As a newbie travel blogger, you’re probably a bit jealous on those big travel blogs with thousands of followers on Twitter. It can be quite lonely when you only have 2 followers on Twitter (your mom and your best friend). I know there are ways to increase your followers fast and easy but this almost always requires money or your soul.
I didn’t want to give in on this so I laid out a sincere strategy and within 4 weeks I had more than 1000 followers on Twitter. Big and popular travel bloggers would laugh about this, but I think this was a great achievement.
Curious about my strategy? I’ll explain it here in detail and you’ll see it is very easy to copy!
From 0 to 1000 Twitter followers in a month
When I entered the world wide web with my new website, I also started a new Twitter account. With zero followers, I found it hard to begin. But once I set up a strategy – and stuck to it – I gained the first 100 followers within a day.
After four weeks, I reached the number of 1000 followers. Here is my 4-step strategy for increasing your followers on Twitter too.
Step 1. Set up your profile
I assume you have started a new account on Twitter. Before you start tweeting, make sure your profile looks decent. It doesn’t have to be perfect yet, you can change it later. But it is important you have a nice picture and a great description before you start to follow people.
Why? Because the people you follow will check your profile. This is how it looks when people started following you:
As you can see, these three Twitter peeps started following me, but I only follow one of them back. The first one has no description and although there is nothing wrong with that, it just doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t want to follow people just because they follow me. I want it to be relevant for me and my followers. And when they don’t have a description, I don’t know what their interests are.
The second one is not relevant to me. I’m not an (aspiring) investor, so sorry, no following back.
The third one is obviously very relevant to my blog so I followed this one back.
Step 2. Follow relevant Twitter accounts
There is not a specific amount of people you should follow on Twitter. Some will add 100 profiles per day, others 50. I started with following 100 people. After a few days, when I got more followers, I added another 100 people. In this way, the difference between my followers and the number of people I followed was only around 100.
Who should you follow?
The Twitter accounts you should follow can be summarized in two categories:
- Twitter accounts of your interest
- People who might be interested in your Tweets and blog posts
How to find relevant people to follow on Twitter?
There is a very simple strategy for finding relevant accounts on Twitter: just go to a Twitter account of your interest. For example, I went to the accounts of other family travel blogs. Here I clicked on ‘Followers’ to get a list of people who were following that particular account. These are all people interested in family travel; lots of mommies, daddies and other travel bloggers. I just started following them.
Another good strategy is by using the search field on Twitter. Use relevant keywords and see which Twitter accounts have these keywords in their profile or are tweeting about it.
Also, when you following an account, Twitter gives lots of suggestions for other relevant accounts. I almost always use these recommendations to follow more accounts.
Unfollowing people that don’t follow you back is a very popular strategy. I haven’t done that and I’m not sure if I will in the future. I only follow accounts that are relevant to mine, so why would I unfollow them?
Step 3. Hootsuite for planning tweets
I am a huge fan of Hootsuite! I use this free (!) tool to schedule my Tweets. At first, it took me like two hours per week but after I had some practice, I only spend one hour per week on Hootsuite.
The number of Tweets you should schedule is up to you. I read about travel bloggers tweeting every hour, around the clock. For me personally, I have too little content to tweet so much. Or at least, that’s my opinion. I don’t want to spam my followers with the same content over and over again. So I tweet around 3 or 4 tweets per day.
What to Tweet as a travel blogger?
As a travel blogger, you have two kinds of content you can Tweet:
- your travel-related blog posts
- your travel pictures
If you’re a newbie travel blogger like me, you probably don’t have a lot of blog posts yet. When I put my blog online in August 2016, I had only 10 blog posts published. As I only publish one new blog post every week, my total number of posts is only increasing very slowly.
Therefore, I tweet a lot of pictures as well. And to be honest, I think lots of people on Twitter like pictures. It is a fast and easy way to get likes and retweets since people don’t have to put a lot of effort in reading a (long) blog post.
If you have been traveling a lot, you probably have thousands of beautiful pictures on your laptop. Every week, I browse through my pictures and select around 20 nice ones. With the free tool ‘Easy Image Modifier’, I give them a small watermark and resize them to 1024px wide.
Then I schedule them in Hootsuite with a few relevant hashtags and a shortened link to one of my blog posts. I have a blog post in which I describe a typical day of our digital nomad lifestyle. This one is relevant for almost all my pictures so I add a shortened link to this blog post to almost all my pictures. I’m sure you have a few ‘evergreen’ blog posts that you can add to your pictures too!
Step 4. Interact with others
The general opinion is that Twitter is not a medium to connect with others. I totally disagree! I have had some really nice conversations on Twitter and I find a lot of interesting blogs through Twitter as well.
How to find interesting tweets
I spend twice a day around 15 minutes to interact with others. I do the following:
- Search for relevant hashtags.
- I scroll through my timeline.
- I actively go to specific accounts, for example, those of blogger besties and “big” travel bloggers who inspire me.
Read, like and retweet
I read the added blog posts. I repeat: I always read the added blog posts.
If interesting and related, I leave a comment on that blog post and I like and retweet their tweet. I sometimes add a meaningful comment in that retweet as well.
This, I think, is the most genuine thing to do but also the most time-consuming. To just like and retweet tweets that I didn’t read is not in line with what I like about blogging and social media. I refuse to participate in these kinds of strategies.
Why not automatically retweet tweets?
Of course, it is so easy to just automatically retweet dozens of tweets per day with certain hashtags, but this doesn’t feel right for me. Also, I noticed that several tweets that have been retweeted tens of times have a link that is actually linking to a 404-page. All these likes and retweets are therefore empty words, of no value.
Join Twitter chats
I have to admit, I didn’t actively participate in Twitter chats. Major failure! I found two Twitter chats which I occasionally joined: #FamilyTravelHour and #Travchat. I scheduled their dates in my calendar, but it was almost always inconvenient timing.
However, I do know for sure that it would give your number of Twitter followers a real boost. So if you are serious about growing followers, you should definitely enter those Twitter chats more than I did.
Twitter strategy that works
At the moment, I have 1,4k followers. My growth on Twitter has come to a halt now. But I know the reason: I haven’t put much energy on Twitter the last couple of weeks. It just wasn’t on my priority list anymore.
Since I have only 24 hours a day – like you – I also only want to put energy in strategies that work. If you just started with a new Twitter account, you can use this tested strategy for gaining your first 1000 followers, without losing your soul.
Twitter tips for travel bloggers
But now, I have to adjust my strategy to grow even further. Thankfully, there are tons of Twitter tips for travel bloggers online. For some, though, you have to pay; either with money or with your soul. I don’t want to do both so I’m only interested in Twitter tips that allow my account to grow fast for free in a sincere manner.
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll collect more Twitter tips and I will – of course – share them with you in a new edition of niche blogging tips.
Are you into Twitter? How did you grow your followers? Are you going to use my strategy?
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