As children we were encouraged to learn something new every day. We did experiments at school, took part in extra-curricular activities, and joined cultural and activist groups during our college years.
Then something happened:
Adulthood. (Or really, adulting.)
We went from being curious children to adults dedicated to a 9-5 job (which the majority of us find unrewarding), adopting routines that rarely ever change.
Benedict Carey, author of the book How We Learn, says that routine limits our brain’s ability to learn new skills and knowledge. This is worrisome because learning new things is important for our happiness.
You may have heard that the “brain is like a muscle.” Just like other muscles, you have to exercise the brain by learning new things. Yes, there is ample research which shows that learning helps build neuron connections and can stave off diseases like Parkinson’s. But there is a lot more to learning new things than just making the brain stronger. The act of learning actually makes us happier.
As Belle Beth Cooper writes about in her post on “Why New Things Make Us Feel So Good”, there is a section in the brain known as the SN/VTA.
The SN/VTA part of the brain is linked to the learning and memory parts, but it is best known as the “novelty center” because it lights up when exposed to new stimuli. You experience a rush of dopamine, which is one of the chemicals that motivates us towards rewards.
Here is what happens:
It is no surprise then that research has found dopamine is closely linked to the learning process. In short, learning new things stimulates happiness chemicals brain.
Learning is fundamentally positive for your mental health.
Learning can be broken down into short-term and long-term learning. If you don’t necessarily want to embark on a big endeavor (such as learning to play an instrument), your brain can still benefit from learning smaller bits of information on a daily basis. Here are some ways to do that.
Ted Talks are famous for bringing a huge amount of topics by innovative thinkers. Ted Ed takes learning a step further with engaging video lessons. Topics range from “the scientific way to cut a cake” to “how money laundering works.”
Americans are notoriously bad at geography, but the rest of the world probably isn’t too much better. The game GeoGuessr takes a unique approach to learning geography. You are shown a Google Maps photo and have to guess where it is. You might just find yourself saying things like, “Huh, I didn’t know that Afghanistan has such green forests!” It’s free to play.
Brought to you by scientists and game developers, Lumosity has a great collection of cognitive games you can play. You might not learn a concrete fact, but your brain will be challenged and grow!
Curiosity is a website which inspires people to get smarter. They do it by finding the most interesting news on a variety of topics. Just click what topic you are interested in learning about and you’ll find fascinating articles and videos.
A large vocabulary is not only impressive, but it allows you to express yourself better. Remember the book 1984 and how they started cutting words from the language as a form of mind control? Well, that’s the power of vocab! The website Vocabulary.com has come up with an adaptive learning game to help you learn more words easily.
No brainer right? Humans process visuals quickly: It takes less than 1/10 of a second for your brain to get a sense of a visual. Absorbing new information using infographics is a quick and easy way to learn. Visual learning not only decreases comprehension time, but sticks around longer in our memories. On Daily Infographic you can spend 15 minutes per day perusing an infographic on a topic of your choice.
Start your day off with an intelligent jolt of positively fascinating facts, offbeat trivia, and creative challenges designed to stimulate the mind. From identifying songs in reverse to the world’s weirdest history, Good Job, Brain! is the perfect podcast to enliven and inspire stimulated individuals.
Get yourself inspired and closer to your goals by listening to Clyde Lee Dennis’s self-improvement podcast. Each day of the week, he delivers practical life-skills discussions, wellness talks, and mindset shaping discourses into everything from stopping ruminating thoughts to goal-setting, the ego, and more.
Subscribe to Instanerd or visit the site for an endless supply of useful facts and information. Start the feed and flick left or right through short how-tos and factoids on everything from taking advantage of travel opportunities to origin stories for society and social icons, fascinating general knowledge and even more obscure topics. Ever wondered what it’s called when you turn yellow from eating too many carrots? Instanerd has your answer.
Scientific American’s 60 Second Science is the fastest way to stay informed regarding science, activism, and global interest issues. The refreshing, short format grips big topics, dissecting them during each podcast into condensed, relevant facts that fit great into any day regardless of how busy you may be.
Two games of three rounds each takes care of brain exercise for the day in under five minutes, thanks to the Brain Training Podcast. The show is described as an audio workout for your head that teaches you how to memorize things effectively while having fun.
Get the low-down on some of the most significant pop culture topics, the world’s greatest inventions, influential politics, prominent people, exciting places, and other icons of modern society. Mike Rowe’s podcast is short, to the point, and perfect for anyone with an enquiring mind.
The practical tips provided by the Functioning Minimalist will have you listening to each podcast over and over again. Integrate sustainability tips while training yourself to grow more content in the moment each day. It’s the exact bite-sized inspiration that every busy professional needs.
Select from hundreds of topics and then let Highbrow deliver a five-minute lesson to your email inbox every day. From the arts and philosophy to entrepreneurship, marketing, personal growth, productivity, and even life hacks for travel and productivity – you’re ensured a fascinating selection of courses subdivided into ten daily episodes each.
Shine a light on complex, scientific topics with a global impact. Big Think teaches you topics like forced empathy and how to negotiate better. There’s discussions, presentations, and lessons on subjects that matter across all fields, making this resource indispensable to lifelong learners.
Ever discovered just how addictive a good session of trivia is? Trivia Crack will leave you hooked on questions from across six categories as you compete against other human players from around the world. A winner is found in 25 rounds or less, cramming a surprising amount of interesting info into a brief period. Now, that’s fun learning.
When solved regularly, cognitive word games like cryptic crosswords improve lexical memory. Improve your ability to remember words and languages by using the Learn How to Solve Cryptic Crosswords app until you’re adept at working through one of the world’s favorite puzzles effectively.
