I wasn’t always a fan of Twitter. In fact, until recently I saw no value in Twitter. I felt it was too restrictive for a writer like myself who is usually very long winded. I really didn’t like the lack of grammar Twitter forces you to use in order to keep within the 140 characters. Yet more and more, I have come to see Twitter not only as a valuable social media source, but as a lesson on keeping it simple.
Twitter, like every other tool you use in your blogging career, must be tended to and understood. Take care of your Twitter garden — your followers and feed — and it will reward you with a bounty of readers, good advice, sponsors and connections. Neglect it, and all your efforts will have been for nothing and will simply have to start over.
Seed your Twitter garden
The easiest way to gain more followers is to begin with following other people. Start with finding people who have similar interests.
When I first started on Twitter, I wasn’t sure who to follow or why. So, I started with things I like. My first follows were of celebrities like Stephen Amell and Clark Gregg to engage my inner geek girl. Both are great to read but didn’t really do much for growing my own garden and giving me any readers. (I can dream that both are actually reading my food and travel blog, but I highly doubt it.)
A few months into my Twitter exploration, I realized that there are endless possibilities for making Twitter work for me. I began to follow other people without the expectation that they would reciprocate my follow. I was seeding my Twitter, filling it with interesting tweets and making it an enjoyable place for me to be. When you enjoy your surroundings, it is far easier to want to spend time working on it.
Feed and tend
I see Twitter as a valuable place to make connections with not only other bloggers and writers but with people as a whole. There are many wonderful experiences being shared every minute on Twitter. The people I enjoy following are not retweeting everything they see; instead, they are writing interesting content, showing who they are and interacting with other people.
When you tend to Twitter followers, you are reaching out and making connections with mentions, retweeting what they are saying — not just with a RT, but by quoting their tweets and adding your own thoughts.
Weeding out the waste
One thing you must learn is that you don’t need to keep the spam, garbage or negative people. There are a lot of feeds out there telling you that you can buy followers. Don’t buy into that scam. You want quality readers who want to hear what you have to say and will actually click on your links and read your blog.
There are also people out there who just want to be miserable, and they will not bring you joy. Like weeds in your garden, they have one mission: to make everyone around them miserable. They will go to efforts not only to criticize and frustrate you but your readers as well. Do yourself a favor and pull those weeds before they take root!
I also will not follow anyone back who has nothing valuable to say in their feed. For every follow, I take the time to actually go click on the profile, read their tweets and choose wisely who I want in my life. If your feed is full of ads, demands for reading your blog, spammy posts or just all out rudeness, I will not follow you back. It’s simple: I get to choose who influences my day.
Enjoy your bounty
When you take care of your Twitter garden you will be rewarded with more readers to your blog, which you shared with good tweets and not just links. You’ll also make connections to other real life people. Do link ups and find your Twitter Tribe out there. Follow valuable Tweets like @SheKnows and @BlogHer and share the greatness you find.
Set aside time daily to give virtual high-fives, shout out your favorite things, take part in trending hashtags and give your readers an idea of who you are. It is a lot of work, but the reward is that people will remember you. They will not only follow you, but want to read your blog and will share your posts with their friends and readers. You will be networking right from your own home or your phone anywhere.
Unlike Facebook, your Tweets are not weeded out. All of your tweets are shown to your followers without censorship. You get the rich fertile ground that is open to new ideas ready for you to make beautiful Twitter sprouts. And as long as you tend to it, your garden will grow and be rich with possibilities.
Taking care of your Twitter is easy and rewarding. Don’t forget to check me out on Twitter — @MorningTempest. Why Morning Tempest? Because I really hate mornings, and I can be a raging storm before my first cup of coffee.
I can’t wait to follow you on Twitter!