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BLOG TIPS | How to Use Twitter to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

I’m going to start this post by saying that I’m really bad at following my advice on this one. I know Twitter is really useful for driving traffic to your blog, and I know I should be making better use of it, but the fact is, I find it all a bit overwheleming, really. It always seems to move so fast, and while I’m still sitting there staring at the status box, wondering why anyone would be interested in what I have to say (or, more likely, trying to shave a 15,000 character tweet down to 140 characters: you know me, I don’t really do “short”…), everyone has moved on to talking about something else. Woe!

Anyway, the point is that when I DO make the effort to get to grips with Twitter, it does send visitors to my blog, so here are some tips I really should be following myself, on the subject of how to use Twitter to drive traffic to your blog…

HOW TO USE TWITTER TO FIND READERS FOR YOUR BLOG

how to use twitter to drive traffic to your blog

01. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR BLOG URL IN YOU PROFILE

Yeah, I’m starting off with a Capt’n Obvious one, but some people don’t bother putting their blog address in their profile, so when you follow them you have to go through their feed to find out if they even had one. Don’t be one of those people, people.

02. WRITE AN INTERESTING BIO

Again, a lot of people don’t pay much attention to their bio, and just stick to the time-honoured old ‘age/sex/location’. Which is all well and good, obviously, but it’s not really going to draw people in and want them to find out more, is it? A few months ago, I updated my bio (it’s a good idea to do this every so often, I find) to say something about how I turned writing a diary into a full-time job: it’s pretty cheesy, to be honest, but I’ve actually had quite a few people comment on it, and tweet me asking about it: that never happened with any of the previous bios I had, so I figure it’s doing the job for now.

how to use twitter to boost blog traffic

03. PIN ONE OF YOUR BEST POSTS TO THE TOP OF YOUR PROFILE

Did you know you can “pin” a particular tweet to the top of your profile, so that when someone looks at your feed, that tweet will always be at the top? (If you go onto the web version of Twitter then click on the three little dots that appear under each tweet, you’ll see the “pin to your profile page” option.) This is a really good way to let new followers (or people who are just thinking about becoming new followers…) get a flavour of your blog, and find out what kind of thing they can expect from you. I normally pin one of my “evergreen” posts (i.e. content that doesn’t date), because I have a habit of forgetting to change it, and I don’t want to have an outfit from three years ago be the first thing new visitors see. This is a good way to introduce yourself to followers, though, so choose a post you feel best represents you – and don’t be like me, and forget to change it every so often!

04. TWEET LINKS TO YOUR BLOG POSTS

A lot of new bloggers are afraid to tweet links to their own blog posts, because they think it seems really spammy, but the fact is, if you don’t promote your blog, no one else is going to do it for you. Actually, you’ll probably find that at least some of the people who follow you on Twitter are doing it to get notifications of your newest posts, so if you don’t publicize them, they’ll never know about them. If you’re really self-conscious about tweeting links to your blog (or just want to keep it separate from your “real” life), I recommend starting a separate Twitter account just for your blog: yes, it’s a bit of a faff having to manage more than one account (sites like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite will make it a bit easier, though), but at least you’ll know the people who follow that account actually WANT to know what you’ve been blogging about.

I also use a WordPress plugin (Jetpack) which automatically tweets the link to each post when it’s published: this is really handy, especially if you’re in the habit of scheduling your posts in advance, because it means that if you’re not around when the post is published (or if you just forget to tweet about it), it still gets promoted on Twitter.

Twitter tips: how to use twitter to increase traffic to your blog

05. TWEET THEM MORE THAN ONCE

If you were afraid to tweet your posts at all, you’re probably going to hate the thought of tweeting your links more than once, because OMGSPAMMY! People will hate you, and unfollow you, and the world will end! At least, that’s what I sometimes think. If you only tweet each link once, however, you’re missing out on a huge amount of traffic from Twitter, because only a tiny percentage of your followers will ever see that single tweet. Most people DON’T go to your feed and then read their way down it, like it was a very strange novel, completely composed of 140 character tweets: instead, they just go to their own timeline, and look at whatever appears on it . If they’re following a lot of people, that timeline will be updating constantly, making it really easy to miss a tweet from someone you follow – especially if you’re not in the same time zone as them.

I remember the last time I was in California, for instance, I felt like I’d stumbled onto someone else’s Twitter account by mistake, because the time difference meant that I didn’t see tweets from any of the people who usually appeared on my feed – they were all in bed when I was online. Instead, I saw tweets from a whole bunch of other people instead – people I was following, but was hardly ever seeing tweets from, because they were tweeting at times when I wasn’t normally awake. All of these people are missing a trick, and missing out on a huge amount of potential Twitter traffic: I read somewhere that the lifespan of a tweet is only around 20 minutes or so, so if you’re serious about using Twitter to grow the traffic to your blog, you HAVE to tweet each link more than once.

