NHBRC invests over R30 million to drive its transformation agenda

first_imgThe National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) will be spending more than R 30 million in the new financial year starting on 1st of April 2017, as part of an effort to transform the home building industry.Addressing the NHBRC Transformation Charter launch, Deputy Minister of Human Settlements Ms Zou Kota-Fredericks,  said transformation and economic empowerment must be driven aggressively in the home building environment.“It is critical to note that the radical economic transformation programme is not a stand-alone programme as it has no special budget and should be an integral part of each and every department and all entities of government. It calls on all of us to revisit the Preferential Procurement Act so as to respond adequately to this issue.”The launch was hosted in partnership with the Department of Human Settlements (DHS) as part of the 2017 International Women’s Day celebrations.NHBRC Acting Chairperson of Council, Ms Julieka Bayat said one of the biggest challenges in achieving an effective transformation programme in the industry is the lack of adequate skills and we will be investing most of this money in the upskilling our most vulnerable groups: Women, Youth, People living with Disabilities and Military Veterans.“Women are particularly under-represented with respect to ownership, control and the management of companies involved in the housing value chain as well as in terms of technical skills.  Also, the high unemployment rate, especially of our youth has heightened the need for us to aggressively pursue transformation of the sector so as to create self-employment opportunities,” said Bayat.The NHBRC’s transformation charter seeks to address issues that relate to the advancement of equal economic opportunities in the human settlements value chain. The expectation is that participation of vulnerable groups will be optimised.“As the NHBRC we believe that our transformation charter will assist us in unlocking obstacles to and the effective participation by the identified groupings, it further asserts measureable goals for us to achieve on the road to a radically transformed home building industry” she said.We also wish to demonstrate our support towards government’s efforts of promoting social and economic transformation.For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Molebogeng Taunyane on 011 317 0070/ 082 646 8663 or email [email protected]last_img read more

Finally! Google Updates PageRank: Here’s The Real Scoop From 139,000 Websites

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Oct 25, 2007 11:54:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Google Updates If you’re involved in Internet Marketing, chances are, you have read the news about the recent updates Google has made to it’s Toolbar PageRank number (this is the publicly available PageRank number). Much of the current discussion has been the loss of PageRank by some high-profile sites in articles like “Digg Favorites Slapped by Google” and “Google changing the PageRank Algorithm?”  There has also been a fair amount of speculation as to the cause of this PageRank loss for these popular (and in many cases, highly regarded) websites.(For those of you who don’t know what Google PageRank is, check out The Importance of Google PageRank.)The most common speculation is that these sites lost PageRank because they were selling links, and that this is a “penalty” being imposed by Google rather than just a “normal” update of PageRank. I don’t have a strong opinion (yet) as to whether this was indeed the cause, but I do have some facts related to this recent news. As it turns out, we have access to the Google PageRank data for over 139,000 websites.  This data was collected via our free SEO tool called Website Grader.  Website Grader looks at a number of factors about a website as part of its evaluation — including Google PageRank.So, here are some of the insights drawn from this database. Disclaimer: The following was derived from some quick database queries and should be used for amusement purposes only. I’m not going to try and defend the points below. You don’t have to believe me.  Also, I’d suggest using some of the numbers shown as relative measures indicating trends — not absolute numbers you’d hang your hat on.What You Can Learn About PageRank From 139,000 Websites1) Contrary to what some believe, this recent update did not just reduce PageRank for some number of websites. There were sites that have increased in PageRank as a result of the recent update. A quick scan showed at least a handful of sites with PR5 or higher than rose to PR6 or higher. (As you would expect, there were also improvements in PageRank for a lot of lower ranked sites as well).2) Overall, the average PageRank (across all sites) seems to bounce around a little. If we ignore sites with PageRank 0, the average PageRank for the home page of websites submitted to Website Grader was around 4.59 in March 2007. This increased to about 4.77 in April 2007. Coincidentally, there was a Google PageRank update in that month. I always suspected that the April update was reasonably “liberal” in its allocation of PageRank, now the data seems to back it up. Note: Technically, PageRank is assigned to individual URLs (not websites). What we tracking is the PageRank of the home/default page of a website as that is what most people talk about as a measure of the overall weight of their website with search engines.3) Currently, the average PageRank is about 4.22 in October 2007  (it was 4.16 in September 2007). So, it would seem to me that there has been a drift downward in PageRank overall since the peak back in April.Dharmesh Shah contributed heavily to this article.  In fact, he might have even posted it himself if he were not locked in the basement writing code for HubSpot right now.  (To any law enforcement officials reading this, don’t worry, he is not being held captive against his will.  He has a big smile on his face and is working on “really cool stuff”.) Topics:last_img read more

What’s the Deal With This Whole ‘Context Marketing’ Thing?

