Friday, September 24, 2010

Want More Twitter Followers?

When writers see that I have over 21,000 followers on Twitter, they wonder how I got there. It is not complicated but like other things in the writing world, to be successful it will take disciplined and consistent effort. I'm going to show you the direction to go with your own Twitter account.
The best way to get more followers is to follow other people. It sounds simple right? People follow those people who follow them. It's one of the key principles of twitter.
So, you just follow thousands of people and gain your followers? No, it is not that simple. Twitter controls the number of people you can follow during a 24-hour period. The exact number isn't clear but I confess that I've maxed it out several times.
Here's how to find who to follow. Think of your brand and topic. Who is the leading person or persons active on Twitter? You want to find someone who has thousands of followers.
Go to www.twellow.com. This site is like the yellow pages for Twitter and tracks many of the people who have the highest number of followers. The search tool allows you to search for a specific subject. For example, if your area of speciality is parenting. You want to follow the people on twitter with the largest following in this specialty. Often you will find one or two people who have substantially more followers than others in the area. Focus on these few leaders and make note of their twitter names. You will need them in a few minutes with another free tool for Twitter.
First, are you logged on to your Twitter account? Have one of the tabs in your browser open to your twitter account and be logged on to your Twitter account. Now open a new tab in your brower and go to a site called Refollow.com. While I have gotten a lot of use from this site, it has no instructions or help menu. You have to either spend time playing with it or learn how to use it from someone else (which is my purpose in writing this entry).
Use the Secure Login to log on to your Twitter account. You will reach a screen like:

It's asking your permission to log on to your Twitter account and you choose the Allow button. Then you will get to a screen that looks like:

Notice my own profile photo and which shows I'm logged on my own Twitter account? I use Refollow for several different functions. First, I want to follow everyone who is following me (which is a general principle in the twitter community). Focus on the little boxes on the top of the page. I want to check the box which says, "Following Me." Then in the next column, I want to check the box that says, "I'm not Following." I have Refollow "load" my followers. Then all of the people who are following me and I'm not following, will load into the program. I select them, the follow them.
Next I want to Unfollow the people who are not following me. I load all of my followers into the memory of the program and check the boxes at the top of the page which say, "Not Following Me." Then in the next column, "I'm Following." It will show you all of the people who are not following
you. I select all of those followers. It may be several pages of people (depending on when I do it), then I select the Unfollow button--and the program automatically removes everyone of those people.
Finally, I want to proactively follow new
people who are interested in the topic of my tweets. I use my list of people that I made from Twellow. For the top buttons, I want to check these boxes:

Not Following Me
I'm not Following
Never Followed
Not Locked
With Picture (shows an active Twitter user)
Tweeted in the last 3 days (again someone active on Twitter)
In the center area of the screen, I want to select the button, "Users who are following:" then notice the blank spot. Put the user name you found from Twellow into that spot and click the update button. Refollow will load about 100 of the person's followers. Often I will load several hundred of this users followers into the program. Next I select those names using the "select page" button. It adds little check marks to every name selected and totals the names. When I get several hundred, then I click the large yellow "Follow" button. As it performs the function, you will see the followers added to your Twitter account.
At this point I am finished with Refollow and log out of the program and close that tab. About two or three days later, I return to Refollow. I follow the people who are following me and I'm not following. Then I unfollow the people who I'm following and are not following me. Finally I select a user who is a leader in the area where I tweet, load their users into the program and follow several hundred new followers.
There are several cautions using this program. If you are too aggressive and follow too many people and unfollow too many people, then Twitter will notice and possibly suspend your account (which you do not want to happen). Also Twitter controls how many new people you can follow during a 24 hour period. I've maxed out my new followers several times. If that happens, you wait for 24 hours, then you are able to follow new people.
This tool is not a quick fix or way to instantly gain thousands of followers. You are intentionally adding several hundred followers at a time, then returning a couple of days later to see if they have started following your tweets. Through consistent use of these programs, you can increase your followers.
In these last two entries for The Writing Life, I've shown you a proactive way to increase your effectiveness of Twitter. This tool helps you relate to new people in a different way. I like what John Kremer has regularly said about book selling: it is building relationships. You are building relationships in a different way through the consistent use of Twitter.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Expand Your Reach With Twitter

I hear it a lot from other writers. They say, "I understand Facebook but I don't get Twitter. Why should I fool with it?" There are many good reasons.

1. There are over 100 million people on Twitter and more people join every day. I've got a free Ebook about Twitter called Mastering Twitter in 10 Minutes or Less. If you are starting a Twitter account or revising an older account, I would encourage you to use free tools to set up the appearance of your account. For example, add a background using twitrounds. In a few clicks your site can look attractive, branded and professional. Also add your photo and some information about you in the profile settings section.

2. You can brand yourself as an expert in your topic and connect people to your information--if you handle twitter wisely. No one cares that you are eating tacos or mowing your grass. One key is controlling your message. Are you on message with each tweet?

If you think about my twitter, I only talk about writing, publishing, internet marketing and new resources for those purposes. I link to new things I've read or discovered. My tweets are focused--and you can do likewise to attract an audience. Also I encourage you to read this excellent article from Jeff Herring called Three Little Known Twitter Tips.