06. ALWAYS INCLUDE AN IMAGE WITH YOUR TWEETS

Tweets with images tend to get more clicks than tweets without them, so it’s a good idea to always include an image from your post in the tweet promoting it.

how to use twitter on your blog

07. TWEET LINKS TO YOUR OLD POSTS, TOO

I wrote about how to to use the posts in your archive to drive more traffic to your blog a few months ago, and one of the things I recommended was tweeting links to your older content on a regular basis. I’ve found this really useful in increasing the number of visitors to my site, so it’s definitely worth doing. I used to use a WordPress plugin which would automatically tweet links to older posts, but I’ve found I have more success when I select the posts to tweet manually. I use Buffer to schedule all of these tweets: it costs around $10 a month, but I think it’s worth it, because it means I can sit down once a week or so, work out which posts I want to promote on Twitter, then forget all about it.

08. JOIN TWITTER CHATS

This is one piece of advice I REALLY need to take myself, because I just don’t do it. Twitter chats, for those who don’t know, are scheduled discussions which normally happen at a set time every week, and use a hashtag to allow people to join in and keep track of the conversation. There are tons of Twitter chats which are specific to blogging, and I know a lot of people swear by them – not just as a way to find new readers for your content, but to get to know other bloggers. My problem is that I’m not great at joining things like this – I always worry that I’ll say something stupid, and basically find myself re-living high school by being shunned by my peers – but that’s MY issue, and it doesn’t have to be yours, too. So, join some Twitter chats – and maybe one day I’ll actually gather the courage to join you!

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14 Comments
  • Livia
    September 13, 2015

    Thanks for the tips! I can’t believe I was one of those people. I didn’t have my blog URL on my profile.

  • Jennifer
    September 13, 2015

    I find Twitter a bit overwhelming as well. I spend way too long over-analyzing tweets I have written and then deleting them because well, because I over-analyzed them. Just a day or so ago I looked back at your blogging advice posts to see if you had written one about Twitter, so this is perfect. Maybe now I will get to grips with Twitter.

  • Myra
    September 13, 2015

    I am on Twitter and find it strange that people I don’t know follow me, only I rarely post or even retweet??

  • Ida
    September 13, 2015

    Thank you for these tips. Realized that there was quite a few things that I can do better on Twitter. I don’t even have a bio yet so that I’m going to take care of now./love Ida

  • Elizabeth @ Rosalilium
    September 14, 2015

    I love your Twitter bio! I wish I could hire you to write mine. I feel like mine is so blah…

  • emily
    September 14, 2015

    Out of curiosity,

    Why do you use Buffer to schedule older posts over Hootsuite? Is it because of the amount of content you have?

    Thank you,

    Emily

    • Amber
      September 14, 2015

      I don’t actually use Hootsuite, so I’m not sure what advantages it has over Buffer – I’ve just always used Buffer!

      • emily
        September 15, 2015

        Thank you for your transatlantic reply! I’ll have to do some of my own investigations into Buffer vs Hootsuite 🙂

    • Katie @ Stress and Stars
      September 15, 2015

      I use hootsuite. I am a small blogger, non-monetized, and only post a couple of times per week – maybe 3 at most. I’ve been enjoying using hootsuite to schedule my bloglink tweets far out in advance – every time I post a new blog I schedule the next six weeks of links to that blog and sit back and let it happen. I’ve definitely noticed an uptick in readers since I started A. posting more often and B. using a third-party program like hootsuite to do it.

  • Paula
    September 15, 2015

    I’m one of those people who finds it hard to tweet links to my blog posts more than once. Maybe I can get over this. Maybe.

  • Katie @ Stress and Stars
    September 15, 2015

    I’ve started the “tweet the link more than once”, and my pageviews are DEFINITELY trending up and it started almost exactly when I started doing that. I thought it seemed spammy, but since twitter moves so fast my followers don’t see it that way. I tweet one or two blog links a day, and not all of them even see both those links. It doesn’t feel spammy to the readers the way it would if I posted like that on a smaller platform.

  • Roisin
    September 16, 2015

    Great tips! I often feel ‘spammy’ when I post a tweet more than once, but like you said, tweets only have a short lifespan and at the end of the day who cares how many times you tweet! As long as you’re getting your content out there. I’ll definitely be using these tips.

    http://www.roisingrace.com

  • Melanie
    November 7, 2015

    I know this is an older post, but I’ve just spent some time reading through your advice and when I got to this one, I had to stop and comment! I found you through Twitter because you followed me. In my day job I work in marketing, and do a lot of freelance advice for book authors getting started in building their profiles – I always tell them to have a polished bio with a link to their website and then follow people. When you follow people, most get some kind of a notification of a new follower, and click through to see who they are – which is exactly what I did when you followed me and I then followed your breadcrumbs here!

  • Samantha Loombe
    November 15, 2015

    I have only discovered your blog recently but I cannot stop reading your posts, old and new they are so helpful – thank you :o)

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