Example

It’s true…hot chicks are always going to have more Twitter followers than you, but…it doesn’t matter because 1/2 of them aren’t even real and the other 1/2 just have a bunch of worthless followers.

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.

In today’s social media environment, there seems to be an obsession to race to the highest number. Whether it be Twitter followers, RSS feed subscribers or pageviews, aspiring bloggers and social media gurus are all watching stats closely to see where they stand. If you have some successful history in blogging/social media, you already know there is a numbers game and the more you have…the more you typically make. But…the really experienced know that the numbers game is about QUALITY more than it is about quantity.

In the pursuit of stat racing, many aspiring entrepreneurs take the road too much traveled of lowering themselves to sleazy tactics in the attempt to attract more followers or subscribers. They throw up controversial blog posts in the interest of viral spreading instead of quality content. They put up pictures of barely dressed women in their avatars and posts. They even go as far to try to call out other successful entrepreneurs to try to attract attention. If they are trying to use sleazy tactics like putting a hot chick as their avatar, they do not know the first thing about making money online and their business is failing before they even get started.

It’s Not A Race and Quality Matters More Than Quantity

I don’t know about you, but when I build up my online businesses, I do not want a bunch of dirty old men on my lists. I want targeted leads that actually want to digest what I have to say. While there is something to the whole “social proof” theory (more people sign up when they see a big stat…wish it wasn’t true but it is), I would much rather have 1,000 highly targeted followers/leads than 100,000 that are just random.

When you are seeking out new subscribers, followers or new visitors to your blogs and social media outlets, the #1 goal should be finding quality, targeted eyes not just a mass quantity.

How To Find Quality, Targeted Leads and Subscribers

So…we know you need to have better followers and subscribers than the internet marketing hot chick, so where do we find these targeted leads? The #1 way I have found to grow my online real estates is simple.

Find where your potential new visitors are hanging out and bring them back to your blogs, Twitter account, Facebook fan pages, etc.

New followers and subscribers are not going to magically find you online. The “build it and they will come” theory to online growth never held true so it is not going to work for you. If you really want to grow your blog and business online, you are going to have to actively search out new visitors and find a way to get them on your pages. Here are a couple of examples to get you started.

  • Actively Guest Post On Popular Blogs In Your Niche – One of the most popular ways to attract new readers is to guest post on other blogs. This theory works incredibly well in niches that have active bloggers. If you are in a niche that does not have a strong blogging community, you are going to have to look to other outlets to pull new readers in.
  • Build Up Online Forum Profiles – Online forums are still the #1 place for dedicated online obsessed to exert their passions and share them with others. For every niche that you would want to blog about, there are a ton of active forums that you can participate in. However, forum communities are extremely sensitive to spam, so becoming a valuable member of the community is essential before you start pushing your content.
  • SEO Targeted Content – In my biking niche, I rely on Google and other search engines to deliver a large portion of my new leads. By doing keyword research with Google Adwords and writing SEO optimized articles using Scribe, I can bring in a massive amount of targeted, new visitors a day. While building up a blog with strong SEO presence can take time, it is still the #1 way to pull in new visitors. For beginning blogs, focusing on long tail keyword strings can bring you in some early success when you can’t compete with the older, larger sites on high competition keywords in the beginning.
  • Use Your Search Functions – Within Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets, there is always a search function that allows you to find targeted leads. While this may not be the most efficient way to get a large number at once, they are highly targeted. By finding out which hash tags your audience is using in Twitter and which Fan Pages they are following on Facebook, you can open your blog and social media accounts to an entirely new audience.
  • Interact and Communicate – Blogging and social media is still a people business. Interact and talk with as many people in your niche as you can. Those friendships that you grow over time will help you grow your business exponentially.

It isn’t rocket science. The more you try to cheat the system and employ tactics that you think are going to get you drastic results with 1/2 the work, them more you are setting yourself up for failure. Just remember, the fake hot chick on Twitter is going to act like they are making butt loads online…but in reality…their un-targeted leads are not making them a thing. Focus on quality and the results will be bigger than you would have ever imagined.

Model photo by Mike__G

Example

Once Twitter exploded on the scene, coders and programers all over the world started coming up with Twitter clients to satisfy the needs of the Twitter obsessed. With many paid and free options, you are now able to find a Twitter client that manages your social media needs down to a T. One of the newer clients to hit the market is MarketMeTweet.

