Stop Twittering and Focus on Your Business

By | January 3, 2008

UPDATE: April 3, 2009 – I still don’t like twitter, but I’m going to give it a try. In the 16 months since I wrote this article, twitter has become the hottest and most talked about web 2.0 property. I plan on writing another article about twitter soon. But I need to give it a “fair try” in order to give more credibility to my new article. Maybe I’ll become a twitter convert. I doubt it, but we’ll see. Feel free to “follow” me in this test:

Edition #146 – 01/03/2008

Happy New Year to all the wonderful readers of this newsletter! Thank you for reading Eric’s Tips. It would be kind of pointless to write it if there was nobody reading it, so thank you for giving me a reason to write!

In 2007, I more or less put my marketing business “on hold” so that I could focus full time on producing an internet reality show.

It was a tremendous investment of time and money, and intangible resources like emotion and determination. It was one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my life to date, and it was an experience from which I have learned and grown immeasurably.

If I had lost focus of the goal at any point during the year, there’s a good chance the project would have never been completed. So today I’d like to rant a little about staying focused and avoiding the ever-present distractions of the internet.

More specifically, I’m going to pick on Web 2.0’s current hot phenomenon–Twitter–but this message also applies to a myriad of other potential distractions (including all the social networking sites).

In case you’re not familiar with Twitter, it’s basically what I would describe as a “micro blogging” platform, upon which you are supposed to communicate with frequent bits of information.

Now, before I launch into the reasons that will probably get me labeled a “Twitter hater”, let me tell you some things that I think are good about Twitter.

First of all, it’s a good idea. It seems to be a natural link in the evolution of social networking, and it has enough traction that it will be around for a long time. I crunched some numbers recently, and determined that my 17-year-old sister in law spends approximately 50 hours per month sending and receiving text messages on her cell phone.

For those who are spending their time on “social activities” anyway, Twitter can be a more efficient way to do it.

But when it comes to those of us who are using the internet to make money, I think Twitter is about the worst possible use of our time, with a couple of exceptions.

If being a social icon IS your business then you have to do it. My friend Charles Trippy is a good example. He has over 88,000 MySpace friends, 36,000 YouTube subcribers, and his online identity is tied to his prominence in the social networking sphere.

But that’s a rare individual. Out of the 24,000 subscribers of this newsletter, I’m guessing there’s only a small handful who have the potential of becoming the next Web 2.0 “celebrity”.

So what about using it as an internet marketer? I’ve received a dozen or so requests in the past month from various internet marketers asking me to become their friend on Twitter.

Perhaps the reason why so many marketers (including Joel Comm) are embracing this phenomenon, is because it’s a legitimate way to further expand their online presence.

Email deliverability is at an all-time low, and a service such as Twitter could be just the ticket to growing a highly responsive list of “followers”.

But I say at what cost? Sure you can start slipping links into your micro-updates, and your followers will click on them. But will the revenue generated by your Twittering equal what you COULD have made if you had focused on income producing activities instead of socializing?

For one thing, it seems to me that you HAVE to Twitter very frequently if you want to be an effective Twitterer. And when I say frequently, I mean like several times a day.

Sure, the Twittering itself doesn’t take very long, but you have to think about it throughout the day, otherwise it won’t happen. Maybe it only takes 20-30 seconds to post your latest “tweet” (via the web, or cell phone, or whatever), but I guarantee that you are thinking about it more than just the time you spend doing it.

Next, the more you become entwined in the world of Twittering, the more likely that you will start “following” other people’s Twitters. I spent some time surfing through Twitter profiles, and discovered that most people are following HUNDREDS of friends.

And if you’re receiving updates from hundreds of people, it will be likely that you will spend time reading some of them, and the more you read the more tempting it will be to RESPOND to those other people.

Let’s say you spend a very modest 10 minutes a day on Twitter-related activities (reading, writing, replying, thinking…). That’s over 60 hours in a year… 2.5 days of your life (more than an average work week)!

So in order to justify Twitter from a business standpoint, it would have to create more results than you would get from a week of working on your business (or more than a week if you spend more than 10 minutes a day Twittering).

Of course that same principle applies to virtually anything you spend 10 minutes a day doing. It’s something to think about.

I think the biggest reason that Twitter has gained such popularity is because of our innate desire to feel that our lives are significant. If others are willing to read about the mundane details of our lives, then we must be significant, right?

