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10 Reasons Why You Need A Blog

10 Reasons Why You Need A Blog


    I know, I know–you’re already running a business, writing a book, raising children, and trying to have a life.

    I get it.

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    But you’re here, which means that you’re into things like productivity, getting things done, and creating space in your life for the good things.

    But it’s probably not enough. 

    Most likely, you’re able to maintain your 200+ emails-per-day workload, multiple projects at a time, and still have enough sanity to get home in time for dinner.

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    So why am I advocating adding another thing to your daily task list? Why am I telling you why you need a blog?

    Because blogging isn’t going anywhere. 

    More importantly, it’s not something that should be seen as adding to what you’re doing. On the contrary, blogging (if done well), can be the most productive thing you do all day, and can even take the place of many of your daily “to-do”s. You might need to step out of your comfort zone, but trust me–it’s worth it.

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    Here’s a list of some of those things blogging can help with:

    1. If you’re a business owner, it’s a great way to connect with customers. Forget Twitter, networking events, and call centers. Blogging is a personal, down-to-earth method of keeping your customers informed and in-the-know about not only your latest product offerings, but your internal culture as well.
    2. Finding new clients. In the same vein, don’t discount the marketing advantages of blogging. If you do it right, you could be on to something. Many businesses chalk up a large percentage of their revenue from blogging and blogging-related activities, and you can have a piece of that pie.
    3. Getting more done. Just because you’re writing every day on a blog doesn’t mean other things won’t get done. Blogging is an activity that can literally happen anywhere. Wake up early, go to bed late, whatever–blogging doesn’t usually take long, and you can press pause whenever you like. The “Getting Things Done” mentality happens as you start writing that first sentence–you’ll find yourself invigorated, energized, and motivated by the words you’re writing.
    4. Getting better things done. Once you start realizing what exactly it is you’re going to offer to people through your blog, you’ll start to prioritize your day differently. You’ll have comments to respond to, emails to answer, and social media promoting to do, but all of this is building a pipeline of targeted warm leads to your business.
    5. It’s creation. Period. You’re creating stuff. Stuff can be bought, sold, added to, reworked, and changed, but most importantly this stuff is a form of asset–an asset you own and control. No word ever published online has a negative value.
    6. Blogs are the news vehicle of the future. This one might receive some flak, but oh well. I truly believe that blogging–at least the general, broad definition of content-creation by the lay person–is the new form of news delivery. We’ll still have reporters and journalists, but the news and noteworthy stories of the day are now in our hands–it’s our job to be the first-hand eyewitness accounts of the current goings-on.
    7. Blogging can boost productivity in unforeseen areas.You might not realize it yet, but blogging leads to a funny ailment I like to call “picking-blog-headlines-for-everything-that-happens-in-your-life.” If you’ve been driving down the freeway and want to suddenly write a post bemoaning the terrible billboard ad called “7 Reasons Your Company Sucks At Advertising,” you know what I mean. This productivity booster is a cool thing, though–it helps keep the “idea bucket” full, and it transfers into many other forms of content, not just blogs.
    8. Blogs are a great way to measure success. However you define success, blogging can track it. You can search through your year-old archives or do a specific series–either way, your words won’t lie (unless you lied when you wrote them…). Want to earn $100,000 this year? Start blogging the results of your business’ advertising and marketing campaigns, and include revenue reports.
    9. Accountability. This one’s simple. Blogging is usually a public-facing event that we engage in with the sole purpose of gaining readership. These readers, while sometimes harsh, are for the most part very truthful. They’ll keep us focused on our published and public goals, and that alone is worth the asking price.
    10. Because everyone else is. Okay, I didn’t want to use this “cop out” reason, but there it is. If you’re a business owner without a blog, you’re already behind. If you’re an individual with something to say, get started saying it. You may not realize it, but there’s at least one other person in the world who needs the kind of expertise you have, no matter how trivial. Everywhere you look, there’s a blog, video feed, or YouTube channel dedicated to the obscure and random. Do us one better and create something worth sharing.

    Maybe I’ve convinced you, maybe not. But you won’t change my mind–the benefits of blogging (creating content and sharing it online) far outweigh the downsides and work we need to put in to it. This is why you need a blog.

    If you’ve never tried it, check out my site for some great resources, but just know that blogging is a perfect example of something that “you get what you put in to it.” It can take your business or your life to another level, and it’s not hard to do. It takes work, sure, but everything of value does anyway!

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    And if you need some specific help, start by asking the right questions–here are 101 of them!

    (Photo credit: Blog on Typewriter via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on April 11, 2019

    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

    I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

    I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

    Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

    How Communication Skills Help Your Success

    Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

    Create a Positive Experience

    Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

    When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

    What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

    Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

    As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

    Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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    Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

    Help Leadership Skills

    It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

    Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

    As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

    Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

    If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

    Build Better Teams

    Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

    In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

    If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

    When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

    Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

    Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

    1. Listen

    Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

    Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

    People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

    Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

    Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

    2. Know Your Audience

    Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

    Here is a good way to think about it:

    Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

    You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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    3. Minimize

    I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

    He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

    Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

    State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

    The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

    4. Over Communicate

    So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

    What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

    Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

    Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

    Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

    There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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    5. Body Language

    The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

    When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

    In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

    When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

    Conclusion

    Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

    Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

    There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

    Now go communicate your way to success.

    More Resources About Effective Communication

    Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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