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How I Use Twitter to Promote My Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 25th of March 2008 Blog Promotion, Featured Posts 0 Comments

How Can Twitter be used to promote a blog? In this guest post Chris Brogan gives a few tips on blog promotion.

Twitter is a lot of things to a lot of people. For some, it’s a virtual water cooler. For others, it’s a great way to get answers to questions. Since I started using Twitter, I have more than doubled my blog traffic over the last several months, and I can tell you how.

Some people just dump their blog posts into Twitter automatically, with a simple “New Blog Post: Money is Better Than Dirt” and away you go. I’ve found a way of using Twitter to encourage participation on my website, and it’s better than easy; it’s tasteful.

Ask a Question

Instead of telling your Twitter audience that you’ve published a new post, ask them their opinion on the core topic you’ve covered. “Do you think banner ads are dead?” followed by a link to your site is much more appealing than posting to Twitter, “Banner Ads Are Not Dead.” Asking a question engages your Twitter followers and solicits their experience.

If Comments Flow, Remark on It

I genuinely believe that the comments section of my blog is better than anything I write on my own. To that end, when a topic seems to take off, I send a note to Twitter alerting people to the quality of the conversation in the comments. It’s not pitchy in nature. I’m simply sharing that the best stuff came after the initial post.

Sometimes, I Even Dare to Ask for a Stumble

My number two referrer to my site on most slow-medium traffic days is StumbleUpon. Because I seem to get “better” response from people who visit from that site than from other traffic sources, I sometimes will send a third post to Twitter, asking if someone thinks X post is worth a Stumble. Because I do a lot of sharing and promoting and helping others, I usually get a lot of willing people to Stumble something for me from time to time.

I don’t over-do it, and I know that not every day is a “killer blog post” day. With that in mind, when I do ask, it makes a huge difference.

Those Three Touches Help Lots

So in the end, I ask my following in Twitter for love three times: once when I post the blog, again if it takes off well in the comments section, and sometimes a third time if I want to really amp the traffic via StumbleUpon. I mix these requests in liberally with all the various ways I help others using Twitter, and so it doesn’t come off like I’m perpetually pitching my own stuff. My current monthly rate of pitching others vs. promoting my own site is 75 / 25 in other people’s favor. That sounds fair, right?

Have you experimented with Twitter in this way? How did it work for you? What other tips did I miss?

— Chris Brogan writes about social media business strategy and tools at [chrisbrogan.com]. He enjoyed the heck out of meeting Darren at SXSWi in Austin, TX.

Further Reading

Read more about how to use Twitter to grow your online presence in Darren’s post – How to Use Twitter – Tips for Bloggers.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I have not experimented with Twitter yet. I just looked at StumbleUpon for the first time a few days ago.

    But you are probably right about using these resources and I am going to get more deeply involved with them.

    Thanks for the post…

    The Masked Millionaire

  2. Nice post of you Darren, I have been using twitter for quite some time and you are right I experienced a lot of traffic and promoted my blog via twitter. But then again to be honest you have to spend some time to do that.


  3. You may have just convinced me to give Twitter a shot-

    Thus far, I’ve been annoyed by the people who use it to post constant Facebook updates that go “Jim is twittering: and…”

    However, if used less for purely social interactions, but to create a shared working community, I can see how it could be useful.

    Still, without trying it, it’s struck me almost as an expansion of the Digg-Shout function for web-phones.

    Quick survey: Do people think Twitter is still useful without a web-enabled mobile device?

  4. Just started using twitter again. I am not promoting my feed anywhere, but I have more people following me everyday.

    If anyone is interested in what I am doing in China they can follow me here:


  5. I noticed you just added me a few minutes ago. Thanks for that! I’ve been a dedicated reader for some time now and really appreciate what you do to help bloggers rise to the top.

    Now I’ve gotta go put some of the things in this article to work for me…

  6. Same for me too – thanks for following! Glad to continue the conversation on twitter – I find it is great to get JIT info.

