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3 Ways Bloggers Can Attract Twitter Traffic

Twitter brings the most people to my blog. In fact, according to my statistics, Twitter draws the most traffic by FAR compared to any other incoming source.

As I mentioned in this post, Is Blogging on the Way Up or Down,Twitter is having an effect on the blogging world. And writers who aren’t joining in are missing out on an incredibly helpful social media tool. (If you need help getting started, I suggest you read Kristen Lamb’s blog for her Twitter Tuesday series or take a look at her book: We Are Not Alone: The Writer's Guide to Social Media.)

Here are three simple ways I’ve learned to make my blog THRIVE through the use of twitter:

1. Pick blog post TITLES carefully.

I cannot stress enough the importance of picking the right title. As writers, we all realize just how important the titles of our BOOKS are. The wrong title has the power to keep readers from picking it up and seeing the glory between the cover.

Same with our BLOG POSTS. The wrong title can be the kiss of death for even the most riveting of posts. In the busy online world, with thousands of blogs clamoring for attention, readers can’t physically read everything.

So in their limited time how do most readers decide what posts to read?

We look at the TITLE. When we see a new post in our google readers or dashboards, the TITLE (and sometimes the first few lines) must grab our attention in order for us to take the time to read it. This is especially true on Twitter. We have 140 characters and a very brief window to catch our follower’s attention before the tweet is out of sight and mind.

This is not the day and age for cutesy, creative titles. Rather, a title must clearly convey what the post is about, but in a way that says “You absolutely must read this post.” If you’re having trouble thinking of titles, keep an eye out for Twitter titles that catch your attention. Analyze them. Figure out what is catchy and magnetic about them. Then start shaping your own titles with great care.

2. LINK to your blog post and use HASHTAGS.

One of the great things about Twitter for writers is the ease of finding links to great blog posts. I usually tweet a link to my new posts, but try not to do so more than three times a day—once in the morning, once at mid-day, and then once later in the afternoon in order to hit different crowds. Sometimes I’ll try to reshape the title into a provocative question or a writer’s tip and include the link.

I also include hashtags each time I link to my blog. Common hashtags for writers include: #amwriting, #writers, #novels, #litchat, #writing, #publishing, etc. (For more tips, see Kristen Lamb’s recent post about how to use hashtags.) The hashtags have the potential to put our links in front of new people (other than just our followers).

3. Provide Quality CONTENT.

If we come up with catchy titles, tweet links to our blogs, and use hashtags, we’ll likely start attracting curious new readers. However, in order to keep those readers we need to give them a quality post.

In other words, when we “invite” all of twitterland to come to our blog, when we “tease” them with a title that promises a helpful post, then we need to deliver the goods. If they come to our post expecting a hearty meal but only get a skimpy snack (or crumbs), then we could be doing ourselves more harm than good by putting our blog link out there.

If we’re consistently providing helpful content, then people throughout twitterland will begin to trust us. They’ll be more willing to visit us again. And they may be willing to retweet our posts which will generate even more traffic.

There you have it! Those are three simple strategies I employ to mesh blogging and twitter. When you’re on twitter, how do you decide what links to follow? The title? The trustworthiness of the tweeter? The reputation of the blogger? Other? Or have you ever followed an interesting link only to find the post didn't deliver?

42 comments:

  1. Great job summing it up! And yes, I love the connections I've made with other writers - more through Twitter! But blogging plays a role too.

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  2. I love me a creative title any day of the week, coming up with one and clicking on one.

    Same goes for book selections on this one.

    ~ Wendy

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  3. I find most of my blog traffic comes from twitter as well!

    Humorous titles usually work well for me, I've noticed. I also use bit.ly so I can track which twitter links get the most traffic. It helps me see when I'm doing something right.

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  4. I tend to follow links from Tweeters who have delivered good content to me in the past. That's one reason I follow you. You're right about the title catching my eye as well. Will definitely use some of your suggestions. Thanks for this.

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  5. Timely and helpful message, as always. Thank you, Jody. I'm off to set up my Twitter account.

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  6. Excellent post!

    I click on links with interesting titles and from people I trust will send valuable info my way--people like you!

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  7. Good points! You're about the importance of titles!

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  8. I'm always amazed at the great titles you come up with for your posts, Jody!! And we definitely get a full meal at your blog!

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  9. I've seen you use these strategies, and yep, they work! Your tweets stand out and get retweeted like crazy. Great stuff.

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  10. This is incredibly helpful! Up until now I've been a bit shy about linking my blog posts, maily for fear that I wouldn't be able to deliver.

    Thanks for the push to step up my networking game. Even if that means examining my blog posts and titles more carefully.

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  11. Good advice. I often remember the bloggers who I find helpful again and again but I usually don't remember the ones I'm dissapointed in. But it's possible I just haven't had too many consistantly bad blog post offenders.

