Writing regularly on a blog and tweeting regularly go together like peas and carrots. Obviously, Twitter is a great tool for getting your blog articles found, read and shared. It’s great for content distribution. But did you know that Twitter is also a great place to refine your blogging skills?
Here are 9 ways Twitter makes you a better blogger and just a better writer in general:
1. It forces you to get to the point and be concise
140 characters is all you’ve got on Twitter to get your point across. There’s not much room for fluff. The better you get at tweeting within these confines, the better you’ll get at writing a concise and powerful blog post.
2. It helps you get in the habit of writing more often
Twitter is meant to be used every day. You might use a few tools to schedule your tweets, but you still have to keep tabs on where the conversation goes. This means you’ll be thinking about what to say and actually writing in small bursts on a routine basis, which helps you improve your blogging skills. Practice makes perfect.
3. It teaches you to write catchy headlines
Coming up with an awesome headline is one of the most difficult parts of blogging. On Twitter, everything we write is pretty much a headline. Your tweets need to be short, interesting and make your readers want to know more. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect prescription for a catchy headline?
4. It keeps you focused on the conversation
Let’s face it, we’re not blogging in a vacuum. One of the main goals of any blog is to get people to read and interact with our content (through comments, social media and more). Twitter is all about interaction, with @replies and mentions. Take what you’ve learned over there and apply it to your blog. Write so that people want to engage with you.
5. It supplies you with a valuable source of inspiration
As Kathi Kruse argues, “Social Media and Blogging is literally ONE BIG conversation. As you read others’ opinions, your own are born. The need to express those opinions is what inspires all of us to act.”
I can’t count the number of times I’ve found inspiration for a blog post from something I read on Twitter. The more we read and learn, the better we shall become as writers, both in terms of content and style.
6. It provides you with public opinions on a topic
Want to know what’s going on right now about virtually any given topic? Give it a search on Twitter. Look for related hashtags. See what people are talking about. Ask questions to people in that field on Twitter. You’ll often get a reply in a short amount of time, which you can use as a quote in your blog post. Twitter is all about tapping into the real-time conversation on anything and everything.
7. It trains you to write in a conversational style
Who wants to read a blog post that looks like it was copied out of an academic paper? Boring, boring, boring. If there’s one thing every blogger should know, it’s that you must write in a fun and energetic style if you want to keep people coming back to your blog. The same advice applies to getting more Twitter followers. It all comes down to showing you personality through your blog posts and your tweets.
8. It informs you of the most popular topics of the day
Twitter trends are great for tapping into hot topics of the day. Even if your blog isn’t directly related to such topics, you can often find a way to tie it back to what you normally write about. In doing so, you’ll get more traffic, because that’s what people are searching for and talking about at the moment.
David Meerman Scott wrote a great book on this called Newsjacking, which he defines as, “the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.”
9. It shows you the power of mentioning others
On Twitter, everyone wants to be mentioned by someone else. The same rule applies to blogging. Just as I’ve mentioned several folks throughout this article (and linked to their Twitter profiles), you should do the same if you want to increase the reach of your blog post.
Look at it from another perspective. Wouldn’t you be more likely to share a blog post that mentions your name? Of course, keep it relevant to the subject and use this technique sparingly. You want to have balance in your article between what you say and what others are talking about.
Well, that concludes my list. I’d love to hear your thoughts or suggestions on other ways Twitter helps us as bloggers and writers. Leave a comment below and let’s get the conversation started! Also, if you found this list helpful, please share it with your friends by giving it a “like” or tweeting it out with the buttons below.