  7. Thanks for the great advice. Twitter has a great tool and I will take your advice!! Most appreciate, Etavitom

  8. To Jeff from ScienceSays.com:

    Absolutely. In fact, I rarely use it from my phone. I had a love/hate relationship with Twitter until I finally just went a mass following spree, increasing the number of people I follow from 13 to over 100 in a single day. I’m now following over 400 people. Once you’re watching a good number of people, the magic of Twitter really starts to shine, as you see the conversations unfolding there and you start to make your own connections within the community by @replying to others.

  9. Great post!!! I started using twitter less than a month ago and have already seen it benefit my blog, http://homeofficewarrior.com. And, already using one of the tips in Chris’ guest post this morning. Ask the question instead of just telling your twitter follower you have a new post. We will watch and wait to see if it helps. Thanks Chris for a great guest post and thanks once again Darrren for a great blog. I have been blogging for three years and still read Problogger daily. Never too “old” to learn something new.

  10. Thank you for the tip – I’ve been avoiding Twitter like the plague, but you might have put me over the edge.

  11. Very good points Chris. I agree wholeheartedly that using Twitter isn’t about pitching your own posts solely, but it’s a great way of building personal relationships with other Twitterer’s and showcasing great posts they have done.

    I’m with you…, while it is nice for people to Stumble our own posts and enjoy the traffic that comes from it, doing the same for others is very important. Whether it is by using Twitter or any other social media site, you have to “give to get” and do so genuinely, rather than with a selfish attitude.

    @Jeff, I currently do not use a mobile device with Twitter and it still works wonders. I’ve been able to connect with others, including so-called A-Listers, and have become pretty well known/visible in social media. Personal branding is very important.

  12. I’ve read other posts like this, and have been doing the “automatically notify twitter when I post something on my blog” option. This gets me zero hits, because what none of the articles I’ve seen so far mention (including this one), is how to get the ‘Twitter Audience’ that these messages would actually be seen by. How does one build a ‘Twitter Audience’?

  13. Excellent article from Chris (thanks Darren) and I agree that one has to tweet questions, not statements, and also ‘sharing the love’ with tweets about others’ efforts is a key way to build an audience.

    I started to add tweets of others activities a few months ago, and the result has been more readers at my blog and more twitter followers and friends.

    Using twitter in this way also has let me make contact with many individuals who I might otherwise not have met – really offline, or virtually, online – and that’s been educational, and fun.

    One fantastic tool I recommend, that you can use to automatically twitter the content of others’ RSS feeds, is http://twitterfeed.com – combine that with something like Yahoo’s Pipes and you have an awesome tool for gaining and holding attention.

  14. Great advice from someone who’s proven that it works. I have to confirm that Chris Brogan does in fact share links to other blog posts far more than to his own so the 75/25 ratio seems right on the money (might be more 90/10 but not sure)!

    The other thing that Chris forgot to mention about twitter success is the fact that he actually communicates with everyone that wants to have a conversation with him! He follows most people back which is unheard of today (he only refuses to follow bots and spammers I think). If you look at the top a-listers on http://twitterholic.com you will notice far too many of them are just into talking and not listening as their following/followers ratio is totally off balance where they only follow 1or 2 % of the people who follow them which is ridiculous. However, the people who “get it” and most liked are those that have a healthy balance of followers and those they follow back: Chris Brogan, Robert Scoble, and Guy Kawasaki are best examples!

    So, the secret to twitter and all forms of communication is the ability to listen as well as talk. It’s a two-way street that people like Chris Brogan teach us on a daily basis.


  15. This would be the perfect opportunity to drop a link to Chris Brogan’s Twitter profile.

    @Joe — Start following people you find interesting and that would most likely find you interesting as well. They will probably follow you back.

