The Top 11 Social Media Posts of 2013

For two weeks in December 2013, ShareBloc ran a contest to find the Top Content Marketing Posts of 2013 as part of our open beta launch. More than 640 voters cast their ballots 7,678 times to narrow a competitive field of 175 nominations to the top 50. We covered eight key areas in sales & marketing, including Social Media, which was our second most popular category. Social Media Today received a lion’s share of winners, with two posts in the top 10, including the #1 post.

There were 11 social media posts that made it into the top 50. Here are the winners:

3 Things Every Business Needs to Succeed in Social Media by Rachel Strella

#1 in Social Media, #5 in the Overall Contest

Why it was chosen: Sometimes the simplest posts are the best. This certainly is the case with Rachel Strella’s succinct post on how to engage with Social Media. Rachel identifies three key elements for social media success: 1) A Strong Operation; 2) Established Marketing; and 3) Commitment. Without all three elements, a business may struggle to succeed with social media.

Key Quote: “Social media is a relationship-building tool – a utility for establishing new relationships or enhancing current relationships.  A business will be hard-pressed to find a way to accelerate – or even skip – the ‘know/like/trust’ process.  I urge all businesses to give relationship marketing at least one year before anticipating a steady stream of qualified leads.”

Staying Optimistic in Social Media Marketing by Barry Ricks

#2 in Social Media, #11 in the Overall Contest

Why it was chosen: Similar to Rachel’s post, Barry lays out a simple framework for creating an engaged and positive social media campaign. For those who see social media marketing as a necessary evil, this post is probably for them. But for the rest of us that sees SMM as an effective way to reach your customers, be sure to heed Barry’s four-step program: 1) Have a Plan; 2) Be Active; 3) Celebrate in your Social Media Marketing success; 4) Smile.

Key Quote: “At times it can be hard to stay optimistic, but follow these steps and you’ll become a “Glass half full” person and not feel like you’re “half empty” in your Social Media Marketing.”

50 Small Business Blogs to Watch by Andrea Parker

#3 in Social Media, #16 in the Overall Contest

Why it was chosen: This post has it all and probably should have been tagged as content marketing, sales management and social media. We think our voters liked this post because it gives a broad outlook on all aspects of sales and marketing.



Key Quote: “After several months of talking with key players, asking our loyal fans and surveying small business owners and entrepreneurs, the Big Ideas Blog Team has assembled a list of 50 small business blogs that will help you learn strategies from content marketing and effective copywriting to data analysis and social media with a side of the latest technology and PR tips.”

The 3 Rock Solid Questions To Guide 2013 Social Media Success by Jay Baer

#4 in Social Media, #19 in the Overall Contest

Why it was chosen: If you read this article in the beginning of 2013, you were prepped for success in your social media strategy. It’s not too late to do the same for 2014. Jay Baer raises three hard questions that every social marketer should ask: 1) How Does Social Media Make Us Money, and How Can We Prove That?; 2) Do We Have Adequate Resources To Succeed?; 3) How Are We Segmenting Our Participation?

Key Quote: “2013 is the year of social optimization. Growth is slowing, and it’s time to focus on making money, saving money or both. It is essential that you have a defined social media strategic plan that supports real business objectives like customer acquisition or customer loyalty.”

Find the Heart of Your Brand Storytelling with These 6 Questions by Debbie Williams

#5 in Social Media, #28 in the Overall Contest

Why it was chosen: Every brand has a story and Debbie Williams covers the six questions you have to ask yourself before you can do any sort of success brand marketing: 1) What’s your reason for being?; 2) What’s your history?; 3) Who are your main characters?; 4) What’s your corporate mission?; 5) How have you failed?; 6) Where are your gaps?. By providing some structure to your storytelling, you can give your brand a more comprehensive perspective to customers and leads.

Key Quote: “You have to know who you are before you can explain it to someone else. Brands that don’t have their core value propositions in place, or have internal discrepancies about what they are even trying to say, will never be able to share their story with the world in an honest and engaging way.”

7 insights from Brian Solis on marketing to the new connected consumer by Susan Young

#6 in Social Media, #32 in the Overall Contest

Why it was chosen: Brian Solis is a well-known technologist and digital media analyst and Susan Young pulls together seven insights for marketers in the customer-centric world. The most persistent theme in this piece is Brian’s insight that technology alone does not replace marketing insights. Technology and new channels like Facebook are not marketing black holes, but should be seen as a vessel for encouraging experiences and engaging customers differently.

Key Quote: “Consumer behavior is evolving, our technology is evolving, but our business processes, systems, services, and philosophies are not. Our methodologies and value systems are changing to adapt but they are not changing fast enough to lead. Everything I have learned about the future of marketing and branding is this:  Behavior first, technology second.”

Sales Reps on LinkedIn: You’re Doing It Wrong by The Bridge Group

#7 in Social Media, #35 in the Overall Contest

Why it was chosen: We all know LinkedIn is a powerful tool for marketers and salespeople, but not everyone knows how to utilize this platform well. Sales consultancy The Bridge Group put together a great e-book on how to leverage LinkedIn for sales people, and hosted an abridged version of the tell-all. This slideshare doesn’t just provide anecdotes or rhetoric but actually drills down step-by-step on how to better user your LinkedIn profile and network.

Key Quote: “You are so much more than your title! Your headline should convey the value you bring to your prospects and customers. For example, doesn’t Customer- Centric B2B Software Sales Professional convey more value than ‘Sales Executive’? How about Inbound Marketing Specialist versus ‘Inside Sales Rep’?.”

Beeps and Tweets: Car Companies’ Social Media Customer Service Compared by Katie Tandy

#8 in Social Media, #37 in the Overall Contest

Why it was chosen: Sometimes the best insights are done by example. In this highly researched post, Katie Tandy looks at how different car companies manage their social media presence on Twitter. While Silicon Valley darling Tesla Motors leads with 100K+ Twitter followers, they have practically zero engagement with their fans and only tweet once a day. GM, on the other hand, has made Twitter a big part of their social media engagement with 15 new hires and multiple Twitter handles such as @chevycustcare and @gmcustcare. Their average response time depending on the handle can be as low as five hours, which is by far the industry leader.


