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12 Days of Blogging

Free Ebook Featuring 100+ Bloggers!

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I promised it to you – and here it is: The 12 Days of Blogging 2010 in ebook format. During the 12 Days of Blogging series, I featured over 100 bloggers who gave us advice on everything from writing posts to time management to recording podcasts. There’s a little something for everyone in this series! Learn from some of the Internet’s favorite bloggers such as:

  • Chris Brogan
  • John Chow
  • Darren Rowse
  • Chris Garrett
  • Scott Stratten
  • Brian Solis

But also meet rising stars in the blogging world and people from outside the make-money-blogging niche such as:

  • Annabel Candy
  • Srini Rao
  • Catherine Caine
  • Adam Baker
  • Ann Smarty
  • Marian Schembari

And way, way, way too many others to list!

Of course, most of you were probably super busy during the holidays, so instead of having to go back and find the links you want, you can just download this ebook and have the entire things at your fingertips, whenever you want it.

The 12 Days of Blogging is completely free – no email address required, no cost, no restrictions. All I ask is that if you enjoyed this series, please pass it on so that others can enjoy it too – hit the retweet button, “like” this post on Facebook, write a blog post about it, send it out to your mailing list, or just tell a friend as you’re chatting over coffee. If you know someone who might benefit from this ebook, pass it on, keeping the spirit of community alive and well.

It won’t be perfect. A compilation this huge never is. In my hurry to get it to you as soon as humanly possible, I’m sure there are some Is left undotted and some Ts left uncrossed. I hope you find it valuable regardless – I know that I’ve found it extremely valuable to read posts from some of the best bloggers in the world.

Thank you so much for being a part of the BlogWorld community in 2010. I can’t wait to see what you all do in the coming year, and I hope I’ll get to meet you in person this fall at BlogWorld Expo 2011!

Click Here to Download 12 Days of Blogging Now!

(This is a pdf document that you can download directly to your computer. If it opens for you in Scribd, click on the first arrow on the task bar at the upper right-hand corner, which says “open in new window” when you hover over it. From that screen, you can save or print like normal. Or, you can view fullscreen to read the ebook online if you don’t want to download it to your computer!)

12 Days of Blogging 2010: 2 Ethics Debates

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In blogging and new media, not everything is black or white. That’s partially because the industry is still brand new so we don’t have the kinks worked out yet…and partially because life is shades of gray, my friends. It always will be. Today, for the 12 Days of Blogging, I wanted to highlight two important ethics conundrums in the blogging and new media world. I’m definitely interested to hear your opinions on both! Like with the rest of this series, I’m featuring two bloggers who have written on these topics as a starting point for talking about these debates.

1. Do Hoaxes and Fear Tactics have a Place in Social Media? by Dave Kramer at The Writer’s Bloc

This first post chronicles the story of an alleged publicity stunt by Good Old Games (GOG), a company that allows you to purchase and play classic video games on your PC. Someone from GOG tweeted about the difficulties in running their type of business, and while this tweet went largely unnoticed, two days later, the store front on the site was gone. When people checked Twitter for an explanation, this was of course one of the last tweets they saw from the company. The company used careful wording in their statements to make it sound like like they were shutting down, and people were really upset (it’s a beloved service for gamers). Turns out, the “business and technical reasons” that shut them down were really them moving the site out of beta for a full launch. They just wanted to generate buzz. From Dave’s post:

GOG.com seems to have generated the buzz it wanted and even earned back some customers’ trust with the addition of two popular classic games and a large sale on “favorites.” Time will tell if the stunt hurts them or served its intended purpose.

But as a social media manager who aims to understand customer needs and perspectives and strives for transparency in communications, I have to wonder if hoaxes and stunts that anger customers are ever a good risk.

I don’t like that they deceived their users (paying users, not even just readers) in order to generate buzz. At the same time…it worked. They reported 20 times their normal traffic when they brought the site back up. So, although they lost some fans, they also made sales.

In addition, some people liked the stunt. A lot of people were upset, but when the stunt was revealed, a lot of people applauded them for doing something unique.

Is it ever okay to deceive your audience? More importantly, is it ok to do it for the sake of sales?

Check out The Writer’s Bloc to read the full story and follow the site on Twitter @TheWritersBloc.

