Trending December 2023 # 7 Ways Businesses Benefit From Blogging # Suggested January 2024 # Top 19 Popular

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Want to grow your website traffic consistently, attract new customers, build loyalty with current customers, and become a brand leader in your space?

Discover the power of a blog.

The benefits are endless.

But be warned: you can’t be lazy or promotional.

The goal is to continually add value by publishing informative, well-written articles created with strategy and customer engagement in mind.

Blogging helps:

Grow online traffic.

Nurture and convert customers.

Keep current customers engaged.

Differentiate you from other similar businesses.

Grow demand and interest in your products or services.

The beautiful thing about a blog?

They provide benefits long after publishing.

This is where more outweighs less; the more blogs you create, the more of the above benefits you’ll receive.

That means valuable and engaging content that doesn’t just promote your services or products.

And all must be written with SEO in mind, something I covered extensively in SEO Writing: Top 47 Tips to Master a Combined Art.

Following are seven real ways a blog can help your businesses, plus some examples of companies with blogs that are boosting their businesses right now.

1. Increase Traffic to Your Site

Post frequent and consistent content that drives educational and entertainment value, and you’ll increase your website’s traffic.

Companies see significant benefits when they blog frequently compared to companies that blog infrequently or not at all.

More people on your site can only mean more potential for reservations/bookings, more submissions to your contact form, and more potential client inquiries.

Stronger website traffic is good for any kind of business – especially for visitors who discovered your content as they were searching for a solution to their problems.

Create content that speaks to your target audience’s pain points, and make sure the headlines accurately describe the content that follows.

2. Attract New Customers

Whether you’re shopping for motorcycle parts or bras, those businesses with consistent and frequent blogging will attract the most attention.

And more attention translates into more new customers (again – if the content adds value!).

Two companies stand out in this area – Roland Sands Design, which provides a fresh feel to aftermarket motorcycle parts and apparel, and Glamorise, a nearly 100-year-old plus-size bra company.

Both update their blogs frequently and provide educational and entertaining content that fuels a searcher’s needs.

How do you do research online before buying a product or service?

You probably use Google or other search engines to research just about every purchase or buying decision, whether big or small.

The more expensive the product or service, the more research is likely conducted.

You’d likely check out every review or news bits available before spending $40,000 on a Ducati V4R, but maybe about five minutes for a pair of $15 Ducati socks.

Finding informative, engaging blog content on the subject can help sway your opinion and ultimately become a factor in your purchase.

While creating a blog strategy may take some time out of your day, it’s going to be worth it.

An educational blog allows your potential customers to research a solution on their own time and contact you when they’re ready to purchase.

Here are a few examples:

A pest control company can provide information about local pests and the DIY solutions for battling these pests while keeping safety from chemicals in mind.

An apparel company can post weekly or monthly style predictions and outfit tips per season.

Remember, it’s essential to create blogs with SEO best practices in mind and be relentless about promotion across social news channels and newsletters.

Make sure every blog post inspires action of some kind or another, so include CTAs throughout.

Industry Example: Legal Blogging

If you work at a law firm, there’s no question that potential customers are looking for legal services online.

Many of them are primed to move forward as soon as they find what they’re looking for.

This example from the Joye Law Firm shows a well-designed blog with a wealth of useful information and plenty of opportunities to contact the firm.

3. Expose Your Business to the Readers Seeking Fun

Many business blogs are need-based, meaning the content provides answers to questions and connects readers to the solution.

But want-based blogs also exist, focusing more on stimulating demand for something your readers didn’t know they wanted at first (think natural relief products, food, clothing, and wellness products).

These want-based blogs are built for those who want to read at their leisure, some content to entertain them during their spare time.

This type of content is a bit more challenging to create.

The key is to make these blogs interesting and engaging enough so that people want to read them for entertainment – just for fun.

The key is to make your content interesting and engaging enough that people will want to read them for fun.

Over time, you can create a connection with your readers through the tone and content of the blog that will eventually foster brand loyalty.

Think like a lifestyle news channel, such as Esquire, Playboy, or Popular Mechanics.

Offer content that entertains, but centers around your product or services.

Here are some examples:

None of the products or services sold by the company’s above (platform for photography, cooking supplies, trendy clothes) are truly needs – but rather wants.

Because of this, their blogs are lifestyle-based and meant to create and nurture a community and show how their solutions could enhance people’s quality of life.

Industry Example: Restaurant Blogging

If you’re a restaurant owner and don’t have a blog, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

The hashtag #food is on over 200 million Instagram posts. “Food and Drink” is the top Pinterest category.

Restaurants are the perfect entities to run food blogs that can be a destination in and of themselves.

This screenshot from the blog of Tupelo Honey Cafe, a popular brunch spot with locations throughout the South, shows a highly shareable copycat-recipe blog post complete with an optimized image for reposting on Pinterest.

