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.
Read more about how to use Twitter to grow your online presence in Darren’s post – How to Use Twitter – Tips for Bloggers.
Just a few ideas based on all your great comments. First, there’s really no right or wrong way to use Twitter. There are ways that aren’t as effective, just like you can have cruddy email or you can send useful email. But ultimately, if you’re there and you’re trying to participate, you’re probably doing it right.
Ideas like Dan’s (about five above this comment) are really interesting, because they go on to show Twitter as a platform. Dave Winer has made some stuff that works with Twitter, and so have a few others. Each one is unique and interesting.
Thanks, everyone, for the great comments. I never knew just how engaged a community Darren had over here. Reminds me of the great comment conversations we get into at [chrisbrogan.com]. That’s exciting to know.
Maybe that’s another trick about probloggers like Darren: have great people like you to build exciting conversations.
I just tried it in twitter. Want know what happen next :-)
I am amazed at how well Twitter is catching on and can’t believe I haven’t used it sooner. The more people I follow, and that follow me, the more I feel like I can really make an impact on my blogs and websites by using Twitter.
Looking at more successful bloggers and web publishers like yourself, M. Arrington, Scoble, Vaynerchuk, etc. I can see that Twitter is becoming a serious part of their marketing strategy, and their social life. Who knew!
I have been using twitter since its out. I have over 470 visitors on my blog from twitter (data from analytics). Its awesome.
I am one of your follower
and i also asked you for an advice on my blog on
Great use of Twitter. I’m convinced. I will start my twitter account tonight.
Do you ever post personal information? Or do you just keep it all about your blog?
Twitter is fun and it does bring some traffic too. Your idea about asking a question is cool. I’m going to try it out. Somebody asked me yesterday where they can get Polaroid film. Maybe I’ll ask Twitter?
@bud – what happened next?
This is awesome. Exquisitely polite. A well-thought-out and engaging post that shows how you can be solicitous and engaging of others while meeting your personal (or business) goals as well.
Sentiments shared with everyone above. Was competely against using twitter prior to SXSWi but now find it fairly useful – if following the right people. Also, kind of like the stream of consciousness it allows.
Plus, my mailbox no longer has one liners bombarding it.
@chrisbrogan – On a different note – loved the “scoop the story panel”
thought id share something ive just discovered with twitter
hope you find it useful
Convert your tweets to images “Many forums, Blogs, and other web services allow you to have images as part of your signature. twitsig.com allows you to display your current twitter status as an image.”
Hmm, looks like I’m missing something. Thanks for sharing.
Great post, I haven’t explored Twitter that much and this information you’re providing is really helpful to me and others like me, so thanks.
This is some great advice. I am usually one of those “check out my new blog post: URL” perpetrators, but now I will be employing some new tactics …
Wow. I believe Twitter loves Darren Rowse right about now.
Do you think there is value in leveraging Twitter as a pre-launch platform for a blog?
You do well in traffic attraction.Guess what I will join twitter too.
I joined Twitter, but I don’t understand it. How do you get followers and interact with other users? I can’t seem to figure out how to reply to other people’s posts? There is no Leave a Reply or Comments box. Feeling confused and frustrated.
I guess people really read other people’s comments on Twitter. I figured they only followed the high profile people though. I doubt most care if you are just a no-namer.
Wow…what a cool feature, seems like everytime I want to learn about something, there is something coming down the pipe. Twitter seems to be a cool interaction method.
I’ve used twitter, but no significant traffic out of it. I should apply your tips for my twit :)
Thanks for the tips!
Thanks for the TIP, however I’m not confident that this will work for small blogs or website with a “no name” authors. This is benefiting Darren, Arrington and the names we see on the net because they are the blogosphere trend setter. If they say something or post something on TWITTER for example, the likelihood someone will follow the post is a lot greater than someone we’ve never heard before.
I love the post and is definitely something we can all try but let’s not be optimistic on the results. =)
I have not experimented with Twitter, thanks for your post. I,ll try twitter.
Thanks for the concrete advice on promoting blogs via Twitter. I’ve been gun shy about promoting work over at Twitter because I’m new to it and I got turned off at Facebook by a lot of the self promotion—-seemed like no one was listening. Appreciate you spelling it out a little for me and others.
Well I can see the effectiveness of the new approach…so…thanks!
Now I don’t have to revert to the usual “New Post…Check It Out!”
I started twittering last year for fun and to keep up with friends. After reading this post I know see it as a powerful means of keeping my readers engaged and possibly getting more.
Thanks Chris and Darren :)
Thanks Darren for giving valuable inside. I am new to blogging and getting decent revership. Need to apply few tips mentioned above.
I never really thought of using Twitter that way, thanks for the tips. I will be doing it now
The more comments I read, I am wondering if anyone sleeps? With twitter, stumbleupon, digg, forums, etc., who has time to write, eat, and sleep, let alone take care of your kids or spend time with your significant other?
Can you have it all?
