28 tricks proven to boost your intelligence and make you smarter

How to Become Smarter: 21 Things You Can Do Daily

The Extreme Importance Of The Parent-Child Connection

In the profound and life-changing book, The Body Keeps The Score, Bessel van der Kolk M.D. explains that suppressed emotions and trauma lead people to unhealthy and addictive cycles.

It is then the kid’s responsibility to eventually evolve beyond the deficiencies of their parents. Any good parent would want this for their children: to go beyond where they themselves were.

Parents must be fully forgiven and viewed in a loving, appreciative, and honorable light. No matter how flawed. This doesn’t mean you must maintain a “relationship” if your parents are heavily abusive or toxic, as is the case of my three recently adopted children. However, if you neglect that relationship and can’t openly discuss it, it will come back to you later in life. Even if just at the emotional-level, this relationship is very important to your ability to make desired transformations.

3. Read more books!

Countless studies show that millionaires and high-level executives read multiple books per month, yet the average adult reads less than one book per year. Reading books, fiction or on-fiction, makes your brain sharper and makes your thinking more flexible.

Not to sound to cliche, but reading expands your horizons and helps you learn new things. I suggest incorporating reading into your weekend schedule and reading a bit before bed every night.

In all seriousness, reading a book sharpers your brain, especially the part of your brain that deals with critical thinking and analysis. It can also help you increase your concentration- a key tool to help you get more intelligent. Additionally, reading expands your vocabulary, which will make you sound more intelligent as well. Reading also encourages your imagination, which is tied to your intelligence.

Reading doesn’t have to be hard either. Whether it’s a book about a mindset shift, learning a new skill, history, or even just a daily business newsletter like Morning Brew, becoming a lifelong reader will keep you sharp.

5. Learn to Crowdsource

The term “crowdsourcing” was coined by Wired editors Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson in 2005. They define crowdsourcing as “the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call.”

The proliferation of social media makes it easy for individuals to tap into crowdsourcing solutions. For example, suppose you are a timeshare owner looking to hack your timeshare. In that case, you can tap into the collective wisdom of 22 million fellow owners worldwide in Facebook groups or decade-long forums.

This goes for just about anything from a DIY project to start your venture. You can find a variety of answers to those types of questions from those more experienced in a matter of minutes, thus making yourself smarter!


Studies constantly show people who exercise regularly have higher I.Q. scores. [2] In addition to maintaining a strong body, people who exercise regularly actually stimulate brain cell growth. A process called neurogenesis occurs during rigorous exercise, which increases the production of neurotransmitters. With side effects like increased dopamine, active people enjoy less stress, better concentration, and more energy.

Dr. Michael Nilsson of Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden conducted extensive research on the topic. [3] “Being fit means that you also have a good heart and lung capacity and that your brain gets plenty of oxygen,” the doctor said. His research focused on over a million Swedish military men, and Dr. Nilsson found a direct correlation between physical fitness and high scores on I.Q. tests.


28 tricks proven to boost your intelligence and make you smarter

how can you become smarter | how can i become smarter in school | how can we become smarter

Read books, and read a lot.

Reading and literacy seem to be linked to intelligence, as researchers have found that a student who is not proficient in reading by the 3rd grade is four times more likely to drop out of school than their more literate peers.

However, even for those who have limited reading comprehension skills, reading can help enhance their vocabulary and their development of intellectual functioning. Reading an actual book improves your memory and makes you smarter.

Reading stimulates your brain and keeps it healthy, which is critical for your memory. Reading has been found to reduce age-related cognitive decline, helping people maintain their memory and preventing the development of mental illnesses.

When you are reading, there is a lot of information to remember—from characters’ names to the sequence of events in the story. You may even be reading a mystery that has you trying to interpret or decipher information on your own, requiring you to remember everything that has happened in the book from start to finish.

People who read literature also have an edge when it comes to interpersonal skills. Aside from the fact that reading will give you something to talk about in conversations with other people, studies have shown that people who read have more emotional intelligence than those who don’t.

Reading improves your ability to pick up on other people’s facial cues because it provides you with a larger reference point to decode another person’s expressions. Also, reading gives you a chance to subconsciously practice empathy.

So not only does reading make you smarter, it can also make you a better person. Knowing how to better understand people’s emotions can make you more relatable and helpful to others.

3. Read more books!

Countless studies show that millionaires and high-level executives read multiple books per month, yet the average adult reads less than one book per year. Reading books, fiction or on-fiction, makes your brain sharper and makes your thinking more flexible.

Not to sound to cliche, but reading expands your horizons and helps you learn new things. I suggest incorporating reading into your weekend schedule and reading a bit before bed every night.

In all seriousness, reading a book sharpers your brain, especially the part of your brain that deals with critical thinking and analysis. It can also help you increase your concentration- a key tool to help you get more intelligent. Additionally, reading expands your vocabulary, which will make you sound more intelligent as well. Reading also encourages your imagination, which is tied to your intelligence.

Reading doesn’t have to be hard either. Whether it’s a book about a mindset shift, learning a new skill, history, or even just a daily business newsletter like Morning Brew, becoming a lifelong reader will keep you sharp.

5. Learn to Crowdsource

The term “crowdsourcing” was coined by Wired editors Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson in 2005. They define crowdsourcing as “the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call.”

The proliferation of social media makes it easy for individuals to tap into crowdsourcing solutions. For example, suppose you are a timeshare owner looking to hack your timeshare. In that case, you can tap into the collective wisdom of 22 million fellow owners worldwide in Facebook groups or decade-long forums.

This goes for just about anything from a DIY project to start your venture. You can find a variety of answers to those types of questions from those more experienced in a matter of minutes, thus making yourself smarter!


Studies constantly show people who exercise regularly have higher I.Q. scores. [2] In addition to maintaining a strong body, people who exercise regularly actually stimulate brain cell growth. A process called neurogenesis occurs during rigorous exercise, which increases the production of neurotransmitters. With side effects like increased dopamine, active people enjoy less stress, better concentration, and more energy.

Dr. Michael Nilsson of Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden conducted extensive research on the topic. [3] “Being fit means that you also have a good heart and lung capacity and that your brain gets plenty of oxygen,” the doctor said. His research focused on over a million Swedish military men, and Dr. Nilsson found a direct correlation between physical fitness and high scores on I.Q. tests.



12 of the Best Instagram Management Apps

Layout designing from instagram


Instagram filters are passé. You need professional-grade tools to create stunning imagery that your followers will love. VSCO is a reputable photo editing app for Instagram with a full-featured free version.

The free edition of VSCO comes with 10+ original presets and standard editing tools to modulate contrast, grain, and saturation. You also get to connect with other content creators and learn from their valuable input.

If you need advanced features such as HSL and borders and video editing, you can opt for a VSCO membership, which costs $ 29.99 a year. For that price, you get 200+ presets and film emulation presets to recreate the vintage look.

VSCO social media tool

Are You One Of These Businesses?

eCommerce Brands

Influencers & Creators

You have a vision and plan to generate income and run your own creator business – but have to wear many hats to make it all work. For just dollars a day, AiGrow be an extension of you as we grow, engage and streamline your page.

New Accounts or Entering the North American Market

Starting from scratch is always a challenge. You need to create content, develop a style and flow, come up with ideas, generate followers, and streamline your work. AiGrow will get you up and running in a matter of weeks.

Social Media Agencies

Social Media Agencies Developing strategy, killer creative and controlling costs is the name of the game for you. Extend your capabilities and generate more profit using AiGrow’s low cost, expert team – and powerful tools.

Local Shop Owners

Running a local shop is tiring work and marketing on Instagram usually falls to the wayside. For just a few dollars a day, you can have an Instagram concierge driving new people to your shop, posting great content, monitoring activity and more.

Brand Owners

Businesses today must have a social media presence, and that goes beyond simply posting some content or replying to some comments. AiGrow can be your Instagram “right hand person” to make sure you are always engaging, growing, and staying top of mind.

Viral Nation

Viral Nation

Viral Nation is a global influencer marketing and talent agency, representing social media influencers on the most visual social media channels of Instagram, Vine, YouTube, and Snapchat. They focus on both halves of influencer marketing, acting both as an agency for companies wanting to engage in influencer marketing, as well as representing the influencers themselves. They claim to have the largest exclusive talent network in the industry.

They are a full-service agency, covering everything from creator contracting, creative development, content creation and paid amplification – using their selected network of influencers. Viral Nation claims to have a staggering 400,000,000 engaged consumers across all of their campaigns and platforms.

