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Productivity

Business Blogs

Information is money.

The more you know, the faster you can get ahead.

Problem? We’re drowning in information. It’s everywhere! So where you can find relevant and helpful information on running your business?

Here are our top 11 must-read business blogs (with a slight social twist). We hope you’ll love them as much as we do!

1. LinkedIn Pulse

What is it?: LinkedIn Pulse collects articles that are relevant to your industry and business interests. It’s the perfect way to start your working day (together with a mug of coffee).

Who writes it?: A LinkedIn Robot. It’s a collection of articles from across LinkedIn’s blog network, so the authors could be anyone in your industry.

Why we love it: It’s tailor-made just for you. And LinkedIn boasts some of the world’s best business writing.

Check it out: LinkedIn Pulse.

2. You’re the Boss

What is it?: A blog about running a small business, by small business owners published by The New York Times. On the blog you’ll find advice, case studies and analysis.

Who writes it?: You’re the Boss has over 15 contributors including Rebekah Campbell, founder of Posse, Colleen DeBaise, director of The Story Exchange (where women mean business), and Gene Marks, who runs a 10-person consultancy.

Why we love it: The best teacher is experience, and this is advice from the trenches. We also like that it’s targeted at small business owners.

Check it out: You’re the Boss.

3. Harvard Business Review

What is it?: A collection of articles from Harvard Business School’s flagship publication. It covers everything from marketing to workplace conflict to the future of capitalism.

Who writes it?: The top writers and thinkers in the world of business are invited to contribute. Contributors are typically business owners or academic researchers who have written a business book.

Why we love it: It makes our brains light up! It’s the place to go for thought-provoking articles and advice on business.

Check it out: Harvard Business Review.

4. Lifehacker

What is it?: A blog about getting things done. That’s right, it’s productivity central. Perfect for procrastinators and people who need to get things done.

Who writes it?: Editor-in-chief is Whitson Gordon. Regular contributors include Eric Ravenscraft and Mihir Patkar. Plus there are a ton of guest writers.

Why we love it: Because if you run a business, you need to get stuff done. And Lifehacker provides all the cutting-edge advice on how to make that happen.

Check it out: Lifehacker.

5. Social Media Examiner

What is it? The world-leading blog on the subject of social media marketing. It covers everything social media related, from using social media as a PR tool to advice on creating a social media strategy.

Who writes it?: Cindy King is director of editorial and a regular contributor. There are also a wide range of guest authors.

Why we love it: It’s all about social media, our favorite thing!

Check it out: Social Media Examiner.

6. Seth’s Blog

What is it?: The musings and philosophy of marketing raconteur and maverick, Seth Godin. Most of the posts can be read in less than a minute. No wasted words here.

Who writes it?: The clue’s in the name. Seth Godin is the only author here.

Why we love it: Every post Seth writes helps us see the world in a new way. It really is that good. Also, Seth writes and publishes a new blog post (sometimes two new blog posts) pretty much every day, so there’s always plenty of brain candy to go around.

Check it out: Seth’s Blog.

7. BufferSocial

What is it?: The official blog of the social media scheduling tool, Buffer App. On Buffer’s blog you’ll find articles on social media strategy, consumer psychology, productivity and content marketing.

Who writes it? Buffer’s leader writers are Nicole Miller and Kevan Lee.

Why we love it: We’d probably love anything created by BufferApp, consider that it’s our favorite scheduling tool. Even so, Buffer’s blog is amazing. Every article is in-depth and well researched.

Check it out: BufferSocial.

8. Derek Sivers

What is it?: The thoughts and ideas of entrepreneur, programmer and intrepid traveler Derek Sivers. On his blog you’ll find reflections on creativity, business, life and travel.

Who writes it?: Most of the posts are written by Derek himself, with occasional contributions from guest writers.

Why we love it: Derek Sivers has walked the walk. He founded CD Baby, which went on to be the largest online seller of independent music. He’s a deep thinker, so if you’re into pondering the meaning of life (or just wondering about how to offer good customer service), then this is the blog for you.

Check it out: Derek Sivers.

