How to be Emotionally Intelligent

(And Why It Is Important in Increasing Productivity)

emotional intelligence

Just recently, Google announces that it discovered what really makes a team productive through its Project Aristotle. Dubbed as psychological safety, a team member has to be nice so he or she can work in a team setting minus the misunderstandings and conflicts. Thus, it doesn’t matter if you are working for an SEO company, FMCG firm or online marketing agency. Bottom-line, you can never go wrong with kindness. And, this is where emotional intelligence comes in.

How can you become an emotionally intelligent employee? That’s the question. In a world full of speakers rather than listeners, answering this question can be a real challenge. The workplace is tormented with noises, so how can you even pay attention to your own emotions, let alone other people’s emotions? Stop right there. Haven’t you realized that emotional intelligence (and the lack of it) affects your productivity? Well, it does.

And what better way to combat this and improve productivity than through improving your EQ (emotional quotient). Before we teach you the process, let’s scrutinize what makes an emotionally intelligent staff.


The emotionally intelligent employee

An emotionally intelligent employee is capable of recognizing his emotions and that of others. The person is able to discriminate between his feelings and label such appropriately. Finally, the person uses this information to guide his thoughts and behaviors. According to Daniel Goleman, author of the groundbreaking book ‘Emotional Intelligence,’ an emotionally intelligent individual is personally and socially competent.

Further, the author also identified the five domains of EQ.

1) Knowing your emotions (Self-awareness)
2) Managing your own emotions (Self-regulation)
3) Motivating yourself (Self-motivation)
4) Recognizing and understanding other people’s emotions (Social awareness)
5) Managing relationships (Social skills)

Below is a video of Goleman tackling how and why emotional intelligence becomes the differentiator.


The productivity of an emotionally intelligent employee

Did you know that when it comes to performance, employees with average IQs outperform people with high IQs 70% of the time? The perfect combination seems like average IQ and high EQ. There are also studies that claim that 90% of top performers have higher EQ, not necessarily high IQ.

EQ is also examined by TalenSmart to determine how it compares to other critical workplace skills. The experiment concludes that EQ is the strongest predictor of performance with 58% success rate. Thus, EQ can be considered as the foundation of the skills since it impacts what a person says and does everyday and while at the workplace.

What’s more, employees with higher levels of EQ make more money compared to those with lower levels of such. A person with high EQ earns $29,000 more. The more that person increases her IQ, the more she will earn. An emotionally intelligent employee earns an additional of $1,300 with every increase in the EQ level.

Indeed, EQ affects performance and productivity and thus the personal and organizational success (read: bottom-line). That’s how important emotional intelligence is.


Becoming an emotionally intelligent employee

Here’s the good news: EQ is a learnable skill. A person can increase his or her emotional intelligence! Nevertheless, you cannot predict the EQ of a person based on how smart he is. Learning is the same regardless if the learner is 15 or 50 years old. EQ is different. Some are born with it. Some are natural at it. Some took years to learn it. Some even took more years to perfect it.

However, if you are going to start doing these things below, you’ll improve your EQ in no time. The items are random but are somehow connected to one another. Warning: Long list.

  • Observe your emotional tendencies
  • Understand and express how you feel exactly
  • Don’t let other people label your emotions for you
  • Don’t let others judge how you label your own emotions
  • Be specific with your choice of words to describe how you feel
  • Pay attention to people, things, events that make you feel that way
  • Understand how you feel connects with your behavior
  • Don’t judge your own feelings
  • Control your negative emotions
  • Don’t let negative feelings cloud your own judgment
  • Decide how to behave in face of a negative feeling
  • Share how you feel with other people
  • Be honest with what you really feel
  • Be more responsible for your own reactions
  • Act calmly and rationally
  • Be more receptive to feedback
  • Use criticisms wisely
  • Sense other people’s emotional needs
  • Listen more empathetically
  • Empathize with other individuals around you
  • Ask questions
  • Pay attention to other’s body language to uncover their feelings
  • Observe how your emotions manifest physically
  • Don’t hurt other people’s feelings
  • Know when you hurt someone’s feelings and apologize
  • Be open-minded
  • Don’t confine yourself to your own feelings and beliefs
  • Respect other people’s feelings
  • Appreciate the role of other people in your life
  • Try to understand where they are coming from
  • Be trustworthy especially when a person shares his or her feelings with you
  • Observe how other individuals react to certain situations
  • Compare other people’s emotions to your own emotions
  • Show genuine care and concern for people and their experiences
  • Be willing to help others
  • Be flexible and adaptable
  • Channel your emotions creatively
  • Have a personal strategy so negative emotions won’t get the best of you
  • Exert self-control by avoiding impulsive actions and expressions
  • Say no to someone if you really have to
  • Distance yourself from emotionally draining mistakes
  • Don’t dwell on negative circumstances
  • Let go of grudge
  • Approach toxic people rationally
  • Don’t let negative emotions fuel the chaos
  • Disconnect from time to time
  • Have a strong sense of your own feelings

Before you may put into practice your knowledge, it would be wise to determine your current EQ. There are many EQ assessment tools online, most of which are free. We recommend you assess your EQ first to know the areas that you need to improve best. The result will be your baseline, something to start your EQ improvement journey. Commit to improving the initial results and achieve those competencies that you lack. After all, it is your personal excellence that you are working on.

Good luck!

Humans are without a doubt, the most visual creatures on earth. Nothing entices us more than anything that is pleasing to look at–eye candies if you may. In fact, the human brain processes images approximately sixty thousand times faster than ordinary written text.  Now, here’s a fact that may blow you away: We retain only about ten percent of what we hear and twenty percent of what we read and a whopping eighty percent of what we see. Now, should you be a wise digital marketer, you would find ways to creatively exploit this human quirk or trait.