The Influencer Marketing Factory

The Influencer Marketing Factory

They are a full-service agency, from influencer marketing campaign creation to talent management, passing by social media and native ads management. As long as you tell them your company goals, they can create a tailored and optimal strategy for your brand, including influencer identification, KPIs setup, authentic and native storytelling, management, contracting, and detailed reporting and analytics.

The agency can support your brand in influencer marketing activities that will generate brand awareness, increase conversions and sales, and drive traffic to a landing page, eCommerce page, or app. They recognize that Instagram is a core social media channel with outstanding ROI and results. This is because it combines the power of catchy videos and photos for brand awareness and the possibility of driving traffic thanks to Instagram Stories and Swipe Ups. They track every click and will create an extensive report for you at the end of the campaign.

All eyes on your Instagram

We get it, getting noticed on Instagram is tough, as is increasing your Instagram impressions. Hitting the explore page isn’t the only way to grow your Instagram followers. Meaningful engagement in the form of likes, follows, and story views help you get noticed too! Nitreo gets people looking at your brand, growing you on auto pilot.

a hashtag from Instagram with more impressions

an image of organic instagram follower growth example

photo frames of Nitreo users

Creators, businesses, agencies and many more

Creators, businesses, social media managers and agencies all love Nitreo because we’re efficient. Getting more followers, likes and and engagement is possible with Nitreo, regardless of whether you own a photography account or you’re the local shop around the corner. Nitreo works for all types of creators, businesses, and also doubles up as an agency solution for social media management.

Instagram content statistics

Average engagement rate per post is 0.98%

ig eng rate

RivalIQ’s benchmark report in 2021 notes that Instagram engagement rates dropped by 25%. The median across all industries is now 0.98%. For influencers, though, the engagement rate per post is much higher at 1.42%. This rate far surpasses the ones on Facebook (0.19%) and Twitter (0.04%).

Carousel posts have the highest engagement rate per impression

average engagement rate by impressions

Let’s start with the average engagement rate per impression. SocialInsider found that the carousel type is the winner for every account size. This is noticeable if you have a smaller account. Accounts with under 5000 followers have the highest engagement rates per impressions (8.01% for carousel posts).

retention rate by number of stories

91% of active IG users watch videos weekly

In Stories, you have the option of posting image or video content. For accounts with fewer than 100k followers, image content beats out video content for story reach. This study shows that brands should focus more on images in their story content.

instagram story reach by type of content

graphic showing the most engaging types of in-feed social content

Based on the Sprout Social Index™ 2022, 66% of consumers found short-form video to be the most engaging type of in-feed social content, up from 50% in 2020. Another study found that 68% of video marketers plan to include Instagram video in their 2022 video marketing strategy, up 10% from the previous year. Don’t be the brand that gets left behind.

Tuesday is the best day to post on Instagram

Best times to post on Instagram Global 2022

Key takeaways

Instagram advertising statistics

50% of Instagram users visit a website after seeing it in Stories

It’s daunting to choose where you want your IG ads to be placed. If your goal is to drive action to your website, you’re in luck. Instagram found that “50% of Instagrammers have visited a website to buy a product/service as a result of seeing it in Stories.” To make it easier for consumers to visit your website, add a product tag to the post.

Using product tags increase product page visits

Average IG CPC is 800.23

instagram cpc by campaign objective

93% of marketers plan to use Instagram for influencer marketing

The influencer marketing industry is still growing. A survey found that 93% of marketers and agencies planned on using Instagram. When broken down into types, 83% named Instagram Stories and 36% said Instagram Reels.

most popular social media for influencer marketing

When you find the right creator to partner with, both parties benefit. This natural fit is found to be 25% more relevant for users. Instagram makes it easy to showcase a partnership with the Branded Content tag. And when you mix Branded Content Ads with a brand ad, you’re 90% more likely to drive cost-effective action than either tactic individually.

Key takeaways



42 killer copywriting tips that’ll transform any business

copywriting tip shitty first draft

10 Essential Copywriting Tips for Beginners

Starting anything new can be daunting. Luckily, there seems to be a how to book or dummies guide on just about every topic under the sun. Yes, there are even copywriting for dummies books to help all the beginners out there, but why buy a book when you can get a plethora of ideas online.

Copywriting is both an art and a science. Copywriters use words to paint a picture, evoke emotion, create strategy and move people to action. The basic architecture of copywriting includes building blocks like catchy headlines, targeted bullet points, and calls to action.

It’s important to know the lingo and have a basic understanding of what you’ll be doing as a copywriter. A good copywriter tells people what they’re going to tell them, actually tells them and then tells them what they told them in the catchiest and most thought-provoking way. If you caught all that, then you have the makings to be an excellent copywriter.

Tip 25: Be strong and forceful in your sales copy

Take dieting as an example. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce that the best way to lose weight is to eat more vegetables and exercise more. But this is obvious so really, everyone’s saying the same thing in slightly different ways.

The main problem with eating more healthily is that people can only hold out for so long. In other words, at the start of any diet, we’re usually quite enthusiastic. We cut out all their sugary foods, but this lifestyle change only lasts a week or a month.

By combining the topic of dieting with something fairly unrelated [chocolate], you can capture attention quickly. Once you’ve done that, you can talk about how humans will be more likely to stick to a diet if they’re allowed some days off.

Tell a story.

A 26-year-old raw copywriter sat down in 1926 to write an ad for the U.S. School of Music selling home-study courses for would-be musicians. He could have used a simple benefit headline, like Master the Piano at Home in 30 Days – Without a Teacher!

He dug deeper. He knew that mastering an instrument is hard work, and that the real reasons people do it is to be popular, to win their friends’ admiration and envy, and to find happiness. That copywriter realized the real product of the ad wasn’t a course or the ability to play, but popularity and happiness. With that in mind, he still could have used the classic how-to benefit headline, such as How to Be the Most Popular Guy of Any Party!

He knew that simply describing musicians’ popularity wouldn’t be enough. He needed the headline to resonate emotionally with prospects. He needed to create a vivid image of a buffoon–the kind of person no one ever dreamed could play – who left his friends stunned speechless by his performance.

Storytelling in copywriting

That copywriter was John Caples, who was inducted into both the Copywriters Hall of Fame and the Advertising Hall of Fame in the 1970s. That ad he wrote in the ‘20s launched his career and is still considered one of the pillars of the copywriting field.

It worked because it captured prospects’ attention, drew them into a world they desperately wanted to be part of, and left them hungry for more. The story presented the product as doing most of the hard work of learning to play and overcame the objection that you need a special talent to play (since even the buffoon could do it).

Make the copy visually appealing.

Successful advertiser Leo Burnett developed simple icons to symbolize easy-to-understand product benefits and values (such as the Jolly Green Giant and the Pillsbury Doughboy). One of his rules of copywriting was to “make it inviting to look at” – since if the ad didn’t invite and entice the eye, no one would read it.

As writers and content marketers, we like to play with our words. Sometimes that’s okay, depending on your brand personality and the type of content. But most of the time, being clear and concise will return greater rewards than being clever.

“Effective copywriting is salesmanship in print, not clever wordsmithing. The more self-effacing and invisible your selling skill, the more effective you are. Copywriters who show off their skills are as ineffective as fishermen who reveal the hook.”

And, finally, keep these copywriting tips handy!

If you’re writing ad copy or blog posts now, it’s likely you’re going to have to do it again—so save yourself time and energy, and use these copywriting tips and exercises as many times as you need to jump back into writing!

Céillie Clark-Keane

Meet The Author

Céillie Clark-Keane

Céillie is Head of Marketing for Building Ventures , a VC firm focused on funding and mentoring early-stage startups in the built environment space. Previously, Ceillie led content strategy for Unstack and managed the award-winning blog at WordStream.

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Product management

We might be a bit biased, but there’s no single aspect of product management as pivotal as a product roadmap. It’s the culmination of countless hours of research, negotiations, strategizing, and consensus-building.

History of Product Management

What Is Product Management?

Put simply, product management is a way to organize the planning, production, marketing and other tasks related to the creation and distribution of a product. It involves the coordination of teams, data, processes, business systems and more.

In reality, product management can be a complicated matter. There are a lot of moving parts in the creation of any product, regardless of its size. Without a methodology and proper tools to manage the many elements that must be tracked throughout the life cycle of the product, the risk of failure is greatly increased.

Understanding product management and its challenges require a deeper dive than a two-sentence definition. There are, for example, complementary disciplines that can be part of product management, such as product development and product marketing. Their objective is to maximize sales revenues, market share and profit margins.

