How I boosted my traffic by unfollowing on twitter

Unfollowing others on twitter Unfollowing on twitter

As bloggers, we all want more traffic, right? Blogging is one of the most narcissistic things we do.  It just is.  That’s OK.

We all want to help others, but at the end of the day, I’m doing this for the traffic and ultimately, someday, the revenue those page views will generate.

I’m charitable, but the core of my own frugality has pretty much been, “I don’t do nothin for free.”

That’s just me.  Just a kid who grew up poor.

That’s what led to my frustration with Twitter and the people I follow on Twitter.  First off, there is a BIG portion of people on the platform that subscribe to “You scratch my Tweet and I’ll scratch yours” philosophy.

That’s fine, but I never felt like that was really getting me anywhere with tapping into people I might help.  I also don’t see it as “sustainable” for real long term growth.

At the best, you can make some nice new friends this way, at the worst, you just end up preaching to the choir and patting each other on the back all day long.

After the results of the 2016 elections, are there any remaining doubts that we’re continually developing “sounding bubbles”?

Speak to your audience

When you first get into blogging, a lot of the same advice will resurface and seem repetitive.

Find your voice

Get a specialized niche

Speak to your audience

Be the best version of you

(ok, I threw this last one in there to see if you’re really reading this)

Why do these topics resurface so frequently? Because they freaking work. (small slap to the side of your head here)

It really hit me, when I stumbled upon this great little piece of advice, from Emma Johnson, from a short talk she gave at FinCon18.

It boils down to this: Don’t go chasing after everything in the world just to build your numbers. Create content for your audience and interact with them when and where appropriate.

Been here before

That was a big part in me starting this site.

I had been frugal my entire life. However, I’m more interested and focused on “unwinding” that money, than socking away new funds.

As much as I’d like to deny that fact, and continue to add to the kitty….the truth is, I want to spend a little.

Maybe MORE than a little.

I don’t think I’m alone in that thinking for my age group either.

Next week, we will be going on our third “Island vacation” this year.  I’m using some of my own IRA money to fund this trip. That’s just fine with me.

In fact, I’m working on another post entitled “Don’t try this at home”, which details how I’ve been harvesting some of my investment gains to fund my extended vacation from full-time employment.

When you understand a persons history with money, and their stage in life, some things come into better focus.  I documented part of my journey and reasoning regarding this, previously on this blog.

I’d rather get tips on colonoscopy’s and hip replacements than how I can save money by being hyper-frugal.  I’m already wired that way.

Finally, what influenced me to stop “following” and start leading, was one of the founders of Twitter himself, when this article stumbled into my feed.

If Jack Dorsey wants me to build conversations and not worry about my follower count, then I figured I could give it the ole college try for him.

Making the cut

So began the process of weeding out the people that I follow.  It’s really a 2 part criteria for me.

  1. Does this person have something of value that I’d like to read or add value to me?
  2. Is there some form of reciprocity or synergy that we share?

That’s it. Simple.

One more tool in the toolbelt is, just muting people through the various “right click” settings within Twitter.  (Mute or Show less often work wonders)

I’ve found some people, while I might admire their writing or their blog posts, they tweet or retweet banal stuff that only amounts to noise to me.

Plus, I often found that while I was liking most of their posts, they were rarely reciprocating or somehow acknowledging my own efforts.  That’s not gonna work for me. Even though that might sound like “scratch my tweet, I’ll scratch yours”, it’s really a reflective point for personal growth.

This has allowed a different flow of people to appear into my feed, and for me to develop new connections with new people and ideas.

Finally, this process has provided a better “hands on” vetting of Twitter as an investment.  As an investor, I’m interested in learning more about the metrics of internet and social media companies.

One of the metrics that is often discussed is “MAU” or “Monthly Active Users”.  Let me tell you something, just like so many bloggers that quit within a year of starting, the number is probably similar for Twitter users.

Most of the accounts that I unfollowed, were dormant, and hadn’t tweeted anything out in 6 months or more.  That’s a number that I really want to know and understand as an investor.

In broad numbers, I went from a “follow for follow” count, to reducing the number of people I follow to roughly half of what I was doing previously.  This helped me focus by really looking at the content of twitter accounts and blogs.  It’s also helped me better answer the question of “How can I engage better?”. (Like…what do you REALLY have to offer or add?)

So there you have it.  While there is no “specific” strategy for boosting traffic by “unfollowing” people on Twitter, I honestly believe it will help you focus your message to your audience, and that will ultimately bring you more traffic.  It’s worked for me.

Have you had to make tough decisions about cultivating your audience?  I’d love to hear them.

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