Twitter and Blogging, Tips and Tools
“Every blog should have its own Twitter account.”
WHOA! Slow down. If EVERY blog had a Twitter account, the site would be “over capacity” constantly. Some web hosts claim 99.99% uptime. Twitter would be at 99.99% downtime considering there’s more blogs on the Internet than atoms in the known universe.
With that out of the way, let’s first say that “every” to me clears out spam blogs, boring blogs, worthless blogs, and blogs about bacon or politics. Hopefully, this blog doesn’t fall into any of those categories other than the occasional bacon post. Assuming there are a couple of hundred thousand quality blogs in the world right now, that wouldn’t be too hard for even the Twitter servers to handle.
Where does it all fit in and how can Twitter and blogging work together? We’ll get to that, but first…
Setting Up Your Twitter for Your Blog
For research purposes (and, of course, to be a blog of action and not just theory) I created a Twitter account for Soshable. This is separate from my personal Twitter account, but as long as Twitter doesn’t mind having them, I don’t mind managing them. I created the account with the name of the blog. Some use the term dotcom at the end either because their blog name was already taken or because they wanted to get an extra push for visitors by publicizing the web aspect of their account.
Once registered, you can import contacts. Sadly, Twitter doesn’t give you the option of emailing them to announce your intentions for this account, but if they’re real contacts, they’ll get the picture.
Go straight to Settings and fill out your information.
The avatar was easy – I used my logo. Sadly, I was too lazy to build a nice, professional background or a witty tiled-image, but it works for me. For those who want quick and easy Twitter designs, they can use…
- MyTweetSpace – Free Twitter Backgrounds
Final step: tweet. It’s easy. Say hi to the Twitterverse. In 140 characters or less, tell anyone who may check out your updates what your intentions are with the account. If your intentions are strictly marketing or sales oriented, you might want to avoid going straight into the pitch immediately. In fact, you may not want to create the Twitter account at all, as that kind of stuff doesn’t fly well. Perhaps I should have mentioned that in the beginning. Hopefully, I didn’t waste too much of anyone’s time.
With your new Twitter account in had and ready to roll, it’s time to get your blog ready…
Setting Up Your Blog for Your Twitter
If you’re blog is going to have a Twitter account of its own, we’ll assume that this account will tweet new posts. There are tools, such as…
…that help to integrate your blogging activities with the twitter account. Some love them, as automation makes things easier. For this blog, despite an upcoming ramp-up of posts with a new writer hired, automating the tweets isn’t worth it. I can tweet by hand. The 140 characters will only take me a few seconds to type.
Just as you want Twitter to send visitors to your blog, you’ll want your blog to send visitors to your tweets. I found…
… that has a nice selection of badges as well as an extremely easy interface to get a quality badge up on your blog very quickly. I liked these better than some of the generic ones out there because they are, well, not generic. Different colors (I get tired of the Twitter baby blue sometimes), different birds, different sizes, easy to adjust sizes – perfect for non-design-oriented bloggers such as myself. Once you have an acceptable badge, you can put it in the sidebar or, for more exposure, add it to your posts directly. The Digg button is out (or at least moved to the bottom for most quality blogs). It’s Twittertime!
There are a couple of other things you can do. A short post doesn’t hurt, one with a simple headline like “(this blog) is Now Tweeting!” You can create a Twitter page. One urge they I would recommend fighting is the one that says to put a…
- Twidget – Twitter Stream Widget
…into your sidebar. For one thing, it could keep people from visiting your Twitter account directly. For another thing, it might be redundant, as it may have links to your posts at any particular time. Putting your personal Twitter widget in there wouldn’t really hurt if you don’t mind the association, but it may be confusing to have two accounts represented on the sidebar.
Once you’ve got your Twitter and your blog set up, you’re ready to get involved. Here are some…
Quick Twitter Blog Account Tips
Now, the question at hand is, “Should every blog have a Twitter account?” With the absolute explosion that Twitter has seen in the past 3 months, the obvious answer would be an affirmative. Just as bloggers look to social media, search engines, and all of the other possible traffic-driving techniques they can think of or read about to drive traffic to their blog, why not include a little self-serving Twitter love?
As long as you DON’T SPAM with it, you should be able to give and receive value. That’s the real key to Twitter. If you give, you can get. Now, those tips I promised…
- Give your Twitter blog account a personality. It can be your personality, a skewed extention of your personality, or something completely different. Think from the perspective of “I’m a blog. I am words, images, and videos. What do I want to Tweet today?” Weird? Yes. Cool if done right? Yes.
- Don’t use it as a post hog for updates. CNN can get 70K followers based upon the news they report. You… won’t. Do more than just tweet about your newest post.
- Keep it real. Reply to DMs and @you tweets. Read what people are saying around you. If it’s interesting or relevant to the topic of your blog, jump in and converse.
- DON’T SPAM! Regardless of how amazing your work-at-home opportunity may be to you, it’s not going to be appealing to most of your followers.
- Follow people, but not too many. It’s easy to see people with followers in the thousands and tens of thousands and think, “If I add 1000 people a day, some of them will follow me back.” Take it slow. Make sure your account is not completely lopsided by following a lot more than are following you. Does it work to follow a bunch? For some, yes. Fight the temptation. Did I mention “take it slow?”
- Find people in the niche that your blog covers. Sites like Twellow categorize people based upon interests and geography. Find those who may benefit from your blog and with whom you can engage in interesting Twitter conversations.
- If you have multiple accounts, Matt can help. It makes managing your personal account and your blog accounts much easier.
- Post interesting stuff about your posts in Twitter. Create interaction. For example, you can Tweet something like, “Comment of the Day came from John Q. on (Post URL)” and then follow it up with “Here’s the CotD: I got picked on a lot in school, but at least I knew how to get everything to work on 1 remote control. Oh and I make…”
- Dual-stream your media. If you have a great image on your blog, the urge is to entice people to visit the blog with a teaser post such as “You’ve got to check out this great picture of bacon… (link)”. Believe it or not, if you post the picture using services like TwitPic you actually have as good if not better chance for people to click through to the blog. If they like what they see there, they’ll want to know or see more.
That’s it. I’m pooped. To much tweeting and blogging today. Get ready to meet our newest writer next week!
(Did I mention DON’T SPAM?)
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Read more about Social Media on Soshable.