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Which Stage of Twitter Are You At?

Having heard and read so much about Twittter, I’ve just recently become a Twitterer myself (StephaneGrenier) to see what all the hoopla was about. And I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve already gotten a lot of value out of it, and I’ve just joined a bit over a week ago!

There are lots of benefits to Twitter, but it mostly depends on who you are. That is, the Twitter experience is going to be very different for different people. For most people, the obvious benefit is self-promotion (just like for blogs). However that’s just a very small part of it, just like blogging.

Rohit Bhargava wrote a very good post titled: The 5 Stages of Twitter Acceptance. Where are YOU at? And I have to agree, it’s very accurate. Well with the exception of stage 1, I wouldn’t necessarily call it denial, but more along the lines of not really having time to check it out since you can’t clearly see the value. And stage 2 being where you still don’t fully get it but you’re willing to commit to taking the time.

5 Stages of Twitter

Having just joined a week ago, I’ve jumped from stage 1 to stage 2. The good thing is that I skipped stage 3 entirely. I’m now working my way between stages 4 and 5, but I don’t know that I’ll ever completely get to stage 5. Sometimes it’s nice just to post the odd distraction. Like last night when I was tired from coding for the better part of the day, I decided to post a couple of entertaining links. Things I found interesting but that didn’t really offer any value other than entertainment. I don’t believe you can be all business all the time, sometimes you have to have a lighter side (and what I have entertaining is not always useful). Which is why I might never make it completely to stage 5.

That being said, although I’m probably not the normal Twitterer, I believe the 5 stages of Twitter Rohit describes to be very good and accurate. I’ve found, in the little time I’ve been Twittering, that a lot of people get caught up in stage 3 of self-promotion. I even had to stop following some people because almost all of their tweets where stage 3 tweets (that or they were tweets of links to their latest blog posts). I’m following you on Twitter for a reason, and it’s not just for self-promotional tweets (a certain level is acceptable, but not the majority). The good news is not everyone does this, but unfortunately enough do. The other thing I’ve found difficult is trying to follow more than a few dozen people, I find there’s just too much noise. But that’s another post for another day (I’m still learning).

The good news is that there are a lot of people at stage 4 and 5. And that’s great! It’s because of this that I’m really enjoying my Twitter experience. My only regret is not having started sooner.

Which leads me back to my original question, which stage of Twitter are YOU at?






Tune into Small Business Radio Today

radiospot

Today I will be on Small Business Radio hosted by Anita Campbell to talk about my latest book Blog Blazers at 1:30pm EST. Don’t forget to tune in as the topic of the show will be “Advanced Blog Tactics Used By Professional Bloggers”, which will come from both the interviews I conducted in the book Blog Blazers and my own personal experience. It’s going to be a great show so don’t miss it!






10 Most Popular Books in Blog Blazers

Xmas Presents

In my book Blog Blazers I asked 40 high profile bloggers which books they recommend you read. Below is a list of the top 10 books they recommended, with each and every book getting at least two or more recommendations. So if you haven’t already gotten all your Xmas presents, maybe you can get a book or two from this list to go along with your copy of Blog Blazers from Amazon!

  1. Clear Blogging
  2. Purple Cow
  3. Naked Conversations
  4. SEOBook
  5. On Writing Well
  6. The Elements of Style
  7. Cluetrain Manifesto
  8. Made To Stick
  9. The Long Tail
  10. Blink

Please note that these interviews were conducted about a year ago, so some books like ProBlogger from Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett where not yet available.






Blog Blazers Free Shipping Until Xmas!

Blog Blazer Free Shipping Xmas Discount

Because of everything that’s happening with Amazon, I’m going to go on a lurk and offer free shipping for the book Blog Blazers until Xmas when you buy it directly from the official website (for Canadian and US orders). For international orders, until Xmas as well, shipping will be reduced to $5. In other words, I’ll cover your shipping costs.

I’m doing this because I’m very annoyed with this Amazon “Temporarily out of Stock” issue. I just don’t want to put anything in the way of you getting and benefiting from your Blog Blazers book before Xmas. The best part is that you don’t have to wait on Amazon to get free shipping. And you don’t have to buy $25 worth of books to get that free shipping!

So if you haven’t already bought Blog Blazers, now’s the time. This is special free shipping offer and it’s only going to last until Xmas!