Key Quote: “While these proactive customer service efforts are, well, great efforts, the bottom line is that their response times are still painfully slow, especially in comparison to leaders in other verticals like fast food – @TacoBell for example – who averages a reply time of under 30 minutes – or @DeltaAssist who answers most tweets under 8 minutes… despite receiving nearly 500 a day.”

8 Must-Know Facebook Tips for Small Businesses by Socially Stacked

#9 in Social Media, #39 in the Overall Contest

Why it was chosen: Socially Stacked put together a great two-parter on how to leverage your Facebook page as a small business. Perhaps the most interesting tip is #4, “Be Human.” Too often, businesses and brands see social media as an extension of the traditional and sometimes stoic Madison Avenue marketing motif. Platforms like Facebook give businesses the rare opportunity to form a real dialogue with customers, current and potential. Don’t forget to put a human face to your company, including sometimes an actual human face, like a star employee or a key member of the marketing team.

Key Quote: “If you’re willing, show photos of your employees and your company, talk about birthdays and other special occasions. The more personal you can be with your audience the more your fans can relate to you and will see you as a friend they want to check in with on Facebook versus a brand or business trying to sell something.”

9 Simple Tips To Make Your Hashtags Work by Rupert Staines

#10 in Social Media, #42 in the Overall Contest

Why it was chosen: Everyone uses the hashtag but do we use it effectively. You can watch the Jimmy Fallon / Justin Timberlake satire or read Rupert Stine’s simple checklist on how to use a hashtag work for your social media campaign. If I had to boil down Rupert’s post in one simple suggestion, it’d be a hashtag is like a slogan or a motto: the more succinct, memorable and quotable it is, the better.

Key Quote: “Promote your hashtag. What’s the point of a hashtag if nobody sees it or uses it? Stick your hashtag on all your social media websites, on your print marketing materials, at the bottom of your emails, and so on. The more places it’s seen, the more people that will use it. That said, there does need to be a reason behind the use, and inviting people to “join the discussion” or “voice their views” by including a hashtag is a good way of boosting engagement.”

Is It Time to Close Your Facebook Page? by Alon Popilskis

#11 in Social Media, #44 in the Overall Contest

Why it was chosen: Alon’s post is a great reminder that Facebook is just another tool in our distribution channel toolbox and isn’t for everyone. Most Facebook brand pages are not viewed by fans and with the recent changes to news feed, this percentage will decrease further. Measure the ROI of acquiring each new Facebook fan and if the math doesn’t make sense, maybe Facebook is your channel.

Key Quote: “The bottom line is if you’re going to have a Facebook page, make sure you’ve got a justification for it.  And “I’m doing it because all my competitors are doing it” doesn’t count.  Just because they like to waste money doesn’t mean you should.”

You can view the rest of the top 50 content marketing winners here, including all the social media nominees. We cover other important topics including lead gen/inside salesmarketing automation andsales enablement.

Connect: Twitter LinkedIn website

Authored by:

David Cheng

I’m CEO and co-founder of ShareBloc. ShareBloc is building a community of like-minded professionals who share, curate and discuss business content that matters to them.

In my prior lives, I worked in investment banking, venture capital, and ran the online research platform for the leading cleantech market research firm.


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Five New Management Metrics You Need To Know


“If you can measure it, you can manage it” is a business saying that goes way back. Maybe it was Henry Ford who said that, or Peter Drucker? Regardless, most managers only measure outputs, not inputs, which is like telling a Little League team to score more runs, rather than actually explaining how to swing a bat and make contact with the ball. Similarly, most companies measure traffic, revenue or earnings, without considering how to improve the company at an atomic level: how to make a meeting better, or an engineer more productive.

Here are five metrics that great teams should measure:

Metric 1: Flow State Percentage

Jobs that require a lot of brainpower—software programming for instance—also demand deep concentration. You know that feeling when you’re “in the zone,” cranking on something. That is flow, a term coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Unfortunately, most of us are constantly interrupted during the day with meetings, emails, texts, or colleagues who want to talk about stuff. These interruptions that move us out of “flow state” increase R&D cycle times and costs dramatically. Studies have shown that each time flow state is disrupted it takes fifteen minutes to get back into flow, if you can get back at all. And programmers who work in the top quartile of proper (ie uninterrupted) work environments are several times more productive than those who don’t.

Ideally programmers and other knowledge workers can spend 30% – 50% of their day in uninterrupted concentration. Most office environments don’t even come close. To get started, ask your engineers to track for a few days their personal flow state percentages: how many hours each day are they in flow, divided by the number of total hours they’re at the office. And then brainstorm ways that the team can move this number up. For example, perhaps there’s a little paper sign at each person’s desk that says “Go Away, I’m Cranking.” Or maybe you have a day where no meetings are allowed. Tom Demarco has written insightfully on the topic of flow.

Metric 2: The Anxiety-Boredom Continuum

Years ago, back when I was younger and cooler, I took a salsa class with my wife-to-be where the instructor said something that really stuck with me. He said that his goal was to keep all of his students in the pocket between boredom and anxiety – but closer to anxiety. In other words, we shouldn’t be so overwhelmed that we break down and give up, but we also shouldn’t be coasting either. He kept the rhythm fast enough so that we were challenged, but not so difficult that we lost the steps completely. And he kept tuning the difficulty level of the class to stretch but not break us.

This same anxiety-to-boredom continuum also applies to managing people. Star performers can get bored easily, and often function best when they’re expected to rise to great challenges. You want expectations to be high, but not completely overwhelming. With this in mind, check in with your employees periodically about where they are on this continuum, while also keeping an eye out for signs of where they stand. If they have low energy, or are showing up late and leaving early, they may be bored. If they’re responding to small setbacks with anger or frustration, or getting sick a lot, they may be pushing too hard.

Metric 3: Meeting Promoter Score

Most meetings suck. And they’re expensive: a one-hour meeting of six software engineers costs $1,000 at least. People who don’t have the authority to buy paperclips are allowed to call meetings every day that cost far more than that. Nobody tracks whether meetings are useful, or how they could get better. And all you have to do is ask.

In the last minute of a meeting, ask the participants to each rate from 1 to 10 how effective the meeting was, with one suggestion for making the meeting better. It can be on a scrap of paper, or a simple web form. Verne Harnish has some good ideas about running better meetings.