What Is the Objective of Product Management?

The main objective of product management is the development of a new product or product. This product should be better than what is currently available, or at least be able to differentiate itself as unique, in order to be of value for the customer.

What determines whether the product is profitable and successful is the customer’s reaction. While product management can vary in its function and the roles related to it, according to the size of the company, there is always a product manager to make certain that the objectives of the product are met. This can be a person or a group of people in the organization.

Product management doesn’t only add to meet the objectives of the product and organization; it can also choose to remove something from the process, which is called an elimination decision. This includes a detailed report on the impact that this elimination will have on the whole business.

What is the Product Management Process?

But the discipline has developed some consensus regarding best practices. So while rigid adherence isn’t required and there isn’t the same level of zealotry as one might find when discussing Agile, the basic tenets are widely accepted.

Defining the problem

It all begins with identifying a high-value customer pain point . After that, people or organizations are trying to do something, and they can’t. Or, if they can, it’s expensive or time-consuming or resource-intensive or inefficient, or just unpleasant.

Whether it’s moving a person or thing from Point A to Point B, finding the perfect gift, reaching the right audience, keeping people entertained, or some other objective, what’s currently available isn’t quite cutting it. People want something better or something they don’t have at all.

Product management turns these abstract complaints, wants, and wishes into a problem statement looking for a solution. Solving that problem and easing that pain is the spark and motivation for everything that comes next. Without a clearly articulated goal that directly impacts that pain point, there’s not much hope that the product will gain traction or staying power.

Quantifying the opportunity

Researching potential solutions

With a target in mind, product management can now thoroughly investigate how they might solve customer problems and pain points. They should cast a large net of possible solutions and not rule anything out too quickly. For example, suppose the organization already has some proprietary technology or IP or a particular area of expertise to give the company an advantage. In that case, those potential solutions will likely leverage that somehow.

However, this does not mean that product managers should start drafting requirements and engaging the product development team. They’ll first want to validate those candidates with the target market, although it is prudent to bounce some of these ideas off the technical team to ensure they’re at least feasible. Product management will often develop personas to see whether there’s actual interest among those cohorts using any of the table’s ideas.

Skipping this step and jumping right into building something can be a fatal flaw or cause severe delays. While there are no guarantees, getting confirmation from potential customers that the idea is something they’ll want, use, and pay for is a critical gate in the overall process and achieving product-market fit .

Building an MVP

After validating a particular solution’s appeal and viability, it’s now time to engage the product development team in earnest. First, the bare minimum set of functionality should be defined, and then the team can build a working version of the product that can be field-tested with actual users.

Many bells and whistles will intentionally be excluded from the Minimum Viable Product , as the goal is to ensure the core functionality meets the market’s needs. Nice-to-haves can wait for a later stage in the product lifecycle since there’s little point in expending additional resources on an unproven product.

MVPs can test how the product works and the overall messaging and positioning of the value proposition in conjunction with product marketing. The key is finding out whether this nascent product is something the market wants and if it adequately meets its core requirements.

Creating a feedback loop

While customer feedback is essential throughout a product’s life, there’s no time more critical than during the MVP introduction. This is where the product management team can learn what customers think, need, and dislike since they’re reacting to an actual product experience and not just theoretical ideas tossed out in a conversation.

Product management must make it easy for customers to provide feedback and create frequent prompts soliciting it. But, just as importantly, they must process, synthesize, and react to this feedback, turning this input into actionable ideas that make their way into the product roadmap or backlog.

And, not to be forgotten, product management must also establish a method for closing the loop with customers so they know their complaints and suggestions were heard and, when applicable, have been addressed.

Setting the strategy

Assuming the MVP is well received, it’s time to invest in a product strategy . The team now knows they’re onto something that can get some traction, so goals and objectives must be established to improve the product, bring it to market, expand its reach, and align with the overall company strategy and desired outcomes.

The strategy should be based on reasonable, incremental progress toward achievable goals, with key performance indicators and other metrics defined to evaluate success. These measurables should track with the organization’s general objectives and complement what the company already does well (assuming it’s not a startup still in its infancy).

Envisioning the future of product management

Product management is a multidisciplinary pursuit that is as elusive as it is dead simple. Product managers gain empathy for the customer, and communicate their needs to the broader organization. They work most closely with development teams, but also need to get buy in from marketing, design, and management. Their special sauce is the ability to understand and communicate with a wide variety of people who speak different languages.

My hope for the future of product management is to have fewer product managers who are better at their jobs. As soon as agile product management became en vogue all of a sudden every product needed a PM, and every PM needed a PO who needed a PMM who were all managed by a CPO. This proliferation has created mushy, overlapping roles and added more process than they have progress.

Max Rehkopf

As a self-proclaimed “chaos muppet” I look to agile practices and lean principles to bring order to my everyday. It’s a joy of mine to share these lessons with others through the many articles, talks, and videos I make for Atlassian


Product management

Most importantly, product managers define what success is for each product, outline the product strategy, and illustrate how it will impact both the customer and the goals of the company they work for. Without this voice of a product owner, teams would have difficulty navigating the varied interests that exist across both large and small organizations.

Sherif Mansour

What Is Product Management? A Beginner’s Guide

So what is product management, and what makes a product manager great? In this article, you’ll learn how to get started in a product management role, how a PM fits into different types of teams, and tips on how to determine if a career in product management is right for you.

Product management, though a critical role in product development teams, has not been a formalized position in digital companies for long, and has adapted with the growth of agile product development methodologies over time. Today, product management is defined as a role within a product development team that focuses on successfully executing the product lifecycle.

This is a key differentiator between product management and project management, the latter of which is more focused on the actual organization and resourcing for each initiative rather than setting the entire product vision.

One great description of a product manager role is that the PM is like the executive chef of their product. They don’t own the restaurant, just like they are not the CEO of the company they work for (that’s more like a product owner).

Types Of Product Management Roles

Project Manager Roles Graphic

Growth Product Manager

A growth product manager is primarily focused on furthering a specific metric their company has set to measure the growth of their business. Typically, growth PMs work closely with product marketing and traditional marketing teams in order to ensure their initiatives are expanding their product reach.

Most growth product managers run frequent short-term experiments to measure the success of their new feature or project, and pivot to new initiatives quickly in order to meet the demands of the business. Everything from copy to pricing is on the table for testing, and they may help in defining go-to-market strategies.

Technical Product Manager

A background in engineering or development is almost always required for technical product management roles, as this type of PM works hand in hand with engineering teams to improve things like a product’s core functionality or a company’s tech stack, security, or other parts of their digital infrastructure.

Data Product Manager

If you love working with numbers or were a math wiz in school, then a data product management role could be a great fit. Working with business analytics teams and data scientists, data PMs create use cases that organizations use to measure success for their new product and feature releases.

Often they are responsible for ensuring that customer interactions are tracked properly across the product interface, so that other PMs or stakeholders can gain valuable insights into how users are navigating the product.

Product manager vs. product owner

Whether or not a team is adhering to a certain agile practice (and which one), can further muddy the waters when it comes to what a product manager does. For instance, if a team is practicing scrum, then they also need to have a product owner.

A product manager and product owner collaborate using sticky notes and pens | Atlassian Agile Coach

While a product manager defines the direction of the product through research, vision-setting, alignment, and prioritization, the product owner should work more closely with the development team to execute against the goals that the product manager helps to define.

But responsibilities can shift a bit when team makeups and practices shift. For instance, if the team isn’t doing Scrum (say, they’re doing kanban or something else), the product manager might end up doing the prioritization for the development team and play a larger role in making sure everyone is on the same page. On the other hand, if the team is doing Scrum, but doesn’t have a product manager, then the product owner often ends up taking on some of the product manager’s responsibilities.

All of this can get really murky really quickly, which is why teams have to be careful to clearly define responsibilities, or they can risk falling into the old ways of building software, where one group writes the requirements and throws it over the fence for another group to build. When this happens expectations get misaligned, time gets wasted, and teams run the risk of creating products or features that don’t satisfy customer needs.

Best practices and tips for being a great product manager

Just as there isn’t only one kind of team, one of the most exciting aspects of the product manager role is that there isn’t only one way to do it. During the last two decades, the craft has exploded both in popularity and approach. Unlike designers who have successfully segmented themselves into interaction designers, graphic designers, motion designers, and so on, product managers, as a whole, are still wrestling with how to label their different strengths.

To complicate matters, people are only beginning to pursue product management as their intended discipline. Where older generations “fell into product management” from engineering, design, finance, or marketing, younger generations are starting their careers with product management in mind.

