Web-savvy entrepreneurs are always a step ahead of everyone else: They're up to date on technology trends, they're constantly trying out new tools, they're often at the center of major online conversations, and--most importantly--they know how to use the Web to get things done faster.
If that doesn't sound like you, maybe it's time to adopt a few new habits:
1. Become an email ninja.
Are you one of those people who spends more time communicating about a project than actually doing the project? Stop. Only allow yourself to check your email a few times throughout the day. If you have important emails that need to be sent out, try scheduling them with Boomerang. And to limit your time even further, check out five sentences or less, which stops you from sending emails longer than five sentences. To make the most of your inbox, and time spent in it, try ActiveInbox, a Gmail/Google Apps plugin that helps you organize your emails into to-do lists. So organize your inbox, write your five-sentence email, and then get the hell out of that inbox.
2. Blog (it's never been easier).
The most successful people online, starting with Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, or Guy Kawasaki, all have one thing in common. They maintain a very active blog. At the end of the day, this is where your online home base resides.
If you want to succeed online, get a blog (via Tumblr, WordPress, or Typepad) and start crunching out quality content. It's the lifeblood of your online presence.
3. Be the information guy (or gal) for your followers.
One of Stephen Covey's habits for highly effective people is to "seek first to understand, then be understood." Put another way for the online world: "To be interesting, one first has to be interested."
Take a look at one of the most successful independent social media curators, such as authors @brainpicker or @MichaelHyatt with close to 200,000 Twitter followers each. Both of them share great content more than 10 times a day, picking the most interesting finds from their daily reading routines (see more about that below). They hit Twitter at optimal times but space out their posts so as not to clutter followers' streams. To do this efficiently, they likely use a simple scheduling tool such as Buffer to queue up tweets and Facebook posts all day long.
4. Read tailored news to stay up to date.
Anyone can read the BBC News or The New York Times. Unfortunately, this kind of news won't make you more interesting or successful. Instead, find articles that actually matter to you and your business.
To get a tailored news reading experience, use an app like Zite or My6Sense. Both are designed to learn what you read the most and give you more of these relevant articles. For RSS reading, check out Reeder, which is an app that integrates with Buffer.
5. Grow an engaged network on Twitter and Facebook
A study of Gary Vaynerchuck's Twitter account found that his habit of replying to tweets within 30 minutes can have a tremendous effect on his following and engagement with followers.
Don't just broadcast, find the people active in your industry on Twitter and Facebook. Tweet them, retweet them, and learn from them. It will be the core of your social media presence if you are known as someone who is responsive and helpful.
6. Be at pulse of what is happening on the Web.
The Web is always changing. Don't get too attached to any one tool. Chances are something better is going to come along. There is always a new kid on the block. The most influential people on the Internet know this and play around with new tools all the time.
Something that might revolutionize your productivity on the Web is ifttt. It allows you to connect any two Web services together, such as Dropbox with Flickr, or Google Reader with Buffer. Being aware of new tools is crucial if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
7. Cut out all negative comments online.
Nobody wants to be around someone who is always complaining about something. In fact, "social media scientist" Dan Zarrella published a study showing that posting negative comments is directly related to diminishing your network online. So keep those negative remarks to yourself.