Employee Development: The Key to Unlocking Employee Potential

By: Rachel M Slone SHRM-CP

As a boss or manager, it’s your responsibility to provide a supportive and empowering environment for your employees. One of the most effective ways to do this is through employee development. By investing in the growth and learning of your team members, you can unlock their full potential and help them reach new heights within your organization.

But why is employee development so important, and how can you make the most of it? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of employee development and why it’s a crucial aspect of effective management.

Why Employee Development Matters

There are many reasons why employee development is so important, including:

  1. Improved Job Performance: By investing in your employees’ development, you can help them acquire new skills, knowledge, and experience that can be applied to their work. This can result in improved job performance, greater productivity, and higher-quality work.
  2. Increased Engagement and Motivation: When employees feel like their employer is invested in their growth and success, they are more likely to feel engaged and motivated in their work. This can result in increased job satisfaction, reduced turnover, and a more positive work environment.
  3. Career Advancement Opportunities: Employee development can also provide opportunities for employees to advance in their careers. For example, they may be able to take on new responsibilities, receive promotions, or pursue new career paths within your organization.
  4. Better Retention: By providing opportunities for professional growth, you can help your employees feel valued and secure in their jobs. This can result in better retention and a lower risk of turnover.

Counting on Employees Even If They Aren’t There Yet

One of the biggest challenges of employee development is that it often requires a leap of faith. You may be investing in an employee who isn’t quite ready to step up to the next level, but with the right support and guidance, they have the potential to get there.

Here are some tips for counting on your employees, even if they aren’t quite there yet:

  1. Be Open and Honest: Be transparent about your expectations and goals for the employee’s development. Explain what they need to work on and what they can expect to achieve.
  2. Set Clear Goals: Work with the employee to set specific, measurable goals that will help them reach their full potential. This will give them a clear roadmap for their development and provide motivation to work towards these goals.
  3. Provide Feedback and Coaching: Regular feedback and coaching can help employees identify areas for improvement and stay on track with their development. Encourage open communication and be available to answer any questions or provide guidance as needed.
  4. Provide Opportunities for Growth: Offer opportunities for professional development, such as training, workshops, or mentorship programs. Encourage employees to take on new responsibilities and pursue new projects that will challenge and stretch their skills.


Employee development is an important aspect of effective management and a crucial investment in the growth and success of your organization. By counting on your employees, even if they aren’t there yet, you can help them reach their full potential and achieve great things within your organization. So, be proactive in investing in your employees’ development and watch your team reach new heights of success!

XXI Designs

First Take


Feb 07, 2023

Tashia T.

32min Read

55 Most Popular Blog Examples You Need to Check Out for Inspiration

55 Most Popular Blog Examples You Need to Check Out for Inspiration

blog is a website or page that is a part of a larger website. Typically, it features articles written in a conversational style with accompanying pictures or videos.

Blogging is a fun and flexible way for self-expression and social connection, so it is no wonder blogs have become very popular. In addition, people can start blogging to improve their writing skills or even promote their businesses.

Furthermore, a professional blogger can even make money from blogging in various ways, such as Google ads and Amazon affiliate links. Profitable blogs can be of any topic. Think of any subject, and there is probably already a successful blog about it.

If there is none, this is where you come in. New bloggers who can find a unique niche to create content about have a higher chance of surviving in the competitive blogging world. Preferably, you should be passionate about or an expert in your blog niche. However, don’t worry if you are having a difficult time pinning down a topic – this article will help you.

We will go through 11 types of blogs spread across various niche industries – tech, lifestyle, beauty and fashion, health and fitness, education, business and marketing, finance and investment, food, travel, photography, and art and design blogs.

We will include five of the best blog examples for each type, discuss each blog example briefly, and highlight what we can learn from the blog. We will also include the info on how it is build, for example, whether a CMS like WordPress was used or a blogging platform.

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Best Tech Blogs

If you are a tech junkie, you may want to start a blog focusing on technology.

A tech blog usually features the latest news on technology and its applications in various fields such as science, entertainment, and business. Some technology blogs also feature reviews of newly released gadgets.

Here are some of the most popular blogs on technology:

1. TechCrunch

TechCrunch's website homepage.
  • Main topics: technology and startup news
  • Created on: WordPress VIP

TechCrunch is a blog that provides technology and startup news, from the latest developments in Silicon Valley to venture capital funding.