In one respect, friends are worth infinitely more than money, and in that regard social networking is a way to leverage the internet to gain a wealth of friends.

On the other hand, I truly feel that most of our online “friendships” are ultimately superficial. Yes there are examples of sincerity, particularly in the younger generation who speak the language of SMS and Web 2.0 (and I’ve seen my wife gain closer friends through MySpace), but when it comes to business networking I think the superficiality is even more extreme.

I have no doubt that if I started Twittering, I could get a few hundred “friends” pretty quickly. But at the same time, I know that I can count my really good friends on one hand… and even they don’t care about the mundane details of my life.

So what will I be doing INSTEAD of Twittering?

I’ll be focusing on three simple steps that Kris Jones outlined when he taught on The Next Internet Millionaire. Those three steps are:

1) Find something that works
2) Replicate it
3) Scale it

Growing a successful business really is that simple when you break it down to the most fundamental level.

In fact, I’ll mostly be focusing on just #2 (replicate it). I’ve already figured out what works for me, so I can skip #1. And I’ll be doing some scaling, but my scaling will be different than Kris Jones’ scaling, because I don’t want to be the CEO of a big company. I’ll be scaling it in a way that fits my lifestyle.

If you do want to scale a big business, be like Twitter. If you read their parent company’s blog, you’ll see that they had planned on creating more products. They created a Web 2.0 site prior to Twitter called Odeo, which was not very successful. But then they found something that WORKED (Twitter), and they’ve devoted all of their resources to scaling it ever since.

They have not even begun to monetize Twitter, and I’m sure it is costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars per month to sustain it, but that doesn’t matter because its user base has already turned it into one of the most valuable Web 2.0 sites which means its founders will likely become VERY rich if they decide to sell it.

I’m heading out tomorrow morning with my family for a much needed vacation. I won’t tell you where I’m going, but I will say its warmer than Colorado. I’ll fill you in on the details when I get back.

As always you are welcome to leave your comments on here my blog.

Have a great day!

68 thoughts on “Stop Twittering and Focus on Your Business

  1. Coupons

    I think most of us loose time and focus with internet stuff, and the only way to avoid it is with a very strong attitude, or simply disconnecting and to work offline for some hours…
    The internet is procrastinators best friend :p


    Nuno Alex

  2. Connie

    Just one more thing to be distracted by…I have enough trouble staying focused as it is! There will be no Twittering for me.

  3. Marilyn

    I appreciate all your comments and keep them on a folder to read over and over.
    I am new to affilliate marketing and I am unsure where to find good products to promote.
    I have found one.
    My own DVD could/should be sold as an affilate product.
    I am in the process of writing an ebook relating to my niche interest and again don’t know how to promote it or where to even start..
    I’d like to get some specifics on these issues.
    Keep up the good writing. Ejnjoy the warmer weather ( I am in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

  4. Suzanna

    Happy New Year Eric! As always you have interesting news. As far as Twitter is concerned, sounds like a brilliant niche idea. I may be one of the few that doesn’t im or text to friends and family, not that good at multi tasking anymore. However it is the kraze and the name is great, so I can see a lot of people twittering along! Enjoy your trip to Colorado, I sure do miss the mountains.
    Cheers and God Bless

  5. Pingback: Cellular Phones » Stop Twittering and Focus on Your Business

  6. Jeanette

    Hey Eric,

    Great advice. I recently started Twittering and it sucks you in. I follow just a few people, but I read every one of their posts! Twitter has replaced my email checking, so at least that’s one step towards focusing on my business because email took way longer.

    Enjoy your vacation!

    Jeanette Fisher

  7. Elmer Hurlstone

    “Out of the 24,000 subscribers of this newsletter, I’m guessing there’s only a small handful who have the potential of becoming the next Web 2.0 “celebrity”. ”

    I’m first among them. Not.

    All I’m going to do is continue doing what has worked for me in the past. Just more of it.

    Just because something is new and shiny doesn’t make it right for everyone.

    Valid points, Eric. It’s nice to see you back.

    Enjoy your vacation.


  8. The Blogging Queen


    I couldn’t agree with you more. I think the real danger is to people either new to Internet Marketing or those not making a decent living online to focus on everything the big Internet Marketer’s do because of the association – “if x is doing it, it must be good.”