Step out of the boundaries of conventional learning experiences and pick up a new dance move every day with Steezy Studio. A selection of the world’s best dance tools makes sure that everyone from complete beginners with just a few minutes a day to seasoned, high-energy dance professionals have something new and fun to learn every day.
Discover thought-provoking new fiction with Blinkist. Each book is condensed into a 15-minute summary that is ideal for finding new authors and subjects. Free users are provided a random summary every day with Blinkist’s Random Pick, and you are free to read summaries offline. There’s no faster way to explore the literary world and find things you’d like to read.
Ready to take on a bigger challenge? Learning new skills that require a longer-term commitment can be even more rewarding and stimulating for the brain. Every day, you build on what you learned the day before until you reach a level of mastery. Here are just some ideas of things you can start learning and where to start.
Online courses have the benefit of being comprehensive, guided learning experiences set at your own pace. One of the biggest hurdles of signing up for online courses is completion. Instead of finding larger blocks of time to power through courses, try to set aside a minimum of 15 minutes a day to work through courses. Steady wins the race!
Art, photography, creativity get a boost with classes on Creative Live. Whether you’re a beginner or an established artist looking to refine your skills and even build a business with them, this platform provides courses in a simulated live format.
The approach focuses on learning via interaction, which means that the online classroom also features a studio audience that appears on camera. The in-studio students, usually ranging from three to 15 people, interact with the instructor the way a live classroom would, creating a rich virtual experience.
A January 2018 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that on average a person changes jobs 10-15 times, and that number is only increasing with increasing job mobility. Better job mobility also comes from more opportunities to learn new skills.
Skillshare features personalized, on demand classes in categories like animation, graphic design, web development, business analytics, entrepreneurship, and marketing, to name a few. Productivity and lifestyle classes help you to make those skills go even further.
On Udemy, you can find over 55,000 online courses on topics ranging from web development to music training. Many basic level classes are free but there are paid courses as well.
Udacity is one of the most popular places to learn coding for free. They have videos, quizzes, and instructions so you can earn a “Nanodegree.” The courses are made by expert programmers and big companies like Google so they are definitely relevant to today’s job market and tech trends.
BitDegree differentiates itself through offering interactive & gamified courses, especially in the blockchain space. Universities are already embracing blockchain courses on campuses, based on growing interest from students. The cryptocurrency phenomenon is a global one, powered by bitcoin’s meteoric rise. Courses offered cover skills ranging from programming, marketing, machine learning to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
All small business owners and entrepreneurs need to know digital marketing techniques if they are going to stay relevant. Created by Google, Primer teaches marketing skills and delivers them in digestible 5-minute segments.
Coursera is one of the best places to find free online courses in higher education on just about any topic. The courses are offered by top universities in the US, helping you to extend your education from the comforts of your own home. Certificates are available for a fee. As an alternative, Iversity.org provides development courses from experts all over Europe. usually on very specific topics.
Today’s top companies aren’t just looking for skills like coding. They want people with soft skills like leadership, team management, creativity, and decision-making. MindTools has a great collection of mini courses which teach you these skills.
Not sure what you want to learn today? Just visit Instructables and view any one of the great DIY tutorials to learn a new skill.
First aid is something that everyone should know and refresh regularly. The American Red Cross has come up with a great app to help. It isn’t a substitute for an in-person course, but it does have bite-size courses on basics accompanied by videos and instructions.
Duolingo is an app which makes it easy to learn a new language thanks to its interactive method and how it breaks down lessons into small chunks. There are dozens of languages to choose from and the app is free to use!
Writing is fundamental cornerstone of communication and remains one of the most in-demand skills that employers look for. The app 750 Words helps you become a better writer by having you write a minimum of 750 words of stream of conscious writing per day – a practice which is said to improve writing fluency and also help you learn about yourself in the process.
Formerly Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning focuses on career oriented subjects with like business, design, and technology. These expert taught classes are meant to add skills to help you in your job.
Gratitude is key for happiness in life. What a lot of people don’t realize is that gratitude actually has to be learned and worked on. The app Mojo helps you rewire your brain to be more grateful by encouraging you to write at least five good things per day, rate the day, and add photos.
The next time you find your mind wandering and are in need of a diversion, head to Brain Metrix. Pick from a range of extensive cognitive tests designed to boost mental flexibility and fitness. Improve concentration, reflection speed, memory and mental reflexes through strangely addictive mental exercises.
Make the changes that you need to your mood, mind, lifestyle and habits to improve your mental health and improve every area of your life. Moodfit may not be free, but it offers 30 days to try the world’s top-rated mental health app’s full functionality. You’ll have everything from tools to help you manage immediate stress to tracking for sleep, therapy, gratitude and goals. There’s no better way to take control and understand your emotions.
Peak Braining Training is an app that’ll push your cognition, training you through a series of stimulating, challenging mental workouts. Fun, fast and personalized for you – the Peak app can help you improve your focus, memory and overall mental agility. Developed in tandem with scientists from Cambridge, Yale, UCL and King’s College London, it keeps you motivated while offering training programmes reaching advanced levels of memory and attention.
Introduce yourself to a new language and learn just how simple becoming fluent can be with Babbel. Both a web and mobile app are available. Exercises are to the point, teaching you phrases that you’ll use in practical day-to-day situations. Babbel isn’t free, but it’s highly affordable and has some of the best lessons, prompts, and podcasts around.
The world’s most famous language learning tool is an award-winning language learning solution. From giving you a focused interface to learn practical words and phrases to fine-tuning pronunciation with the help of Rosetta Stone’s TruAccent Speech recognition, few apps can compare. Try it out for three days for free and see how Rosetta Stone will help you pick up a new language more intuitively than ever.