The blog’s target audience is technology and business enthusiasts, especially startup founders and investors worldwide.

What Can We Learn From This Blog

The TechCrunch website’s clean layout prioritizes text readability with its simple white background and black text.

Headlines of the most recent articles are shown neatly on the homepage and accompanied by snippets from the blog posts and relevant pictures to add a splash of color.

The TechCrunch website also provides a helpful sidebar on the left side of the screen for easy navigation.

2. The Verge

The Verge's website homepage.
  • Main topics: technology, science, entertainment
  • Created on: Chorus

The Verge is a blog focused on examining how technology will change the future.

This blog provides news and opinion pieces on the latest technological developments in art, culture, and science for the mainstream audience.

What Can We Learn From This Blog

The Verge’s website homepage is vibrant – a black and white theme with bright accents of orange and magenta.

There is a collage of large headlines and pictures to attract site visitors’ attention below the blog’s title and the navigation bar.

In addition, some additional blog content is displayed on the right side of the homepage for easy access, such as featured videos and reviews.

3. Engadget

Engadget's website homepage.
  • Main topics: technology, gadgets, consumer electronics
  • Created on: proprietary AOL CMS

Launched by Peter Rojas, Engadget is a technology blog providing reviews of gadgets and consumer electronics as well as the latest news in the tech world.

It also showcases the best tech deals, helping people make the best gadget purchases according to their needs.

What Can We Learn From This Blog

The blog’s simple black-and-white theme gives it a sleek look fitting for a technology blog.

Upon accessing the website, visitors’ eyes are immediately drawn to the collage of photos and headlines of their most recent and popular articles.

Further down the page, more article headlines are sorted by the most recent to the oldest and accompanied by a picture and sentence summarizing the article’s content. This lets visitors know that the blog is regularly updated with a variety of content.

4. Gizmodo

Gizmodo's website homepage.
  • Main topics: technology, science, environment, entertainment
  • Created on: Kinja

Gizmodo is another technology blog created by Peter Rojas. The blog publishes news and opinion pieces on technology, gadgets, science, entertainment, culture, and the environment.

What Can We Learn From This Blog

Gizmodo’s homepage is very busy yet still organized.

It provides as much content as possible in neatly separated sections with different headings, such as Reviews & GadgetsScience, and Field Guide. Each blog section consists of a collage of various headlines and pictures.

The blog also does a great job of emphasizing text readability by using a simple color scheme consisting of black, white, and blue.

At the top of the page, there are links to other websites of the same company, promoting the websites and providing easy access to visit them.

5. 9to5Mac

The 9to5Mac website homepage.
  • Main topics: Apple products
  • Created on: WordPress

Part of the Apple user community, 9to5Mac is a blog covering news and reviews of Apple products.

The website was originally created as a hobby blog covering news on Macs. Since then, 9to5Mac has become a blog covering all Apple products and is now part of the 9to5 blog network, which includes other sites such as 9to5Google and 9to5Toys.

What Can We Learn From This Blog

The blog’s homepage features a colorful and eye-catching collage of pictures and headlines right below the navigation bar. When a cursor hovers over images, they slightly enlarge, enticing people to click.

In addition, the blog also uses the infinite scrolling feature so readers can explore more pages of the website simply by continuing to scroll down.

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Best Lifestyle Blogs

If tech is not your cup of tea, don’t worry – there are still many blog ideas to explore.

Maybe you want to run a lifestyle blog whose written content can be broad and diverse.

Write about fashion, food, relationships, personal development, life hacks, and travel – all on one blog. Many parenting blogs also fall into this category and share content focused family life.

Many blogs focused on lifestyle are also personal blogs. Through your own blog, you can convince people to adopt a particular lifestyle.

Here are some of the best ones we found to give you a better idea of what lifestyle blogs are all about.

6. A Cup of Jo

The A Cup of Jo blog homepage.
  • Main topics: fashion, food, travel, relationships, family life
  • Created on: WordPress

Joanna Goddard, an experienced editor, started writing about her daily life as a hobby. Later, blogging turned out to be her full-time job.

The blog is now run by a team of writers who provide a wide array of content – from food recipes to parenting tips.

What Can We Learn From This Blog

The website sports a warm-toned theme, with plenty of space between the site elements.

