Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Using Twitter to guide readers to your blog

Twitter is just about the most efficient way to get the word out about your blog. Of course, to keep readers coming back, you must write an interesting blog.

Let's assume you do write interesting, dynamic blog posts. Here are some quick tips on how to use Twitter to guide more readers to your blog:

1. On Twitter, follow people who are naturally interested in your topic and they will follow you back.

2. Every time you post a new article on your blog, go to your Twitter account and tweet about it. Be sure to include the link to the post. For example, as soon as I post this article on The Helpful Blogger, I'll go to my Twitter account and tweet, "Helpful Blogger tips on Using Twitter to Guide Readers to Your Blog. Details at http://www.TheHelpfulBlogger.com." Or I could tweet a little less formally, such as "Just posted to my blog about using Twitter. Check it out at http://TheHelpfulBlogger.com.

3. Frequency. Twitter runs 24 hours. Some of your followers are from different time zones, such as Hawaii, Japan, Australia, England, etc. Don't forget about them . If you always tweet at 10:00 am, you'll only hit a fraction of your possible followers. Therefore, Tweet about your blog posting several times a day. If you can't sit around waiting to tweet at 2:00 in the afternoon, sign onto one of the applications that allow you to schedule tweets for the time you want them to go out. (I use Hootsuite.com for this. I type in tweets I want sent out throughout the day and let Hootsuite send them out at the times I have specified.)

4.# Hashtags. One way to increase the number of people who will see your tweets is to mark them with (#) hashtag categories. For example. I'll write my tweet as follows: "Using Twitter to guide readers to your blog. Details http://www.TheHelpfulBlogger.com #blogging, #blogger." By using #blogging and #blogger in the tweet, the tweet will show on a page of other tweets that have been marked #blogging or #blogger. Readers who go to #blogging or #blogger will see my tweet in the chronological stream of tweets that have these same hashtag markings . Some of these readers may already follow me, many probably don't. But they will learn about me there, and may start following.

5. Invite comments. Instead of just informing folks that your tweet is posted, invite comments. Another way to encourage people to click on the link is to ask a question and invite them to answer it in the comments section of your blog. For example, for this blog post, I could tweet. "Using Twitter to guide readers to your blog. http://theHelpfulBlogger.com. Add your tips!," or "Do you have tips on how to use Twitter to help your blog? Post comments at http://www.TheHelpfulBlogger.com"

6. Another good way to draw attention to your blog post is to make your tweets generally enjoyable to read. Don't always tweet about your blog. Tweet about your topic in general, throw a picture onto Twitpic.com occasionally with a great caption. Or send out a quote occasionally, and then when you post your blog, tweet about it. Your followers will be used to looking for your tweets and will click on the link to see what you have to offer.

Most of all, you will attract followers to follow you on Twitter and to your blog by enjoying it all. Your enjoyment and enthusiasm will show through and others will naturally want to read what you have to say.

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