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A 12 Minute Tip
12 Minutes of Blog Brainstorming

Writers’ block – everyone experiences it. However, one good way to prepare for those days when you find yourself staring at a blinking cursor is by spending some time brainstorming new ideas. Sometimes all you need to break through the block is a theme that will trigger an entire post.

Take 12 minutes and work on forming a list of topics that have been of interest in the past. Use your successes and struggles to inspire and encourage readers. Think about the things you have been learning and write them down for inspiration. Keep the list close at hand so you can easily access it the next time you are faced with a post deadline.

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A 12 Minute Tip
Get to Know Someone New

photo credit seagreene

All relationships take work to develop, including those that are formed through social media outlets. Think about your social network interactions – do you always chat, tweet, or visit the pages of the same people?

Take 12 minutes today to connect with someone new from your social network. It could be a Twitter follower, a Facebook friend, or someone you’ve seen on LinkedIn or Google+. Read a blog post and leave a comment, promote them with a tweet, or send a short email to let them know you stopped by. Do something today that will help foster a new relationship and develop a connection.

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A 12 Minute Tip
Surprise and Delight

Mochas delight me!

What is your favorite surprise? While not everyone loves a surprise, the type of surprise I am suggesting in this tip is the kind everyone loves.

Delight one of your friends, fans, or followers online today by doing something unexpected. Tweet a favorite post of theirs; give them a shout-out on Facebook. Leave a blog comment on a blog you might not normally visit, or send a heartfelt thank you email to someone who has made a difference in your life online.

If you need more ideas, you can read details about this tip here.

A 12 Minute Tip
Review Your Twitter Profile

If your life is anything like mine, it is constantly evolving. Spend a few minutes today updating your Twitter profile, especially if you haven’t looked at it lately. Check to make sure you are linking to the best possible page on your website — one that will help people quickly get to know you and the value you offer. And be sure to look at your profile description. Mixing it up occasionally will help people see you more fully, since it is impossibly to describe you in just 160 characters. (Right?)

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A 12 Minute Tip
Share Something Off-Topic

Sometimes we get caught in only sharing to fit our brand or area of expertise. One way to build relationships is to let people get to know you more fully.

Say something unexpected. Share something off-topic.

Quite often, you will create more engagement and interaction with others when you stray from your regular topics.

Take 12 minutes today to interact in unexpected ways.Share a hobby, interest, passion. Share your favorite snack.

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A 12 Minute Tip
Review and Update Your Social Profiles

Set your timer for 12 minutes and take an inventory of all your online profiles.

Are your profiles up-to-date?

Do they reflect your current projects, interests, and branding?

Keep a list of all your profiles and social media outposts. It’s easy to forget about some accounts or profiles.

This is a tip to return to quarterly or whenever you make a shift — large or small — personally or professionally.

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A 12 Minute Tip
Make an Introduction

photo credit Sahaja Meditation

Spend 12 minutes today to make an introduction of one online contact to another.

You can do it en masse – by sending a #follownow or #ff tweet, or you can increase the potential impact by sending a thoughtful, personalized introduction via Twitter or in an email message.

Who do you know who would benefit from an introduction today?

How can you use your connections to make a difference for someone else?

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A 12 Minute Tip
Deepen a Connection

photo credit zoovroo

What does a grocery store cart have to do with deepening a connection?

When we get to know people in only one context, our relationships are one dimensional. We can get to know people better when we connect with people in various contexts.

The more places you are connected to someone, the more you can get to know them. Set your timer for 12 minutes today and seek to get to know one of your online connections in a deeper way. Only following on Twitter? Send a Facebook request. Take the time to read someone’s blog or get to know the person behind the avatar.

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A 12 Minute Tip
Find New Connections

photo credit ideagirlmedia

Take 12 minutes today to make a new connection.

Send requests on LinkedIn or Facebook, follow new people on Twitter, or circle people/businesses on Google+.

When you regularly seek new connections, you will see your online influence grow.

Use the suggestions on each social site as a quick way to find new connections. Integrate this tip weekly or monthly as your schedule allows.

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A 12 Minute Tip
Use the Calendar

Image by daniel moyle

Do you use an editorial calendar? They can be helpful for planning out your blog posts and allowing you to think ahead and create meaningful posts about significant days in your life. Perhaps you want to write something special for Mother’s Day, your birthday, or explain what a specific religious holiday means to you. By planning ahead and thinking about what you want to share before you share it, you have the potential to create a post that resonates with your audience more than a spur of the moment update might.

Use your 12 minutes today to add significant dates/events to your editorial calendar. Think about holidays and important anniversaries that you would like to write about, and plan ahead so that they don’t sneak up on you. If you have time leftover, you could start an outline for one of the posts that you’ve put on your calendar.

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