A couple of weeks ago I joined twitter in effort to experiment more with promoting my blog and get a bit more traffic.
Before I get into that, rule number one in generating traffic is
Content is King
Now I am not an expert in advertising via the social media nor advertising via any media, but I have learned a lot about promoting your blog and self using twitter over the past few weeks. As I learn more I will share more.
Seed your blog with content first
Don’t start promoting if your blog is empty. Seed it with good, interesting and valuable content. Whether it is advice, comments on something you read in the news, challenges and how you overcame them (or if you did not, then what did you try and did not work) . So have some content on there so that when someone does visit, they are not welcomed by just a few short posts that do not add any value.
Creating good titles for your posts
When you create a post the first title you save it with is used to generate the URL for that post. So titles are very important and a good title will help that content get ranked on search engines and help your blog overall. A good tip I read was to first pick a series of words that will describe the new post best. For this post I picked “Use Twitter Feed Bitly Promote Blog Tips Suggestions”. Publish the post with that title and then go back and add a proper title to it.
Twitter is more than just reading what your friends are up to. Use twitter to stay up to date on news, weather, topics, technology, cars or whatever else interests you. Don’t limit your follows to people you know, follow people based on what they are contributing – if what they posted today was valuable to you, odds are something they will post tomorrow will also be valuable. A lot of companies have joined twitter and promote their products and services on twitter. Follow these companies to get updates, news, and even help with their products.
Unlike Facebook where you can get 10,000 friends without even knowing 2% of them, you need to add value for someone to follow you, sure you can follow him, but the idea is to build your online identity; an interesting online identity. If your online identity revolves around following 10,000 people and not adding value then the opportunity you had there will not come again. Celebrities are a special case, even if they don’t post that often. (If you are a celebrity and reading this post please leave a comment, if your’re not still comment!)
Blog. Check. Twitter. Check. What’s next?
So by now you have some good content on your blog, and you have built a small network on Twitter. Now what about Twitter Feed and Bitly?
Twitter Feed will publish your posts on Twitter on your behalf. Just sign up for an account and authorize it to do so by providing your username and password for Twitter or by authenticating your Twitter Feed username with Twitter. You can configure how often you want it to check your posts and what to prefix each post with.
Most if not every blogging tool provides you with a URL where your blog’s RSS feed is published to. Simple point TwitterFeed to that RSS Feed and you are done.
Why use #hashtag for your blog posts?
I used #NESBlog to prefix my blog tweets giving me a way to easily search Twitter and see if any of my posts were retweeted. None so far, but I only started this yesterday. I’m optimistic I’ll get my moment of fame sooner or later.
bit.ly is a url shortener. It also allows you to track each url and see how visits each got. Sign up for an account and configure TwitterFeed to use your bit.ly username and API key. There are many other services that do this, bit.ly was just the first I signed up for and so far its working out well.
Next time TwitterFeed reads your blog’s RSS feed it will send your last post as:
Note: If your posts show up on twitter with a “You must be authentication to a …” the bit.ly API key is incorrect. Copy it and paste it back in again carefully.
That covers the set of tips I learned over the past few weeks at promoting my blog using Twitter, Twitter Feed, and Bitly url shortening.
Don’t forget to comment and let me know what you think or share some other tips!