Suppose you are an online marketing agency specializing in link building services, this fact alone should send idea pings and signals to your head. As it is, most, if not all digital marketers would want their content seen and above all, shared. For social media specialists and marketers, this means one thing: Peppering your posts with eye-popping images would almost guarantee you more shares as more shares denote better engagement. In fact, it has been shown that visual content largely dominates social media, much more than written text. By now, you should have an idea of just how significant the usage of images is, but as there is profusion and a multitude of options when it comes to images, it begs the question: What sort of images should you use?

Well, a recent survey has shown that despite the influx of videos, infographics and illustrations lately, people would still prefer the classic take by reading posts laden with a variety of photographs.  However, if you include animated gifs into the mix, then photographs pale in comparison as animated graphics seems to dominate the charts when it comes to the total social shares by blog post image type. Instagram and Twitter already has an avenue for animated gifs to be played, while Tumblr has always been littered with posts teeming with animated gifs. It seems that only until recently Facebook was left out of the loop. But late last year, the social media juggernaut has finally allowed GIFS to be playable in their news feed making this image type a formidable contender in being the preferable image platform.  As bloggers and content writers, this is a welcome opportunity for you to widen the scope of making your posts more engaging.


By utilizing GIFS, your audience is not limited to seeing stills and photos nor are they constrained to watch a video. This makes the image platform a welcome compromise to the dilemma of wanting to watch a video without the lengthy interval as gifs are relatively short and quick to view—nothing more than a few seconds of your audience’s time. And that is not all; GIFS are quite easy to use as finding the appropriate one for your post does not take much of your effort other than scanning through available and existing gifs in which is offered for free. However, should you not find anything suitable; you can easily create one for your own with the online tool Quite easy to use, very straightforward and engaging, these attributes are precisely why gifs have been dominating social media platforms all over the web.


You may think that utilizing illustrations is a bit old-school and outdated. Although this may be true, it is unbeknownst to most, illustrations give your content, blogs and posts that personal feel that would give your readers the impression that you considered giving your write-ups enough effort to go the extra mile of making them a lot more personalized and detailed. Additionally, personalized illustrations guarantee your posts a sense of peculiarity and inimitability at some degree. Graphs made by excel will never be at par to graphs made with artistic skill and given a touch of personality. How is this achieved? Simple, you utilize your own handwriting and your own skills in drafting graphs. You do not need to be in possession of calligraphy skills and artistic panache, but you do need to make sure your handwriting and drawings are understandable enough to your readers. Your sketches may look nothing more than doodles to you, but you can be assured that they attract and hold the attention of your readers and since they are created by hand rather than by a machine, it gives the illustration a certain edge above the others.

Apart from illustrations giving your posts a personalized color, it also allows the poster for humor to pervade his or her post. Let us face it, humor can hardly be achievable with rigidly stiff lines and graphs drawn on excel. Squiggly lines and haphazardly drawn graphs are incomparable to computer generated shapes and charts.


Utilization of infographics is the powerhouse of content with substantial information. Though, it is not as effective as it used to be, it is still shareable content that will still stomp the competition. Infographics are quite difficult to make and requires quite a bit of time, but it is possible to make them and still have your message conveyed. There is a multitude of infographic creation tools online, but there are three creation tools that are a cut above the rest. These are:

*Canva- Canva is the well-known image creator and image editor for the web. People who have no design skills will still be able to create attractive graphics fast.

*Google Charts- Although, you would still need to save the charts to use them as pieces for your infographic, Google offers you one of the best free infographic tools available.

* If you want an infographic generator that is teeming with options, then should be your choice as it offers more options for free than most of its competitors.  Additionally, it’s built-in sharing functionality and ease of use makes this the prime choice for bloggers and content writers who want to insert infographics into their posts.


Though you can use photos randomly generated by stock photos or searched for in search engines, using your own photos guarantees your post a degree of authenticity and originality. However, as not all of us are gifted with a photographer’s eye, this is easier said than done. Should you have top notch standards for visual content, it is best if you consider hiring a professional photographer—one whose works are in line and appropriate for the type of content you generate. If this is not an option, use your smartphone and just give it your best attempt. In any case, your photographs may look like they have been taken by an amateur, they are still far better than photos collected from stock photos.

In conclusion…

If you want compelling content that would be shared and re-shared by your audience, let them feast their eyes on something other than a big block of text. Creating inspired images does not have to be expensive as you can even do it with a simple sketch achieved through a pencil or through an online free software such as Canva.

So, fellow bloggers and content writers, let your words paint a literal picture for you by utilizing various platforms in images. It will certainly do wonders for your SEO, and it will do wonders in granting you wide readership.

People have bad habits. We all do. But when you develop these bad habits in business, then it means trouble. The success of your business will always depend on how good you are as a leader – on how you manage every strategy effectively and successfully. But let’s face it, not all of us are born naturally to lead. It takes a lot of your time and effort to learn the basic steps of leaderships, and on how you can effectively lead your fellow marketers to do business with you.

When it comes to marketing, even an SEO company knows so well that every second count. That means every leader should strive hard to compete in the marketing world. And having a lousy performance is unacceptable. Poor leadership would also mean ruining the team’s productivity. Of course, how will you lead your team when you yourself can’t even handle simple situations on your business? Right? A lot of you here might have been pondering if they are a good leader or not, or if they have been leading their business in the right direction or not?

Yes, leading your team may be daunting and challenging. But it doesn’t give you the reason why you can’t be a good leader to them. Well, if you want to help boost your business, then you should stop doing these bad leadership habits below that definitely, can ruin your team’s productivity.

1. Managing the details

Every detail of each strategy, no matter how simple it is, is important. Failure comes in when a leader missed out the details. And as the leader, you should not just look at the bigger picture, you should also know how to look at the smaller ones that help make or break a good strategy. For instance, setting up a goal where you want your employees to achieve, it is up to them on how they can make the task work. However, if that particular employee can’t deliver his/her task, then you probably have the wrong person for the job.

