Home Affiliate Marketing Blog The web is a twitter... Microblogging for affiliate marketers

The web is a twitter... Microblogging for affiliate marketers

The web is a twitter... Microblogging for affiliate marketers

I'll be honest, when I first heard about the microblog, I was skeptical. So it's like facebook status updates... but just on their own? Yeah, good luck with that! But I humbly stand corrected. The microblog craze has indeed taken the web by storm, with everyone it seems; from average college students and parents to A-list celebrities and politicians broadcasting to the world in 140 character bursts.

Although some of you may not be familiar with the term microblog, you will certainly have heard of the most popular microblog service, Twitter, which has experienced phenomenal growth in the last year (812.7% according to compete.com) and is now averaging just under 6 million unique visitors per month. Other microblog sites include Tumblr.com and Plurk.com and there are even video-microblog sites popping up like 12seconds.tv which allow you to post 12 second video updates. None as yet however have managed to match Twitter's growth and popularity.

So why has Twitter become so popular, and more importantly, what does that mean for an affiliate marketer?

Twitter has allowed people to be constantly communicate with the world (particularly when used though a mobile phone or application which allows you update and be updated by Twitter anywhere), while also connecting with other interesting people. The short nature of Twitter posts, or 'Tweets' do not require the time and degree of forethought that a typical blog post would take, but still allow you deliver a pertinent message. And perhaps most importantly, with so many people updating all the time, the information on Twitter is remarkably current. When US Airways Flight 1549 made it's extraordinary crash landing in New York's Hudson river, the first news and pictures of the accident appeared on Twitter. User Janis Krums uploaded a picture from his iphone (via Twitpic, an image sharing service for Twitter) with the caption 'There's a plane in the Hudson. I'm on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.' So despite the numerous posts from people informing the world what they had for breakfast what movie their going to watch tonight, there is also a lot of serious, high-quality content on Twitter. Some have gone as far to suggest that Twitter will replace some other methods of searching. Although I wouldn't necessarily go that far, there is without a doubt new and interesting content being shared through Twitter.

So how should an affiliate marketer approach Twitter. Well first of all, you can't expect to be able to just post up all your affiliate links and nothing else and expect to get anyone to follow you! (In fact, do that too much and you'll just look like the bane of every Internet user... a spammer) Twitter, like all social media, is about community. People want to see real and interesting content, so you need to be interesting! (Which I'm assuming if you're reading our blog, you're already a pretty interesting person!) There are a few things you need to consider when getting involved with Twitter:

  • Am I just doing this for my affiliate business, or is this going to be a personal feed as well?
  • What is my niche? What category do my affiliate products fit it?
  • Who would be interested in information relating to these products.

There's nothing wrong with setting up a Twitter account just to promote your business. Twitter can be an immensely powerful promotional tool, which could drive heaps of new traffic to your site and create positive buzz about your products. The important thing to understand is that people aren't going to be interested in you just tweeting affiliate links and stuff about your products. You will also need to try and find people on twitter with similar interests to you. You can do this by signing up, filling out your profile and then going to a site like Twits Like Me, which searches for other Twitter users with similar listed interests. You can also use other services like Twellow to find people by interest categories. There are many other different sites like this available which you could find with a quick Google search, but these give you an idea.

Now it's time to start twittering! Don't be too worried about refining or editing your tweets. The whole point is to update quickly and regularly. Here are a few ideas for things to post about when you're first getting started.

  • Interesting blog articles/websites you've read today
  • What you're doing right now Musings on current events
  • @Reply this is when you write an update as a reply to another user. This can be a great way to make contacts on Twitter and attract a following
  • RT (Retweet): this is when you simply repeat someone else's interesting post. Another great way to build followers as people can regularly check who's retweeted them.

Now there has been some debate about whether it's OK to post affiliate links on Twitter. Personally, I can see no problem with posting affiliate links if it's relevant to what you and your followers are interested in, if it's in direct response to someone's question, or if it's a product that you genuinely think people would get a lot of use out of. The problem comes when people do it too much or start spamming. It's like a lot of other online mediums we talk about here, for example posting links on a forum; if you're making a useful contribution and your link is valuable to the people reading, then there shouldn't be any issue.

So that's just a bit of an introduction. I'll post more about using Twitter and some tips to help you get started and manage your Twitter feeds (this gets really important if you have more than one). If you want an example of a Twitter feed and the kind of stuff you should post, check out the Affilorama Twitter Page and add yourself as a follower by clicking the link below.

Happy Twittering!

PS: This is also my first proper blog post for Affilorama, so feel free to comment and tell me what you think!