While MarketMeTweet does do most of the same things that the other paid and free clients accomplish, it does come with a few exclusive features that could meet your Twitter and social media posting needs. Let’s dive in and take a look…

Features: MarketMeTweet – Facebook and Twitter Client

Every Twitter and Facebook client has its own set of features, so let’s take a look at MarketMeTweet’s. While this is not a comprehensive list of features, these are the highlights before we move forward.

  • Unlimited Accounts
  • Brand Management (Tweets show up as Tweeted from “whatever you pick, linked to your site)
  • Schedule Tweets
  • Schedule Tweets from Blackberry, iPhone or Android (through Google calendar)
  • Facebook Integration (unlimited fan pages)
  • Location Targeting
  • Reply Campaigns (completely user controlled automation)
  • Auto RSS Tweets (import your RSS feed into Tweets)
  • Smart Following and Unfollowing
  • OAuth Secure
  • Multiple Pricing Options

Review: MarketMeTweet – Social Networking For Real Business

MarketMeTweet is very unique when it comes to Twitter and Facebook. While it does what you would expect out of any desktop client (posting Tweets/Facebook updates, multiple timelines, scheduling Tweets), there are several features of MarketMeTweet that really set it apart from the other free and paid clients on the web, so let’s take a look at those individually.

Personal Branding On Twitter

MarketMeTweet has a really cool feature built into the application that allows you to create your own Twitter application. Now what does this do for you…the blogger or business owner? It allows you to create an application within Twitter that changes your byline to include “via Robb Sutton” or anything you choose below your tweets. That “Robb Sutton” is also linked to RobbSutton.com so anytime it shows up in the timeline of one of my thousands of Twitter followers, it is clickable right back to my homepage as you can see below.

MarketMeTweet Branding

What does it do for your business or blog? Well…for those Twitter followers that use the web client for Twitter, you are no longer promoting your Twitter client. You are now promoting your own personal brand which carries a lot of weight online. When MarketMeTweet first hit the market, this was the #1 feature I was most interested in as I like to keep branding as secure and consistent as possible, and it works flawlessly.

Auto Replys and Automatic Following and Unfollowing

One of the other really cool features within MarketMeTweet is the ability to auto reply to your followers based on keyword selection. Now…before you start thinking, “wow…that is spammy” let me explain just a little bit. Yes, if you are planning on setting up just a couple of lines of reply and hitting up as many keywords as you can and then leave it alone without paying any attention to it later, you are going to be a spammer. On my end, I do not have time to go through my Twitter timeline for hours on end a day, so this allows me to start conversations with other Twitter users based on information I want to talk about. It is not a set it and forget it system…you still have to interact after the fact if you really want to see results.

As you can see by the screenshot, you can also create “negative keywords” to better filter your results.

Reply and Auto Follow with MarketMeTweet

These days, I do not use too many (ok…none) auto follow services. Don’t get me wrong…I have used them in the past and they have helped me find new Twitter users that are looking for the information I provide. I just don’t have the time to manage applications like that for the return it brings me at this point in time.

With MarketMeTweet you can use that same keyword strings that you created to handle your auto replies to auto follow to auto follow Twitter users that are talking about subjects you want to connect with. Unlike other auto follow scripts, the MarketMeTweet version is pretty light so it stays underneath the radar while you grow your Twitter following. It also does it via the keywords I have already set up and in the background so I am able to just hit a switch without too much time management on the backend.

Final Thoughts: MarketMeTweet Twitter and Facebook Client

Overall, the MarketMeTweet desktop client for Twitter and Facebook is a strong application. With a user friendly, easy on the eyes interface and Adobe Air integration (makes for easy update and launching), MarketMeTweet answers all of the Twitter and Facebook needs you should have for your blog or business. With unique features that are very focused and provide real results, MarketMeTweet justifies it’s paid status as a Twitter and Facebook desktop client.

MarketMeTweet - Twitter and Facebook Desktop Client

Is it perfect? Not completely. MarketMeTweet does its unique features incredibly well, but there are a couple of little usability options I would like to see included into newer versions. I would also to be able to setup panes on an account basis so I can see multiple accounts at once on one screen. Right now…you have to switch accounts through a drop down menu to see the different timelines, replies and search queries.

If MarketMeTweet really want to rock it out, an iPhone app would completely make my day as most of my Tweeting is done on the road and the branding element would be great on my iPhone (you can schedule Tweets on the road through the Google Calendar integration).

