Of late there have been a number of posts from fellow bloggers on a real-time social networking/micro-blogging service called Twitter. I have been twittering (short posts less then 140 characters) on and off for the last 4 months and have about 60 followers at last count. However, I have yet to see any significant referral traffic from Twitter to my blog, unlike that from other network/community sites (PF Buzz or Tip’d). When I write a new post I normally include a link to it on Twitter and do get a few referrals, but hardly any of the referred traffic converts to outbound (revenue generating) clicks or new subscribers. Some may blame this on the fact that I don’t use Twitter correctly (not that hard really), have too few followers or even on my content being not that great (Ouch!).
However, I see it as 2 things. Firstly, the traffic you do get from Twitter is most likely other bloggers and/or online marketers that are highly unlikely to click on any advertisements contained on your blog. As a blogger myself, I know I have almost become immune to ads and unfortunately unless something really strikes me I am not going to click on ads. I also don’t believe in using Adsense or other pay per click ads as a Tip Jar, by falsely clicking ads to help a fellow blogger out. Google and its advertisers have paid for real clicks, and I do not want to risk myself or the blogger’s whose site I am on from getting banned by Google for fake clicks (there are other ways and more legit ways to help fellow bloggers).
The second aspect is traffic. I am sure if I had thousands of followers I would get more traffic to my blog whenever I tweet about a post, but going back to point one, the type of traffic I am going to get is not going to be the revenue generating type. Given I have limited time to blog (I have a day job), I don’t think I can expend the amount of effort needed to massively grow my twittering following base and subsequently twitter-blog traffic. Even I if I did, based on the above argument I don’t think Twitter is ever going to be a great commercial traffic source for me anytime soon and other money bloggers new to Twitter should be mindful of this aspect. Do you agree or disagree with me? Has twitter been a good source of revenue generating traffic for you?
All this being said, once you accept that Twitter is just another social networking site, it can actually be quite fun to see all the live micro-posts that bloggers you read regularly, put on there. You really see a different (less formal) side of them and more often than not I get alerted to an interesting post or news item from Twitter which I normally wouldn’t have noticed. When I first started twittering, I got “follow-crazy” and just followed anyone whose blog I had heard of. You soon realize though that you end up getting hundreds of tweets every hour, most of them trivial and mundane (who cares if someone’s cat didn’t eat that morning!). So my main piece of advice is for those new to Twitter, choose who you want to follow carefully and remember if you post useless tweets, it reflects badly on you and your blog so don’t post a comment or thought that you wouldn’t feel comfortable posting on your blog.
You can follow me on Twitter at : http://twitter.com/Andys2i
Other Twitter-iffic posts from fellow bloggers, which have some great tips on how to use Twitter effectively, and would probably disagree with some of my points above:
– Twitter Ad Revenue Plan Revealed; Not Impressive So Far
– When Seth Godin isn’t Seth Godin (on protecting your Twitter identity)
– 8 Tips for Affiliate Marketers on Using Twitter (Interesting, but hard to do)
I also participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance and Festival of Frugality this week and some
great posts to be found there. Kudos to the hosts as well. Also, from the Finance Blog network, the following posts are worth a read; 3 Keys to Creating Passive Income, CitiGroup Says: Gold To Hit $2,000 – Wars To Follow (can’t say I agree, but a good viewpoint), The Investor’s Christmas Reading List (So much to read, so little time).
Have a good weekend