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5 Practical Things You Can Do with Twitter

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Yesterday, Kevin announced the launch of Blogging Tips first WordPress plugin, Twitter User, which lets users integrate their Twitter username with their profile information in WordPress and display a link to their Twitter account in the footer of every post (or elsewhere in the template).

However, many, including those who currently use Twitter, have wondered just how useful the service really is. Though there is a lot being said by Twitter’s millions of users, it’s easy to wonder if any of it has any practical, business value.

So here are five practical things that you can do with Twitter, despite its 140-character limits. I’ve done all of these at one point or another and know well the potential for Twitter to be a boon to anyone’s site or their business.

5. Network

Networking is the most obvious use for Twitter. Using Twitter Search or a service such as Twitterfall, keep track of topics that interest you. Follow people who are discussing those issues and converse with them via @reply.

Twitter is a simple, effective way to find people who are interested in your field of choice and introduce yourself to them. Even with only a minimal amount of effort, one can easily grow their network by leaps and bounds over Twitter.

4. Public Speaking

Twitter blurs the lines between IM, chat and blogging by introducing elements of all three. As such it is possible to speak to a group of people using Twitter as the medium. Sites such as TweetChat make it easy to use the hashtag system to create impromptu chat rooms and groups, such as #indiechat, routinely have guest speakers (I was the speaker at their last meeting).

Though Twitter’s character limit makes it difficult to speak in a traditional sense, it does work well with a Q&A format. Also, one can use a service such as Twerbose to fit more into their tweets.

3. Find a Guest Blogger

If you need to fill a few holes in your posting schedule and you’ve got a network of people interested in your topic following you on Twitter, you can use that network to find guest bloggers to pick up the slack days.

I’ve found Twitter to be one of the easiest ways to recruit a guest blogger for your site, since it is easy to put out a call for help and instantly get replies. I’ve used this method at a few times (including once recently) with success.

2. Get Writing/Freelance Positions

On the other side of the coin, Twitter is rapidly becoming a very popular way for people to post job openings, especially short-term or one-off freelance writing gigs. If you follow a topic long enough, usually people will request some kind of service, such as Web design, blog setup, writing or more.

If this is a high priority for you, set up your Twitterfall or other twitter search service to track terms related to your job type and follow up on any potential clients. Even if there aren’t direct job offers, following up with people who have problems and needs can lead to one paying jobs down the road.

1. Monitor Your Field

The real beauty of Twitter has always been the immediacy of the medium. If a story breaks on Twitter, it is spread in a matter of minutes, not hours. It is by far the fastest and most reliable way to stay on top of your field.

Services like Twitterfall and apps lik Yahoo! Sideline can bring real-time Twitter searches to your computer, letting you know within seconds when a tweet of interest to you is put out on the network. Couple that with Twitter’s ability to send out links and you can find out about new stories hours or even days before reading them elsewhere.

This can provide a very real edge when applying your expertise, writing about the news on your site or just having bragging rights over your friends.

Bottom Line

Twitter can be a huge cesspool and a tremendous timesink, but if you dedicate yourself to it and approach it with the mindset that you are only going to use it for means that improve your business, it can be a very powerful tool as well.

In the end, you get out of Twitter what you put into it. If you approach it with a fun but pragmatic attitude, that is exactly what you’ll get back. If you treat it as a time waster, it will eat up your days with no real reward.

Obviously you don’t want to be someone that uses Twitter just for business, but it is perfectly acceptable to get some work done while having a little fun and being more personal. In fact, Twitter is surprisingly well-geared for just that.

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Blogging for a Living: Mindset Considerations

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Blogging for a living seems fun and freeing. I agree.

I blogged for a bit as a pro. Living this lifestyle of working when, how and where you want to work feels awesome. But mindset plays a chief role in becoming a professional blogger. Few aspiring bloggers know this. I believe successful blogging is between the ears. How you choose to think, feel and act determines your blogging success or failure. Before you decide to blog for a living keep these considerations in mind.