    I really had the learn the hard way – big losses of money – before I got just how important it was to focus. Mike Filsaime punched me straight between the eyes when he wrote The Death of Internet Marketing. I knew if I didn’t start focusing, I’d be the one dead on that boat with my dream still inside of me because of all the advice from passing boat owners suggesting which was the nicest place to visit.

    My recommendation to those who don’t want to fall into the trap of being carried with every wind and internet doctrine is to unsubscribe from all but those lists of marketers who give you good solid information rather than just sell to them – like you Eric!!

    Enjoy your vacation.


  9. Kevin Koop

    Hey Eric,

    I wholeheartedly agree! There’s nothing wrong with many of the newer social networking sites but I’m not sure that Twitter offers a solid ROI. I agree with Kris Jones… Find what works, Do what works, and then Outsource as much as possible so you can really Leverage what works. Thanks again for a great blog, Kevin

  10. Richard Hill

    Hi Eric,

    Wow, it sure is refreshing to here someone say something against pure unadulterated blathering. Don’t get me wrong. This, too, will become monetized and money will be made, and lost, on it. And it will provide another opportunity for many golden oldie ebooks to be dusted off and rewritten, all about this “amazing new phenomena that is guaranteed to make you, dear newbie, richer than Midas…” (Well, it will help maintain some author’s lifestyle, at least…)

    You get my point.

    And, secondarily, I’d really like to see something useful come out about the kind of internet marketing that has nothing to do with ebooks, courses (no reflection on you, Eric), seminars, or affiliate marketing. In other words, about all those millions of other sites that offer real products for real value. Other than the SEO stuff, their is little out there of use to those of us in this other world.

    None of this is meant to reflect on GuruLand cuz some really good stuff does come out of there, but perhaps this might stimulate a few new synapses in the old gray matter of a bright young guy like you.

    Take care, have fun, enjoy your family and stay warm!

    Richard Hill

  11. Tom


    You did a good job of articulating my feelings. Sure, I have a FaceBook account, Squidoo, my blog and a few other Web 2.0 networking accounts, and I try each one I “Stumble upon” just to see if it shows promise of something special. Twitter is one I decided to leave to the kids. In fairness, I only visited my Twitter account 4-5 times, but I just didn’t see how it could do anything for my business – and I’m not nearly bored enough to spend much time discovering who is washing their hair or getting their oil changed.

    If I were in a business that catered to teens or was cutting edge tech, I’d have different motivation I am certain, but in my case I operate in the home building niche of log homes and timber frame buildings. My website, and my blog are well placed in this niche, but I would bet that there aren’t very many log home people Twittering away their time.

    Good post and well said,


  12. Eric Post author

    Thanks for all the comments so far! Looks like a lot of people agree. Hopefully we will get some die-hard Twitterers to call me a hater or something 😉

    Jeanette- glad to hear about your experience with Twitter. I’m glad you still check your email for my newsletter though, lol!

    Richard- thanks for the input… I do like to know what you guys want to learn…

  13. Sean Stefan

    Great article Eric. I see Joel talking about Twitter all the time now, but I can’t bring myself to try it. I’ve already got enough distractions with Facebook.

    Getting your email was very ironic though. You write about how interupting twitter can be, but before I got your email I was doing some very productive writing. Alas I was interupted by your email and since the article was interesting, I was interupted by that too. At least this was a productive interuption though. For some reason I doubt Twitter provides a lot of those.

    My copy of the secret classroom should be here any day now I hope. Can’t wait!

    Sean Stefan

  14. SimplyD

    Hi Eric, Happy New Year. I agree that we need to be very mindful of the time spent on various tasks and really understand their ROI. The challenge for many is trying to find new and cost effective ways of driving traffic or reaching out. Twitter “seems” like the sexy new toy, is easy and free. I’ll admit I’ve tried it and am undecided. I did receive a few more hits to my blog directly from twitter, so it’s tough to turn away eyeballs. I’m working on a product site long term, so I’m trying to find things that work. There are so many “gurus” one can choose to follow that it’s hard to know who to listen to- some say yes, twitter it’s free and gives you additional views, others say no. As you quoted from Kris Jones: 1) Find something that works, 2) Replicate it, 3) Scale it. What that “something” is may be very different for you than it is for me.

