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Ten Reasons Why Twazzup’s Twitter Reader Rocks

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Twazzup screenshotI’ve been playing with a new tool recently – Twazzup’s Twitter reader. It’s an add-on to a previous real-time search service (which I must admit I hardly ever use). But the reader itself is a thing of beauty.  Here are ten things I like about it.

1. Simple Start

Login with Oauth and you’re in; it’s that simple.

2. Updating on updates

When you login, you can see how many new updates, replies and messages you have (indicated with a number on a red background in the top navbar). You can also see, just below the home button, who’s made those updates. Click on an avatar to load a particular person’s stream or click on the yellow box to show you’ve seen it and it disappears, leaving an update box in its wake.

3. Filtered stream

There’s a secondary nav bar where you can see all your updates or segment by highlights, photos & video or questions. You can also click on the people link to see recently active people or on links to see … links.

4. URL shortening

Just click on a link under the update box to make this happen.

5. Stats

Check out the top right of the page to see how many updates per day come from your Twitter stream, and how many updates have happened from how many contacts in the last couple of hours. The geek within me rejoices.

6. More filtering

There’s a box where you can filter your stream by inputting certain words, but you can also use the tag cloud that’s generated from the tweets in your stream to see all the updates on a particular term. And they are highlighted too.

7. Pluses and minuses

Green and red boxes in the sidebar show how many positive and negative tweets there have been in your stream. Click on a box to see them.

8. Easy access to lists and trends

These are in the top nav bar, where you can also access favorites and settings – and the search bar.

9. Lightning quick

Everything on Twazzup loads fast so there’s no hanging around

10.  Rinse and repeat

When you click on a particular user, you can filter their stream in the same way as your own, using the tools mentioned at No 3 and No 7.

Nitpicking

The only thing I can’t figure out is the ‘highlights’ section. I don’t know how it picks them or why sometimes there’s nothing there.  And I can only manage one account at a time, which is probably enough for most people, but not for me. And there are a couple of links where nothing happens when you click.

The verdict

These are just nitpicking, though. As well as the features I’ve highlighted, Twazzup Reader also shows a profile when you hover over an avatar, has inline link, image and video previews and includes translation features. So I still think it rocks! What about you?

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Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website or Google+.

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5 Must-Do Tips Before Publishing A Lifestyle Blog

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Running a lifestyle blog can be very profitable. You can make a steady stream of passive income writing about everyday topics that you are passionate about. The best part is that lifestyle blogs are pretty simple to take on and keep going. Your blogs can be about travel, daily life experiences, or even a vlog (video blog).

However, prior to publishing your blog online, you need to adhere to a few important, yet simple principles. The most important step is finding your niche. Choosing the right niche can save you a tremendous number of headaches down the road. Once you selected the perfect niche, there are some other factors you need to keep in mind while finding your voice. We compiled a list of must-do tips for anyone ready to publish a lifestyle blog. Let’s dive in!

1 – What niche is best for your lifestyle blog?

Before you begin any work toward launching a lifestyle blog, you need to carefully define your niche. Some blogs have very broad niches, while others are much narrower. The blogs with a broader niche can generate a lot more revenue if they become prominent enough. However, it is difficult to succeed with a very broad niche without a massive budget and a willingness to create thousands of posts. If you are trying to get results more quickly and on a smaller budget, then you should stick a tighter niche.

If you plan on writing about your world travels, your niche could be traveling the world while blogging. If you plan on traveling by boat only, maybe your niche can be sailing and blogging. You can draw from a number of best boating blogs for inspiration on this.

Whatever your niche, be sure to have it clearly defined before doing anything else. Why? Having a solid niche market and idea in place will dictate the type of content you plan on publishing. It also helps keep your content unique and authoritative. People do like to read, but they would rather be entertained and engaged when doing so. Defining your niche can do just that. It also helps you stay focused down the road as well.

2 – Identify your ideal target audience

You can write until your fingers bleed, but if you don’t have a clearly defined target audience that is easy to monetize, it is all just a waste of time. If you aren’t specific enough when defining your audience, then you will not be able to create content that resonates with any of them. What steps should you take to define and get a better understanding of your target audience?