Managing the details means going micro to macro. Before going to a bigger strategy, make sure that the smaller details are efficient enough to support the said strategy as a whole. Likewise, you have to know the reasons as to why that particular employee is not effective in that particular task. Perhaps, he/she is expert and effective in other particular field and not on the task that you just gave. When you miss out even with that small detail, then that might be the reason why you can’t properly deliver your strategies.

2. Neglecting the individual

When it comes to business, you have to know that each employee is an expert in their respective field. Although they may not be good at some point, but there will always be something that they are good at. However, when you tend to give them a task that is not in line with their expertise, it may not be a good idea. Yes, multitasking may be an advantage to every business, but there will also be a downfall to it. Employees can’t focus on enhancing their skills when they have so many things to do, which may result in being stagnant on their specific field.

As a leader, you also have to know the strength of your employees– on which field are they good at. Of course, it is also not enough when you just know about their skills, you also have to understand the way they make things done. With this strategy, you will have a strong team working together while integrating their own expertise in the business as a whole. Moreover, this is also one way to lessen mistakes in delivering the given task they have.

3. Not making your expectations clear

Expecting something is definitely not a bad thing at all. In fact, it is in your expectation you can foresee things that may be possible to happen in your business. On the other hand, making an assumption is definitely a risk to take. Yes, there are just times that businesses should take some risk to avoid facing bigger damages. But as a leader, you also have to make sure that you are not taking a risk just for nothing that can jeopardize the quality of your business.

When you assume, it means you are not sure of the things that are going to happen. When it comes to business, there should always be an assurance in every transaction that you make before jumping into conclusions or decisions. You can’t take your business to the next level when you don’t expect it to grow. But when you expect, you will have a clearer view of what is going to happen, and what strategies to make for the next step.

4. Indecisiveness

When you can’t have a firm decision, then you are not fit to become a leader. Basically, a leader should have an authority over his words. In business, feeling pressured especially when it comes to the decision making is inevitable, considering that you can’t take an unnecessary risk for your business. And we all do understand that making a decision is a crucial thing to do. However, it doesn’t give you the reason to be indecisive on the things you should do for your business. If you do, then your business is going to be at risk.

Having a firm decision is a must for the betterment of your business. But if you can’t come up with a strong one, then your business might face troubles in the marketing industry. And you definitely don’t want to see that crappy outcome, right?

5. Refusing to delegate

The feeling is indeed wonderful when your employees looked up to you as a leader, and on how they respect you for achieving great things for the business. Yes, the feeling is great. But this is also one of the reasons why some leaders refuse to delegate tasks since all they want is to get the praises of their employees for accomplishing another great thing. And yes, this might be good at some point, but you are already killing the productivity of your team. What else would they do when you all have the task of yourself? And I’m sure you can’t do it all alone, you need someone to help you grow your business.

A good leader knows how to delegate tasks to his/her employees. It is also your duty to know which employee is good on a particular task. Avoid doing all the work by yourself. When you do, you might settle for mediocrity since you can’t finish your task on the given deadline. Moreover, if you want to see a growth of your business, you also have to make sure that your employees are also growing through integrating their field of expertise on your business. With that, it will be much easier for you to grow together as a team.

Being a leader is not just a simple task. You’re handling employees who are also one of the factors that contribute to the success of your business. If you are not careful enough in handling your team, this might have an undesirable result. That means you don’t just lead, you also have to set yourself a good example to your employees, which they might consider you as their inspiration to work harder for the betterment of the business. 

“Without deadlines and restrictions, we just tend to become preoccupied with other things” – Val Kilmer

Everything about this quote embodies the specific need of every human being and not only those employed in the corporate world for a proper deadline. It is a reality that in this world, nothing is buttressed on a perpetual standstill and everything has a deadline—even your dreams and aspirations have deadlines, and this is precisely how they become goals.

In the corporate world, the existence of deadlines is even more vital as it is often said and believed that if it were not for deadlines, nothing would ever get done. In fact, it has been widely accepted that when it comes to projects and reports, there is no greater inspiration than having a deadline. But of course, while this is true, deadlines can be incredibly taxing and a tad bit daunting to employees. But of course, logistics wise, deadlines are not as much of a threat when it is complemented with an effective and responsible team and an open avenue for communication as well.  Whether you may be a business owner, or an employee still struggling to climb the steps of the metaphorical corporate ladder, the fact remains that communication is the single most crucial tool in hurdling deadlines. And it is rather disappointing why people would inordinately neglect this rather simple aspect.

People are chronic procrastinators, this much is true and when they are given the liberty of time without any target date whatsoever, they will inevitably lose focus and just do designated tasks whenever they feel like it inasmuch as they will defer doing what is supposed to be done at the last minute when they are given a prolonged and extended deadline. And when a project involves a certain group of people, chronic procrastinators and people who delay will invariably cause a disruption in the work flow ensuing in substandard results. Take a company offering SEO (search engine optimization) consulting services for example, this company is comprised of various teams who would work on certain projects. To achieve a desired end result, these teams coordinate with one another, work in cohesive harmony and communicate what each team needs in order to meet the demands of their project all the while working on a target deadline. Succinctly put, as the prior scenario has put: delay gets things done but good communication gets things done faster so much so, that communication may be considered as the primary bulwark in not only meeting deadlines, but beating them.


Businesses rarely operate on a single person alone in perpetual isolation and who does correspondence solely by sending out letters to everyone else. Businesses and corporations, no matter how big or small involve a multitude of people of various skills and abilities and more often than not, it is a matter of everyone being coordinated and communicating well. This corporate symbiotic relationship composed of several diverse people determines how a particular project or task deadline will be hit or met. To ensure that everything is running the way they should be and as efficiently, everyone needs to be apprised of precisely at which point in the project everyone is. The cumulative effect of having everyone meet smaller deadlines results into meeting or beating the bigger deadline and have them be more effective and competent in their jobs. If you are a business owner, a little encouragement from you telling your employees to keep an open avenue for communication throughout their projects and throughout the whole day can go a long day. To this effect, no one will be surprised whenever something does come through. When things are running smoother with fewer kinks and peaks, the landscape towards meeting deadlines will be wrought better and reaching end goals and deadlines will be so much faster.