31 Comments Add your comment
  • Reply Simon Slade3487 days ago

    Follow me here: http://twitter.com/simonslade

  • Reply Lori Walker • 3487 days ago

    Please follow me on Twitter. My username is landjs2.
    The article "The web is a twitter" was a great blog post. Since I am a newbee to an online business, I am trying to learn all I can. Giving suggestions on what to do or what not to do is extremely helpful for one without prior experience. Thanks again!
    Lori

  • Reply Brady Irvine • 3487 days ago

    Awesome post. Follow me here: http://twitter.com/BradyIrvine

  • Reply Rusty - Fitness Black Book • 3487 days ago

    Chris,

    I have a high traffic website which takes up so much of my time, I just couldn't justify doing Twitter. I am busy with posts, responding to comments, submitting articles, creating money-pages,etc. Now I have changed the way I view this service. After putting this off for over a year, I think I am ready to hop into the World of Twitter.

    Great post buddy,

    Rusty

  • Reply Andy Boyd • 3487 days ago

    Good post, Simon. I'm new to Twitter and still trying to figure out what's best.

    you can follow me at http://twitter.com/lightcove

    Andy

  • Reply Janelle Munson • 3487 days ago

    Nice post - welcome to Twitter. Janelle

    you can also follow me @ http://twitter.com/bluewatervision

  • Reply Sharath Hardikar3487 days ago

    Great Blog... Follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/ashsmh

  • Reply Laura Gawne • 3487 days ago

    Thanks for the great post. You can follow me at http://twitter.com/LGawne

  • Reply tina • 3487 days ago

    I think Twitter is great, but how do you keep up with all the comments from everyone you want to follow or are following??
    You can follow me at user name: believenow

    Tina

  • Reply Stephen Carter • 3487 days ago

    i don't know yet whether it's worth the effort to post comments to Twitter - though I just announced my latest special report there at http://twitter.com/StephenCarter

    but i can see that twitter might be useful for getting people to broadcast to others about your site - as in, Tweet this page by filling out this form and get a free ebook. i'll be trying that kind of thing on some of my sites shortly.

  • Reply Mark Ling3487 days ago

    You can follow my personal twitter (different to affilorama twitter) at http://www.twitter.com/markling

  • Reply Chris Goddard3487 days ago

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

    Twitter can seem like a lot of work when you first get started, but as time progresses it will become easier and easier to post updates, especially if you use a third party app allowing you to either schedule your updates, or send updates from your desktop or mobile device. I typically schedule most of the updates for the Affilorama Twitter feed at the start of the day, and it only takes 15 minutes. Then if anything of interest pops up during the day, I can just go in a schedule another one.

    Possibly the most time consuming part is ReTweets and @Replies. However the more interesting people you follow on Twitter, the more it will become just another resource, just like any blogs you subscribe to. As for keeping track of all those different posts; don't be too worried about seeing every single one of your friend's posts. The great thing about Twitter is that it's a constant stream of information, here today, gone tomorrow. You only have to pay attention to the recent updates if you wish, although third party apps can help organize your incoming Tweets too. Also remember the 80/20 rule: you'll spend 80% of your time interacting or reading posts from 20% of your friends.

    Glad you all enjoyed this post! There will be more about Twitter and other Social Media sites coming in the next few weeks.

    Chris

  • Reply Matthew • 3487 days ago

    Really need to ensure you do tweet a fair amount of stuff that are intresting to your followers if you want their attention and to connect with them. Just ask yourself, why do you follow (I mean actually read and check out) somebody else tweet?

    http://twitter.com/MatthewSM1

  • Reply Nancy Howse • 3487 days ago

    Hi Chris.

    I agree with your post. I think Twitter is a marketing tool worth cultivating.
    But after reading lots of tweets, it's a treat to read a real blog that has good grammar and no abbreviated words.

    http://twitter.com/NanHowse

  • Reply Joan Stalker3487 days ago

    Great post. Please follow me at http://twitter.com/sandra_scott

  • Reply Joan Stalker3487 days ago

    I've changed the link to my tweets. It's now http://twitter.com/training_dogs

    Happy tweeting!

  • Reply Scot McKay • 3487 days ago

    Great post, Chris. You've nailed it.

    Emily and I are well into this sort of strategy. Another really key thing is to have a giveaway such as an e-book, etc. with affiliate links, etc. embedded in it. Acts as kind of a "goodwill buffer" between you and the actual selling part.

    Tina, I have a video on that exact subject. @scotmckay me and I'll send you the link.

    BTW, Chris and Mark I found your Affilorama Twitter page this morning and am already following.