2. My heart grew three sizes and now I have an enlarged heart. WORTH IT by Jenny Lawson at The Bloggess

I’m highlighting this post not because I think there’s anything in it to debate, but because it does bring up a few questions about what could (and does) happen when it comes to blogging and charity. I don’t think there’s any debating that what happened this weekend at The Bloggess was anything less than amazing. She offered to donate some gift cards to the first 20 people who were having a hard time paying for gifts for their kids this year. Over 20 people replied, and she realized that she couldn’t allow those comments to go unanswered…but at the same time, that had the potential to snowball really quickly into a free-for-all.

An amazing thing happened. Strangers began stepping up, offering to help as well. Soon, in a donor-matching frenzy, small gifts of cash, gift cards, and items were being sent all over the world. At final count, 698 strangers stepped up to send money to 450 people in need totaling over $40,000. Forty. Thousand. Dollars. From the post:

No large corporations got involved.  No one only offered to donate if they got something out of it themselves.  With no sponsorships, no ulterior motives and with only a simple need to reach out and help a perfect stranger, 689 everyday, normal people (Jewish, Christians, Atheists, Muslims and more) sent out over $40,000 worth of donations to make sure Christmas came.

You did this.

I am completely overwhelmed by everyone in the blogging community. That was awesome.

So where does the debate part come in?

What Jenny did at her site was amazing, but I’ve seen “charity posts” that are…less than amazing. In fact, I see posts that rub me the wrong way sometimes.

Back before BlogWorld, I had a family emergency that drained my finances, and I couldn’t have made it to Vegas if not for the generosity of some awesome people who contributed to replenish that source of money. Writing that post was humbling. It’s never fun to ask for money for others, let alone for ourselves.

Some bloggers go overboard.

If you constantly have to ask your readership for donations, perhaps you should rethink the way you monotize or your monthly budget. Worse yet, I’ve seen people ask for donations for frivolous things, such as wanting to purchase a new iPad. If your computer crashes and you don’t know how you’ll keep your blog up and running without the support of your community, please ask us for help. If you want to vacation in the Caribbean this winter…how about you do something about it instead of asking for donations? Yes, I will purchase consulting or your ebook to add to your vacation fund – but “donation” implies need, in my mind. Do you really need to fly first class instead of coach?

I talked about this with my roommate a few months ago, and he brought up an interesting point, however. If that blogger’s community is willing to support them, then who am I to say that they shouldn’t ask for donations? I suppose that’s a good argument. Its not as though they’re asking for donations for the needy and then pocketing the cash or pretending to be in need when they really just don’t want to dip into their savings account. If you’re upfront with your readers, is it okay to ask for frivolous things?I don’t know that I have an answer to this debate either.

Let me reiterate again that I don’t think there’s anything at all wrong with what happened at The Bloggess this past week. That’s an example of everything right in the world. I just wonder about the legitimacy when you take need out of the equation and request money for yourself instead.

Oh, and back to the original post I highlighted – check out more from ever-awesome Jenny Lawson at The Bloggess and follow her on Twitter @TheBloggess.

Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:

12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)

12 Days of Blogging 2010: 6 Launchers Launching

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Earlier in the 12 Days of Blogging series, I gave you 8 Affiliates Selling – and while it is awesome to make money promoting products that your readers can use, it’s even better to promote your own products! Most bloggers start by launching some kind of informational product, like an ebook or video course, but you could also sell tangible products or even work with publisher to launch a print book.

So, today, I’m going to talk about launching. Or, more correctly, a bunch of really brilliant bloggers are going to talk about launching and I’m going to give up a little commentary while letting them shine.

Remember, if you’ve written a post about launching a product (or launching a website), leave a comment with your link!

1. 7 Things You MUST Do To Make Your Product Launch Easier by Dave Navarro at The Launch Coach

When it comes to launching Dave Navarro is pretty much a one-stop shop for all the information you need to know about launching a product. along with a ton of posts worth reading, he has four free workbooks available for download, as well as a paid ebook called How to Launch the **** Out of Your Ebook, which has gotten glowing reviews from Darren Rowse of Problogger, Michael Martine of Remarkablogger, and more. I chose this post to highlight because it’s a good place to start. From the post:

Sure, launching can lead to a pretty sweet spike in sales, but it isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. Ask anyone who’s run a successful launch, and they’ll be sure to tell you “Damn, I’m glad that’s over.”  Again, the money is good, but it’s like running a marathon – you don’t come out the other end without being drenched in sweat.

But, just like a marathon, it isn’t impossible – as long as you put your “training time” in up front.

