Twitter For Bloggers Part 1: What is Twitter?

TwitterLet’s start with a definition from Wikipedia:

“Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.”

Now a bit of a disclaimer here. There are thousands of articles about Twitter and how best to use it and no one agrees on what is best. Here I am looking only at how you can use this to improve and leverage your blogging efforts.

Twitter can be used for much more than that but that is not our topic here.

So we have the Wikipedia definition and here is my take on it and what a blogger needs to know and use.

Twitter is a micro blog platform. You are limited to 140 characters per post. This forces you to be concise and keep each tweet (Twitter post) to just one topic.

The key to effectively using Twitter is to understand that it is a conversation between people. It is about sharing information. It is not a sales platform although some will disagree with that. I am not saying that you can’t use it to sell but you need to do it the right way.

If you are planning to use Twitter just as a platform to send out your links forget it now. Just like a blog you need to supply valuable information and build your reputation as a valuable resource.

Do that and when you occasionally recommend something people will be interested. Just send links and very few will continue to follow you.

It works like any type of networking. It is most valuable when you are sorting information about your niche to help others. It’s just like a blog: you find valuable resources from others, then let people know about what is valuable to you, your blog readers and your Twitter followers.

Just like in offline networking – you don’t go to the local Chamber meeting and introduce your business. You talk to people there and ask about theirs. Have an idea that can help them – share it. Do that and you develop relationships that will help your business not because you pitched your business but because you became a valuable resource that others will recommend. Twitter works the same way.

In the next post in this short introduction about Twitter for bloggers, I’ll introduce some of the Twitter tools that might work for your blog.

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