  15. Kay

    Twitter seems like an adolescent thing to me. I could not care less who is eating lunch now, what they’re having, etc. Nor do I have the time or inclination to tell everybody what I’m doing at frequent intervals.

    Facebook is irritating enough, with the food fights, pirates vs. vampires, writing on walls, and so on and so forth. I’m too busy working my businesses and building my online empire!

  16. Steve

    Hi Eric…

    Interesting evaluation. I’ve noticed myself spending more time than I should be spending “socializing” on a few networking sites. I don’t think it’s necessarily a *complete* waste of time, primarily because some of my best traffic has come from a couple of those sites.

    Your comments about spending 10 minutes a day Twittering gave me pause for thought, though. I could rant a bit here, too.

    It seems that every Internet Marketer thinks he or she is the center of the universe, and that we “folk” (or “wee folk” perhaps) have nothing on earth better to do than read their over-long e-mails, click their links, then read their 10,000-word “killer sales copy MINI-site (laugh!), and jump through hoops to download their latest and greatest package of indispensable products, reports, eBooks, yadda yadda yadda. Oh, and, of course, fill out the little innocuous form and get even MORE email.

    You’ve read the same stuff I have, right?

    “Open this mail immediately.” “Read this entire mail carefully!” “Only 8 spots left.” “Fire Sale.” “Time Sensitive.”

    By the time you get through reading, and “taking action,” a lot more than those 10 minutes are gone – especially if the item being “foisted” is not at all what I need or want.

    By the time I hit the send button on this little rant, I will have been on your blog 45 minutes. I know, I know… I could have just skipped the whole thing. It’s not YOUR fault that I didn’t 🙂

    The whole point is “FOCUS,” as you pointed out. But focus doesn’t mean receiving, reading, and reacting to hundreds of emails from as many marketers. It means deciding to do one thing and do it well. See it through from beginning to completion, without distraction (like reading email from marketers whose sole intention is to distract you just long enough to reach into your wallet).

    Actually, your post here was sort of a wake-up call for me. I am wasting way too much of my time paying attention to Internet Marketers. Time to take what I’ve learned and roll with it. Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead.

    Internet Marketers are the biggest distraction I can think of right now.

    Thanks, Eric. Good read, as always.

  17. Jason Stanley Marshall

    I have found staying focused has been the hardest part about
    making a transition from offline to online. I am amazed at how
    much time I can WASTE (the sad part is I even justify it some
    how) online.

    I think the first step for newbies is to get the income rolling
    first (establish your business) and then set aside a SPECIFIC
    amount of time to “socialize”. It takes discipline but it has to
    be done. Your success is depending on it. The best thing I’ve
    found is to surround myself with like minded people and hold
    each other accountable.

    Go get’em!


  18. Internet Business Blogger

    Very interesting Eric because I have twittered a bit but who know what to really post? I posted a few stupid things during Christmas and realized that my blogging is a much better way to spend my time.

    Twitter is an interesting idea to scale. This is a good extension to building a community so it is an interesting idea to think about besides just the idea of building another Twitter

  19. Daniel Rydstedt

    Eric, I don’t often comment on blogs, but I wanted to thank you for sharing your views without trying to sell something in every paragraph as many other blogs do. This particular blog meant a lot to me. You see, I too am a Christian and I have been dabbling in so many things trying to make money without being that effective in any of them. I purchased video popin and affiliate brander from you but have been so distracted, I have yet to even utilize them. Focus really is the key. I can have great ideas, but if I am trying to execute all of them at once I can’t have the breakthrough desired. I have come to realize that my priority is not becoming the Next Internet Millionaire, but to fulfill the calling that God has put on my life. I believe the time is short before Jesus comes for His Bride. I want to focus primarily on marketing several books in a “Be The Bride” series that has a vital message that is vitally important for all in the body of Christ to hear. I have decided to put my other businesses on a shelf for the time being and focus on this ministry. I just wanted to thank you for your article. The Lord used it to tell me to focus on what He has told me to do instead of internet riches. Reading you website, it is clear that you are a passionate believer. I invite you to go to my site, and read the special edition of one of my books that, because of the importance of the message, I have made available for anyone to read free. It is an exhortation for all Christians to press in to intimacy with Jesus, to walk in purity before him and to obey Him in these last days before He comes for His Bride. I know it would be a great blessing to you if you take the time to read it. By the way, we share two other things. I too am Swedish and I love contemporary Christian worship. (clips from my CD of original music is at

    Thanks again for being a man of integrity in marketing on the internet. With hundreds pitching the latest info product or course that is guaranteed to produce internet wealth, you are one of the few that emails me that I take the time to read. I hope you have a blessed vacation.