Metric 4: Compound Weekly Learning Rate

My three year old son just asked me what the word “expert” means. When I answered, he nodded and asked “so am I an expert about superheroes yet?” The best leaders hold on to this relentless curiosity. Joi Ito wrote recently about “neotony”, the retention of childlike attributes in adulthood. This ability to learn is like the compounding interest on an investment: after two or three years, a relentless learner stands head and shoulders above his peers. Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, referred me to Joi’s posting. Jeff is one of the most relentless learners I know, and this quality is an essential element of his success and the success of his teams. So try asking your team this question: how did you get 1% better this week? Did you learn something valuable from our customers, or make a change to our product that drove better results? As your team gets into a learning rhythm, you can review this as a group. 1% per week adds up.

Metric 5: Positive Feedback Ratio

You can learn as much from John Gottman as you can from John F. Kennedy about being a great communicator. Gottman, a psychologist, is the author of “Why Marriages Succeed or Fail”.

In his research, he found that marriages that succeed tend to have five times as many positive interactions as negative ones. And when a couple falls below that ratio, their relationship falls down too.

The same is true at the office, where you’re often connected for years in relationships with people who can either become wary of your criticisms or eager to give you their best effort. Catch people doing good things. Never miss a chance to say something nice, even if you feel a little silly. Then when you have feedback on areas to improve, they‘ll really listen. It may be hard to manage to the 5:1 ratio at the office, but you should be mindful of the balance.

So, there you have it, 5 metrics that will never show up in the best companies’ financial statements or a Wall Street Journal article, but are the kinds of reasons those companies succeed. Tracking these five metrics isn’t glamorous. But it’s something everyone can do. And it really works.

  • aurelbrudan 2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing these ideas. We’ll add them to our database of KPI examples at

    A key characteristic of a good metric is how easy and accurately can it be measured.
    All of these 5 examples are good in theory and useful to keep in mind. However in terms of their practical use, there are some challenges

    Metric 1: relatively easy to track, however data tracking relies on individual discipline. It is relevant mostly at individual level, as team averages would be affected by the various interpretation of the term “flow” across team members. What is “flow state” for one may be “flawed state” for another.

    Metric 2: tracking the anxiety-boredom continuum is highly subjective in nature and might become time consuming if done across large teams on a frequent basis. It is good to be aware of implications and be across the state of the team, but without data this is more a characteristic and not a metric.

    Metric 3: the easiest to measure, although highly subjective and prone to gaming. How many staff are up to rate as a 1 the meeting called by their manager?

    Metric 4: highly subjective and difficult to track. Again life-long-learning it is more a state of mind, and continuous learning a value of the team, but in the absence of data its metric status is in question.

    Metric 5: keeping track of a positive/negative feedback ration would be challenging, but achievable in small teams. There is however a ROI question. Is it worth the effort of tracking these figures on a daily basis or are we better off asking a survey question at the end of the month. A challenge here is perception vs reality.

    Overall, excellent ideas, worth exploring further. However more evidence from practice is needed to determine how they work as metrics tracked with data on a regular basis. Alternatively they can become subject of survey questions, which would make data gathering easier, while changing their status from metrics to opinions on team characteristics and work habits.

    Are any readers across how these metrics are used in their organization, how and with what frequency is the data gathered, with what reaction from staff and what overall results?

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  • lisabglisabg 2 years ago

    I agree that “A key characteristic of a good metric is how easy and accurately can it be measured”. But in practice, the best indicators of performance tend to be the most difficult numbers to collect or verify. The mere act of asking these kinds of questions on a regular basis creates an environment where people are encouraged to think, something unfortunately lacking in most corporations today.

    If you truly want feedback, it’s really not all that difficult to collect, even subjective feedback. Most online meeting tools have a polling feature that easily collects feedback at the end of a meeting. Multiple survey and polling techniques abound on the web. These five questions would make great weekly polls on tools like Rypple, or even in regular staff meetings.

    As for reaction, I find that anytime you ask an employee for how they’re doing, they are very receptive. Especially if you take that feedback and do something with it. Their perception is their reality, and it will be passed on to your customers.

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  • ShahryarShahryar 1 year ago

    “Metric 3….How many staff are up to rate as a 1 the meeting called by their manager?”

    Yeah, I see this being a problem too. How about a monthly or bi-monthly “Meeting Ranking” exercise? That way, the manager can compare the meetings which were voted on top versus the meetings on the bottom and compare them.

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  • vikrammvikramm 2 years ago

    It is unfortunate that for Metric 1 and 2 there is no reference made to Prof Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who has coined the word ‘Flow’ for the state of complete involvement. The Anxiety / Boredom Matrix based on Job Challenge and Job Skill has also been conceptualized by him. Due reference or credit should have been given.

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  • Author
    Bruce UpbinBruce Upbin, Forbes Staff 2 years ago

    Good point vikramm, update added.

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  • vikrammvikramm 2 years ago

    Thanks Bruce

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  • nangunerinanguneri 2 years ago

    Dear Sir,

    This article on 5 management metrics rings a bell with me and is already in practice over the years except with a different name or concept in my understanding. So while I pen my thoughts it is to demonstrate the relevance in my world and NOT in any way put down your work in form or fashion.

    I am going by metric as numbered by you in your article:

    # 1 – Lean Six Sigma the principle of process excellence shows that one measures the inputs (Xs) and predicts the output (Y) in the famous Y = f(x) equation and can proactively expect a certain output based on the dialed in inputs.

    # 2 – Goals and objectives set at the level of entitlement and close to a stretch goal. Do not under set or over set them.

    # 3 – Negative Value Add (I changed the NVA Non Value Added to Negative as it causes a loss to the company and business) and time lost in a meeting is a NVA. Take it out and eliminate all sorts of dead or idling time in a day.

    # 4 – Voice of The Customer – Understanding what the customer wants. In today’s world there aren’t any products or services that a customer wants that we do not want. One doesn’t have to wait for a survey or a customer feedback loop to get it. One can simulate it in their own environment and understand the comfort or frustration associated with their product. Asking or engaging a customer and investing their time to get your product better is a sinful waste of time.

    # 5 – Managing Change – Needs to be done to be acceptable, get the team to be enrolled, get them to understand the benefits, use all sorts of acceptable techniques sincerely, as in positive reinforcement and encouraging people to try and come up with their own solutions to sustain and own them, and feel proud. Avoid telling and increase the Socratic approach of asking.

