Author Archives: Claudia Blanton

Affiliate Marketing Monetize Your Blog Tools

The Cons Of Affiliate Marketing

Many marketers and bloggers will tell you the positive sides of affiliate marketing, but today, I want to let you know what the con’s of affiliate marketing are, so you can make an informed decision on if this type of business is right for you.

1. It is not a get rich quick type of business.
If you are looking for a short cut when it comes to making money, affiliate marketing is not the right avenue for you. Affiliate marketing takes time because you need to build and audience and trust before they will click on your
links.

2. If you don’t like writing content, affiliate marketing might not be for you.
Content marketing is the best strategy to utilize when you are trying to build an affiliate marketing income. May it be via an email subscriber list – which requires you to write emails, or via blog posts, infusing affiliate links into content naturally, brings usually a higher click-through rate, than banners. Of course, you could outsource your content writing to freelancers, but considering that most blogs require you to write content 2 to 3 days a week to rank higher on Google, that can become an expensive strategy for the beginning affiliate marketer

Related Post: Why Affiliate Marketing Is The Best Starter Passive Income Opportunity

3. It is time-consuming.
Building an audience for your blog and social media channels takes consistent and daily action. A new affiliate marketer should be willing to invest a lot of time to build his or her online presence and business. Also, marketing and niche research, which is essential is also time-consuming.

4. You Have To Wait For Your Money
Most affiliate programs pay out once a month, with some of them holding the commission back for one month, to allow the payments to clear, and any refunds to occur. This is not an immediate cash flow business and might take – even with a high sale volume, take a few weeks before you will see money arriving in your bank account or PayPal.

Despite what I have just mentioned, I believe that affiliate marketing is the best way for a beginner to make money online, as it requires the least amount of upfront expenses. To get started you need a website, and social media accounts to start applying for affiliate networks and partners such as Amazon, Target, Etsy, ShareASale and more.

Best Affiliate Marketing  Training Program

If you are interested in starting your affiliate marketing business today, visit Wealthy Affiliate University to check out
their free starter classes on the subject, including your free 7 day trial of the premium membership that includes lessons, on content marketing, niche and website development, weekly live webinars, and community support.

Independent Blessings!

Claudia

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Social Media Tips

How To Master Twitter For Marketing And Business

How To Master Twitter For Marketing And Business

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Twitter is not a social media platform you should ignore if you want to grow an engaged blog or website audience. On top of that, it is possible to make money on Twitter, by being part of social media campaigns run by brands and companies throughout the year. In order to maximize your potential income – and we are on the internet to make money, so this should be our main goal – I have compiled a list of tips and tricks that can increase your potential for both traffic and income generated via this social media platform.

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Increase your twitter following:

1.Do a keyword search on your niche in twitter.
2.Follow people who have real names, and pictures of themselves, or something related to the niche in their
profile.
3.Make sure that they are actually engaged in the niche, by reading some of their feed
4. Do not follow companies, unless it is a company you are actually working with – i.e. as an Influencer, Brand Ambassador and such

How To Master Twitter For Marketing And Business #socialmediatips Click To Tweet

Increase your twitter engagement:

1.Take 15 minutes a day to engage with those you follow and take 15 minutes a day to engage in trending topics, and related to your niche hashtags. This could mean that you offer encouraging advice to questions posted, that you tell someone you enjoyed their post, or to connect in any other meaningful way that is related to the subject at hand
2. Get comfortable with the hashtags for your niche. Make a list, and refer to it every time you are on twitter. You should be not only using these hashtags in your own niche but to find and engage with followers.
3. Respond to comments likes and retweets. Mention those who were engaging on Follow Friday, or thank them throughout the week for being engaged.

Follower/Following Ratio:

Your follow count does not have to be low – it should not be more than about 2/3 of your follower rate, BUT
most importantly those should be, targeted people! Do not randomly follow people, make sure each of them count!

Bring Value To Your Followers:How To Master Twitter For Marketing And Business

Share other people’s stuff- but only when it is high quality. Use automation tools like Buffer to share some of these posts, considering that you might find quite a few posts in one setting, but will overwhelm your followers if you share too many posts after each other.