Aim for 1,000 true followers and the rest will fall into place. By having a very defined target audience, you can essentially write just for them. That is why 1,000 people should be your hallmark. Because if you can get 1,000 people truly engaged in your content, you can get 100,000 people later on. That’s because it is the same process, only scaled. And your 1,000 true followers will help you reach 100,000 by becoming advocates for you and your content.

3 – Have a clever blog name and tagline

You are not simply creating a blog and writing content for your target audience. You are creating a brand. You are your brand, and every successful brand has a clever name and tagline. This is essential if you want to have growth and success with some passive income rolling in.

With your niche on your mind, start brainstorming name and tagline ideas. It is best practice not to rush this process. By the end of a few hours of brainstorming, you should have at least 50 names and taglines on paper. After that, narrow it to 10, then three, then just one. Feel free to get family and friends advice too, because you may not be seeing something they can. Once you have it, check to make sure it is available for use on WordPress and social media channels.

4 – Choose The Right Blogging Platform For You And Your Budget

Once you have chosen a domain name and outlined the general direction of your blog, you should choose a blogging platform and content management system (CMS) that works for you. One of the best is WordPress. With WordPress, you can get a paid or free blogging website. It is best to go with paid, because you can lock in your domain name, serve up ads, and have more control of the user experience (UX) you deliver to your target audience.

5 – Do Detailed Keyword Research And Write 10 Blogs

This is going to be the hardest part of starting your lifestyle blog. You can’t just start writing content that you think readers will like. It needs to get attention and help you build your audience. Content is certainly great, but ensuring your content is ranking well on search engines, like Google, as well as having enough content for site visitors to browse is critical.

For example, if you attract a visitor to your site via one blog and they love it, but can’t find anything else, they will probably not subscribe to your site, or visit again. You just lost one of your 1,000 true followers right from the start. Instead, write 10 blog posts and have them ready to go when it is time to publish your blogging site online.

And do your due diligence when it comes to keyword research. There are plenty of platforms out there you can use to find great keywords that have low ranking difficulty with reasonable monthly search volume. Google Keyword Planner is useful for this, and free.

Good Luck With Your Lifestyle Blog!

Starting a lifestyle blog is exciting. The above must-do tips can serve as your quick startup guide, but they are certainly not all the aspects you need to know. Do your research and be sure to put your best foot forward when you decide to publish your lifestyle blog online. What is your top blogging tip?

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Every Blogger Starts Somewhere

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The NBA all star game went down during the past weekend.

Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Joel Embid and D’Angelo Russel all made the all star team. These 4 bright, young stars share something in common; each was coached in high school by Kevin Boyle.

Kevin Boyle is one of the top high school coaches in the nation. Coaching 4 players who would be all stars during the same year is an unreal feat, when you consider the odds. Well before Kevin became a superstar coach at Montverde Academy in Florida or at St Pat’s high school in New Jersey, I remember him stalking the sidelines as a high energy, sometimes nutty, but always passionate, grammar school coach at St. Joe’s in Roselle, New Jersey, in the mid 80’s.

The coaching superstar who coached 4 future NBA all stars once coached little kids during a CYO game in gyms with capacity of, say 30 people.

As a grammar school CYO all star, I remember this intense coach trying to get his guards to trap me into a turnover. I had handles back then, so I danced through his press. Anyway, that passionate grade school coach persistently asked the athletic director at St. Pat’s for the soon to be open coaching job. Kevin was no veteran, but still hung out at the American Legion, where the AD spent time. Eventually, the athletic director hired Boyle, and Kevin built St. Pat’s into a national power, spawning NBA talents like Al Harrington, Sam Dalembert, Kyrie Irving and Michael Gilchrist. He made the move to Montverde, coaching stars like Simmons, Russel and Embid, as well as current Duke star Rowan Barrett.

But 35 years before he coached 4 NBA all stars, he stalked the sidelines as a grammar school coach, persistently pressing for a high school coaching job of a St. Pat’s program that had struggled for a decade.

We all start somewhere in life, blogging-wise, and often, the beginnings are humble.

I was an unemployed security guard who did not know the definition of blogging, 10 years ago. Yet today, I circle the globe through blogging, having been featured on world famous sites. Struggling bloggers wrongly assume I was always successful, but 10 years ago, I was a broke, laid off security guard, not a successful blogger.

We all start somewhere.