@Lisa, I was blown away on how you express yourself!
Chris-amazing post. Just one more “to do” that got added to my list. (urg.)
Off to save the environment, one twitter at a time!
Hi thanks to this post I will try Twitter, it is a great pleasure to see people responding, thanks for sharing
I just have some sort of built-in resistance against Twitter. It’s the concept I guess of constantly telling everybody what I am doing. I don’t want everybody to know what I’m doing, I don’t want everybody to know where I am.
Besides that, I have to agree with Anna. Isn’t it nice to just disconnect at a certain moment and do things that really matter in life? I mean in real life!
I haven’t been a Twitter member for long, but I have noticed that my hits have gone up since I started using it. Thank you for all of the extra ideas to use along side of my promotions – this article really helped me, and I’m sure it will help thousands of other bloggers as well!
Great Points & Tips Chris – I plan to take advantage of twitter for future blog posts.
Chris, thank you for your excellent suggestions. I plan to build a blog to feed to my 3 Day Walk donation site. It’s all new to me.
3 Day Walk
Is there any way to search twitter posts for keywords? It would make it easier to find people with similar interests to follow. It seems that the search only looks at name and bio info. I searched for “stock trading” which is what my blog is about and only found about 15 or so active users.
Enjoying following you [and Darren!] on Twitter, Chris!
Just stumbled this post. Like your ideas about asking a question and making note of comments. Sets you apart as someone who’s interested in engaging conversation and advancing knowledge for the greater good.
Great post and comments. To address some of the questions coming in from those new to twitter and the skeptics:
1) there are tools to minimize the noise-factor on twitter. I think the “Flock” browser side bar is great–makes your twitter stream a sidebar
2) you can do the same as above and add value to your blog content by adding an rss widget that follows your twitter stream and shares with others. that way if you follow chris’ advice of asking a question, direct tweats and other related commentary can be part of your blog context and add to the conversation
3) you can have your twitter twats update your facebook status line (mark silva is…) via the Twittersync application–this also will remove the “IS” if you like. If you use the Twitter application in Facebook it appends “is twittering” which is annoying and a ham-fisted brand play by the platform–no one in fact “is twttering” rather twitter is conveying their state of mind or action
4) you can search and create custom content rss feeds using the excellent search tool at http://www.terraminds.com — i’ve used it to track @marksilva posts so that i get direct-message notifications via phone, email, rss reader, etc.
Finally, someone asked about whether to post personal of professional content. I do a little of both because people who follow me are also employees, friends and colleagues and I do believe that what is true in our heart of hearts is universal, so worth sharing. Also, b/c it shows up in my Facebook status, it’s appropriate to “keep it real.”
hope this is helpful. cheers! silva
Very informative. I am trying to build my site and get some traffic to it so I am always on the look out for better networking sites. I have tried some sites that focus on my target consumers for my products but have not tried the ones you have mentioned. I will check them out. Thanks
I will include this in my promotion list, as i still not aware about this. Thanks for post, this is really useful info.
This is good info. I just started a blog and already getting a good bit of traffic from twitter.
Now thats what u call short and crisp.
Your information is very helpful. I have used StumpleUpon and now I will try Twitter. I have received more traffic on my website.
So thanks for the advice!
Brilliant. If social media is about the conversation and the engagement, then asking the question instead of preaching is what its all about. And what better way to engage than to ask “what do you think?”
I love reading twitter. I love the links people post and the variety of things they recommend and I learn so much.
I get frustrated sometimes because i cannot follow a whole conversation because I only have half the people involved and people don’t always use the @ to find the other half.
I don’t think its done anything for my traffic but then I havn’t really tried to make it do so. I am more like a silent observer at a party listening to those popular people entertain us. It’s a strange place but its fun.
http://twitter.com/ImGenie say hello
I love twitter too!!
I just stumbled upon the site Nachofoto.com
I use Nachofoto to promote my food & celebrity blog
Nachofoto is really simple to use.
“Just submit image links from your site to Nachofoto and you are done.”
I get lot of traffic from this site.
Nachofoto also allows users to make free slideshows.The cool part about Nachofoto slideshows is that all images in the slideshow link back to the original website(from where that image was submitted to Nachofoto.com)
It worth giving a try
I just join twitter about 1 week ago and i’m already addicted…lol
Definately a great way to drive your follower to your blog post, and a wonderful idea to ask them for a stumble :)
I’m following a guy that doing a kind of pre launch for is new site and is follower get the scoop first. Pretty cool ;)
twitter is really amazing, I should have join a long time ago.
Once again great blog post.
Thanks for this info. I’ve never used Twitter but I think I’ll give it a shot!
Thanks again for the post! I’m new to Twitter and was curious how to really ramp up the followers. The three methods mentioned are worth a try!
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wow thanks, after reading a few of your post about twitter in the past 15 minutes im starting to use twitter, thanks a bunch,
Twitter is a great place to promote your blog! Thats how i found this one!