The blog also features information about new meals at the restaurant and roundups of customer pictures from Instagram.

4. Show & Tell What Your Business Can Do

For many businesses, such as personal trainers, home contractors, landscapers, web designers, etc., a blog can act as an ongoing portfolio of past work.

This is ideal for companies that thrive on proof of past successes, such as the businesses listed above.

It’s essential to have an easy way to show potential clients what kinds of results they can expect.

A blog can achieve just that, and then some.

With a blog and a few attractive photos about your work, you can easily create an impressive portfolio and drive your customers there.

While it may take more effort to update your whole site, depending on how it was created, blogs on content management systems such as WordPress are generally easy to update, even if you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge.

If you can publish a Facebook post, you can publish a blog on WordPress.

Once you’ve started cataloging your work on your blog, you have a simple link to send people who want to get a sense of the quality and efficacy of your work.

Industry Example: Home Improvement Blogging

With the popularity of home improvement and DIY shows, you know that people love a good home renovation story.

If you’re a home contractor, using your blog to show off impressive projects you’ve completed helps people visualize what their homes could look like after a remodel.

Home improvement company Haskell Interiors’ blog includes case studies of past client work and home improvement tips.

The effect of the high-quality before and after pictures and the detailed project descriptions is compelling enough to make anyone consider a remodeling project.

5. Give Your Business Results Long After the Initial Post

While it’s still essential to create new posts, older posts can remain relevant to your readers for a long time.

Old blog posts that have gained authority/ranking over time and are bringing in a reasonable amount of organic traffic can also be easily updated to serve current campaigns/goals.

This is why it’s a great practice to keep older blogs fresh with recent data and newer links.

6. Build Your Network Within Your Niche

When most businesses think of blogging, they focus on the customers.

Rarely do they think about the networking possibilities that an established blog can create.

Every niche has a handful of trustworthy and valuable blogs – think about the hundreds of digital marketing blogs.

Only a handful stand out, and they all feature consistent and frequent blogging. You can bet they are the ones with the most significant client portfolios and strategic partnerships.

Many companies track the content their competitors release. Following a blog feed is the simplest way to see what others are doing.

Many of these relationships can result in:

Additional shared or linked blogs.

Invites to industry events (such as Pubcon within the digital marketing world).

Even entire buyouts of companies.

7. Build a Flow of Trust

Stephen R. Covey, the author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” a must-read for anyone in business, says, “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.”

Frequent and consistent blogging is the simplest way for your brand to build this trust.

When you develop highly valuable content that adds value to continually adds value to your readers, your brand will become, as author John Hall says of the same-titled book he wrote, “Top of Mind.”

Trust is not quickly established, but once a reader discovers a blog flowing with endless value, they’ll naturally trust that business.

And eventually, this will lead to them becoming a customer – likely a lifetime one all based on a flow of valuable content.

Start Blogging Effectively for Business

The power of the blog is endless. It’s beneficial, no matter where your customers are in the purchasing process.

Try adopting one or more of the examples here for your own business.

Be sure to track and measure your results, and always keep older blogs refreshed with new data and links.

If done correctly, your website’s blogging efforts may produce the most profitable results for your business.

But also remember the power of guest blogging on relevant websites within your industry.

This can compound your content marketing efforts while providing all of the seven benefits above.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, August 2023

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11 Ways How Letterhead Templates Can Benefit Your Business Letter

1. Letterhead Gives You Consistency

Consistent branding helps consumers identify your company when they see it out in the wild. This is why using a business letterhead template can be so valuable to your company. With a letterhead template, you can add your logo and company name to the header of each letter, creating an instant brand recognition effect. Not only will this reinforce your company’s name in the eyes of your customers, but it will also help others identify legitimate company correspondence.

2. Letterhead Can Save You Time

Using templates is a great way to save time while creating custom business stationery for clients or employees. You can use pre-designed templates that feature beautiful design elements and then customize them quickly and easily with your personal information. You will no longer have to spend hours searching for the perfect design or trying to create your own from scratch. With letterhead templates, it’s easy to customize and print professional-looking correspondence in very little time, with no technical skills required.

3. Letterhead Design Shows off a Professional Appearance

Letterhead templates offer a professional appearance that’s more polished than most handwritten letters or simple email messages. This gives your business a polished look that can help you stand out. It’s also a great way to make your letterhead designs match your company branding.

4. Letterhead Provides Customization

5. Letterhead Format Contributes to Branding

Your brand represents everything about you – not just how your business looks, but also what kind of people work there, what kinds of things you do, and so on. By using letterhead templates, you can establish your tone of voice and what you represent as a business.

6. Free Letterhead Templates Supplies Custom Content

Many free letterhead templates come with premade content that serves as placeholders for your personal information. This makes it quick and easy to create personalized documents whenever you need them!