Drops is a learning app brought to us by Kahoot! that lets you learn practical aspects of a range of different languages in just five minutes a day. Pick from one of 41 various languages, and visual character learning immerses you in vocabulary that you’d commonly use when traveling. Lessons are spread across 11 topics, and each session builds to a lasting understanding of a new language.
The once-winner of Apple’s App of the Year presents an impressive range of fun exercises to train your brain and work on social skills. Elevate helps you speak better while honing focus and cognition. The whole experience is customized according to the way you interact with Elevate, with the 35+ games learning how to help you better each time you play.
Kahoot! Has over 50 million interactive quizzes and games on-demand that make learning fascinating at any age. Whether you’re discovering a new topic, exploring a complex concept, or putting skill into practice, Kahoot! makes sure your full attention is on training while having more fun than you ever thought possible.
BrainScape may be designed for students, but the smart flashcards sure do make it easy to compress a vast amount of knowledge into an exciting learning experience for adults. The science of spaced repetition keeps your mind alert, processing and retaining knowledge effectively. It’s an app that offers a great way to be introduced to new subjects.
Curious video lessons and a personal Curious Quotient (CQ) score ensure that you’re learning something new every day in 5, 15, or 30-minutes. Pick the subject that you want to learn from a growing collection of over 25,000 lessons. New CQ workouts are suggested daily to sharpen your creative, practical, and academic skills.
Queendom is a platform filled with scientifically developed and validated quizzes that help you learn more about yourself and your hidden tendencies. From testing your affinity for childcare to determining coachability, and even more fun tests like determining devotion, kinkiness or your level of personal hygiene – Queendom offers a fascinating way to spend 15 minutes a day learning something new.
Staying competitive in today’s ever-evolving world calls for self-growth and constantly learning new skills. With these tools, you’re sure to be armed with everything that you need to get your job done better than ever while opening yourself to a far broader range of business options. Keep working hard at yourself as a professional in your field, and you’re sure to further your career quickly.
Pass your Project Management Exam (PMP) with flying colors, with a little help from Brain Sensei. Serving up an innovative selection of test prep courses using animated stories, this online video PMP training course makes preparation fun and easy. Storytelling puts across bite-sized components of information that condenses the PMBOK into something that anyone can grasp given devoted attention.
If you’re looking for a surefire way to up your SAT, ACT, or GMAT score, the Kranse Institute should be a prime consideration. Bite-sized video lectures take you through digital test preparation using a syllabus proven to increase your average test scores. The Kranse Institute’s program was developed and is taught by perfect score student, Shaan Patel who won Shark Tank and joined forces with billionaire investor, Mark Cuban.
Treehouse video courses on in-demand topics make learning advanced subjects like coding, design, technical and soft skills easy. The unmistakable Treehouse learning system condenses education into interactive videos, workspaces and quizzes that are as informative as they are intuitive and addictive. Instead of relying on standardized tests and exams, code and projects are peer-reviewed, making sure that you know how to apply the things you learn.
If you’re looking for an app to help you prepare for any workforce training exam, look no further 360training. Giving access to over 6000 courses with new, relevant certifications added by the day, 360training is comprehensive and easy to use. It acts as a single resource for multiple-tests, ensuring that driven employees are empowered with current regulations and 24/7 access to learning material across all devices.
QuickStart should be your go-to learning resource for all online IT certification courses and programs. Being partnered with institutions like Microsoft Gold, Cisco and Citrix makes QuickStart one of the world’s only IT training and work readiness vendors supported by all the latest emerging technologies. There are courses to help teams reach their goals better, professional aptitude assessments, personnel insight courses, and all types of personalized learning modalities available.
Ever wished you had a thought leader at your side to help you decipher the next, best course of action for your career or business? Tune in to the 15-Minute Strategy Podcast brought to you by Hubspot’s Sprocket Talk, and look forward to actionable advice and practical next steps from top professionals across all fields.
Visit Wall Street Survivor to enjoy what’s considered by many to be the world’s best stock trading simulator. Join the practice league and spend as much or as little time as you can on playing a virtual stock market. Wall Street Survivor teaches you how to invest in stocks through a selection of easy-to-understand prompts and pointers.
From around the clock peer support from a dedicated, busy community to a selection spanning thirteen languages – SoloLearn has everything you need to make learning coding easier. There’s no faster way to cement all those core concepts into memory than through this intuitive app’s multiple-choice learning prompts.
Mimo is an app designed to make on-the-go coding accessible to anyone learning a language. Bite-sized exercises make grasping advanced concepts easy, while goals and streaks keep you on track and growing your programming know-how steadily.
It doesn’t have to be 15 minutes a day that you dedicate to learning something new. It could be 30 minutes, one hour, or even as little as 5 minutes per day. What matters is that you:
The reason the time-frame unit is so important is because people are more likely to stay motivated and succeed if they break goals into smaller units.
To reinforce skills, utilizing specific techniques can help you learn faster. These include testing yourself regularly, finding ways to gain practical experience, rewarding yourself, and teaching others. Here are a few other common strategies:
Learning is most effective when it enters long term memory. The path to get there is best with a few twists and turns. Trial and error often works well – just find what works best for you!
Using these tools to learn something new every day is a great start. But the reality is that we are already bombarded with information on a daily basis.
According to Niklas Goeke, we consume 74.92 gigabytes of data every day. That’s enough to fill 9 DVDs with data – or 74 pickup trucks filled with paper!
All of the information we consume isn’t helping us achieve happiness or wellbeing in life. Instead, excessive info consumption drains us and fries our brains.
