I saw an interesting post this morning care of the micro-blogging/social networking site twitter that really got me thinking about blogging.
John Sansom (Blog|@JohnSansom) wrote a very interesting post participating I believe in the second assignment of meme15. Meme15 is a monthly blogging event created by Jason Strate (Blog|Twitter) that is designed to encourage SQL bloggers to write about blogging, a topic known as meta blogging. The blogging event ensures that several bloggers write about the same subject on a specific date during the month. Feel free to get involved. This is my first post in the said event.
The topics discussed in meme15 are very likely to have a wider scope than just SQL bloggers, if you blog on anything then I think the posts in this meme are likely to provide you with a different way of thinking about how and why you blog
The question this month is why should the average database professional get involved and use twitter. I like John’s take on twitter and the benefits he gets from it and I feel that I get many of the same benefits too. John’s main point on the use of twitter, is its a place to network globally or locally with people with the same or similar interests to his. In John’s case he spends time conversing with other people who work with SQL Server, helping out by answering questions that people post on twitter asking for help and no doubt sometimes he receives help when he asks a question. John makes a great point when he’s says you get what you put in and twitter is different things to different people.
If you use Twitter like John uses twitter then you will no doubt get many benefits from it as a data professional. If you are a data professional with a blog there other benefits too that you can get from twitter if you are prepared to put in a little effort.
What are they? I hear you cry
Let’s be clear here, if you blog you do so for a reason, different bloggers have different reasons for blogging but ultimately everyone blogs to be read by someone. Whatever your reasons for blogging. One of the things that kills off most bloggers after the initial enthusiasm has worn off is the fact they are not getting read or have a very low readership, their visitor numbers are not in the millions that they were expecting and they simply give up and stop. Twitter can help you build a popular blog.
Twitter can help build traffic to your site
Let’s use John as an example. I have been conversing with John via twitter for a few years now, I don’t actually remember how we came to follow each other but it was definitely after a SQL Server discussion. Through twitter I found John’s blog and I subscribed to his blog via Google reader. No doubt others have done the same. John, via twitter, talks and networks with different people around the globe all with a common interest, SQL Server . John has a SQL Server blog where he can expand and go beyond the 140 character limit that twitter has and write posts and articles with much greater detail. John posts his links to blog posts out to twitter, his followers are likely to have interest in the topic he has written about and follow the link to the post and get involved in John’s blog. John’s use of twitter for all the reasons he explains in his post me he has engaged, active and interested people visiting his blog. The type of people who are likely to leave a comment and get involved in discussion
It can help to get your post in front of others
You can benefit from your post being re-tweeted (RT) by your followers so your traffic flow doesn’t stop with your immediate network, John writes a weekly round up or review of all the blog posts he has read and found interesting during that week. There was a time when my posts used to make his round up but my mentions in there seem to have tailed off over the last few months.Never mind. John’s Something for the Weekend series is a great read basically John publishes a blog post out with links and short review of all the blog posts he has read and found interesting through the week. His post goes out every Friday and if you have had a busy and not had time to stop and read blogs you get a nice place to start with some of the better blogs published that week. Now lets say John publishes a link on twitter, John has several hundred follower potentially if they all retweet his post then he could very well end up with link in front of thousands of people all with a link to someone who likes to tweet about SQL Server. I hope you can see the potential for increasing traffic to your site.
Twitter can give you ideas
If you put the effort into Twitter you will meet many interesting people who share some similar interests to you. The people are likely to post things on twitter that give you ideas. John’s post this morning led me to writing this post!
If you are a data professional then Twitter can have a number of advantages, if you are a data professional with a blog then twitter can be a great place to help build and grow your blog.
If you want to read more about building a successful blog this is a really good book with some really good tips in it ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income