It’s tough to be a blogger. There is constant scrutiny from industry peers regarding content and the idea of publishing to a public audience is always scary. Despite these obvious challenges, running a blog yields rewards if executed successfully. My advice – just publish.
With this in mind, I’d like to share 14 Ted Talks I believe every blogger should watch. While they’re not all focused strictly on blogging, they all have valuable lessons that bloggers can apply to their craft or business. If nothing else, I’ve assisted in killing a few hours of your time with worthwhile learning.
Seth Godin – The Tribes We Lead
Seth Godin has authored over 18 bestselling books which have been translated into 35 languages. These books are usually about marketing, leadership, and making a change. He also runs a wide-read blog and has founded websites like Yoyodyne and Squidoo. Seth Godin is the father of permission marketing and, of course, the concept of tribes!
Seth’s talk, The Tribes We Lead, discusses how the Internet has ended mass marketing and given birth to a human social unit, which is the tribe. The concept of Tribes happens to be one of our favorite topics.
You must first be willing to accept that you are leading a change and you need a tribe to do it.
As a blogger, you need a tribe to break through the noise and capture the attention of your audience.
Renny Gleeson – 404, The Story of a Page Not Found
Renny started his career as a game developer who believes stories can shape worlds, just like video games.
Renny’s short talk, 404, The Story of a Page Not Found, is enlightening. You may think that 404 error web pages are a major headache, but to Gleeson, it’s a chance to build a better relationship. His talk includes a rather interesting slideshow of funny and engaging 404 error pages that may remind you that every mistake creates an opportunity to improve. As bloggers, we need to embrace such opportunities in our daily activities.
Rory Sutherland – Life Lessons from an Ad Man
Rory Sutherland is the Executive Creative Director of OgilvyOne and co-founder of Behavioural Sciences Practices. Sutherland is a pro at creating advertisements which blur the line between entertainment and promotion.
In Rory’s talk, Life Lessons from an Ad Man, he asserts that changes in perceived value can be as satisfying as what we consider “real” value. Said differently, advertising impacts our perception of a product thereby changing the value we place on the product.
In the context of blogging, this can relate to you having to open the minds of your readers by giving them a different point-of-view about something. Increase your blog’s value by giving your readers a fresh perspective on the issues concerning your industry. Ultimately, some of the most successful blogs are masters of reframing. You can observe many different examples of reframing content with blogging. Some of these examples include:
- Modifying headlines with ad copy that is the antithesis of mainstream consensus
- Asking people to take surveys for lead generation / list building instead of subscribing to a newsletter
- Repurposing Content to reach a new audience
Juan Enriquez – Your Online Life, Permanent As a Tattoo
Juan Enriquez is a life science expert who studies how it impacts economic and political aspects. He is the founding director of the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School and has authored numerous books.
Juan’s TED talk, Your Online Life, Permanent as a Tattoo, is six minutes of fascinating points regarding the permanent effects of digital sharing on our personal privacy.
This talk sheds light on the divide between your personal life and professional life. Bloggers building personal brands via social media often have to consider where to draw the line between the personal presences and professional presence.
Mena Trott – Meet the Founder of the Blog Revolution
Mena Trott may not be a name you immediately recognize compared to others on the list, but she’s the founder of TypePad, a widely used blogging platform, Movable Type, and co-founder of Six Apart. She’s amazing! We can safely say she’s one of the people responsible for bringing blogging and deserves the title – The Mother of the Blog Revolution.
Mena’s talk, Meet the Founder of the Blog Revolution, discusses the early days of blogging. While she was working on TypePad, she realized that giving everyday people the ability to share their lives in the digital world is one of the keys to building a more informed and connected world. The next time you’re writing a blog post, think about how you’re contributing to that mission.
Elizabeth Gilbert – Your Elusive Creative Genius
Does the name sound familiar? Of course, it does. Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of Eat, Pray, Love, a novel that spent 199 weeks in the New York Times Bestseller List and was made into a movie in 2010.
Elizabeth’s TED talk, Your Elusive Creative Genius, reinforces a painful reality – people expect too much from artists and geniuses. Heck, I feel that way daily and I’m neither a genius nor an artist. As bloggers, we’re always self critical and believe that our readers expect a lot from us. Let Elizabeth help you find your inner genius.
Neil Parischa – The 3 A’s of Awesome
Neil Parischa runs a blog titled 1000 Awesome Things, which is highly regarded by a number of publications. He is an advocate of positivity.
Neil’s talk, The 3 A’s of Awesome, reveals three secrets which lead to an awesome life. If you’re having trouble with work-life balance, or find blogging suddenly more difficult, this talk may help infuse positivity into your write-ups.
Erin McKean – The Joy of Lexicography
Erin McKean is a lexicographer or a person who compiles dictionaries. McKean is the founder of Reverb Technologies, which is responsible for making Wordnik, an online dictionary. She was also the former principal editor of The New Oxford American Dictionary.