Of course, most of this info consumption is done during our (brain-killing) routines. Simply by breaking routine and making a point to learn new things is going to help you retain and utilize the info better.
But, to really reap the life-changing benefits of learning new things, follow this one important tip:
Share what you’ve learned with others.
It can be on a daily learning blog. Or on social media. Or just make a point to tell your spouse what you’ve learned that day while you eat dinner together.
It may be difficult to find all that time. But the simple act of sharing your new knowledge and insight will help it stick and make the benefits of learning even more life changing.
Emailing your customers continues to be an important way to connect with them. Even though there are so many ways to get in touch, you’d be surprised at how many businesses still win using email. You can email updates, offers, and more to interest and keep your audience.
But to do that you’ll need a solid email marketing platform.
Let’s take a peek behind the curtain of one of the newer email platforms Flodesk.
Flodesk launched as an email marketing platform built by creators, for creators. Its founders, Martha Bitars and Rebecca Shostak, designed Flodesk as an affordable alternative for small businesses and bloggers who prefer a “design-first” approach.
Readers will appreciate the eye-catching email templates and easy-to-use UI (user interface). Flodesk even offers automation sequences to keep your readers engaged, customizable form builder, and detailed analytics.
And best of all, you can get started in just minutes – no coding required!
As a newer platform, Flodesk is fairly light on features, instead focusing on the design elements of email marketing. That said, with upgrades rolling out every few months and a robust framework in place, it offers plenty of perks already.
Built-in Email Templates
Currently, Flodesk offers about 30 email templates for subscribers. While they’re simple and modern, they’re also sleek, relying on pictures and block formatting for a flow-down-the-page feel.
Using the drag-and-drop editor, you can customize each template to focus on images or text as needed. Or you can layer both together to build something new and exciting using your own fonts and colors.
But if Flodesk’s templates aren’t enough, the company frequently partners with content creators to design more. Plus, you can use their blank-slate editor to build your own from scratch!
In this fast-moving world, software that completes repetitive (but essential) tasks can save you tons of time. Using Flodesk’s drag-and-drop editor, you can design workflows in seconds and shave hours off your week. And with four customizable templates to choose from, you can advertise, welcome, nurture, and convert with ease!
Flodesk Form Builder
Eye-catching landing pages are an integral part of email marketing. And while Flodesk doesn’t provide designated landing pages, you can use their attractive form builder to create:
And all of this occurs in Flodesk’s minimalist, user-friendly interface.
Simple – Yet Robust – Analytics
Flodesk also offers an analytics dashboard to tie the whole platform together. From here, you can look at an email campaign’s deliverability, opens, click-throughs, and bounce rate. Additionally, you can organize information by user device, check link performance, and resend unopened emails at the click of a button.
An email marketing platform is only as useful as its tools. While Flodesk is new, it’s also optimized for its target demographic: design-first entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Clean, Code-Free UI
You can use Flodesk with ease whether you’re a computer expert or an email marketing newbie. And you won’t have to learn HTML or CSS to get started, removing a crucial barrier for many non-tech-savvy users.
But just because you don’t have to code doesn’t mean Flodesk can’t produce a clean product – for you or your readers. Whether you focus on email creation, form building, or workflow design, Flodesk provides a slick interface packed with automations.
Flodesk prides itself on sleek, modern, conversion-driving emails. While its template library is limited, each is fully customizable with the drag-and-drop editor.
And thanks to their image-focused block-style format, Flodesk emails draw your readers’ attention right where you want it. Rather than crowding out your emails with details, you can nurture leads with messages that are simple and gorgeous.
Flodesk provides plenty of assistance to guide entrepreneurs to success.
To start, the Flodesk Help Center is jam-packed with information on setting up your account, creating workflows, email and form design, and more. If you have a question on a topic that’s not covered, you can submit a help ticket or peruse the Flodesk Insiders Facebook Group.
But Flodesk doesn’t just want you to succeed at making attractive emails; they want you to succeed, period. That’s why they created Flodesk University, a community for professionals to share insights in short, information-packed videos.
Continual Feature Rollout
Because of its pared-down approach, some creators find that Flodesk doesn’t offer enough tools for their needs. And, as a newer platform, Flodesk is still missing some features that even minimalists find necessary for their email campaigns.
That said, Bitars and Shostak roll out new features and upgrades frequently, meaning that Flodesk’s punch gets more powerful all the time.
For example, Flodesk reports that landing page functionality is coming soon. Plus, their content partners regularly create new templates for their library.
Unlimited Everything – Forever
Flodesk only offers one pricing plan: $38 per month, or $418 per year. According to Flodesk, this price includes “Unlimited everything, forever.” That means that you’ll never have to worry about price hikes due to new features or your growing email list.
New toys are shiny and fun – but in Flodesk’s case, some functions are still under development. And while Flodesk is rolling toward becoming a full-service email marketing service, some features remain sorely lacking.
Steep Price Entry Point
We noted Flodesk’s one price for life policy above. While you won’t face sudden price hikes, $38 per month is steep for minimal features – especially for small email lists.
Lack of Advanced Features
Unfortunately, though Flodesk has some plans in the works, their newness means that they lack some advanced features.
For instance, there’s no dedicated landing page builder; you have to use their generic form builder. And if you need more advanced workflows, increasingly segmented email lists, or in-depth analytics, you’re out of luck – at least for now.
Flodesk offers nearly three dozen templates and a blank slate to design your own emails. But you’ll still have to work within the limitations of their platform, including their limited color palette, a mere handful of fonts, and maximum image sizes.
Not Built for Mobile Use
Flodesk doesn’t offer a mobile app, which can prove prohibitive if you work primarily from a tablet. And though you can view your analytics on mobile, all new content must originate from a desktop device.