    Daniel Rydstedt


    So its called twittling, one more distraction I must be missing something, I guess I miss the point altogether. Maybe if I am lucky I will miss the craze completely

  21. Walter Gavurnik

    Thanks Eric. Great tip!
    We all need a little break from time to time to clear our minds.
    Having done the MySpace and Suidoo thing, as well as a myriad of forums it becomes another job
    rather than a welcomed break. Yes, yet ANOTHER distraction…

    I have great respect and admiration for Joel Comm and that almost sucked me in to twitter.
    Today was almost the day where I clicked his follow me link. Thanks for this tip before I did! 😉

    Happy New Year Eric and enjoy the warm vacation. (Here in NJ it was 10 degrees this morning [-1 wcf ] with a high of 20)
    Wish I were joining you! lol

    God Bless
    Walter Gavurnik

  22. Jason Stanley Marshall

    Continuation of previous comment…

    Okay, I just got my Secret Classroom package (thanks Eric!) and
    it reminded me of Mark Joyner’s session and Simpleology. All
    marketers need to be using and applying those simple yet critical
    laws of Simpleology.


    PS – it literally just arrived as I was sending my first post. Looks Great!!

  23. Must Have Marketing


    Happy New Year man!

    I agree… Twitter sucks.

    Web 2.0 in general sucks.

    It’s a total time suck.

    Joe Lavery

    PS: I’m smiling just thinking about the idiots who would love to hang me for saying bad things about web 2.0 – it is the latest buzz word you know, so you can’t dis it and be cool for another year or so.

  24. Eric Post author

    More great comments- thanks guys! A lot of similar themes like SimplyD and Steve… yes it’s hard to know who to “follow” and all of the experts can be the biggest distraction. All the more reason that I am thankful you have chosen to read my newsletter.

    Jason M- good to see ya!

    BTW folks- I’m not dissing Joel for using Twitter. For him it may work. For one thing, he thrives on building relationships. For another, he already has a big online following, so he’s starting with an advantage.

    I personally would not use it even though I too could start with an advantage, because I’d be thinking about it too much… I’d be a slave to it. But some people are different; they are always thinking about their friends anyway, so maybe its a good fit for them.

    Joe- good to see you too!

  25. Loren

    Eric, I completely agree with the concept of this essay. I would add some points from my own experience, but you covered the core ideas already with your own examples.

    PS I sure I was going some place warm as well.

  26. Nancy Boyd

    Hi Eric,

    Good to have you back! While you make some extremely valid points here, I want to offer another side to this picture. Mind you, I am NOT advocating mindless frittering away of anyone’s time — that’s not useful anywhere, anytime.

    But I want to speak to the ROI factor of twitter. As I see it, the primary value of web 2.0 is in the ease with which it’s possible to form and build relationships with people. And what is one of the main precepts about marketing? Here it is in a nutshell: “People buy from people they like and trust.” Building relationships with people who are interested in your products seems to me what we are all doing online in the first place, if we really intend to offer value and create lasting relationships that sustain a business over time.

    Still with me here? (If you’re nodding your head, that’s good, LOL. If not, stick with me just a few sentences more. I have a point to make.)

    I admit that tweeting is a major distraction and requires discipline, to avoid all the things Eric points out. BUT! And this is a big one.

    Since I joined twitter last fall (around September or October, I forget which month) I started following people whose posts interested me, and then people started following me as I began to post. I started building relationships with people from walks of life I would probably NEVER otherwise have encountered, let alone even thought of. And whenever I found something interesting, I will post it. Whenever I have something of value to offer, I post that too — sometimes my own products or affiliate products. But only the really good stuff.

    Now listen closely, folks, because here is the sole reason why I am on twitter and why I will stay there as long as it stays the way it is now. I can trace more than $500 in direct product sales to people who found me on twitter. That’s nothing to sneeze at. And the stronger relationships I build, the more ways I can point my twitter followers. More future sales and more business.

