How To Get Your First 100 Twitter Followers

You already know that if you follow people on Twitter, a portion of those users will follow you back. But is that really the best way to get your first 100 Twitter followers?

It actually isn’t! From running contests and writing guest posts to reaching out to influencers, you can use at least 10 different tactics to grow your follower count.

To show you how you can use each of these tactics and the impact they will have on your account, I’ve created an infographic that details the tactics and ways to implement them.

 

How to Get Your First 100 Twitter Followers

Top 13 ‘Welcome’ Email Ideas

Welcome emails are one of the first key steps to long-term success with email marketing. They build trust, reduce opt-outs, and get sales upfront. Welcome emails typically get three times the clicks and sales as a standard promotional email. They’re also a terrific way to get ready for Christmas, which will be only 114 days away as of September 1.

The best part of welcome emails is how easy they are to set up. A few hours invested in a welcome email will immediately put you ahead of half your competitors because only about 50 percent of websites even bother to send a welcome email.

You can, of course, send a series of welcome emails, which is a good idea. But if that seems like too much work, have no fear – even a simple welcome email can deliver nice results. So here’s how to do that.

25 Outstanding Content Marketing Tools [Infographic]

Content Marketing helps brands interact, connect and acquire customers by creating and publishing a wide variety of content throughout the web.

Whether it is an eBook, a blog or a simple infographic, every piece of content acts as a promoter of your brand and thus, with each content you create, you build an army for yourself.

But then again, you are not alone!

There are others doing the same thing as well. And you need to be BETTER than the rest.

That’s why we have come up with this infographic where you come to know about the top 25 content marketing tools for your brand.

Increase Your LinkedIn Engagement By 386% [Infographic]

Have you been involved with LinkedIn lately?

If not, you should do right now.

It amazes me there is so much potential yet to be realized.

And to assist you with that, I have a gift for you…

This infographic from Quick Sprout has some really handy tips for getting involved in LinkedIn.

It includes useful stats like 60% of LinkedIn members are interested in industry insights and posting on weekday mornings will help you to reach more people.

And much, much more. 

Marketing Infographics Rock!

We all know that it’s more fun to look at pretty pictures or watch cool videos than it is to read plain text.

Why is that? Our brains do less work to digest visual content, first of all. And, more compellingly for marketers, visual content drives more traffic and engagement than plain text does.

To show us the data on why visual content and infographics are effective — and why brands can benefit from using infographics in their marketing — check out this infographic by Market Domination Media.

PPC Creatives That Generate Clicks

Everything depends on that click.

Unless you are generating that click, you are not generating any revenue for your business.

And if you are not generating revenue, then what’s the use of being “in business”?

While paid promotion channels are risky avenues, where you tend to lose money if you don’t do it right, it can generate fast results when done right!

…I mean really fast.

So what is right when it comes to Pay Per Click Ads?

Here’s a PDF file that you may want to study not once or twice…a hundred times before you engage in the PPC campaign.

Click on the Full-text option on the right bottom of the file to get a better view…(don’t forget to share it with your friend!)

Become A Good To Great Writer In The Next 1 Month

As author Diane Awerbuck puts it: “…You can’t be a writer without the grim slog of actually getting words down on paper. I think everyone gets irritated with those pretentious, poetry café types who present themselves as writers but somehow never get around to writing anything worthwhile. You can’t just talk the talk; you have to walk the walk.”

Just like great painters apprentice under a master and musicians study their instrument for years before they stand on a stage, most well known writers have studied writing. Every field of expertise requires years of training and development. Writing is no exception.

It was Ernest Hemingway who said: “It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.”

There are, of course, issues around how writing can be taught. Most would agree that sitting in a class absorbing hours of theory is not going to give you the results you want. For instance, studying Beethoven by reading a textbook is not going to help you play ‘The Moonlight Sonata’. You have to practise your craft, over and over. The same goes for writing.

