Become a Writer – 4 Quick Tips to Help You

notebook for a writer

Do you classify yourself as a writer?

After-all, what is a writer?

This is one of my occasional articles about writing, if you have a blog believe it or not you are a writer.  You might not be Stephen King or William Shakespeare, but you are a writer and be proud of it!

I myself am no great writer, although a Brit I struggle to write good English.

So read on and here goes…

Have Your Own Voice as a Writer

You may have to make changes in various ways you write depending on your article but none of this should inhibit the inherent “you-ness” of what you write. Never try to adopt someone else voice or style even if it appears to be better than your own.  Nobody is better at being you than you!

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Oscar Wilde

Write for your Audience

You need to be able to write for yTypewriter as a writerour audience not yourself. If you write something that means nothing to your audience, does it have any merit?

You could argue it does if you are doing it for yourself, but if you want to attract a following it must appeal to who you want your audience to be.

You can wear what you like linguistically or sartorially when you’re at home or with friends, but most people accept the need to smarten up under some circumstances.

Stephen Fry

Determine your “So What?”

So what?

That is the reason you have this urge to write something, there must be some purpose to what you write. Make sure you understand your “So what” so when you write your readers will understand your “So what”.

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

Toni Morrison

Be Deliberate About your Format when a Writer

This is easy, determine your format, are you writing “War and Peace” or “Thomas the Tank Engine”. There are poems and short stories. Tweets and feature-length films. Articles and cartoons. One-acts and puppet shows.

Choose a format that works for you and stick to it, you can build from there.

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.

– Ernest Hemingway

Over to You

I hope you enjoy this article and perhaps it gave you some inspiration!

Please leave a comment with your thoughts and share with your community on social media.

If you want to read a great book on writing you might want to check out Stephen King’s On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

Review of Instaquote

Instaquote Featured Image

You have seen all those fancy pictures with quotes and text on, well here is a simple way to create those images using an app called Instaquote.

Just down load it to your Android on iphone and away you go.

If you haven’t used Instagram before you might want to grab my Getting Started Guide to help you get going.

So what does Instaquote do?

Instaquote simply allows you to add Text to any photo you have on your phone.  You can make any quote standout by adding a great image behind it.

Then you can share your thoughts with the world.

What Instaquote won’t do?

It won’t allow you to rotate the text add fancy stickers to the image.  It is just designed to allow you to add great images to quotes or other sorts of messages you want to share.

How do You use Instaquote?

Simple, download the app.

Start the app, double tap and start typing.

For the rest watch the video, it is a simple to use App and the video will explain the rest.

As with most apps Instaquote is simple to use and you can create awesome looking quotes in seconds.

Sharing with Instaquote

Where can I share my images?

Instaquote Sharing

Instaquote is obviously written for sharing your images and quotes on Instagram but as you can see you can share to Facebook and Twitter as well.

But more than just Facebook and Twitter, Instaquote allows you to save your images to your camera roll, from there you can use them anywhere you like.

The other feature which is awesome, is sharing to “other apps”.

If you watched the video you will see Instaquote picks up on other apps you have on your phone and allows you to share your images with those apps.

Some of the apps I share with are:

  • Flickr
  • Linkedin
  • Google+
  • Evernote
  • iCloud Photo Sharing

Finally, on the sharing front, if you liked your image so much you can save it as your phone background.

Really, the sharing options are endless, all just depends what you have loaded on your phone.

Over to you

I hope you found this review of Instaquote useful.  Please leave me a comment below and share on your social media channels if you enjoyed this article.

For more tips and tricks and on Instagram and come join my Exclusive Coaching Program Facebook Group.

If you are new to Instagram you can grab my Getting Started Guide which will give you a checklist to get you started.

As always if I can help you, come  find me on Facebook, and send me a message.

 

5 Big Mistakes on Instagram

This5 Big Mistakes on Instagram

This article gives you 5 Big Mistakes on Instagram that are often made.

Instagram achieves one of the highest engagements rates of all the social media channels but these are some of the things you really shouldn’t do.

Of course this assumes you want to market on Instagram and are not just using to post photo’s of the dog.

Mistakes on Instagram

This list of Mistakes on Instagram is not exhaustive but I do consider them to be the BIG ones.  So read on.

Lets start at the beginning.

Use a Meaningful Username

If you are serious about marketing using Instagram you need a username that is meaning full like your name or your business name if you can get it.  You want it to be easy to find.  Always a good suggestion is to use your Twitter username.  Mine is slightly different as I could get the same username.

My twitter handle is @andrewrlockhart

and my Instagram username is @andyrlockhart

Don’t Set your account to private

On Instagram you can set your account to be private.  If you are going to market on Instagram your account must be public or else nobody is going to see your stuff!

Post Photos One After AnotherThis5 Big Mistakes on Instagram

I have heard one school of thought that says you shouldn’t post more than once a day.  That is simply not true.

When you post you need to leave time for your photo or video to be seen and interacted with.  If you want more engagement you need to leave at least an hour or so between posts.