first_imgSeveral years ago (in internet years, anyway) it became clear to some marketers that one of the best ways to capture market share was through creating amazing content. Whether through blog posts, ebooks, social media, cartoons, videos, whatever — helpful, educational, and interesting content was the name of the marketing game.Today, I think it’s fair to say that not just some, but most marketers are on board with this whole “content-is-important-for-marketing” thing. Our 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report, for example, showed that the average budget spent on company blogs and social media increased from 9% in 2009, to 21% in 2012. Furthermore, over 81% of marketers in the survey named their company blog as “useful” or better to their business. And LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter were considered “useful” or better by over 60%. Cool, so it seems like a good chunk of us are on board and rocking it with content. So …… What next? For a while now, the industry has been leading up to the next phase of marketing that is finally here in full swing — context marketing. Whether you know what that means or not (no worries, we’re about to tell you), I think you’ll find that it’s something you’ve either dabbled in, or wanted to dabble in, for some time. But now, there’s actually plenty of technology available to do more than just dabble in it! So this post is going to introduce you to the concept of context marketing, and show you just how powerful it can be if you incorporate it into your marketing strategy.What Is Context Marketing?Context marketing is using context in your marketing.:-)Okay, I’m being a little silly with that definition, but that is what it is. Actually, my favorite definition of context marketing is delivering the right content, to the right people, at the right time. Let me explain what I mean by context a little more, though.Context marketing is like a spelling bee …When you have context around something, you have a larger, more telling picture — you know, those little details that help lend more clarity to things that would otherwise be pretty general, unspecific, and, well, uninteresting. Let’s use a spelling bee as an analogy here. If a judge asks a kid to spell the word “pour,” he might want to ask a host of questions to get more context before answering. What’s the part of speech? What’s the definition? Can you use it in a sentence, please? Answers to those questions all provide context that helps paint a clearer picture of the word he’s trying to spell.And it’s important context, too! Why? Because the word “pour” is different than the word “pore” — or “poor.” Without getting more context around what the judge is asking, how could that kid possibly provide an accurate answer? Getting more context around that word would be pretty useful to helping our kid become a spelling bee champ! And the same goes for your marketing. Do you want to be a marketing champ like our spelling bee friend? Or a marketing chump who sends emails about pore cleansing strips or poor lost puppies instead of new water faucets that pour ionized water?Context Marketing Champ, or Chump?The marketing champs in every industry are the ones who are leveraging context about their audience, leads, and customers in their marketing. For example, a marketer using context would know more about a lead than whether she’s B2B or B2C, and her first name. They might also know what industry she works in, what kind of content she likes best, through what channel she prefers to consume content, whether she’s currently using another solution to meet her needs, and whether her company has budget at this time of year.As a marketer, if you were asked to “market” to someone, and all you were given was a first name and that she works for a B2B company, wouldn’t your first question be … what else do we know about her? Probably, if you want to do your job way better. That’s the idea behind context marketing: Using what you know about your contacts to provide supremely relevant, targeted, and personalized marketing.Why Is Context Marketing Important?Context marketing is important for many reasons, but here are the two that I think trump them all:When you have context around your relationship with a contact, you’re able to provide more personalized and relevant marketing content that’s targeted at their needs. Personalized and relevant marketing is the foundation for creating marketing people love! What’s more, personalized and relevant marketing is typically not the kind of marketing that annoys the living daylights out of people. Win-win!When you’re creating marketing that’s targeted at people’s point of need, it stands to reason that marketing will perform much better for you, because you aren’t delivering marketing content that’s misaligned with their interests or stage in the sales cycle. Think about it: If you know that our B2B lead from the previous section is getting new budget in January, she’s downloaded a couple buying guides in the past two weeks, she’s visited your product pages, and it’s December, you’re able to send her insanely targeted content that addresses her needs — like, say, an offer for a custom end of year demo of your product with a rep that specializes in the finance industry — content that she’s pretty likely to convert on.Why not use the context around your relationships with your contacts to create marketing that they 1) love, and 2) convert on?How Would One “Do” Context Marketing?Alright, these ideas all