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  12. Hashtags make a huge difference in the audience, but I'm never sure how many is too many to use in a single tweet, so I tend to stick to the same #amwriting most times. And, while I know my reading is influenced by creative titles, I admit to being lazy about choosing effective ones for my posts -- often as not I use whatever comes to mind while writing them, without considering who they will attract. So, as always, you've given me excellent advice to chew on. There's always so much writerly nourishment in your posts! :)

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  13. Great tips. I haven't been on Twitter very long, so I need to work on my confidence of using it.

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  14. Creativity and innovation are the heart of it all. So many articles are re-treading the same topics over and over but a new spin or interesting title catch me every time.

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  15. Thanks for the Twitter tips! Haven't been using hashtags, but I'm going to start after reading this post.

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  16. Thanks for this run-down! I finally joined Twitter 2 weeks ago, and sometimes forget to hashtag. I'm getting better. :) They are really handy to click on and find tweets about a certain, specific topic!

    Yes, I have followed Twitter links that went elsewhere than promised, or didn't have the solid content I'd hoped.

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  17. Thanks for the shout-out. I am so blonde. I actually had scanned this earlier before I RTed you but somehow managed to miss my NAME. I am talented like that, LOL.

    Just one more reason you almost always make my Mash-Up of Awesomeness :D.

    Kristen

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  18. Thanks for the Twitter-Tutor session, Jody! I need to start with the hashtags. Tweets are a nice way to connect, but I hope Blogs never go out of style! You always give us some protein to chew on! Thanks!

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  19. I too find that a lot of my blog hits come via Twitter but I hadn't thought about the use of hashtags to reach a wider audience. Thanks for that.

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  20. There's room for everyone on Twitter and in blogging. I think it really helps when a writer has a consistent voice and point of view. The topics of posts can vary somewhat, but readers know what kind of posts are going to be published, what mood and emphasis will be there.

    For example, I know what I am going to find on Michael Hyatt's blog -- even though he posts on a variety of topics, they are connected with a common thread or two and stated with the same viewpoint and action-based exhortation style.

    Ideally, Twitter tweets should be mini-posts which echo the writer's unique style and focus. This really helps to give the writer a place in the conversation on Twitter and from that place to draw traffic to the associated blog.

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  21. Love your blog, Jody. I'll be citing it often in a book on publishing & marketing realities. Always very informative. Thank you.

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  22. Hi Everyone! I have a feeling I'm probably preaching to the choir for a lot of you! I'm sure many of you are already making good use of twitter to help with your blog traffice:-)

    And Cassandra, great thoughts about twitter being mini-posts! I like that concept! And you're right--once we develop our blogging voice, our readers will see our tweets and have an idea of what to expect when the pop over!

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  23. Excellent information, the trick is to build traffic via twitter, but not annoy/spam via twitter. A fine line that some people do not seem to understand.

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  24. There is so much information racing around the twitterverse, it's so important to find a way to invite people to view our content.

    Thanks for luring me over here with your great title :)
    The Survival Mama

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  25. I'm just starting to dog-paddle in the Twitter river. Until now, it's just been the paddling pool. :)

    I had no idea what those #things were-- no idea! I forget who said it ahead of me, but this did feel like a mini-tutorial (just what a blog post should be).

    Okay, time to strap on the arm floaties and start tweeting with big kids.

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  26. Great tips Jodie. I've never done the hashtag one, my posts are usually automated, but makes sense to re-post a couple of times and put them in. Thanks!

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  27. Thanks for more useful tips, Jody. You are one of those who "consistently provides helpful content," which makes you and your blog posts so re-tweetable!

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  28. thank you once again for a great post
    xx

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  29. Yeah!! I never understood hash tags. I'll try them today for fun :)

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  30. I concur - hashtags are key to driving traffic to the blog from Twitter. I might even create a few of my own in the process. :)

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  31. I need to use hash tags more. I think that's where I'm falling off with this social media stuff. Thanks for the tips :D

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  32. Another great post! I think I've finally got a handle ont he hashtag piece, but titles; man, are THOSE hard! Thanks for the reminder to try HARDER...

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  33. Great post, Jody! Glad you gave me a heads-up about the importance of Twitter a few months ago. It's been encouraging seeing the results at my blog! Keep the timely posts coming! Have a blessed week!

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  34. Yes, yes and yes. It's funny, I joined twitter years ago but didn't start using it until this last year. I get so many blog hits from twitter, I feel stupid for not using my account more before!

    Thanks again for being awesome!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  35. Incredible advice. Thank you very much!

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  36. Thanks for the concise and illuminating explanation about hashtags, especially the list of writing-related search terms. It took me forever to figure out the #amwriting one. For those who don't know, you can save your writing search terms for quicker access. Thanks again!

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  37. Hi Jody -

    I'm still not on Twitter. Facebook drives some of my blog traffic.

    I'll have to check out Kristen Lamb's posts.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  38. Jody,
    I really needed this. I'm picking up Kristen's book. I've used Twitter a little, but I'm going to use it a lot more. Thanks for opening my eyes!

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