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Do Blogs Really Make Sense For All Companies ?

Do Blogs Really Make Sense For All Companies ?

Blogs are considered by a lot of us as a good PR strategy — which automatically, we think, means that every one of us should have one. They enable businesses to curtail traditional media and reach their prospects directly, but do they really make sense for all companies? In my personal opinion: ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I’m a huge proponent of the transparency, candidness, and two-way communication that a B2B blog invokes. There are also some real benefits from blogs in terms of SEO and visibility on the web. Done properly, a company’s blog can become the destination on the web for a particular industry. But a blog is much more of a commitment than organizations often expect, and it adds an entirely new level of accountability.

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So what companies are NOT good candidates for blogs?

1. Those without the bandwidth to devote the time needed for writing blog entries

Whether it is a corporate blog or an industry blog sponsored by a company, interesting and current content is key. If no one has the time or ongoing interest to keep the blog updated, it has no way to attract repeat visitors. Even worse, it will look abandoned, and that can negatively affect the image of the company and the services it provides.

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2. Those that do not see the importance of participating on other industry blogs

Posting up content is just the bare minimum of a blog. Being successful in the blogosphere involves a lot of give and take. It takes active participation on other blogs to gain traction for one’s own blog. If an organization does not have an interest in getting involved, they will not be maximizing the conversations they could be having and getting the visibility they are looking for.

3. Those that have trouble presenting thoughts and ideas without a hierarchy of approvals

Although controlled and targeted messaging is crucial, a blog should allow designated members of an organization to have their own voice, to express their minds freely, and to write timely, appropriate content. If leadership needs to have a review process and analyze content before it can hit the web, a blog will lose part of its purity, and it will be obvious to readers.

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4. Those that want to control customer feedback through a closed channel

Some companies just may not be comfortable with the idea of giving any disgruntled customers the opportunity to participate on their blog in the form of comments or suggestions. The nature of a true blog would give anyone the chance to chime in and speak their mind on the topic at hand. If that is not something a company can live with or does not make sense to it, a blog may not be in its best interest.

5. Those that have trouble presenting content that is not self-serving

Usually, the most relevant and interesting content is not specifically about the organization blogging. Companies can use a blog to present its people’s thoughts on industry trends, make predictions, and even start conversations. But often this content will not be about a particular product or service, and a company needs to be comfortable developing that kind of content to attract visitors. A blog does not necessarily need to be discussing only topics or issues directly related to the company itself.

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This is by no means an inclusive list. The practicality of a corporate blog really needs to be identified on a case-by-case basis, and some of the obstacles above can be overcome through education and gradual participation in existing blogs.

They say you are behind if you do not have a blog. I say, there is no room for a “one size fits all” mentality in the blogosphere.

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months

8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months

Everyone has the ability to learn a life-changing skill not just this year, but in the next 6 months.

By life-changing, I mean something that can have a positive impact in your life moving forward, even if it’s something you can’t envision today. Certain skills we can immediately reap the benefits of, while others will be life-changing when we least expect it.

In this article, we’ll share 8 life-changing skills you can learn in 6 months, where you can learn them, and how you can get started today.

1. Speed reading

Bill Gates has been known to state that if he had one superpower, it would be the ability to read faster. What Bill and the rest of the mega-successful understand is that knowledge is power. The ability to process information faster from books, articles, and reports is what will help us learn faster, and therefore improve each aspect of our life faster as well.

Where you can start learning: Speed reading courses are becoming more popular, as more people realize how important it is with the limited time we have. You can check out free courses like Read Speeder or you can start learning how to use Spritzlet, which allows you to speed read articles online with a browser extension.

2. Public speaking

Research shows that people fear public speaking more than death itself. There’s something terrifying about being in front of dozens or hundreds of people, and exposing yourself completely. It’s when you’re most vulnerable, but learning how to public speak is a life-changer.

