The fastest way to use Twitter?

This is a question. Not a statement.

I’m in Denmark. I have been out walking. This is a picture from the view on my journey. While walking, watching this spectacular view, I started to think about how I’m using Twitter.

Lønstrup - Denmark

At first, I didn’t think I was looking for fast. I was logging into Twitter a few times each day, to see what was going on, to answer any questions or reply to any mentions. I didn’t publish much, other than retweets. Now, that I’m on vacation in Denmark, I’m thinking that I might have to look for a method that’s faster. I’m looking for the most convenient method, a method that will help me to be more in control. Well, I might not be looking for a method, maybe what I’m looking for is a software or a tool?

I’m currently using SproutSocial, and it’s awesome. I’m not sure if I’ll find something better. But, I’m looking for a cheaper tool/method. I’m currently paying $99 a month, and that’s too much, even though it’s awesome.

The reason I’m doing something about the way I’m using Twitter, is that I don’t have as much time as I used to have when I first started using Twitter. I’m using several other social networks too. I’m using Facebook, Instagram, G+, LinkedIn and Snapchat, just to mention a few.

I’m still using Twitter more than the other social networks, but since I’m not just focusing on Twitter, I feel that I need to do some changes.

I want to discuss which tools you are using for Twitter. Like I said, I’m using SproutSocial right now, but I’m moving away. I need it to be fast, beautiful and cheap(er).

Do you have any suggestions?

Do you keep a schedule for your blog?

I have a question for you.

heart blue

I haven’t been around for a while. If you’ve seen me, it was probably just for a few minutes. I just could keep myself focused on blogging. I have been trying to figure out how to deal with all the various projects.

The reason I’m writing today, and the reason I’m ready to publish my first blog post in a while, is that I finally feel that I have some sort of control, and I have a solution – but I still want you to answer my question.

I’ve written about this before; how do you focus on blogging, when you just don’t have the time? It’s difficult, in fact, it’s the hardest thing I’ve been doing when it comes to business. I believe blogging is one of the most important part of my business, still, it’s so hard to keep up writing and publishing on a schedule, when I’m really busy.

You probably know what the question is by now.

I would really appreciate it, if you’d leave a comment, explaining how you keep blogging when you’re really busy. Do you keep a schedule for writing and do you keep a schedule for publishing your blog posts?

And, do you always keep that schedule, even when you’re very busy?

My new philosophy for a happy life is what keeps me going. I really love what I am doing, and I have more energy than ever, but I just can’t seem to keep up my blogging.

My solution

I haven’t tested this yet. But, right now, I’m thinking that I’ll be waking up one hour earlier each day. I want a head start, and I want to get more things done. I’m thinking about waking up at 04:30. I’m an early riser, and I wouldn’t suggest this if I didn’t want to do it.

What’s your solution?

Do one thing every day that scares you

I still have a fear of flying. I keep thinking about it, trying to figure out why, but it’s not helping. I’m not closer to any solution. Once in a while, I drive to the airport, I watch the planes for a few minutes, before I decide that it’s worth the risk. I always end up inside a plane, traveling. I haven’t turned away and driven back home, yet.

tiny plane

My gut feeling tells me that the fear of flying is not rational. The statistics tells me that it’s safe. It’s safer than most other ways of travel. On the other hand, it worries me. I keep thinking about all the bad things that can happen. I keep thinking about the technology and I’m trying to smile by telling myself things like; if God wanted us to fly he would have given us wings. It never helps.

Marketing fails

We have learned how to fail, and we’ve learned how to be successful, by following a system and by doing what other successful people and businesses are doing. We’re following the leader.

We’re afraid of breaking habits. We’re afraid of experimenting by making people change their behavior. We want people to think of us, and we want every single thought to be a positive thought.

The world has changed. It seems that every second is important. We’re on social media, waiting for people to respond. We’re publishing like we’re journalists, or like we’re all born marketers.

We’re trying to break through the clutter, and earn attention, by doing what we believe other people want. We’re using social media, to express what already works. We keep telling ourselves that we really want the new job, even though the voice we’re hearing is not our own.

What fear is

Do you wake up with a smile on your face, combined with a worried grin? Do you feel that you don’t have any control. Do you feel like me, when I’m about to travel? Like I’m at the airport watching the planes leave and the voice on the speaker is calling my name.

Being afraid is good.

It feels like you’re at the dentist, watching a beautiful painting. It can make you calm, even though you don’t feel that you don’t have any control. You’re afraid, but what you’re really doing is making a dent in the universe by changing your methods, changing your behavior, and changing your focus.