As a writer-in-training, you need a mentor focusing intently on specific writing skills: your sentence lengths, your style, structure, content, and the logic in your writing.

Your teacher needs to point out to you, again and again: “Here you have used dangling participles four times in one paragraph. Get rid of them. You’re using passive voice. Throw in active verbs. Here are five clichés to eliminate.”

If you don’t have a teacher yet, you can start with what the greats have to teach you about writing.

When George Plimpton asked Ernest Hemingway what the best training for an aspiring writer would be in a 1954 interview, Hem replied, “Let’s say that he should go out and hang himself because he finds that writing well is impossibly difficult. Then he should be cut down without mercy and forced by his own self to write as well as he can for the rest of his life. At least he will have the story of the hanging to commence with.”

Here are a few helpful quotes, ideas and insights from some of the expert writers you can start with.

1. PD James: On just sitting down and doing it…

Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.

2. Steven Pressfield: On starting before you’re ready…

[The] Resistance knows that the longer we noodle around “getting ready,” the more time and opportunity we’ll have to sabotage ourselves. Resistance loves it when we hesitate, when we over-prepare. The answer: plunge in.

3. Esther Freud: On finding your routine…

Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.

4. Zadie Smith: On unplugging…

Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.

5. Kurt Vonnegut: On finding a subject…

Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. I am not urging you to write a novel, by the way — although I would not be sorry if you wrote one, provided you genuinely cared about something. A petition to the mayor about a pothole in front of your house or a love letter to the girl next door will do.

6. Maryn McKenna: On keeping your thoughts organized…

Find an organizational scheme for your notes and materials; keep up with it (if you are transcribing sound files or notebooks, don’t let yourself fall behind); and be faithful to it: Don’t obsess over an apparently better scheme that someone else has.  At some point during your work, someone will release what looks like a brilliant piece of software that will solve all your problems. Resist the urge to try it out, whatever it is, unless 1) it is endorsed by people whose working methods you already know to be like your own and 2) you know you can implement it quickly and easily without a lot of backfilling. Reworking organizational schemes is incredibly seductive and a massive timesuck.

7. Bill Wasik: On the importance of having an outline…

Hone your outline and then cling to it as a lifeline. You can adjust it in mid-stream, but don’t try to just write your way into a better structure: think about the right structure and then write to it. Your outline will get you through those periods when you can’t possibly imagine ever finishing the damn thing — at those times, your outline will let you see it as a sequence of manageable 1,000 word sections.

8. Joshua Wolf Shenk: On getting through that first draft…

Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of “Lincoln’s Melancholy” I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly.

9. Sarah Waters: On being disciplined…

Treat writing as a job. Be disciplined. Lots of writers get a bit OCD-ish about this. Graham Greene famously wrote 500 words a day. Jean Plaidy managed 5,000 before lunch, then spent the afternoon answering fan mail. My minimum is 1,000 words a day – which is sometimes easy to achieve, and is sometimes, frankly, like shitting a brick, but I will make myself stay at my desk until I’ve got there, because I know that by doing that I am inching the book forward. Those 1,000 words might well be rubbish – they often are. But then, it is always easier to return to rubbish words at a later date and make them better.

10. Jennifer Egan: On being willing to write badly…

[Be] willing to write really badly. It won’t hurt you to do that. I think there is this fear of writing badly, something primal about it, like: “This bad stuff is coming out of me…” Forget it! Let it float away and the good stuff follows. For me, the bad beginning is just something to build on. It’s no big deal. You have to give yourself permission to do that because you can’t expect to write regularly and always write well. That’s when people get into the habit of waiting for the good moments, and that is where I think writer’s block comes from. Like: It’s not happening. Well, maybe good writing isn’t happening, but let some bad writing happen… When I was writing “The Keep,” my writing was so terrible. It was God-awful. My working title for that first draft was, A Short Bad Novel. I thought: “How can I disappoint?”

11. AL Kennedy: On fear…

Be without fear. This is impossible, but let the small fears drive your rewriting and set aside the large ones until they behave – then use them, maybe even write them. Too much fear and all you’ll get is silence.