  16. i believe that twitter could be a good source for traffic, but only once you have built up a large enough audience.

    you can not say that twitter will bring you traffic, without first qualifying that you need to have a decent amount of followers.

    it’s ok for those out there that already have a decent following say with subscribers, facebook etc.. to start to use twitter as they can promote this on thier site and will more than likely build up a twitter following fast.

    but for those of us that do not have this luxury, using twitter will take some time as you have to participate and hope that some of the people you follow will follow you.

    like most things in life – you need to work at it

  17. Excellent piece with useful advice. I already started to put them in practice.

  18. I think the main thing with using twitter to promote a blog is to be tactful and not use it as a sort of “feed alert.” For example, you shouldn’t use twitter to announce a blog post, but to announce something that is going on within a blog post (such as really good comments or what your readers would like to see next).

  19. Hi Darren, I didn’t really start using Twitter until a few weeks ago. I signed up earlier but didn’t “get it”. It just looked like another way to waste time on the net.

    Now I seem to be learning as much, sometimes more from quick Twit posts/links than I do from blogs. The main benefit for me has been the great new contacts I’ve made.

    Your strategy to pose interesting questions is one of the reasons I follow you on Twit. Later…

  20. Chris is one of the true ‘power users’ on Twitter, so I’m going to be glued to any advice he can give on how to use the service better. I think his 75/25 rule for promoting other people’s content is the biggest factor to growing your Twitter community.

  21. I was never really sure how I could use Twitter in my blog but your post definitely sheds light on the benefits of this site. Thanks for the info.

  22. I’m on Twitter, but not updating regularly. This post has reminded me to get back to Twittering because it is yet another way to connect with other bloggers, and readers in my niche. Thanks for the prodding!

  23. Excellent ideas (especially the ‘asking a question’). Will have to internalize this…..



  24. I signed up on Twitter because I was told it was the thing to do. Frankly, I didn’t get it, but looking at it today, wow, the traffic! I believe you about increased blog traffic.

  25. I’ve not logged on to Facebook for ages because of Twitter. I can keep in touch with people I network with, friends and family, and like Chris mentions, you can use tools like http://www.twitterfeed.com which automatically creates a twitter when you post on your blog.

    I have also asked a number of questions and people usually respond. Sometimes before I can even blink. Where else would I be able to chat with people like Chris Garrett and Darren Prowse about blogging etc.

    I’m a travel addict, so if you like travelling then follow me.
    P.S. I have added my twitter to these comments.

  26. After I started following a lot of people from this post http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2008/01/internet-marketing-experts-twitter.html at Marketing Pilgrim I found a lot of interesting things being discussed. I make comments to what they say and do twit some of my blog posts. I like the involving approach you mention in asking them about what was posted.

  27. Hi Darren – my experience with Twitter has been very similar to yours – lots of traffic, lots of ancilliary discussion and people willing to help stumble/digg/google reader-share stuff that they like.

    Twitter is a really well defined intermediate community – you don’t have to know everything about the people to feel some sort of connection, and it’s built up over a long period of tweet-reading.

    Good points and thoughts, thanks!


  28. Darren,

    Thanks for letting us into your twitter world! I haven’t used twitter myself, but I am definitely going to look into it and see what I can get going.

    My website is very new and in much need of traffic, so I am looking to every avenue.

    Thanks again.


  29. I’ve been using Twitter and following your advice, but I’m not seeing much, if any, traffic or interest from the effort.

    I’ve been at it for about 2 months. I enjoy using Twitter, but so far, it doesn’t appear to be providing much of a boost to traffic or readership. I’ll continue following your suggestions and trying different approaches. As always, thanks for the great advice.

  30. “Do you think banner ads are dead?”

    Good question. In my opinion I don’t think so, but I hope that I am not wrong.


  31. I have been surprised how much I have gotten Stumbled without even asking as soon as I actually stop and put more time into the writing of the article.


  32. @paisano…

    I get your point re: following-to-follower ratio, but I’d caution against a right/wrong way of Twittering.

    Chris Brogan (and a few others, as you mention) are great at being able to stay in touch with lots of people at once. There’s an obvious side-effect/payoff of building a big network and being able to tap into many-minds thinking. So, win-win for them.