Prioritize ruthlessly

A colleague recently likened product management to being a politician. It’s not far off. The product manager and the politician both get an allotted amount of resources. Each role requires the practitioner to make the best use of those resources to achieve a larger goal, knowing that he or she will never be able to satisfy everyone’s needs.

At any one time, the product manager might have to decide between a feature that might make one big customer happy but upset 100 smaller customers; maintaining a product’s status quo or steering it in a new direction to expand its reach and align with larger business goals; or whether to focus on the bright and shiny or the boring and important.

Know the lay of the land

Product managers need to know the lay of the land better than anyone else. They very rarely start with a clean slate. More than likely, product managers are dropped into something that already has momentum. If they start executing without taking the time to get their bearings, they’ll make bad decisions.

Good product managers pump the brakes and start by asking questions. If you’re just starting a product management job, take the first couple of months to talk to as many customers as you can. Talk to as many internal stakeholders as you can. Understand the business model. Understand the history. Understand how different people are influenced. Understand how decisions are made. Only then, can you start making a few decisions of your own.

Empower your team to make their own decisions

Product managers can’t make every decision. Believe me. I’ve tried. At the end of the day, I nearly always have unread messages. I’m often double and triple booked. And I could spend all day answering questions and never finish.

But touching every decision isn’t the product manager’s job—at least it shouldn’t be. One of the keys to great product management is empowering your team to make their own decisions by creating a shared brain—or a way of making decisions and a set of criteria for escalating them. When someone asks a product manager a question about a decision they could have made themselves, nine times out of 10 it’s because that person doesn’t have enough context to make the decision themselves. Great product managers build that context.

Learn to influence without authority

I know a junior product manager that is nearly universally respected by her team even though initially many of its members would have traded her in for a more seasoned leader given the choice. How did she change their minds? She took each person on the 30-person team out for coffee and listened to them.

Influence comes in many forms. Listening to people and understanding how they’re influenced is the first part. Figuring out how to get them on board with your point of view is the second. Becoming a great storyteller—even when you don’t have any data to back up your point—will take you a long way. Some people won’t be convinced until they see you do the work. Understanding which levers to pull with which person is the key to leading without any direct authority.

Develop a thick skin

Making tradeoffs will inevitably make people unhappy. The trick is to first make the right tradeoffs, and then be able to explain why you made the decision you did. If you’re good at explaining your decision, someone can still not like it, but more often than not, they’ll respect the way you made it. And even if they don’t, great product managers figure out a way to deal with it.

Product Management’s Participation in Solution Trains

  • Collaborate with Solution Management – Solution Management focuses on capabilities, and product managers focus on features. Because refining and splitting capabilities into features, managing Nonfunctional Requirements (NFRs), and creating the Architectural Runway are collaborative activities, they must be done as a group.
  • Participate in Pre- and Post-PI Planning – Product Management also participates in the Pre-PI planning event, working with the Solution Train stakeholders to define the inputs, milestones, and high-level objectives for the upcoming PI planning session. In the Post-PI planning session, Product Management helps summarize findings into an agreed-to set of solution PI objectives.
  • Participate in the Solution Demo – Product Management participates in the solution demo, often demonstrating the capabilities that their ART has contributed and reviewing the contributions of the other ARTs, always with a systems view and always with an eye toward fitness of purpose.

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Product management

More often than not, these professionals adopt a hands-on approach to promote and improve collaboration among many other roles. The product manager role is often interdisciplinary and focused on bridging the gap and coordinating many different roles, such as development, design, marketing, customer success, etc.


What Does a Product Manager Do?

The product manager is responsible for managing the product life cycle that oversees the delivery of the product. They’re also in charge of determining the defining feature of the product, often working with the project manager, sales team and customer success team.

Think of the product manager as an organizational role. Beyond the responsibilities laid out above, the product manager also leads the marketing efforts for the product which involves forecasting and profit analysis. To do this, product managers use product management software and task management software to stay organized and productive.

Product managers have a lot on their plate. ProjectManager is work and project management software that helps product managers organize and execute project tasks. Our task list is more than a to-do list; it’s a robust tool that connects with every other feature in the tool to organize your work, assign tasks and monitor progress. Product managers can also use our task list for their own work to stay on top of deadlines. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

Establishes a Vision

The product manager comes up with a product vision and follows up with a strategy. The idea is, again, to create benefits and value for a customer. To establish the vision, the product manager analyzes the market and competitive conditions to strike a clear path toward the business value of the product.

Creates a Plan for the Product Team

The product manager also defines what the product team delivers and creates a project timeline and schedule for implementation. That means making a release plan, which features actionable feedback and ideas, as well as prioritizing product features.

Leadership Style

The leadership of a product manager is cross-functional. They work with nearly everyone, including engineering, sales, marketing and support teams. Therefore, a product manager must have the communication skills to listen and articulate to a wide spectrum of individuals in different disciplines. The product roadmap is a key tool for this purpose and keeps teams aware of updates throughout the product life cycle.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Product Management Tools

1. monday.com – Best for scalability

monday.com Product Management Tools Screenshot

monday.com is an online product management platform that enables teams of all sizes to plan, track, and manage their daily work. From large scope product roadmaps to weekly iterations, monday.com helps teams define clear ownership, analyze and track their work, manage sprints, and collaborate together. monday.com’s easy-to-use agile platform makes it simple for teams to work together from anywhere.

monday.com’s Work OS is built from visual and flexible features that come together to create any agile workflow your team needs. It supports milestones, Gantt and Kanban views, task dependencies, and project analysis.

monday.com has a simple and intuitive UI, and onboarding is quick and efficient. Teams in any department can easily find the features they need to customize their account to fit their needs. monday.com also offers 24/7 support, recorded webinars and tutorials, and thorough Knowledge Base articles to ensure teams always have answers to their questions.

monday.com has customizable templates for any team or stage of product management. Use the template as is, or customize by adding column types (such as numbers for calculations, deadline, rating, and more) or switching between views (such as Kanban, Gantt, calendar, and more). monday.com’s flexible scrum platform provides value to managers and can support teams with anywhere from 5 to 5,000 members.

monday.com has integrations with 40+ tools which allow a 2-way sync of data. Within monday.com, sales teams can import their lead data from Salesforce, marketing teams can update campaign information in Hubspot, and R&D teams can manage anything through GitHub.

2. Craft.io – Best product feature prioritization engine

Craft.io is a product management platform that comes with features for feedback capturing, workflow planning, and roadmapping. On the platform, you can define product specs, prioritize and share key decisions, and manage workload capacity.

Through integration and collection of fragmented product data, Craft.io is your complete product system of record. It tracks all product information from stakeholder and team member feedback to strategy documentation of OKRs, personas, and themes.

Craft.io integrates with Pivotal Tracker, Azure DevOps, Jira, GitLab, Github, Targetprocess, Intercom, Dropbox, Okta, Google Workspace, Active Directory, SAML, Google Drive, and Ping Identity. More integrations are available via a paid plan through Zapier.

3. airfocus – Best modular product management software

airfocus is the market’s first and only modular product management platform, specifically tailored for product teams to manage market-facing products, internal products, IT portfolios, and more. The flexible platform helps product teams manage strategy, understand user needs, prioritize, and align their teams around clear roadmaps.

airfocus stands out in its ability to rate and rank each initiative and feature of your product based on customizable scoring criteria that users can input themselves. This capability will uniquely service product management teams who struggle with stable priority rankings.

4. QA Wolf – Best for all sizes of companies where web-applications are their main product

QA Wolf Product Management Tools Screenshot

QA Wolf helps get teams to 80% automated test coverage in about 3 months. Conversely, traditional QA teams/tools either take years to get to 80% test coverage or simply never get there. To add to that, QA Wolf demands low effort. They create test matrices for clients and think critically on their behalf. QA Wolf proactively creates new tests and ensure they’re always at the 80% coverage benchmark.

QA Wolf also analyzes data and synthesizes findings so product managers immediately know what went wrong instead of having to investigate themselves while other tools/services require you to be prescriptive and closely manage testing. QAWolf is also affordable. They only charge for coverage and not for hours worked, making it so that using QA Wolf is only half the price of a QA Engineer.

5. Dragonboat – Best for connecting product development to OKRs

Dragonboat is a comprehensive, user-friendly product portfolio management platform for outcome-focused teams. Connecting OKRs, customer feedback, and roadmaps, Dragonboat offers integrated product planning, resource forecasting, automated tracking, and dynamic stakeholder reporting.