Her talk, The Joy of Lexicography, focuses on how the print dictionary is positioned to transform and improve amidst the challenges of the digital world. As a blogger, you can gain insight on how to change adapt with the ever-changing digital landscape.
Adam Ostrow – After Your Final Status Update
Adam Ostrow is the formerly Mashable’s Chief Strategy Officer. He was responsible for defining and implementing strategic moves across the organization. During his tenure at Mashable, the website grew exponentially, making it one of the top publishing websites today. He has also been featured in a number of renowned media outlets, like Bloomberg, New York Times, and USA Today.
Adam’s talk, After Your Final Status Update, is a short one but it will leave you asking numerous questions. He about your online personality, which can be your personal brand and how people know you online. The focal point of the talk is centered around what would happen to your online personality after you’ve died, meaning, will it live on or die out pretty quickly?
As a blogger, it’s important to consider how your content will surface overtime. Having a clear understanding of this concept will help you devise a strategy that matches these goals.
David Kelley – How to build your creative confidence
David Kelley explores one of the most important topics of all writers – creativity. Our creative egos can be shattered in an instant, which is detrimental to succeeding as a blogger. Starting from childhood, creativity is sometimes stifled and can hurt someone’s ability to use their minds full potential for the rest of their lives if they allow it to. Kelley is the founder, chairman, and marketing partner of IDEO design firm and has built up quite the repertoire for himself.
In his talk, How to build your creative confidence, Kelley explores how to avoid letting someone – or even oneself – take that creativity away, and instead, how to keep flourishing it. He goes over just how important creativity is in day-to-day life and using it to your advantage. Given that he’s the founder of one of the world’s top design companies as well as Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two on the subject.
Tim Leberecht – 3 Ways to (Usefully) Lose Control of your Brand
Tim Leberecht is an author, “strategy artist,” and humanist from Silicon Valley that encourages the uniting of economic intelligence with awareness of oneself and emotional value. Known for playfully evoking an appreciation of the world’s beauty as well as the importance for humane economic fulfilment. He is the founder and CEO of his own consulting firm, senior advisor of A Hundred Years, and the founder of The Business Romantic Society (which is also the name of his best-selling book).
In this video, 3 Ways to (Usefully) Lose Control of Your Brand), he explains how difficult it is to keep control over yourself and your reputation, now that the media exploits anything that grabs attention. He explores how to embrace this loss of control rather than allowing it to destroy, discourage, or delay the progress of your success. He even discusses being able to “design” it to your benefit.
Kevin Allocca – Why videos go viral
Kevin Allocca is a writer and analyst for YouTube Trends, getting paid to watch and research YouTube videos all day, then write about them. He tracks the trends and what aspects bring videos to higher followings. As we all know, YouTube has a huge user base and certain channels have entire communities surrounding them.
In Kevin’s TED Talk, Why videos go viral, he discusses what he’s learned throughout his work and how to use these trends and factors to benefit your online economy. As a blogger, these tips can help boost your blog or brand’s online presence. If you had to take advice from anyone, it’s probably best to start with the person that analyzes growth for living.
Dan Cobley: What physics taught me about marketing
Dan Cobley brings a new taste to a familiar topic. After having received his first Oxford degree in physics, he started exploring the world of marketing, eventually leading to his career as director of marketing for Google in the UK. Though the two concepts don’t typically have a lot in common, he finds a way to combine the two in a very engaging manner.
Bringing both his passions together in this video, What physics taught me about marketing, he discusses Newton’s second law, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and thermodynamics in a way that anyone can understand, then mates these concepts to marketing and building connections in ways you wouldn’t imagine. His knowledge and theories on branding and growth of your own brand should be a high priority on your list of educational mediums. Not only is it intriguing beyond belief, he knows what he’s talking about far more than most, and is capable of boosting your efforts vastly above your average competitors with ideas they’ve likely never even heard of.
Kevin Slavin – How algorithms shape our world
Kevin Slavin is an algorithm expert, best known for his creation of the numbers game Drop 7 and Facebook’s Parking Wars. He spends his life analyzing and developing complex algorithms that affect our day-to-day lives in ways most don’t begin to comprehend.
In his TED Talk, How algorithms shape our world, we see his mind put to work and made useful to everyday people such as yourself. The internet is full of algorithms that are just waiting to be taken control of. In fact, you’re likely already using many without even realizing it! Everything we do, from computer games, to search engine results, all the way to automatic stock exchanges are run by algorithms. He explores your options on how to control these aspects to improve your own online presence without losing control by relying too heavily on them.
You’ve arrived at the end of our list
Hopefully, this list gave you some inspiration. Understandly, there are quite a few so don’t forget to bookmark it or add it to your read later list. I hope this list managed to inspire and, if nothing else, served as great binge watching.
P. S. Do you have some TED Talks you’d like to share with other bloggers? If so, share your favorite TED talk below and don’t forget to include the lessons you’ve learned from them.