In addition to the blog’s clever title that is a play on the phrase “a cup of joe”, the title’s design is also unique. The letter O of the word “of” in “A Cup of Jo” is hollowed out to reveal a picture that changes depending on which page of the blog you’re on.

The homepage also features a list of the most popular blog posts of the month – an excellent way to promote the blog to new readers by providing them easy access to the blog’s best content of the month.

7. Minimalism Life

The Minimalism Life blog homepage.
  • Main topics: minimalist lifestyle
  • Created on: Kirby

Created as a collaborative project, Minimalism Life is a lifestyle blog on minimalism – a life stripped down only to the bare essentials.

It is a community-driven blog inviting everyone to share their experiences on simple living by writing a blog post for the website.

What Can We Learn From This Blog

Even if you don’t subscribe to the Minimalism Life, you can follow this site’s clutter-free and straightforward approach to design your blog.

The site uses a grayscale color scheme, with black or grey text on a white background – no colorful or overwhelming pictures or site elements.

True to minimalism, the site provides only the essential elements. The entire homepage acts as a navigation menu, providing links leading to other pages of the blog. The sidebar menu is on the left side of the screen, while links to social media profiles are on the right.

8. Girlboss

The Blog page of the Girlboss website.
  • Main topics: women, business, personal development
  • Created on: Prismic

Created by businesswoman Sophia Amoruso, Girlboss is a community-driven website that aims to help women redefine their success. Its primary target audience is ambitious women who want to advice rapidly in their careers, build networks, and self-improve.

The Girlboss lifestyle blog provides various blog topics such as beauty, wellness, work, and finance.

What Can We Learn From This Blog

The Girlboss team makes sure the pictures accompanying their articles follow the same color scheme.

All the pictures feature subjects set in front of a colorful background mix of soft, pastel colors. This way, all the photos come together as a visually-attractive and cohesive unit.

9. Men’s Journal

The Men's Journal website homepage.
  • Main topics: men, health, style, adventure, gear
  • Created on: WordPress VIP

The Men’s Journal website is the online version of the American magazine of the same name.

The lifestyle blog targeted towards men features various topics such as health and fitness, male grooming and style, outdoor recreation and travel, as well as cars and consumer electronics.

What Can We Learn From This Blog

The website has a very organized navigation bar. For example, if a site visitor hovers over Gear on the navigation bar, various categories – such as AutosTech, and Fitness – will appear, complete with corresponding pictures.

Visitors can even click on the arrow on either side of the categories to check out more categories.

Use this feature to find the desired content quickly and easily.

10. Treehugger

The Treehugger website homepage.
  • Main topics: environmental sustainability
  • Created on: Dotdash’s proprietary CMS

Defining itself as a modern sustainability website, Treehugger is a blog created by eco-advocate and entrepreneur Graham Hill.

It provides environmental news and articles exploring the intersections between the environment and gardening, home life, science, design, policy, and animals.

The blog aims to promote an eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle by providing reliable and accurate information.

What Can We Learn From This Blog

The top of the homepage showcases headlines of the latest articles. Scroll down, and you will see various blog post headlines organized neatly under all of the available categories, such as EnvironmentHome & Garden, and Business & Policy.

The entire page is designed for easy access to check the latest news and seek content of specific categories.

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Best Beauty and Fashion Blogs

Running a beauty and fashion blog means expressing your sense of style and creativity to people, especially fellow fashionistas and makeup enthusiasts.

You can even create a clothing or jewelry line and link your online boutique business to your fashion blog. If you build a loyal readership, customers may just come flocking to the boutique.

To help you conceptualize your own blog, take a look at some of these popular blogs on beauty and fashion.

11. He Spoke Style

The He Spoke Style website homepage.
  • Main topics: men’s fashion
  • Created on: WordPress

Created by Brian Sacawa and now run by a team of editors, He Spoke Style is a website focusing on men’s fashion and providing a mix of inspiration and information on menswear.

In addition to publishing various articles on men’s style guides and fashion trends, the blog also covers other topics related to men’s lifestyle, such as liquor and cigars.

What Can We Learn From This Blog

The blog title’s serif font gives off a classy and premium feel, appropriate for a website on style inspiration.

Upon accessing the website, visitors see a large picture taking up almost the entire screen, accompanying an article announcing the blog’s collaboration with a suit brand.

This is a good way to increase the number of people clicking on the featured blog post – the article you want people to read the most.

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