Also read:

Best ecommerce platform in 2023

7. Letterhead can Lure Potential Customers 8. Pre-Designed Letterhead Examples

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time you create something new! All kinds of different designs and formats can be found on free online sources. Also, some templates include premade headers which allow you to quickly type important information without worrying about formatting anything just yet!

9. Letterhead and Cover Letter Makes Professional Documents

Creating a new set of business letterhead and matching cover letters will ensure that your documents look consistent, polished, and professional. It will also help you create the official look of your business. Moreover, this is an excellent marketing strategy that will help you attract new business.

10. Letterhead Helps in a Strong Business Image

Many small business owners don’t realize just how much their brand can impact their client relationships until they take a step back and see the situation from an outside perspective. When you create professional documents using free letterhead templates, potential clients will have no choice but to take you seriously!

11. Letterhead builds Confidence


Letterhead templates are a great way to create branding for your company or organization that is timeless and professional. They also make it easy to personalize the logo, contact information, and other important details about whom you’re reaching out to on behalf of your business. If you need help creating an eye-catching template design, Venngage can provide you with your letterhead templates so you can start designing today!

X Analytics: How Industries Will Continue To Benefit From Data Analytics?

While predictive analytics, descriptive analytics continue to disrupt industries, companies will soon adopt X- analytics practices

Organizations of each technical field and non-natives are producing more data than ever before. In today’s data-driven world, if the data is analyzed using right tools, the generated insights can help fact-based decision-making. This means analytics is something that every manager, business leader or in fact anyone who works in data-based industry should be aware of. And by industry, analytics is not limited to IT operations but is also leveraged in healthcare, sports, and other relevant sectors. Not only that, they must also familiarize themselves with upcoming data analytics tools and trends, e.g. X analytics. In the Gartner Top 10 Trends in Data and Analytics for 2023, the analyst firm mentions about ‘X analytics’ which is primed to gain more traction in coming years. Gartner defines this as an umbrella term, where X is the data variable for a range of different structured and unstructured content such as text analytics, video analytics, audio analytics, etc. Soon, global leaders will be employing X analytics to solve toughest challenges of the world, including climate change, disease prevention and wildlife protection. Gartner also mentions that when combined with AI and other techniques such as graph analytics (another top trend), X analytics will play a key role in identifying, predicting and planning for natural disasters and other business crises and opportunities in the future.  

Existing Data Analytics Tools

Last year, the pandemic acted as enabler and catalyst for organizations to utilize

The Future: X analytics

Organizations of each technical field and non-natives are producing more data than ever before. In today’s data-driven world, if the data is analyzed using right tools, the generated insights can help fact-based decision-making. This means analytics is something that every manager, business leader or in fact anyone who works in data-based industry should be aware of. And by industry, analytics is not limited to IT operations but is also leveraged in healthcare, sports, and other relevant sectors. Not only that, they must also familiarize themselves with upcoming data analytics tools and trends, e.g. X analytics. In the Gartner Top 10 Trends in Data and Analytics for 2023, the analyst firm mentions about ‘X analytics’ which is primed to gain more traction in coming years. Gartner defines this as an umbrella term, where X is the data variable for a range of different structured and unstructured content such as text analytics, video analytics, audio analytics, etc. Soon, global leaders will be employing X analytics to solve toughest challenges of the world, including climate change, disease prevention and wildlife protection. Gartner also mentions that when combined with AI and other techniques such as graph analytics (another top trend), X analytics will play a key role in identifying, predicting and planning for natural disasters and other business crises and opportunities in the chúng tôi year, the pandemic acted as enabler and catalyst for organizations to utilize data analytics capabilities to a plethora of reasons. For business brands trying to learn more about their customers and find ways to be more efficient in offering personalized programmes, analytics processes like sentiment analytics, predictive analytics came to rescue to help brands understand the changing demands and expectations. In other sectors too, analytics enabled forecasting demand, identifying potential supply-chain disruptions, targeting support services to at-risk workers, and determining the effectiveness of crisis intervention strategies and more. Even epidemiologists and healthcare officials used analytics to understand the spread of coronavirus, identify emerging hotspots, vulnerable populations and trace infection waves, among many others. Location analytics helped with contact tracing and contextualize specific figures pertaining to sales, logistics and supply chain, and measure location-wise success rates of marketing campaigns. New data analytics patterns also came into light. E.g. some enterprises pivoted towards descriptive analytics over predictive analytics, as the former offers better data insights about the present and recent past. It was also a good year for cloud analytics, as more and more organizations switched to cloud amid pandemic emergencies. Diagnostic analytics become more popular in retail and healthcare industries, as it provided in-depth insights into a particular problem countered by the stakeholders. Further, video analytics went mainstream since it offers real-time update about the subjects during mass surveillance programs, which were instituted to prevent coronavirus infections, track shipment at logistics center and chúng tôi wonder that the market demand and use cases for analytics will rise in coming years, while new analysis tools will emerge. X analytics that encompasses varied formats of data types, will allow organizations to extract value from all data types, compare the old dataset against the new ones to understand how behavior has changed, what patterns have remained, and how to capitalize on these shifts. When used in conjunction with other analytics methodologies like predictive analytics, descriptive analytics, X analytics will reap enormous benefits. By mining insights from all data types, X analytics will augment the capability to extract maximal value based information from all touchpoints. However, before that, data professionals must develop models that will enable all data types to talk to each other and come together to provide the end-to-end analysis.

