Welcome to a Beach Cottage Sweet Blogging How to Blog post ~ Twitter Tips.
Let’s talk about social media shall we?
When I first started this blog, there was no way ever on this earth I thought firstly that I would still be here a few years later and secondly that you would be with me. But I am and you are and in that journey I have continued, unwittingly to gather about my person experience and knowledge of how this blogging thing works….and furthermore I have actually found that one of the most enjoyable things I find to blog about is blogging…strange but true…once I get thinking about a How to Blog post, I love getting it down on paper :-)
I love this medium, and over the last few years I have seen it grow in leaps and bounds, I love how it has changed media, I love how it has moved the power (especially in things like the home decor world) from a few key players and publishers to people everywhere doing their thing and showing off their talent… and in the last few months I have seen it move and change direction yet again…there is no time for standing still in the blog world, I have no idea if statistically I am correct, I don’t, obviously pay anyone to research things for me, but I can feel in the water that blogging is taking on a whole different vibe and if you want to get out there with the big girls you have to move with them too.
And those big girls rock social media. A lot.
Which leads me to Twitter. Yes I am very late to the party on this. I wrote a How To Blog Course without being on Twitter? Yes I did :-) But better late than never, here are my Twitter tips.
You see, when Twitter first hit us, I was probably one of the early users…which was, I think, one of my mistakes…I didn’t quite get how in 140 characters this could really do much for me…mum to three, with laundry and a real life, blogging from an old cottage on the beaches?
And so, I virtually ignored Twitter, I would check in every now and then and look briefly, with stand-back interest at what was going on and I set up my blog so that it fed a link to Twitter (because everyone told me to) and did nothing much more…
Then, a few months ago, I took stock of my blog and got ready to make a few changes…it was time for a blogging new look for me, a bit of a shake up (new look coming in the New Year thanks to the lovely Darcy…that girl rocks)…anyway, I did a bit of thinking and musing of all things blog, and Mr Beach Cottage helped me with a few things…what came foremost out of all that musing was that being a blogger can, at times, become rather lonesome…not lonely in a I am sad and tearful kinda way, gosh I could sit here and type all day and take photos if I had the time, but lonesome as in there’s not much real contact in the real world sometimes when you are a blogger…
So I decided to look for a few blogger events in Sydney and thought I’d get myself out and about and doing this blogging thing with other bloggers (and since then I am now going to blogging events in New York, bring it on baby, and Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur)
So, I decided to do this contacting other people who were blogging like me, via Twitter, it seemed the quickest and easiest way for me….I hoped I could find some local girls who perhaps would like a coffee now and again and talk about their blogs, do a little bit of brainstorming and feeback, make a few friends locally…
And I haven’t looked back.
So here are my Twitter Tips, why it’s working for me & a few things I’ve learnt..and how it fits in with blogging & how to blog
1. Twitter Tips ~ Information
I get to keep in the loop quickly & easily & see what my favourite bloggers are up to, and what’s going on where I am and in the news. I follow the girls I have met along the way with blogging, and some lovely readers too and we can communicate with ease without any fuss. I like that.
2. Twitter Tips ~ The Art of Following Don’t just follow any old Tom, Dick or Harry
As a new Twitter user this can be not only tempting but interesting…there is a whole big wide world of people out there, ready for you to read their Tweets. Stop right there cowboy!
Think about who you want to follow, and then take a second or two to think about it again. Once you start following people you will start getting their feed of what they write…so you want this to be interesting, appropriate and informative to you…
…the mistake I made in the early days with Twitter and one of the reasons I think I didn’t enjoy it then, was that I had it set to follow anyone who followed me, I thought this was the ‘right’ thing to do and I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, especially if they were blog readers and followed my blog.
But…what happened is that my Timeline was noisy & cluttered and more importantly not enjoyable for me…hence Twitter failed for me….now it’s very streamlined and I love to quickly scan what’s going on, what’s new and what’s of interest in my little Twitter world…
You will notice that Power Tweeters like Darren Rowse etc have the Art of Following down pat…they only follow a handful of people….they have built up a following but they only follow a niche group of people that they are interested in (and need to know to further there own brands ;-) )…take a leaf out of their books and only follow people you are genuinely interested in hearing from…
3. Twitter Tips ~ Be Selective
I treat my Twitter following a bit like the blogs I read, I only follow the people that I feel interested in and or provide me with content that I find is clickable…Twitter for me now is a mix of the personal people/blogs I like, the news/tv brands I like to be informed about and the bloggersphere stuff that I think is relevant and interesting to me.
So be selective with yours and you will be amazed what comes your way with Twitter. Only follow people you genuinely find informative and want to interact and engage with….(even if they never interact with you ;-) )
What interests me on Twitter is those who Tweet about blogging (that’s part of me now), though I have to say I have unfollowed many of these because they bombard you somewhat with only their content and that can get rather boring, but I do have a few key players there that I am enjoying reading what they have to say.
I also like to follow friends I have made through my blog, I like to follow some people who are also into home decor, design and of course coastal living and lastly I like to follow other bloggers I like and some who live locally to me.
