Use Twitter To Get Your First Blog Followers!

Twitter for Blog Traffic

Once a blog is set up and the first few articles are live, the big question is how to attract those first visitors to your new blog or website.

This isn’t really about “traffic” yet, but about having a few early readers for your posts. One experience I made in starting a new blog is that readers, especially if you present them with a new website as explicitly being new, will be a great help in pointing out the odd rough bits and oversights that often slip by.

Lets Talk Twitter!

A good short-term (and long-term) strategy to find those first hundred readers or so is to use social media. And of the different social media available, I found Twitter to be the easiest to scale-up and use to your advantage at the beginning.

Other services, Facebook and Google+ in particular, ultimately work better for me in providing a constant stream of traffic in the long term. Both Facebook and Google+ (and many similar services) take time to grow your community.

Twitter is more fiddly. But it is also a more fast-paced service.

It’s perfect for getting a small following fast.

GrowingYour Twitter-Following

  • Create a profile. Start following other people and companies in your industry.
  • Perform keyword searches on Twitter for keywords related to what you do. Start following around 100 of those people each day.
  • Once you have a few followers, Twitter’s own emails recommending Twitter-users similar to the ones already following you will become more precise. Use them!
  • Start tweeting about topics related to your industry, though you shouldn’t just tweet about things on your own website (obviously).
  • You’ll notice that after a few days 20 to 30% of the people you follow will follow you back. You can start manually unfollowing the people who don’t follow back or, if you don’t have the time, use a service like Tweet Adder that can do this for you.
  • Start participating on Twitter by tweeting at people in your industry and retweeting some of their tweets.
  • Once you have been Twitter for more than a week, (slowly) start tweeting about your niche. Make sure you aren’t doing a hard sell. about 80% of the time you should still tweet about things that are not directly related to your own blog-content.

Watch Your Tweet-Seeds Grow!

If you do this right, growing a credible twitter-profile in your niche, you will soon find people flocking to your website and, hopefully, tweeting (and re-tweeting) some of your content.

Did you have some success growing your blog traffic with twitter?

Let me know what you think!

Sebastian

Who Invented Writing?

Do you blog?

If so, you are communicating using the written word!

If you’re the least bit interested in writing, I am sure you will appreciate this fantastic short animation from TED Ed, Matthew Winkler, author of The Bloomberg Way: A Guide for Reporters and Editors, as he takes on the question of who invented writing.

Even though the animation is brief, Mathew Winkler wonderfully explains how symbols set writing and drawing apart as vehicles of meaning. I was also surprised at how many times writing was invented, independently, in different parts of the world!

Enjoy

TedEd – Who Invented Writing?

Let me know what you think…

Sebastian

My New Blog: Why Setting Yourself Goals Is Important!

What Goals Should I set Myself for My Blog?

Once again I have to start with a confession: I am not a very organized person. I don’t usually set goals for myself, for the things I want to achieve. This has been true for my past internet-experiments. I simply launched away, keeping myself busy without plan or focus.

The problem?

It does not work very well. If I do not know what my website is meant to achieve, my readers certainly won’t.

This blog – My Blog & Me – will be different.


Why it’s Important to Have Goals

I am by no means a self-motivation or personal-development expert. Even to a layman like myself (who never followed the good advice I am trying to import), the benefits of definite, explicitly spelled out goals are crystal clear.

#1 – Goals Help you Know Where you are Going

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
― Napoleon Hill

What do I want my blog to look like, be like in a year from now? In five years from now?

Have a goal to work towards isn’t yet a plan (see the picture above). It is the first step in creating a working-plan for yourself.

It is surprising how easy it is to lose direction on your own blog. My previous blogs – which taught me a lot about blogging, I admit – all suffer from a lack in direction.

  1. These blogs have unique content and a good design
  2. These blogs have regular readers and good traffic
  3. These blogs rank well in search engines and make a bit of advertising money

However, none of these blogs have purpose. None of these blogs have a vision. I hardly know what to do with them, except updating them day-in, day-out.

Clearly, this is not a good recipe for online-bliss.

#2 – Goals Demand Action

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
― Karen Lamb

Or to put it a bit more brainy, goals make you accountable to yourself.

Goals, especially if written publicly on a blog, can be failed. This is surprisingly helpful in spurring oneself into action. You made the commitment, now you want to keep it!

On the contrary, a goal that was never stated, never committed to, cannot be failed.

Without a clear goal, there is no incentive to make an effort, and to keep making an effort to reach this goal in particular (see my thoughts on direction above).

But… what if I fail?

Of course, ambitious goals can be failed, despite a lot of hard work to meet them.

Creating goals that are both ambitious and achievable is a science in itself. I believe that failing to achieve something, despite giving it your best, is a very different kind of failure than failing to achieve something for never having tried at all.

Sounds like fortune cookie philosophy, but it’s true!

Failures can be helpful in themselves (which doesn’t make them pleasant experiences). As the proverb goes, you can learn from them: To set better goals, at the very least.

There is nothing to be learned, however, from never trying.

#3 – Goals Allow You To Have Achievements

“If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.”
― John D. Rockefeller

Goals should be precise, ambitious, yet attainable. As the Rockefeller-quote above suggest, “getting rich” or “having the most popular blog on the internet” are not good goals.