    I will try hard never to abuse their trust in me, and offer more things of real value than just what I’m eating for lunch. But those “personal touches” let people know me, too, so they are worth doing. It helps builds relationships.

    And relationships with people who like and trust me. . . translate into buyers and referrals. And more business opportunities. Potential JV partners. Yeah, I even have at least 2 interviews lined up through my twitter fans. And I haven’t even tried hard yet.

    I LOVE twitter.

    So chew on those stats while we’re discussing the topic of “why twitter.”

    Makes you think, doesn’t it.

    And no, it’s not for everyone. But it COULD be a useful tool, if you use it well and don’t abuse it.

    Just like most things in life, huh.

    Have a great year in 2008! It’s a good time to start something BIG!

  27. Freeace

    I understand your perspective fully, Eric. And I agree if you are not at all keeping your use of time vs the cost of your time in focus. And you are very easily distracted by charm of everything you see in front of you. The Internet Business Blogger’s comment right before my own regarding scale and community building is part of what I would like to mention. Yes, from an Internet Marketers point of view IF 2 things happened from just 10 minutes of Twittering a day:

    1) If someone like Joel Comm for instance, offering to follow him on Twitter, happens to actually notice what you are doing, that could be the best spent 10 minutes of a day.

    2) If it were to be a quick and easy way to grab alot of attn and/or traffic, that also would more than pay for itself.

    Key is IF. But, alot of more adult audiences have moved into the Social Networking trend and that is still worth thinking about. From my point of view, a limited amount of Twittering could pay off more handsomely than hours of posting to other peoples blogs and/or forums and possibly the amount of time it may take to list in a large number of free sources if you have a more limited advertising budget.

    Not saying its my entire plan or anything. Just another point of view being offered.
    Enjoy your time away and hope your warmer weather is good to you.

  28. Eric Post author

    Nancy and Freeace- its great to get your point of view, thank you! Good case study from Nancy. So twitter worked for you. The question now is how do you replicate it (make that $500 again and again) and scale it (ramp that $500 into $50k)? Feel free to let us know your twitter ID if you want to let others see how you do it…

  29. Panic Survivor

    Good rant Eric!

    I guess the bottom line is that time-stealers are more rampant than ever in the online world and the trend suggests they’ll continue to increase. All of us have to be very cognizant of where our time is spent to avoid the endless, money-stealing time suck.

    Thanks again. I’m in Arvada just south of you so I know why you’re sick of the cold. Enjoy the warm sun. I forgot what it looks like bud –


  30. Aussie John

    Happy New Year Eric and also to all of your readers.

    I look at all sites like Twitter and MySpace, etc., as opportunities to ‘promote’ yourself to an audience that you might not ordinarily reach. Therefore, I don’t see Twitter as being a bad thing. I was introduced to twitter by Joel Comm. He is a leader to be followed. I am able to stay focused on the big picture – Internet Marketing – and Twitter is just another medium.

    MY Secret Classroom Course is sitting on my pool table, ready to be watched and absorbed by my hungry mind. I am starting it on the 8th January 2008. Internet World – LOOK OUT!

    Aussie John

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  32. Dropship Wholesale Products

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. I did look at twitter at Joel’s invite, but I just didn’t see the point. And I sure don’t need another distraction LOL!

    “1) Find something that works
    2) Replicate it
    3) Scale it”

    I love the simplicity of these 3 steps.
    I’d better go focus on these right now!


  33. Harry Crowder

    Hi Eric,

    I must agree ..I must be a “Twit” cause I just don’t get it – Twitter – that is.. anyway I do think you are right that we should be spending our time on Internet Marketing processes. As if there isn’t enough email messages with the next “big thing” coming everyday.. who has any time to “Twitter” anyway?

    I am no “Quitter” and so I won’t be a “Twitter” because I have to get back to WORK !! and anyone else serious about Internet Marketing should do the same !

    Great rant.. thanks for saving me time wasting at Twitter.

    Have a great holiday.


  34. Lisa Preston

    Hi Eric –

    I have to wholeheartedly agree with Nancy. I can certainly see how a cursory glance at the application might make the more serious among us sneer and turn up our noses, but like most of these Web 2.0 sites, it’s all in how you use it.

    I jumped on the bandwagon with abandon and enthusiasm early on, and saw weird little snippets from the lives of strangers filling up my twitter pages… a TOTAL waste of time. Then, before I chucked it, I really thought about it, and wondered if there were others like me who were busy entrepreneurs, who “twittered with purpose”.