18 Creative Ways To Support Local Businesses (+Why It’s So Important)

Small businesses are the heart of any hometown. Thriving small businesses create local jobs, support local charities, and have a plethora of goods and services to choose from.

Small businesses had to quickly adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are still rebuilding after lost revenue. It’s always been important to support local businesses, but it’s even more important now.


But where to start?

Let’s be honest: sometimes supporting a local business is just an excuse to buy something you really want. There’s nothing wrong with that! But emptying your wallet isn’t the only way to show some appreciation to the small businesses you love. We’re sharing creative ways to support local businesses–and why it’s so important.

Why support local businesses?

Before we get into how to support local businesses, let’s talk about why it’s so important—and not just for those businesses but for your community and yourself!

It keeps small businesses alive in your neighborhood

Your town’s character comes from the vibrant coffee shops, restaurants, art studios, and stores in it. Without them, the soul of your community is missing. Supporting local businesses ensures that you’ll have storefronts alive in your local neighborhood, instead of hollow commercial space available for rent.

Small businesses support other local initiatives

The money you spend at local businesses pours back into your community. Small businesses donate a whopping 250% more than big businesses to local charities, youth organizations, and other nonprofits.


Minority-owned businesses need your help

Many small businesses were hit hard by the pandemic, but minority-owned businesses experienced an even higher drop in business. Black-owned businesses were hit the hardest, as business activity declined by 41%. Latinx businesses dropped by 32%, and Asian businesses dropped by 26%.

The minority-owned businesses that are still open could really use your help. Find the ones near you with the Small Business Administration’s directory of minority-owned businesses. It’s also a great resource to use to search for women-owned and veteran-owned businesses.

Related: August is Black Business Month. Make sure to show your support using these ideas!

Small businesses provide more handcrafted original products to choose from

You can find a plain candle at just about any department store. But can you find a one-of-a-kind candle? A bath bomb that looks like a geode? A birdhouse made from recycled bottles? It’s simple: the more local businesses, the more diverse collection of goods you get to choose from.


Want to receive a compliment when you give a gift? A handcrafted good is the way to go.

It helps the environment

Small businesses are worth every cent: literally. Big retail stores typically import goods on cargo ships. The retail shipping industry produces one billion metric tons of climate emissions, according to a 2023 study by Pacific Environment.

If you shop local, you can walk or drive a short distance to pick your goods up. Many local stores carry items made from recycled items. Plus, many small businesses intentionally try to make an environmental impact by using recycled packaging, recycling, and implementing sustainable business practices.

It’s good for your local economy

Small businesses employ nearly half of all United States employees. In 2023, small businesses added 466,607 jobs to the economy.


Plus, the money you spend at a local business will stick around. On average, 48% of each purchase at a local business is recirculated through the local economy. Local businesses also generate revenue through local property and sales taxes.

Related: Worried about the economy? Find out how to recession-proof your small business.

How to support local businesses

You don’t have to spend money to support local businesses! Here are 18 different ways for how to support local businesses.

1. Visit your farmer’s market

Do you know where your food comes from? You will if you purchase produce from your local farmer’s market. Produce grown locally is often fresher than what you’ll find on grocery store shelves.

In the United States, meals travel an average of 1,500 miles from the farm to your home. That’s the distance between Los Angeles and Dallas, or the length of 2.6 million football fields. That food delivery service comes with a huge environmental impact between the fossil fuels it uses, the packaging required for shipping, and the resources used to grow it in the first place. Lessen your environmental impact by buying fresh food grown locally.

Plus, visiting your local farmer’s market (or orchard or farm) is a fun experience for everyone. Many of them will allow you to pick your own fruits and vegetables, explore corn mazes, or at least provide a beautiful backdrop for new photos on the ‘gram.

In many communities, businesses have to pay a small fee to reserve booth space. Your support helps them recoup that investment and turn a profit.

2. Buy and gift local artwork and decor

Rather than decking out your home with prints from retail stores, search for artwork at your local stores. Some businesses specialize in art sales, but even bookstores and coffee shops will hang artwork for sale. You’ll find the perfect piece of art to brighten up your plain wall.