Blog Blazers Amazon Status

Firstly let me just apologize for the on and off “In Stock” and “Temporarily Out of Stock” messages appearing on the Blog Blazers listing on Amazon. What’s happening is that we’re trying to work with Amazon’s JIT (Just in Time) inventory system and experiencing some difficulties as illustrated in the screenshot below:

Blog Blazers on Amazon

Basically the way it works for first time and self-published authors is that Amazon doesn’t want to order too many books ahead of time and be stuck with a larger than necessary inventory on hand. Nor can we blame them. From what I understand, most self published books end up selling less than 200 copies, and 60% of these sales are to friends and family. That’s pretty dismal. Of course that’s not always the case, there’s lots of examples of very successful self-published authors. The biggest I know of is Robert Kiyosaki who started his book series of Rich Dad Poor Dad as self-published. Another great example is Peter Bowerman with his book like The Well-Fed Self-Publisher.

In any case, Amazon is looking out for itself, and that’s perfectly understandable. Selling books is a business, and they do it well. So what happened with our book is that Amazon initially ordered a small number of books. Now before I continue, something to be aware of is that Amazon will only accept books they ordered if they come with a purchase order (barcoded). You cannot just ship books to Amazon to add to their inventory when you want to, you have to wait for them to order books. Makes sense.

Anyways, a lesser known trick is that they will often accept more books than requested as long as they’re part of the same purchase order and as long as the surplus is reasonable (don’t try to ship 1000 books when they ask for 20). However knowing that Blog Blazers is going to is selling well, we decided to ship some extra books with each PO (Purchase Order). On average so far, we’re shipping 2-3 times as many as they request per purchase order (sometimes more).

Getting back to our story, within a day of being released, the Blog Blazers inventory on Amazon was sold out. And it’s no wonder, the initial order was too small. Which means the status of Blog Blazers on Amazon fell to “Temporarily Out of Stock”. The next day, another PO came out, we did the same. And on it’s been continuing since…

So if you see the book Blog Blazers on Amazon with a status of “Temporarily Out of Stock” don’t worry, this is because Amazon is still trying to figure out how many books they need to have on hand to meet the number of books sold (JIT – Just in Time). And it definitely isn’t helping that the sales of Blog Blazers are increasing on a daily basis as more and more bloggers are posting about it every day!

I guess of all the problems I could have, this is the best one to have. But still…






Blog Blazers is NOW AVAILABLE!!!

Blog Blazers

A little over a year ago I initially wrote about my intentions to write a book in which I was going to interview some of the most successful bloggers online. At the time, I had already lined up 18 bloggers and the project was off to an exciting start. Since then, the number of bloggers interviewed in the book has exploded to 40. And quite a list of bloggers it is!

Today I’m proud to announce the book is ready and available for purchase!!!

At this time, you can buy it directly from our website: BlogBlazers.com, Amazon, and so on. However, please note that the ebook version is only available from the official Blog Blazers website. In addition, if you purchase from the Blog Blazer website, you will have the option to select the “bundle package” which includes both the book and the ebook (the advantage being that you can click on the links in the ebook versus having to type them in).

Below is the list of people interview in Blog Blazers (alphabetically sorted by firstname). You can also read the full bios of the bloggers on the book’s website.

It’s very exciting to finally have the books in print! It’s been a long journey, but well worth it once you hold your first print in hand.

Please don’t hesitate to drop me a note to let me know what you thought about the book. And if you have a blog and you plan on reviewing it, please let me know. I’d love to read your reviews.

And remember Xmas is just around the corner. So if you haven’t already bought yourself a copy, it would make a great suggestion for someone else who doesn’t know what to get you!






How to Generate Traffic to Your Website – David Scott Kane Review

Earlier this week David Scott Kane from The Recursive ISV wrote a very in depth and detailed review of my ebook How to Generate Traffic to Your Website. And quite a review it was. Thank you Scott for the very kind and positive words!

Some of the highlights include:

I’m going to state at the outset of this review that this book has the good stuff!

You gotta love a review that pretty much starts with that previous sentence! And if that wasn’t enough of an endorsement, the next quote from the review sure is:

I just believe that credit should go where credit is deserved and I believe this book is a must have for every micro ISV and indeed many who consider themselves ISV’s.

Like I said earlier, it is a glowing review. If nothing else, the fact that he values one chapter as enough reason alone to buy the ebook, well…

To my mind Steph’s chapter on this is worth every cent of the eBook alone.  This is something I’m always harping on about here and something most ISV’s and micro ISV’s fail epically at.

What’s more, the conclusion is extremely positive:

The book covers a heck of a lot more too.  I’ve been working with websites since 1995, yet I still found gems in this book.

I also found things I knew but had forgotten and some things I wasn’t in agreement with – but was able to take away and give more thought to.

Don’t assume you know the SEO game and are able to skip this, even if it only makes you take a fresh look at what you’re doing it’s certainly worth every cent of the $14.95.

Frankly I can’t wait to read his next book, coming out in November, on blogging.