This post goes on to list the lessons he’s learned as a launcher. You can read more at The Launch Coach and follow Dave on Twitter @RockYourDay.

UPDATE: Since writing this post, there have been reports of people being unhappy with Dave’s business and personal choices, so do your research before hiring or working with him. I have personally never worked with Dave, nor do I know him personally, so I cannot speak about these matters.

2. How to Suck at Launching a Product by Adam Baker at Man Vs. Debt

I love this post because it makes me feel like my own failures are not so stupid. Launching a product is hard. Hard. Adam Baker’s post teaches readers about the mistakes he made – as well as some of the things he did right. It’s a post with a lot of meat, and totally worth reading if you intend to launch a product. From the post:

I’ve failed.

I set a big, perfectly attainable goal for my business.  I worked hard, but not smart.  And I failed.  I fell short.  I came up way short, actually.

Most of you know that two weeks ago I launched my second premium product, Sell Your Crap. I’ve talked a lot about it recently, so I won’t be going into specific details regarding the product again here.

What most of you don’t know (unless you are in my inner circle) was my goal for the launch. My goal was to sell 200 copies in the first two weeks.  I wanted to break $10,000 gross in that time frame. For some of you that may seem really high.  Others may think thats low.  That’s cool, but I will let you know that those number are completely reasonable.  Meaning not impossible, not automatic.  Reasonable.

Well, I failed.

To read more, head to Man Vs. Debt, and follow Baker on Twitter @ManVsDebt.

3. How to Launch When You’re Not Really Here by Elizabeth Potts Weinstein at Live Your Truth

Earlier this year, Elizabeth’s family went through a difficult time when her daughter had some serious medical problems. Since she didn’t have time to do a huge launch, but still wanted to make some money, EPW did a smaller launch – and this post gives her best tips on making such a launch successful. From the post:

Yesterday I finally got through 2 months of email. I’ve been contacting coaching clients to set up their calls. Delivering more content to Build Your Tribe. Writing new blog posts and making videos. Finishing up an ebook & putting it on sale.

And finally, next week (Aug 31 – Sept 2) I’m launching something – Live Your Truth on Video. (Because dude, this isn’t a non-profit.)

But since I don’t have the time or capacity to do the big huge launch, I’m having to be a bit more strategic about this one.

I highly recommend checking out the rest of Live Your Truth and connecting with Elizabeth on Twitter @ElizabethPW.

4. How I Write Sales Pages by Catherine Caine at Be Awesome Online

During BlogWorld 2010, I had the pleasure of meeting Catherine Caine from Be Awesome Online and her relatively new site Cash and Joy. In this post, she talks about something that super important to any product launch you do – writing the sales page. Everyone has their own special formula for sales pages, so after checking out Catherine’s post, check out a few other sales letters out there and then mash it all together to come up with your own perfect version. From Catherine’s post:

There are two layers to a sales page. Underneath is the structure, which is important – and dull.

On top is your voice, which is where things get awesome.

The structure matters in the sales page, and when you’re getting that to flow your writing will likely be dull.You’re ticking all the boxes.

Read more and show Catherine some love at Be Awesome Online and follow her on Twitter @CatherineCaine.

5. Etsy Success: Launching a Product Line by Danielle on Etsy’s The Storque

Like I mentioned before, not every product launch if an informational product like an ebook. This post focuses more on physical items, and although it is specific to selling on Etsy, it has some good advice for anyone interested in launching a product line. From the post:

I’ve seen many now very successful sellers launch a creative, cohesive product line and a full-time business all in the same go; it’s a great place to start. Composing a balanced line of work can get you thinking about target markets, your brand aesthetic, packaging and making a plan to get the press you deserve. I asked Etsy sellers for their top tips on creating a product line; let’s see what they came up with…

Check out more from the Etsy blog and follow the company on Twitter @etsy. You can also check out Danielle’s Etsy shop to support the author!

6. 7 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Business by Maren Kate at Escaping the 9 to 5

Maren was another person I got to meet at BlogWorld 2010, and my initial reaction upon checking out her site when I got home was, “Holy crap. How did I not know this existed?!?!” Maren writes about using virtual assistants, owning your own business, staying motivated to ditch the 9 to 5, and more – and I wanted to end today’s list with this post because it’s something every would-be blogger out there needs to read. If you’re going to start a blog with the hope of making money from it, your blog is a business. And starting a business is hard. Writes Maren:

Today Virtual Zeta is live! After months of hard work & determination my baby was finally born into the world wide web and I couldn’t be more excited, or scared!So today’s post is not just to announce Virtual Zeta, a site that will connect you with the perfect virtual assistant to fit your needs (guaranteed!), but also to help anyone out who wants to start a business by outlining the 7 things you should know beforehand that will save you a lot of headache & hopefully make your business a lot more profitable!