9. QuickSprout

What is it?: QuickSprout is the online home of Neil Patel, who’s the co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics. On QuickSprout you’ll find articles on SEO, copywriter, consumer psychology and growth hacking.

Who writes it?: Investor, advisor and entrepreneur Neil Patel.

Why we love it: What we love most about QuickSprout is Neil’s focus on metrics and optimization. The internet allows pretty much everything to be tracked and measured, and Neil shows you how to make the most of all this information.

Check it out: QuickSprout.

10. HubSpot

What is it?: HubSpot creates and sells internet marketing software to help businesses better engage with their online customers. Their blog covers everything from social selling to must-read business books.

Who writes it?: HubSpot has a huge team of quality writers.

Why we love it: HubSpot tests everything and they’re not afraid to share the results of their experiments. Every article on the blog is pack full with value.

Check it out: HubSpot Blog.

11. Practical eCommerce

What is it?: A blog that’s all about selling stuff online. If it’s related to eCommerce, it’s covered here.

who writes it?: Regular contributors include Sig Ueland, Jill Kocher and Armando Roggio.

Why we love it: Okay, we confess, this one’s at the dry end of the blogging spectrum. There’s not much scintillating writing here. What you will find is solid advice and analysis. And that’s just what you need when you’re running a business, right?

Over to You

What are your must-read business blogs? Let us know in the comments section, below.

Unlock Team's Creativity 1

Businesses thrive or nosedive based on their ideas.

These days, we live in what’s called an Information Economy (as opposed to a Manufacturing Economy).

Way back in the mists of time (well, not that long ago really), businesses made money by creating stuff. This was manufacturing, hence the Manufacturing Economy.

Now, businesses make money by coming up with ideas. That’s the Information Economy.

Think of it this way. You can hold stuff in your hands. You can put stuff in a wheelbarrow.

Ideas? You can only hold those in your mind.

In the Information Economy, coming up with ideas is vital if your business is to succeed.

1. Unlock Everyone’s Creativity

Unlock Team's Creativity 2Being creative isn’t just for the designers, marketers and leaders in your business. Everyone in your business is creative. Yup, that includes your janitors and your accountants.

How can you unlock their creativity? Establish a business culture where everyone’s ideas are listened to and respected. This could be as simple as having an “ideas box” that anyone can contribute to. It’s even better if you can give feedback on how the ideas are used.

The more you acknowledge and celebrate creativity, the more your team will give back.

2. Go Green in Your Office

office plant creativityNature is always creating and renewing. Little wonder then, that exposure to natural light – and to green spaces – has been shown to boost creativity.

That means if you want your team to be creative, it’s best to have your office flooded with natural light. If you only have a limited number of windows, it’s worth rotating desks to make sure everyone gets a chance to work in natural light.

You can also green up your office with indoor plants for an added creativity boost.

3. Allow for “White Noise” Time

white noise creativityWhite noise is the sound you get from a TV or radio when it’s not tuned to any station (want some now? You can get 10 hours of white noise here).

“White noise” time is when you tune out from the chatter in your mind. You log off your emails, and kick back and relax.

How does this boost creativity? Creative ideas tend to emerge when we’re not looking for them. Tuning out of being busy and just sitting in white noise is a way of not looking. You’ll be amazed at how many ideas bubble up amidst white noise.

Twitter Chat

Want to meet likeminded people from the comfort of your office?

Perhaps you’d like advice from a veteran in your niche. Maybe you want to grow your network and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’d simply like to touch base with some interesting folk.

Whatever your reason for reaching out, Twitter Chats are a great way of doing so.

All you need to get started is a Twitter account. Let’s take a look at how you can get involved, starting with the basics.

What is a Twitter Chat?

A Twitter Chat is a group of people who get together on Twitter to talk about a specific topic.

There are Twitter chats about pretty much everything you can think of, including:

  • Healthcare
  • Fashion
  • Marketing
  • Business
  • Spirituality and Faith
  • Music
  • TV shows
  • Learning foreign languages
  • Job hunting (and networking with recruiters)
  • Publishing and writing
  • Leadership
  • Local issues

Chats take place on a regular basis, usually weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, at a specific time, and usually for one hour.