Positives: MarketMeTweet Client
  • Branding – HUGE! The ability to brand your Tweets is unique and strengthens your brand.
  • Auto Reply and Auto Follow – Done easily and in the background to grow your blog or business
  • User friendly interface that is easy to setup and use
  • Free updates
  • RSS feed and scheduling tweets integration
  • Post To All Feature covers Facebook, Twitter and Pingfm
Negatives: MarketMeTweet Client
  • A couple little usability additions need to be added in future updates (outlined above)
  • Not really an application for the casual Twitter user
  • Limited mobile phone support

With pricing plans starting at 15 bucks with strong support and a 30 day money back guarantee, MarketMeTweet is the answer for blog and business owners looking to expand their business and stay on top of the trending topics on Twitter. If you are looking for a Twitter and Facebook client that will meet the needs of your business or blog, MarketMeTweet is your answer.

If you want to see more:Click here to check out MarketMeTweet.

As an FYI, I actually bought a copy of MarketMeTweet, this was not a freebie for review.

Example

If you are anything like me, when you go to insert social media icons in to your blog, you start to scour the net for the perfect set that matches your style and your design. Ever since Smashing Magazine started doing “## Top Whatever’s” list posts, everyone and their mom has come out with their own version clouding up Google with the same list after list.

Don’t get me wrong…there are a lot of really cool looking icons in those lists, but can you honestly see me using leaf icons on any of my blogs?! What about those crazy, complicated icons that you can’t even tell what they are trying to promote? I didn’t think so…

So, every time I need to find some clean, professional looking icons to integrate into my blogs, I end up having to look through every pointless list after list for that one set that is going to work. After having to do that too many times, I have decided to put together this list of social media icon sets that you can actually use in your designs as a resource for myself and you guys. No leafs, Popsicle’s or random weirdness here…just clean icons you can actually use on your blog.

33 Social Media Icon Sets You Can Actually Use

So here it is…the list. Click on any of the images below to download the set to use in your blog design.

IMPORTANT DESIGN NOTE: One thing to keep in mind. You are not picking the icon set that you necessarily like the best. It is about finding social media icons that integrate into your design to make it look seamless. You do not want your icons to look like a “cut and paste” after thought just because you think they look cool. Careful planning goes a long way…