    Hope this makes sense to you and at first I thought it is old wine in a new bottle, however, if you have not been exposed to such concepts in the past then it is likely that it is all new to you in your discovery while we have been religiously applying these 5 and more metrics since the 80′s when Lean Six Sigma was introduced.

    Good luck and hope to work on a common project with you if you still feel comfortable and not frustrated.


    Dr. Shree Nanguneri
    CEO, MGBS Inc.

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  • carocccarocc 2 years ago

    One additional new management metric you will soon be hearing more about is the “Firm Wisdom Index”, which is a measure expressed by a number from 0 to 100 indicating the percentage of previously undocumented “wisdom” retained within the minds of employees, which may also be labeled as “institutional memory” that becomes documented through means of social technology.

    Louis Rosas-Guyon has written about “Firm Wisdom” in his book titled “Firm Wisdom: How to use Social Technology to Make Your Business Wise”.

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  • nangunerinanguneri 2 years ago

    Nice to see your comment on the wisdom index.

    On The firm wisdom index, if they are documenting the undocumented wisdom doesn’t it then get counted as documented once they track this index?

    I also had a question if they are undocumented why are they so critical to the performance of the team? In these days if there is a problem that is resolved the 8D or RCCA or a resolution report is also expected to contain a failure prevention mode for the customer which usually includes such wisdom.

    So would your wisdom index yet be exclusive to this measure?

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  • sarmadsiddiquisarmadsiddiqui 2 years ago

    Dear Bruce, I quite intereing, but I feel ike somthing is incomplete or missing while reading to end. May I a question, what would you say about perspectives…..all the issues have to be perceived to align the organizational operational objective…

    • helmut 2 years ago

      Hi Bruce,

      Very interesting and informative. Thanks also for the “reading list”, lol


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    • celiaripeceliaripe 2 years ago

      New? Really? mmmm don’t waste time in useless meetings, don’t interupt people who are busy, challenge your workers and yourself, and be nice when people do well…..
      How about don’t waste your time and mine rebranding old management staples and pretending to be some sort of Guru?
      1st level management course content.

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    • mikbamikba 2 years ago

      Perhaps you are fortunate to be working in an enlightened and highly effective organization where you don’t have to concern yourself with the kinds of challenges referenced in the article, and as a result they do seem trivial and elementary. If so, that’s wonderful.

      From my experience, most organizations would be much better off if they were able to incorporate and measure one or two of the suggested KPI’s much less all of them.

      Bad meetings are a huge waste of time, and most organizations don’t coach people how to run them effectively. Most people put into management positions stink at it at first (myself included) and few are encouraged and shown how to get better. Distractions are commomplace and most people allow the quality of their work to suffer because they don’t enact strategies to protect themself from these needless and wasteful interruptions.

      These are just a few of the things I’ve observed, which I think this article is trying to artfully combat. Thank you, Mr. Slavet, for your insightful piece.

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    • celiaripeceliaripe 2 years ago

      Did you read anything I wrote? my point is simply that none of this is new, not that I work in an enlightened organization.
      Insightful piece? hardly that. Full of rehashed basics and truisms.
      That was and is my point.

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    • Author
      Bruce UpbinBruce Upbin, Forbes Staff 2 years ago

      Point taken, but to a lot of other people, this advice is neither new or accepted truth

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    • celiaripeceliaripe 2 years ago

      Thanks for the support Bruce. I do not dismiss the advice wholly, what I object to is dressing it up as some new and revolutionary thinking.
      Anyone who has done any basic management training in the last 30 years or so will recognise these mantras despite the flamboyant language used in an attempt to be esoteric.

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    • cbrumcbrum 2 years ago

      Such a strong reaction, when only the headline uses the word “New”. This is a good article with additional, recent, supporting evidence for acting on (and measuring) the five areas.

      Another technique to improve flow/uninterrupted thought time is telecommuting. Staff who worked from home 1 day every 2 weeks frequently utilized the day for their most-challenging work, indicating that in their project estimates. For programming or design staff, especially, periodically eliminating the stop-by traffic and minimizing phone call interruptions is a productivity boost.

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    • celiaripeceliaripe 2 years ago

      Please point out the “additional, recent, supporting evidence” in this article.
      My objections are strongly felt and for the reasons I have stated.
      I suppose I should not blame people for rehashing old ideas and dressing them up in an attempt to appear more intelligent or insightful than their intended audience, that has been going on for ever.
      Maybe I should reserve my opprobrium for those who have the ability, but choose not to challenge this kind of lazy rebranding.

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    • babarkjbabarkj 2 years ago

      I can relate to one, three and four … they’re far too commonly ignored here in South Asia.

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    • celiaripeceliaripe 2 years ago

      While we are adding references for “coined terms” and clarifications, ever heard the term “Paralysis through analysis”? I repeat my earlier assertion….

      There is nothing NEW here.

      “programmers who work in the top quartile of proper (ie uninterrupted) work environments are several times more productive than those who don’t.”
      Really? How else would these environments get to be top quartile?

      “For example, perhaps there’s a little paper sign at each person’s desk that says “Go Away, I’m Cranking.”

      Seriously?… I have something I believe to be important (why else would I interrupt?) and I am going to be diverted by a paper sign?

      “He kept the rhythm fast enough so that we were challenged, but not so difficult that we lost the steps completely.”

      Any managers job is to set tasks that challenge but are realistic. S.M.A.R.T. Basic, very basic.

      “People who don’t have the authority to buy paperclips are allowed to call meetings every day that cost far more than that.”

      Not in any organisation I ever worked in or heard of. If a junior member of staff expresses the wish to call a meeting, the first question I ask is why?, the second is what do you expect it to acieve? Where do these guys who can call meetings at will but have no authority to buy paperclips work?

      “Nobody tracks whether meetings are useful, or how they could get better.”

      A routine responsibility for the manager presiding I would hope.

      Compound Weekly Learning Rate.

      Gobbledegook. Show me a senior Manager worth his salt who claims he knows everything and is not continuously learning.

      “Catch people doing good things. Never miss a chance to say something nice, even if you feel a little silly.”

