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Using Twitter To Jump Start Your Travel Blog

twitter birdOften travelers become at odds with their travel blog. Either you’re traveling and too busy to write or sometimes not traveling enough and get short on ideas. Twitter and the concept of tweets are a good way to energize your travel blog when you’re short on time or inspiration.

Micro-Posts

When I find myself slowing down and finding it difficult to post on my travel blog foXnoMad, instead of getting frustrated in trying to generate longer posts I do the opposite. Twitter is all about brevity and you can use it in several ways to create micro-posts to tide your site over and relieve stress. (Once the stress is gone the ideas will probably start flowing again.)

  • Create A Post Of Recent Tweets. Funny how when you’re facing writer’s block or have a short amount of time to get a post up you still manage to tweet several times before returning to your blank blog page. Use that material (including and good re-tweets) to make a short post of some travel-related tweets you’ve recently made. You’ll be able to give some useful links, highlight some other travel tweeters, and add a touch of personality to your travel blog.
  • Highlight an Interesting Discussion. There are often heated debates and open discussions between travel bloggers on Twitter. These conversations bring up interesting questions and points you can highlight for your readers (and doesn’t take much writing from you). Take some screen shots and setup a few lines before the post. An example is when I asked, is English the universal language back in May.
  • Twitter From The Road. Travel Sights With Lilliy has been posting tweets and pictures (using Twitpic) as she travels from the Middle East to the US. When you’re on the road you can do this using your iPhone/smart phone or have tweets automatically posted to your WordPress blog with Twitter Hack.
  • #followfriday. Make up some travel categories and highlight (in 140 characters or less) some great tweeps to follow. Again, you’re expanding a bit on what you are already posting on Twitter.
  • Pose A Question. This method is a bit more proactive than the others but you can easily pose a question for your followers. The responses should make for a good collection to post where hopefully the conversation will continue with more blog comments.

It’s important to keep to a weekly posting schedule which gets tough when you travel a lot or too little. Twitter is filled with good material for a quick post, and much of that is material you’re generating! Posting a series of micro-posts changes the pace of your travel blog which your readers will appreciate. Shorter posts where you let your ideas flow will also remove the burden of “I have to post something before my flight in an hour” and lead to less stress, more ideas and better writing in the long term.

[photos by: Mark Hamm]

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Nisha November 7, 2009, 02:29

    I have recently registered on Twitter, still new there. Have started following some very active blogs but myself do not know how to make good use of it. Probably your post will help me in doing it.

    Is it too early to do what you are suggesting?
    Can you please sometime make a post on do’s & don’t for Twitter?

    • Anil P. November 8, 2009, 21:18

      I think from top of the list to bottom things become more effective the more followers you have. So, while it’s easy to create a post of recent tweets with a few followers, it’s easier to pose a question and get good responses with more followers.

      Twitter is an excellent tool and there are a lot of great conversations and travelers out there. Find a topic or discussion that interests you and go with it, never too early to start and use it for a blog post.

      I’ll also make sure to prepare a Twitter for travel bloggers post – until then I’d recommend Christine’s (AlmostFearless.com) free ebook, Twitter for travelers:

      http://almostfearless.com/2009/11/02/twitter-for-travelers-ebook/

  • Lilliy November 9, 2009, 15:23

    Anil,
    I am so flattered that you mentioned my “twitter update posts” and blog in this post.
    I love twitter as a blogger and especially when I have a white page that just wont generate a post like you said.
    With my twitter update posts I actually found it so much fun to write and make a post out of them even though its not frequent enough because I’m busy working on my other site (not lunched yet) and my day job.
    It was an experiment that helped me in several ways:
    1- It kept me connected with my twitter followers and my blog followers together.
    2- Was less intimidating than posting one long post. I actually sometimes wrote microposts over several days as my time allowed till it made a day of my journey then I edited them which only took less than 1/2 an hour and published it all together once on my blog.
    (I will look into twitter hack like you suggested)
    3- I have a reference in the information I shared on twitter when I want to go back and write a more detailed post regarding a specific topic about a certain place. It was kind of like a live journal.
    4- It helped me to be direct and concise in my writing bec of the 140 characters limit on twitter.
    5- I got feed back from readers on the posts that it was light and fun reading
    6-I posted lots of photos of my day on twitpic. Which told more than my writing would. I really enjoy sharing travel photos too.
    6- I was able to share so much information with my twitter friends and followers of my travels and it was just instant connections and feedback that my solo travel didn’t feel solo anymore. If I kept it all just for a posts on my blog then I wouldn’t have had the fun of instant sharing like I did on twitter.
    Thanks again for the mention. You made my day!
    Lilliy
    Twitter:@funlilliy

    • Anil P. November 9, 2009, 20:13

      Lilliy,

      I should thank you for the great comment and providing some inspiration for this post. I used to be scared of longer posts but Twitter has shown that micro-blogging can be just as effective. I know that it does take off a lot of stress which helps both the blogger and the blog!

  • Erica November 10, 2009, 07:49

    I haven’t implemented this strategy on my blog yet, but I will consider posting my updates on Twitter if I travel and find myself more busy with other things.

    Highlighting a certain discussion or posing a question and engage other people also sounds like terrific ideas. Reminds me of a blog post I recently read at http://exilelifestyle.com/inspiration/philosophically-fulfilled/ where the author highlighted replies he got from asking “Do you live your philosophy?” Very insightful post.

  • Anil P. November 10, 2009, 18:42

    Thanks for the link Erica, great post and use or Twitter on a travel/lifestyle design blog. There are so many great discussions going on in Twitter, particularly in the travel community that usually never make it to a travel blog page. I wish I could highlight many more myself!

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