Twitter Images:

1.Change the variety of your twitter images – your images should not always be the same type. I fell for that in the beginning, all of my blog posts have the same type of images as a starter image, which is boring for followers. Make them different, engaging have about 5 different styles that you switch up on.
2. Be sure they are the perfect size for twitter – which is 440 pixels wide and 220 pixels tall.

Twitter Goals:

Do you have twitter goals for 2017? My twitter goals are currently to grow my followers to 12K by the end of the year and be listed in 2500 lists. What are your goals?

Fiercely Independent Blessings!

Claudia

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Marketing Monetize Your Blog

5 Quick Tips To Take Your Medium Content To The Next Level

5 Quick Tips To Take Your Medium Content To The Next Level

You probably are wondering why you should care about Medium, and post your content there. Medium has a unique feature, where you can collect subscribers to send email-type newsletters to, which in turn you can use to market yourself and your brand just as you would do with regular email subscribers.
Also, Medium allows affiliate links within the content, so you can also market directly to your audience. But, because Medium is not like a blog in other ways, you should first get familiar with the platform, and head a few tips and tricks, that will make your content stick out of the crowd, get you followers, and give you the opportunity to increase your sales.

5 Quick Tips To Take Your Medium Content To The Next Level

1. Use quotes
Quotes – may they be from fellow medium publishers, or from related sources to your niche – are very shareable and relatable. Readers are more likely to share your content on social media if it includes a quoted phrase, that makes them look smart. Medium has quote options in its editor – which you can access by either one time or double clicking the editor.

5 Quick Tips To Take Your Medium Content To The Next Level Click To Tweet

2. Use Lower Competition tags
Medium allows you to see how much content you are competing with when you are adding your tags to the post. Unlike most platforms, though, you are going to be limited to 5 tags. So you have to make sure that you make them count. Use keywords with low, but not too low competition to get your chance of being seen increased. But do not completely disregard the popular tags. I would highly suggest for you to add at least one if not two of the more popular tags for the most successful mixture.

3. Choose an engaging category for your Medium post
Combining life experiences with work, technology, design or politics are the top categories that go viral on Medium. Make your stories personal, engaging, and yes a little bit controversial.

4. Import your Blog Content But Change It To Make It Medium-Worthy
While I love the medium import feature, do not get complacent to simply importing your content, without tweaking it, to fit the Medium audience. Maybe you should get more personal, use a more attention-grabbing headline, or add quotes, and highlights you did not use in the original content. However you choose to modify it, the key is to change it up a little,  while keeping the general idea intact.

5. Make your headline stick out of the crowd.
Engaging, opinionated, controversial, all of these types of headlines – including a rock solid subheadline – is what will determine if your Medium post will get any clicks. To get a better feel for what type of Medium headlines get the most attention, check out Medium’s top posts

Question: Have you published any content to Medium yet? What was your experience? Did you have any successes you want to share? Please leave a comment below!

If you are looking to grow your online business to the next level, get coached by me – learn more right now!

 

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Affiliate Marketing Uncategorized

7 Reasons Wealthy Affiliate Is Not Just For Beginning Bloggers And Marketers

If you are new to Affiliate Marketing, Wealthy Affiliate is the premium education out there to assist you with getting started on your marketing journey. However, if you are not new to the marketing game, and already have some experience in blogging content creation and social media, Wealthy Affiliate is still a valuable platform that can help you grow your online income

7 Reason Why Wealthy Affiliate Is Not Just For Beginners Click To Tweet

7 Reason Why Wealthy Affiliate Is Not Just For Beginners:

1. Excellent and reliable hosting for one price

Wealthy Affiliate offers reliable hosting opportunities for your WordPress Blogs. With superior customer service, reliable hosting, 24/7 monitoring, and daily backups it is one of the most comprehensive web host out there. In addition the Wealthy Affiliate Hosting offers:

email forwarding,
multiple free email addresses per site,
you can host more than 10 sites on this platform – included in the Wealthy Affiliate premium membership,
ability to transfer your domains – with support on how it is done,
ability to purchase
more domains in a competitive price

2. Community Support

You can ask questions via chat, or via classrooms, where other, more experienced members, as well as the owners of the site, take their time to answer whatever marketing, hosting, or other business related questions you might have. You can also use the blog feature to write about your success or questions, and again, you will find that other WA members are quick to respond to your successes and concerns.

