November 16, 2014 by Paula Reed Nancarrow
You have a blog. You have a Twitter account.
You automatically tweet a link to each new blog post every time you publish. Then you wait for the traffic to roll in.
Every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets go out on Twitter.
That’s over 350,000 tweets per minute and 500 million tweets per day.
Can we say needle in a haystack?
This is where hashtag memes come into play.
A hashtag, if you are unfamiliar with the term, is a way of organizing content on social media. There’s a good beginner’s guide on Mashable. A meme is something that spreads rapidly from person to person via social media.
There are some great hashtags on Twitter for blog sharing.
I use three: #MondayBlogs, #wwwblogs, and #ArchiveDay. A fourth has recently emerged, #SundayBlogShare, which I’ll also touch on briefly. Both people who write blogs and people who want to read blogs follow these hashtags. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting out, consider using one or more of these opportunities to share your work and network with other bloggers.
#MondayBlogs is the Mother of All Hashtag memes where blog sharing is concerned. It’s the brainchild of author and Huffington Post blogger Rachel Thomson (@RachelintheOC), who in 2012 began encouraging people to share blog posts on Mondays using this hashtag. (There is also an associated Twitter account, @MondayBlogs.) About 5000 tweets each week go out tagged #MondayBlogs – most of which are blog posts (though occasionally the hashtag is misused) from all over the world. The rules of engagement are here.
Given that the world is round and all, folks Down Under have their Mondays come at them more quickly than they do here in Minnesota; posts with the #MondayBlogs hashtag appear sporadically through the day on Sunday, and pick up in earnest at about 10:00 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST). Because of this, if I preschedule tweets and retweets throughout the night (I use Hootsuite for this purpose), I can usually wake up to a healthy number of page views in the morning. I also wake up owing a few retweets.
On Wednesdays, Women Writers, Women’s Books uses the Twitter handle @WWWBlogs to sponsor a meme called #wwwblogs. The #www stands for Women Writer Wednesdays. You need to identify as a woman to post using the hashtag, though anyone (obviously) can retweet a post he or she likes; you don’t need to identify as a Writer, per se, or be a published author.
Nor do you need to have published the post on Wednesdays. Since I only write one blog post a week, I usually promote the same post on both days. This meme is not as heavily trafficked as #MondayBlogs, but I sometimes find more people actually reading and staying longer on my blog on those days. It’s also a lifesaver when I just can’t be available on a Monday. More information is here.
#ArchiveDay is dedicated to retweeting old posts on Saturdays. While there are bloggers who will declare it #ArchiveDay at whim (or because they need a social media vacation), the #ArchiveDay to which I refer was created by Vicki Charles (@SingleMAhoy), a UK writer and parent blogger. #ArchiveDay rules are here.
When I first began participating, most of the bloggers sharing were also parent bloggers. Having no grandchildren in my foreseeable future, I rather enjoyed some of these posts. But this wasn’t really my target audience. Over the past few months the concept has spread, however, which has increased and diversified the content. My page views and visitors on #ArchiveDay now often rival #wwwblogs.
I have a rule myself of not engaging on Twitter on Sundays; I call it my social Sabbath – although I will do what I need to do to set up my post for #MondayBlogs. So I have not participated in #SundayBlogShare, the latest blog-sharing meme, started by a UK teacher and blogger who goes by Susie81. On Twitter she is @suzie81blog, and you can find out more about the hashtag here. #SundayBlogShare is only a few weeks old, but already seems to be popular. You might want to give it a try, particularly if your work schedule precludes participating in #MondayBlogs.
For me, three hashtag memes are enough.
After all, there actually has to be time to write the post.
Of course if you are a performance artist and finding a needle in a haystack is your thing, announcing it on Twitter is de rigeur...
In that case, however, I recommend using #yourownhashtag.
Are there other ways you’ve increased your blog traffic using Twitter?
What works most efficiently for you? Share other hashtags, tips or tricks in the comments field. Enquiring bloggers want to know.