Head to Escaping the 9 to 5 for more career and business advice, and make sure to check out Maren on Twitter @MarenKate.

A huge thank you to all the bloggers who’ve written such great posts about launching! Remember, if you’ve covered this topic, leave your link in the comments section so we can all learn from you – and don’t forget to hit the like/retweet button to pass on the love for all of these awesome bloggers!

Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:

12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)

 

12 Days of Blogging 2010: 10 Guests a-Posting

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One of the tips that has been driven into my head over the past few months is the importance of guest posting. It’s a great way to promote your blog while also building relationships with other bloggers. Guest posting is an art, though. I’ve seen some guest post attempts that are downright laughable! It isn’t because the writer stinks (though that can be a problem) – it is just a matter of not understanding how to write a successful guest post.

Guest posting is something I want to do more in the coming months, and I’m even going to start taking guest posts at After Graduation. So, this round up, which is part of the 12 Days of Blogging 2010, is a little self-indulgent! I’ve enjoyed reading these posts to prepare for the guest posting I intend to do; I hope you find some value in them too.

1. Guest Blogging: Tips, Advice, and Best Practices by Bill Hazelton at Sell It! on the Web

What I like about Bill’s post on guest posting is that it is a complete resource for those who want to get started with this technique. He gives you tips for finding guest positing opportunities, advice on staying organized so you keep track of your guest post locations, and an example of how to introduce yourself to other bloggers. From the post:

All you have to do is write an original, compelling article on a subject that fits within your guest host’s topic of interest.  Easy enough, right?  Well, there’s a bit more to it than just that and in this article, I’m going to provide some of the most important tips and “best practices” on guest posting for both the beginner as well as the advanced internet marketer.

Bill’s site, Sell It!, is a great resource for tips on starting your own e-commerce site, and don’t forget to check him out on Twitter @billhazelton.

2.Guest Posts: Are You Writing Them? Are You Accepting Them? by Virginia DeBolt at BlogHer

Virginia’s post for BlogHer (where she’s written over 400 posts!) is interesting in that it isn’t some kind of expert kind – it is a discussion. Scroll down to read the comments, because there are some interesting perspectives there not just on how you can be a guest poster, but also on how to host guest posts on your own blog. Writes Virginia,

It makes perfect sense for big sites like ProBlogger and ReadWriteWeb to want guest posts. The more good content you have, the better off you are. But what about small niche blogs that are essentially a one-person operation? Can guest posts benefit the little guys, too?

In addition to blogging with BlogHer, Virginia can also be found at First 50 Words, where she gives readers writing prompts to help them practice their writing skills, and Web Teacher, a blog about teaching/learning web development. Her Twitter ID is @vdebolt, and you can also follow the BlogHer Twitter account @blogher.

3. Successful Guest Posting Strategy in One, Two, Three by Ann Smarty at Blogussion

In a weird coincidence with this the title, there are three things I love about this post. One, it’s actually written by a guest poster (how meta is that). Two, the advice is spot-on (kind of a given for me to be talking about it here, haha). Three – Blogussion was started by two high school kids and features writing largely by a young audience – some even as young as 13. Essentially, it’s a community that I wish I would have had when I was that age – like minded, goal-orientated writers who want to share their experiences with one another so that everyone learns.

Bravo.

Anyway, Ann writes,

Guest posting is probably one of the most unappreciated forms of marketing that I can think of. If you can use the proper strategies and have your mind set towards creating a quality guest post – you will be rewarded for it.

Because really, only the passionate bloggers guest post. The benefits are plenty and lack of time is no excuse, however, it is something that many bloggers just can’t get around to doing.

Check out the Blogussion blog for the full post, and follow them on Twitter @blogussion. You can find Ann at SEO Smarty and follow her on Twitter @seosmarty. Oh, and she also runs the fabulous MyBlogGuest which is, in my opinion, hands down the best way to find guest posting opportunities quickly, whether you want to guest post elsewhere or want to find posters for your own blog.