      Praise your employees for good work? Reward excellence? Hardly an earth shatteringly new concept.
      Overall, some of the most pretentious reworking of what is basic management training I have ever read. If people stopped spouting this kind of nonsense and concentrated on their own output, they might quickly realise they don’t actually contribute a lot. As one who has often had this “wisdom” showered on him from above (perhaps there should be a golden in that sentence), I can tell you nothing demotivates middle managers more than realising that their lords and masters have the time to waste re-incarnating this stuff in ever increasingly non sensical terms.

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    • bkpatt 2 years ago

      Here’s a metric for Forbes:

      How much site traffic is lost solely because I can’t print your multi-page articles in a normal printable format where the article is the focal point, not the ads/links/junk?

      If I had an option to print, then your site and header remain intact when I give it to a colleague to read. I don’t often spam links out to folks as they get plenty of that, if I find something I think they may really want to read, I give them a copy. As it is, I give them cut/paste text with no site info, because you give me no other alternative.

      The web guru who advised no print option so people e-mail links and you get more page views is missing the forest for the trees.

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    • Author
      Bruce UpbinBruce Upbin, Forbes Staff 2 years ago

      I feel your pain. It is coming soon. I promise.

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    • bkpattbkpatt 2 years ago

      That is welcome news! Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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    • Chunka MuiChunka Mui, Contributor 2 years ago


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    • spacevegetablespacevegetable 2 years ago

      Number 1 is so very important, especially if you’re a software engineer. I’ve always called it “productive mode” and have been known to stay up until the wee hours “cranking” if I get into that mode because I get so much more done during that time period.

      Unfortunately, the new drive toward “open-plan” workplaces is in direct contrast to this flow metric. Open plan = mass distractions and not the quiet and lack of interruption one needs to get into the productive flow zone. That kind of office layout might work for other types of work, but it fails in a big way for software development.

      Sure, collaboration is good and useful, but every developer eventually has to sit and write code – a task that is best done with quiet to allow for concentration and lack of interruption. Without a space that allows for this, you lose out on the benefits of the flow that you might have gained.

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    • tinytimtinytim 2 years ago

      I work as a nurse in a nursing center in Canada and I personally can vouch for the fact that if I am interrupted by anyone during a medication pass,( passing out medications to patients.) the chances of me making a mistake are very high. Interrupting the “flow” has sometimes very high costs. Thank-you for this I will be able to use it as more amunition in the fight to give nurses a safer working environment to do their job well.

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    • fooledmefooledme 2 years ago

      People with no authority to buy paperclips can call a thousand dollar meeting? I’m not as informed or as erudite as other commentators here (although I have run very large – 1,000+ people organizations) but that nailed it for me!! Even just a quick and dirty check of wholesale prices shows that you can get at least 250,000 paperclips for that amount of money. Besides which; how many people use paper clips anymore anyway? Let’s try paper itself: that same thousand bucks can get you up to 10,000 pieces of paper if you really shop around and are a big enough buyer. But why stop there? Toner and ink cartridges? Software? Anyway, you made the point best of all – but talk about getting us thinking about the real cost of these meetings when most people are zoned out, sneaking peeks at their Blackberries,etc., mad about being called there for nothing, or just looking at the clock. Hopefully, while listening to the droning presentation after having been co-opted at the peripheries into somebody’s problem (or, worse, ego) they will at least be thinking about their own real work rather than ‘what’s for dinner?’. Paul Gerard.

      • Called-out comment

    • johnnymobilityjohnnymobility 2 years ago

      “So try asking your team this question: how did you get 1% better this week”?

      Now, if I become 51% better at my job, that I’m already 100% good at. Will I get a 51 % increase in pay???
      No, I’m told to do better, go faster, produce more, and then told I have to take a 30% pay cut to keep my job. So as soon as I get my 30% back (that I earned in the first place), and a 51% pay increase… I’ll take your advice, until then…

      • Called-out comment

    • fooledmefooledme 2 years ago

      I have already commented once and then I started re-reading the other comments. Again, smart and high-level thinking for the most part but the more I thought about it the more I realized that meetings aren’t really the culprit; it’s email!! Now that has to cost a lot more than $1,000 per hour of wasted time for the same people who would otherwise have been in those wasteful meetings. How many shotgun “c.c.’s” and “reply all’s” are there out there anyway that need to be there, let alone the originals? I could go on, but our imaginations driven by our personal experiences can fill in the rest of that fiscal, time-grinding and productivity sucking black hole.

      • Called-out comment

    • brettrelanderbrettrelander 2 years ago

      Thanks Bruce. I wouldn’t say that these are new areas of focus for effective leaders, but would definitely agree that we all need a reminder from time to time of the importance of looking at things differently and challenging the norm.

      It’s a fact that employees who feel appreciated work harder and strive to not just keep their job, but excel because they want more of that positive feedback.
      The same goes for constant learning. Like General Eric Shinseky said, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” This comment links directly to a person’s desire to learn and grow.

      In reality, each of the metrics you outline are part of a bigger puzzle. Success or failure of one leads to an increased chance of the same for another. When someone is able to put it all together and maintain that level of growth & innovation over time is when they become one of the elite.

      • Called-out comment

      • jeremie 2 years ago

        Hi James,

        Great post, I think going to qualitative metrics instead of quantitatives ones is one the best things to do. Ok, they are more subjective, but like in agile project management, you can put in place a “happiness” board (like
        I like the presentation “Optimizing for happiness” from github founder (, and money is always a consequence of happy and productive people constantly creating value.

        Jérémie Grodziski.

        • Called-out comment

      • jeremiejeremie 2 years ago

        Hi James,

        Great post, I think going to qualitative metrics instead of quantitatives ones is one of the best things to do. Ok, they are more subjective, but like in agile project management, you can put in place a “happiness” board (like
        I like the presentation “Optimizing for happiness” from github founder ( Money is always a consequence of happy and productive people constantly creating value.

        Jérémie Grodziski.

        • Called-out comment

      • stevenddeaconstevenddeacon 2 years ago

        Metric 1: Flow State Percentage

        There are many types of thought process flows to consider.

        • Brainstorming and envisioning
        • Researching … learning, apprenticing, mentoring, communicating
        • Logistical planning … cardinality, dependencies, branching, concurrency, convergence, triggering, objectives, evaluating
        • Organization … structuring, compartmentalizing, functionalizing, relationship defining, methodologies, modeling
        • Construction … building, assembly, integrating, flow control, binding, synchronizing, encapsulating, bundling, contribution recognition … iterations
        • Verification … measuring, objectives – results comparisons, objectives evaluation, defect identification, contribution recognition … iterations
        • Deployment … packaging, implementing, administrating, verifying, operating, performance analysis, problem identification, contribution recognition … iterations

        Production resources should be allowed to operate at 80% of capacity to meet objectives of Metric 1.