12. Will Self: On not looking back…

Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceeding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work which is all in… The edit.

13. Haruki Murakami: On building up your ability to concentrate…

In private correspondence the great mystery writer Raymond Chandler once confessed that even if he didn’t write anything, he made sure he sat down at his desk every single day and concentrated. I understand the purpose behind his doing this. This is the way Chandler gave himself the physical stamina a professional writer needs, quietly strengthening his willpower. This sort of daily training was indispensable to him.

14. Geoff Dyer: On the power of multiple projects…

Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it’s a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It’s only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I always have to feel that I’m bunking off from something.

15. Augusten Burroughs: On who to hang out with…

Don’t hang around with people who are negative and who are not supportive of your writing. Make friends with writers so that you have a community. Hopefully, your community of writer friends will be good and they’ll give you good feedback and good criticism on your writing but really the best way to be a writer is to be a writer.

16. Neil Gaiman: On feedback…

When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

17. Margaret Atwood: On second readers…

You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You’ve been backstage. You’ve seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.

18. Richard Ford: On others’ fame and success…

Try to think of others’ good luck as encouragement to yourself.

19. Helen Dunmore: On when to stop…

Finish the day’s writing when you still want to continue.

20. Hilary Mantel: On getting stuck…

If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.

21. Annie Dillard: On things getting out of control…

A work in progress quickly becomes feral. It reverts to a wild state overnight… it is a lion growing in strength. You must visit it every day and reassert your mastery over it. If you skip a day, you are, quite rightly, afraid to open the door to its room. You enter its room with bravura, holding a chair at the thing and shouting, ‘Simba!’

22. Cory Doctorow: On writing when the going gets tough…

Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.

23. Chinua Achebe: On doing all that you can…

I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it. Just think of the work you’ve set yourself to do, and do it as well as you can. Once you have really done all you can, then you can show it to people. But I find this is increasingly not the case with the younger people. They do a first draft and want somebody to finish it off for them with good advice. So I just maneuver myself out of this. I say, Keep at it. I grew up recognizing that there was nobody to give me any advice and that you do your best and if it’s not good enough, someday you will come to terms with that.

24. Joyce Carol Oates: On persevering…

I have forced myself to begin writing when I’ve been utterly exhausted, when I’ve felt my soul as thin as a playing card, when nothing has seemed worth enduring for another five minutes… and somehow the activity of writing changes everything. Or appears to do so.

25. Anne Enright:On why none of this advice really matters…

The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page.
You see, what most of those famous writers claim is that writing doesn’t have to be hard — not for you, and not for the people who will read what you write. So, if you put in the requisite discipline into your art, you will definitely reach the zenith of success one day.
And to help you with that, Paul Furiga presents you with a solid 28-day plan to help you improve your writing, straight from his mouth!

Week 1

Day 1

Don’t try to write on day one. Here’s a simple exercise to get you started: Close your eyes. Imagine the most critical person who ever read what you wrote. Write that name down on a blank sheet of paper along with whatever hurtful thing that person said that sticks in your mind.

Now, take that paper and do one of the following: Crumple it up, burn it, cut it into a million pieces, feed the office shredder, or use it for target practice. The bottom line: Never let that critic live rent-free in your writer’s brain again. Now let that marinate.

Day 2

Write a list of the top three reasons why you need to write. It could be an obligation (work!), or at the other end of the scale, a passion. Now, write another list of the top three reasons you like to write. That’s it for the day.

Days 3 – 5

Take the list that means the most to you (“need to write” or “want to write”). Each day, write a free-form statement about one of your top three reasons to write from the list.

Week 2

Now that you’ve got a clear sense of why YOU personally need or want to write, it’s time to start getting in shape. If you want to run a marathon, you need a training plan and it’s no less true for writing, regardless of what Bobby Knight says. Success in any physical endeavor requires consistent discipline in executing the training plan. The same is true for writing. This week, focus on developing discipline for your writing.