3. Ability To Attend Weekly Webinars

Every Friday, a live webinar is available to join in. If you miss the webinar, it will be available on site indefinitely.

4. Great Affiliate Program

Wealthy Affiliate allows their members to receive a 50 % commission on any newly recruited member, with lifetime cookies.

5. Keyword Search Tool Included

WA also has a highly valuable keyword research tool and training on how to make the most out of keyword research. Improve your SEO, with just a few mouseclicks.

6. Advanced Training By Seasoned Marketers

Many seasoned marketers offer their own training modules, which in return are approved by the Wealthy Affiliate staff. You can take advantage of learning from those who have been on the platform for years and are very familiar with online marketing.

Some of the training modules available on Wealthy Affiliate right now are:

How To Get Heaps More Twitter Followers By Unfollowing
Things To Do After You Publish A Blog Post
3 Ways To Boost Your Affiliate Commission
7. Ability To Make Money Writing Training For Wealthy Affiliate

If you are an expert in a particular subject related to affiliate marketing, you can write training material for Wealthy Affiliate. Depending on the amount of traffic you receive on your training, you will get paid a commission for creating them.

You can test the Wealthy Affiliate membership for free for 7 Days right now, no obligation, or credit card necessary.

See you there!

Claudia

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Blogging Tips Monetize Your Blog Uncategorized

Blogging 102: Blogging Challenges – Are They Worth Your Time?

blogging 102, learn to blog, make money blogging

Over the last 5 years of blogging, I have participated in quite a few blogging challenges. At first, I only participated because they allowed me to connect with other bloggers, but after a while, I began to see the true value of these challenges.

Value of Blog Challenges

1. Connect with other bloggers in your niche.
It is easy to loose sight of what other bloggers are doing out there, in your niche, and by connecting with them via the link up of blogging challenges, you can get a better understanding of patterns, trends, and what is lacking in your particular niche.

Are Blogging Challenges Worth Your Time? Let me tell you why they are: #blogging Click To Tweet

2. Trading comments
Many participants will leave comments on other linked up blogs, which is a great way to get comments to your blog, especially if your blog is new. Not only is that good for your SEO ranking, but a great comment is also a confidence booster.

3. Blogging Discipline
Participating in challenges, may it be those who you have to post once a month, or once a day for a whole month, give you an accountability partner(s) pushing you to blog more regularly and with a clear theme or purpose in mind. By making a commitment, and knowing that you have people who will actually come to your blog, following along with you on that commitment gives you an incentive to blog more often.

Related Blogging 102 Posts:
How Book Bloggers Make Money
Don’t Be Intimidated By Your Competition
Rework Your Old Content

4. Networking Opportunities
With all of the other participants out there, you might run into one or two whom you want to network further with, for things like guest blogging on each other’s blogs, or just for emotional support. Either way, the world of blogging can be a lonely one without these connections. Cherish them.

Here are some challenges I will be participating via my multiple blogs this year:

NaBloPoMo
The Nationational Blog Posting Month is held in November. This is not niche or theme specific, so it is open for everyone. Check out the Unofficial Guide to NaBloPoMo here.

The Ultimate Blog Challenge
Happens a few times throughout each year – January, April, July and October. This challenge comes with support, and a newsletter. You can sign up for it today – no worries, you are not too late, just begin whatever day you read this, and make a commitment from here on out

April A to Z Blogging Challenge
I have participated in this blogging challenge for three years now and will do it for the 4th year as well. This was the first challenge I have ever been a part off, and it is the one what got me hooked. Look for the sign-up-page in March.

Want to increase your Adsense Earnings? Then check out this valuable training from Wealthy Affiliate University Today!

Niche specific blog challenges:

There are niche specific challenges available as well. Most prevalent tend to be book blogging challenges. I am participating in the following challenges via my book blog Within The Pages Of A Book

NetGalley Challenge
Pagan Books Challenge
Review Writing Challenge

Question:
What blogging challenges have you been a part off? Did I miss one, that you think others would benefit from? Please leave a note in the comment section below.