4.Guest Posting Sucks! No Wait, It Rocks! Well Heres My Policy. by Gabriele Maidecchi at Esimple Studios Blog

I’m a fan of guest posting, but I know some bloggers who absolutely will not accept them and others who absolutely will not write them. I think there are valid argument for both of these arguments. In this post, Gabriele talks about her personal guest post policy, which I find really helpful in creating my own. Guest posting may not be for you (at least not all of the time). From the post:

To guest post or not to guest post? This dilemma is following me since a while, and I really haven’t wrapped my mind around it in a definitive way.

While some people think it’s a very awesome way to get your name out and gain more traffic and readers, some others tried it and decided it’s not as good as they say it is.

In the end, I believe it’s pretty much a matter of just trying and deciding whether it suits your needs or not.

Check out Esimple Studios for the rest of the post and follow her on Twitter @esimplestudios.

5. Be Yourself When Writing Guest Posts by Nasrul Hanis at Guest Posting Tips

Guest Posting Tips is an entire blog devoted to the topic of guest post. The post I chose to highlight here isn’t long or life-changing – but it is one that is super important to keep in mind. The whole reason you guest post is to make new connections, so make sure you’re introducing yourself as you, not just writing free posts for the other blogger. Writes Nasrul,

Some writers might think their articles will be regarded as low-class articles if they maintain their own styles of writing. NO. Being somebody else is not the solution to expose yourself. And even your article had pulled a lot of comments and feedback, you can’t be proud of it as it is not you in the article.

Check out Guest Posting Tips for more topics on this subject and find Nasrul on Twitter @bloggerdaily.

6. The Five Unwritten Rules of Guest Posting on Blogs by Danny Brown

If you only read one post about guest-blogging, read this one. Danny Brown writes,

If you’re a blogger, you may have been asked to write a guest post by another blogger.

Or, you might have offered a guest post yourself to a blogger you admire.

Either way, writing a guest post opens you up to a whole new audience and can increase your own readership into the bargain.

Blog readers that may never have heard of you otherwise now have their eyes on you.

Add to that the credence that comes with someone else thinking enough of you to have you on their blog, and a guest post is a pretty big thing.

The advice he gives in this post is just…awesome. So awesome that I’m not going to dilute it with a ton of my own comments here. Just go to Danny’s blog and read it already! Oh, and you can find him on Twitter @dannybrown.

7. 4 Ways to Increase the Chances Your Guest Post Submission Will Get Accepted by Bamboo Forest at Blogging Teacher

This is another guest post about guest posts. I’m a total geek and love that! We’ve all been in this situation, too – facing rejection. In a guest posting situation, it often sucks because you’ve already written the post, which may not fit well with another site. Bamboo Forest’s post helps decrease the chances of that happening. From the post:

Imagine a beautiful girl walks your way.  As she approaches, she begins to smile, and the first thing you notice is a big piece of purple fruit loop stuck between her teeth.

The above might be a game changer, you know?

When submitting a guest post, it’s vital you fulfill a certain criteria otherwise the publisher receiving it may lose patience and reject it even if it’s quality. This is particularly true with larger blogs that receive endless submissions.

Check out Blogging Teacher for the rest of the post, as well as more great bloggin tips from Paul Cunningham (@paulcunningham on Twitter). you can normally find Bamboo Forest blogging at Tick Tock Timer and Pun Intended or on Twitter @bambooforest.

8. Top Blogs: Do They Accept Guest Posts? by Thursday Bram Hyper Modern Writing

I have a confession to make. I’ve had a blogger-crush on Thursday since…gee, probably since I wrote for b5media. That’s a long time, yeesh. Thursday is one of those bloggers that pops up just about everywhere, with Hyper Modern Writing being her web content writing blog for freelancers. What I like about this post is that she not only writes about finding guest posting opportunities with some of the top bloggers out there, but she also covers the idea of getting paid to be a guest poster. Writes Thursday,

Here’s a secret: The grand majority of top blogs will accept a submission. There’s a secondary question that can be equally important if you’re trying to earn a living online, though: do those blogs pay for submissions?

To learn more about making money as a guest post writer, check out Hyper Modern Writing. You can also find Thursday at ThursdayBram.com, at Constructively Productive, and on Twitter @thursdayb.