Day 1

Settle yourself somewhere where you won’t be interrupted. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Write whatever you want about whatever subject comes to mind and go as long as you can. If you can’t make it to 30 minutes, that’s okay — but note it.

Day 2

Rinse and repeat the exercise from Day 1. DO NOT read what you wrote on Day 1 (that’s the rinse part). Start with a clear mind. Again, see how long you can go and note it.

Day 3

Settle yourself in a quiet place. Write the first thing that comes to mind, one sentence ideally, no more than one paragraph. Put it aside.

Day 4

Settle yourself in a quiet place. Pull out what you wrote yesterday. Set your timer. Write on this topic for 30 minutes, straight from what’s in your head. (NO INTERNET SEARCHING!)

Day 5

Review what you wrote on each day. Make an assessment of what you have to say and share with the world, as well as how long your personal constitution will allow you to sit in one place and write. This important information will shape the rest of your training plan.

Week 3

Every person on this planet is a thinker. All of us must communicate to live. And thus, all of us can write. Now, it’s time to build on your personal orientation toward writing. Regardless of where you started on this journey, if you’ve completed the exercises in the first two weeks, you’ve learned a lot about why you want or need to write and what prevents you from writing more (and more happily).

You’ve also learned what great content might be inside of you, and how easy it will be for you to access your brain and turn that content into writing. Here’s your week 3 training plan.

Day 1

Write down five things about your business or organization or passion that you find yourself telling people over and over again. Perhaps it’s something that made you angry, or a fun story about what you do for work, or the most interesting topic you can teach, or a big “aha” moment.

Days 2 – 5

Revisit your list each succeeding day, pick a topic, and write about it for 30 minutes (or as long as your personal constitution will allow you to go).

Week 4 & Beyond

So here’s something we know about all those training and diet plans that have nothing to do with writing: The majority of people give up before they see the true benefit of the training. Gosh, I hope you’re not one of those! If you’re reading this now, you’re either reading to get an overview of the plan, or you really did the work to get here. Get excited: The payoff is right around the corner.

Our training program thus far has been more about learning about you and what you have to say than it’s been about mechanics such as grammar. Really, the mechanics of writing are table stakes. In other words, those elements are to writing as breathing is to living — you can’t have great, successful communication without them. Yet the mistake that far too many of us make is that when we consider our need to write, we focus on the breathing instead of the living.

The goal of our 28-day training program is to get you started on the rhythm of writing what YOU have to say. If you’ve reached the point in your career that you’ve decided you must write about what you do, then you have clearly convinced enough people that you have something to say; that you are, on one level or another, an expert at what you do.

This is what online writing and writing for inbound marketing is all about: Sharing the great thinking and content that is unique to you and what you do, whether you lead a nonprofit, are driving sales in the marketing department of a manufacturing company, or you’re a professional, such as a lawyer.

So here’s your training program for Week Four (and, really, for the rest of your writing life). Instead of daily tasks, let’s list these more as rules to live by. May your writing deliver the results you seek, and I hope to meet you on the broad highway called the internet, liking, retweeting and otherwise sharing the great writing you do. (And if you want a handy guide to writing concepts, check out this glossary of writing terms to help you write like the greats.)

Writing Rules to Live By

Write what you know, and what makes you passionate. Brainstorm. Develop lists of what you MIGHT write about, and pick those that make the most sense at the time. Save the rest for later.

Devote a set amount of time to your writing every week — whatever your body and brain tell you is the right amount of time.

Be consistent in your writing and it will improve over the course of time.

Remember that writing is about advancing you and what you do as a thought leader. Dare to be an expert and share what you really believe.

Don’t let your critics live rent-free in your brain. They aren’t worth your time and if you let them inside, they will infect your thinking and writing, ultimately diminishing your success.

Your readers won’t be able to tell if you are writing because you have to or because you want to. As with any other kind of training, make the effort and be consistent and the results will be there!