Fiercely Independent Blessings

Claudia

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Making Money

Get Money And Discounts With Referrals – Make Money From Home

Referral programs are similar to affiliate programs in which you are receiving a commission by sharing a link. Just like affiliate programs, you can add this link to your content, or send it via social media, or email marketing campaigns.  Unlike affiliate marketing you do not get a percentage, but a flat fee per referral, and in some cases like Ebates extra bonuses for referring a specific amount of referrals.

Other referrals allow you to receive brand credit, which you can then use to purchase products from the promoted company. If you use this technique wisely, you can get quite a few free products you would usually buy anyway. Membership on all of these companies are free, and the only payment info you enter are to get paid or to purchase products (like with the Honest Company)

My Favorite Referal Companies

Ibotta: Ibotta is a savings app, that allows members to receive a rebate on normal household purchases, at grocery stores, and large retailers. I love this app because it allows me to save money on food, such as eggs, milk, and bread, as well as other household items. It is easy to use, simply scan the barcode of the products you purchased, as well as the receipt of your purchase, and you can get up to 5 Dollars on an item. This adds up quite quickly, especially in larger households, and we save an average of 90 Dollars a month with this app. Now as a referral program, you will get 5 Dollars per person you refer, which is easy to do, considering that it is an easy sell. Who does not like money back? Ibotta pays out via PayPal, and you can request a payment made to you once you hit the 20 Dollar mark. You will receive your money usually within 48 hours.

Now as a referral program, you will get 5 Dollars per person you refer, which is easy to do, considering that it is an easy sell. Who does not like money back? Ibotta pays out via PayPal, and you can request a payment made to you once you hit the 20 Dollar mark. You will receive your money usually within 48 hours.

Ebates: Ebates does not work for groceries, but gives you rebates for all of the other stuff we need to buy, from clothing on Amazon to items at Walmart. The offers change often, so you should install the chrome extension to get the latest deals. Ebates also gives you 5 Dollars for referring someone and often has bonuses if you reach a certain amount of referral. Again, this is an easy sell, because you are giving the opportunity to save, and receive cash back while shopping for everyday items.

The Honest Company: If you are looking for sustainable and organic products for your household, The Honest Company has you covered. Not only can you purchase truly awesome personal care products, cleaning items, and other items that are cruelty-free and green, but you can also earn 20 Dollars of store credit for each referral. Considering that they have a wonderful selection of high-quality products, this is a win-win. Oh, and you can offer, as well as take advantage of their free trial of their subscription boxes.

Fusion Cash: This site is a survey site, that allows you fill out surveys as well as print out coupons to make a  few extra dollars each month. I hope everyone is aware that surveys alone will never make anyone rich, but they are a fun hobby which can bring in a few dollars every month to cover the extras. Fusion Cash has also a referral program that allows you to make money in 3 different ways:

Refer a friend who confirms his/her email address: $1 bonus
Your friend completes his/her first offer: $2 bonus
Your friend cashes out: $5 bonus (each and every time they cashout – for life)

There are quite a few more referral programs out there, which can earn you cash and free products. I truly think that this type of earning potential should be explored alongside affiliate marketing to make the most out of your passive earning potential.

Question: Have you ever tried rebate sites like Ebates and Ibotta? 

Fiercely Independent Blessings!

Claudia

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Uncategorized

How To Turn Your Love For Handmade and Designer Items Into Affiliate Marketing Income

How Turn Your Love For Handmade and Designer Items Into Affiliate Marketing Income

Do you love shopping for interesting and unique items that are not from the big box stores, and have a little more personality? Then you are probably familiar with Etsy. What if I would tell you that you can use your love for the unique can make you on your blog?

Writing About What You Love

Blogging and affiliate marketing can be a lot of fun, especially if you write about what you love. Featuring items you already enjoy, and techniques you have a passion for, makes not only for a fun hobby but a legitimate way to make serious affiliate marketing income. Growing an online business takes time, but working on the subject matter you already have an affinity for makes the long hours a lot more rewarding.

Etsy As An Affiliate Marketing Opportunity

Etsy has a very good affiliate marketing program that allows you to create an income from writing about your favorite unique pieces. There is something for every niche.