9. Guest Posting on Top Blogs by Annabel Candy at Get in the Hot Spot

Like Thursday, Annabel is a blogger that I keep seeing pop up everywhere online. She’s been a guest poster on Problogger, Dumb Little Man, Zen Habits, and more, so she’s overly qualified to give advice on guest posting for top bloggers. In this post, Annabel talks about the advantages of guest posting, finding the right blog for your post, scoring the posting spot, and more. From the post:

I bet if I said I could get you a free advertising deal which put your brand or blog in front of your target audience you’d be more interested.

Well, with blogging giving away your best writing and getting free advertising are the same thing ~ it’s called guest posting. You just need to change your mentality and stop thinking of guest posting as giving away your best work and start thinking of it as free prime time advertising. It’s definitely worth giving away your best blog posts because one guest post on a top blog like Zen Habits or Problogger may send a few thousand new readers your way.

Get out Get in the Hot Spot for more from Annabel, and find her on Twitter @getinthehotspot.

10. How to Get A-List Bloggers to Accept Your Guest Posts from John Chow

Want advice straight from the horse’s mouth? This is the post you need. Not that I’m calling John Chow a horse. He just has one of the most popular blogs out there, and one that gives tons of readers the chance to guest post every month. At the same time, he gets tons of guest posts every month, probably more than anyone could ever publish, so his tips can help you learn specifically how to get accepted on his blog, and on other really popular blogs. Writes John,

Getting your post onto an A-List blog is one of the best ways to boost your traffic and increase your credibility. It’s also one of the best, if not the best, no cost promotion idea. Here’s a few tips to improve your chances of having a big name blog accept your guest post.

For the full post, as well as tons of tips to help you make money online, head to JohnChow.com – and don’t forget to check him out on Twitter @JohnChow.

And now, an additional treat for you all – I’m going to highlight some awesome real-life guest posts from around the web! If you’re looking for some examples of high-quality guest posting action, these are prime samples. They’re not about guest posting, but rather about other topics that fit both the host and the writer well. When a blog and guest team up successfully, it’s always a little piece of web magic, in my opinion!

I think that’s an appropriate way to end the list, don’t you? Of course, the guest posting list doesn’t really have to end there – today, I’d like to invite you to not only share your favorite posts about guest post, but to also share guest posts you’ve done on other sites or guest posts people have done on you site – no matter what the topic. Go ahead; brag a little! Give us some awesome examples of what a guest post should be.

Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:

12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)

12 Days of Blogging 2010: 11 Tweeters Tweeting

Author:

It’s Day 2 of the the 12 Days of Blogging 2010, and today we have a subject that is near and dear to my heart – Twitter! While I know others disagree, Twitter is hands down my favorite social media platform, and today’s list features 11 bloggers who have shared some awesome tips to help you make the most of this network. Remember, if you’ve written about this topic, please feel free to add your post’s link at the end via a comment!

Yes, links are highly encouraged in this series – please share so your knowledge can help us all! Just make sure they’re relevant to the topic!

1. Should You Be On Twitter? by Erika Napoletano at Redhead Writing

Of course you should be on Twitter. Right? What the hell could somebody spend an entire post talking about when it comes to that question?

There’s a reason this post, by the fabulous redhead Erika Napoletano, is first on today’s list. Not everyone needs to be on Twitter. In fact, some people are better staying away from the platform. From Erika’s post:

Social media requires a strategy, whether you’re Suzy Sunshine looking to find fellow knitting fans or Bob the Business Owner seeking new customers.

Ask yourself right now: why are YOU on Twitter?

I research, compile and present social media strategies to a wide range of businesses throughout the year and I always enter each research stage with one assumption: this business should NOT be on Twitter. That is, unless I find evidence to the contrary.

Should you be on Twitter? To find out and read more posts, visit Erika at Redhead Writing, where she talks about online strategies. You can also follow her on Twitter @RedheadWriting.

2. Mannequin Networking – Why Twitter Automation is Bad by Scott Stratten at UnMarketing

Whenever you talk about Twitter, you have to mention Scott. I’m pretty sure it’s a law, at least in Canada. I’m also pretty sure that if you put “un-” before a word, you have to send Scott a dollar, so I’m going to refrain from calling this an un-link or un-recommendation. But I digress. This post on UnMarketing pretty much sums up Scott’s core philosophy on Twitter – it’s about engaging, not about a plastic sales pitch. From the post:

Automating tweets is like sending a mannequin to a networking event. Stick a post-it note on it, and roll it in, to multiple events around the world! Think of all the Chamber of Commerce mixers you could cover! Different time zones! Let the relationships windfall begin!!! Boooyaa!!!