No matter how efficient your employees are, and no matter how effectively they have been performing at their jobs, it is inevitable that some projects would not fall through and some deadlines cannot be met as it is a reality that your employees are not working on a singular project alone. Of course, there are other work and tasks that would inescapably occupy a portion of their time and unless they abdicate their other tasks totally and dedicate their sole focus on a new project, negotiating with deadlines can be a bit of a habit and at times delays will ensue with target dates unmet.  Other times, these are from fortuitous events that are beyond your control , unfortunately sometimes delays are the byproduct of a single team member’s incompetence or procrastination and other times, it is just because the logistics of the project completion have not been thoroughly gone over and discussed.

When such occurs, it is imperative that you manage your expectations. More often than not, as an overseer of their projects and work tasks, you would know when a particular deadline is going to be hit so when this occurs, ne open about it. Inform your customers and clients about the delay and as much as possible convey the reasons in a manner that they would make them understand why such delay had happened. If you notify your customers and clients, they will be more susceptible and amenable about the delay and will less likely give you a hard time. In this way, they can make the necessary adjustments on their own logistics where the finished product which is your project is involved and keep things running smoothly as well which is just as important as they try to figure out a flexible way to go around the problem without the finished product from you. As a corollary as well as a precaution, it is vital that you let those people involved in the deadline being unmet know of the repercussions of the delay.

Make them aware of the impact, but avoid excessive blaming as this will not only decelerate the process of finishing the assigned task, it will give you unimpressive or even substandard results. However, be clear that excuses are not to be tolerated–especially excuses that are haphazardly composed and are made to the effect of it being ludicrous. Stand firm and let them duly explain why the deadline was not met and let them tell you how they intend to meet the new target deadline. In this way, you are actively preserving the image of your company as tolerating delays and excuses would give your business unwanted and unnecessary effects such as losing customers or far worse, legal repercussions.

To conclude…


Communication is exceptionally pivotal in all types of relationships as can be gleaned above, most particularly in personal and business relationships. With this said, it is important that you find a way to enhance your business communication and correspondence. To sum it up: Do not disregard communication as it is a vital instrument in making or breaking your business.

How to Build Habits

How long does it take to change one’s habit? A lot of you here might ask.  A habit does not change overnight, it’s a constant struggle and it’s not easy. However, our success depends on our habits. Achievements in life are not just about hard work, perseverance, and willingness. It also involves admirable habits that contribute to our success. It reflects on who we are in and out.

It takes a lot of discipline to build good habits unless you’re not serious enough to achieve a long-term success. But I bet, all of us want to change for the betterment of our career. Who wouldn’t, right? That means you have to fully understand what your goals are to effectively do a new habit. Yes, it may take some time since we are not used to doing all sorts of things. But at the end of the day, building and changing your crappy habits into new ones is all to your advantage.

However, a lot of us here don’t know where and how to start. Well basically, you have to know what you want for a change. What particular thing you need to avoid or strategies you need to do to achieve a better outcome. Knowing these things may be simple, but it is essential to building new and effective habit.

  1. Start with an incredibly small habit.

Again, doing a new habit is definitely not easy. People who are struggling tend to find more motivation and willpower just to stick with a new habit – which is a wrong approach. That means it is difficult for you to maintain the pace when you start with hard habits. When you do, it makes it easier for you to say no that leads you to avoid doing a particular habit.

According to a research, willpower is also like a muscle. It gets tired when you force to do difficult habits. It rises and falls, which BJ Fogg, a professor of Standford call it the “motivation wave”. However, starting with a new and simple habit is so easy that there is no reason for you to say no. The easier your habit is, the more consistent you are in doing such.

  1. Increase your habit in very small ways

Every day is a learning experience. Cliché as it may seem, but it applies to every person who aims to succeed in life. Of course, through disciplining and practicing yourself to improve even one percent each day is a great impact on your success. You won’t grow in your career if you tend to stay stagnant and doing the same habit without any developments at all.

Doing some amazing things from the beginning is a great thing. But the dangerous part is that you may not be consistent in doing such, since you already feel exhausted and consumed, especially if you are not used to. Rather making it hard on your end, do something small at the beginning. You will eventually realize that you are gradually improving day by day. And your motivation and willpower will also increase along the way. It’s not that hard to stick and start with a simple and small habit. In fact, you will appreciate how you gradually changed for the better.

  1. As you build up, break habits into chunks

Yes, we’ve been adding up one percent of improvement each day. Then you realize your habits are increasing quickly within two or three months. If you are not careful and attentive enough, you might have a lot of habits on your checklist, which makes it even harder for you to accumulate and perform each habit effectively. Moreover, you’re bombarded with all the habits; that you tend to be confused on which habit you’re going to do first.

Having and doing a lot of habits are not that bad at all. However, you have to be keen when it comes to dividing each habit to fit on your own pace. You don’t have to force yourself to change your habit quickly that you tend to accumulate all the good habits at once. It will only break the momentum of change. And as a result, you won’t change for the better. For instance, if you are planning to do a particular thing within 20 minutes, split it into two parts of 10 minutes at first. In that way, it will be easier for you to accomplish a particular habit each day.

  1. When you slip, get back on track quickly

It is definitely normal for us to feel anxious and discouraged, especially whenever we commit mistakes on life decisions. And sometimes, it affects our daily routine or habits. However, although you may feel all of those unfavorable emotions, you have to encourage yourself and get back to your track as soon as possible. According to a research, even if you miss to do your habit once, it doesn’t have a great impact on your long-term progress. You have to abandon your all-or-nothing mentality since we are not perfect.