4. Twitter Tips ~ It’s Tough in Twitter Land & you’ll need a Thick Skin
OK, one of the reasons I never really took off with Twitter was because I found it relatively insincere…a lot of people on there blowing their own trumpets, a lot of people blowing other people’s trumpets and a WHOLE lot of cliques going on, especially the blogging world cliques… you may or may not be in the in-crowd and sometimes this will hurt your feelings…you will contribute something to a blogger you follow who Tweets that she is having a bad day/kids are driving her mad blah blah blah…you will reply to her and nothing will come back from her…hey that’s Twitter….. a few days later the same blogger will ask for recommendations on where to shop in your home town…you will think hey I can add something really relevant to this, I know this! so you will reply and nothing will reply back…and on both occasions said blogger will reply to her own little clique (normally other bloggers) and you will be horribly ignored.
It’s kinda embarrassing sometimes to put yourself out there, especially if you try to communicate with a blogger who is (or more likely thinks she/he is) big…they will more often than not totally not acknowledge you…. this is one of those occasions where you will need the back of a duck and let that water run right off you baby….this has happened to me a lot! I have felt like the uncoolest Twitter person ever….That WILL happen to you on Twitter…you just have to go with it.
So why bother then? Because after a few ignores, a few moments, a few times being not in the in-crowed you will also get the other moments, where you connect with people you like, where people will send you a message to say something nice..you will start to move and groove with people you like on Twitter and you will poo-poo those in-crowds and cliques and guess what…you may even start your own ;-)
5. Twitter Tips ~ Be Real & Genuine & Use Your Own Voice
Ok this goes for just about everything in blogging…goodness don’t you just see that everywhere?? Yep it’s getting old, but it’s never been truer, with more and more people jumping on the bandwagon, being you is one of your most important assets and using your Twitter stream to further that, in both who you follow and what you say is paramount to getting followers (if that is what you want) and more, having a good time on there!
6. Twitter Tips ~ Be Interesting
Yeah right, how exactly do I make myself interesting then? I have no idea ;-) but read on for what I’ve learnt for real girls…
So a lot of the professional bloggers will tell you here to keep your Tweets niche and on topic yadda yadda yadda…I think though that often those giving you this information are business bloggers, and those blogging about blogging for money and clicks….but what about Real Girls Tweeting?
Well I think real girls like to dish the gossip…just like in real life, girls like to natter about stuff boys might think is totally meaningless…
Do you want to know what your fave top model had for breakfast? YES! Do you want to see Victoria Beckham pregnant on the side of a swimming pool, airbrushed in black and white? YES! Do you want to see via a Twitpic that your fave Mummy blogger ain’t so perfect after all? YES! Do you want to hear your fave home decor blogger’s new budget lipstick find that makes her feel 10 years younger. OH YES!
So I think for girls like me, rather than a business blog, or a blog about blogging, Twitter is actually an extra arm to your blog for you to reach out and interact, as if you would at the school gates with friends…no people do not want to be constantly bombarded with my local coastal finds, or what my latest blog post is about…. but they may want to see what I’ve got for dinner….
7. Twitter Tips ~ Observe the Power Twitters & then do it for YOU!
Follow some of the big girls for a while and see what they do…you will notice how some of them are completely self-absorbed, you will notice some of them working the networking thing until they are blue in the face and then you will notice how some of them have genuine interactions, connections and it seems real communication (not just with their little clique) going on..this is where I hope Twitter will take me.
But you have to choose an amalgamation of the above tactics to find what works for you, how it suits your time and lifestyle and what you want Twitter to do to your blog and for you. I have observed and heard a lot of talk about Twitter (and Facebook too), being the be all and end all for your blog traffic….and that you have to get on it and get on it fast and start driving traffic via it….personally I have not done that…I set out with Facebook on a whim and now have the Beach Cottage Facebook girls on there…and love ‘em
…but funnily enough guess what? I get traffic from it…cos it comes and grows from genuine interesting and interactive connections...you can’t ‘make’ that happen in my opinion…same with Twitter, yes you can probably drive traffic to your blog if you are a business blogger and really work at it, but if you are a Real Girl blogger I think using Twitter for YOU firstly is the key to keeping it relevant and more importantly, keeping it up…then the other stuff organically follows…
8. Twitter Tips ~ Make your Tweet Super Super Easy to Read
A lot of the professional bloggers and those that give out Twitter advice say to put certain things in capital letters, do this do that…but for me I think girls couldn’t really care less about that..real girls if it is interesting will click it whether it’s three short sharp words in capitals with a link, or whether you’ve worked those 140 characters to within an inch of their life…just make sure it’s fairly easy to read, not too many hashtags, and @ signs and you’ll be laughing
Now Let’s Get Twittering
I’d love to interact with you on Twitter …You can find me here - and let’s share links….send me your links, tell me your fave lipstick…show us your new coastal Christmas decoration ;-) …don’t be shy about suggesting links if you think me and my Twitter followers would like them…ask questions and get on it…that’s what Twitter’s there for…and you might never know where it leads!
So what are your thoughts on Twitter?? I would really like to know
…in dabbling with Twitter properly for the last few months, and in looking at things found on the web about Twitter, I think there is a whole lot of stuff being written by a core group of people who are using and wanting to get from Twitter a whole different set of things than I want to get from Twitter and real girls whether they blog or not…those of us who are not only blogging for advertising budgets…I would love to hear your opinion on this? What are you experiences with Twitter? Have you used it go grow your blog? Is your Twitter account sitting there getting stagnant like mine was? Does Twitter get your blog traffic? Are you a super Tweeter? Do you love the medium? Love to know…
Hope you enjoyed the Beach Cottage Twitter Tips..and hope to see you over there in Twitter Land :-)
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