    I do. I don’t let people know every time I order pizza or do the laundry… I give them valuable resources and links hooked up to tempting teasers, much like email subject lines or forum post headings. I began pruning my tweeters and started really looking at the people I decided to follow.- and when I do glance at recent tweets from those I follow, it’s usually a productive endeavour. I have a network of like-minded people who don’t waste time with silly things, and instead focus on business.

    I, too, can directly track about $1000 in sales and a 10% increase in opt-ins from my efforts – and the thing is, I don’t even tweet every day!! It’s not true that you have to spend a lot of time on it… I don’t. And the people who follow me are interested in what I have to say BECAUSE they know I don’t post frivolously.

    I have also been contacted by seriously “Big Name” people who have seen my tweets, checked out my work, and contacted me to do work for them.

    To give you that “one step further”, I saw the small success I had achieved and began to consider twittering a valuable part of my day – and I DID manage to streamline it a bit further by adding supporting applications to make it easier to post (one click from my browser) and for people reading MY blog posts to “tweet this” on their own twitter pages, which just helps spread the word.

    I don’t consider twitter to be a major part of my business strategy, but it is a good tool that gives me a good return. And it’s still in it’s infancy! I get more from that small application than MySpace, Facebook, or any other social site out there.

    Hope that helps!!

  35. Earl

    Have a great time when your basting in
    the sun Eric.
    I too am going to where it is a lot warmer.
    From Canada
    Earl A

  36. dexter

    This is my first reply to all the stuff you have sent me . I didnt read all the info you sent about twitter. It was too much information. I don`t have the luxurey of time as you. As with everything on the internet you get too much info so i have to fit myself in to make some Wealth. I know with your HELP i`ll make it.

  37. Eric Post author

    Excellent comment Lisa, thank you!

    Dexter- well it’s not a waste of time to spend time educating yourself!

  38. Eric Post author

    PS- Lisa just checked out the Twit This plugin on your blog… that’s actually pretty cool 🙂

  39. Dr.Mani

    Eric, I wouldn’t say you’re a ‘Twitter-hater’ – because what you suggest is commonsense.

    Most beginners to Twitter feel as confused as you sound about the potential or value of the service.

    I blogged about it from a real-world perspective as a heart surgeon – and likened it to the coffee room.

    Sure, there are operating suites without a coffee room. But I’d hate to work there all day.

    Twitter (and other social networks) are a neat way to relax, unwind and network with fellow human beings – something that’s ever more important in an increasingly digitized and impersonal world.

    Your point would be better made by insisting that you use social networks to ‘socialize’ and stop fooling yourself that it is ‘work’. It’s not.

    But social contacts and relationships built on them can bring windfalls in ‘work’ too – just as I got my guest post featured on Problogger for 5 days from an exchange of messages on Twitter!

    All success


    I Twitter as ‘drmani’

    P.S. – I’m reminded of a favorite Jay Abraham quote – “The only risk you ever have to take in business is an inexpensive test.”

    Don’t knock Twitter. Test it. Keep it – if it works… for YOU!

  40. Sandra

    Love this blog, Eric! Whether it’s about Twitter, or Vista, or Norton or you name it, it helps me get the straight poop without having to step in it. Keep up the good work.

  41. Lisa Preston

    Hi Eric – yes, it is a neat little tool!! I figure it took 2 minutes to add, adds potential value (visitors and exposure) so well worth the effort even if i never made another twitter post myself.

  42. Eric Post author

    Dr Mani- that’s a good twitter success story, thanks!

    That’s a good reminder that being successful in business is very often linked to connections and relationships. So if Twitter is achieving that for you, it may well be worth it.

    Still definitely not my style of relationship building though, lol! I think I might be warming up to it a bit though…

    Sandra- thanks, and thanks for reading 🙂

  43. Sabrina O'Malone

    Hey Eric,

    Great post! I hadn’t even heard of “twittering” until I read your blog. However, I do know quite a bit about the importance of being focused and goal-oriented.

    People frequently ask me “How do you make so much money running your business WITH FIVE kids underfoot? I’m going to answer that question right here on your blog Eric. Be forewarned, people usually get pretty riled up when I tell them…but I’m just going to be straightforward and blunt.