Yes, we may sometimes fail in some other aspects of life, but you should not expect to fail. Taking some time to consider what went wrong that prevents you from doing your habit is a must for you to understand the things around you. Moreover, you have to know what are the plans and strategies to prevent a particular mistake from happening again. With that, you will be ready to face each challenge head on while keeping your habits.

  1. Be patient. Stick to a pace you can sustain

Patience! Being patient is the most crucial and difficult thing for us to do. Why? Because people normally want to make things done in an instant. We tend to stop practicing how to be patient, considering the fact that all of our technologies are in our convenience. However, building a new good habit is different. It’s not a race. Again, you don’t have to force yourself to be a better person in no time. There will be a gradual transformation if you want to have a long-term success. All of your effort and time will pay off if you just learn how to be patient in everything you do.

Moreover, if you are not impulsive in everything you do, especially when doing a new habit, you will feel easy that your habits became a part of your life.

Final thoughts:

It is impossible to achieve success when you don’t know how to build your habits. Learn first how to take control of your habits and unexpected situations that may prevent you from improving, and you will understand what lies ahead of you.

In content marketing, even if your content may have no virality, it should be shareable at the very least. Shareability is critical particularly for startups and those companies that have a relatively small community, especially in the social realms. The goal is to make your contents as easily shareable as possible. But, how can you possibly do that when you are making it so easy for them to ignore your contents? How come, you might ask. Below are the reasons.

1) No one knows your content exists

What do you do after hitting the publish button? Leave it as it is? How can you expect your readers to share your contents when even you are not sharing them? Now, ask yourself. Will you share your own content? Can you honestly tell if your content is highly shareable? If you can’t even judge the shareability of your own content, no one will also do so.

It is one measure of the shareability of a content – when you actually want to share it with others and so others they can share it with their own networks. While there are various ways of discovering contents, the basic premise is that distribution starts with the content creators themselves. Make me aware of it. That’s the very first thing you must do.


2) No one knows who you are

Let’s say that you’ve written a share-worthy content. The question now is – why will I share it when I don’t even have a clue who the writer behind such? Trust is a big word, and even more so today when even the media are tricked of believing a hoax as an actual news. No one wants to be a part of those-who-don’t-verify-the-veracity-of-a-content-before-sharing-it statistics.

With that said, before anyone shares your content, you must prove your trustworthiness and credibility first. Trust in you means trust in your content, too. Content sharing is also a form of recommendation. Thus, you must give your target audience some good reasons before they can recommend you. Publish information about yourself and make it easy for others to find.


3) There are no share buttons

A classic! How can your audience share the contents they’ve just read when there are no social widgets to support the task? Some sites or blogs put them buttons, but these are hidden somewhere that is not so visible. That’s another mistake on your part that kills the chance of your contents being shared online.

Did you know that if a person thinks that your content is so great it is a sin not to share it, he or she will copy and paste your link and share it with his or her friends? Make it easy for this person and other people to share your content by putting your share buttons where it must be placed, in the first place. Social widgets are no longer an add-on, these are now a must. And, make sure these are working otherwise, the person might lose interest in sharing the content.


4) Your content is boring

When I say boring, it means not the actual content, but how it is structured. READ: Text without any picture. Admit it or not, but images give articles more substance. Of course, when putting an image, make sure that it is relevant to the contents because people will judge not just the text, but the image as well based on its relevance and shareability. Likewise, make sure that the image is in the right format because each social network has its respective image dimension requirements.

Have you heard of visual content marketing? Indeed, contents that are accompanied by relevant images get 94% more views than those contents that have no images whatsoever. Take it from Facebook. The social network giant updates feeds with giving links with pictures more reach than those links that don’t include any image. Images increase content visibility. Don’t forget that.


5) Your content lacks value

Long-form content is emphasized more than ever. This means reading a content entails at least 3 minutes of your readers’ time. What can you bring to the table that your readers can takeaway from your content in exchange for spending their time reading it? Put simply, is reading your article worth a readers’ time? If not, then that’s a major problem.

Sometimes, it is not about how short or long the content is. If your blog post is divided into ten parts and yet a reader can learn lots of things from each part, then there is no reason he or she won’t read the succeeding nine parts. It is better to publish a 500-word article that is packed with practical and actionable tidbits than read a 2,000-word post that is full of fluff.



Your contents are indifferent

Contents must show compassion, too. If it focuses too much on the brand, no one will share it. They should not be too salesy because I, for instance, would only think that you are after my business, and you don’t necessarily care for your audience. There is no goodwill enough to make me believe that you care for the greater good.

As such, your readers are human unless otherwise you are writing and publishing contents for optimization’s sake – traffic and ranking, that is. Even so, experts would always say to write for human, not bots. Us, humans, value relationships more than brands and if a brand can show genuine concern for its public, it is easier to build a community of content advocates. Connect with them at the individual level.


Perhaps, the last one is the one of the most important content marketing tips that this article can share with you. Put your readers front and center, knowing what ticks them, what piques their interest and what causes they support are surefire ways of making the contents you publish as highly shareable as possible.

To praise or not to praise. That is the question.

praising employees

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Some experts claim that praising a child only manipulates and steals his or her pleasure. Can we say the same for the employees? Isn’t giving feedback albeit compliments an essential aspect of creating a culture of a highly-engaged workforce? If you cannot praise your employees, what should you do then? What’s the reasonable compromise?

Praising boosts productivity

Indeed, new and more solid evidence regarding upholding positive feedbacks are emerging by the day. A study from Harvard Business School reveals that activating a person’s best self-concept can lead to immediate and long-term outcomes. Put simply, praising an employee often leads to improvements in:

  • Performance under pressure,
  • Creative problem-solving,
  • Resilience to stress and burnout,
  • Relationships with employers,
  • Emotions, and
  • Resistance to diseases.

