Is Twitter Essential For Your Blog?

Posted August 23, 2014 by Debby in Discussions, Question Time / 18 Comments

Lately I’ve been wondering about how essential Twitter actually is to blogging. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Twitter bunches. I really feel like that’s where the community comes to life. So many discussions about so many different topics – Twitter is how I would say I really became friends with many other book bloggers and readers out there. I’ll be the first to say that my social life in reality is not really buzzing with activity, you know, but with Twitter there’s always someone I can talk to – just for fun, book-related or not, or to discuss things that are irritating or upsetting me. It’s like one big chat room with all my BFFs!

Not only that, but Twitter has really opened the doors for me to so many discussions about social justice and feminism. And let’s not forget about Twitter’s importance in bringing issues like the events in Ferguson to the public. Now, controversial topics are not everyone’s thing, but I really feel like by being on Twitter I’ve been opened up to so many opinions about issues that I never really thought about before. I wouldn’t particularly have identified myself as a feminist a couple years ago – before blogging and being active on Twitter. But I’ve really started standing up for these issues that I believe to be important, so I think Twitter’s shaped my opinion for the better (or at least encouraged my growth in that).

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BUT. But. While I love Twitter for all those things, there are downsides. And every community has its drama. And it can get horribly upsetting, demotivating, and oftentimes leads to me retreating into myself and just needing a break from it all. With every such instance, I get the desire for a Twitter break and consider whether it isn’t just better for me to start limiting my presence there – because if things are upsetting you, it’s okay to just cut them out of your life. I’m not strong enough to just ignore those things or *cough* Shake It Off. (But I’m trying to get better at it.)

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There are a lot of problems with that though. First of all, and obviously, I would miss my blogger friends. But aside from that, I fear the blog would be impacted negatively. I’ve noticed lately that if I don’t spend time tweeting about my posts and promoting them that way, my traffic and comments are WAY down. I’ve posted something that I was rather proud of and after 18 hours or so there’s still like barely any interest. And then I think, “What went wrong? I thought this was cool, dudes.” And then I realize that I hadn’t promoted it via Twitter. I did that, and people finally came reading and commenting.

I don’t blame them though! I’m also NOTORIOUS for falling for Twitter clickbait. Though I do have a Feedly that I use to follow blogs, when I see tweets that really catch my interest, I’m much more likely to drop everything and go read that NAO. With Feedly, I can store up those posts for weeks before finally looking at them. As such I’ve been working on my promoting skills, thinking about what would be most likely to attract attention, and using services like Tweetdeck where you can schedule tweets to go out while you’re out/sleeping. And it really works. I see the difference in the number of hits and number of comments.

And when you’re on Twitter, you’re also visible to the public eye – the community. It reminds them that you’re around and that you’re still active, which can prompt them to look up your blog. Though I do enjoy my Twitter breaks when I take them, it can be really scary to jump in again after a while because it does move quickly – if I’m not online for a few days, it feels like I kind of don’t exist anymore, like people have forgotten about me totally. I see all the conversations that people are having without me and I’m just like…

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Let’s Talk!

Basically I just word vomited all over my blog, but I wanna hear from you. Clearly, I have a very heavy dependence on Twitter, for both the social and promotional aspects. But have you seen the same kind of issue? Do you feel pressured to be social on Twitter for your blog to succeed? Do you schedule promo tweets and stuff? Though I love Twitter, I wish I wasn’t so dependent on / addicted to it. But yeah, I don’t feel like there’s anything I can do about it either. It just is the way it is.

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18 responses to “Is Twitter Essential For Your Blog?

  1. I quite agree, I think things would be very different for me and my blog if I didn’t have Twitter, although I find it funny because I used to have two, one for the blog and one for me personally but they just morphed and now I stick with the newer one that was for Book Badger. Sometimes I can forget to promote on Twitter and just, hang around, watching, reading, but that’s good for me and I think people understand that, I’m not hugely personal on Twitter about things, but I am slowly coming out a little. Could I cope without it? I think so, but I’d much rather not 😉
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted A New PerspectiveMy Profile

  2. I don’t have a twitter account and don’t anticipate ever getting one. I also don’t have a blog fb page and such. I do have a personal fb page that has like 50 friends, which are mostly relatives. I’m just not into social media, besides my blog 🙂

    I’ve been blogging since the beginning of the year, and at first I cared about my numbers, but now for some reason I don’t. I haven’t visited google analytics in months. Since I don’t have monetizing options on my blog right now, numbers don’t mean a whole lot. I’m happy that I have some followers and I get regular comments, but besides that I’m just strolling along the blogging world, kind of in my own world lol.
    Finley Jayne recently posted Bout of Books 11 {Friday’s Updates}My Profile

  3. I think you definitely can blog without Twitter, your blog just probably won’t be as big or get as much attention. That may not be a priority for some people, so if not, they certainly don’t need Twitter. But I think most of the “bigger” blogs that have a ton of comments and activity have a big Twitter presence.

    I’m not super active on Twitter but I do have a presence there, and about 10% of all my traffic is just from Twitter. So I can imagine how much more powerful it would be if I was more active there.
    Ashley recently posted Books I Didn’t Finish, New Blog Designs & MoreMy Profile

  4. I’m not really comfortable using Twitter, mostly because I’m not quite sure how to use it. I tweet when I put up a new review… and that’s it. It doesn’t seem to bring me any more traffic, though.