I’ve really only scraped the surface on what’s inside Steph’s book.  So in conclusion, yes I recommend it, highly.  Read it, use it and improve yourself and your business of software.

As you can see, Scott gave my ebook How to Generate Traffic to Your Website a very glowing review. Thank you.

And in case you missed the link earlier, you can read his full review here.






How Important are Headlines?

This post is an exert from my ebook How to Generate Traffic for Your Website:

How important are headlines? VERY. The reality is that a headline can often make or break an article. A headline will determine if even the first sentence of the article is even read. On average you have 5-7 seconds to get someone’s attention, which is done through the headline. More importantly, only 2 out of 10 people will read past your headline and actually read your article! That’s just how important headlines are.

To give you a more concrete example of just how powerful a headline can be, John Wesley submitted an article to several social networking sites, including Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc. The headline read “The Two Types of Cognition”. With this headline the article generated about 100 visitors. Nothing spectacular. However a couple days later, and after some work rewriting his headline, John resubmitted it with a new headline. With the new headline it got about 5000 visitors. A very significant difference, 50 times more visitors. What was the difference? Only the headline. The article was exactly the same. The headline went from “The Two Types of Cognition” to “Learn to Understand Your Own Intelligence”. You can find the details of his case study here.

Headlines can and do have a significant impact. It might only be one line, but it can easily make or break your articles success.






How Blogging Can Help Your Business

This post is an exert from my ebook How to Generate Traffic for Your Website:

To give you a quick idea of the scale of blogging, here are some more quick metrics according to Technorati.com (April 2007):

  • There are 70 million blogs
  • There are about 120,000 new blogs each day, or 1.4 new blogs every second
  • There are 1.5 million blog posts per day or 17 posts per second

What do these metrics mean for you and your company? Why is it important to blog? What’s are the benefit for your company? Will it help increase your traffic or revenues? Is it worth your time and effort (make no mistake about it, blogging successfully takes a lot of time and effort)?

For most companies, blogging can really help. It can help your business in a number of ways:

Personalize your business.

Instead of being just another faceless company website, it can give your website a second personality. It can give it that personal touch that people like. A lot of sales are through emotions, and people like to connect with people they like and trust. If you’re honest and real on your blog, and not just writing what you think people want to hear, you’ll create a personal bond with your customers. This will create long term traffic and revenues.

Express your personal philosophies and beliefs

A blog can allow you to express your personal philosophies, beliefs, etc. that might not be as appropriate on a corporate (or more official) website. For example, I share on my blog my beliefs about technical support. I’ve shared my beliefs that the most important aspects of software are easy to use, customer service, and quality. That it’s not the sheer number of features implemented, but rather how each feature is presented. To me that’s more important. I’d rather have less features, but have each one bug free and extremely easy to use. That’s my philosophy towards software design, and I’ll share it openly on my blog whereas I wouldn’t on my company’s website.

Behind the scenes.

I’ll also share what’s going on behind the scenes. How we’re doing on the next upcoming major release. Some struggles we had to deal with. Successes and failures we’ve experienced. A lot of people appreciate this. Why do you think movies often include commentaries and behind the scene clips? People like to know what happened behind the scenes. It helps bring a story to the businesses they deal with. And more importantly, it really helps them appreciate what you’re about. As a great example, my company LandlordMax doesn’t offer phone support. We tried it for a few months and realized it wasn’t going to work for us financially (if you don’t try you can’t know for sure), at least not unless we charged a significant amount. Now every time someone asks us why we don’t offer phone support I send them a link on my blog explaining why we don’t offer phone support. 99.9% of responses after reading this blog post are understanding and positive. Some extremely positive!

Transparency.

Another point very similar to behind the scenes, it’s giving your visitors transparency to your company. For us, because our customers plan to stay with us for the long haul, they want to make sure we’ll be around for a long time. Once they enter in all their data into the software, they don’t want the company to suddenly disappear. Our lifespan is important to them. By being transparent we can give them the confidence they might not otherwise get from just our corporate website.

Expertise.

People want to deal with competent people. When you go see a car mechanic you want to make sure they knows what they’re doing. When you hire a plumber, you want a good plumber. If you’re into home renovations you’d probably prefer to hire a reputable person like Bob Villa or Mike Holmes simply because they continually share their expertise. It makes you confident they can do the job. A great example of this is Pingdom.com. I don’t remember how I found their blog, probably through a link from another blog or a social network site, but needless to say I started to read their blog posts because they were extremely interesting and informative. The more I read the more I appreciated their knowledge. And it turns out I had been looking for a company I could trust for LandlordMax that offered their service (they will monitor your servers and if they go down , they notify you right away). Within a week I had bought a year package. The blog is what sold me. If it hadn’t been for the blog I have no idea who I would have selected. They really sold me on the fact that they knew what they were doing. But beyond that, I now follow their blog. I’ve also recommended their blog and services many times to a lot of individuals. I’m even mentioning it now in this post (and in the ebook). Their blog has absolutely increased their overall traffic (and revenues).