Dr. Jooa Julia Lee, the co-author of the study, claims that employees who are reminded of their best work tend to be more creative and less stressed than those who receive no feedback whatsoever. That’s because there’s the constant yearning to learn about how he or she positively impacts or contributes to others, a part of the process of developing an employee’s best self-concept. Otherwise, there’d only be poor performance, emotional exhaustion, and high turnover.

When praising feels unnatural

Now we know that praising employees is a good practice. One problem that may arise from this situation, however, is that singing praises in public may feel unnatural. In other words, not all of us are comfortable in giving praises in private, what more in public?

Not all managers and supervisors are comfortable doing it especially in front of all other employees who are not the subject of the praise. There could be the fear of instilling a sense of indignity for some. Hence, they hold back. Some supervisors feel that praising their employees will only spoil them, so they keep the praises to themselves.

For some, the extent to which they can offer praises stops at annual performance reviews. It forms part of the performance appraisal, pointing out the person’s achievements and what needs to be improved. These “praises” are often formal and serious, and thus, cannot necessarily motivate the person.

Taking praising easy

What these managers and supervisors do not realize is that the failure to recognize the small wins of their subordinates is a deviation from their core responsibilities. A supervisor needs to encourage a worker so he or she would grow along with his or her job.

Furthermore, the study concludes with the fact that

Most societies and organizations have not created vehicles for reminding people who they are when they are at their best, even though theory suggests that this information can inspire them to achieve more of their potential.

There. There lies the importance of giving praises. Hence, any diligent supervisor would encourage his or her subordinates to push their limits while also building the right environment where they can do so. Such an environment could mean providing them with well-intentioned criticisms and sincere praises to guide their personal and professional growth.

Convey positive messages thoughtfully

Giving positive feedback should be intuitive. Nonetheless, there are instances when you need to choose your words to say to the person carefully more so when someone else is going to hear it. When you say “good job,” make sure it is clear what job you are referring to. Be specific.

Make the praise genuine

Never offer a praise just because you are compelled to do so. Praise whenever something good arises. And when you praise a person’s work, make sure that it is thoughtful and heartfelt to maximize the impact of your message. Make it meaningful because your employees would know that you’re just faking it.

Avoid the sandwich method

Perhaps, you have heard the cliché of providing negative-positive-negative feedback. Stay away from this technique otherwise it’ll become a nasty habit that only confuses your employees. Often, the staff will only focus on the negatives and forget about the positives completely.

Don’t over-praise

Over-praising has its own perils regardless of how well-intentioned it is. It can work against even with the best interest of your workers. A praise should not lose its meaning; the recognition must match the person’s effort and thereby, results. When you go overboard about praising, the perceived value of not just that one particular feedback but all the succeeding ones will be lessened.

Know the person

Again, it is not just the supervisors who may be uncomfortable in giving praises. Some of your workers may feel uncomfortable when receiving praises as it makes them the center of attention. Know how an employee responds to a recognition so the praise may achieve its intended impact.

Balance the praise

Top performers are producing great results because, well, they constantly receive recognitions. Just make sure that they are not performing just for the sake of leeching on praises. Thus, make sure that you praise or offer words of encouragement to your lackluster staffers. They need it.

Dale Carnegie Training provides a list of phrases to use when praising an employee.

  • I am learning a lot from you.
  • I am really glad that you are part of our team.
  • I really trust you and that means a lot to me.
  • Thank you for helping us out; you were a major factor in the success of this _____.
  • That’s a great idea; let’s roll with it. In fact, why don’t you take the lead role in getting it done.
  • You are one of the best _____ that we’ve had in this position.
  • You have a rather significant contribution to this project; thank you.
  • You have truly set a new standard for all of us.

Forbes also offers suggestions on how to go about praising your employees.

1) Focus performance appraisals on strengths instead of weaknesses.

2) Provide opportunities to succeed and excel and let them know if they are doing well or not.

3) Promote a culture of commendation.

Providing feedback is a fundamental part of people management. It can be good or bad. It can be positive or negative. It can be a praise or criticism. However, it must never be ugly. Strike a balance between providing the most accurate feedback based on performance and outcome. Eventually, you’ll be seeing deeply engaged and highly-performing staffs.

12 Things You Don’t Know True Leaders Do

There are things that separate a true leader from a mediocre one or the one who claims who be a true leader but is nothing more than just a lip service. To those who claim to be true leaders in every sense of the word: do you even know how true leaders spend their time? Here’s the how. Here are the things that true leaders do that you’re might not be aware of.

True leaders lead

Leadership is about responsibility, not necessarily about power. But, only true leaders know how to empower their people. If a leader has to say, “just follow because I’m your leader,” then he or she is not a true leader. Empowerment means showing the people the way – the way to do things, the way to deal with complaints, the way to combat stress, the way to handle conflicts, etc.

True leaders strategize

Any unit or group needs a framework, a strategy. Only true leaders can push the people in the right direction. They bring not only focus but also the discipline to move onward the determined goals. However, the strategies we are talking about here are not only about the tangibles or the outcomes. They are also applicable to the people. There’s a humane side of every implemented strategy that only true leaders understand.

True leaders communicate

Building on the above, how the group or team members act greatly depend on the conduct of the leader. No team, group or unit can move forward without taking how the staff feels and thinks about the implementation of a particular strategy, for instance. In pulling the group along, the leader needs to communicate with the followers. Most importantly, the leader needs to explain the vision using specifics, not buzzwords.

True leaders establish

Clear expectations, that is. While it is an essential component of leadership, establishing expectations is an often overlooked component. People naturally crave for understanding. They need to know what are expected of them. Otherwise, they won’t make sense of the direction or the goal that you are trying to pursue and achieve. Only true leaders recognize such a need; hence, he or she provides guidance to whoever needs it.

True leaders encourage

True leaders ask, and they ask the right questions. Only the amateurish leaders dictate the policies. Instead, true leaders ask the followers how and “why do we need to do it this way and not the other way around.” Other than seeking answers, the leader also encourages his or her people to ask questions, too. True leaders invite open criticism. They ask open-ended questions to provoke insights and actions with the goal of improving current practice and inspiring innovation.