Virtually all of us start from humble beginnings.

Never assume successful bloggers:

  • had it easy
  • were connected
  • were always successful
  • never had to face daunting obstacles
  • had everything handed to them

You need to be:

  • passionate
  • humble
  • confident
  • clear
  • patient
  • persistent
  • generous

to succeed with blogging. You need to have a vision, too. Kevin Boyle did not see himself as just a grammar school basketball coach. He saw himself building St. Pat’s into a national power, landed the job through being persistent and being passionate about the game, took some lumps, and eventually helped build the basketball team into one of the top 5 or 10 teams year in and year out, before heading to Montverde and turning that program into the dominant power in high school basketball.

Fools assume that he was always connected, that he got lucky and that everything fell into place for him. I can personally attest; seeing him stalk the sidelines in 1985, at tiny OLP in New Providence, New Jersey, I knew he was different than any CYO coach I had seen. I eventually followed his St. Patrick’s program for some 15 years after my high school career and still keep tabs on his success at Montverde.

The high school coach who turns out more NBA all stars than Coach K at Duke had the most humble beginnings. Remember this, if nobody seems to read your blog, right now. Develop a vision. See through blogging obstacles.

We all start somewhere, seemingly light years away from where we will be down the road.

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1 Mental Block that Plagued Every Blogger Who Ever Blogged

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Unless you are the Dalai Lama, you, at one time or another, became highly attached to a single blog post. I do not care who you are. 8 figure bloggers allowed their fears to attach them to a blog post. 8 cent bloggers allowed fear to attach them to blog posts.

Now, the happiest, most successful bloggers face, hug and release this fear, for sure. But every blogger allowed fear to goad them to TRY LIKE HELL to drive traffic or profits to a single blog post. Or, being human and foolish, we allow fear-attachment to goad us into thinking that publishing a guest post on a blog with a million member community instantly leads to millions of dollars in blogging profits.

Nope.

I recall being featured on Virgin Dot Com. Floored and humbled, for sure, but I was kinda detached about the feature, being more grounded in love and gratitude, and less fear-attached to any single platform, post or opportunity.

Happy, successful bloggers own this fear-attachment, let it go and adopt an abundance mentality. While most bloggers publish a single post and try to SQUEEZE as much out of it as possible, due to fear and attachment, I developed an abundance mentality and published 700 posts on Blogging Tips Dot Com. Heck; I have published 70 guest posts on the blog of Enstine Muki. For most bloggers, publishing 70 guest posts in total is quite a feat. I published 770 guest posts….between 2 blogs alone.

Why?

How am I so prolific?

I have largely conquered the fear of trying to GET as much traffic and profits as possible through any single blog post. I blog from an energy of love, fun and abundance, mainly, not fear, tension and scarcity. Few bloggers have mastered this mindset; only the happiest, most detached bloggers become so prolific, it makes our heads spin.

You Are Human

Of course you become a little attached to any one blog post. This is not a problem. But you need to be honest; the attachment is fear, and as the attachment and fear grow, you move from abundance and worldly success, to scarcity and blogging struggle.

A Good Mindset for Abundance Mentality

Alonzo Pichardo wisely advises to publish content, and let it do what it does. I agree. I never check metrics. Genuinely; if blogging is energy and if I am having fun, I reached my goal. Increasing success is imminent. I trust my feelings, not inanimate numbers on a screen. This is the abundance mentality in action.

 

Why this Mindset Prospers

I appear to be in a million places at once because I never attachment to any one post or video. Per Alonzo, I let the content do what it does. Not being shackled by stats, I keep creating, expand my presence, appear to be all over, and see greater success. Meanwhile, most fear-scarcity bloggers write a single post and waste their time and energy:

  • trying to GET as much as possible through it, promoting it in thousands of places over the next 30 days
  • obsessively checking post metrics every few minutes, or, every hour, after publishing the post
  • panicking and bailing on proven strategies when a single post does not meet their expectations

All while this crowd makes all these mistakes, I am publishing hundreds of pieces of content over the same month, and also, meeting tons of new bloggers through genuine blog commenting, enjoying the ride.

Publish a post, promote it in a few spots, then move on to the next post, video or blog comment.

Develop an abundance mindset.

See increased blogging success and enjoy the ride.

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