Category : Learning

Learning

I Have Just Gone All in on Twitter in a Bizarre Way

Hacks for Twitter by Tim Denning

Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

Twitter is fun. You can say whatever you want.

I’m about 14 years too late to the party. Better late than never. Twitter isn’t what it used to be. What’s changed?

Twitter is now for long-form bloggers.

To write blog posts on Twitter is unconventional. It will also change your content creation strategy which is cool.

The Biggest Twitter Hack You’ve Never Heard Of

Twitter used to be a way to share no more than 280 characters. If you wanted to say something longer, you couldn’t — a nightmare for traditional bloggers.

Sharing links to your blog posts on Twitter doesn’t work well because it’s bad for Twitter. When you post a link that takes people off Twitter, well, Twitter loses that person’s attention. That’s bad for their business. LinkedIn and Facebook have the same policy for the same reason.

External links on social media get seen by nobody.

Native content is the answer. Native content is content that is published within the social media platform so the reader doesn’t have to leave the app. The feature all bloggers need to understand on Twitter is “threads.”

Twitter threads allow a writer to post up to 25 tweets of 280 characters each. A Twitter thread is essentially a blog post but with a huge twist: You have to be incredibly succinct or you won’t fit within the 280 character limit.

How to do it:

  1. Take a blog post you wrote on any platform.
  2. Scan the comments section or Twitter for the top highlights from your blog post.
  3. Rewrite the blog post using a Twitter thread. The first tweet is the headline and subtitle. The last sentence of the first tweet needs to say “A Thread.”
  4. Mark each tweet of the thread as you go with a number and a backslash — like this 1/ 2/ etc.
  5. Once you’ve written the first tweet, click the plus sign next to the tweet button to add the next tweet in the thread.
  6. The second tweet in the thread is your intro. Look at the original blog post and pick your favorite 1–2 sentences. Or look at the most highlighted sentences — they’re the sentences to include in your tweet. You need all killer no filler. In other words, only the best sentences should make the cut.
  7. The third tweet is your first subheading/point. Select the best sentences for your tweet.
  8. Keep writing your Twitter thread by taking parts from your original blog post. You don’t have to include every point. Each tweet should be valuable enough that when read in isolation, it sounds helpful by itself.
  9. Once you get to the end you can use your last tweet to link back to your original blog post or feature a call to action. I recommend waiting to see if your thread gains traction before adding any external links.

An unconventional approach to Twitter Threads

Here comes the hack you’ve never heard of. What if your Twitter thread wasn’t finished? What if you kept adding to a Twitter thread over time?

Let me give you an example. You write a Twitter thread containing four tweets. It performs well and people enjoy it. You let the thread die down.

Three months later you go back to the Twitter thread and add another tweet. Now your Twitter thread gets new life and features in people’s Twitter newsfeeds again.

It’s the blog post that never ends.

A Way to Test Which Blog Posts You Finish

What you can do is start several Twitter threads at the same time.

The threads that gain traction are ones you can keep writing on. The threads that don’t, you can discard. Now you know without investing huge amounts of time which blog posts are worth writing.

Space out Your Tweets

You can start your Twitter Thread and space out each tweet to keep your audience guessing. Rather than writing 1/14, you can just put 1/ so the audience has no idea how many tweets there is going to be.

Publish your first two tweets in a thread and then come back to add more, or schedule extra tweets using third-party tools.

Curiosity brings audiences back to your work for more.

Reverse Engineer Your Content Creation Process

If you want fresh content, change the process you use to create content.

Rather than write your entire blog post the way you normally do, try writing your blog post as a Twitter thread first.

A Twitter thread is your highly succinct, straight-to-the-point rough draft.

Concise writing starts with a Twitter thread instead of a blog post. The character limit forces you to say less, allowing you to actually say more. With only 25 tweets allowed in a thread, you can’t mention every point. So you end up only writing your best points.

Once you write your Twitter thread, then use it as the outline for your full-length blog post that you publish elsewhere, like on your WordPress blog.

Twitter threads act like a mind map. The thread allows readers to validate your blog post in real-time, instead of waiting until after you publish it to realize if you went off on a tangent and put your reader to sleep.

The Reality of Twitter

Twitter won’t give you overnight success as a content creator. No platform will. Your content still has to be good, and most of all, helpful.

Twitter is just another tool. It’s a fantastic tool that doesn’t require a huge investment of time to utilize.

The Simple Twitter Strategy You Can Steal

For every Twitter Thread you publish, publish three standard 280 character single tweets. Post a couple of Twitter threads a week. Let your Twitter threads be a stream of consciousness.

The best bit about Twitter: you can’t go back and edit your published tweets with a Twitter thread later. This stops you from overthinking your content. Overthinking kills so many creatives’ dreams.

The best content is published content, not drafts.

Final Thought

I’m going all in on Twitter. I’m not going to waste my time posting external links to my blog posts. I am going to publish native content to Twitter and build an audience slowly.

I am going to use 280 character tweets to test headlines and subtitles. Most of all, I am going to have fun in the process and fall in love with short content that requires me to curate and cut down my sentences as I write them.

You can do the same. Publishing blog posts as Twitter threads is an untapped feature many writers are yet to discover. Adding tweets to your most popular Twitter threads, to bring them back to life, is a mind-blowing feature I haven’t seen on any other social media platform.

Your blog posts are better when you experiment, use social proof to measure helpfulness, and are forced to say less so you can communicate more.

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Learning

9 Skills You Can Get from Extraordinary Learners

Photo by Luke Jones on Unsplash

Learn the extra skills you need to thrive in life from these 5 people.