  1. Organization bloggers can take advantage of the many sellers that have high quality planners and planner inserts, as well as custom designed binders and more.
  2. For health niches, fitness trackers, motivational posters and workout clothes are just a few choices you have.
  3. Sites with particular spiritual affiliation can find religious and inspirational items and gifts, such as mugs, cards,
A Creative Way To Generate Affiliate Marketing Income: Read more: Click To Tweet

And these are just a handful of the opportunities that Etsy has to offer to an affiliate marketer. You can sign up for the Etsy Affiliate Program here.

But Etsy is not the only option for affiliate marketers who want to showcase the unique and handmade. Handmade By Amazon has high quality sellers who offer handmade items in the same niches as Etsy does while supporting individual designers. Handmade By Amazon is a part of the Amazon Affiliate Progam, so you do not need a separate affiliate account for them. Sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program here

Not offering handmade items, but designs created by individuals, Zazzle And RedBubble also have affiliate programs, that allow you market their creative and often very unique content.

Find out more about these two programs in the following articles:
Get started with RedBubble
Get Started with Zazzle

How To Get Started In Affiliate Marketing:

If you already have a blog, you only have to sign up for the individual affiliate programs and add links, and banners to your site.

If you are new to blogging and online marketing, I suggest that you give Wealthy Affiliate University a try, where you will get free lessons on how to get started on Affiliate Marketing. After the free beginner lessons, you can decide if you want to upgrade to the premium membership, which gives you access to even more lessons, and free hosting (domain not included) for up to 25 wordpress sites.

If you however do not want to take advantage of the lessons, and are only looking for hosting, I highly recommend that you use the very reliable and inexpensive service of HostGator to host your WordPress blog.

Both of the above options allow you to purchase your domain, and offer secure and competend hosting services.

If you have any additional questions regarding affiliate marketing, or Wealthy Affiliate, leave me a comment below.

Fiercely Independent Blessings!

Claudia

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Uncategorized

Blogging 102: Rework Your Old Content

Blogging 102: Rework Your Old Content

In order to maximize page views and with that your ability to maximize your potential to monetize your blog,  I find it wise to contemplate reworking your old content, especially the content that has in the past gained some interest with readers. One of the biggest mistakes a new blogger can make is to have the write it and forget it attitude and ignore this potential.

Some of these posts though might need some serious reworking. Links might no longer be functioning, the content might not be optimized to fit today’s reading habits, or your blogging goals have changed, and your content from 2 or 3 years ago does not fit into that picture.

Rework your old blog content to optimize pageviews. Find out how: #blogtips #blogging Click To Tweet

No worries, here are a few steps you can take in order to optimize the content and make it shareable again:

1. Does your blog post have a call to action?
Your call to action should reflect your current blogging goals, therefore you might want to change your previous CTA to fit your campaigns of today. Examples of effective CTA would be to ask people to share your content, to add a comment,  or follow a link to a related blog post. You can also ask people to subscribe if you are trying to grow your email list.

2. Images
Does your blog post have an image that is optimized to be shared on social media? Ideally, you have two images to share per post, one at the beginning, and one further into the content. Each of those images should have a solid description, as well as an ALT description that features the keywords you are trying to rank for. Make sure you are using a consistent style and font for all of your images, so that they are easily recognized as your brand. If you do not already have created a style guide for your blog and brand, do that before you optimize your images and posts.

3. Optimal formatting
Your blog posts should be easily scannable with multiple subheadlines, in complementing colors (see my thoughts on style guide above). While people appreciate a long-form content, it is much easier to read it if it is not written in a long blob of text. Enter bulletin points whenever necessary and possible, and break up the text by using images, as well as a click to tweet box.

4. Links
Add relevant affiliate links to your post, and check those you have already added to your content. If you have written relevant content since writing the old post, add a link to it.

Make it a habit reworking your content on a regular basis, in order to optimize your page views.

