4 ways to spot that a blogger is burned out (lack of updates, declining quality, etc.) and 4 ways to spot that YOU are burnt out on your blog (can’t find inspiration, etc.)
The right web content can bolster and strengthen your online reputation and connect you with your target market. One of the easiest and most rewarding ways to share this valuable content is through a blog. Blogs enable you to share up-to-date information with your readers and provide a forum for discussion and comments, in turn creating interest in your brand. However, simply having a blog isn’t enough. It’s also about having the right blogger. But blogging can become tedious and monotonous, and when that happens, it shows.
Spotting burn out in other bloggers
If you’re worried that the person blogging for your company (or even for a site you depend on for information) is burned out from the daily tasks of compiling data, writing content, and finding relevant images, here are four red flags to look out for:
1. Declining Quality – You may find that your blogger doesn’t catch as many grammatical or spelling errors as usual. This may mean that your blogger isn’t completing an additional read-through before submission because she just wants to be done with it. When a blogger is burned out, the quality is usually the first thing to go.
2. Lack of Updates – The second red flag to look out for is a lack of consistent updates or a mass quantity of submitted blogs right before a deadline. A blogger who is not burned out usually will remain consistent with postings, whether that is one a day or a few times a week. If your blogger has been silent for a while, you may want to identify and rectify the problem before moving forward.
3. Only Does the Minimum – You’ve probably set a minimum word count for your blogger. A burned-out blogger will only do the minimum, just enough to scrape by and call it done. You may even notice that the blogs seem to stop in mid-thought or doesn’t include a wrap-up paragraph because that would’ve pushed the blog to be more than the minimum word count required.
4. Repetitive Content – After a while, many bloggers resort to writing about the same old topics over and over again or even repackaging content they’ve already written. This could be because they’re comfortable with the topic or it’s easy to whip out 400 words on a topic they’ve already researched. All they have to do is word it a little bit differently.
Fatigue surrounding your own blogging efforts
But it’s not just bloggers that you should keep an eye on for burnout; you’re also susceptible. When considering your own blogging efforts, here are four ways to identify if you’re burned out, too.
1. Can’t Find Inspiration – Finding blog inspiration can be one of the hardest parts of being a regular, consistent blogger. If you struggle to find inspiration for new blog posts, you may be burned out. Even when you’re looking for blog inspiration, every topic or idea may seem too wearisome or difficult to capture with words. When you don’t even try to capture those brief moments of inspiration, you know there’s a problem.
2. Everything Else Becomes More Important – We all have a lot of items on our daily to-do lists. However, when everything else on that list suddenly becomes more important—especially if those include checking personal social networking sites, de-linting the dryer, or organizing your pens or notepads—this may mean that the idea of blogging that day causes stress and anxiety. And that’s when you know you’ve reached burn-out.
3. Anxiety over the Reception – Sometimes being too wrapped up in the reception of a blog post can cause burn-out. Let’s be honest; dealing with both positive and negative comments, constantly worrying about stats and numbers, and trying to get the information across while maintaining political correctness is exhausting. Instead, focus on the heart of the writing, the purpose and point of each particular blog. Leave the comments and the numbers for another day.
4. You No Longer Love What You Do – Now, this is a big red flag to watch out for. If you don’t love what you do or what you blog about, it will be a pain for as long as you do it. The trick is to find subjects and topics that interest you, excite you, and make you think. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Burning out from blogging is common because it is a constant demand. No matter how ahead-of-the-game you get today, you’ll still have to do it all over again tomorrow, and then again the next day. And that can become tedious very quickly. Once you’ve identifying blogger burnout, whether it’s one of your employees or yourself, it’s time to find ways to remedy the situation, including taking a few-days break, assigning new and unique topics, and getting back to why you started blogging in the first place. Then you can beat the burnout and continue with your work.
Big retailers are opting for refunds instead of returns
(BUSINESS NEWS) Due to increased shipping costs, big companies like Amazon and Walmart are opting to give out a refund rather than accepting small items returned.
The holidays are over, and now some people are ready to return an item that didn’t quite work out or wasn’t on their Christmas list. Whatever the reason, some retailers are giving customers a refund and letting them keep the product, too.
When Vancouver, Washington resident, Lorie Anderson, tried returning makeup from Target and batteries from Walmart she had purchased online, the retailers told her she could keep or donate the products. “They were inexpensive, and it wouldn’t make much financial sense to return them by mail,” said Ms. Anderson, 38. “It’s a hassle to pack up the box and drop it at the post office or UPS. This was one less thing I had to worry about.”
Amazon.com Inc., Walmart Inc., and other companies are changing the way they handle returns this year, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to weigh the costs of processing physical returns versus just issuing a refund and having customers keep the item.
For instance, if it costs more to ship an inexpensive or larger item than it is to refund the purchase price, companies are giving customers a refund and telling them to keep the products also. Due to an increase in online shopping, it makes sense for companies to change how they manage returns.
Locus Robotics chief executive Rick Faulk told the Journal that the biggest expense when it comes to processing returns is shipping costs. “Returning to a store is significantly cheaper because the retailer can save the freight, which can run 15% to 20% of the cost,” Faulk said.