During the chat, people taking part use a specific hashtag so that everyone who’s taking part in the chat gets to see their tweets.

Why Take Part in a Twitter Chat?

Twitter is the networker’s social network. It’s the perfect place to reach out to new people and grow your network.

Twitter Chats are one of the best ways of meeting new people, not least because the people taking part in the chat want to talk to you.

You can use Twitter chats to:

  • Network with other business owners and leaders in your niche. As you get to know people, you can share ideas, contacts and useful information.
  • Meet other people with similar interests to you. Whatever you want to talk about, there’s likely a Twitter chat for it. And if there’s not, you can always set one up.
  • Educate yourself. Twitter chats are good entry points if you want to expand your knowledge on a particular subject. They’re a good place for asking any questions you have. So why not take the plunge into a completely new niche or topic using a Twitter chat? You never know where the journey could take you.

How Do You Find a Twitter Chat?

There are many different ways of finding Twitter chats. These include:

Looking out for the chats your friends are taking part in. If your friends are part of the conversation, then it must be a cool chat to take part in, right? Also, you have the added benefit of knowing someone who’s in the chat “room”.

Running a Google Search. Type “Twitter chat” and the topic you’re interest in into the Google search bar. You’ll find all kinds of relevant chats.

Using a Twitter chat database. A number of different websites collect databases of popular Twitter chats. Our faves include:

Got your own favorite place for finding Twitter chats? Let us know in the comments, below.

What Should You Do in a Twitter Chat?

The best way to get involved in a Twitter chat is just to take the plunge. Find a Chat on a topic you’re interested in, turn up on the day, and type the hashtag into the Twitter search bar. By doing this, you’ll be shown a stream of all the tweets in the chat.

When you’re ready to join in, send out a tweet that includes the hashtag. If it’s a busy chat, you’ll likely be surprised at how many replies you receive.

Other than that, just be a decent human being, don’t do (or say) anything your momma wouldn’t approve of, and do your best to stay on topic.

Want extra guidance? Then keep reading…

  • Many chats have a moderator – this is someone who’s in charge of keeping the conversation on track. When you join the chat, drop them a message to say hello and include the chat’s hashtag.
  • Remember that whatever you say in the chat is public and forever. All your Twitter followers will see your contributions to the chat.
  • Want to get the attention of another participant in the chat? Then retweet something they say, or ask them a question. Retweeting is always a way of showing agreement with what’s been said.
  • Most Twitter chats are not places for self-promotion. You will meet fascinating new people, who may become useful business contacts. Never try to sell in Twitter chats.

Make Twitter Chats Simple With These Tools

Taking part in a Twitter chat is easy enough. You just log-in to Twitter at the right time, and enter the chat’s hashtag into Twitter’s search bar.

However, there are tools that make chatting on Twitter even easier than that. These include:

  • Tweetchat. This tool creates a chatroom for any Twitter chat, so you can keep up easily and take part in the chat without constantly re-typing the hashtag.
  • Twubs features a schedule of popular chats, and also provides a chatfeed so you can follow any live Twitter chat.
  • TwChat allows you to create a chatroom for any hashtag.

Start Your Own Twitter Chat

After you’ve taken part in a few Twitter chats, why not start your own? When you do, you can:

  • Start with a launch party. That way, you’re not committing to regular chats. A launch party allows you to gauge interest, and (if lots of people show up), start with a bang.
  • Get your chat listed. Once your chat is up and running, make sure you get it listed in all the major chat directories (see above).
  • Invite guest interviewees. Inviting guests grows your community (many of them will come back for other chats), and it keeps things fresh and interesting.
  • Be strict on yourself in keeping to the schedule. If you need a break, pass on responsibility for organizing the chat to someone else.

What’s Your Chat Experience?

Have you taken part in a Twitter chat? How did you find it? Let us know in the comments section, below.

If we’ve inspired you to go out and find a Twitter chat to take part in, let us know about that too.