Twitter – awesome source of blog traffic

It was interesting to see the results of the little poll I have been running in my sidebar recently regarding how people read posts on this blog. Out of the 25 votes cast, only four people responded that they read posts via the links that appear on Twitter. The thing is, my blog’s stats show that the largest referrer of traffic to this site every single day is Twitter.

My blog automatically pings my Twitter account with a short message telling everyone that follows me that a new post is up on DavePress, and the title, so they know what it is about. There is a link there, so all people have to do is click that and they’re here. Magic – and much quicker than RSS. This is all done with the plugin TwitterTools by Alex King, and you can download it here.

Well worth it for anyone with a self-hosted WordPress blog.

8 thoughts on “Twitter – awesome source of blog traffic”

  1. Thanks for your nice post. I also get some traffic from Twitter but I think this is also caused by twitters page rank in google. So people come to your blog through Google via your twitter statuses. Twitter statuses are sometimes in minutes indexed by Google. However, I sense that the some part of twitter community denounces automatic blog tweets. I therefore stopped it. What is your experience?

  2. That’s a good point, re: Google results. Am surprised that tweets are appearing that quickly in the index though. The Google CSE based twitter search engine I made recently seems to lag a few days behind at least.

    I don’t know whether the auto tweets annoy people or not. I haven’t had anyone stop following me since I started them, and I find them really useful from others, with the result that I am spending less and less time in my RSS reader!

  3. Twitter might be one source of website referrals, but I can’t agree with the word ‘awesome’. That’s ignoring the effect of publishing a full-content RSS feed.

    I don’t visit the site much, because I don’t need to. The site comes to me. Therefore, I don’t leave a website referral of any kind.

    My guess is that your number of Feedburner subscribers outweighs all your Twitter referrals, and most likely, all your website’s page views. That’s your key audience. Twitter might be the best of the rest, but it’s still only second-best.

    For the record: me no like those ‘New blog post’ tweets. Too cold, too mechanical. The RSS ‘description’ might make it feel a bit more human.

  4. I agree with SimonD (that’s happening a lot recently!). The automatic posting seems to me to be an approach which is clamouring for attention, rather than adapting what you share with particular audiences.

    I don’t do it at the moment – I stopped automatically adding delicious links to my blog because it seemed asocial to me.

    Fortunately Pete Ashton persuaded me to share my full feed and I’m just starting to appreciate the value of allowing people to use that as they will rather than as I will.

  5. Good point(s) Nick. I stopped the del.icio.us automatic posting thing myself a while back, for precisely that reason. And to be honest, I almost always skip over those posts when I see them on other people’s blogs.

    There’s certainly room for automated tweeting – but it has to be explicitly ‘opt in’. I get a few BBC ‘breaking news’ tweets courtesy of Twitterfeed, but since that’s all that comes through on those particular accounts, I’m perfectly happy to get them.

  6. I’m certainly not claiming that Twitter is going to take over from RSS, just that it’s taking some of my attention away from the aggregator.

    This conversation seems to be covering a number of topics, including that around who a blog is written for as well as what measures of success exist for a blog in terms of reach.

    I have an average of around 80 readers a day by RSS. On a good day I get 150 hits to the site, on a bad one about 20. So RSS is a far more reliable source of readers.

    On the del.icio.us postings – it’s obviously a personal thing. I like them – I like seeing my own on my blog the next morning – and enjoy reading others. I see them as harking back to the original point of the weblog, a log of what’s been interesting on the web, with a bit of commentary.

  7. Curiously Dave I wonder if it’s a matter of perspective and personality. You are using your blog as a tool for your own thoughts – in which other people share, so dumping the links there makes sense. I see your blog as something that I use – which means it should be how I want it!

    It’s not about you. It’s about me, me, me.

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