Product Management best practices and tips

There are actions that every product manager must do and most are developed through experience, good role models, and mentoring. To become a successful Product Manager and excel in the field of Product Management, here are some tips and best practices to consider:

Learn to separate people from the problem

Product managers have to collaborate with a team of professionals from different fields who may possess different temperaments. During negotiations, emotions can run high with each colleague feeling their interests are most important.

Miscommunication and perception problems also throw a spanner in the works leading to issues getting clouded and, ultimately, negotiations can fall apart. Being kind to people and tough on the issues makes it possible for the team to be more cooperative and willing to persevere toward the outcome.

A principled negotiation workshop teaches productive conversational skills that allow colleagues to listen to and understand the other side of a viewpoint without blaming or judging. Listening validates the other team member’s problems or aspirations and demonstrates that you are invested in coming up with a satisfactory solution.

Listen to your team

As a Product Manager, p rioritizing feedback from members of your team is important. Not only will more junior members feel heard, but this culture of listening also helps makes the team less resistant to solutions. That’s because it makes it clear that good ideas can come from everyone, no matter their seniority.

Learn to negotiate

A negotiation training course helps a product manager understand the importance of exploring solutions. Often, one side will have a critical option that is not as significant to the other. For instance, a designer might want more time to work on the product’s aesthetics while the engineer prefers to start working on the product immediately. Ultimately, the whole team is affected.

However, by taking some time to brainstorm and come up with creative options for each side, both teams can settle on the best outcome that is favorable to everyone on the team. Focus broadly on generating ideas rather than judging them during the brainstorming phase.

Product managers also negotiate quarterly roadmaps, annual strategies, and other product management contracts. Principled negotiation training helps many product managers master the complexities of negotiations, which should result in faster, more cohesive, and lower conflict collaborations.A product manager who has mastered principled negotiation is likely to be more successful as a result of a deeper understanding of behavioral fundamentals that are the basis of most negotiations. Principled negotiation helps product managers meet both sides’ interests and achieve outcomes in a civil process.

Focus on the details, but remember the end goal

A product manager can help the team by scheduling morning sessions when everyone is fresh. Find out the position each side has taken and the interests driving the position and break down the solutions into smaller, reasonable, and easily achievable components. With the end goal in mind, you’ve now created a plan that is more manageable and achievable.

Objective diplomacy is in the job description

It’s essential to have both sides agree on the ideal outcome. A product manager who has gone through a negotiation course can use objective criteria to choose a starting position that is fair to both sides. Robust, accurate specifications can reduce opposition by presenting valid information that the team can agree to do. A product manager can use objective criteria by ensuring the goals are clear, and results are published. Remember to be flexible and open to changing goals as new developments emerge, and further information is presented.



Formulate the Winning Business Strategy Choose, Prove, and Capitalize on the Best Business Strategy, Step by Step

Strategy in business—like strategy in chess—must have tangible objectives, a realistic plan for reaching them, and accurate knowledge of strengths and vulnerabilities. [Photo: Battle of the Somme, soldiers on break playing chess. Querrieu, France, October 1916]

Financial Modeling Pro: The Living Model Makes Your Case

What is a business strategy?

A business strategy is an outline of the actions and decisions a company plans to take to reach its goals and objectives. A business strategy defines what the company needs to do to reach its goals, which can help guide the decision-making process for hiring as well as resource allocation. A business strategy helps different departments work together, ensuring departmental decisions support the overall direction of the company.

Strengths and weaknesses: The process of creating a business strategy allows you to identify and evaluate your company’s strengths and weaknesses so you can create a strategy that optimizes your strengths and compensates for or eliminates your weaknesses.

Efficiency: A business strategy allows you to effectively allocate resources for your business activities, which automatically makes you more efficient. It also helps you plan ahead for deadlines, allocate job roles and stay on track for your project goals.

Control: Creating a business strategy gives you more control over choosing the kinds of activities that will directly help you reach your goals, as well as allows you to easily assess whether your activities are getting you closer to your goals.

Competitive advantage: By identifying a clear plan for how you will reach your goals, you can focus on capitalizing on your strengths, using them as a competitive advantage that makes your company unique in the marketplace.

Components of a business strategy

1. Vision and business objectives

A business strategy is intended to help you reach your business objectives. With a vision for the direction of the business, you can create clear instructions in the business strategy for what needs to be done and who is responsible for completing each step.

2. Core values

A business strategy guides top-level executives, as well as departments, about what should and should not be done, according to the organization’s core values. It helps everyone stay on the same page and with the same goals.

3. SWOT analysis

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This analysis is included in every business strategy, as it allows the company to rely upon its strengths and use them as an advantage. It also makes the company aware of any weaknesses or threats.

4. Tactics

Many business strategies articulate the operational details for how the work should be done in order to maximize efficiency. People who are responsible for tactics understand what needs to be done, saving time and effort.

5. Resource allocation plan

A business strategy includes where you will find the required resources to complete the plan, how the resources will be allocated and who is responsible for doing so. In this regard, you will be able to see where you need to add more resources in order to complete your projects.

6. Measurement

The business strategy also includes a way to track the company’s output, evaluating how it is performing in relation to the targets that were set prior to launching the strategy. This helps you to stay on track with deadlines and goals, as well as budgetary concerns.


Strategies and the Meaning of Success

Corporate officers and other high level management responsible for strategy

The firm’s initial top-level strategy stems from the founder’s vision statement for the business. The corporate officers are responsible for measuring and tracking strategic success over time, and adjusting or changing strategy when necessary. [Image: High-level management meeting. Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts, February 1930.]

Corporate officers and other high level management responsible for strategy

The firm’s initial top-level strategy stems from the founder’s vision statement for the business. The corporate officers are responsible for measuring and tracking strategic success over time, and adjusting or changing strategy when necessary. [Image: High-level management meeting. Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts, February 1930.]

B usiness strategies succeed when they lead to business growth, strong competitive position, and strong financial performance. Many different approaches are possible, but all are meant to bring improvements in these areas.

In highly competitive industries, the firm’s officers and other senior managers take a keen interest in knowing precisely how well their strategies succeed in serving this purpose. Interest is especially keen immediately after the company changes or adjusts plans.

Dominos Pizza Changes Strategies. Was the New Strategy Successful?

In 2009, for instance, managers and owners of Domino’s Pizza, Inc. were distressed because the firm had just had three years of negative sales growth and shrinking market share. The firm was, in particular, losing market share to two significant competitors, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut.

Domino’s operates in the "Quick Service Restaurant" (QSR) industry. Many people call this industry, unkindly, the "Fast Food" business. The firm competes not only with other Pizza restaurants, but also with restaurants with different menus such as Subway, McDonald’s, and Chick-Fil-A. This segment of the Restaurant industry defines itself not by menus, but instead by the words "Fast" and "Quick." Understandably, therefore, Domino’s started with a strategy based on "Quick Service Delivery." The firm excels in fast delivery, a point that separates Domino’s from its competitors. Nevertheless, in 2009, the strategy seemed to be failing.

In late 2009, therefore, the firm’s new CEO chose to "re-center" strategy on pizza quality. Market research showed that customers rated Domino’s pizza taste as very poor ("tastes like cardboard"). As a result, by the end of 2009, the firm had substantially improved the pizza recipe and launched a marketing program to bring this news to the market. The question on January 1, 2010, was: Will the new strategy work?

The Results Are "In." Strategy Change Succeeds.

Anxious for an answer, the firm began in Q4 2009 detailed tracking of the growth, competitive, and financial metrics that appear in the next section. By the end of Q1 2010, the first results were "in." The measures in all three categories showed remarkable improvement. Domino’s took this as confirmation the new strategy was succeeding.

Now in 2021, the firm continues to research and improve the pizza recipe, while adjusting its marketing strategy at the same time. For this, the firm relies on its 11-year tracking history with these metrics.

Measuring Success With Strategies

Firstly, Business Growth. Growth Means Increasing:

Secondly, Strong Competitive Position, Which Means Increasing:

Thirdly, Strong Financial Performance, Which Means Increasing:

Measure Strategic Impact Precisely

Domino’s, for instance, prefers to measure strategic impact with EBITDA—Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Domino’s tracks EBITDA because EBITDA and other selective income metrics measure strategic effects more precisely than overall Net Income After Taxes.