sound lovely, but how does this “context marketing” theory manifest itself? What would it look like for you, as a marketer? With the help of integrated marketing software, here are some examples of where you’d actually use the principle of “context” in your marketing.1) Dynamic Calls-to-ActionYou have a bunch of offers that you want to use to convert traffic into leads, leads into qualified leads, and qualified leads into customers. So it’d be kind of a bummer if you went to, say, a case study web page — typically an action performed when you’re further down the marketing funnel — and you saw a top-of-the-funnel CTA, like an educational tip sheet.However, not everyone who visits a case study page on your website is necessarily ready to talk to a salesperson. You don’t want to turn them away, either, by offering a CTA that’s too bottom-of-the-funnel. This could be perceived as a conversion nightmare, but with dynamic CTAs that adjust depending on who is visiting the page, you can actually surface a CTA that automatically aligns with the visitor’s stage in the sales cycle … or any other host of criteria you want to set! Think industry, business type, location, past activity/behaviors, that type of thing. Dynamic CTAs … pretty cool, eh?2) Dynamic Email Content and WorkflowsYour forms aren’t the only things that need to be smart as a whip. Your email database — especially if you want to maintain your space in people’s coveted inboxes — needs to be segmented into highly targeted lists. But you already knew that. Beyond killer segmentation, your email lists need to be smart enough to know when to pull in a contact, and certain information you have in your database about that contact, into your email marketing. Remember, a great context marketer delivers the right content, to the right person, at the right time. So to send emails that are contextually relevant, you need the power of workflows — the tool that will put the right person into the right list …… And the power of dynamic email content, which will make your email content personalized and relevant for each recipient!3) Smart FormsSo you want to be a context marketer. You want to be lovable. You want to see higher conversion rates. Let me introduce you to your new best friend … smart forms! They’re just what they sound like, forms for your landing pages that are wicked smart. So smart, in fact, that they know if someone has already filled out the form fields you’re asking for in the past. Because they know that, they don’t make your site visitors fill out the same form over and over again, and can help you glean more new information about your leads, instead of just more of the same stuff. We’ve started implementing this functionality ourselves, because we agreed that filling out the same form over and over again was a huge bummer! Smart Forms: Using context to be more lovable, improve conversion rates, and get you even more context about your visitors, leads, and customers!How are you leveraging context, not just content, in your marketing?Image credit: Thomas Hawk Originally published Dec 4, 2012 1:08:00 PM, updated August 27 2017 Topics: Marketing Strategy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Save Up to 50% on Your PPC With Quality Score

first_img PPC Originally published Aug 19, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: In PPC, there are lots of metrics to track, so it can quickly get confusing and then overwhelming. Marketers often ask me, “What’s the one metric I should optimize for? I just want to know the top one or two levers I can pull to make a difference!”In my experience, looking at thousands of Google AdWords accounts and billions in combined spend, there are two metrics that correlate most strongly with success:Account Activity: You get out what you put in. This isn’t too shocking; advertisers who do more work on their accounts get better results.Quality Score: Higher Quality Scores generally lead to lower costs, so optimizing for Quality Score is essentially the same as optimizing for ROI.Why You Should Spend Time Optimizing for Quality Score Since Quality Score is really a measure of relevance, it’s a powerful predictor of your success. And it makes total sense — Google’s main goal is to keep users happy so they keep using Google, and keep clicking results. More relevant ads, campaigns, and landing pages get more clicks; that raises your Quality Scores and — since Quality Score determines both your ad ranking and what you pay per click — everybody wins.So once you’ve committed to spending more time in your account, what should you spend your time on? I recommend that you focus on optimizing your Quality Scores, which is the metric most likely to lead to higher rankings, more clicks and leads, and lower costs for those actions.How much lower? Let’s take a look.New Data Shows AdWords Quality Score Can Save You Up to 50% on PPCIn 2009, Craig Danuloff crunched some numbers to show that a Quality Score of 10 could save you 30% on cost per click, or CPC. (Sadly, I can’t link to the post because the Click Equations blog now redirects to Acquisio.) But that was over four years ago, and I was curious to see if the data had changed.To investigate, I did a manual analysis of several hundred new clients that WordStream signed up in the first two months of 2013. What I found is that average impression-weighted Quality Scores have fallen in the past four years. In 2009, a Quality Score of 7 (out of 10) was average. But today’s impression-weighted average Quality Score