Big Shifts Needed

I made a huge shift from scarcity to abundance to blog full time. You likely need to make the same shift because most folks grow up conditioned with feelings of poverty, scarcity, lack and limitation. Prepare for uncomfortable bumps in the blogging road during early days. Although you desire success and work hard, owning, facing, feeling and releasing fear-pain to develop your abundance consciousness feels highly unpleasant in moments. Be ready to make a huge mindset shift in order to blog full time.

Manage Your Energy Daily

Spend 30 minutes or more managing your energy to vibe from abundance, love, peace, generosity and trust. Pro bloggers vibe stable to become pro bloggers. Manage your energy to maintain a stable, calm vibe. I meditate, do Kriya yoga, do yin yoga and exercise daily. Do whatever vibes with you. Begin meditating with 5 minute sessions to slowly build up your habit. Expand your awareness. Manage your energy daily.

Be Aware of Your Thoughts and Feelings

Hands down, this is the most uncomfortable mental consideration to make because people plow through life on auto pilot. Most bloggers have no idea how they think and feel. Fewer understand how their thinking and feeling affects their blogging campaign or life in general. Blogging seems difficult but discomfort seems to be the culprit. Become hyper aware of your thoughts and feelings. Observe the difference between discomfort and true difficulties. I feel discomfort now because I have 3 hours to get my work done. We meet with friends tonight for dinner. But completing work in 3 hours seems not difficult to me, although finishing the task tests my limits, feeling quite uncomfortable.

Blogging for a living requires intense mental due diligence. Some people seem born with an expanded awareness. Other folks grow up around success conscious people. But the majority needs to practice being aware of their thoughts and feelings to succeed because until you own, feel and release destructive thought and feeling patterns you have a tough time making any headway with your blogging campaign. Being a successful business owner requires complete honesty with self. Example; 2 minutes ago, after enjoying a quick bowl of cereal, I found myself lost in a 5 minute YouTube basketball loop. I scanned a few videos to enjoy. But being honest with myself alerted me to my error; I have less than 3 hours to get my work done, so why do I waste time scanning YouTube basketball videos? Being honest and flat out straight with myself brought me back to here to write this post.

Nobody said this blogging journey guarantees an easy ride, but the fun and freedom of blogging for a living seems worth the mental discomfort.

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1 Often Ignored Factor for Blogging Success

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Successful blogging expands on a foundation of trust.

People must trust you before they hire you or buy your stuff. Bloggers must trust you before they give you admin rights to guest post on their blog. Zac Johnson gave me publishing rights 4 years ago. Over 1000 guest posts ago, he trusted me enough to offer me log in credentials and the right to publish posts on his blog. Did earning that trust occur easily for me. No; of course not. Hundreds to thousands of hours of blogging factor in to gaining both skills and exposure enough to land publishing rights on perhaps the top blogging tips blog on earth. But did earning his trust seem worth it? Yes, of course. I circle the globe as a pro blogger, living a life of fun and freedom. Publishing guest posts here factored into my globe trotting lifestyle.

New bloggers often mean well but seem deluded. Newbies believe they can guest post anywhere, land clients any time and attract eBook customers within days or weeks of buying their domain and hosting. Impossible. Why? Newbie bloggers seem highly unskilled and lack massive exposure. Makes perfect sense. If you have 40 hours of blogging practice under your belt, how can you earn any reader’s, customer’s or client’s trust? You cannot because you have no clue what you are doing yet, possessing few skills and virtually no exposure. Do not worry, newbie bloggers; put in the generous effort and time, and you will gain skills and exposure enough to be trusted, and with trust comes increasing traffic and increasing blogging profits.

Trust Example

My friend Eric Cole just bought one of my eBooks along with an eBook from rockstar entrepreneur Chris Brogan:

Eric bought our eBooks because he trusts us. He trusts us because we both put in tens of thousands of hours practicing, creating and connecting, giving much of our lives to serving people and building our businesses. Note; Chris has been at this game far longer than I. We practiced, gain skills and exposure, popped up on the blogging radar screen, and more awesome folks notice us.