Lastly, Flodesk only integrates with a handful of platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, Google, Slack, Shopify, and WordPress. And while you can link with Zapier, buying another membership can substantially increase your costs.
Flodesk is an email marketing platform for those who value the look of their campaigns. Though it offers a minimal feature palate, the service’s robust automations, built-in templates and form builder, and regular feature upgrades and rollouts make it an attractive option for:
Flodesk costs $38 per month, or $418 per year (with one month free). But if you’re not sure whether Flodesk will suit your needs, they offer a one-month free trial – no credit card required!
And though $38 per month is steep for smaller email lists, the company states that you get “unlimited everything, forever.” That means that as you grow, the platform’s features (but not their price) will grow with you.
A digital marketer is a marketing specialist and professional that mostly uses digital channels to get to potential or current customers. They aid in building brand awareness as well as promoting products and services. Moreover, the job description of a digital marketer includes several skills. This, in layman’s language, means that digital marketers wear many hats.
One of their many responsibilities is to write and dispatch email marketing campaigns. A digital marketer also does the creation and uploading of the website of the company they work for. All marketing must also ensure that content is search engine optimized. Digital marketers also provide reports after accurate analysis when demonstrating the effective return of an investment. Read on to find out more about the 10 essential skills needed to become a successful digital marketer.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are crucial in digital marketing. Having SEO skills as a digital marketer helps you learn about traffic, enabling you to bring more traffic to your website. Notably, this skill also helps in getting better conversions from that traffic. Learning about optimizing your website can only be possible with this skill in the bag. Also, the incorporation of paid search advertising is another form of digital marketing that is available today.
Having SEM skills helps a digital marketer in designing ads for better targeting. This aids in brand recognition getting sites like Platin Casino UK to the top of searches. It also aids in bringing in targeted traffic to your website. Merging these two skills can prove to be very instrumental in ensuring that you become a good digital marketer.
Data analysis is very important to any digital marketing specialist. The importance of data in understanding the target audience can’t be ignored. Having good data analysis skills as a digital marketer is useful for understanding the concerns of your customers. Furthermore, you get to learn and understand consumer behavior and demographics. This information helps you to see trends allowing you to make data-driven predictions that aid you to make helpful and insightful decisions. For example, you are better placed for knowing when your product will be most in demand. It can also prove to be beneficial for getting higher returns. Thus, skills in analytics, as you can see, are very instrumental for a successful digital marketing career.
Writing and editing are by far the most important skills you should develop to become a successful digital marketer. If you want to generate influential content like blog posts, you must have good writing skills. This skill is quite important in learning how to source and create top-quality content. You also need the editing skill to turn a piece into content that will create an impact. Good content is essential for effective digital marketing. For this reason, you should sharpen your skills in writing and editing to aid in this. This helps in generating good content for the targeted audience. As you do this, you get better results, and it will also help you improve your marketing career.
Email marketing is a direct form of marketing channel employed in digital marketing. It is the use of email to promote products and services. This tool is often used to make customers aware of your latest products and services. For example, if you have offers, you can utilize this tool to propagate automated marketing efforts. Furthermore, as a digital marketer, having good email marketing skills is quite important in improving customer relations. In this way, you get the chance to have direct contact with customers, which in turn helps you build a good rapport with them and learn more about the customers’ needs. All in all, this skill can help a lot in converting potential customers into actual customers because you have the chance of reaching them effectively.
Adaptability is all about being able to handle change in an environment. As a digital marketer, you will know that your target market is constantly changing. What you might know now may not be relevant in the coming months because of changes in the target market. Thus, you have to adapt to remain relevant in this field. Possessing adaptability skills is, therefore, very important in digital marketing. In addition to adaptability, you should also strive to improve your problem-solving skills.
Reaching some target markets through digital marketing can be challenging, but good problem-solving skills enable you to work around any issues. When you develop these skills, you can be sure that you will remain relevant even with changing target audiences. So, these skills are essential in making sure that you can progress your digital marketing career effectively.
Moving forward, we live in a time where, most probably, almost everyone spends time on a social media platform daily. This is why every digital marketer targets social media marketing. Furthermore, there are a plethora of social media platforms available. Therefore, as a digital marketer, social media skills, such s creating relevant hashtags to generate leads, are both helpful and vital. These skills enable you to create a brand’s story, design effective adverts, and identify the right social media channel for your advertising. The most important outcome of these skills is that they enable you to increase brand awareness. Many people interacting with your posts make your brand recognizable. Hence, you get an opportunity to begin building your brand’s reputation.
Advertising is the backbone of product promotion and marketing according to experts. It is almost impossible to think of marketing without this aspect coming into the picture. Having advertising skills as a digital marketer can boost your digital marketing career greatly. In short, having good advertising skills will aid you in identifying the best placement for different adverts. You will also understand which is the best advertisement to use for a specific audience. Having good advertising skills will assist you to tailor the specifics so that you can design an effective advertisement for the particular audience that you are dealing with.
People are always attracted to what is appealing to them. So, creativity helps in crafting better marketing strategies. The digital marketing field has many players. Due to this, you need to stand out from the crowd. By being creative, you will come up with better ideas for marketing. You can also tailor your marketing strategies to meet the needs of different groups. In addition to that, how you design your adverts and products can also play a big role in producing a successful marketing campaign. You should strive to acquire good design skills to help you deliver good content. Furthermore, in order to make your digital marketing campaign stand out, creativity and design skills are essential.