is just slightly over 5. The distribution looks like this: Therefore, accounts (or campaigns or ad groups) with average volume-weighted keyword Quality Scores better than 5 can be considered better than average, and are thereby benefiting relative to most advertisers. Accounts with average Quality Scores lower than 5 are below average, and those scores are detrimental to your account. I used this data to re-run the calculations and see how much a Quality Score higher than 5 saves you on CPC compared to the average advertiser. Here’s what I found: As you can see from the chart, the savings have increased. Some highlights: A Quality Score of 6 is 200% more valuable than it was four years ago! A Quality Score of 6 was previously below average, and increased your CPC by 16.7%. Now, a Quality Score of 6 decreases your CPC by 16.7%. A Quality Score of 9 is twice as valuable as it was in 2009, saving you 44.4% compared to 22.2%. A Quality Score of 10 now saves you a full 50% on CPC. That means if all your keywords had Quality Scores of 10, you’d only be paying half as much as the average advertiser. Pretty crazy, right? And if you’re thinking, “So what? I don’t care about cost per click, all I really care about is cost per acquisition” — fear not. Quality Score lowers your CPA, too. I did a similar analysis based on CPA and found that high Quality Scores also correlate with lower CPAs:With a Quality Score of 10, you’ll pay 80% less per conversion than an advertiser with an average Quality Score of 5. These savings are mostly driven by lower costs per click. This is why optimizing for Quality Score is such a good use of your time.Benchmarking AdWords Quality Score: What Should You Shoot For? As I mentioned above, average Quality Scores these days hover around a 5. So anything higher than 5 is going to benefit you, relative to the average AdWords advertiser. That means you should shoot for a bare minimum impression-weighted average Quality Score of 6. However, it’s important to note that higher scores save you more. If you want the full 50% savings, you need the gold standard Quality Score of 10.The fastest way to find out your impression-weighted average Quality Score in AdWords is to grade your account using the free AdWords Performance Grader. This tool will do an instant audit of your PPC account across 8 different key performance metrics, including impression-weighted Quality Score. Your report will calculate and display your average Quality Score and plot a distribution of the number of impressions happening at each visible Quality Score for the last 90 days, and compare that to a “Recommended Curve” for your business. Here’s an example of what the Quality Score section of the report looks like:If you don’t like what you see (the example account above is well below average), it’s time to start working on improving your scores. Here are three tactics to try: Use ad extensions. AdWords ad extensions, such as sitelinks, make your ads bigger with more places to click, so they increase CTR at no extra cost.Write better ad text. Test different messaging to find the ad text that speaks to your audience. And use your one allotted exclamation point! Bid on brand terms. Branded keywords tend to have really high clickthrough and conversion rates, so they bring up the average for your whole account. This is a guest post written by Larry Kim. Larry is the founder and CTO of WordStream, provider of the 20 Minute PPC Work Week and the AdWords Grader. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.Image credit: Philip Taylor PTlast_img read more

How to Write a Blog Post Every Single Day

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If you’ve ever been in a content creation role, you know that there’s lots you can do to make sure you’re creating great content every single day. You can’t just wait for inspiration. You’ve got to be prepared, motivated, and focused — all at the same time. The trifecta can be hard to get, even for the savviest of writers.So if your job is to create content every day, how do you achieve all that?To get to the bottom of this, I spoke with my teammates here at HubSpot. It’s no secret: we create a lot of content, especially blog posts … so I figured we’d have a few tricks up our sleeve for writing a post every single day. Here’s some of the best advice our team has for getting prepared, motivated and focused to write each day on the job.1) Braindump Your Ideas in TrelloMy best brainstorming doesn’t often happen randomly — I usually need to sit down, realize I need to brainstorm, make inspiration strike once, and then iterate on that idea. I personally love to brainstorm ideas in Trello — a place where my whole team can see them and grab one if they want to write it. Having a central location for ideas keeps the blog post idea mill flowing for the entire team, even in the darkest days of writer’s block.2) Race Your Laptop’s BatteryMy colleague, Corey Eridon, mentioned this tip in a previous post about blogging tips — and it’s something our team will do when under a tight deadline. Just unplug your laptop, go somewhere else, and race to finish your post before your computer shuts off. Constraining your writing to a certain time limit can help you focus on getting the most important points down in a concise way.3) Isolate Yourself (Physically AND Digitally)To get focused, my teammates and I also like to isolate ourselves. Whether it’s holing up in some random conference room to write, popping in some headphones at our desks, or turning