3. Order takeout and delivery

Restaurants were particularly hit hard by the pandemic, and they could really use your orders. You could probably use an evening off from cooking! If you can, pick up your order instead of having it delivered. Many local restaurants don’t have drivers—or have staff shortages—and third-party delivery apps like DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats charge restaurants a fee.

4. Take a class or watch a live stream

Small businesses will often offer classes to supplement their offerings. Local gyms will have classes on different exercises, while some eateries offer cooking classes. Hardware stores may have do-it-yourself workshops. Gardening businesses and botanical gardens may offer classes on horticulture, gardening, or nature photography. Some small businesses even built their offerings around providing classes, like art studios and craft shops.


The pandemic caused many businesses to grow their virtual offerings. Look for workshops and classes near you. These days, it’s easier than ever to pick up a new skill.

5. Tag local businesses on social

Supporting local businesses can be as simple as sharing photos of them on social media. The next time you’re at your local farmer’s market, snap a photo of the produce! Make a quick Instagram reel featuring your favorite items at your local store! This free promotion will mean the world to the store’s workers and will build trust and social proof with other consumers.

Amplify the store’s message as much as you can. The more people hear about them, the more sales they can make.

Related: Not sure how to tag someone on Instagram? We’ve got you covered!

6. Leave a positive review

When was the last time you bought a product without checking online reviews? If you’re having a hard time remembering, you’re not alone. Nine out of 10 people worldwide check out reviews before making a purchase—and even negative reviews can have a positive impact on sales. Reviews generate word-of-mouth marketing and add credibility to a small business’s reputation.

Leave an honest review about the company’s excellent staff members, the quality of its products, or just your thoughts on its vibe. The business staff will appreciate your kind words.

Not sure what to say? Here are some examples of reviews:

Service was slow, but the pizza was delicious!

The puppy came home tired and happy after some playtime at our doggie daycare!

I really recommend #yoga at our #localgym. Sign up for the newsletter to get $20 off a class.

7. Recommend local businesses to friends, family, and colleagues

You may not be able to support local businesses with your money, but word of mouth is just as important. Try recommending local businesses to your loved ones and colleagues. Your friends, family members, and colleagues are more likely to support a local business after it’s got a recommendation.

Here are a few easy ways:

The company you work for could treat employees to dinner at a local restaurant.

Your family could book a local venue for family photos.

Your friends could meet at a local coffee shop for board games instead of playing at someone’s home.

8. Comment, like, subscribe, and share

Here are a few easy ways to support businesses for free on social media:

Use Instagram’s “Support Small” sticker. Whenever you feature a small business in your Instagram stories, place the “Support Small” sticker in the corner so they can direct viewers to its content. Tag the business so it can reshare your story to its story.

Subscribe to its YouTube channel so you get notified when new content is out!

9. Buy gift cards

You might not use a gift card immediately, but the immediate revenue can really help a small business stay alive. A gift card is a physical promise that you’ll support that store later. Plus, it’s a wonderful present to give someone.


Here are a few thoughtful techniques to make your gift card the best present for that special someone:

Give the gift of a day at the spa! A gift card lets people choose which services they’ll enjoy.

For people with a green thumb, a gift card to your local nursery or plant shop would be lovely!

What about people who cooking challenged? People just starting to use their kitchens and aspiring chefs alike would benefit from a gift card to a local cooking class or kitchenware store.

10. Buy merch

How to support local businesses without constantly buying products? Buy and wear its merch. Businesses often have t-shirts, hats, mugs, stickers, and sweatshirts branded with the business logo. Support local businesses by purchasing a piece of merch, and then support them again and again by wearing or using it.

11. Sign up for newsletters

Signing up for newsletters may not seem super supportive, but it’s a free way to show your appreciation. Small businesses often run promotions that newsletter subscribers hear about first, so you’ll hear about special sales before others do.

12. Search “support local businesses near me” or “small business near me”

Some local businesses don’t have storefronts or are located off the beaten path. A simple Google search will allow you to discover small businesses you wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. Search “support local businesses near me” or “small business near me” to see a page full of places to support.

13. Change your online ordering habits

The next time you’re shopping online, pause before purchasing your cart. Many of the items you’d like to buy are available at your local stores and you won’t have to deal with long shipping times. Do your research and see if you can spend your money locally.

14. Pay attention to what local businesses need

Sometimes local businesses will put out calls for help. The business might be collecting donations for a worthy cause, or need supplies for a project. The business might need volunteers for a beautification project, or volunteers for an ongoing program like tutoring. If there’s a need you can meet, get involved! Volunteering with a local business is a wonderful way to make connections in your community.


