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It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged because I haven’t had the energy to blog on a regular basis. My body gave me pneumonia this spring and I’m still dealing with the aftereffects. The good news is that the infection is gone and I’m still able to get things done — like write.

I’m currently editing two books: Instagram for Dummies, Second Edition (Wiley) and Growing Your Business (Entrepreneur Press). I’ve just started writing the second edition of Write Your Business Plan for Entrepreneur Press. And Wiley wants me to write custom Dummies books for them.

On top of working with website clients, I’m writing weekly articles for the Amador Business Ticker in Amador County, California. I’m even writing weekly features for Main Street businesses in Jackson, California, which is where I live.

A photo of Eric Butow taken by a four-year-oldSo, I still have energy and I’m not bored, but the lung issues I have left over mean I can’t get too excited and go full bore on other things like writing a blog. Instead, I’ll write a blog at the beginning of each month with things that I find interesting and, hopefully, useful.

Last month, LinkedIn reminded me that one task I needed to do for my BCG company page was to invite my contacts to follow the page. Now I have 71 followers, and I hope you’ll follow the BCG LinkedIn page, too. BCG has a Facebook page as well, and I plan to have more updates there as we fall into autumn.

My goal with these monthly blog posts is to publish “evergreen” articles that you can use no matter when. This month, since I’m on the topic of LinkedIn, here are three practices I use on that platform for you to consider:

Emphasize quality over quantity. I’m seeing a lot of connection requests from website designers for firms that don’t exist in a quick Google search. Be discerning in who you connect with, and cull your contact list regularly (such as once a quarter) if a contact isn’t meaningful to you anymore.

Always send birthday greetings. LinkedIn always sends you birthday notifications for your connections, and sending a short, private birthday message is an easy way to reinforce your connection. Add a time-sensitive sentence to your message, such as, “I hope you have a wonderful September,” to tell people that this isn’t a canned happy birthday message and you care about their well-being, too.

Send congratulations in the feed. LinkedIn has what I find an annoying feature: you’re reminded to give congratulations to your connections in the feed as well as in a direct message. It’s perfectly okay to congratulate them in the feed and add a default response, but feel free to add as much text to the response as you want.

I hope this helps. Have a prosperous September and I’ll have a new post on Saturday, October 1.