Ignoring Your Followers Comments

You ignore your followers comments at your peril.

You ignore the comments you are ignoring your business.

As people comment on your posts you need to respond and grow the dialogue.  This is all about building the know like and trust factor.

When you do respond make sure you use @theirusername in the comment so they see you have responded in their notifications.

This will definitely help grow your engagement.

Buying Followers

Just like any social media channel, buying followers is a disaster.  You will get comments on your photo’s of people offering you followers for a price.  Don’t go there!

Spend your time building a following of people who will be interested in what you have to say.  Then you will get people who will Like and Comment on your photos.

Which leads to building that all important relationship.

Over to you

I hope you found this article on 5 Big Mistakes on Instagram useful and make sure you don’t ignore them.

Please don’t buy followers!

If you would like to see my Instagram feed you can see it by Clicking Here

Please leave a comment below and share on social media so other can benefit.

Review of the Instagram Layout App

Instagram Layout App

I started using the Instagram Layout App recently and thought it was a great simple to use App.  It is great to build those collage style photos and allows you to do it in seconds.

Instagram Layout App

Below is how the App looks on your phone, well on an iPhone anyway.  I used my kids trip to the beach yesterday as the example for this post.

Instagram Layout App

To use the Instagram Layout App you simply select the photos you want to use or take new ones as the App has access to the camera as well.  You can put your collage together in seconds.

Instagram Layout App

 

I picked 4 from the trip to the beach.  Watch the video below you can see how easy it is to pick different formats and drag the pictures around.  Once you have the collage the way you want it to look you can still play around with the mirror and flipping functions that layout provides.

[youtube_sc url=”https://youtu.be/AFpKewHfdc8″ title=”Instagram%20Layout%20App%20Review”]

Over To you – What do you think of the Instagram Layout App

I short post but I hope you found value in it.

Let me know what you think?

Have you used the Instagram Layout App?  Or do you prefer one of the many other Apps out there?

Leave a comment and let me know.

If you enjoyed this post, please share in your social media channels.

Consistency is the Key

consitentcy is the key

You Always are Told Consistency is Key

You always hear you need to be consistent in what you do.

and you need to keep doing this activity everyday.

Raining MississippiI know some people don’t believe that, it can’t make that big a difference.

Well I can stand here in a raining Mississippi and say it absolutely does make a difference.

For various reasons which I won’t get into here I haven’t written a blog article for a few months and my site has dropped in rankings from being ranked in the US in the top 60,000 websites to now in the Millions!

Now who says activity doesn’t count?

This is of course one little example, but if you create follows or fans and you only communicate with them once in a while what will happen.

They may not even know you are there anymore or worse and more likely they are not going to follow you.

Consistency is the Key

consistency-is-key

So why aren’t people consistent?

Can be many reasons and excuses, lack of organization, procrastination, that To-Do-List is to long, lack of time management, writers block, to busy.

I could go on and on but you need to take action on what ever is stopping you.

Create yourself a daily routine and stick to it.  If you are going to blog, post on social media allocate a time to write the articles and then use a publishing calendar to make sure everything goes out when it should do.

This will help drive consistency.  If you look at Ray Higdon, he publishes a Blog article everyday and has done for ages.  Come, rain, shine, events, travel he gets his message out there everyday.

It doesn’t need to be a long article, it can be video, audio on whatever you are happiest to use.

Which obviously leads to what do I want to say or write about?

What is your passion?  Write about that, just don’t use writers block as an excuse.  If you get into a daily routine that won’t be a problem.  As Jerry Seinfeld says

Writer’s block is a phony, made up, BS excuse for not doing your work.

Consistency is the Key to success, don’t find excuses.

Consistency in Social Media Activity

The same applies with Social Media, doesn’t matter what channels you are using if you don’t post regularly your account will become dead and eventually won’t get seen anybody.

Although social media can be fun it’s important to remember that you have to work social media if you want it to work for you.

Regardless if you are using Social Media for your business, your hobby or just sharing your musings it won’t get seen so get yourself into a routine and make sure you stick to it come rain or shine.  You will reap the reward.

Find that True Passion

If your motivation is purely the money it is probably not going to work.  You need to find that True Passion that will really motivate you.

motivation

When you find that passion it will allow you to produce and go that extra mile to get people enthused about what you do and become a fan.

Once someone is a fan you make them into a raving fan and they will follow what you do and be an advocate for you.

Then they will be coming to you which brings me back around to that whole attraction marketing concept.  Attracting people to you for who you are, how you help people and what you stand for.

Not for trying to sell them something or force something down their throat!

Consistency Leads to becoming a Master

If you are consistent every day, every week,every month you will become a master at your trade. Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers  talked about needing 10,000 hours to be an expert in your profession regardless of that profession.

By being consistent you will reach that goal and be that expert

So set yourself some meaningful goals, set yourself a schedule and publish content and create new connections every day and you will grow yourself and your brand.