The firm’s strategy drives performance in the core line of business, after all, and that is what strategic planners need to measure. "Bottom line" Net income, however, also reflects factors other than core strategy: (1) revenues and expenses from outside the core business, (2) accounting conventions such as depreciation, and (3) taxes. These factors tend to "muddy the waters" when the analyst tries to use Net Income to measure the impact of strategy changes.

Business case templates when you need a real business case

How Do You Formulate a Strategy?
Five Steps to a Generic Business Strategy

S trategy builders can find practical guidance in this definition. Notice that the definition names four kinds of actions. With just a little imagination you can probably see that these actions point rather directly to steps in a strategy building process:

Formulate a winning business strategy in five steps

Formulate a winning business strategy in five steps

Note that businesspeople rightly speak of strategy building as strategy formulation, instead of "writing a strategy." The verb formulate suggests a building process that is orderly or systematic and results that are definitive and precise.

Your business identity (why us)

We have the examples above of the varieties of problems, solutions, and markets related to a bicycle store. To understand identity as a part of strategy, think about the difference between a bicycle retail store owned and operated by a former professional bike racer, and another one owned and operated by a couple with children who like cycling as a family activity.

The first one will gravitate toward stocking and selling expensive, sophisticated bicycles for the racing enthusiast and extreme long-distance or mountain biking hobbyist. The second will probably emphasize bicycles for children, bike trailers, carriers, and accessories for families.

Seth Godin’s book “The Dip” is about being the best at one thing. That’s the point of your focus. Since you can’t do everything and even if you could, your customers wouldn’t believe you, you need to focus on something that you do well, that people want.

Part of your identity is what you want from your business. Some businesses are about your lifestyle or pursuing your passion. Some people want their businesses to grow as big and as fast as they can and are happy to work with investors as owners. Others want to own their own business, even if it has to grow more slowly for lack of working capital.

Roll them up together

Think of the key stories that are foundational in the great religions. Or think about the stories behind the phrases “sour grapes,” “the fox in the henhouse,” and “the emperor’s new clothes.” They all have power because they communicate. They resonate. We recognize their truths.

Using business stories

A strategy that can’t be told as a story is doomed. It could be as simple as a story defining the problem your customers have, the solution your business offers, and the factors that make your business especially suited to offer the solution.

Telling your essential business story

For example:

In every case, there is a story. Think it through. Who is this person ? How did he or she find you, your store, your restaurant, or your website? Was it by answering an email, looking at an ad, talking to a friend, or maybe searching in the Yelp app on a mobile device? What was the problem they had, and how did your business solve it?

For example, to make a bike shop story based on selling bikes to families, you need to add in how your shop will be different from the local box store, and evidence that you understand that target market. And in the software company example, there must be a sense of this company being qualified to deliver useful content in this topic area. That takes us back to the business identity component, but it could also be called simply the secret sauce, or why we’re different and presumably better.



Top 10 Stress Management Techniques for Students

When people are exposed to stressors or stimuli that provoke stress, they experience an array of physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive reactions. As such, two students might experience stress in very different ways.

Close Up Of Peaceful Teenage Boy Meditating Sitting In Chair At Home

Top 10 Stress Management Techniques for Students

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Most students experience significant amounts of stress, and this stress can take a significant toll on health, happiness, and grades. For example, a study by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that teens report stress levels similar to that of adults.

That means teens are experiencing significant levels of chronic stress, and that they feel their levels of stress generally exceed their ability to cope effectively. Roughly 30% report feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or sad because of it.

Stress can affect health-related behaviors like sleep patterns, diet, and exercise as well, taking a larger toll. Given that nearly half of APA survey respondents reported completing three hours of homework per night in addition to their full day of school work and extracurriculars, this is understandable.

Common Causes of Student Stress

Another study found that much of high school students’ stress originates from school and activities, and that this chronic stress can persist into college years and lead to academic disengagement and mental health problems.   Common sources of student stress include:

High school students face the intense competitiveness of taking challenging courses, amassing impressive extracurriculars, studying and acing college placement tests, and deciding important and life-changing plans for their future. At the same time, they have to navigate the social challenges inherent to the high school experience.

If college is part of a teen’s plans, once they are accepted, the stress continues as they need to make new friends, handle a more challenging workload, be without parental support in many instances, and navigate the stresses that come with more independent living. Romantic relationships always add an extra layer of potential stress.

Many students feel a sense of needing to relieve stress, but with all of the activities and responsibilities that fill a student’s schedule, it’s sometimes difficult to find the time to try new stress relievers to help dissipate that stress. These options are relatively easy, quick, and relevant to a student’s life and types of stress.

What Are the Causes of Stress in College Students?


Many students work while in school to afford high tuition and housing costs. Unfortunately, part-time jobs typically pay just minimum wage. If you’re struggling economically, speak to your financial aid office to see whether you qualify for grants, loans, or work-study.

Homesickness and New Levels of Independence

Living Among Strangers

Cohabitating With Roommates

Coursework and Exams

Students often feel overwhelmed by the increased workload associated with college-level coursework. This realization can blindside students and contribute to stress and anxiety. In many classes, exams make up a large percentage of students’ grades, causing midterms and finals to be more stressful than normal.

Family Turmoil or Loss Back Home

A 2014 NPR study found that the death of a loved one is the second-highest cause of stress amongst U.S. adults. A death in the family can be extremely traumatic for college students, especially if they live away from home and can’t afford to take a break from classes.

Work Schedules

According to a 2013 survey by Citibank and Seventeen Magazine, 4 in 5 students work while attending college. The average student works 19 hours a week. Many learners try to find a job that can accommodate the scheduling concerns associated with full-time education.

Social Obligations

In addition to academic pressures, college introduces plenty of social pressures, such as the idea that you must make tons of friends and party every weekend. Peer pressure and societal expectations can exacerbate stress, especially for first-year students.

Romantic Relationships

Romantic relationships take work. When you and your partner face the stresses of college life, the pressure can feel even greater. Additionally, many students may be in the process of questioning their sexuality and/or gender identity, which can impact dating and relationships.

Handling School Stress as a College Student

One of the recurring pressures that teens experience stress over is applying to and choosing a college. When those students arrive on those college campuses, they still can face stress and academic/social pressures. This guide outlines resources that can help.

On-Campus Support Groups, Services and Mental Health Resources

Colleges and universities often offer on-campus counseling and mental health services to students. The National Alliance on Mental Illness also offers groups on different college campuses across the United States that can help students who are facing stress and mental health issues. In a 2019 publication, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) published new strategies for addressing mental health support on campuses that can serve as effective guidelines for helping students face school stress.

Online Support Groups, Hotlines and Other Digital Resources

ULifeline also provides a hotline and resources for college students facing stress and other mental health issues. To access these resources, students can text “START” to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK. Depending on where students attend school, there may be additional digital resources available to them for tackling school stress through their college.

Calmness, Meditation and Other Mental Health Approaches

Britannica Digital Learning overviews several calming and breathing exercises that can benefit college students and help them alleviate stress. These include centering breath and “not mine” meditations, as well as an activity called “grounding with the senses.”

Yoga, Exercise and Additional Physical Health Strategies

Yoga Journal provides an extensive list of articles that can help college students use the practice of yoga to reduce stress and increase mindfulness. An article from Harvard Health Publishing dives deep into how various types of exercises, from participating in sports teams to vigorous workouts, help to bring enhanced peace of mind to a person. The article encourages college students to embrace exercise, in whatever form they choose, as a means of reducing stress.



How to Write an Essay Introduction

Effectively introducing your essay’s topic, purpose, and getting your reader invested in your essay sounds like a lot to ask from one little paragraph, huh? In the next section, we’ll demystify the intro paragraph format by breaking it down into its core parts. When you learn how to approach each part of an intro, writing one won’t seem so scary!



Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. Usually when you sit down to respond to an assignment, you have at least some sense of what you want to say in the body of your paper. You might have chosen a few examples you want to use or have an idea that will help you answer the main question of your assignment; these sections, therefore, may not be as hard to write. And it’s fine to write them first! But in your final draft, these middle parts of the paper can’t just come out of thin air; they need to be introduced and concluded in a way that makes sense to your reader.

Your introduction and conclusion act as bridges that transport your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis. If your readers pick up your paper about education in the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, for example, they need a transition to help them leave behind the world of Chapel Hill, television, e-mail, and The Daily Tar Heel and to help them temporarily enter the world of nineteenth-century American slavery. By providing an introduction that helps your readers make a transition between their own world and the issues you will be writing about, you give your readers the tools they need to get into your topic and care about what you are saying. Similarly, once you’ve hooked your readers with the introduction and offered evidence to prove your thesis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. (See our handout on conclusions.)