off all instant message/email/tweet notifications on our computers, we’re making sure we’re focusing on the one and only task at hand: writing a blog post. Those other distractions can wait until you’ve finished.4) Refresh Your SurroundingsThis tip is one my coworker Karlan Baumann swears by: changing your surroundings any time you need to work. So if you’ve been emailing at your desk all morning, try heading over to a local coffee shop to write (or vice versa). Writing requires a different mindset than the rest of your day-to-day duties, so changing up your surroundings to mirror the change in mindset can be very helpful.5) Listen to Music Popping in your favorite tunes can help you gear up to write something awesome — though it doesn’t have to be a certain type of music. My colleague Shannon Johnson told me that she prefers classical or non-lyrical music when she needs to buckle down and write … but mine is usually the Pandora Beyonce or Mumford and Sons mix. Find whatever music empowers and focuses you to write and go from there.6) Get ComfyI absolutely need to feel physically comfortable before I write. Forget ergonomics — sometimes I need to be hunched over my post for an hour to get it out quickly.Experiment to see which body position works best for you. For me, I need my feet stretched out and laptop on my lap because that’s the position I used when I was on tight deadlines at college. This position can work at my desk or in a conference room or on the couch. You may need much more — or much less — rigidity, but it’s important for you to know how your posture can help or hurt you.  7) Chunk Up Your WritingOften, I’ll get overwhelmed and think, “I need to get 1,500 words done before lunch? I have 10 minutes before my next meeting so I won’t even try to write something.” But that’s not always the best way to think about writing — or any project in general. Lately, I’ve been trying to say to myself, “I have 10 minutes, so what can I write in that time that’ll be substantial?” Usually, that’ll be one or two paragraphs of a post — so I’ll challenge myself to write that before I need to go to my next meeting. Set deadlines for yourself for parts of your writing, and you could find that your productivity skyrockets. 8) Do It at a Set TimeIt’s really easy to make excuses to not write. An impromptu meeting crops up or suddenly your inbox is overflowing or maybe someone’s complaining on Twitter and you need to respond to it. But if you let yourself get caught up in all of those, you’ll never have enough time to bang out a post. So try carving out a chunk of time to sit and write, and don’t let anything else interfere. Maybe you write best in the morning, so you block out 8-10 a.m. on your calendar. Send yourself a calendar invite for that time and disconnect from all notifications. You’ll train yourself and your coworkers to expect you to blog at that time.9) Talk It Out This is a great tip that came from Corey as well: when you’re getting caught up in trying to write something down, just talk it out. Grab a voice recording device or a coworker, and explain what you mean out loud. Naturally you’re going to be more down-to-earth and jargon-free, and hearing your own voice say the concept out loud can jumpstart your creativity. Bonus: if you have Evernote, you can write your blog posts by talking them out. 10) Skip to Easier StuffWriting can make me really angry sometimes. Randomly, I’ll have a blog post idea and have no clue how to begin the post. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been ruminating on the idea for a week or a month or half a year — somehow I get writer’s block. Instead of fighting against those sections that just won’t cooperate, skip to sections you know like the back of your hand. Writing non-linearly seems counterintuitive (don’t you have to build your story first??), but it can help unlock your creativity. You’ll get back into your writing groove and it’ll be easier to tackle those other sections. Just make sure you go through a heavy edit to make sure your story flow actually seems logical. 11) Organize Your Bookmark Bar With Resources You Use Every DayI’m an organized person. I keep track of my blog post ideas in Trello, I color-code my email inbox, and I sure as heck make sure I’m ready to write or edit a blog post at a moment’s notice.One thing that has significantly cut down on my writing and editing time is my collection of bookmarks. I’m not the greatest at dead-recalling facts. Instead, I bookmark resources that’ll help me find the information I need. So things like the link to our blog or design style guide, or the link to our stock photo subscription, or the link to our personas — I bookmark them all. That way, I don’t have to spend time searching for important blog post content to reference or cite.I also like to bookmark resources that’ll help me come up with new blog post ideas. Generally, I like to check out this site, but I also use a bunch of these browser bookmarks.  Do you write every day? What tips do you have for consistently creating content?   Productivity Originally published Feb 27, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:last_img read more

10 Time Wasters That Limit Your Blogging Productivity (And How to Avoid Them)