15. Hire small businesses

Choosing to hire a small business professional supports their work and saves you time. Try making a list of tasks that you spend too much time on. Can you outsource any of that work?

It’s easy to hire artisans, technicians, and handymen in any town. Here are a few ideas of how to get started:

Instead of picking up a cake from the grocery store, purchase one from a local bakery.

Hire a local muralist to decorate your garage, wall, or building exterior.

Hire a handyman to fix leaky faucets, clean gutters, and make other home repairs.

Skip filing your own taxes and employ a registered accountant to sort through your important documents and receipts.

16. Check out your local independent business alliance

Many small towns and cities have a local independent business alliance that works to promote locally-owned businesses and educate citizens about the importance of supporting small businesses.


Many local independent business alliances need volunteers to staff large events like buy local fairs or farmer’s market booths. They’ll often host classes aimed at helping business owners improve their businesses, or provide resources that help owners succeed. If you choose to volunteer with them, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges businesses face in your community. Otherwise, your local independent business alliance will be a great resource to consult.

17. Do your holiday shopping early

Impress everyone by getting your holiday shopping done early. Shopping early alleviates some of the holiday stress from extra busy workers. In one 2023 Google study, 66% of consumers said they were planning on shopping at local businesses. That means small business workers will be busier during the holiday season than at other times of the year.

Besides, you’ll be able to stop stressing over gift shopping and focus on gift wrapping, holiday dinners, and relaxing. It’s a win-win for everyone.

18. Treat local business workers with respect

Many small businesses are run by a small crew, and they have a lot on their plates. Try to be patient. If you can, tip generously. Many waiters, cooks, and other small business workers lost wages when small businesses temporarily closed in-house services during the pandemic. They could use every penny.

Supporting local businesses is easier than you think

You may not have to change many of your shopping habits to support small businesses. Any support you give local businesses will be deeply appreciated. Try implementing just one change at a time. Start with something easy. Before you know it, more of your time and money will be spent at local businesses.

Here are the best ways to support local businesses:

Visit your local farmer’s market

Buy and gift local artwork

Take a class or watch a livestream

Order takeout and delivery

Tag local businesses on social media

Leave a positive review on social media

Recommend local businesses to friends, family members, and colleagues

Comment, like, and engage with social media posts

Buy gift cards

Buy store merch

Sign up for newsletters

Search for “support local businesses near me”

Change your online ordering habits

Pay attention to what local businesses

Hire small businesses

Do your holiday shopping early

Treat local business workers with respect

Kaitlyn Arford

Other posts by Kaitlyn Arford

7 Ways Education Automation Can Save Time

Teachers and educators worldwide automating various workflows to make their lives easier. How does workflow automation in the education sector work? In this blog, we are going to explore the same. Before we move ahead ,let us understand why the education sector needs workflow automation. Here are a few statistics related to it.Workflow automation works by integrating various software and automating data sharing between them. It allows you to create a simple visual workflow which can automatically perform a task once certain conditions are fulfilled. These conditions are known as triggers and can be manually set to match your needs of automation. Here are 7 ways the education sector can use workflow automation for various processes.

7 Ways to Automate Education Processes

Automated Emails

One of the easiest automations you can create workflow for is the automation of email responses. Automating emails is a great way to learn how to create workflows. Professors and educators work extremely hard to educate people. They have to make notes, find new strategies to teach, and many other things to make the learning process fun and easy. Replying to emails is not on their priority list, unless it is extremely important. So, they can easily automate emails to answer the standard queries. You can automate your mails by making the software read certain keywords or mail tags to trigger the automatic replies from their information database prepared by you. Technically speaking, you can automate replies for various categories of emails.

Scheduling Teacher Calendars

You can potentially automate the schedules of various teachers within your educational institution and reduce the workload of administration. Everything from their class schedules to various meetings and events can be scheduled automatically by the management within the institution.

Updating Student Timetables

Student time tables are usually preplanned. However, with the increasing educational requirements and the move towards digitization, student time tables can be flexible and changing. This can be done with the help of automation. For example, if a certain teacher is absent, the substitute’s class can be automatically added to the time tables of the students.

Administrative Processes

Administrative processes such as admissions, student enrolment are repetitive tasks. Introducing automation could help make these processes faster and more efficient. For example, a student opts for a new course in a university. To process the student’s application, a staff member must manually review the application and have to add the student to a shortlist accordingly. This manual process could work while dealing with a handful of applications but handling thousands of applications can be cumbersome. Creating a set of rules and workflow to automate the admission process can help in simplifying tasks and can reduce the workload of the staff members involved. Such automations can be applied to various other administrative processes. Everything such as teacher payrolls, book orders, etc can be automated if done right. There are various software available online that can be introduced in the education sector to achieve automation.