        Metric 2: Anxiety-Boredom Continuum

        See Metric 1 …

        Metric 3: Meeting Promoter Score

        All meetings must have a published agenda. The meeting coordinator must ensure that each meeting conforms to meeting the objectives of the published agenda. Agenda old business should be reviewed first and items deemed resolved or deferred till the next meeting. Agenda new business should be discussed and objectives clearly assign to specific meeting participates. The coordinator must clearly recognize achievements of specific participates. The coordinator must record all take-away assignments to prepare the agenda for the next meeting.

        Metric 4: Compound Weekly Learning Rate

        See Metric 1 and 3 …

        Metric 5: Positive Feedback Ratio

        See Metrics 1 and 3 …

        One final note … your website suffers from terrible performance because of your excessive use of multi-media advertisements.

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      • buzzlairbuzzlair 2 years ago

        this is certainly something that should be bronzed-plated and hung on the wall of every startup

        • Called-out comment

      • Venkatesh RaoVenkatesh Rao, Contributor 2 years ago

        The source of the manage/measure quote appears to have been Deming, with some serious mangling along the way:

        Your flow-state metric sounds like it could be well measured using Paul Graham’s maker schedule/manager schedule concept. If the company is letting the maker schedule drive the manager schedule, work is getting done. If not, people are spinning their wheels.

        The compounded learning rate point I think is best understood as an application of K. Anders Erickson’s “Deliberate Practice” idea to corporations rather than individuals.

        • Called-out comment

      • Bill ConerlyBill Conerly, Contributor 2 years ago

        Flow state is huge, and I suspect we’re going in the wrong direction with respect to office design, as spacevegetable pointed out. I did some arithmetic on office space and productivity here,,
        which estimated that downsizing cubicles can save money equal to about one percent of employee compensation. Doesn’t anyone think that work environment’s influence on productivity is greater than one percent?

        fooledme’s comment about email being the big destroyer of productivity has a lot of truth. I took an online course in email productivity and it really helped; all employees should be trained in how to avoid having email destroy their days:

        • Called-out comment

      • + expand comment
        • kesurakesura 2 years ago

          highly informative.Many of them we are practising as managers but with ignorance

      • sidsilversidsilver 2 years ago

        Bruce, look skeptically at new management mantras Some of the advice does appear to be old wine in a new bottle.

        Compound learning would draw time away from being in the flow and other directly productive activities.

        Learning does not make a successful person. There are people in India, for example Ambani, who was barely educated yet became the No. 1 company in the country.

        One needs to learn what is valuable for one’s work and not keep learning ad infinitum.

        • Called-out comment

      • + expand comment
        • revestorrevestor 2 years ago

          Good stuff. Question is what is the best way to measure and track it?

      • Logan67dLogan67d 1 year ago

        I wasn’t really quite clear on what Lean Six Sigma was until I did some research. For those that aren’t familiar, here’s a link that I thought clearly explains what it is at a high level:

        • Called-out comment

      • + expand comment
        • Tracy MoringTracy Moring 1 year ago

          I agree that meetings are often a waste of time, and that more productive use of time can be put in place. Managers need to take a good look around the room the next time they conduct a meeting simply because they are supposed to have their once a week meetings at 3:00. They will indeed see the wasted energy and forlorn looks of desperation.

      • Good reinforcements, effectively presented and nicely put!

        In response to some comments; well yes, there is nothing new, but having said that, why are these still not being implemented, and why if nothing is new, the existing frameworks do not seem to work? Attempts to put frameworks in practice end-up making them institutionalized by existing cultures.

        Eventually, life is about constant reinforcements and constant learning. These frameworks are often not “new”. But the stories behind them, the context in which they are presented, and the ways in which they can be implemented to situations, offer encouragement, rekindled aspirations, hunger to improve, a new hope and lease to further coexist and create awesome environments, and reinvent creativity.

        I hope we all can embrace and learn from these frameworks and in our own way within our individual contexts derive the maximum benefits that their implementation affords.

        Thanks for sharing!!

        A very fine article by James. Bruce thanks for posting.

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      • Kamal 8 months ago

        Thankyou Bruce for the metrics
        The research in marriages show 5:1 ratio of positive feedback. The relationship in organizations are different. So, research regarding finding the right ratio of positive to negative feedbacks should be done. If it is done already, please share it with us Bruce.

        Kamal Hossain
        Faculty of Business
        London School of Commerce

        • Called-out comment

      • Russ LewisRuss Lewis 1 year ago

        It was Tom De Marco who wrote “You can’t control what you can’t measure.”
        30 years later, he reflected that a project that is truly worthwhile may not need controlling.

        Together with the ideas set out here by James Slavet, we would do well to learn to walk away from projects that will not provide sufficient engagement, flow, fun and benefit.

        • Called-out comment

3 Google Analytics Quick Wins: Mobile Stats, Top Performing Content & In-Page Analytics

  1. Thanks for sharing these! Analytics is one of those things that always has one or two things available that you don’t even know about. New things to implement in 2014 woo!

  2. Great video, specially because you explain verbally and visually with examples making the video even more interesting. I would also suggest looking at the sections “Experiments” (for A/B testing now incorporated in GA) as well as Site speed sections, so you can compare how much time it takes for a page to load trhough your website



  3. Thank you for this awesome video

  4. Nice video and great summary. Excellent top tips for all businesses here. Thanks

Social Media Engagement: The Surprising Facts About How Much Time People Spend On The Major Social Networks

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Social Media Engagement: The Surprising Facts About How Much Time People Spend On The Major Social Networks


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Social Engagement Index Desktop Smartphone



We tend to talk about social networks in terms of size, because audience reach is one of social media’s biggest advantages. That’s why Facebook gets so much attention. With 1.2 billion monthly active users, it’s a beast.


But as audiences adopt newer social networks, and people’s social activity becomes increasingly fragmented, other measures of social network activity become more important, especially for businesses trying to determine where to best allocate time and resources. How much time users spend on each social network and how engaged and interactive they are with content there are increasingly important ways of evaluating the sites.