first_img Topics: Productivity When it comes to blogging, there are tons of excuses we give ourselves (or sometimes our bosses) explaining why we just can’t get to writing them right now. While many of these excuses (not enough time, too busy with client work, no writers on staff to create content or edit it, etc.) may in fact be valid and perfectly understandable, it doesn’t change the fact that in order to have successful content marketing, you must also have frequent, relevant content to actually post, too.So instead of continuously finding reasons to put blogging on the back burner, why not define what the time wasters at work are that are preventing you from getting it done, and change them? Here are a few common ones to start off with that may help at your place of business:1) Ineffective Multi-taskingFor many of us, our day-to-day routine at work requires wearing a lot of hats and being an effective multi-tasker. But the truth is, we’re not as great at it as we think. In a recent study, Earl Miller—a Picower professor of neuroscience at MIT—claimed that it is actually very difficult for people to fully focus on more than one thing at a time, but are much better at switching focus between tasks very quickly, giving the illusion of effective multi-tasking.An example might be someone thinking that they are effectively writing an email and talking on the phone at the same time. Because both involve communicating (whether verbal or written) and thus are competing to use the same part of the brain to complete them, we are not really multi-tasking—we’re simply switching our focus very rapidly back and forth between tasks.Tips for better blogging productivity:The goal is to be as effective as possible when it comes to productivity so you actually can have time for things like blogging. Try to stay focused on one task at a time. If your schedule allows for it, you can also try to prioritize your tasks into groups (i.e. lumping together tasks that are more communication-based, analytical-based, and so on and so forth.).2) Sitting in on Every MeetingWhen it comes to meetings, there are often many that are unnecessary for everyone to attend, or at least not for the whole duration of them. In some cases, meetings are planned with a clear topic and objective in mind, but often spiral off in tangents once the meetings have begun. Maybe that type of discussion is necessary for some roles, but it’s likely that the bulk of the staff are not needed in those.Tips for better blogging productivityFor those roles in a company that are designed to see things from a broader view (more managerial and directorial positions), these meetings might be necessary to attend. But other more task-oriented positions may benefit from just getting the highlights from one person who attended, as these individuals often have pressing deadlines that can get interrupted with too many meetings.Each meeting should also be directed with a clear topic of discussion that leads to each person’s/department’s specific action items, a realistic timeline and a follow-up meeting to go over the progress.3) Getting Sucked into the Black Hole that is Social MediaAlmost every one of us who have social media accounts are guilty of over-frequenting our news feeds at some point or another. Even if interacting on multiple social media platforms is a big part of your job, it’s important to set aside time for personal use, rather than during work hours. Overusing or stopping sporadically to check your accounts (even if for business purposes) can make it much more challenging to get back into a strong workflow.Tips for better blogging productivityInstead of reading up on current statuses, try scheduling out a short 30 minutes to read up on some of the top blogging best practices from the pros. There are a ton of great online resources for beginners and regular bloggers alike that discuss best practices for different types of blogs, too, including corporate/professional, personal, hobby/interest, community, etc. 4) Having a Disorganized WorkspaceThis is something that frequently gets overlooked, but can nonetheless be a big time waster. And many aren’t afraid to admit it. In fact, in an OfficeMax survey, it was found that out of 1,000 workers, 90 percent of them believe that clutter does, in fact, create a negative work environment. And 77 percent of them claimed that clutter also negatively affects their productivity. This accounts not only for tangible documents on your desk, but files on your desktop, unopened/unsorted emails and other similar digital materials that require sorting.Tips for better blogging productivityTry making it a habit to file a document away every time you create or acquire one. It will keep you from spending hours trying to search for something and prevent you from dedicating entire days to giving your workspace a thorough cleaning. Similar to the advice given by popular chefs and cooks today, forming the good habit of “cleaning as you go” will clear up a lot of time for you to do other things—in this case, getting crackin’ on that blog.5) ProcrastinatingProcrastination almost never works out for the better in any situation, but especially when it comes to the workplace. Waiting until the last minute to get things done can force you to push back other time-sensitive tasks, looping you into an endless cycle of overdue items.Tips for better blogging productivitySetting daily or hourly goals for getting things done can help you stay on track and avoid procrastinating. Treat it the way you would a bank account: you have X amount of dollars (in this case, hours) to get something done and once that’s gone you will have to get a loan with interest (hours from the next work day) to pay for your expenses.Sticking to this “budget” can help you visualize