    First of all, I don’t watch TV. That’s right, we don’t have cable, satellite, TIVO, video games etc. Because television wastes time AND reduces focus on the things that really matter. (Like family or business planning and execution.)

    Second, I make it a point to treat my customers (aka web traffic) the way I wish someone would treat me. I don’t subject them to squeeze pages, I don’t charge them or make them register to use our timesaving tools, or coupons and I only send them email if there’s something I’m positive will benefit them -without wasting their time, energy or money.

    Third, I safeguard what I allow into my thoughts. For example, I only listen to positive, uplifting music with messages of hope. In my leisure time (which I admit isn’t all that frequent) I read inspiring books, and recently began learning to draw photo-realistic portraits of the people I care about.

    Most importantly, I make an effort to stay in God’s will. I consciously avoid the “gray area” -even when I’m pushing the envelope professionally. I pray, read the Bible, and attend a church that helps equip me to face life’s challenges.

    So does all that make me some kind of guru? Hardly, but we do have a roof over our heads, (two if you count the house we’re still trying to sell ;-)) with more than enough money to live comfortably.

    Distractions are distracting.

    So here’s my final answer:
    “Twittering your time away is foolish when you have a real life to live.”
    -Sabrina O’Malone

  44. Micheal Savoie

    I suppose moderation is the best way to take on Web 2.0, I have begun hating Facebook because of all the emails I get telling me that someone posted a message on my wall only to find that it is some hoax or chain letter crap that is a total waste of my time. Unless you have a specific campaign that you can design and orchestrate through web2.0 like the major motion picture studios do, you can waste an awful lot of time and money (since time is money).

    Personally, I build relationships, keep in touch with my friends, and then get away from there as fast as my mouse can take me. Otherwise, it becomes too easy to buy friends drinks, etc.

    Heck, if you think about it, I read a lot less blogs than I used to. Your attack on Twitter made me come to see what you had to say about it, because I only have about an hour per day that I can realistically spend on reading emails and/or blogs. Once I figure out that it doesn’t fit with my goals or my business model, I dump it pretty quick.

    Since you have a lot of readers who are friends of mine either on Myspace or Facebook, I had to see what everyone else was saying… Blogging is still the best use of one’s time if it is done right!

    Thanks for the great discussion topic!

    Micheal Savoie

    PS – I hope to bump into some of you at jvAlert Live in February and at Ross Goldberg’s event in a couple weeks!

  45. Joshua

    I’m of two minds about Twitter and the other social networking sites. Yeah, you can get more eyeballs that way, but a lot of them have etiquette rules that involve no direct advertising. Which isn’t really so bad; that’s a good way to build a long term relationship with your customers anyway. Also, like you mention, you have to take part and be part of the community.

    Which takes time and concentration.

    Granted, it’s not *much* time and concentration, but it is some. And, like any other socializing activity, it could easily spiral out of control and you’ll find yourself wasting time and not accomplishing anything.

    Then again, you have cases like Dr. Mani’s. My thoughts about Twitter, I guess, are “If it works for you, go ahead and use it. If you’re the kind of person who gets sucked into ‘just having fun’ and procrastinating, you might want to give it a pass.” As for myself, I might give it a try, but I’ll need to be careful, as I do end up procrastinating sometimes.

    Pardon me while I go back to reading my fiction book instead of getting ready for my presentation tomorrow on World Hypnotism Day.


  46. Franck Silvestre

    You are right Eric, this is a lot of time wasted. I am a member of twitter, but I can’t use it all day long!

    As for the three steps you mentionned, could you give us some tips on scaling? I already practice the two, but I’m not sure if I’m scaling.


  47. Ricardo

    Hello Eric,

    That was hard-hitting but straight to the point!

    It’s so true. With the technological advances we’ve been having, seems like our choices and options keep multiplying everyday. And with only so much time allotted to us, it’s unwise to fritter our time with so many activities.

    Thanks for reminding us!

    Have a great 2008!


    Footholds For Favorable Outcomes

  48. Keith Lee

    Hi Eric,
    I can’t agree with you more.
    Yes, FOCUS is the key to all successes.

    I gonna learn to say NO to all ideas/products/services and etc that do not contribute to the progress of what I am doing.

    So, I gonna say NO to Twitter for the time being. 🙂



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