If you look at my twitter account, I have over 21,000 followers. How did that happen? It did not happen overnight but I've been on twitter for a long time. You gradually increase your followers--if you work at it. I work at constantly increasing my followers.

I turn on the email notifications in my profile. It is in the notices section of Twitter's settings. If someone begins to follow me, I get an email about it. Now you may be thinking that's a lot of email--and it is--but I have several reasons why I review it. Yes it takes a few seconds but I check out each follower to see if I want to be connected to that person. Some people are tweeting in a foreign language (not English). If they are tweeting in another language, then I block them and remove them from my twitter stream. Next I glance at their recent tweets, their photo and their profile. Some people are cursing or promoting something dark and adult-oriented. I block those people as well. In this sense, my followers are "qualified" or the type of people that I want to relate to and reach.

In addition, I send each follower a direct message which lands in their email box that says: "Thanks for following me, ______ (and I insert their name in the blank)! As my gift, please download a free Ebook at: http://www.straighttalkeditor.com" I add their name into this message so they know it came from a real person--not a machine. I offer them a quality gift--if they give me their first name and email address. Through this simple process, every day I'm adding people to my mailing list.

Also you would be surprised at the people I'm able to dialogue with through the little 140 character messages. I'm paying attention to Twitter and it continues to grow and expand.

Finally my tweets are automatically put on Facebook and LinkedIN. If you are not doing this, then look around for the application to add your tweets into these other social networks. You have to make a one-time action to turn on this application and get it working, then of course also you check it from time to time.

I don't want to overwhelm you with the material in this entry. Hopefully you can see that Twitter is a valuable tool for any author in their work to build a brand and a platform. In my next entry, I'm going to show you how to find more followers. Stay tuned.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

What is the best way to promote your book with the least amount of time, energy and money yet with the greatest return (book sales)?

From my years in publishing, there are many different answers to this question. Some people have found great success with one particular strategy, while others promote and encourage authors in a different direction.

While I don't know the answer to my question, I do know where to find the answer. With these types of questions, I've always found it best to turn to experienced experts. When I use "expert," I'm not thinking of someone with a one-time success but someone with years of experience and multiple success stories with many different types of books and authors.

Raleigh R. Pinskey has been promoting books and authors for over 30 years. Her list of authors and projects reads like a whos who of publishing. She promoted the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book and regularly speaks at large conferences on book promotion strategy. More than the experience of working with others, Raleigh has her own success story in this area. Her book, 101 Ways to Promote Yourself, has sold over 100,000 copies.

Next Wednesday, September 22nd, you can hear my interview with Raleigh--and even enter into this process asking your own question. The telewebcast is free. If you can't attend at the exact time, please go ahead and sign up because it will be recorded. Everyone who signs up will receive the replay information. You can sign up at: www.bestbookpromo.com If you don't have a question, that's OK. Just put "no question" when you sign up.

At the confirmation/ thank you page, you will be able to immediately download a free special report: Conquering the Fear of Promotinig Yourself, Taking the Bull by the Horns by Raleigh R. Pinskey. The special report is loaded with advice and wisdom.

Sign up now for this event and I look forward to speaking with you soon on this call.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Why I Updated An Older Ebook

There is an old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Most of the time this saying is true but not always.

Recently I updated and reformatted my most popular free Ebook, Straight Talk from the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection-Proof Submission. About three or four years ago, I wrote this book for the Amazon Short program where short books were sold for 49 cents. For the first six months, I had an exclusive relationship with Amazon per their contrat. After those six months, our relationship changed to non-exclusive. If you aren't familiar with those terms, it means I was released to be able to use the Ebook in other places.

I appreciated the chance to use this ebook other places so I reworked the format and updated my information in the bio of the book and began to give it away to people--in exchange for their first name and email address. I've been using this ebook as a list building device and I've received a lot of positive feedback about the contents of this book.

As a writer, I continue growing and learning about how to make Ebooks. For example, I purchased this inexpensive product called Easy PDF Templates which provides 150 different Ebook templates. One of the great features is the built-in Table of Contents links which allows the reader to go to a particular chapter with a simple click. I've used these templates to make several new ebooks--like the one I gave away in the teleseminar about how authors can make money with books. If you would like to hear this teleseminar and get the free Ebook, you can get it here because it is on replay mode.

With a new Ebook template, I took a fresh look at Straight Talk from the Editor. Since I had not read it for several years, I immediately began doing more than pouring it into a new format. I updated the statistics plus I saw something key that I was missing--application for the reader. I added a section for each chapter in the Ebook called Where The Rubber Meets The Road. I added questions and action items for every reader. Then I relaunched the book with an email to everyone on my mailing list who had requested it. I told them about my revision and sent them a link to download the new version.

Time is an amazing revealer when it comes to writing. As I looked at my entries on The Writing Life. I realized I had a picture of the cover, but no form or information that the Ebook was free. I've changed this element in the last couple of weeks and moved it up toward the top of The Writing Life.

Also I looked at my personal website and it did not offer the Free Ebook to people with an opt-in form (something easy and simple to use).

If you haven't requested this Ebook, I hope you will do so. Then you can see for yourself why I updated it.

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