Let me know your thoughts and leave a comment.  If you liked the article please share on your social media channels.

17 LinkedIn Must Haves

social media

How is your LinkedIn profile? Have you looked at it recently?

Don’t worry you are not alone, only 42% of people update their LinkedIn profile regularly.  So if haven’t done yours, you are in the majority!  Here are some elements you should consider when you review your LinkedIn profile.

Your LinkedIn Business Card

The first part of your LinkedIn profile is the Business Card which shows at the top of your business profile.

This has important items like your picture, your name and a brief description of your position or job.

Make sure your profile picture is a professional picture.  LinkedIn is a professional network and you want to look that way.

Your professional headline is 110 characters long, make sure you use them all and make them count.  You want to encourage visitors to find out more about you.

By default your profile URL is generated by LinkedIn.  You can customize this to be your name if it is available.  Here is mine as an example

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewrlockhart

[ois skin=”LinkedIn”]

Be Active

Like any social media platform you need to be active on LinkedIn and share updates that are thoughtful and educational.  Share insights and news on your industry.

Build on your LinkedIn Headline

Your summary should build on your headline.  It should convince the visitor they need to be talking to you.  Make sure you have a good summary, key areas of expertise and keywords can also help your profile be found.

Endorsements

Don’t neglect your endorsements, it can improve how you are found in searches.  There have been over 10 Billion endorsements given since this feature was launched.  The average is only 5 endorsements per user.  This means you can easily stand out above the average.

Join LinkedIn Groups

81% of users belong to at least one group.  There are more than 200 million conversations happening every minute on the platform.

By being part of LinkedIn groups you will have the opportunity to take part in the discussions and use the group messaging features which helps you get more connections.

 

LinkedIn-Perfect-Profile-Tips-Summary-Infographic-11

Published by MarketMeSuite working with Maximize Social Business.com’s Neal Schaffer.

What About You?

How are you increasing your LinkedIn connections? What has been your most effective tactic? If you are new to LinkedIn what do you like best about the platform?

Look forward to your insights and feedback on LinkedIn in the comments below.

7 Tips to Double Your Pinterest Followers

Pinterest

As a business owner or marketer, you may be asking yourself whether you need to worry about adding Pinterest to your social media strategy.

All depends on if you want to tap into the 70 million users who pin and share content on the site and use it to get recommendations and compare products?

Before we go any further make sure you have completed your profile and uploaded your picture, a head shot would be best, people like to see who they are communicating with.

Make sure you have linked your website, your Facebook and Twitter accounts to your profile and then fill out the Bio so people know what you are about.  Remember that old phrase Know, Like and Trust.  This all helps.

Share Share Share

The more you share and the more you pin content to your boards the more your name will get out the3 simple rules pinterestre.  Remember to pin stuff that will appeal to your follows and supports your brand.

80% of pins are repinned and this is the viral nature of Pinterest.

In a recent survey it was found that red, orange and brown are 2 times more likely to be pinned that blue.  Images with medium lightness are 20 times more likely to be pinned than dark images.

Think about the images you use carefully.

Be Active on Pinterest

Go to the “popular feed” and comment on pins to get your name out there.  The “popular” feed will show the Best Pinterest Pins. Make sure your comments add value so keep away from “nice pin” and similar types of comment.

Don’t comment on posts more than 2 or 3 times a day otherwise Pinterest is going to note you as a spammer and could suspend your account.

Use other Social Media Platforms

So here are some interesting facts for you:

Pinterest produces 4 times more revenue per click than Twitter and 27% more than Facebook

Make sure you have linked your Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can share your Pins on Facebook and Twitter.

In your Bio’s on Facebook and Twitter put a link to your Pinterest account.

[ois skin=”Nerium Skin”]

Promote your boards

Make sure your most popular boards are on the top row of your Pinterest account so people can see them without scrolling.  The ones above the fold as to say.  You can simply drag and drop the boards to get them in the order you want.

Invite others to contribute to your boards, this way your board will appear on their account and you will get more exposure and content.

Also think about promoting your most popular boards and not the complete account.

Host a Contest

When you host a contest no matter what, you want the person entering the contest to follow you.  Make sure your prize is proportional to the amount of effort you are requiring them to do.

Make sure you create a pin that has the word “contest” or “giveaway”, the contest end date and what the prize is.

Find out what is popular

You can check what the Best Pinterest Pins from your website by using the following WebSite http://pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com

You can then find out what is popular and plan accordingly.  You can also go thank people for Pinning your stuff!

Promote your Pinterest

Not only can you promote your Pinterest boards on-line you can promote it off-line.  Incorporate it into your marketing materials, flyers, brochures and signs.  Put your Pinterest information on your business card.

To see my Pinterest account follow the link HERE.

Pintrest

Infographic source: Whoishostingthis.com

What About You?

How are you increasing your Pinterest followers? What has been your most effective tactic? If you are new to Pintrest what do you like best about the platform?

Look forward to your insights and feedback on Pinterest in the comments below.