Lessons Learned on How Twitter Drives Traffic to Your Blog (the Fourth Will Surprise You)

I signed up for a Twitter account because all the social media gurus said I should. I'd put it off for a long time because I thought it would be an ineffective time waster. I was so wrong...
drawing of a gray cat watching a yellow and black bird flying across the yard by David Borden, copyright 2016
"Keep your eye on the Tweeting Bird."

After I started tweeting, this blog started to see an uptick in readers even though I didn't even mention it on my profile page. At first, I thought it was a coincidence, until the coincidence didn't go away.

In just a few weeks, my blog traffic has tripled. I'm guessing some of those eyeballs actually aren't eyes at all, but bots (automated programs that troll the internet gathering data... or worse). However, that doesn't explain why my bounce rate is less than 20% (below 40% is good). In other words, people don't "bounce" off my landing page, they stick around to read a bit.

What's going on?

On Twitter, I'm just posting little doodles that I sketch on my phone in the minutes between meetings or while waiting to pick up Ruby from school. I've put a couple of examples here. Very few of them get noticed or liked or retweeted. I don't have thousands of followers and I don't spam and I'm not selling anything... and maybe that's exactly the reason people are coming to my blog... I'm just a regular guy.
drawing of a white cat as Niccolo Machiavelli by David Borden, copyright 2016

Lessons I've learned so far. The 4th one will Surprise you.

1. Everyone is selling something: Everyone has a book or a diet plan-- and they tweet about their products constantly. It's easy to tune these folks out. They don't adhere to the 20 to 1 rule: Twenty non-sales tweets to every one in which you tout your product or service.

2. Avoid the Top: I just share pictures and comment back to people on things that seem interesting to me. I bypass the "Top Tweets" for the regular stream. The Top Tweets are where all the megalithic corporate overlords and celebrities hang out. The real people are hidden on the live stream. Go there.

3. I'm looking to follow normal people: I don't want to build a huge follower list; I want to build a good one. Normal people are relatively quiet and hard to find in the noise, but they're out there... and they're doing cool things, and have interesting things to say (even in 140 characters).

4. I've also learned that the best advice I ever got about social media was the simplest. It wasn't a 10-point plan for blogging or how to buy 5000 followers on Twitter in 20 days. In fact, the opposite is true. So, here it is: Stop blindly doing what the social media gurus tell you to do. Sure they say they've made millions with their method, but the truth is, its their method, not yours. Find what works for you.

Me? I'm a slow, but steady guy. I like to find people one or two at a time. It takes much more time. But I've peeked into a few profiles to see who follows these non-celebrities who have 10k followers. I found a lot of bots, porn hawkers, and inactive users. My goal is to have fewer followers, but have higher quality followers.

Oh, before I forget, if you're one of those people who sends an automatic direct message when I click "follow," and that message fills my phone screen two or three times over, so I have to scroll... I'm NOT going to scroll. You may be getting great results from that tactic... if so, more power to you. For me, I just find it annoying... especially if I thought you were a normal person.

If you like this blog entry, check out my others in this series: Experiments in Social Media.

Find me tweeting pictures of cats, Sasquatch, time machines, and other nonsense @dsborden

Website: www.ScribbleFire.com

#socialmedia #twitter #cats #normalpeople


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