The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Engagement

Newbie Blogger

Newbie bloggers, look away now. You don’t need to know this. You’re a babbling brook of sparkling innocence.

That’s a great way to be. Keep those wonder-goggles on for as long as you can.

And as for the rest of us, who have been in this game longer that we’d like to admit?

Experienced bloggers and business owners always have a ton to say to newbies. We like to believe we know it all. We’ve conquered the jungle, earned our stripes.

But maybe, just maybe, we can learn a thing or two from newbie bloggers.

What do newbie bloggers know that’s all too easy to forget once you’ve been fighting in the ring for a while?

(I know, I know, you weren’t born yesterday. Neither was I. Stay with me on this one).

Getting Ahead Isn’t Everything

Yes, if you’re a business owner, it’s vital that your business survives and even thrives.

But you don’t need to be at the head of the pack to do good work.

It’s good to do things for sheer, unadulterated joy. Follow your heart. Drop your ulterior motives and just have fun.

Instead of creating content to draw a crowd, write something that makes your heart sing. Do it because it makes you feel alive.

I don’t know about you, but feeling alive is way more important than having a piece of content go viral. (Although that feels pretty good, too.)

People Are Made of Stardust

The good folks over at the Institute of Physics confirm that stardust is what we’re all made of, saying, “It sounds like a line from a poem, but there is some solid science behind this statement” (perhaps not realising that it is a line from a poem).

We’re all fearfully and wonderfully made, as the good book says. We’re all human beings with blood pumping through our veins, with our own hopes, fears, and dreams.

Sure, other people can help you up the ladder. But remember that they’re people, and it can be just as fun to sit back and enjoy their company.

There’s stardust and magic all around. Don’t forget that.

Stats Aren’t Everything

Tracking your numbers is where it’s at if you’re serious about blogging and social media. You see what works and do more of it.

But stats aren’t everything. Chase numbers too far, and you can lose sight of why you started blogging in the first place.

Remember to take time to tune into what matters to you. Blogging is about finding the balance between doing what you care about and doing what gets clicks.

Speaking of numbers…

Small Is Beautiful

Building up a huge tribe of followers is great for your business. We’d never discourage it.

But small is beautiful, too. You don’t need a big community to have great discussions. In fact, having too many people talking can get in the way of conversation.

When you only have a handful of followers, you can get to know all of them in-depth.

Even if you’re a superstar who’s always in the spotlight, you need a small community of friends you can trust and who have always got your back.

So don’t just use social media to fuel your marketing or as an ego boost. Get out there and talk to people. Join Google Plus communities and Twitter chats. Have fun!

You Don’t Need All the Answers to Do Good Work

Blogging’s a journey. Newbie bloggers don’t always know a great deal about the topic they’ll be writing about. They figure, “I can learn by writing.” And their fresh eyes give them a unique perspective.

When you’ve been blogging on a subject for several years, you can start to feel like you should know all the answers. Many of your readers will hold you to that impossible standard.

The truth is, no one knows everything. We’re all still on the blogging journey, and we’re all learning every day.

Remember, you don’t need to know all the answers to do good work. And often you’ll do your best work when you’re stretching yourself, when you’re learning and exploring.

And while you’re out exploring, remember…

It’s Okay to Make Mistakes

Truth is, if you’re learning and growing you will make mistakes.

Make avoiding failure your aim, and you’ll avoid doing anything. In other words, you’ve got two options:

  • Fail forward; or
  • Stand still (and stagnate)

There’s no point in making mistakes for the sake of it. Once you’ve learned from your mistakes, don’t repeat them. But remember to keep experimenting.

Dream Big!

When you start out as a blogger, anything seems possible. You’ll build up a huge tribe, write an eBook series, blog every day, and become the go-to expert in your niche.

Yeah, riiiiight. Right? Well, maybe.

It’s not always possible to do everything you want. But without big dreams to drive you forward, you’ll stay stuck where you are. Dreams are the fuel for your soul. They’re what get out of bed in the morning and give you your mojo.

If your blog or business is growing and you want to take it to the next level, you can always hire help. Admitting you can’t do everything yourself is part of making your dreams happen.

Curiosity Matters

Curiosity is the opposite of cynicism.

Cynicism says: “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.”

Curiosity says: “That was a pretty cool t-shirt. I wonder what would happen if I went there again?”

Curiosity keeps your heart open and pushes you to constantly challenge yourself.

So drop your cynicism and stay curious. You never know where you’ll arrive when you start chasing rainbows.

Newbie Bloggers: What do You Think?

If you kept reading, well you’re here now. So let us know your thoughts in the comments. What would you say experienced bloggers can learn from you?

Influencer Conversation

Twitter is the networker’s social network.