You can’t deny it – it’s a good use of the term boooyaa. I like the triple o action. Beyond the word choice, though, there’s something else you can’t deny – Scott is undoubtedly one of the best tweeters out there, and this post is just scratching the surface. So, check out his entire site, UnMarketing, for more tips and follow him on Twitter @unmarketing.

3. My Opinion on Ads on Twitter [or Sponsored Tweets] by Darren Rowse at TwiTip

Ok, this post *technically* breaks my rules, since it’s from 2009, but it’s too good not to include – it’s about the highly controversial practice of collecting money through sponsored tweets. Also, it’s from Darren Rowse, so definitely worth breaking the rules. You may know Darren best from Problogger, but he also runs TwiTip, which is completely dedicated to Twitter and features tons of guests posts every month. This specific post is great for those considering sponsored tweets. Writes Darren:

A number of people have asked me recently what I think about running advertising in Twitter streams.

Should it be done or avoided? What impact might it have on you as a Twitter user if you do run them? Are there times you should and shouldn’t use ads to monetize your Twitter account?

My opinion is pretty simple. I know no everyone will agree but it’s probably somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of opinions on the topic. Some argue that Ads should never be used on Twitter – others argue that you should monetize your account in any way you can.

Darren’s post gives a good overview of the debate and some smart advice for tweeters considering this money-making technique. Check out more Twitter tips at TwiTip and follow Darren on Twitter @problogger.

4. Using Twitter Search to Help People by Marian Schembari

I absolutely love this Twitter tip from Marian Schembari. Love. We’re talking chocolate cake level love here, people. If you’re trying to build you blog, using Twitter’s search function to find new readers is super smart – and Marian gives readers a really good rundown of how to do it successfully. From the post:

Unless you really hone in on search terms, you get bombarded with a lot of spam, retweets, completely irrelevant tweets and messages in other languages. So you have to target people by language. Click on “Advanced Search” and choose “Written in” and then the language of your choice. You can also specify location, hashtag, specific users, dates, links, even “attitude.”

Convinced that you need to learn more about Twitter search as a tool to help you grow your readership? Head to Marian’s blog to read the full post. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter @MarianSchembari.

5. 10 Steps to Creating a Successful Twitter Chat by Mack Collier

Mack Collier first came on my radar a few months ago when I finally caved in and decided to see what this whole #blogchat thing was about – people were clogging my Twitter stream with it, but in a good way, since they were helpful comments. My God. #Blogchat, which Mack runs every Sunday evening, has become a guilty pleasure of mine, and I even blog about the best tweets here on the BWE blog every week. There’s no official counter, but #blogchat is one of the largest if not the largest chats on the platform. Mack’s post on Twitter chats can help you learn how to run a successful chat of your own. From the post:

It’s definitely been a labor of love for me, and I am a HUGE proponent of Twitter chats.  So I wanted to write down the ten steps I’ve taken to build #blogchat up into the success it has become.  I would hope you can use this advice to start your OWN successful Twitter chat.

You can start a Twitter chat on just about any topic under the sun, so it doesn’t matter what your blog is about – this post is for you. Check out Mack’s blog for more social media tips and follow him on Twitter @MackCollier, especially on Sunday nights when he hosts #blogchat.

6. Hot Chicks Are Always Going To Have More Twitter Followers Than You by Robb Sutton at Blogging Labs

At first, the goofy title of this post just made me laugh…but when I took some time to read it, wow, Robb is right on the money with this one, in my opinion. It’s all about quality, not quantity when it comes to Twitter (and social media in general). Writes Robb:

You see it all the time. Some hot chick avatar has 75,000+ followers but they are following 82,000+ and you say to yourself, “man…I wish I had that many followers. I am going to do whatever I can to get them.” I am here to tell you that you should much rather have your 1,000 or even 100 followers rather than their 75,000+ that they spam on a regular basis.

You can check out more from Robb at Blogging Labs and follow him on Twitter @robbsutton.

7. Art of Retweets: Top 10 Ways To Improve Your ReTweetability by Ana Hoffman at Traffic Generation Cafe

Why do some blog posts get retweeted a ton while others fall flat? It isn’t just about getting someone with a lot of followers to retweet you (though that certainly helps). In this post, Ana talks about some of the easy ways you can improve your tweeted links so that they’re more likely to be retweeted. From the post:

Retweeting is a great way to share information and ideas, as well as bring a nice flood of social media targeted website traffic.