Certificate Generation

Generating pass/fail certificates for students manually requires you to fill multiple forms and print out the certificates. It is a very time-intensive task that can take obnoxiously long to complete. Automation can automate the processes of generating certificates. Once you define the rules and triggers, an education workflow automation software can compile, generate and even print out your certificates automatically.

Attendance Management

Managing student attendance can be made easy. Students can be given RFID cards which they can scan while entering the classrooms. In case a student is absent without notice, an automated attendance system can be sent across to teachers and parents with the help of workflow automation tools. It can help increase the security of students and ensure peace of mind for the parents.

Teacher Interviews

Various recruitment processes for teachers can be automated. Recruitment is usually a time-consuming process. Automation can help make it easier by creating a completely automated hiring process. You can even automate a few parts of the interview process by integrating a chatbot in your automation workflow.

How to Automate Educational Processes

The first thing you need to automate educational processes is find the right workflow automation platform. Thankfully, you don’t need to look any further than

How Automation Can Improve the Communication Between Teachers and Students

The true potential of workflow automation is yet to be explored. However, more and more use cases for workflow automation technology are found each day. Among its various use cases, are its applications in the education industry. Teachers and educators worldwide automating various workflows to make their lives easier. How does workflow automation in the education sector work? In this blog, we are going to explore the same. Before we move ahead ,let us understand why the education sector needs workflow automation. Here are a few statistics related to it.Workflow automation works by integrating various software and automating data sharing between them. It allows you to create a simple visual workflow which can automatically perform a task once certain conditions are fulfilled. These conditions are known as triggers and can be manually set to match your needs of automation. Here are 7 ways the education sector can use workflow automation for various chúng tôi first thing you need to automate educational processes is find the right workflow automation platform. Thankfully, you don’t need to look any further than Appy Pie Connect . Appy Pie Connect is one of the most popular workflow automation software available online. Appy Pie Connect offers educational institutions and educators more than 150 different integrations to automate their workflows. From CRMs to payment processing systems, the possibilities are endless. You can check out Connect’s App Directory for yourself. The true potential of workflow automation being noticed in the pandemic. Many businesses automated workflows to make work from home smoother since the beginning of the pandemic. Here’s a list of various integrations that can allow your business to do the same . Each department of an organization can utilize the same automation platform for various tasks. Keeping that in mind, we’ve divided some of the tasks workflow automation can automate for your organization.

Communication is a vital aspect of education, as it allows teachers and students to exchange information, feedback, and ideas. However, traditional methods of communication, such as face-to-face meetings, phone calls and emails, can be time-consuming, inconvenient and limited. Automation can improve the communication between teachers and students by using chatbots, online platforms and social media. Chatbots can provide instant answers to common questions, online platforms can facilitate group discussions and assignments, and social media can enable sharing of resources and opinions. These tools can make the communication more effective, convenient and collaborative, as well as enhance the sense of community and engagement among teachers and students.

How Automation Can Boost the Creativity and Innovation of Educators

Creativity and innovation are essential skills for educators, as they enable them to design engaging and effective learning experiences for their students. However, many educators face challenges such as a lack of time, resources and motivation to be creative and innovative. Automation can boost the creativity and innovation of educators by freeing up their time, inspiring their ideas and supporting their professional development. Automation can free up their time by taking care of routine tasks such as grading, attendance and reporting. Automation can inspire their ideas by providing them with new insights, trends and examples. Automation can support their professional development by offering them feedback, coaching and training. These benefits can help educators to unleash their full potential and become more creative and innovative in their teaching practice.


Workflow Automation is still a new kind of software. However, with everything getting automated with time, workflow automation can benefit every industry including education . You can be ahead of the curve by beginning your automation journey today.

7 Ways Block A Number On Android

No matter where you are or which cellular carrier you’ve subscribed to, being constantly spammed with messages and calls from strangers and telemarketers is perhaps the one thing that draws our collective ire. Having your phone ring at an inopportune moment only to find that it’s another one of those pestering mules who’ve somehow got access to your number can be infuriating, to say the least.

Well, here are a few ways you can permanently block spamming numbers and keep them from stealing your precious time. These commons ways to block a number shall work on every Android phone, irrespective of the device’s OEM.

Method #1: Using the Phone app

Option 1.1

This is the simplest method to block a number on any Android phone. First up, tap on the Phone app and get to the section with your Recents calls.

From here, you can choose one of two routes to block a caller. The first one involves long-pressing the caller you want to block and select the Block option.

Option 1.2

For the second method, tap on the arrow next to the caller. On the next screen, tap the three-dot menu.

Option 1.3

Samsung devices:

On some devices including Samsung Galaxy phones, you need to tap on the contact’s name in the “Recents” list, and then tap the “i” button for more info, and then tap on “Block” in the bottom right.