    I’m one of those people with a lopsided ratio. I don’t have as many followers as the big guys, but I follow hardly anyone, just because I can’t. Can’t! I added a bunch of people during SXSW so that I could keep track of events while there (talk about a great use for Twitter!), but dropped most of them once I was back home, because I started having anxiety attacks about so much info zooming at me. Am I a snob? Nah. Just focus-challenged. And honest about it.

    Ask Chris–he’ll vouch for me :-)

  33. Twitter the comments / starting the conversations really worked, I just visited again after I saw Darren’s tweet.

    This was a great 1-2 punch for a great post.

  34. I’ve actually started using Twitter to tap experts for research on posts.

    Usually all it takes is a tweet to get a question answered or pointed in the right direction.

  35. Nice post! I seem to go through phases with Twitter and I guess I just need to be more diligent about it. Sometimes it’s distracting though and can be hard to keep up or to decide exactly what’s important enough to twitter about. I don’t want to just post anything.

    Feel free to follow me – http://twitter.com/silverlunace

    ~ Annie

  36. This is the first usable post I’ve ever found about how to use Twitter to market yourself. BRAVO! This is why I always read your RSS.

  37. I started using Twitter last Nov to see if it could help me shed the last 10 pounds of my 25 lb weight loss goal. I used twitter to track my workouts and food, things that are not big enough or happen too often for a post on my blog Back in Skinny Jeans. Twitter is a great compliment in that way.

    Anyway, it got on Twitter’s radar because I was using it for a “non-tech” goal setting purpose, and I ended up getting a shout out on one of Biz Stone’s state of the twitter emails. I got a flood of followers and new blog visitors after that. Since then, I’ve met some really cool folks, and twitter has almost become addictive. Also, as a non-tech blogger Twitter has helped me get exposure with some of the big named techies because they’re always looking for folks using web 2.0 in everyday life ways that mom & dad would understand ;-)

  38. Chris,

    Thanks for the post, they are three solid points for blogging; Going to find your Twittering now :)

  39. Chris and Darren, thanks. Great post about using Twitter right. Love the tips and questions vs “announcement feed.”

    I’ve learned a lot following twits – quick glance over many conversations, then zero in on ones of most interest and follow links – which is how I got HERE!

    Like the ability to give a plug to others (such as when I’m reading something great from Paul Colligan, or Warren Whitlock has shared a goodie!). Love the ability actually to converse with “big names” to give kudos, ask questions, whatever that’s appropriate (respecting their time always!).

    Used properly, Twittering is a wonderful way to build relationships, promote others, gain trust (they KNOW if your heart is right), give and get help.


  40. Thanks for a great post Chris! I just joined Twitter recently and I am tagging along you pro guys to learn more. Thank you so much for summarizing it.

    Katja – find me at

  41. I am using twitter more and more these days and love the following of other people and the learning that is going on.

    Robert Scoble today posted on his blog that it is more important to read other tweets then have more followers to read yours. I have to think that your huge number of readers though is a great way to get your message across and is a place that is new enough for anyone to get involved and be successful in

  42. I’ve basically done all of these things for my own blogs on Twitter. It’s also a great way to learn about new things to write about!

  43. Some nice tips, i’m just starting to see the value of Twitter now and will expand on my use of it some more.

  44. Make question at twitter is big tip. I have always just said people that I put post on my blog.

  45. I did not know you could use twitter to drive that much traffic. I’m going to give it a try.

  46. The true capabilities of twitter are just starting to get touched upon.

    I recently wrote about how you can remotely control your Mac with Twitter.

    So, not only can you increase your blog traffic, but you can use twitter to post blog articles you’ve drafted… even when you’re away from your computer.

  47. I just joined Twitter recently and I’m already beginning to discover some of its power. For one thing, my Twitter page is the second Google result for my name and I’ve only been on it for a couple weeks. With a link to my blog on my profile, that’s powerful. I also really like the way you use Twitter to promote your blog, Darren. Thanks for the great tips.

  48. An idea which I will implement and see how well it works for me.Thanks for the post.

  49. thx for the advice, i think i will give a shot

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