When you retweet someone, you show that you think enough of what they have written to share it with your followers and by doing that, increase their social media website traffic – one of the ultimate compliments on Twitter.

But how do you get tweeple to retweet your thoughts, pictures, videos?

I absolutely love the tips in this post – it’s a lot of information that I didn’t know about before. You can find more information about driving traffic to your website from Ana at Traffic Generation Cafe, and find her on Twitter @webtrafficcafe.

8. How to get Targeted Twitter Follwers Fast by Kristi Hines at Famous Bloggers

I know Kristi from her own site, Kikolani, where she recently published a massive list of female bloggers, but she also posts at Famous Bloggers, a multi-author site where there’s always an interesting discussion going on. Usually, I’m not a fan of anything that says social media is “fast” or “easy,” but as always, Kristi delivers in this post with some awesome tips that really do make finding a targeted following quicker. Writes Kristi,

When starting out on Twitter, one of the first things that people want to know after they have setup their profile and sent out a few tweets is how to find followers. Not just any followers, but followers who would be interested in what they have to offer.

As you may know, one of the ways to get followers is to start following people in hopes that they will follow you in return. So how do you up the odds that people you follow who are interested in your topic will follow you back?

To find the answer to that question, head to Famous Bloggers for the full post, and don’t forget to follow Kristi on Twitter @kikolani.

9. Protecting Your Private Parts On Facebook, LinkedIn And Twitter by Natalie Sisson at Womanz World

Ok, this post isn’t just about Twitter, but its an important one, so I wanted to make sure it didn’t get lost in the shuffle. As bloggers, we tend to live online, so we often don’t think twice about what we post to social networks. Unfortunately, that can have some bad results. Protect yourself! This post includes all you need to know about adjusting your privacy settings across some of the most popular social networks, Twitter included. Writes Natalie:

Imagine your grandkids doing a search on you in 40 years time and finding those tacky updates about how drunk you were on Saturday and the tagged photos to boot!

Amusement factor aside, privacy is an ongoing concern for all of us as social media sites attempt to access every last detail about us. How do you protect yourself?

Well, when it comes to privacy, it all boils down to using your common sense.

Act as if you don’t have any privacy settings.

It’s an important reminder for all of us to consider how we use Twitter and if that’s the best choice. Head to Womanz World to read more from Natalie and follow her on Twitter @womanzworld.

10. Is Twitter the Ultimate Creation Killer? by Jonathan Fields

Say it isn’t so, Jonathan! Twitter could be bad?!?

Yes, it can be. I think we all get too caught up in social media sometimes. If it is chewing up time and not allowing you to create content, that’s not a good thing! In this post, Jonathan talks about his own struggle and resolution with this balancing act. From the post:

By all rights, I should be doing everything possible to eliminate distractions, to push back against everything that pulls my focus away from my mission, save the other “important” activities and people in my life. But at the same time, I don’t want to abandon my tribes. Both, because I love them, I love engaging with them and I know that they’ll also be important in helping whatever I bring to life succeed.

Seems like a hell of a balancing act.

But, here’s the thing. That may be more illusion than reality.

You don’t have to give up Twitter to create. You just have to find the balancing act that works for you! Head to Jonathan’s blog to read more, and follow him on Twitter @jonathanfields.

11. The Arrogant Bastard’s Guide to Twitter by David Crandall at Heroic Destiny

It seemed fitting to end with this post. Who can’t get behind a complete guide to Twitter as told by a self-proclaimed arrogant bastard? This is a post that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, not just because of the funny title but because everything he says is so true. From the post:

I follow people I like, but lets face it, not all of those people are ones that I constantly want to see their every little thought. I just can’t…neither can you. Don’t feel guilty that you can’t closely interact with hundreds of people at once. No one can. If blaming it on me and saying I’m an arrogant bastard but you like my rules helps, then go for it. I’ll be your arrogant bastard hero for the day.

No amount of gushing that I can do here will live up to this post, so head to Heroic Destiny to read it and other post about David’s  journey to a life of freedom. Oh, and check him out on Twitter @DavidCrandall.

So that’s it for today’s list – some of my favorite posts on Twitter from 2010. I bet you have a good one too, either from you own site or from a site you love to read. Share it in the comments! And don’t forget to hit the retweet button to share the holiday cheer – this series is all about passing around as much information as possible to the entire BlogWorld community!

Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:

12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)

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