Fear inspires action. Fear is the sign that you’re doing something awesome.

Do you tell the truth in your blog posts?

I have two main goals as a blogger. I build relationships as part of my business, and I am teaching marketing. That’s it. I am writing my blog posts to make people think, and I’m trying to be creative and unique, to stand out from the crowd and to make people remember my messages.

Haakon back

I am not always telling the truth

This means that I’m not always telling the truth. I’m writing stories, and I’m focusing on the message and that there’ll be some element of learning. The stories are different. I wrote the post; I promised her something she would never forget, and it didn’t happen like that. I was with my two kids, but I felt like writing a different story. The message was this; show, don’t tell.

I wrote a different post about love and lust. I called it; she turns me on. It didn’t happen. I made it up. On the other hand, the message was clear and I received a lot of feedback that it was entertaining.

What’s happening?

I really enjoy writing fiction. When I write, I always want to you, and I want you to remember what you’ve just read. I want you to feel that you’re part of the story. The best feedback I get, is when someone tells me that they’ve been thinking about one of my posts for days or weeks, and that they finally got the message.

I want my posts to be of value. I want you to read them, think about them, but it’s more important that you can use what you’ve read – turn the messages into something that’ll work for you.

I’ve been thinking about adding a sentence at the bottom of my posts, a sentence saying that it’s based on a true story.

The reason I’m explaining what I’m doing, is that I’ve received a lot of feedback during the past few months. People have asked me; what’s happening in your life? I can assure you and them, that nothing new is going on. I just enjoy writing …

Your turn

Is it ok for me to not always tell the truth in my posts, as long as it’s entertaining, it makes you think and you’ll end up learning something? And, what about you, do you always tell the truth in your posts?

I promised her something she would never forget

I said, you look lovely, as soon as she opened the door. This is the prettiest I’ve ever seen you. Your dress is perfect, and the color, it turns your eyes into diamonds.

I could tell, from looking at her smile, that this night was going to be fantastic. And, I did have something special planned for her.

We were in Gothenburg (Sweden). Her hotel room was exactly like mine, the only difference was the location. I could see the amusement park from her window.

I’m ready, she said. Why can’t you tell me what you’ve planned for tonight? You’re so… mysterious.

She had no idea.

We walked. She told me it was chilly. I smiled and said, we’re almost there.

I asked her; do you know why I love visiting Gothenburg?

I looked at her face. She looked at me, briefly. I could see that she was shivering. I didn’t wait for her to answer.

One of the reasons I love visiting Gothenburg, I said, is the fantastic vegetarian food. No matter where I turn, there’s a restaurant with vegetarian food. And, my favorite fast food place is Jonsborg, it’s located at the Avenu. We’re almost there.

She stopped. She didn’t say it, but I could see it on her face. What did you just say?

We’re almost there. Look at my finger. Look at where I’m pointing. You see that red sign. That’s it.

The reason I’m so fascinated by Jonsborg, is not just about the food. They do serve awesome vegetarian burgers and vegetarian hot dogs, but what’s even more remarkable, is the customer service.

They remember who I am. They remember my name. They’re always smiling. They’re making me smile. I’m happy when I’m when I’m there.

She still didn’t say anything. But, she continued walking.

I opened the door for her. Her eyes told me that; my dress is way too nice for this place. I just smiled at her, and told her that I’d order her some fantastic vegetarian food. Just wait, I said. Sit on that stool, I’ll take care of it.

I talked to Magnus Jonsborg, the owner, and he promised that he’d make me some fantastic “alternative” vegetarian food. And he did.

But, she still didn’t smile. She said it was good. But, not exactly what she expected. What’s with the vegan food, she said. She looked at the sign, that said vegan mayonnaise. How do you make something like that? Don’t they use egg whites?

Magnus heard her question. He walked towards us, and said, wait a minute. I’ll show you. He walked back into the kitchen, and when he finally got back out to our table, he had brought his equipment and the ingredients. This is how I’m making it he said, and he started showing her.

magnus jonsborg

I could see her smile, and how fascinated she was, looking at Magnus creating the vegan mayonnaise. She started asking more questions, and when she finally tasted the mayonnaise, she told me it was the best mayonnaise she’d ever tasted. I’m not a vegan and I’m not a vegetarian, she said, but so far, I’m having a wonderful time. And, the food is great.

What’s next she said?

She started laughing when I told her that we’re going to the movie theater. I hope you like popcorn, I said.