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Warren Buffett has given advice to recent graduates that the number one skill you can have to succeed is public speaking skills. Everything from communication, confidence, and sales is developed when you develop your public speaking skills.

Where you can start learning: Luckily, there are great communities out there like Toastmasters that organize local meetups all around the world. You’ll find amazing public speakers that are looking to get to the next level to beginners that are just getting started. Check out Toastmasters’ website here.

3. Spanish

As the third most spoken language in the world, the ability to speak Spanish will allow you to reach over 500M people around the world. No matter where you live, knowing how to speak Spanish is becoming increasingly more important, with the Hispanic population and economy spreading quickly worldwide. If you’re living in the US, this is even more important, with over 30% of the population being Hispanic.

Spanish is also on this list, because it’s one of the easiest languages to learn. Sure, Mandarin is an important language to learn, but it’s an incredibly difficult one to learn. If we were to measure the level of importance and the time to learn for all the languages available, Spanish would make it to the top of the list.

One of the biggest reasons why people never reach fluency in any foreign language is: using the wrong method, and lack of time.

It turns out that humans retain only 5% of what we learn from lectures, 20% of what we learn from apps (visual cues), and 90% of what we learn from immediate immersion. Yet, how do 90% of learn a new foreign language? Language schools (lectures), books, Duolingo (apps), etc that don’t provide the real-life immersion required for our brains to learn faster.

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Where to get started: If you want the most effective way to learn a language, learning from real-life interactions is the best way to do it. There are great websites like Rype, which offers Spanish coaching for busy people, solving the issue of lack of time and bringing real-life immersion to your screen. With Rype, you can book as many lessons as you want, at any time of the day, any day of the week, allowing you to fit it into your schedule, no matter how busy you are.

4. Accounting

If you’re looking to get into business, accounting is one of the core fundamentals you’ll need to succeed. While you don’t need to be an expert, you definitely should understand the basics.

This skill can also be used to manage your personal finances, to meet your financial goals, and having more control over your life.

Where to get started learning: If you didn’t learn accounting in school, no worries. You can either teach yourself using books, or check out free accounting courses online.

5. Microsoft Excel

Most people reading this probably have a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. While this is a good start, there are so many powerful functionalities that are hidden, which could make your life a lot easier.

Excel is also a great asset to have whenever you’re looking for a job, as many corporations rely on Excel to organize and manage multiple parts of the business.

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Where to get started learning: With the popularity of Excel, you can find tons of free resources and videos online to learn. Check out Excel Exposure, Lynda, and Excel with Business.

6. Blogging/Vlogging

Blogging is a powerful tool if you want to spread your ideas, build your brand, or grow your business. Since it was introduced, blogging has taken on a life of its own, and today there are ~2M blog posts being written on a daily basis.

Where to get started learning: Anyone can start blogging today. All you need is a content-management system like WordPress, which is completely free. Personally, I think the best way to start learning how to blog is to just start writing. There are techniques you can learn on how to promote your blog, but the best way to grow your blog is to write great content.

7. Weight training

Yes, weight training is a skill. It’s not as advanced as learning how to code, nor will it take as long as learning a new language, if you just want to learn the basics.

We’re not promising that you’ll get a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but you will see much faster results for whatever goal you have, just by understanding how to workout properly. And of course, when you’re dealing with an activity that involves physical strain, you’ll always want to caution yourself.

Where to get started learning: There are amazing body builders that are sharing all of their secrets for free on Youtube. You can check out Bodybuilding.com’s Youtube channel to get started.

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8. Photo and video editing

In the digital world that we live in, from Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook, there is no avoiding photos and videos. In fact, social media has increasingly gone away from text sharing and almost everything to photo and video editing.

Where to get started learning: For photo editing, you can use Photoshop. For video editing, you can use iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Keep in mind, there are dozens of editing software tools for video and photo editing, but what’s more important are your editing skills, not the tool itself.

Check out education websites like CreativeLIVE or Skillshare, where you can learn from experts themselves on how to best use design and software tools.

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