    Emily and I are here:

    http://www.twitter.com/scotmckay

    http://www.twitter.com/emilymckay

    We follow back all who follow us.

    Cheers,

    Scot McKay
    X & Y Communications

  • Reply Tom Murrell • 3487 days ago

    Great post Chris. I've been on Twitter for the past year and at first I didn't really get the appeal, but now I find that following (and taking part in), multiple conversations is very addicting!

    It's interesting just how fast you begin to get to know people( even though I'm connected with around 2000 people). I recommend TweetDeck for help in managing it all. It's an easier interface to use. Also, Twitter if very adult/professional oriented (few teenagers), and the people I've found are really friendly and intelligen. Twitter is generally a very positive place.

    And everyone should keep in mind that you can do searches to find people with similar interests (or people interested in your niche). And I make a point to follow people in Internet Marketing who I think I can learn from (like Mark).

    Feel free to follow me at http://twitter.com/tommur and I will definitely follow you back! Let me know if you discovered me from this blog.

  • Reply George • 3487 days ago

    I've never really got the point of Twitter so I've never bothered checking it out before.

    I'm off to check it out now. Good blog.

  • Reply JARichards from the Get Your Ex Back Blog • 3487 days ago

    Congrats on your first post Chris!

    And for the info on Twitter. I have a huge number of followers, but the problem I have is sorting out the important from the trash (maybe unimportant is a better worrd?)

    Do you know anyway of doing this?

    Thanks
    JARichards

  • Reply Online Business Ideas • 3487 days ago

    Very interesting and informative post Chris - many thanks.

    Follow me on Twitter - http://twitter.com/CynthiaMinnaar

    Explode your followers with Tweeter Getter - it's FREE - http://tweetergetter.com/CynthiaMinnaar

    Thanks
    Cynthia Minnaar

  • Reply Philip vZ • 3487 days ago

    twitter has grown on me, and it's gone from a kind of "yeah, whatever" space to somewhere i regularly find little gems. you've kinda gotta give it a go to see what happens over time.
    http://www.twitter.com/philipvanzyl

  • Reply Kevin 3486 days ago

    Follow me at http://www.twitter.com/kevin_babcock

  • Reply Wayne Cochrane3486 days ago

    Chris,
    I am very new to Twitter and find the number of apps bewildering!
    If you have any recommendations I would be very grateful!
    Thanks!
    Wayne.
    http://twitter.com/WayneCochrane

  • Reply Laida • 3486 days ago

    Thanks for the informative post on Twitter....just signed in yesterday and I learned some things from your post that will help me. http://www.twitter.com/leydz

  • Reply Peter Mcgrath3486 days ago

    hi chris

    welcome- informative and useful post about how to market your self on twitter
    have to try it
    peter mcgrath

  • Reply Chris Goddard3486 days ago

    Matthew, you put it really well. Post the kind of stuff that you would look at if someone you follow posted it on their feed. Follow some of the really popular Twitterers, like Mashable http://twitter.com/mashable or even British actor and comedian, Stephen Fry http://twitter.com/stephenfry to get an idea of what kind of things you should say.

    As for third party apps. Yes, there's a lot of choice out there. I personally use TweetLater to handle the Affilorama feed, because it's a fully external program, and as a business we have to be careful about what kind of software we install on our system. I hear good things about TweekDeck, but there are also some problems with that one too. I think it's a matter of shopping around a bit and finding one that suits your needs and taste.

    Thanks for the complements too everyone!

  • Reply Bob • 3486 days ago

    I think what's important is to be able to use twitter efficiently, otherwise it can eat up so much time. For me, what works best is just schedule my weekly twitter time, otherwise I'll risk spending too much time on twitter on not enough on other things for my biz.

  • Reply Chris Goddard3485 days ago

    Good point Bob. Like a lot of Social Media, it can be a huge tax on your time.... as anyone who's ever procrastinated on facebook for an hour can attest. That's why I find scheduling apps really good. The downside is that you can miss some of the conversation if you're not always 'plugged in'. It's a fine line. That's why I recommend third party apps to help with managing Twitter, as they can help consolidate a lot of information into one place, and save you a lot of time whilst keeping you up to date.

  • Reply Brian Hostick • 3479 days ago

    follow me here http://twitter.com/theleftygolfer ....Just building up my following first by following others which creates a wonderfully vicious circle, then will start putting in affiliate related stuff and links. Slow and steady wins the race I hope.

  • Reply hana zaytoon3278 days ago

    hi,
    iam new at twitter i loged because i liked the name , building up relations and new investments is good to me

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