The new experiment and why I want to be more creative

I used to have a plan, and I did everything according to that plan. That’s what happened when I wrote the novel, the one about the serial killer. I didn’t publish any parts of the book, until I was finished. I wrote a different story, it’s called Fuzzy, you can read it here. The same thing happened. I wrote every single word, and I published it, only when I was sure that it was completely finished.

writing a novel

I had a lot of fun during both projects. And, I’m satisfied with the results. But, I want to test if I can have even more fun and get better results by doing things differently.

Turning writing into a habit

I know that if I want to become a better writer, I need to make writing part of my daily habit. It needs to become a routine. I have been working hard to find the time and to find the place for writing.

I have written about this before, but now it’s different. It’s not just something I try to do, I’m really doing it. I’m making a huge effort every day, to make writing the first thing I do in the morning.

I’m using the pomodoro technique, to work in 25 minute increments. I believe that this makes me more productive. I have also been telling myself that I’ll be doing the most important tasks, first thing in the morning. The tasks I really need to finish.

The problem, is to decide what tasks are the most important tasks. As a solopreneur, I believed that my most important tasks was the task making me money. At the same time, I was thinking long term, and I was focusing on the projects that would help my business sometime into the future.

Now, it’s different. I’m not sure if writing is the most important thing I do, but it’s something that makes me feel great, and it’s something that I believe I need to do. It’s a great way to start the day. I am happier, and I have a lot more energy.

Building a community vs Google

I’ve been writing every day for several weeks now, but I’m still asking myself whether I should be publishing posts every day, or if I should be publishing new posts just a few times every week. I still don’t know if I should stick to a routine, or if every week should be different. I write a lot, and it shouldn’t be a problem to have enough content for a new blog post every day. But, I am currently more busy than ever, and I don’t have enough time to answer all the comments I get. I still get daily comments on many of my old posts as well.

I really want to focus on building a community on my blog. I want to get more readers, and I want to engage them. I want passionate people, people that care about the things I care about.

I have big plans for my blog. But, just after I started my long term planning, I received an email from Google WebMasterTools, telling me that Google had applied a manual spam action to my site. Even though I haven’t focused much on traffic from Google, I wasn’t sure what would happen to my blog, after this. I felt vulnerable. I was about to get hurt.

I don’t write to earn money, and blogging is not a big part of my business, at least not yet. But, I need traffic and I need feedback.

Now, that I’ve received help, and everything’s back to normal, I’m still thinking about how it felt to get hit by Google, and how important it is for me to build close relationships with my readers.

The new experiment

You might already know this, but I’ll tell you again, just in case you’ve missed it. Lizarraga, my first novel, is only available in Norwegian. I enjoy writing in both Norwegian and English. I believe that I’m a much better writer when I write in my native language. I do my best to write proper grammar and good stories in English, but Norwegian is still the language I prefer when I’m writing.

I wanted to start writing a new book. I didn’t know the plot. I didn’t know the genre. At first, I didn’t know if I wanted to write fiction or non-fiction. The only thing I wanted to do, was to write.

I didn’t want to copy the method I used when I wrote the first two books. I wanted to try something different. I started thinking about whether I should just start writing something and publish it, no matter if it was something I was proud of, or something that had nothing to do as part of my new book. I was thinking about if I should be doing any editing, before releasing it to the public. I felt vulnerable. It wasn’t the same feeling I got when I received the email from Google, but I was worried what people would think of me.

When I write, it’s personal, even though it’s not something I’ve experienced. It’s my story, and I’m using my words to descibe it. If I’d publish it, as soon as I’ve finished writing a short part of it, without any editing, I would do something I’m not comfortable with. On the other hand, I would get a lot more done. I’d feel that I’ve accomplished something way sooner than when I was writing the other two books. When I feel that I accomplish something, I also feel more energy and I’m more eager to continue.

So, that’s what I’ve started doing. That’s my experiment. I’m writing a new book. It’s in Norwegain, and what I’m doing is that I’m writing a chapter and I’m publishing it as soon as I’ve finished writing it. I’m not doing any editing. I’m not sure if I’ve even read the chapter when I publish it. I just write what I’m thinking about, and I’m creating the story as I go.

This is my latest experiment (the text is in Norwegian)

Creativity

To me, experimenting is about doing things in a different way. I’m doing it in a different way, because it makes me more creative. That’s the reason why I wrote the post; how creativity is born, and that’s the reason why I continue to test and strive to find new methods that works for me.

The reason I want to be more creative is that it makes me happy. Creativity makes me enjoy life even more.