They are too vague. They are too far off. They demand no precise action to achieve.

Instead, a good goal for a (starting) blog could be something like

  • “Get 500 Subscribers by the end of the 1st year”
  • “Publish 3 Guest Posts on respected websites in my niche”
  • “Publish my first eBook”

Individually, these goals will not make you rich, or make your site the blog on the internet.

There is the great sense of having achieved something, however, when you can look back and tick that check-box you opened earlier. More importantly, setting yourself goals, achieving them, setting new goals, etc.., you’re slowing growing up, one step at a time, to the distant goal you might not have dared dream about.


My Blog & Me: The Goals for 2013

Fortune Cookie Wisdom for Bloggers

Embracing the Wisdom of the Fortune Cookie!

So what are my goals for the remaining few months of this year?

  1. Set up an Email-list and get 100 subscribers
  2. Publish 3 guest posts on other blogs
  3. Write 20 “Starting-a-Blog” Posts for Blogging beginners

One and two are basic (but not easy) efforts to get the word out about My Blog & Me.

The third, crucially, is the first step in cornering the key theme of this blog: easily doable advice for people starting a blog. It won’t be an eBook yet (though it may become one).

A series of introductory posts to blogging (with a cornerstone-page linking to them all) will give me a good feel for writing this type of content, however. Hopefully, it will also start attracting some of the “how-to-start-a-blog” traffic I will be going after.

What do you think? What are your blogging goals?

Leave a comment!

Sebastian

Looking for a new Blog? Check out Ghost on Kickstarter!

Interesting.

I am about to start a blog about blogging – though I have been blogging for some time on WordPress and the Genesis Framework on my Miniature Wargaming Blog – and the (possible) future of blogging launches on Kickstarter.com.

Have a yonder over to the fundraiser for Ghost, Just a Blogging Platform.

1 – Ghost Kickstarter Video

Ghost is a platform dedicated to one thing: Publishing. It’s beautifully designed, completely customiseable and completely Open Source. Ghost allows you to write and publish your own blog, giving you the tools to make it easy and even (gasp) fun to do. It’s simple, elegant, and designed so that you can spend less time messing with making your blog work – and more time blogging.

2 – Thoughts…

I must admit, I haven’t thought about it much in this way. As it is spelled out, there certainly is a kernel of truth to the claim that decade-old Blogging-software such as WordPress or Blogger can have odd quirks.

The flip-side, of course, is that Ghost would be all new, all fresh.

I know, that is actually it’s main-selling point, but hear me outl.

Even though Ghost will be open-source (or so they say), it will take years for enthusiasts to develop a range of plug-ins, themes and more that is comparable to what we have for WordPress.

That said, a successful Kickstarter will certainly help to launch not only the software, but a community of open-source developers.

Ghost Blogging Platform

3 – What Do You Think?

  • Is it time to try a new software?
  • Is it time to leave WordPress behind (at least for an experimental blog)?
  • Or, do you think there’s no need to fix things that ain’t broken?

Let me know what you think about Ghost – Just a Blogging Platform!

Sebastian

The Ghost Kickstarter will be funded on Tuesday May 28, 5:00pm BST.

How to Install the Genesis Framework for WordPress?

For a (more or less) serious WordPress blog, the Genesis Framework from Studiopress is an invaluable tool to get a head-start. I’ll write a post on the many awesome features of the Genesis Framework and its Child themes later.

For now, I install it!

Step 1 – Go to “Install Themes”

Installing the Genesis Framework

To install a new theme, go to the admin back-end of WordPress and click “Appearances” (right-hand-side) and “Themes” (just below the first on a fresh WordPress installation.

Then go to the “Install Themes” tab (see upper red arrow).

Genesis is a premium theme from StudioPress – not WordPress.com. It cannot be found under the “search” option, but most be uploaded using the “upload” option.

Step 2 – Upload the Genesis Framework

Pressing the “Choose File” button seen above will open a new window, allowing the selection and upload of a file (i.e. the Genesis Framework as a .zip file) from the hard drive.

Installing the StudioPress Genesis Framework

Select the Genesis Framework (as a .zip file) and double-click.

Step 3 – Activate the Genesis Framework

This should be the next screen.

Installing a new WordPress Theme

If there is content on the site, is worth doing a preview to see how things will transition. My site is a brand-new installation, fresh as newly fallen snow, so I just hit Energize “Activate”.

Step 4 – Hello World!

That’s all folks! The Genesis Framework installed in three simple steps.

To install a Child Theme for the Genesis Site, simply follow the same steps to select, upload and activate the child theme.

Genesis Framework and Child Theme

To work, a Genesis Child theme needs to be active, with the Genesis Framework also being uploaded to the WordPress site.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to remove inactive themes (and plugins) as idle software can, potentially, present an open door to malware. At the very least, it’s cluttering your server.

Both Genesis Framework and Child theme need to be, and stay, installed at the same time.

  1. How to Sign Up for Blue Host?
  2. How to Install a WordPress Blog on Blue Host?
  3. How To Install the Genesis Framework for WordPress?

So far so good.

Sebastian