In a new report, BI Intelligence calculates an Engagement Index for top major social networks and compares their performance in terms of time-spend terms per-user, on desktop and mobile. We also look at how the different top activities on social media — photo-sharing, status updates, etc. — are indexing in terms of activity, and which sites drive the highest volume in each category. This report complements our popular reports on social media demographics and global audience sizes.

Access The Full Reports And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

Here are our findings:

  • Social is now the top Internet activity: Americans spend an average of 37 minutes daily on social media, a higher time-spend than any other major Internet activity, including email.
  • Social-mobile rules: 60% or so of social media time is spent not on desktop computers but on smartphones and tablets.
  • Facebook has a monster lead in engagement: Facebook is a terrific absorber of audiences’ time and attention, 114 billion minutes a month in the U.S. alone, on desktop PCs and smartphones. By comparison, Instagram commands 8 billion minutes a month, and Twitter just 5.3 billion.
  • Facebook attracts roughly seven times the engagement that Twitter does, when looking at both smartphone and PC usage, in per-user terms.
  • Snapchat is a smaller network than WhatsApp, but outpaces it in terms of time-spend per user.
  • PinterestTumblr and LinkedIn have made major successful pushes in 2013 to increase engagement on their mobile sites and apps. The new race in social media is not for audience per se, but for multi-device engagement.
  • Multi-device social media: Our analysis is based on BI Intelligence’s social media Engagement Index, which compares the effectiveness of social networks in keeping individual users engaged across smartphones and desktop PCs (for an explanation of the Index, sign up for instant access to BI Intelligence). 

Here are our PC-smartphone Engagement Index scores for five platforms:

  1. Facebook, 50.7
  2. Instagram, 13.5
  3. Twitter, 7.4
  4. Snapchat, 6.6
  5. WhatsApp, 4.6

The report is full of charts and data that can be easily downloaded and put to use

In full, the report:

For full access to the report on Social Engagement sign up for a free trial subscription today.

Read more:

10 surprising social media statistics that might make you rethink your social strategy

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Social media is changing faster than ever, as if that wasn’t something everyone already knew!

If you’re managing social media for your business, it might be useful to know about some of the most surprising social media statistics this year. Here are ten that might make you rethink the way you’re approaching social media.

1. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket.

  • This demographic has grown 79% since 2012.
  • The 45–54 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on both Facebook and Google+.
  • For Facebook, this group has jumped 46%.
  • For Google+, 56%.

Those are impressive numbers against the prevailing idea that social media is ‘just for teenagers.’ It certainly points to the importance of having a solid social media strategy if these age brackets fit into your target demographic.

Rethink it: Keep older users in mind when using social media, particularly on these three platforms. Our age makes a difference to our taste and interests, so if you’re focusing on younger users with the content you post, you could be missing an important demographic.

2. 189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’

Not only does Facebook have millions of users who don’t access it from a desktop or laptop, butmobile use generates 30% of Facebook’s ad revenue as well. This is a 7% increase from the end of 2012 already.

Pic 2

Rethink it: There are probably more users accessing Facebook from mobile devices than you thought. It’s worth considering how your content displays on mobile devices and smaller screens before posting it, particularly if your target market is full of mobile users. Of course, make sure to make sharing to social media from mobile more straight forward.

3. YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network

Did you think TV was the best way to reach the masses? Well if you’re after 18–34 year olds in the U.S., you’ll have more luck reaching them through YouTube. Of course, one video won’t necessarily reach more viewers than a cable network could, but utilizing a platform with such a wide user base makes a lot of sense.

Rethink it: If you’ve been putting off adding video to your strategy, now’s the time to give it a go. You could start small with simple five minutes videos explaining what your company does or introducing your team.

4. Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, continues to grow every second. From groups to blogs to job listings, this platform is a rich source of information and conversation for professionals who want to connect to others in their industry.

Rethink it: LinkedIn is definitely worth paying attention to. In particular, this is a place where you may want to focus more on new users. Making your group or community a great source of information and a newbie-friendly space can help you to make the most out of the growing userbase.

Make sure you share consistently to your LinkedIn company page and profile by for example scheduling your posts.

Pic 3

5. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web

We all knew social media was popular, but this popular? Apparently it’s the most common thing we do online. So next time you find yourself watching Kitten vs. Watermelon videos on Facebook, you can at least console yourself with the fact that the majority of people online right now are doing something similar.

Social media carries more weight than ever. It’s clearly not a fad, or a phase. It continues to grow as a habit, and new platforms continue to appear and develop.

Rethink it: Putting time and effort into your social media strategy clearly makes sense in light of these stats. If you weren’t already serious about social media, you might want to give it a bit more of your time now.

6. LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook

Although LinkedIn is gathering new users at a fast rate, the number of active users is lower than most of the biggest social networks around. So more people are signing up, but they’re not participating. This means you’re probably not going to have as good a response with participatory content on LinkedIn, like contests or polls, as you might on Facebook or Twitter.

Rethink it: If you’re hoping to get people involved, think about which platforms are best for that. Looking at the latest Twitter statistics and Facebook statistics, these platforms might be a better place for your contest or survey, while passive content like blog posts or slide decks might be just right for your LinkedIn audience.

7. 93% of marketers use social media for business

Only 7% of marketers say they don’t use social media for their business. That means there are lots of people out there getting involved and managing a social media strategy. It’s becoming more common to include social media as part of an overall marketing budget or strategy, as opposed to when it was the outlier that no one wanted to spend time or money on.

Rethink it: If you’re struggling to make your strategy work, or you just want some advice, you don’t have to go it alone. If 93% of marketers are using social media for business, you can probably find someone to give you a hand. Plus, there are lots of blogs, videos and slide decks around to help you out. Be sure to find the right social media management tool for you to stay on top of everything.

8. 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them

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It’s pretty clear that mobile is a growing space that we need to pay attention to. And we’ve all heard the cliché of smartphone owners who don’t want to let go of their phones, even for five minutes. Well, apparently that’s not too far from the truth. If 25% of people aged 18–44 can’t remember not having their phone with them, there are probably very few times when they’re not connected to the web in some way.