Give Advice.

A blog gives you the ability to offer advice that you might not want to on a corporate website. For example, a blog about a winery could offer a lot of advice on how to select wines. It could explain the differences in viscosity. It could explain how to taste a wine. Even further,  the company could explain how wine is made. The blog could describe the process, explain the subtleties. Basically by offering advice on how to make wine and select wine, they’re giving something to their customers. People will come back. They’ll share their article with their friends. It will drive traffic to their website.

Controversy.

Controversy will often generate attention and traffic. However,  rarely will a professional or corporate website want to present any controversy. This is where a blog comes in really handy. It’s an easy way to present your view on a controversial point yet not directly involve your company, and still manage to get some of the advantages such as increased traffic.

Long tail.

Blog articles will generally continue to generate traffic long after you write them, sometimes even years later. Take advantage of this older traffic and redirect them to your main website. Each archived article may not have that much traffic individually, but together they do add up quickly!

If you enjoyed this article, you might also be interested in purchasing the full ebook How to Generate Traffic to Your Website for only $14.95 (less than the price of a dinner for two). It contains 138 pages of information on how to increase the traffic to your website using both free and paid methods. You can read the first 21 pages here for free.






Strike One. Strike Two. Strike Three. What You're Not Out?

iTouch

Recently Apple release version 2 of it’s wildly successful iPhone with great dismay. So many people flocked to the stores to buy this latest new offering that it killed their networked. This ended up causing a lot of phones to become “bricked” (aka as useful a phone as a brick). Strike 1. Well maybe not strike one, we’ll pretend they just forgot to bring their bat to the game.

Having quickly brought back their network from the dead within a day or so, people were able to activate their new iPhones (or upgrade their older iPhones to the latest software). All seemed well and rosy again.

Then within no time reports started to come out that the phones were continually crashing. That synching your phone could take hours, many hours. Daily reboots. And much worse. Basically the community came to conclusion that version 2.0.0 of the iPhone should really have been called version 2.0.0 beta (maybe even version 2.0.0 alpha depending on who you talk to).

Strike One!

Then release 2.0.1 came out. It was suppose to fix some bugs. Maybe it did, who really knows for sure. For me personally the phone was just as unstable. I think rather than 2.0.1 it should be called 2.0.0 alpha 2. In any case, at best it only seems to have resolved some superficial issues.

Strike Two!

Looks like Apple just released version 2.0.2 with even more issues. Apparently they fixed some bugs, but also introduced others. I haven’t yet upgraded myself, but if it’s anything like what’s described on this recent post on iPhone Atlas, I’m not going to either! To quote the post: “This problem is generally accompanied by another in which music and other media are erased from the iPhone.” You should see the fix to resolve this issue!

Strike Three!

What? Not out yet? Apparently not. They have enough pre-built goodwill to keep going. But for how long? No company has infinite goodwill. Eventually they’ll lose all their credibility. The “it just works” won’t apply anymore.

And it’s not like they haven’t had any time to fix these issues. It’s been what, a month? Maybe two? Yet all we seem to be getting are basic bug fixes that don’t resolve any real issues. Not only that but they seem to be causing more issues. It just works, I don’t think so.

If Apple doesn’t watch out, they’ll lose all their credibility and brand value before they know it!






 


SOFTWARE AND BOOKS BY STEPHANE GRENIER:

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LandlordMax is the EASIEST
Property Management
Software available!
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The place to ask and answer
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Blog Blazers: 40 Top Bloggers Share Their Secrets to Creating a High-Profile, High-Traffic, and High-Profit Blog!

Blog Blazers is a book that
features secrets from the
Top 40 Bloggers on the web

How to Generate Traffic to Your Website ebook

How to Generate Traffic to
Your Website
is an ebook for
to you achieve success


 

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Disclaimer: This is a personal blog about my thoughts, experiences and ideas. The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only. No content should be construed as financial, business, personal, or any other type of advice. Commenters, advertisers and linked sites are entirely responsible for their own content and do not represent the views of myself. All decisions involve risks and results are not guaranteed. Always do your own research, due diligence, and consult your own professional advisors before making any decision. This blog (including myself) assumes no liability with regard to results based on use of information from this blog. If this blog contains any errors, misrepresentations, or omissions, please contact me or leave a comment to have the content corrected.