A Smart Way to Get Blog Traffic Using Twitter

Many of you have probably heard that a wildfire ripped through the area outside Boulder, Colorado on Labor Day weekend, and that 160 homes were destroyed by the blaze. The damage to the surrounding landscape was devastating, and many old and majestic trees were also lost to the fire.

One of my clients, Boulder resident Priscilla Stuckey, wrote a beautiful, heartfelt blog post on her blog, This Lively Earth, about the loss of a particular Ponderosa Pine. Then something rather surprising happened.

Priscilla’s a smart blog marketer who uses her Twitter account to promote each new blog post, so she also tweeted about her new article. Here’s her original tweet:

Priscilla Stuckey Tweet

Did you notice the way she used a hashtag (#boulderfire) in her tweet? That ensures that people who are tracking the Twitter conversation about the fire and its aftermath will read her tweet and follow the link to her moving blog post.

People did indeed find her tweet (and read her post), and her update was retweeted by several people, each of whom also used the #boulderfire hashtag.

What happened next was even better – The Daily Camera, Boulder’s local newspaper, found Priscilla’s tweet and read her blog post. They called Priscilla for an interview about her moving story, and then they ran the interview online and in the print version of the Camera on October 14th. The Denver Post also picked up the story and ran it the following day (October 15th).

The result of this flurry of publicity for Priscilla and her story? An avalanche of traffic to her blog. She doubled her previous one-day record for visits to her site.

Since Priscilla has added an option for her new readers to subscribe to her blog via email, hopefully that flood of new traffic also converted to a bunch of new subscribers!

So what does Priscilla’s story teach us about blogging and Twitter? Here are the lessons we should take away from this story:

1. Write great content for your blog. Excellent blog posts will get attention and traffic, are more likely to be retweeted, and can translate into (FREE!) media coverage from traditional newspapers and magazines. Priscilla’s blog post is beautifully written and includes compelling images.

2. If you’re using Twitter, make sure to promote each of your blog posts by tweeting about it. Include the name of the post (or some other short description) and a shortened link back to the post.

3. Be open to interviews and publicity opportunity, both online and offline.  When the Daily Camera contacted Priscilla to do an interview, she said yes! The Camera actually did a video interview with her, which may have been somewhat daunting, and Priscilla agreed to do it. It paid off in spades! Have courage, bloggers!

Congrats again, Priscilla, on being a smart blogger, and for being willing to write such a personal blog post. Your readers clearly value your vulnerability and accessibility.  And while I’ve very sorry for the loss of your special tree, I’m extremely proud of how you put yourself out there in the online (and offline) worlds.

Keep up the good work!

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Comments

  1. I love the advice. I want to learn and master blogging and tweeting without having to re-invent the wheel.

  2. Cool to hear how this all happened! Thanks! I’ve been avoiding Twitter lately because I found I was spending too much time there. But this is a good reminder of how helpful it can be. Any advice on managing time on Twitter?

  3. No doubt about the hashtag, Beth. However, if you use an auto service to tweet your new post automatically, you will find it hard to include the hashtag the way you want, so you will always have to tweet it manually. Do you know a service in which I can come around this problem?

    • That’s a great question, Mike – and unfortunately I think the answer’s no….if you use a plugin or other tool to tweet new posts automatically, you can’t customize each tweet with a different hashtag. You could customize the plugin so that it would send out your own customized tweet every time it sends out a new post (for example: New Post on Blogging with Beth: [Title of post] [shortened URL], and I suppose you could include a hashtag in that message, but then each tweeted blog post will have the *same* hashtag, which kinda defeats the point! Perhaps for Twitter strategy’s sake, it might be better to manually tweet each new post. Thanks for the good question!

  4. Good tip – I probably don’t customize the hastag enough. I use Twitter Tools on a self-hosted wordpress blog and that does allow you to put in hastags for a specific posts and specify a default.

  5. Twitter seems to be gaining popularity almost every day. As a new user it would be helpful to do some research to find users who would be worth following. I would start with the best in your field.

  6. Great advice and encouragement! I’ve been trying to pump up traffic to my blog too, but I hesitate to move into the Twitter world because I’m already spending more time than I should online!!

  7. Hi Beth,

    I see like Facebook is driving more than Twitter for my blogs. Because of the reason, i do ramble more in fb than tw. Now-a-days, i feel like they are time killers and distracting much from work.

    Thanks.

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