Rethink it: While you can reach people almost anytime, since they have their smartphones with them almost always, this also means you can interrupt pretty much any part of their lives. Don’t forget that having a phone in your pocket all the time isn’t the same as being available all the time.

9. Even though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog in 2013, only 9% of US marketing companies employ a full-time blogger

Blogging is clearly a big focus for marketers who want to take advantage of social media and content marketing. This is great, because blogging for your business has lots of advantages: you can control your company blog, you can set the tone and use it to market your product, share company news or provide interesting information for your customers. With only 9% of marketing companies hiring bloggers full-time, however, the pressure to produce high-quality content consistently will be a lot higher.

What a lot of people struggle here is how to write the best headlines for your articles, when the best time is to publish posts and lots of other blogging questions that arise when people are starting out.

(Of course, not all marketers work at marketing companies, but the stats are still interesting—how many companies in any industry can afford to hire—or already have—a full-time blogger?)

Rethink it: If you don’t have (or can’t afford) a full-time blogger for your business, be aware that having a content strategy that requires consistently posting on your blog will mean a lot of work for your marketing team and/or other team members in your company to keep up that volume. This can work, it’s just important to realize how big a task it is to run with a full-time content strategy without a full-time content creator.

10. 25% of Facebook users don’t bother with privacy settings

We’ve seen a lot of news about social media companies and privacy. Facebook itself has been in the news several times over privacy issues, Instagram users recently got in a kerfuffle over changing their terms of service, and the recent NSA news has seen people become more conscious of their privacy online.

But despite these high-profile cases of security-conscious users pushing back against social networks and web services, Velocity Digital reports that 25% of Facebook users don’t even look at their privacy settings.

Pic 5

Rethink it: Assuming that all of your customers are thinking along the same lines could be a big mistake. Especially if you’re basing that on what you’ve heard or read in the tech news. Remember that your customers might have very different priorities than what you expect.

Your social media strategy really comes down to what your goals are, and who your target customers are, but it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to the trends happening across the web. Hopefully, these stats will help you to identify trends that will affect your strategy and adjust accordingly.

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6 Lessons from the Top Bloggers: A Beginners Guide


6 Lessons from the Top Bloggers: A Beginners Guide

Stephen Darori
Categories: BloggingContent MarketingSocial Media Marketing


6 Lessons From The Top Bloggers A Beginners Guide

If you are new to blogging, then it is a great idea to research some of the best tips to help you get started. There are so many new blogs being created everyday but only a few of them will actually become successful and see a large readership.

So it is best to get as much information as possible before you start the blog, to ensure that your overall strategy is a good one.

Take a look at these 6 lessons from the top bloggers.

#1. Don’t rush the profits

We are starting to see more and more brand new blogs only caring about money and trying to implement a monetization strategy way to early. You should put any monetization strategy on the back burner until you have found yourself a great way to get to attract a large amount of people to your blog. Any monetization strategy will require people doing something, so you should first focus on actually getting the people.

If you try to push advertisements or affiliate products on your blog right away, that is only going to scare people away and will make the growth of your site much slower. Growing your blog’s brand, gaining credibility and authority, implementing marketing strategies, and creating valuable content should all be your first priorities.

#2. Blog about something you enjoy

If you are going to make a blog or a website, be prepared to be in it for a while. Blogs aren’t something that just becomes successful overnight. It requires a lot of time and effort, so if you don’t actually like what you are working on, how do you expect to last long enough to reap the rewards of a successful blog? The more you are passionate about a topic, the better chance you are going to create valuable content, care more about the blog, and manage it better.

A lot of people nowadays are picking niche blogs just because they think that specific niche will get them more money. If they don’t care about the niche and come up with bad content, then they won’t even attract an audience anyways. So, it’s much better to just do something you like than forcing yourself to do something you don’t.

#3. Learn as much as you can about SEO

You are going to need to take some time and research as much as you can about search engine optimization and how to get ranked higher. SEO is when you do certain techniques to get indexed and ranked higher with search engines. This means that once you are ranked higher, you are going to see much more traffic that is steady and targeted. This is how most very successful blogs get most of their traffic.

There are so many aspects to SEO, that it can be quite confusing at first, but if you are blogging on a content management system such as WordPress, then you can easily get a few plugins to assist with the main aspects of on page SEO. They will make sure your keywords are ok, optimize your title tags, and do much more.  Just know that implementing SEO doesn’t happen overnight. It is going to take time and effort, just like a blog, before you see noticeable results. This isn’t a miracle way to all of the sudden get steady streams of traffic. It only works once the search engines have increased your rank.

#4. Keep the blog to one niche

The reason why a lot of blogs fail is because the blogger thinks it is a good idea to post about multiple different topics. You should only be creating content about one niche and only other relevant things to that niche. As soon as you starting posting other stuff, then that is when you will start to see your loyal readers start to fade. Loyal readers will only come back to your blog if they know what type of content is about to be posted. Once you start posting something they don’t care about, they are gone.

Also, any traffic that you actually do attract with the random posts, will not stay long on your site because as soon as they finish that content, they won’t find anything else that is interesting. This could increase your bounce rates, make your traffic inconsistent, and all types of other things. So just keep your blog focused on one niche at a time.

#5. Communicate with your readers

You will need to communicate with your readers. They can be a great source of information. They can provide feedback telling you how to improve your blog, they will let you know what they like, and they will eventually grow a personal connection with you since you have responded to his comments and/ or messages.

Responding will also show to other future viewers that your blog has an active webmaster that cares enough about what their readers think to respond. It gives off a much better impression of the blog and makes people trust you more.

#6. Always create the best content possible

This is a pretty obvious lesson, but your content is the number one reason people will continue to come to your blog. If you can’t seem to create enough good content to keep your audience interested, then you are going to see some major traffic issues. The biggest reason why people seem to have such a hard time getting good content out is because they don’t take enough time to make something valuable. They try and rush through the whole content creation process to start doing other things regarding their blog. Getting distracted with all of the additional tasks is a easy and common thing that happens with bloggers, but its important to never compromise the value of the content.

These are 6 very important lessons that all new bloggers should follow. They will ensure your blog doesn’t fail right away and has a much better chance of becoming successful. After you start blogging and get a feel for things, you will be much better at managing your blog and knowing what you should and shouldn’t do.

Guest author: Ness is a guest blogger for She writes everything about making a website, finding the right hosting for your site and how to start a blog.