If you are a mildly serious blogger, you know that social media is your BFF. Now that my blog has gone down the self-hosting road (a road I really like), I must rely on social media for promoting my blog posts.
If you are like me, you still may find the land of Twitter rather daunting. Years before I started blogging, I had the opportunity to set up a Twitter account for my work to promote our recreation programs. I quickly got bored.
Twitter engagement has come a long way since then and using tweets to promote your blog is the one of the easiest things you can do.
Let me introduce to you two easy tools to use: TwitterFeed and Twitter Cards.
Part One: TwitterFeed.
TwitterFeed is an app that auto-tweets your fellow bloggers’ posts as soon as they are published. Once you set up from their RSS feed, you literally do NOTHING else. I discovered this FREE service on one of my Facebook groups. The motto of TwitterFeed is “Feed your blog to Twitter.”
What is an RSS feed? Every blog has one. It looks like this: http://secondwindleisure.com/feed/
For most URLs, simply adding the word feed after the forward slash will be enough to establish the feed into your TwitterFeed dashboard.
While it is nice to help out other bloggers, it is equally nice to get help. Having your posts auto-tweeted by other bloggers really helps grow your blog and Twitter followings. When I changed my blog’s domain name, all my TwitterFeed accounts in other feeds abruptly stopped. I messaged each blogger kindly asking each one to add my new domain into their existing account.
TwitterFeed also links Facebook and LinkedIn to their posts. In other words, each time a blogger publishes a post, it auto-sends the tweet AND posts on the Facebook page of your choice. The tweet of your post will be a “re-tweet.” It is also good etiquette to thank your twitter “posse” each time a post is re-tweeted. I made a list of all my twitter feed folks so that I can tweet using their twitter handle with a tweet like this: “Thanks 4 RTs! @windigenredhead,” etc!
[bctt tweet=”If you open a TwitterFeed account, please feel free to practice with my URL feed information. If you do, please let me know so I can add yours to my feed.” username=”windigenredhead”]
Twitter Feed Tutorial
I do not profess to be an expert, BUT I can show you the basics of getting started on TwitterFeed.
Step One: Sign up and create an account. It’s Free. Here is the link to TwitterFeed.
Step Two: Take a look at your dashboard. This is what mine looks like. It can also be shown in list format.
Step Three: Edit Feed. Here is where you add others’ feeds to your dashboard.
Step Four: In this step you “parse” or test the feed once you copy and paste in the URL. Be very careful not to add a space between the feed symbol and the beginning of the URL. It is easy to do because you cannot see it. If a space is there, it will not parse and an error message comes up. Simply back space just before the http to delete the space. Try again to test the feed.
Step Five: Go to your advanced settings BEFORE you proceed to Step 2. Here you can customize the post. You can leave most fields alone, but do edit the “Post prefix” and “Post suffix” fields. You can see I added “check out this blog” which introduces the post. By placing the blogger’s Twitter handle (ex: @windigenredhead), it assures that the blogger sees it on their Twitter notification. From here you can proceed to their Step 2 (as seen at the bottom of the photo).
Step Six: This step confirms the feed was successfully updated. Next, you can see the available services. For now, just add Twitter.
Step Seven: In this step you will authenticate your twitter account. Note the drop-down menu in #1. Your twitter handle (Twitter name) should be there. Select that, then click the big blue button.
Step Eight: In this step, you authorize the app by clicking the blue button.
Step Nine: And…congratulations! You are done. You will repeat these steps for each feed you add. It only takes a few moments for each feed. Be sure to have the bloggers’ information ready for cutting and pasting.
For additional help, here is TwitterFeed’s help tutorial with similar information. http://help.twitterfeed.com/knowledgebase/topics/14123-twitterfeed-basics-getting-started
You will also get an e-mail notification that your blog was tweeted just as soon as yours posts. You do not get notifications of tweets that you have added into your feed. I just check my Twitter widget on my blog’s sidebar for updates. Many bloggers will favorite and re-tweet the tweets, just as you should when you have been re-tweeted.
Part Two: Using Twitter Cards
If you are a prolific tweeter, you may have noticed that many posts are coming up with a thumbnail or larger photo with the publisher’s information embedded. This really encourages re-tweeting and sharing!
Over the weekend, I came across a post by my favorite how-to blogger, Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging. She shared her post using a guest blogger’s expertise. Trudy, Janice’s guest blogger, has great tips and a tutorial for making your own Twitter Card.
My experience? Don’t overthink it and make it too hard.
I also utilized the Happiness Engineers at WordPress with this tutorial.
Below is an example of what a Twitter card looks like when re-tweeted.
You probably have seen your twitter feed full of tweets similar in appearance. You can see the blog’s title and first few lines of the post.
Below is what a tweet looks like without the Twitter Card enabled. The tweet still shows the photo (if there is a featured image from your blog), but there is no other identification.
[bctt tweet=”Not a fan of Twitter and want to just do the minimum? If you do nothing else, it is SUPER easy to share others’ blogs by simply clicking the tweet button at the bottom of their posts.” username=”windigenredhead”]
Twitter can be your friend. There are indeed many tools available for blog promotion and sharing. These are two you can adopt right away. After all, you do want readers. Good luck and please message me if you have any issues.