    I have noticed a big difference in the book blogging world between now and when I started blogging back in 2009. I used to get way more comments back then, and I didn’t have to promote the heck out of every post on social media. I don’t know if it’s something to do with the sheer number of book blogs out there, or the fact that so many people have gravitated toward social media that if you don’t promote your blog with it, you won’t get any traffic. But there’s definitely a difference. Now I’m lucky to get one or two comments on a review post; often, I don’t get any at all. It’s pretty disheartening, especially when you want feedback and dialogue about a particular book!
    La Coccinelle @ The Ladybug Reads… recently posted Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Me That I MUST ReadMy Profile

  5. My experience is minimal. I certainly have it linked to my blog so that when I publish a post, a tweet is…er…tweeted. And from time to time, I hop on Twitter to see if there is anything interesting in my feed. And from time to time, I mean once every few months. I’m just really bad at Twitter.

    I see how Twitter is helpful in developing relationships with other bloggers and a brand and keeping up to date with the community, but it’s so overwhelming to me. There are just soooooo many tweets to shuffle through. How do I even keep up?!
    Jackie recently posted Book Buying WoesMy Profile

  6. Hello I just found your blog, I live in the Netherlands as well! I love twitter, but indeed it’s also the place where the most drama is, I usually try to avoid that, but yeah I understand what you mean with sometimes needing a break. I haven’t been as active on twitter lately and have done more blog visiting and commenting instead. I usually only use twitter to share my links or reply when someone tweets to me or retweets something.
    I mostly use bloglovin to visit blogs and some bloggers I follow on facebook and click on their links there. As I’ve been less on twitter lately I’ve been clicking less on links there, but when I am on there a tweet can grab my interest and then I’ll check out the post. I do feel that beign active on twitter and sharing my links there is important. I’ve never tried to do without twitter, but I think some visitors do come from twitter to my blog. I use tweetdeck to schedule tweets sometimes, then I can take a break while still sharing links.
    Lola recently posted Sunday Post #88My Profile

  7. Twitter bores me so I don’t use that much. I had a personal twitter for years before I started blogging and I was kind of over it before I started my blog. I even abandoned my personal Twitter because I just didn’t care anymore. I do have one for my blog and use it a couple of times a week, but I can also go for days without checking it. I’m sure my blog could be a lot bigger and more successful if I was on there all the time…but I don’t care that much. The time commitment is too much for me when I could be doing other things, blog-related or not, that are more fun.
    Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA recently posted Weekly Rewind: August 17-23My Profile

  8. Twitter still scares me, especially when I see the same people talking to each other and I’m not sure they would appreciate it if I join the conversation.. I guess I’m also too shy on social media to do such a thing. But at the same time I will not stop using Twitter and I still keep trying :p.

    I feel I’m more part of the blogging community through Twitter, because it gives you a way to connect with everyone in a more personal way. Promoting posts on Twitter is always a good idea. I often click on interesting links there 🙂
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted Bout of books Updates.My Profile

    • Ahh, you’re doing fine. I seem to keep making enemies on Twitter.. being an outside observer is better. I love Twitter when I do talk to my friends, but recently the people I’m closest to have also been stepping back from it – either due to drama or busy lives or personal issues. So I’m doing kind of the same. It’s just better for my mental health for now. I’ll try to schedule more tweets though because I don’t want the blog to be affected too badly.

  9. I go through phases with Twitter. Some days (usually weekends when I’m free) I’m glued to my phone and tweeting like crazy. Not surprisingly those are the days when I’ll see an influx in new followers/a spike in blog stats. But then I’ll have periods where I’m rarely active, when I might only tweet a handful of times over the course of a week.

    I definitely think that it’s helpful in running a successful blog, but I’m not addicted to it.
    Leah recently posted my week in pictures: time to head back to the real worldMy Profile

    • Yeah, I see the same effect. I’m trying to step back from Twitter a little bit for now, and I think I’m going to use more scheduled tweets and stuff. I don’t want my Twitter account to only be promotional stuff, but Twitter’s just getting to be a bit too much for me, you know?

  10. This is such a great post, and a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately. Over the first couple of years that I was running my blog, I used Twitter to both promote my blog and to chat with blogging buddies. Now that I’m a new mom, I have less time for blogging and usually spend my computer time either a) writing posts for my own blog or b) reading and commenting on the blogs that I follow (although most of the time, it’s simply reading, as I have a tendency to be more of a silent lurker these days). BUT I do sometimes feel bad about not using Twitter much anymore. I feel like I’m out of touch with the blogging friends that I have and, as you noted, I have written some posts that I was quite proud of, only to have very low traffic on those posts. It does make me wonder if more people would read my blog if I were to devote a little more time to Twitter.
    Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads recently posted Friday Favourite – The Way the Crow FliesMy Profile

    • Well, I pre-scheduled this post and was then on vacation for 4-5 days, during which time I barely used Twitter at all. The result… my blog traffic was down to about 55% what it usually is. Either those posts weren’t interesting or Twitter has a HUGE effect on my traffic. I’m torn. I wish I could step away from Twitter at times, but it really looks like I can’t.

  11. I’ve been wondering the same thing lately. I’m fairly new to twitter and have a difficult time with it, and I don’t see a huge amount of traffic from twitter on my blog. But, I don’t think I spend enough time there to really make a difference either.
    Katie recently posted Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

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