I love reading blogs because they often contain less refined personal accounts. I often learn more from firsthand experiences of what works or doesn’t work than high-level thought pieces.

I read dozens of posts a week, but only a handful leave a lasting impact. A select few permanently change my perspective.

I wanted to share the blogs that achieved this in 2015.

If you’re taking it easy over Christmas, I’d highly recommend putting these on your reading list!

1. The difference between successful people and very successful people

This blog introduces the core principals behind Greg McKweon’s book The Essentialist – The disciplined pursuit of less.

This blog started my journey towards sustainable excellence. I’ve always been a high-performer but I’ve also managed to dance on the edge of burnout for years. Occasionally I’ve lost balance and tipped over. I struggled to say no and prioritise requests. I constantly felt guilty about what was left undone rather than focusing on providing the highest value.

“There’s a collective delusion that burnout is necessary for success” ~ Adriana Huffington

Even though most of the advice is common sense, Greg presents a mix of emotional and rational arguments that clicked with me. I can honestly say Greg’s blog and book is how I’ve moved on from an unsustainable, burnout cycle.

If this blog resonates with you, I urge you to watch Greg’s Google talk and read The Essentialist!

2.  Want a better pitch, watch this

There’s a perception that to give compelling, engaging presentations you need to be a charismatic speaker. While that goes a long way, knowing how to craft a story is a major element too. This blog dissects how Elon Musk launched the Telsa Powerwall. It’s strong framework for building presentations that we’ve used at SilverStripe since.

3. Things to help you kick ass at marketing high tech

Hilary is the Communications Manager for successful Wellington tech company Raygun. She gets what it’s like to market to developers, one of the most anti-advertising audience on earth. In this blog post she shares a bunch of practical advice for marketing tech products to developers.

4. Don’t learn to code

This year I spend numerous hours learning PHP and Javascript coding. While I retained the basic concepts, most of the knowledge flowed straight out of my brain as quickly as it entered.

The reality is that coding requires constant practice and use to retain and improve. Ryan Hoover, the founder of Product Hunt puts forward a case for bringing “non-technical” or traction skills to tech companies rather than having everyone learn to code.

5. What my uterus can teach you about being a tech leader

I won’t spoil the punchline, but you can probably guess, it’s not much. This article highlights the differences between how female tech leaders are viewed against their male counterparts.

For bonus reading, check out the same problem reflected in the interview questions actress Cara Delevingne was asked while promoting Paper Towns.

6. Automated Emails & Customer Respect

This is one of the few company blogs on this list. It’s blog post I’d recommend reading for it’s content and it’s approach. It takes a frank and personal apporach that left an impression with me. Intercom founder Des Traynor shared his reservations about a new product they’d just launched – automated emails. Rather than just hyping their new feature they shared advice that would help their customers succeed.

7. The beauty of things that don’t scale

In a marketing world of big data and personalisation, Tim Leberecht shares the beauty of things that don’t scale.

One of my favourite quotes from the article:

marketing has the power and responsibility to be the great enchanter, a modern medicine man, a magician rather than a data scientist or spreadsheet bureaucrat.” ~ Tim Leberecht

8. How becoming a mentor can boost your career

This article provides hard facts on how mentoring helps both the mentoree and the mentor. It’s a great article for anyone looking for a mentor but worried about reaching out and asking.

Have a think about mentoring or being a mentor in 2016! There’s some great programs like Cultivate that can help you find a mentor.

Extra credit

Here’s my top 3 most read blogs for 2015. Ya know, just in case you’re short of reading material 😉

  1. How TradeMe created a happier more productive workplace 
  2. What I learned at the NZ Sales & Marketing Jam
  3. How not to use Richie McCaw in your advertising

That last one probably got a #RWC2015 boost!

Have you read a blog post that made a difference to how you work? Please share it for my summer reading list!


Posted by Nicole Williams

I'm a marketing geek with a passion for tech. Previously, I was the marketing manager for SilverStripe (open source CMS and cloud PaaS) Currently, podcaster and blogger for TechMarketer.org and founder of Wellington Marketing meetup. Currently exploring Europe and living the dream! I'm always up for a chat about marketing and I love sharing my experiences so that others don't have to learn the hard way.

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