True leaders instill

A leader engages the followers not because he or she is dependent on them, but because they deserve it. Engagement is an essential part of the process. Any leader wants an inspired, committed and motivated follower. That’s why true leaders need to instill a sense of confidence, independence, and assertiveness in them, all of which forms part of empowerment. Only when they feel empowered that your followers will commit.

True leaders support

Followers need to be effective and efficient at all times. However, everyday problems can take a toll on how your people do their respective jobs. The greatest gift of true leaders is making themselves available whenever the followers need him or her. Average leaders tend to distance himself or herself from the others in light of an inevitable problem. No true leader does that. Instead, a true leader becomes the catalyst of solutions.

True leaders anticipate

Part of the leadership job is anticipating potential problems and creating contingencies. Through this, the entire team or group is prepared to handle the impending setbacks. True leaders are proactive, and they take pride in it. They don’t fear the unknown; instead, they face it with courage. True leaders also persuade their followers to the same – overcome their own fears, weaknesses, and limitations.

True leaders inspire

Inspiration is essential; it drives us to be the best that we can be. True leaders draw inspiration from their own lives as well as on the things around him or her. However, their inspiration is also the key to inspiring others, specifically their followers. How can you inspire others if you aren’t inspired yourself?

True leaders decide

A leader’s life revolves around decisions; it comes with the territory. Nevertheless, only true leaders make smart, informed decisions or those decisions that are based on hard and proven facts. They don’t do ‘guesstimates.’ True leaders are aware that every decision they make is equally critical. And they don’t let their followers make decisions so they can take the blame when the going gets tough. True leaders don’t engage in a blame game. They admit their mistakes and correct them since they are fully aware that they are accountable for their own actions and decisions.

True leaders prioritize

While leaders juggle various tasks and responsibilities on a daily basis, they know how to prioritize. True leaders choose their battles, knowing which of the tasks on hand are the most important and require immediate attention. Although some leaders would emphasize multi-tasking, true leaders value mono-tasking that gets the job done faster and at the expected quality. Indeed, they value quality over quantity and completion over perfection.

True leaders build

They build a community of followers. True leaders earn the trust and respect of the people around him or her even that of his or her rivals. True leaders don’t follow the competition. In fact, they are the competition. They are the standards. They set the bar so high that it is very difficult for others to follow suit. Nevertheless, they keep their feet on the ground. They don’t brag. They are humble, noble and sincere.

You think you know what true leaders do, but you have no idea. But, after reading this, perhaps, you’d get a good grasp what makes a true leader in every sense of the word. Now, you can easily pinpoint a true leader from that one person who is painfully yet regretfully claiming to be one but leave the scent of mediocrity when he or she passes by.

On a typical Monday morning, you sit down on your designated seat behind your desk and stare at your computer screen. You do not immediately tackle on various assigned work tasks. No, of course not. You need to have the cogs of your brain well-oiled and properly working before you begin working on tedious tasks. So you go on about your usual work routine, doing the tasks delegated to you all the while allowing room for little things to sidetrack you and before you know it – voila! It’s already Friday! And you still have so much left to do in so little time. You’re left wondering just where did the time go.

Well, my friend, all those time allowances you made for diversions may seem nondescript and menial in comparison to the time you have allotted for work. But when you add them up, they can really accumulate and cost you valuable time in which you could have accomplished a pivotal task. It’s okay; you do not need to beat up yourself for it. Distractions at work are inevitable. Considering that the average attention span of an adult is approximately only five minutes and complement that with a work machine teeming with endless sidetracking capabilities, being distracted is not only a possibility but a guarantee.

However, making up for lost time is not as straightforward as getting back to the task at hand. Recovering the time you lost inescapably means attempting to retrieve the momentum you had lost before you were sidetracked and that is not always easy. That’s why distractions should be kept to a bare minimum. If you are looking for ways as to how, read on.


If you are working in a corporate setting, being equipped with a desktop computer is one of the many perks and getting sidetracked is almost a certainty. Perhaps while you are penning your report or making weekend plans, you are also browsing your friend’s vacation photos, watching a cat video on YouTube while the report you are to send is buried ten tabs beneath your current tab.

Change your mindset: The initial step in managing technological distraction is simply to acknowledge that these exist and that they derail you. To manage any type of distractions, you need to change your mindset. Get on your computer with having the best of intentions to work on the report.
Set a time limit: Set a time limit and be conscious of the time you are allotting for yourself and the task on hand. Let’s say you have designated thirty minutes on the task. Make sure the entire thirty minutes is spent on the report itself without having even just a single minute cruising on Facebook. Doing it this way will significantly increase your work productivity.

Take a stroll instead of a scroll: More often than not, staring at a computer screen for too long can cause stress and may affect your work productivity. Screen breaks are essential. However, most employees make the mistake of hovering over to social media whenever they are granted this opportunity. In doing so, they end up taking a break longer than they intended and lose the momentum they had built initially.

In lieu of a technological screen break, opt for something more refreshing instead. Give your eyes a break and take a five-minute stroll within the office. It helps you relax your eyes and mind and gives your legs that much-needed exercise as well. Just remember not to pause for a slight chit-chat on your way back.


Office chit-chat is healthy; it fosters cordial relationships with colleagues and generates inter-office friendships. However, too much social distractions at work can pave the way to work inefficiency. That’s why social interactions, albeit healthy for camaraderie, must be exercised within reason.

Have a sign: If you do not want to be interrupted, attach a sign to your work cubicle that says something like “Focus Mode” or “On a Deadline”. If it may seem rude, talk it over with your work group or your team and let them know that you are working on something crucial and would want to be interrupted as minimally as possible.

Ask them to email: Alternatively, you can ask them to email you instead especially when you are “in the zone” and cannot be interrupted. Follow them up in person afterward.