that procrastinating can actually accumulate a lot of work for you in the future, and hopefully help you find the time to squeeze in some writing time for your blog.6) Losing Focus Due to NoiseMany workplaces are now adapting to more collaborative spaces, ditching the individual offices and setting up cubicles/desks within an open, spacious area. The problem that often comes with this type of setup, however, is distraction due to high levels of noise in any one space.While some may argue that listening to music helps keep them focused, it really depends on the individual—how they work best and what type of work they’re trying to complete. In an inbound marketing agency, for example, someone in more of a designer or producer role might function more efficiently with some background music.A marketing strategist or content writer, on the other hand, may function better in silence. Either way, if the noise (music, internal conversations, conference calls on speaker phone, etc.) is not being controlled by the individual, it’s likely to distract them.Tips for better blogging productivityIf you’re wanting to make time for writing blog articles, you probably fall into the category that does better without noise. So if your office is typically on the noisy side, instead of staring at your computer screen for 10 minutes trying to finish writing the same dang sentence, try using some ear plugs or noise-canceling headphones at the first sign of distraction. You can then get in your own zone and tune your rambunctious coworkers out while you type.7) Socializing for Too LongLet’s face it: many of us like to socialize. Not necessarily because we’re all a bunch of gossips, but because we spend the majority of our days (and our weeks) with the people we work with, so we develop a desire to connect with them on a personal level.The problem comes in when a morning catch-up session or an afternoon instant-message conversation lasts for a couple of hours or half the day—it can certainly impede on productivity.Tips for better blogging productivityOne way to avoid this is by redirecting these chats to happen first thing in the morning, during a group lunch, at an after-work happy hour, or on a break. Set up a meeting in your calendar (even if it’s just with yourself) to block out some time just for blogging. If someone wants to chat during that time, simply ask to continue the conversation after your time block is over or at another time.8) Being a Literary PerfectionistPerhaps one of the biggest time wasters in the office has to do with the actual process we have for writing blogs. There’s a fair chance you may just be overdoing it. Similar to how a designer can sometimes forget the value of white space, many of us wordsmiths sometimes forget the value of conciseness. Just because you’re creating a piece of content doesn’t mean your viewers are going to spend time like they would reading their favorite novel to absorb it all.In fact, in an article by the research company Nielsen Norman Group that discusses how little online materials are actually read by users, results showed that the average viewer only has time to read about 28 percent of the words on any given Web page. That’s why it’s important to stay focused and get to the point.Tips for better blogging productivityStart your process by creating an outline. It should consist of:The blog topic or headline you’d like to write aboutA list of the direct points you want to makeA clear CTA, or direct action you’d like the viewer to takeOutlining these basic components (and actually writing them out) can help serve as a reminder of what’s really important in this piece.9) Not Asking QuestionsSometimes the reason we procrastinate is because we’re unsure of how to get something done or we’re not entirely sure what the objective of the task is. Not asking questions for clarification right off the bat, or even along the way, can become a huge waste of time.Whether it’s not knowing where to research something, who to contact, what message you’re trying to convey in an email, or something similar, being confused about a task and not asking for clarification can lead to procrastination or double the work later on.Tips for better blogging productivityAsk a bunch of questions right off the bat if you’re unsure of how to complete the task at hand, and be sure you have (or can quickly get) the answers before blindly attempting to do it. With all the right tools and information, you’re bound to increase productivity. And increased productivity means more time for blogging.10) Visiting Non-Work Related Websites Throughout the DayAnother big distraction and time waster at work is the Internet. Of course, many of us depend on it to get work done for our employers, but according to a Salary.com survey, approximately 64 percent of employees visit non-work related websites every day during work hours. The survey also concluded that these websites also kept most employees off-task and unproductive.Tips for better blogging productivityIf you find yourself needing a quick break from your day-to-day tasks and find yourself wanting to browse the Web a bit, try visiting a few popular blogs from leaders in your industry to get some inspiration for content to use in your own blog. This way, taking a break from the grind of work can be still be productive, as it’s helping you research for your next article. Originally published Nov 20, 2015 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! 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