How to Use Twitter Lists to Get Traffic for Your Web Site

Sheepdog herding sheepIf you’re hoping to monetize your blog, and nobody knows you’re posting great content there, you may as well not bother writing at all.

I don’t say that to be mean, but it is important to understand that, as the saying goes, a leader with no followers is just a guy out for a walk.

You need to know how to draw people to your blog. Some people call that driving traffic, others call it pulling in an audience. But whatever you call it, it’s the art of getting followers, subscribers, and a regular readership. If you’ve read my pieces about Twitter, you might have the impression that I think that getting followers is somehow dirty. It’s not, and I apologize if I made you think that. You need eyes on your work to get anyone to tweet about it or give you a Facebook “Like.” So how do you get the most eyes pointed your way?

What I will discourage up-front, and consistently, is using a piece of software to automate your following and engagement behavior. But with that said, here’s a simple five step process to increasing your followers…legitimately.

Let’s assume you have at least *some* followers, or that you’re following some thought leaders in your industry.

  1. Find an active Twitterati. Make it someone whose tweets you look forward to reading.
    Chances are, they’re listed by a bunch of people who also look forward to this person’s tweets. People like you, in fact.
  2. Pick a list,and when it comes up, click the “Following” tab. It should have the number of people who are being followed in this list.
  3. Now you just have to look down the profiles and add the people who you find interesting. Yes, it takes time, but you’re adding people who you’re probably going to enjoy reading and engaging with.
  4. Engage with the people you added. Give them some @mentions and retweet the great things they say. While they may have been unknown to you five minutes ago, you do have things in common with them, and you have a bunch of reasons to engage with them. Remember to tweet out original thoughts, and occasional links to your blog, but mostly you should engage with your new friends.
  5. Repeat. Some of these folks are going to autofollow you. Don’t worry about why they follow you, only why you’re following them. Others won’t follow you at all. Don’t worry about that, either — they’re going to appear in your Tweetstream and give you a ton of stuff to talk about and engage with them. If you’re genuine and engaging, they’ll eventually follow you.

See, it’s not difficult. If you follow a couple of big lists in a day, chances are you’ll see your followers sky-rocket. And when that happens, you’ll see more people @mentioning you, and retweeting your links and comments.

In time they’ll begin coming to your blog and tweeting links directly from your social sharing buttons.

Remember — this is different from using a follow-bot. You’re deliberately choosing each person you follow, based on mutual friends, and shared subject-matter interest.

Oh, one more thing…when you start following a lot of people, your tweet stream is going to get very very crowded. So you might want to make a list which includes the people whose tweets you absolutely positively have to pay attention to. A list of people you recommend on #FF is probably a good place to start. But you’re going to need to make some lists to make sense of the hurricane of tweets you’re about to see.

And now you should follow me, because I might say something useful. You never know…

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