So you've chosen your topic, written some great content, and made a blog. Hopefully you used some of the blog SEO tips I discussed in my last post to get indexed and ranked for at least some of your target keywords. Maybe you're even starting to see some traffic trickle in, but... wouldn't it be great if you could send interested visitors to your blog as soon as you post? Even better, I'll show you blog marketing tactics that can get targeted visitors to come to your blog whenever you choose!
How to drive traffic to your blog using Twitter
First things first, you have to sign up for Twitter if you do not have an account. You can check out my Twitter profile here: absurd_human on Twitter. Now, here's the key - don't blindly follow people, even though some "pros" will tell you to do so. And definitely do not use any sort of autofollow tool. Find people relevant to what you are doing, and follow them. Be active with a good balance of @replies, direct messages, and public tweets. Try to restrict your Tweets to your area of expertise or the topic of your blog or site. If you are using Twitter as a personal tool to communicate with friends, you may want to create a separate Twitter account for your "brand" - even if it is just a small blog or website right now. Hint: find someone who is interested in the topic of your site (try a Twitter search) that follows say around 1,000 people, and look through the people they are following (not the people who follow them) for interesting people whose updates you might be interested in. Follow between 50 and 100 people per day, but don't let your ratio of followers / following get too out of hand.
How to get followers on Twitter
- Make a bio! People generally skim follower lists, so they only see your bio as it pops up in the tooltip. Most people make their decision to follow people on Twitter based on just the image, username, and bio. If you have these three things, and they attract attention, you will get more followers.
- Customize your Twitter page! This one is a little more difficult, but worth it. Check out my Twitter background. Spiffy, no? To upload your own, click "Settings"->"Design"->"Change Background Image" - make sure your image is large enough for most resolutions (1024px x 768px) or use the "tile" option
- Post meaningful tweets, with a good balance as described above.
- Retweet things you find truly interesting or funny, but don't go overboard.
- Tweet the right amount: don't tweet every 3 seconds or every 3 months, somewhere in between should be good.
- Offer something useful in exchange for following you: software, services, friendship, something of value.
- Don't auto-anything. Scheduling tweets for later using Tweetlater is ok, but I don't think anyone really likes getting auto-DMs or spam
- Make it easy for people to interact with you through Twitter: put a Twitter widget on your blog, add Tweetmeme buttons to your posts - they work!
- Tweet your posts, but don't spam. It's ok to tweet about the same post later, but don't let your profile start to fill with only links to your own stuff.
- Use cli.gs or another URL shortening service that comes with analytics. See what works and what doesn't!
Is marketing on Twitter worth the trouble?
You might think "Why don't I save myself all that time and just use PPC advertising to drive some quick traffic to my blog. That seems to work for all the marketing pros." Yes, PPC can give you targeted blog traffic (if you do your keyword research), and it should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. However, I would recommend waiting until you've made money from your free marketing efforts, then put that money into PPC marketing - that way you are not taking on any risk and have the luxury of being able to lose money finding the best PPC strategy for your site.
Notice the little pop-up box that says "12"? That's the number of hits on the first day I sent it out. So, just over 100 followers, 12 immediate clicks. 10% CTR. Ok, sure, I can get 10% on one link one day, you say... Good, you should be skeptical, especially about Internet marketing. Let's see what happens next.
I keep diligently finding Twitter followers who share my interests in technology, music, and above all, humanity. Friday I was over 600 followers. I sent out another link, this time to these blog SEO tips. Let's see what happened:
Again, notice the pop-up box: 63 hits the day I sent that link. 63 / 600 ~ 10% close enough for me to assume there could be a positive correlation (I know the Twitter box says 723 followers - I procrastinated a bit). Now, I obviously can't guarantee that you will get x% CTR or that people will buy from you if you market your blog on Twitter. What I can tell you is that this is one of my blog marketing tactics, and I'm seeing a consistent 10% click through ratio and gathering attentive readers who often become return visitors. If you follow the steps above, you will probably have a much smoother Twitter experience than if you choose the path of the "pro marketer" and use auto-follow tools and buy any Twitter marketing tool when it comes out.
Follow me and you just might build a super-targeted network of followers who share your interests, engage in meaningful discussions, and eagerly wait for you to show them the next cool new thing on Twitter!
Thanks for reading - Please ReTweet!