With the end of the year fast approaching, I wanted to take a look back at all of the great advice and insights shared by our bloggers on OPEN Forum and highlight a few top articles. While I had my own favorites, I decided to ask the authors themselves for their selections, too. So if you only get to read a portion of our content, here are some articles you should check out, in case you missed them.
For Marketing Your Business
From Business Insider: “6 SEO Fundamentals that Every Business with a Website Should Know” offers some great tips for optimizing your site for search engines, and also refers to some free tools to help you track how your site is doing.
From John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing: “7 Insanely Useful Ways to Search Twitter for Marketing” is less about what to say on Twitter and more about how to target by occupation, location and other means for identifying the right audience for your message, as well as keeping up with your industry and competitors.
From Wise Bread: “How to Create a PR Crisis Strategy Before You Need It” advises on how to be prepared for response. It’s difficult when building a business to put time toward tasks that don’t seem as pressing, but as the article says, you should “think worst case scenario” now, before a situation becomes stressful and you may not be able to think as clearly.
For Finding Innovation
One of my personal favorite this past year is Chris Brogan’s “Seek out Less Traveled Roads.” I really liked the idea of how a key learning might come from something you didn’t like or from books and other history that aren’t necessarily hot at the moment. Made me think I need to stop looking for the next great thing and start looking for inspiration in the past or less obvious.
For Managing Your Business
From Scott Belsky of Behance: “5 Ways to Conquer the Culture of Reaction” offers insights drawn from a number of business leaders for how to manage reactionary workflow. As Belsky says, “If we spend all day reacting to the incoming barrage of communication, we will fail to be proactive with our energy.”
From Henry Blodget of Business Insider: “Here’s a Wacky Idea: Give Your Employees as Much Vacation as They Want” examines the positive and negative aspects of not having a formal vacation policy.
For Managing… Yourself
Matt May’s “10 Tips for Re-Energizing Your Day Every Day” could be just the answer you need for how to re-energize and refocus for the New Year.
And Wise Bread’s “80 Ways to Steal Valuable Minutes for Your Work Day” offers 80 invaluable tips from business experts on how they better manage their time, including:
- Chris Brogan of New Marketing Labs: “I don't watch television, so that gives me several minutes (or hours) most people don't have…I also use my waiting-in-line time to answer emails and manage my calendar.”
- Liz Strauss of Successful Blog: “Take 15 minutes at a specified point of the day—maybe before lunch —to work on something that's your passion ... at the end of a week you will have put more than an hour into that one thing.”
- Jeff Cornwall of The Entrepreneurial Mind: “Too often, entrepreneurs do not prepare their employees before delegating to them. This results in the classic case of ‘it is quicker to do it myself’. By investing the time in simple training, communicating a clear explanation of expectations, and documenting the basic process for them to follow, delegation will quickly become a way to free up time.”
And for Looking Ahead to 2011
From Wise Bread: “Tax Rules You Should Know about for 2011” is something every business owner should read. Barbara Weltman covers several key changes, including to medical reimbursement plans and reporting for W-2s and credit card transactions.
And another favorite of mine is John Jantsch’s “5 Trends that Will Shape Small Business in 2011” – a great look at where the marketing focus will be in the New Year.
These are just a few of our favorites from those of us at OPEN Forum. But I’d love to hear what you thought were the best articles of 2010. Add your thoughts below.