People who think they know everything rarely succeed in life. The life of a know-it-all tends to be a couch potato.

That’s why you want to become obsessed with learning. Learning is everything. To learn is a gift.

Remember what it was like to go to school for the first time. Learning was fun. There were sandpits, books about made-up worlds, and other kids to experiment with. Then university came along and made learning ugly. Learning became for many of us, a means for survival and a future strategy to put food on the table. Then life knocks you in the face.

You do a few job interviews and realize that unless you’re a doctor or a lawyer, nobody asks you about what university you went to or what grades you got. Who gives a shit.

Falling in love with learning all over again will improve your life.

These are a few extraordinary learners you can study:

  • Tim Ferriss — podcaster, author
  • Benjamin Hardy — blogger/writer
  • Danny Forrest — Founder, SkillUp Academy
  • Derek Sivers — Entrepreneurial worker bee in residence
  • Oprah — (you know the one)

Each of them has mastered the art of learning. They stack skills on top of each other to produce bizarre results.

Scott Adams, founder of the cartoon Dilbert, talks about skill stacking a lot. The idea is you can take two completely unrelated skills you’ve learned and produce unlikely results. That’s what Scott did when he fused drawing, writing and comedy together.

Here’s what extraordinary learners do from my study of them over the last six years.

1. Learners see skills as a way to make art.

How you see learning is crucial. Think of learning as a game. When you play the game of acquiring skills you can use them to make art. You don’t want to paint or draw or write. Okay that’s cool. Running is art. Podcasting is art.

Anything done well and with passion is art.

I have fused the skills of writing, imagery, social media and business. You can do the same. It’s straightforward.

Take 2–3 skills and stack them together = ART.


2. Learners write for clarity.

Writing reinforces an idea. It helps you put an idea into your own words.

When you take an idea and put it into your own words, you create clarity in your mind. There are many key lessons to be learned with any skill and practicing the habit of writing about them will fast-track your success rate.

If you really want to get crystal clear thoughts you can touch, have a warm shower. Your mind will be relaxed and your thoughts will be so clear you’ll want to write them down.

Use liquid chalk and write your thoughts on the shower wall.


3. Learners read.

The best way to learn is through other people’s experiences. Blog posts are nice, but books are far more in-depth. Reading about someone’s life in a book takes the information and fuses it with stories.

Stories make the learning stick.

No one will be able to stop you in life if you make the crazy decision to read a book a week.

Each extraordinary learner I have studied for the last six years is obsessed with books. I’d go as far as saying they’d rather starve than give up reading books.

Books are a purchase they view as an investment, not an expense on their balance sheet of life.


4. Learners are stupidly consistent.

You won’t find them learning for one hour a year. Or writing their learning goal down on their new year’s’ resolutions list.

Learners consistently learn because they’ve made learning a habit.

The decision to learn has been automated by their consistency. When you’re consistent, you build a pattern. You apply that pattern to your process and away you go.

I learned the skill of writing by starting out publishing four full-length blog posts a week. I was a really shit writer to begin with but it didn’t matter. I learned to write by being consistent.

Whatever skill you want to develop, find a way to be consistent. Schedule skill acquisition, as a meeting with yourself in your calendar, if you have to.


5. Learners make time to think.

Learners are thinkers first and foremost. They weren’t born thinkers. They made time to think.

Sitting at home and looking out the window in complete silence is drastically underrated. Sitting still and thinking about a problem is powerful. Daydreaming is even more powerful.

Daydreaming is where you unlock your imagination and use it to serve you. Your imagination can come up with wild ideas that lead to the best learning of your life.

Dare to dream. Stop letting society kick the learning out of you by listening to the negativity and letting it block your imagination.


6. Learners make problems their WHY.

Having a reason to learn matters. Learns use problems as their why. A problem fascinates them and they choose to learn about it.

That decision to learn leads them down a rabbit hole. Finding a solution becomes a game. And when you gamify learning, it’s really enjoyable.

Gamified learning is addictive.


7. Learners create more than they consume.

Overconsumption kills a learner’s dreams.

The point of learning is to create and apply what you’ve learned. Excessive streaming and consumption of social media takes you away from the time you need to learn. Sure, enjoy a bit of TV, but do you really need to consume the whole series?

Roughly calculate how much time you spend each week consuming vs creating. Shift the percentage split slightly in the favor of creating and you’ll see huge changes in your life.


8. Learners do this: Practice.

Without practice, all learning becomes is mental foreplay.

The whole point is to practice what you’ve learned. You’ll probably stuff up a lot or look stupid in front of a group of online strangers. Who cares Bob.

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice leads to more learning. Practice is the fun part. It’s where you get to explore what you’ve learned. Practice leads to action and later that could lead you to change your entire career.

What you’ve learned and then practiced could become the work you do which helps you earn a living. You may even label it as work you love.


9. Learners never stop learning.

That’s what is extraordinary about Mr Ferriss, Ben, Danny, Derek, and Lady Op’s (Oprah). They never stop learning. Learning is a game that never ends.

They keep on learning and then spread the art of learning to others. They preach learning because learning is what defined everything they achieved.

Those who never stop learning have come to terms with one truth about life: we know nothing. You will never know much about anything and that’s the paradoxical brilliance of learning.


Final Thought

Become an extraordinary learner. Follow this process:

  • Learn
  • Question what you’ve learned
  • Unlearn some of what you’ve learned

When your focus is to learn, your goals in life are achieved 10X faster.

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