Marketing is all about sending your message across to customers and making sure that customers receive and understand your message. This emphasizes the importance of communication in digital marketing. However, it is not just communication, but good communication that is required when it comes to digital marketing. For instance, a company that communicates effectively will benefit from building up a loyal customer base. In the same way, digital marketers benefit from good communication skills. In fact, good communication skills lead to higher conversion rates. To add to that, you will develop a good rapport with your customers. As a result, those customers become more loyal, thereby making you a successful digital marketer. The bottom line is that you should always strive to sharpen your communication skills as it is an essential skill in the digital marketing industry.
Strategic planning involves forward-thinking. This is what is needed to grow a business. Basically, this skill can help you plan when to take specific actions to achieve your set objectives. Some strategic planning skills are essential in digital marketing in order to be able to adapt to the constantly changing markets. Making use of this skill will help you find out what actions are needed and when with the purpose of achieving your marketing goals. In addition, you will get a clearer understanding of the business environment. This enables you to make informed marketing decisions, helping you improve your marketing outcomes. Every project needs a good strategic plan for it to succeed. The same is true for digital marketing campaigns. Hence, this skill is one of the most important skills for a digital marketer.
In conclusion, digital marketers need various skills to make their careers successful. One of the main skills is the ability to communicate effectively, so good creativity especially in relation to writing, editing, and design skills, is essential. Understanding SEO and SEM also contributes to successful communication. Several of the skills mentioned above are interlinked. Thus, it is important to be able to analyze data and combine this with good advertising, social media, and email marketing skills to target the right market through the right medium.
While having an overall strategic plan is important, being adaptable and able to solve problems is also key in the ever-changing digital marketing world. There are many factors that will play a key role in your marketing career, but acquiring and improving on the 10 essential skills mentioned above will help you become a successful digital marketer.
When you think of the most iconic game of any casino – whether it’s a brick and mortar establishment or an online casino, you’re most likely thinking of slot machines.
Known as “Legal Slots” up until the 20th century, slot machines are often called one-armed bandits, fruit-machines but are still mostly referred to as just “slots”, except in Australia and New Zealand where to this day they’re called online pokies.
Ever since the days of the poorly designed (in today’s standards) mechanical machines about a century ago, slot games have only increased in popularity. It does not come as a surprise as traditional physical machines, which are designed much better now, are still fun to play and online casinos offer creative variations for people to enjoy from the comfort of wherever they are located.
In this article we’ll have a look on the major milestones of the evolution of this fun game.
The Liberty Bell was the first slot machine invented by a car mechanic Charles Fahy in 1895. The Liberty Bell had several spinning reels to it. The spade, diamond, and heart symbols were all put on each reel. The machine featured a cracked liberty image. Suppose you got a spin with three liberty bells that equaled a row you were given the biggest amount of money. This was a large amount of ten nickels or fifty cents. The machine can be viewed at the Liberty Belle Saloon in Nevada.
Slot machines from Liberty Bell were very popular. Despite his small workshop, Fey couldn’t produce them fast enough. Charles Fey refused to sell the distribution and manufacturing rights of the liberty machine to gambling supply manufacturers. Henry Mills began manufacturing Fey’s Liberty Bell, a recreation by Herbert Mills, a manufacturer of Chicago arcade machines, in 1907. The fruits he placed on machines were cherries, plums, and lemons. Mills became the first person to do this.
The slots had three metal hoops called reels inside each cast iron construction. The reels were each painted with ten symbols. The reels were spun by pulling a lever. Three or more symbols of the same kind lined up on the reels to entitle the player to a jackpot. Coins were dispensed from the machine as the payoff.
The First Mechanical Slots
Bally, the company that invented the first mechanical slot machine, made the biggest advancement to slot machines in 1963.
The spring and lever system was used in traditional slot machines. By pulling a lever, you would set the reels spinning. Each reel would then be clamped down by a series of gears, similar to the brake on a car.
Simple machines operated those slot machines. The first electric slot machines began being tested in the 1940s, but levers were still used for operating them.
The first electromechanical slot machine was introduced by Bally, reversing all of that. Money Honey was its name. Even though there were levers involved, they were mostly to look good.
Most customers used the levers on slot machines to activate them, and they believed that pulling the levers in the right direction and speed would affect the outcome of the game.
In the next video slot machine innovation, a new brand emerged not long after the mechanical slot machine was introduced. Since then, video slot machines have had a slight revamp.
Fortune Coin Company slot machines were equipped with color television, one of the best inventions of the 1960s. With a 19-inch Sony TV, they replaced the physical reels used since 1891.
In 1976, Fortune Coin Company’s video slot machines were offered for the very first time at the Hilton Hotel. Three paylines and four reels were on Fortune Coin’s slot machine.
Modern slot games like Reel EmIn and Cleopatra became available in commercial casinos.
Online casinos have now become a direct competitor of land-based casinos.
Companies licensed to conduct betting operations on the Internet can do so due to the 1994 Free Trade and Processing Act of Antigua and Barbuda.
Microgaming and Cryptologic are among the first companies to offer online casinos. Several companies claim to be the first, but all of them began around the same time.It didn’t matter which company developed the first web-based casino experience; they all took different approaches.
The companies made it possible for online casinos to operate and to process financial transactions. Microgaming created the Interactive Gaming Council to control other online casinos.
Compared to today’s online casinos, the first generation had far fewer features. A variety of slot machines were available at that time but the selection is nowhere near as big as it is today.
The technology was started by them, however. These companies brought casino experiences online and that prompted other game developers to develop new games.
Online slots can be found in the thousands and there is no doubt that they will only rise in popularity.
As mentioned before, the most popular slot genres are fruits, animals and magic (15%, 14% and 13% of slot machines are equipped with such genres). Asian artifacts are confidently among the leaders (10.5%), breaking away from the closest competitors of the 777 characters and the adventure genre, which appear on 5% of the slots.
