Email me at hello (AT) rachel rayner dot co dot nz.

  3. Why do you think Dear Prudence has fake questions? Just wondering, since it is on your recommended list.

  4. Hi Rachel - as a pseudo-expert on advice columns, I'd love your thoughts on what it would take to get onto your next "best advice columns online" list. Ta!

  5. Ask Jana Leigh is a good one.

  6. Thank you for the shout out, Miss Rachel!

    Ravishing regards,
    E. Jean

  7. I need an advice columnist or group to assist me with a very troublesome situation, preferably keeping my anonymity. Would you suggest a safe web site for me please?
    I am desperate.

    1. Hi Anon, I would recommend Captain Awkward, there's a good community there, and a large archive you can search. Good luck!

  8. I started an advice column just a few days ago. I love giving advice. Is there anyone who could help me get some readers? or even if you need advice.
    I promise you won't be disappointed.

  9. Rachel,
    My name is Poppy.
    I'm a dog and I write an advice column at (that's right, I'm a dog, sounds like it wouldn't work, but it does).

    Please take a look and include me if you should ever do another list.