That means if you want to connect with influencers in your niche, it’s the place to go.

The only problem is, Twitter is also noisy. There’s a ton being said, which means if you want to get noticed, it’s tricky to stand out from the crowd.

The solution? Be a go-getter. Instead of waiting for people to come talk to you, reach out and talk to them.

It’s a bit like a cocktail party. If you stand in the corner waiting for conversation to come to you, you’ll probably spend the whole night as a wallflower. If you reach out and talk to people, you’ll have a good time. And you’ll help others have a good time, too.

On Twitter, the way to talk to people is to tag them with using @username. Recently, Twitter also added the option of tagging people in photos.

Just like starting a conversation, tagging people can feel a little scary. So here are five ways you can use tags without the need for nerves:

1. Drop Them a Note to Say Hi

This is the easiest way to get a conversation started. Just say hello! The person you’re tagging might well reply, in which case you’ve started a conversation. Awesome!

Even if you don’t hear back from them, you’ve identified yourself as someone who’s willing to engage in conversation. You’ve also put yourself on their radar, so the next time you talk to them, they’re more likely to respond.

2. Reply to One of Their Tweets

This one’s even easier than saying hi. Scroll through their recent tweets (don’t go too far back in time, or you’ll look like a creep), find one that’s interesting (or that asks a question), and hit reply. Easy peasy.

3. Share a Photo

If you’ve had the opportunity to meet them in person, be sure to get a photo together. Then you can upload it to Twitter and tag them. That’s a powerful way of reinforcing your relationship.

Even if you’ve not met them in person, you can use this strategy. Share the cover image of a book they’ve written, tag them in the image, and say what you enjoyed about the book.

4. Share Something They’ve Created

We’re all proud of the things we’ve created. So when you’ve found someone you want to connect with, go out and find a blog post they’ve written, a photo they’ve taken, or a video they’ve made.

Then share it. Remember to say thank you and what you enjoyed about it.

5. Write a Blog Post About Them

This strategy is the most powerful of all – which also means it’s the most time-consuming. I only recommend it if you’ve had success with the previous strategies. You want to at least be on their radar before you do this.

Here are some simple ideas for blog posts you could write:

  • Highlight an award they’ve won
  • Collect some of their most interesting quotes
  • Write a case study of something they’ve achieved

Your Turn

What strategies do you use to connect with influencers on Twitter? What have you found works best? Share in the comments below.

Twitter Bio

You want followers on Twitter, right? You want people to talk and listen to you?

Presumably, everyone does. At least the 99% of us who haven’t locked our Twitter accounts. Otherwise, why else would you be on Twitter?

Yet all too often, people act like they’d rather scare everyone away than win followers. It’s like they plan their bios to be repellent.

Previously, we’ve looked at how to make your Twitter bio awesome here and here.

Now, let’s take a look at what you shouldn’t do on Twitter. What should you never include in your bio?

1. A Sales Pitch

Twitter is an excellent marketing tool. From time to time, you can even close sales on Twitter (though that’s not recommended).

But your bio should never be a sales pitch. Twitter is about marketing through building relationships. When someone reads your bio, they don’t even know you. You don’t have a relationship. So it’s a terrible time to sell.

When it comes to making sales, let your website do the heavy lifting. Twitter is about starting conversations and generating leads. So keep the selling out of it.

2. SHOUTING!

You know your netiquette, right? Using ALL CAPS online means you’re SHOUTING. I’m sorry, but whatever you’ve got to say about yourself, and however interesting it is to you, it’s not worth shouting.

If you’re going to yell at me before I’ve even gotten to know you, things aren’t looking good for the rest of our relationship. In fact, I think I’ll just walk away and find someone else to talk to…

3. Typos

Most of us spend 8 hours a day in front of a computer screen. Little wonder that we mess up every now and again.

Before you publish your Twitter bio, make sure you’ve checked it for spelling mistakes and typos. Your bio is your public face to the world. You never know who is going to read it and the opportunities you might miss because you were lazy in your proofreading.

4. Business Clichés

No one wants to know about your “blue sky thinking,” your “core competencies,” or how your work is “bleeding edge.”

There’s no need to hide behind corporate jargon. You’ve got a chance to express who you are. So do it!

It’s only 160 characters, so coming up with an original way to express yourself shouldn’t be too hard.

5. Web Links

Twitter gives you a space on your profile to link to your website. Use it!

Your bio is to tell us about you. So leave the links out.

6. Nothing At All

If there’s one thing that matters more than anything else, it’s having a bio to start with. Even if you make all the mistakes we’ve listed above, having a bio is always better than writing nothing.

That’s because without a bio, your profile doesn’t show up in Twitter search results. So nobody can find you.