Note that what constitutes a good introduction may vary widely based on the kind of paper you are writing and the academic discipline in which you are writing it. If you are uncertain what kind of introduction is expected, ask your instructor.

Why bother writing a good introduction?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The opening paragraph of your paper will provide your readers with their initial impressions of your argument, your writing style, and the overall quality of your work. A vague, disorganized, error-filled, off-the-wall, or boring introduction will probably create a negative impression. On the other hand, a concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will start your readers off thinking highly of you, your analytical skills, your writing, and your paper.

Your introduction is an important road map for the rest of your paper. Your introduction conveys a lot of information to your readers. You can let them know what your topic is, why it is important, and how you plan to proceed with your discussion. In many academic disciplines, your introduction should contain a thesis that will assert your main argument. Your introduction should also give the reader a sense of the kinds of information you will use to make that argument and the general organization of the paragraphs and pages that will follow. After reading your introduction, your readers should not have any major surprises in store when they read the main body of your paper.

Ideally, your introduction will make your readers want to read your paper. The introduction should capture your readers’ interest, making them want to read the rest of your paper. Opening with a compelling story, an interesting question, or a vivid example can get your readers to see why your topic matters and serve as an invitation for them to join you for an engaging intellectual conversation (remember, though, that these strategies may not be suitable for all papers and disciplines).

Introduction Definition

What is the purpose of an introduction paragraph? A good introduction performs two functions. Firstly, it tells the reader what you are going to be talking about in your paper; simply put, it should identify the essay topic and give some insight about the essay’s main point. Secondly, it has to evoke interest and motivate the audience to read the rest of your paper.

How Long Should an Introduction Be?

Generally, there are no strict rules about how long an introductory paragraph should be. Experienced essay writers will usually shape the lengths of their introductions with the overall length of the paper in mind. For example, if you are writing a paper following the standard five-paragraph essay structure, you would want to keep your opening clause concise and have it fit into a single paragraph. However, when writing longer papers, let’s say a 30-page paper, your introduction can take up multiple paragraphs, and even several pages.

What Makes a Good Introduction

What Are the 3 Parts of an Introduction Paragraph?

Part 1: Essay Hook

After pitching an effective hook, you should provide a broad overview of your main topic and state some background information for the subject matter of your paper. If you are wondering how to start an essay introduction, the best way to do so is by providing a broad explanation of your theme and then leading your readers into specific points. Simply put, you should first give some general information and then gradually narrow it down into your specific points.

The 5 Types of Hooks for Writing

Part 2: Connections

After you have provided a hook and some background information regarding your essay topic, move on to giving readers a better understanding of what you are going to talk about throughout your paper. In this part of your introduction, you should briefly mention your key ideas in the same order in which you will go on to discuss them, and gradually lead your reader(s) to your thesis statement.

Answering these questions in 2-3 sentences each will help you ensure that you provide your readers with complete information about the topic of your essay. However, be sure to keep these sentences concise and straight to the point.

Your main goal is to gradually move from general information about your subject matter to something more specific (i.e. your thesis statement). To make this process more simple, think of your introduction as of an upside-down triangle. In this triangle, the attention grabber (read hook) is at the top, followed by a broader explanation of the topic, and ending with a very specific claim. Here is a simple tip for how to write an essay introduction following this “upside-down triangle” strategy:

Part 3: The Thesis Statement

Without a doubt, your paper’s thesis is the most important part. It has to be included in the introductory clause of your paper—as your entire essay revolves around this statement. In a nutshell, a thesis statement provides your audience with a brief summary of the paper’s key claim. Your key claim is what you are going to be revealing or arguing about in the body section of your paper. As a rule, a good thesis statement is very concise (disclosed in one sentence), accurate, specific, clear, and focused. Your thesis should typically appear at the end of your introductory paragraph/section.

Thesis Statement Example: “To boost the overall productivity of employees, large corporations should create comfortable and flexible working schedules for their workers, therefore, helping them have better work-life balance.”

3 essay introduction parts

Introduction #2: The Statistic or Fun Fact

How to write introductions Psycho shower scene

This technique is another powerfully effective way to grab your reader’s attention from the outset. It’s also one of the most commonly used introductions in a lot of marketing writing. This makes sense; it establishes the general topic of the piece in a fun way and offers the reader something snappy and memorable.

Why Is This Type of Introduction So Effective?

When it comes to content, whether a 500-word blog post or a 4,000-word long-form journalistic feature, some emotional triggers are more effective than others. In particular, there’s a scientific principle known as the von Restorff effect (named for the German pediatrician Hedwig von Restorff who first wrote of the phenomena in the early 1930s) which states that people tend to remember unusual things much more effectively than routine, expected things.

How to write introductions fight or flight response caveman illustration

This is an extension of our natural survival instincts; our brains are wired to perceive strange or unusual things as potential threats, making them much more memorable as whatever strange thing we’re fixated on might kill us. It’s also why, if you don’t take much else away from this post, I can practically guarantee that you’ll remember the Psycho toilet-flushing fact, which you can and should use to impress your friends at your next get-together at the pub.

Here at WordStream, we use this technique a great deal, and not only in introductions. To this day, I still remember that you’re 475 times more likely to survive a plane crash than you are to click on a banner ad – a fact I first included in a post for the WordStream blog back in 2014. Admittedly, I had to look up the publication date of that post, but I didn’t need to double-check the statistic itself because it’s just that memorable.

How to write introductions more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad

Take care, however, to select your facts and statistics carefully. In the banner ad example above, this stat isn’t just memorable because of the staggering odds against you clicking on a banner ad, but because it’s framed within the context of surviving a plane crash – a particularly striking hypothetical scenario, and one that aligns closely with the survival instincts I mentioned earlier. Merely tossing in a statistic about how many daily active users Facebook has, for example, will not have the same effect. Just as you should think carefully about the quotes you use in your introductions, choose your statistics with similar care.

4 Tips for How To Write an Introduction Paragraph

Now that we’ve gone over an example of introduction paragraph analysis, let’s talk about how to write an introduction paragraph of your own. Keep reading for four tips for writing a successful intro paragraph for any essay.

Tip 1: Analyze Your Essay Prompt

If you’re having trouble with how to start an introduction paragraph, analyze your essay prompt! Most teachers give you some kind of assignment sheet, formal instructions, or prompt to set the expectations for an essay they’ve assigned, right? Those instructions can help guide you as you write your intro paragraph!

Because they’ll be reading and responding to your essay, you want to make sure you meet your teacher’s expectations for an intro paragraph. For instance, if they’ve provided specific instructions about how long the intro should be or where the thesis statement should be located, be sure to follow them!

The type of paper you’re writing can give you clues as to how to approach your intro as well. If you’re writing a research paper, your professor might expect you to provide a research question or state a hypothesis in your intro. If you’re writing an argumentative essay, you’ll need to make sure your intro overviews the context surrounding your argument and your thesis statement includes a clear, defensible claim.

Using the parameters set out by your instructor and assignment sheet can put some easy-to-follow boundaries in place for things like your intro’s length, structure, and content. Following these guidelines can free you up to focus on other aspects of your intro. like coming up with an exciting hook and conveying your point of view on your topic!

Tip 2: Narrow Your Topic

You can’t write an intro paragraph without first identifying your topic. To make your intro as effective as possible, you need to define the parameters of your topic clearly–and you need to be specific.

For example, let’s say you want to write about college football. “NCAA football” is too broad of a topic for a paper. There is a lot to talk about in terms of college football! It would be tough to write an intro paragraph that’s focused, purposeful, and engaging on this topic. In fact, if you did try to address this whole topic, you’d probably end up writing a book!

Instead, you should narrow broad topics to identify a specific question, claim, or issue pertaining to some aspect of NCAA football for your intro to be effective. So, for instance, you could frame your topic as, “How can college professors better support NCAA football players in academics?” This focused topic pertaining to NCAA football would give you a more manageable angle to discuss in your paper.

So before you think about writing your intro, ask yourself: Is my essay topic specific, focused, and logical? Does it convey an issue or question that I can explore over the course of several pages? Once you’ve established a good topic, you’ll have the foundation you need to write an effective intro paragraph.


Tip 3: Do Your Research

This tip is tightly intertwined with the one above, and it’s crucial to writing a good intro: do your research! And, guess what? This tip applies to all papers–even ones that aren’t technically research papers.

Here’s why you need to do some research: getting the lay of the land on what others have said about your topic–whether that’s scholars and researchers or the mass media–will help you narrow your topic, write an engaging hook, and provide relatable context.