Of the additional functions, the most common is the wild, 24% of the machines have it. More than 21% of the slots are equipped with a scatter or free spins. The number of devices with a folded symbol is increasing — appear on about 12% of the machines. The distribution of other additional functions is as follows: the bonus game is available for 7.8% of slot machines, the risk game is available for 6.6%, and the wrestling games account for 6.1%. At the same time, manufacturers are constantly working on increasing the additional functions of slots.
The pandemic that covered the world affected the industry. Casino owners have suffered huge losses due to the inability of customers to visit their establishments. Even the rapid transition to the online format did not completely correct the situation. Prolonged quarantine measures reduced the level of income of the population all over the world. People began to play less. The global loss statistics for 2020 shows that the Asian region (-29% of gross income), the European region (-20%), and North America (-21%) suffered the most losses. The decrease in gross income for the regions C/S America, Oceania, and Africa is not so significant (-6%, -3, and -1%, respectively).
The number of slot machines produced is growing annually. So, in New Zealand, people spent 880 million New Zealand dollars on slot machines in 2016. In the UK, people spent about 3.5 billion pounds, and in Australia – 60 billion Australian dollars.
In recent years, the multiplayer format has become popular, when several players can play on the same slot machine at once, choosing their own, separate lines aboard. Players assign a rating to slots, choose the most “lucky” ones, and even leave recommendations to developers about improving the gameplay and slot design.
An analysis of trends in the industry shows that the Asia-Pacific region and Africa annually increase 8% of turnover in slot machine games.
The latest slot machines offer customers an exciting story based on popular movies and cartoons.
In recent decades, such a concept as a slot club has appeared. Membership in such a club allows players to receive bonuses depending on their lost amount. Bonuses can be expressed in the form of free food, drinks, gifts, even accommodation in hotel rooms of the casino. Sometimes bonuses are paid even in cash. Just like in other clubs, bonuses depend on the time and amount of money that the player spends on slots.
Another trend in the development of the industry is the transition to mobile platforms. 56% of such mobile applications run on the Android platform. The remaining 44% are running on the iOS operating system. Though some mobile slots are cross-platform apps, which means they can work on both types of operating systems.
Mobile is turning to be the most popular way to play online slots.
In 2015, mobile app users made 20% of all bets. The year before (2014) this number was 14%. At the same time, the estimated revenue from betting on mobile devices worldwide amounted to 11.4 billion US dollars in 2015. In 2019, the revenue is indicated for a total of 53.73 billion US dollars, and by 2025, 85% of the slots’ profit will come from the mobile application market.
Visa and MasterCard remain the most popular payment systems used by players, covering 31% of transactions for slot machine services. The remaining part is shared by other payment systems, with cryptocurrency payments gaining popularity. Cryptocurrencies cover about 13% of the total amount of payments in 2020.
At the same time, experts predict that the introduction of VR and AR technologies will give a huge boost to the development of the industry. These technologies are changing the face of all types of human activities. So major market players invest in VR and AR projects including the development of new slots.
The slot machine industry is remarkably affordable and profitable for operators and some users. So there is no doubt that it will keep on developing, attracting new engineering and information technologies.
You have a blog or website – great! And the first thing you’d most likely be focusing on is getting new visitors on it.
That’s a good start. However, over time you’ll probably observe (if you use tools such as Google Analytics) that many people who visit your website never come back. On average, this applies to 70% of all your visitors.
That’s a shame – you worked too hard to get them on your site just to lose them again!
That’s why you’ll need tools that help you to retain your visitors. A common one is the good old email newsletter, however in the last few years new, more sophisticated & effective tools have popped up that help you to get more people back to your site.
One such tool is follow.it, which I’ll introduce in this article.
What is follow.it?
Follow.it is a service run by Inisev which allows you to place various subscription options on your website, such as a subscription form and icons. That way people can follow you, they get alerted automatically (you don’t have to do anything) whenever you publish a new post – and they come back to your site to check it out!
What makes follow.it different from other tools? They recognized that getting visitors back to your site is a process comprised of several steps – which all have to be optimized for maximum effect.
You can see the detailed explanation of above funnel on follow.it, here’s the gist of it:
Sounds good! How do I set it up?
The first step is to head over to the feed set-up page and enter your website URL into the green box.
To illustrate it, let me use Dailyinfographic.com as an example:
…and clicking on “Next”.
In the case of Dailyinfographic.com, follow.it recognizes that it’s running on WordPress, and therefore suggests using this plugin to place the subscription options on the site.
However, you don’t need to use a plugin (and if you’re not using WordPress, you can’t) so you also have the option to design your subscription form directly on follow.it.
After you click on “Continue” you’ll get the HTML code which you can place on your site.
For example, on Dailyinfographic.com it shows like this:
It is suggested to place it at a visible spot so that you get the most followers.
In addition to the subscription form, follow.it also offers to place follow-icons, which in the case of Dailyinfographic.com would be linked to https://follow.it/daily-infographic?action=followPub, i.e. a separate subscription page.
Please follow us if you haven’t done so yet! 😉
And as mentioned above: there are many more options to invite your visitors to follow you with MyPopUps (e.g. with banners or side-widgets).
What’s wonderful about it: MyPopUps is entirely free for all pop-ups which have a follow.it subscription form on them, i.e. unlimited views and all the features, which are usually only accessible to premium users (!).
More features for subscribers
As mentioned above, the key to get many followers is to make the process convenient for them, and offer what they want. For that reason, follow.it gives plenty of options on how they can follow you.
