Good morning from day 2 of Blaugust. I started the day out staring at a blank page, not sure what I was going to write about. Usually when that happens, I head to my screenshots folders to see what shots I have taken in my recent gameplay. I had a few from No Man’s Sky, or what I like to call “just one more rock,” that had me considering a post about my current gaming rabbit hole. A writing prompt from the Blaugust Discord sent me off on a completely different tangent, so instead of a post about NMS, you get to read a few tips and tricks for using Twitter to promote your blog. I don’t know about the rest of you, but this change of direction isn’t unusual for me when it comes to posting blogs. I’m not one of those pre-scheduled planners, more of a inspiration of the moment type of gal.
Twitter for Bloggers
I’m going to share a few tips for making your Twitter experience a lot more fun and helpful. I will assume that you’ve already got a profile set up and you want to use it to help promote your blog and grow some like-minded followers.
Use your profile wisely
As you can see from my profile, I’ve been on Twitter since May 2011, just before I started my own blog. Your profile is an important part of your identity on Twitter, so make sure you customize it to help people decide if they want to follow you. Absolutely include the link to your blog in your profile, don’t be shy. I’m kind of an introvert, so self-promotion isn’t easy for me. I get it, you don’t want to brag, or maybe you have a little imposter syndrome. Be brave and take the leap into sharing your content.
Images and Hashtags
When you do get up the courage to share the link to your latest blog post, be sure to have a feature image, or add your own image to the tweet. Images grab attention and help your tweets stand out. You can also use some hashtags to help people who are looking for your topic or community find your posts. Don’t go crazy with Hashtags, but definitely help point out your main topic with one or two of them. Don’t just post your link, add a little bit of context and get people interested in reading it. If your blog platform has some SEO tools, use them to help create your title and snippet so it is social media friendly.
Find People to Follow
My follower list and who I follow is pretty small. This is by design. I look for people who are talking about the games I play, the books I read, the topics I enjoy, and I see what they post about. Hashtags are great for finding new feeds. When someone finds my content and follows me, I take a look at their profile to see if we’d get along. If we would, I follow them back. If I don’t like what I see, I don’t follow them back. You are not obligated to do follow back, and there are bots out there trying to get you to engage. There is nothing wrong with controlling what your feed looks like.
Several people may find you as a part of Blaugust, so take this opportunity to grow your contacts. If a community building opportunity like this comes to your attention, get involved with it. Take a look at the new profile of someone who has found you, or you’ve found through your own searches, and see who and what you have in common.
You can see several clickable links in your new follower’s profile. Some people you may already have in common, which shows as a “followed by” section. Don’t feel like you are a stalker if you take a look at their following and followers lists. This is a great way to expand your Twitter contacts and find more people to follow.
Engagement – The Most Important Step
Don’t be shy about posting a little “hello” message to someone you’ve newly followed. This is very helpful if you’ve come out of the blue and they don’t know why you may have followed them. They are much more likely to follow you back if you show them you are a real person with common interests. You may be tempted to just post your blog links and push content out, but you are wasting the potential of Twitter by doing that. You must engage with the community of people you’ve decided to follow.
What do I mean by “engage”? No, I’m not channeling my inner Picard. I mean that you should show your appreciation for people’s content. Be sure to like things they post and retweet to help them get extra exposure. Quite often you will find that they will reciprocate. A quick like or retweet is a good first step, but Quote tweeting with some extra context about why you are sharing is a great idea if you have the time. Be helpful, be genuine, be part of a community and help that community out.
Be social and have conversations. If you see someone post about a topic that looks interesting, ask them about it. Don’t feel like you are butting into a conversation unwanted. Some of my best interactions on Twitter have come from participating in a conversation thread, and I’ve found some great followers that way. People are putting their stuff out there into the wild, so they expect you to engage with it. Run with it and have fun.
Use these conversation threads as inspiration for blog posts, especially if they spark some deeper thoughts that would take too many Tweets to share. Once you’ve written your related blog, share it and @ tag the people in the conversation thread who might be interested in reading it.
Building your Twitter community takes a bit of time and consistency, but it doesn’t have to be boring. If you approach it as a conversation tool and a way to find interesting people and learn new things, growing Twitter is an ongoing organic experience. Be a fun person to “know.” Be helpful and genuine, share your enthusiasm about the things you love, and you will find people who are interested in what you have to say. Be brave and get your content out there in front of people. If you do need a bit of help with the how-to parts of customizing your profile, and using the platform in general, check out Twitter’s help section. You can learn a lot about the platform there.