But, returning products to physical stores isn’t something a lot of people are wanting to do. According to the return processing firm Narvar, online returns increased by 70% in 2020. With people still hunkered down because of the pandemic, changing how to handle returns is a good thing for companies to consider to reduce shipping expenses.
While it might be nice to keep the makeup or batteries for free, don’t expect to return that new PS5 and get to keep it for free, too. According to WSJ, a Walmart spokesperson said the company lets someone keep a refunded item only if the company doesn’t plan on reselling it. And, besides taking the economic costs into consideration, the companies look at the customer’s purchase history as well.
Google workers have formed company’s first labor union
(BUSINESS NEWS) A number of Google employees have agreed to commit 1% of their salary to labor union dues to support employee activism and fight workplace discrimination.
On Monday morning, Google workers announced that they have formed a union with the support of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the largest communications and media labor union in the U.S.
The new union, Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) was organized in secret for about a year and formed to support employee activism, and fight discrimination and unfairness in the workplace.
“From fighting the ‘real names’ policy, to opposing Project Maven, to protesting the egregious, multi-million dollar payouts that have been given to executives who’ve committed sexual harassment, we’ve seen first-hand that Alphabet responds when we act collectively. Our new union provides a sustainable structure to ensure that our shared values as Alphabet employees are respected even after the headlines fade,” stated Program Manager Nicki Anselmo in a press release.
AWU is the first union in the company’s history, and it is open to all employees and contractors at any Alphabet company in the United States and Canada. The cost of membership is 1% of an employee’s total compensation, and the money collected will be used to fund the union organization.
In a response to the announcement, Google’s Director of People Operations, Kara Silverstein, said, “We’ve always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our workforce. Of course, our employees have protected labor rights that we support. But as we’ve always done, we’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees.”
Unlike other labor unions, the AWU is considered a “Minority Union”. This means it doesn’t need formal recognition from the National Labor Relations Board. However, it also means Alphabet can’t be forced to meet the union’s demands until a majority of employees support it.
So far, the number of members in the union represents a very small portion of Google’s workforce, but it’s growing every day. When the news of the union was first announced on Monday, roughly 230 employees made up the union. Less than 24 hours later, there were 400 employees in the union, and now that number jumped to over 500 employees.
Unions among Silicon Valley’s tech giants are rare, but labor activism is slowly picking up speed, especially with more workers speaking out and organizing.
“The Alphabet Workers Union will be the structure that ensures Google workers can actively push for real changes at the company, from the kinds of contracts Google accepts to employee classification to wage and compensation issues. All issues relevant to Google as a workplace will be the purview of the union and its members,” stated the AWU in a press release.
Ticketmaster caught red-handed hacking, hit with major fines
(BUSINESS NEWS) Ticketmaster has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after hacking into a competitor’s network specifically to sabotage.
Live Nation’s Ticketmaster agreed to pay $10 million to resolve criminal charges after admitting to hacking into a competitor’s network and scheming to “choke off” the ticket seller company and “cut [victim company] off at the knees”.
Ticketmaster admitted hiring former employee, Stephen Mead, from startup rival CrowdSurge (which merged with Songkick) in 2013. In 2012, Mead signed a separation agreement to keep his previous company’s information confidential. When he joined Live Nation, Mead provided that confidential information to the former head of the Artist Services division, Zeeshan Zaidi, and other Ticketmaster employees. The hacking information shared with the company included usernames, passwords, data analytics, and other insider secrets.
“When employees walk out of one company and into another, it’s illegal for them to take proprietary information with them. Ticketmaster used stolen information to gain an advantage over its competition, and then promoted the employees who broke the law. This investigation is a perfect example of why these laws exist – to protect consumers from being cheated in what should be a fair market place,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.
In January 2014, Mead gave a Ticketmaster executive multiple sets of login information to Toolboxes, the competitor’s password-protected app that provides real-time data about tickets sold through the company. Later, at an Artists Services Summit, Mead logged into a Toolbox and demonstrated the product to Live Nation and Ticketmaster employees. Information collected from the Toolboxes were used to “benchmark” Ticketmaster’s offerings against the competitor.
“Ticketmaster employees repeatedly – and illegally – accessed a competitor’s computers without authorization using stolen passwords to unlawfully collect business intelligence,” said Acting U.S. Attorney DuCharme in a statement. “Further, Ticketmaster’s employees brazenly held a division-wide ‘summit’ at which the stolen passwords were used to access the victim company’s computers, as if that were an appropriate business tactic.”
The hacking violations were first reported in 2017 when CrowdSurge sued Live Nation for antitrust violations. A spokesperson told The Verge, “Ticketmaster terminated both Zaidi and Mead in 2017, after their conduct came to light. Their actions violated our corporate policies and were inconsistent with our values. We are pleased that this matter is now resolved.”
To resolve the case, Ticketmaster will pay a $10 million criminal penalty, create a compliance and ethics program, and report to the United States Attorney’s Office annually during a three-year term. If the agreement is breached, Ticketmaster will be charged with: “One count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, one count of computer intrusion for commercial advantage, one count of computer intrusion in furtherance of fraud, one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.”
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