For example, if your website publishes a lot of news per day, readers may shy away from subscribing due to fear of information overload. That’s why follow.it enables subscribers to filter the feed. In the case of Dailyinfographic.com it looks like this.
In addition, subscribers can select how to receive the stories:
Other output channels (such as a Chrome extension, Whatsapp, browser push, etc.) are planned to be added in the future. See follow.it’s Feature Roadmap.
What’s good for subscribers is ultimately also good for you as publisher, as you get more followers.
Other noteworthy points
For small bloggers it’s probably a relief to hear that follow.it offers a very generous free plan which is good for unlimited followers and emails.
For those who want more features, optional upgrades to premium plans are available, as shown on the follow.it pricing page.
With all the features explained above, follow.it is an excellent Feedburner alternative which is very relevant these days as Google announced that they will shut down Feedburner’s email subscription feature in July.
If you’re running a website, publishing content, and are interested in getting more visitors to your site (and offering them a useful tool so they would not miss out on your latest posts) then follow.it is a great option you should certainly explore.
If you need any help, check out follow.it’s thorough documentation, or simple get in touch with them, either via their chat app on their website, or by emailing them at [help (at) follow (dot) it]. They are always happy to assist.
As a writer, I am in constant search for inspiration. Sometimes it comes to me out of the blue, but for the most part, I have to work hard for it. If only the solution were as simple as flipping a switch! Having creativity exercises on deck might just serve to unleash your creativity.
Creativity isn’t just for artists. Studies have shown mental and emotional health benefits to creative arts. Research even points to artistic activities preventing or delaying dementia in the elderly. Exercises that can foster creativity, like making a point to talk to 3 people every week who are totally different from you, might even help you make new friends.
In the workplace, creativity finds its roots in the right environment. Whether it’s giving employees more freedom over their schedule, adding diversity to a team, or playing games, managers have many tools to spur out of the box thinking.
But just how do you try to find inspiration? This roadmap provides hints and tips that you can follow to unlock your creative genius. Hard work is certainly the foundation to worthwhile endeavors, and being creative requires practice as well. Your path is going to have twists and turns just like this infographic. Being open to new possibilities , as these strategies suggest, might help you through the next roadblock.
Step-by-step guides are usually reserved for DIY projects like building a table or cleaning your car. However, here we have a guide just like that, but it’s all about igniting your creativity.
All too often, we assume creativity is a trait that we have to be born with. How to be creative is a skill that can be learned and practiced. If you don’t think that you are “naturally” creative, focus on the process, and try a few of these proven tools and strategies.
The fact that creativity appears inversely related to age, may seem slightly disappointing at first. But spend 5 minutes with a 5 year old and you will see that creativity in overdrive. We were all 5 once, so that spark must still be there! It just might take a bit of work to unearth. These are tactical tools to help you get unstuck.
Sometimes tips, suggestions, and scientific studies just aren’t enough to spark your creative thinking. This infographic also points to the creative juices that were flowing when we were 5, but what did it come down to? 10x more questions asked and 50x more creative tasks undertaken each day as a 5 year old, vs a 44 year old.
Creativity training can be approached from both mental and physical angles, whether it’s centering your thoughts to open up the possibility of creativity, or using mental exercises. Challenging your limits with these exercises will help you flex those creative muscles.
Personally, I really like this one because it talks about both good and bad ways of creative thinking. On the road to producing creative work, we often get stuck. That creative block may be a result or our own mental blocks, whether it’s using repetitive thinking, or trying to brainstorm on no sleep. Sometimes we need a reminder of what is killing our creativity so that we can gain it back.
Figuring out what the greats have done is another way to load up on inspiration. You may not need to copy their exact schedules, but there might just be a template that works for you.
To me, the idea that “all people experience moments of ‘ordinary creativity’, which permeates daily tasks”, is a fundamentally important one. If we ignore the status quo and try to be creative about everyday problems, collectively we have hope of solving seemingly insurmountable issues. Travel, vodka, and meditation also all sound like reasonable triggers to add to our lives (in reasonable quantity).
Sometimes when we’ve run out of ideas, we need ideas to trigger ideas! Here are 40 simple things you can try, like read books, sketch more, watch films, be curious. And sometimes that is all we need; a reminder that even simple changes can spark creativity.
Most of these tactics can be practiced by anyone with the will and of course time. To dedicate yourself to creativity, you will have to make the time for it. You might find the process itself can be quite enjoyable and varied.
When you feel stuck it may seem as though you have to move mountains to restart your project. It is irritating, stressful, and an overall unpleasant situation especially if you have deadlines. Having 40 tactical strategies in your toolkit increases your chances of getting out of the rut. Be crafty, try new experiences, change your environment, use that notebook. Have we left any stone unturned?
At the end of the day, fostering creativity in the workplace or at home starts with the right habits. These are the types of habits that you rinse and repeat regularly, setting up the foundation for even more ideas. As this infographic mentions, ideas aren’t generally plucked out of thin air but are based on known facts. By building up that knowledge via teaching, chances are you can generate well informed ideas.
Using more metaphors sounds like a novel way to practice creativity. Speaking metaphorically would certainly be an interesting way to spice up conversations (or send away someone you don’t want to speak to at a party). In general by comparing situations, even if they seem unrelated, you might find a new context to evaluate your problem.
There are common threads in many of these ideas. Seek inspiration both internally and externally, open yourself up to new possibilities through experiences, study what brilliant minds do, take a walk, and get enough rest.
Perhaps the first step is knowing that we all have access to tools to inspire creativity. Just remember to work for it. The goal is always to push forward, no matter how deep in the mud you’re stuck. As Jack London said, “We can’t wait for inspiration, we must go after it with a club.”
Which strategies help inspire your creativity?