Question: What are your best tips for optimizing old blog content? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Fiercely Independent Blessings

Claudia

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Affiliate Marketing Marketing

4 Social Media Strategies You Should Implement Right Now

4 Social Media Strategies You Should Implement Right Now

Whether you are a blogger, affiliate marketer, or run a business, with an online presence, effective social media strategies can increase the traffic to your product, website, and blog. But, due to a large amount of social media platforms out there, and the constantly added features, and even more platforms, it has become essential to create an efficient social media strategy.

1. Automate as much as possible

Scheduling apps such as Buffer, and Tailwind (for Pinterest), and social media management sites, such as ManageFlitter (for Twitter) allow you to create a faster, more effective campaign that is right for your business. No matter if you are using a tool to schedule your social media posts to fit the best times to share, or using a tool to effectively follow influencers and your audience, they free your time and make managing the individual platforms easier and more effective.

2. Be Personal

4 Social Media Strategies You Should Implement Right Now - Learn more here: Click To Tweet
Social media platforms are foremost social, and thrive on personal interaction, rather than connecting only on a business and marketing level. Share personal insights, behind the scenes stories, and other posts, that highlight the softer “not- selling”side of yourself.

3. Provide new content on a regular basis

While it is okay to repost your old blog posts, it is essential that you keep on adding new content on a regular basis. Do not only post your own content but those of relevant influencers in your niche.

Related Post: Pinterest Tips And Tricks

4. Keep Up With Social Media Trends

Updates, new features, and new platforms can create marketing opportunities that you can take advantage off. Keeping track of these updates and finding a creative way to incorporate them into your marketing efforts will allow you to become an innovative leader in your niche. Tailor your efforts to where your audience spends the most time, which can vary greatly depending on your niche.

For more marketing strategies, blogging insights, and small business tips, subscribe to our newsletter today!

Fiercely Independent Blessings!

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Marketing Tools

ManageFlitter Review: An Effective Twitter Management Tool

social media tool, business tools,

I have recently discovered a great social media management tool, I wish I would have found earlier. ManageFlitter is my new favorite twitter management tool, to help me create an effective twitter presence.

Tailwind Visual Marketing SuiteAs most of you probably know, Twitter is not very keen on any account following more people than they are followed by. Twitter tends to look at these accounts as spam, but one of the most effective strategies to building a following is to follow and interact with people. In order to balance these both aspects, a Twitter management tool, allows you to go through the people who you are following, who are inactive accounts, as well as filter spam accounts and those with no profile image out of the bunch you are following.

It is a lot easier to keep your follow/follower ratio down, while still maintaining the ability to gain new and quality followers. There are many tools available to let you do this, but ManageFlitter is the most effective one, I have used so far. With the free account, you can unfollow 100 accounts every day. Not a bad deal for free.

Are you using a twitter management tool? Read about my top pick here: #BTRTG #smm Click To Tweet

ManageFlitter also has additional features for their paid account options. Not only do you have unlimited unfollowing features, you can also take advantage of account analytics, which allows you to see your influence, your own spam probability,  and keep an eye on how many followers you have gained (or lost).

In Tweet Analytics, ManageFlitter allows you to keep an eye on specific keywords, hashtags, and accounts you want to monitor to gain a more effective insight into any potential future connections or potential campaigns.

An additional business plan feature, I have not used yet, is the potential of creating a Power Post. Basically, it allows you to schedule an effective post (either their suggested content or one you write on your own), at what this management tool deems to be the best time for your particular twitter account. Because I use my upgraded Buffer account for all of my social  media scheduling, I have not taken advantage of this feature, but if you are unsure of when it is the best time to  schedule a post, this tool can be a helpful addition to your Twitter campaign.

Conclusion:

Overall I am very happy with the upgraded plan for my twitter account. While the basic account might be enough at the beginning, I purchased the upgraded (12 Dollar/ month) plan after a week of using the free one, because I did not want to be limited to 100 unfollows. That is simply not enough for me, but can make the difference for a small twitter account, and is a great way to get used to the ManageFlitter platform without having to make any commitment.  Like I mentioned in the beginning, I wish someone would have pointed me in the direction of this tool a long time ago, but better late than never. I hope, this little article will help you make the right decision for you when  choosing a social media management tool for twitter.

Fiercely Independent Blessings

Claudia

Rainmaker Platform: Build a Powerful Website

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