1. Social Bookmark Icon Set from Vikiworks

Social Bookmark Icon Set

2. Socialize from Dry Icons

Socialize Icon Set by Dry Icons

3. Circular Social Media Icons from Blog Perfume

Circular Social Media Icons

4. Aquatiqus.Social by jwloh

Aquaticus Social by jwloh

5. Handycons by Janko at Warp Speed

Handycons by Janko at Warp Speed

6. Chrome by Chris Wallace

Chrome Social Media Icons by Chris Wallace

7. Social Media Icons by ~plechi

Social Media Icons by plechi

8. Social Media Icon Set by webtoolkit4.me

Social Media Icon Set by webtoolkit4.me

9. Glossy Icon Set by webtoolkit4.me

Glossy Icon Set by webtoolkit4.me

10. Social Media Icons by Sebastiano at WeGraphics

Social Media Icon Set by Sebastiano at WeGraphics

11. Splatter Social Icons by My Ink Blog

Splatter Social Icons by My Ink Blog

12. Social Icons by Elegant Themes

Social Icons by Elegant Themes

13. Sleek Social Icons by Andrew at Design Instruct

Sleek Social Icons by Andrew at Design Instruct

14. Vector Social Media Icons by Icon Shots

Vector Social Media Icons by Icon Shots

15. Vintage Social Media Icons from Web Expedition 18

Vintage Social Media Icons from Web Expedition 18

16. Social Media Icons by FreeSocialMediaIcons.com

Social Media Icons by FreeSocialMediaIcons.com

17. Vector Social Media Icons by Icon Dock

Vector Social Media Icons by Icon Dock

18. Social Media Icons by Pink Moustache

Social Media Icons by Pink Moustache

17. Gray and White Social Media Icons by Web Treats

Gray and White Social Media Icons by Web Treats

18. Extreme Grunge Social Media Icons by colaja

Extreme Grunge Social Icons by colaja

19. Polaroid Icon Set by webtoolkit4.me

Polaroid Icon Set by webtoolkit4.me

20. Rivet Social Icon Set by John Campbell at DesignBump

Rivet Social Icons by John Campbell at DesignBump

21. Social Duo 2 Icon Set by IconBlock

Social Duo 2 Icon Set by IconBlock

22. Web Social Icons by NarjisNaqvi

Web Social Icons by NarjisNaqvi

23. Picasso Social Media Icon Set by Six Revisions

Picasso Social Midea Icon Set by Six Revisions

24. Social Media Icon Set by Paper Leaf

Social Media Icon Set by Paper Leaf

25. Social Media Icon Set at WeFunction

WeFunction Icon Set

26. Social Networking Icons by Cheth Studios

Social Networking Icons by Cheth Studios

27. Social Icon Tabs by Cheth Studios

Social Icon Tabs by Cheth Studios

28. Life In Pixels Icon Set by Six Revisions

Life In Pixels Icon Set by Six Revisions

29. Social Media Icon Set by Media Loot

Social Media Icon Set by Media Loot

30. Social Media Icon Set by sawb

Social Media Icon Set by sawb

31. Mac Style Icons by designbold

Mac Style Icons by Design Bold

32. Black and White Icons by webtoolkit4.me

Black and White Icons by webtoolkit4.me

33. Social Clean by Icon Shock

Social Clean by Icon Shock

There you have it. The 33 social media icon sets that you can actually use in your blog design. These clean, unique sets can integrate into your design to create higher conversions and a more custom appeal. Be sure to pick a set that fits with your color scheme and feel as you look to increase your social media presence.

Example

We all want to be successful. As we pine away at producing content into the wee hours of the night, we do not hit that publish button hoping that no one will read what we have to say so that we can make $0.00 per hour…we hope that it takes off like a viral masterpiece so we can enjoy the fruits of our labor! However, there are certain aspects of blogging that can completely derail your goal and keep you in the “could have been” pile for years to come. It is important that you address each of these success killers in your blogging to insure that you can be more efficient and keep the snowball effect rolling. Otherwise…you are just going to be spinning the wheels of disappointment.

Top 12 Success Killers In Blogging

So let’s jump straight into it. Here are the top 12 success killers in blogging. If you do not get these items in check, you might as well pack up the laptop now and give up. These are not in any particular order as I find each of these items just as important as the rest.

1. Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media

Yes…social media is a fantastic way to bring in traffic to your blog and establish yourself as an expert in your niche. But…social media is also an addiction that can rob you of precious minutes throughout the day that could be used for actual productivity. If you want to really see how rampant this addiction is in today’s society, just take look at how much your friends that don’t own blogs spend on Facebook and Twitter!

Solution: You can use tools like HootSuite and MarketMeTweet to schedule tweets that also update your Facebook accounts and pages. It is also a good idea to block off a small portion of time during the day to focus on social media and then close those apps to cut down on distraction while you work.

2. Your Email Inbox

If you are anything like me, that 3 (or 40 in some cases) that is in a red circle on my email app drives me crazy. I just can’t not open it up and read it! Your email can drown you as a blogger. We all want to answer our emails in a timely fashion, but if we are spending the day answering one email at a time, we are disrupting work flow and concentration on our goals.

Solution: Just like with social media, block off a period of time each day to handle your email. During the rest of the time, close your email app or window to prevent the urge to jump into it every 5 minutes.

3. Not Tracking Statistics

Watched statistics increase. Any business owner will tell you that is just a natural part of the business building process. As you start to watch your metrics and earnings, you will see trends that can help you in the future as you try to increase income and productivity. How do you know what you need to improve if you are not sure what isn’t performing well? You don’t, so watching and tracking statistics is vital to success.

Solution: Luckily for bloggers, there are a ton of free and paid tools to make this happen. For web stats, you can use Google Analytics, Mint or CrazyEgg. For the monetary side of things, I typically like to just use Excel to track earnings and trends.

4. Procrastination

“I’ll just do that tomorrow.” I can not even begin to tell you how many blogs that one line has killed. Procrastination is a hard thing to combat when you do not have a boss leaning over your shoulder asking when a project is going to be completed. Being your own boss means that you actually have to be your own boss.

Solution: Set time lines and checklists and then stick to them! By writing things down and mapping out your day/week/month/year, you make yourself accountable. You are the only one that can get the job done and no one else cares (well maybe your readers) if you do or not. So get on it and get organized.