If you have been prudent enough to save the intruder’s number, you can block him/her from your Contacts List as well. To do this, go to the Contacts section in your Phone app and search for the contact, and tap on it.

Method #3: Using the Messages App

Perhaps you’re not getting calls, but are bombarded by promotional messages that are making your message app clunky. This can make it hard to sieve the important messages from the chaff of spam. Here’s how you can block them from the Messages App.

Open the app and find the number that you want to block. Then, tap and hold on their photo icon.

On the next screen, you will have a big bold Block button for you to press.

And just like that, you’re free from that particular annoying number.

Method #4: Create a ‘Block List’

On Samsung Devices

Creating a ‘block list’ has been a feature of Samsung phones for a while now but they are yet to make an appearance on your stock Android devices. For this, open the Phone app, tap the 3-dot menu in the top-right corner, and then tap Settings. Now, tap “Block numbers” to open the menu for this feature.

Now, simply type the number you want your phone to block, and then tap on the “+” button. You can add as many numbers to this list as you want.

On Stock Android devices and other Android OEM devices

On other Android phones, you may have to get creative to create your own ‘block list’. This involves going to the Contacts page and creating a new contact named “Blocked”.

Thereafter, go to the contacts setting (the three-dot menu) and select ‘Block‘.

Now, every time you get a call from an unknown number, simply add that number to your Blocked contact. This may be a little cumbersome for some at first as you have to manually add the numbers and new ones do tend to pop up every now and then. But you can at least find solace in knowing that you won’t get any calls from the numbers that you have blocked.

Method #5: Use the ‘Call blocking’ option from your Cellular network

The problem with previous methods is that if you’re switching phones frequently, you have to start over every time you set up your new phone. This can be a huge hassle that not many would want to endure, even though you can rely on the sync feature on your phone to move the list of blocked numbers from your old phone to your new phone, provided you do sync your data.

Fortunately, your own cellular carriers can help you in blocking unwanted calls and keeping them blocked even when you change phones. The only downside with them is that they require you to purchase a subscription service for it.

Here are some of the most popular cellular carriers and their call-blocking services:

Do read the terms and conditions attached to these services as well as subscription charges (wherever applicable) to ensure that you don’t get tied to any of the clauses in the fine print.

Method #6: Use the DND feature on your phone to silence calls

There’s another method to ensure that you only get calls from contacts that you allow. This can be done by, first of all, switching to DND on your phone. Do this by pulling down the system tray and turning on DND.

Alternatively, open your Settings and select Sound & vibration.

Under Sound, tap on Silent/DND and then DND. Now, you have the option to “Allow incoming calls” from a select group of people. These can be “from anyone”, “from contacts only”, or “from starred contacts only”.

If you don’t want to get calls from unwanted callers, you would probably choose one of the two highlighted above. This method is an ingenious one as you don’t need to download any extraneous applications or pay for a cellular carrier subscription package.

Note: Using DND to allow only contacts to call will also block calls from unknown numbers that might not be spam including bank calls, calls from a new number of one of your contacts, someone trying to get in touch with you through a public line, etc. You can easily miss some important calls, so, choose wisely.

Method #7: Use a 3rd-party app

Thankfully, there are various third-party applications (most of which are free to use) that have multiple call-blocking features to simplify the task. We would recommend you give them a shot if some callers have become particularly annoying.

Warning: While widely used, these 3rd-party apps often have questionable privacy agreements that involve uploading and updating your contact list to the company’s data servers. If you are concerned about your privacy, you might want to look into this before proceeding further. You can get a good idea about such apps by looking at the permissions required by them upon installation on their Play Store listing.


Developed by True Software Scandinavia AB, Truecaller has been the go-to app for android users, not just to block calls but also to use the app as their default phone app. Much of this is due to its huge database of spam numbers which ensure that you won’t have to go through the drudgery of blocking any calls yourself – all the work is done by Truecaller for you. If any such calls do come through, you can always label them as spam and do yourself and the rest of humanity a world of good.

Download: Truecaller

Call Blacklist

The name says it all – an app to create your own custom blacklist to ward off unknown callers. It works both as a call and an SMS blocker. Call Blacklist lets you block calls and SMS from hidden and private numbers, even numbers that aren’t stored in your contacts list. The app can be password protected and also lets you schedule a time when you don’t want the spammers getting through to you.

Download: Call Blacklist

Should I Answer?

This call-blocking app is unique in its design, in that it gives you all the information you need to decide whether you should answer a call or not. Different types of callers – telemarketers, spammers, unwanted callers, etc – are categorized neatly and rated depending on other users’ interaction with them. You too can add a few to the ever-expanding database and block numbers yourself.

Download: Should I Answer

These are the tried-and-tested methods that are guaranteed to keep you from blowing your lid off the next time your phone rings, knowing that it is not from some random stranger or a computer-generated voice but from someone you know.

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