I did not kill myself by working myself to death, to gain trust and to earn credibility, but I had to follow my fun – blogging passionately – and nudge into fears to do enough creating and connecting to the point where I became skilled and known enough to earn credibility. This is the eBook of mine Eric bought:

How to Find Your Writing Voice

At one point, this was the highest rated eBook in its category, with 59 reviews, almost all 5 star reviews. Why did Eric buy it? Why did it become the highest rated eBook in its category on all of Amazon? I spent thousands of hours writing, gained skills and exposure, earned trust and success flowed to me. No way could I write this eBook 2 weeks into my blogging career. No skills! No exposure! No trust! How could I teach people how to find your writing voice? I could only write 300 words back then before crying in frustration, LOL 🙂 If I could only write 300 unclear, not too confident, words, nobody trusted my writing or blogging skills. Every single blogger you meet struggles through a similar journey as a newbie.

Never overlook the trust factor. Practice your butt off. Create and connect for thousands of hours. Trust will come. Credibility will knock on your cyber door. Steadily earning the trust of more folks accelerates your blogging success and oh yeah, it’s definitely worth it.

 

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How to Deal with the Overwhelm of Blogging Success

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I am no blogging billionaire. Currently.

But some days, as success builds, I feel overwhelmed. How do you devote time and energy to blogging and live a rich life offline too? Do you feel overwhelmed by slow, steadily increasing blogging success? Even though experiencing success feels good, the increased responsibility may feel daunting. I love my gig. But in moments, I fear being up until 1 AM to complete my work day.

Follow these tips to deal with the overwhelm of blogging success.

1: Address the Overwhelmed Feeling as Being Fear

Feeling overwhelmed is fear, plain and simple. Feel the fear. Fear passes. Overwhelm vanishes.

All successful business owners need face, feel and release fears to accelerate their growth. Every successful blogger faces, feels and releases overwhelmed emotions to proceed from a calm, abundant energy. Face your fears. Feel and release overwhelm to proceed from a calm, peaceful energy.

2: Trade Overwhelm for Gratitude

Change your perspective. Trade the overwhelmed feeling for a feeling of genuine gratitude for money flowing freely to you. Even if you love your gig, taking on increased responsibility feels uncomfortable sometimes. But receiving more and more money for your increased responsibility frees you from financial stresses like worrying about paying bills. Dwell on gratitude. Overwhelm dies quickly in an appreciative environment. Making more money and largely enjoying the ride feels fun, good and freeing. Remember this any time overwhelmed, swamped emotions flood your mind.

3: Ask for Help

Hire someone to help with specific blogging tasks. Outsource. Hand off certain tasks to free up your schedule. Reduce overwhelm by hiring someone to help you or by coming to a mutually beneficial agreement which lessens your blogging load. Hire experts to help you in your business. Outsource intelligently to relax, to leverage and to let go the feeling of being completely burned out with your blogging business duties.

 4: Simplify Your Interactions

A few folks pitched me sponsored post opportunities today. I responded with 2 sentences. I used approximately 9 words and 8 seconds to respond to each email. Release overwhelm by simplifying interactions. Seven figure bloggers sometimes respond only to 1 or 2 sentence emails. Pros often respond with 1-2 words. Otherwise, pros become completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of business opportunities flowing to their inbox daily. Use a few words to make your point and to dissolve the swamped feeling plaguing successful bloggers.

5: Reduce Interactions

Iconic, fictitious trader Gordon Gekko said in the movie Wall Street: “100 deals cross my desk every day. I choose one.”

As the sponsored post pitches, partnership pitches and overall work volume builds, you need to physically respond to only a small handful of engagements daily to leverage, to keep increasing your traffic and to keep increasing your blogging profits. No highly successful bloggers responds to 1000 plus interactions daily through email, Twitter and Facebook because you need to give most of your time, attention and energy to creating content and building bonds versus desperately trying to respond to every retweet, at least if you want your blogging business to keep growing.

Surrender. After responding to a handful of emails and retweets, let everything else go, to focus your attention and energy on what brings the greatest scale, what benefits the most people and what benefits your blogging business. Tony Robbins gives most of his attention and energy to inspiring millions through live seminars, through doing TV interviews and by writing books; he ain’t responding individually to 5000 emails daily. Be 100% committed to your blog and business growth by giving your time and energy to what matters most.

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