5. Low Self Worth

You started a blog or business because you wanted to make something better for yourself. You also started it with the belief that you were actually capable of completing that goal. With time, after a couple of trolls hit your site or you do not see success right away, you start to think that maybe you aren’t good enough or it just isn’t in the cards for you. One of the worst thing an aspiring full-time blogger can do is to start lowering their self worth by not believing in themselves. Confidence is required for success.

Solution: To keep the motivation and confidence rolling, celebrate the small successes. Did you have more subscribers today? Make your first 50 bucks? Celebrate these small successes that will lead up to large ones. You will be surprised what that can do for your blogging morale.

6. Unrealistic Expectations

A lot of bloggers jump into the scene with unbelievable, unrealistic expectations about blogging as an income. Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. If you are looking to make money fast online, take a look at pure affiliate marketing or some other form of faster income generation because blogging is about building a real business over time. If you are expecting to start a blog and be full-time in 6 months, you are just going to be disappointed and give up at the 6 month mark.

Solution: Set real, obtainable, honest goals for yourself and then start chipping off those goals one by one. The addition of small, completed goals equal the large payoff over time.

7. Not Setting Goals

Are you just winging it hoping for the best? Do you even know where you are headed? If you are not setting goals, you are just wandering in the wasteland of the Internet with the hope that something is going to hit one day. Successful business planning is centered around setting and achieving goals. Without that…you are just a blind man in a maze.

Solution: Set long-term and short-term goals. The short-term goals should add up to the long-term over time. Track these goals and cross them off as you compete them.

8. No Defined Purpose

How many blogs have you gone to that do not seem to have a defined purpose. They start off with a specific niche and then start talking about blogging, their life or some other random subject that has nothing to do with their original intent. The by-product of this behavior? The blogger starts to lose their audience, credibility and success.

Solution: Pick a niche and rock it out. No one wants to hear about blogging on your gardening blog. They want to hear about gardening! As time progresses, you can expand into other related subject matters (like tree growing), but you need to keep it related. You can kill your blog by going off topic frequently.

9. Bad Promotion Strategies

The “build it and they will come” mentality to blogging is gone. Unfortunately, there is just too much mess on the Internet today to rise above the noise without some kind of self-promotion. In today’s world of successful blogging, you have to be a marketer as much as you are a blogger to get your name out there.

Solution: Find the promotion strategies that work best in your niche. There is no “one size fits all” solution here so you are going to have to test guest posting, forums, social media and other outlets to see what works best in your niche…and then keep testing.

10. No Monetization Strategy

As I wrote in a recent article “Are you writing articles that actually have the ability to make money?“, there are a lot of bloggers that assume that traffic equals income. So…they keep writing, day in and day out, to find they are increasing their community but they are not making a dime doing it. You have to actually have a monetization strategy in your blogging to generate income. It is that simple.

Solution: Test, test and retest different methods. Whether it is PPC campaigns, having your own product, affiliate marketing, direct advertising, membership sites or a combination of all of those methods. You need to take an honest look at how your content is actually going to generate income and then test those methods to death to see what works the best on your blog.

Bonus Hint: If you do not have an email newsletter (I use Aweber), you are not going to make a significant income online. Quite possibly the biggest mistake you can make as a blogger from a monetization and growth standpoint is not starting an email newsletter from the very beginning.

11. Not Treating Your Blog Like A Business

Blogging for income is not a hobby, it is a business. If you treat your blog as a hobby…it will only ever be a hobby. You have to treat your blogging as a business if you ever want to be successful.

Solution: Treat your blog as a business by tracking expenses, income and filing the appropriate taxes. My blogs are actually under a LLC as well. When you start implementing some of these solutions and planning goals for your blogging, you are stepping into the serious end of the business. Take yourself and your business seriously if you really want to make it.

12. Sub-Par Copycat Content

Saw someone else making money on their blog and decided to do the same thing? Or did you start a making money online blog without having actually ever generated a penny online? Blogging is all about over-the-top quality content. The “go on this journey with me” content strategy does not work. Blogging is still and will always be about connecting with readers through high-quality content.

Solution: The trick to producing incredible content is writing about a subject matter in which you are passionate about or have a lot of knowledge. Your readers are going to be able to see through a fake, so by writing on these subjects, you are being honest and providing quality. Once you have done that, get on a posting schedule that works for you and allows great content…then stick to that posting schedule.

There you have it! The top 12 success killers in blogging. Are you doing anything on the list?!