You don’t want to sit down to write your intro without a solid understanding of the different perspectives on your topic. Whether those are the perspectives of experts or the general public, these points of view will help you write your intro in a way that is intriguing and compelling for your audience of readers.

Tip 4: Write Multiple Drafts

Some say to write your intro first; others say write it last. The truth is, there isn’t a right or wrong time to write your intro–but you do need to have enough time to write multiple drafts.

Oftentimes, your professor will ask you to write multiple drafts of your paper, which gives you a built-in way to make sure you revise your intro. Another approach you could take is to write out a rough draft of your intro before you begin writing your essay, then revise it multiple times as you draft out your paper.

What’s Next?

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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The Lazy Student’s Guide to Writing a Perfect Research Paper

If you’re trying to counter our title by saying “I’m not lazy,” we don’t believe you. One way or another, every student is a little bit lazy. It’s probably why you’re here in the first place. 

Whether we prefer to watch TV, read a book or go out on a Friday night, it’s obvious that we’d take any other activity in favor of writing on our research paper. It’s in our nature – which is why we don’t even bother to learn the structure of a research paper until we absolutely need to. 

Are you in that situation right now? Well, here’s how to write your research paper like a pro: 


  • Choose the Topic


Don’t choose something fancy just because you think “a smarter topic will get me a better grade.” If you pick a topic and all the time you’ll be “I have no idea what I’m talking about,” the professor will catch on. Choose instead a topic that actually interests you and narrow it down as much as possible. If you select a broad topic, you won’t be able to cover every point in just a few pages. 


  • Do Your Research


Before you set on writing about that topic, make sure you have something to back up your thesis. It’ll be very awkward to reach the second page of your research paper only to realize that you no longer have any info to add – even though you have 6 pages left to fill. 


  • State Your Thesis


You should say right from the first paragraph of your paper what you intend to prove in the essay. If you don’t, the professor will be all confused and won’t know what to follow because they will feel you are going all over the place. Write a sentence where you declare your belief; that belief will be the basis of your argument throughout the entire essay. 


  • Make a General Outline


It’s much easier to finish an essay if you already know what you’re supposed to be writing about. Therefore, before you start on your research paper, outline your major topics and subtopics; it will be easier to keep yourself organized and prevent you from getting sidetracked. 


  • Keep Your Notes Organized


So you did your research and already know which part is supposed to go where. Now, based on the outline you just made, pull out some notes and organize them in every subchapter. See which fact is the most reliable and which information part will be most helpful to support your theory. This part is crucial when it comes to writing a research paper.


  • Write the First Draft


Once you put everything in order, it’s time that you start working on the first draft. It doesn’t matter if you start with the introduction or with chapter two – based on the outline, you already know what’s supposed to go where. Don’t fret if your paper comes out longer than required; you can shorten it later.


  • Write the Final Version


Once you have the first draft, go on to your computer and start typing on the “clean print.” Expect that your paper will shorten at this stage since you’re basically editing as you are writing. 


  • Proofread


NEVER skip the proofreading stage. It’s very easy to misspell words and to write “dork” instead of “fork.” Read through the paper once more and be sure you don’t have such errors. 

If you really don’t feel like writing the essay yourself, you can always look for a website that will write a paper for you. They are professionals in the field, and usually, they come with very attractive discounts and promo codes so that you, as a student, won’t have to suffer too much. You may read some reviews to figure out which website gives the best discounts on writing services.

Learn whether you can rely on DoMyWriting in your academic assignment from this review

DoMyWriting.com is a company that claims to have been in operation since 2013. The company claims to have writers who are well versed in academic writing since they have Master’s and Ph.D. degrees. The company offers a 5% discount to all its new customers and a revision for any order that a client feels is not up to standard.

More Info on Do My Writing

The pages on DoMyWriting.com are pretty easy to navigate. Nevertheless, the information on their site is minimal. Let’s find out more!

For example, there is no pricing plan for visitors to view. According to the company’s site, any content writing needs, from high school essays to Ph.D. dissertations can be handled with ease by the professional writers. Also, the company claims to have editors who ensure the content is superb before sending it to the client. 

However, my experience with the Do My Writing is exasperating. This review will explain in detail why I cannot hire the company for my writing needs again.

Quick Customer Support

The offers indicated by the company on the site led me to hire them because I had a lot of content that had to be done within a short timeframe. However, since there was no much information on the website, I decided to contact their agents to gather more details about the prices for a dissertation paper for my Ph.D. course. The agent was quick to respond and very polite. 

He explained that my dissertation could take only a couple of days. Well, I could not understand how that could happen given that a dissertation is quite complicated. But I assumed that, since the writers were all native speakers and graduates from top universities, then the company could do that quickly. 

Offers Available

I proceeded to ask about the promo code which I had not seen on the website. The agent explained that they did not have the code. Further, he said there were also no coupon codes, but there was an offer. The offer entailed discounts for any detailed and complex orders. More so, being a new client, I qualified for 5% off. 

I decided to ask them to write an essay for me, to be sure I was hiring the right people. After giving the details and paying for the essay, I was instructed to wait for two days before receiving the feedback. Having no issue with that, I gave DoMyWriting.com the green light.

Poor Quality

Two days later, I received my essay. But there was a problem. As much as the company states the writers are native English speakers, the grammar used to write my essay was poor.  

Well, the writer had done excellent research, but the research was from old sources. That alone convinced me to ask for the plagiarism report. I contacted the company through the live chat. I was shocked to hear that I had to pay an extra $10 for the report. Also, I highly doubted that they have any editors because, if there was any, my essay could have been excellent. Just then, I remembered I had not looked at the testimonials given by other clients. 

Now, I had to thank myself for not asking the company to do my dissertation. Let me tell you why. The customer reviews were alarming. Many clients said that the delivery was timely, but the quality of the papers was awful. 

In my review on DoMyWriting.com I give them a “poor” rating because my essay was not written properly. Any student can hire them, but I advise you to give them a trial article before proceeding to entrust them with more serious content.

Avoid These Writing Services If You Need Good Paper

We believe that one important function that we engage in is identifying the most terrible article writing companies so that our target audience understands who to watch out for many of these businesses. We take a look at consumer reviews, investigate reports, and study organizations thoroughly. We go past researching price reductions and bonus coupon codes. We wish to guarantee that you steer clear of bad rate services that can rip-off you, or far worse be responsible for an accusation of academic dishonesty. The next is our assessment of each of these five most undesirable penning websites.


The beneficial thing here is that we are not able to envision lots of learners setting a purchase with this service. All the things is basically unsuitable from starting to finish. To start with, the article writing on the web page is almost impossible to understand. Clicking on the EssayShark.com website link to place a request takes you to a separate freelance writing organization web page entirely. In addition to that, the webpages download little by little and the site is not mobile phone oriented. This one purely heightens all types of red flags.



MyPaperWriter.com just scores low in every area. Learners scored composing grade as average at very best, and usually wholly unpleasant. Reports are often delivered overdue. Feedback support is unprofessional and unhelpful. All round, this is merely one to move on.



This written content service grants us the opportunity to warn college students against making use of freelance writing firms that are unreasonably low cost. Bid4Papers.com supplies university grade essays and study essays for fewer than ten dollars per page. There’s virtually no option that a company is providing professional freelance writing services at those price ranges. As we assumed, our examination exhibited that reports are regularly sent overdue. When they are received, college students complain of extremely poor freelance writing, and many different mistakes with citations.



The vast majority of the organizations we overview charge approximately 13 and 20 dollars per page for a college degree paper. We were stunned, nonetheless curious when we encountered this service charging you nearly triple that amount. Needless to say, we researched them out. Most likely they had anything at all impressive to deliver. Regrettably, that wasn’t the scenario. They merely gave ordinary offering at an overpriced pricing. Keep clear of BestCustomWriting.com no matter what.



Pretty much every competent article writing website will promise to be operating out of an English speaking country. In many instances that merely is not valid. Rather, companies will use a letterbox or basically falsify an street address. After that, they’ll persuade university students that their article authors are virtually all native English speakers with university levels.

This is the tactic that EssayPro.com website uses. The fact is that, any time college students place a purchase here, they don’t get the quality of job they assume. Rather, they receive an improperly created paper from a copywriter who is neither degreed nor a native English speaker.

Bottom line

Though there are many wonderful composing firms, a large number of basically do not make the quality. These 5 specifically are extremely unsafe. We highly propose steering clear of them totally.