Discuss interruptions over coffee: You may have colleagues who are either too dense to take the hint or are simply big on gabbing. For these colleagues, discuss your concerns over coffee. Let them know firmly, while maintaining a gentle tone, that you have a lot on your plate that you need to get done.


Many people may not recognize this, but the very environment you work in such as your work cubicle can very much contribute to your work efficiency and productivity. You may not know it, but the unremarkable office clutter you have sitting atop your desk may contribute to the distractions sidetracking you from accomplishing important tasks.

Build a wall: It may make you seem like the standoffish colleague, but desperate times call for desperate measures. This is especially true in meeting deadlines. Modifying your work environment can help you deal with distractions. It is essential for you to create a visual cocoon for yourself if you can. If there be a need, create barriers that would assist you in keeping your eyes on your work and make you less accessible to outsiders. Try setting up plants, having a lamp between you and the outside world or stacking up books. The less opportunity for your eyes to wander, the better focused you will be.


The truth is, the office place itself is a place with copious opportunities for distractions – reading text messages, updating social media, getting wrapped up in office banter, etc. These are just a few of the things that may detract you from work and office productivity. Remember, these distractions do not only provide an avenue for a short “breaks.” Instead, the stress and frustrations they predictably cause you during deadlines keep you from being an effective worker. If you are already aware of what is keeping you deflected, gain a better traction at controlling the little impulses that prompt you to get sidetracked. In this way, you will have more done, be an efficient employee and have an overall great feeling about it.

seo company

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We all love ourselves some guru, and for us, it’s Neil Patel. In one of his articles, Neil talks about the times when a company must absolutely hire an SEO consulting services. It may not necessarily be an agency; it could be an in-house SEO. Then again, Neil also shares insights on why you must not hire your own SEO experts, that is, in-house. Here’s our take on these issues.

When do you need the help of an SEO company?

1) While planning a website

Is your company planning to launch a website soon? Some experts such as Bruce Clay advocates as early as 2012 the need for SEO web design. Yes, there is such a thing. A website that is built from scratch should be also optimized from scratch. While there could be some conflicts regarding structuring and programming the site, a website that is optimized from the ground up performs best SEO-wise.

Unfortunately, not all companies fail to realize this. The most often route taken is designing and developing the website before optimizing it instead of optimizing the design first before it should be developed. Since the website will be optimized eventually, there is the apparent redundancy in cost. Thus, for seamless integration, SEO must be considered early on the planning stage.

A website is an essential aspect of any digital marketing strategy. There is no single digital marketing campaign we’ve encountered that doesn’t involve a website. Even the content marketing is funneled down to and through the website. Website development is inescapable, and so does website optimization from the bottom up.

2) While redesigning a website

A website redesign is almost always considered due to performance issues particularly those that are hurting the user experience (UX). Come to think of it. You won’t be redesigning your site if it is performing to every expectation, right? However, a website redesign is a black hole that sucks whatever ranking and traffic you have built over the years. Would you risk losing such because of a redesign? Definitely not!

SEO should be your number consideration at this point. The experts can conduct a thorough website analysis specifically identifying which among the pages will be affected the most. The covers all aspect of SEO from inbound links to images. Afterward, the expert will come up with recommendations that can be integrated into the redesign. They call these technical SEO.

If you are thinking of doing it on your own, don’t. You cannot wing it; let an SEO company help you with this one the way you would commission a web design company to redesign your website. Just let them do what the SEO company does best. You might be surprised to know just how un-optimized your website is.

3) While recovering from a penalty

Most of the website owners only approach an SEO company when their sites were hit with a Google penalty. A sad truth. Although some site owners would learn a link building strategy or two, they don’t know any better. They won’t know that what they are doing is actually against the guidelines set by Google. In fact, some website owners don’t even know that these guidelines exist.

Recovering from a penalty, regardless of its severity, can take up to 9 months or even more, depending on the strategies and tactics employed to ‘clean’ the website. The fact that websites heavily rely on traffic to rank high cannot be emphasized enough. Technically, your site will receive low traffic volume if Google de-indexed the site. Now, you are seeing the criticality of recovering from a penalty.

The question now is if you are responsible for the de-indexing of your site, should you be the one to recover your website from the penalty? If you insist, you can do it on your own. However, don’t expect any immediate result more so if you have no idea whether the strategies you implement are effective enough to remove the penalty or not. That’s the main difference unlike when you hire an SEO to do the recovery for your website.

4) After conducting a search

That’s very simplistic. Nonetheless, what we mean is if you are doing a simple keyword search and you cannot find your website on the first page of the search results page and not even on the fifth page, then you are definitely doing something very wrong. It is either you are targeting the right keywords, but your website is ranking for the wrong keywords or that you are targeting the wrong keywords. Period.

There are two things that are evident; one, your rankings are declining and two, your traffic volumes are declining as well. These are just two of the things that SEO experts have learned to deal with with utmost eagerness and urgency. Why? Because every single traffic that your website is not able to convert is a lost opportunity. Adding insult to injury, you are losing each of them to your competitors.

Further, there are also two things that an SEO service provider possess namely recommendations and deliverables. Again, after conducting an SEO audit, the SEO specialists will give you a list of recommendations on how to improve your websites along with the target deliverables and timeline. If you or you will allow the agency to do the changes for you, then there is no reason your website should not rank in the very near future. A quality SEO company can rank your website in just three months.

Now, you can see clearly why you should not underestimate the importance of hiring an SEO agency and SEO per se. An agency is there to help, not to scam you. And don’t you ever believe the most common misconception that SEO is dead because it’ll never be; it’s so alive otherwise you won’t be here reading this article. There could be some changes in terms of algorithm updates as Neil points out. However, the core of SEO will remain the same for the years to come, and it’ll only get stronger as competition gets tougher.

Optimind offers guaranteed first page ranking on major search engines or your money back.