The Maddest Guy I’ve Met in Blogging Shares How to Grow Your Twitter to 4K

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Quick note from Greg – Not too long ago, I met a talented blogger named Ashley, who’s guest posted for you below. Ashley’s going to reveal how to actually become social media savvy nowadays, get spikes in your followers, and how he reached a rather handsome 4K on Twitter. First though, I asked him for his story…

I guess you could say that I was lucky, if you consider shattering your lower leg into 37 pieces lucky! Yes, I am very lucky to be alive and well today.

Let me rewind a little.

Earlier in the year I was skiing with a buddy of mine on a mountain nearby.

While skiing back to the car I took a minor stumble, with a serious twist. And I am not talking about a plot twist here; my leg twisted and exploded internally. Not that I really knew all these details until just recently, but at the time, I knew it was serious.

A couple of days later I had 8 hours of surgery to put all the pieces back together again. After two weeks in hospital recovering, I was able to go home.

While sitting on my butt at home with not much to do, I decided to start blogging. It was something I had taken an interest in earlier in the year, after writing a piece of software and trying to market it. During that time, while trying to market my software, I realized what modern marketing actually meant: blogging and social media. It was no longer a case of – build it and they will come . . . if it ever was.

So, in the second half of April 2013, while I had one broken leg in the air, and the other firmly on the ground, my blog, Mad Lemmings, was born!

Ditto Ashley – during impossible times the best blogs come to life.

It has quickly become quite a popular blog on the web, covering Social Media, Blogging, WordPress, SEO and all that is related to these topics. My aim: to pass on my knowledge – and what I learn, have learned and am sometimes still learning along the way – to you, my dear reader!

Again, I guess you could say I am lucky. If I had not broken my leg, I would not be here today, loving the blogging and social media life, connecting with great people such as Lorraine, who offers editing tips for bloggers, and writing to you on Greg’s blog.

Where did the name Mad Lemmings came from?

Greg recently asked me where the name Mad Lemmings came from. After all, most blogs have quite serious names, somehow related to their content.

While I was starting my blog, I was kinda sick of seeing all these sites and their boring names (no offense to the other bloggers) so I thought something catchy would be best. Create a brand, and stand out is good advice!

In a flash of inspiration, Mad Lemmings just came to me! Maybe because I had played that video game with the crazy lemmings falling off the cliff as a kid? Who knows.

So that is my blogging story, about how I came to be a blogger. I’ve got many interests and and have worked as a web developer for years. I didn’t find the time to blog until my accident. I also didn’t have the time to become so heavily involved in social media until then.

Which brings me to the reason why I am here today.

Today I thought I would take this awesome opportunity to teach you all a little social media savvy, from what I have learned over the recent months.

Pick a card, any card

Sorry about that heading. I am a little into magic. But what this actually means is: in the beginning of your social media life, pick a platform, any platform.

And stick with it for a while.

Don’t spread yourself too thin, or you won’t succeed at anything. This is never truer when it comes to social media.

There are so many platforms, and I know you want to be on them all. You can be, but just take your time with each each one.

Focus on one at a time. Build your following. Then expand to the next.

It will pay off in the end. You will get decent traffic from your chosen platform, rather than just a trickle or less from all of them when you first start.

Speak the lingo

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when using social media is not using the right format, words, links or language.

Speaking the “local language” can actually make a huge difference, and it is something you should be aware of for the social media platform you are focusing on.

For example, on Twitter you only have 140 characters to get your message across. So there are a lot of things you need to consider in order to construct the perfect tweet.

Google Plus is another very fickle platform. Most people just write a quick sentence, add a link and think you’re done. There is actually a better way of doing this, and the Google Plus gurus can tell you how to really create the perfect Google Plus post.

Likewise, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest also have very specific techniques and methods you can use to optimize your posts, so make sure you know what they are.

Just take a quick look on Google search. You will find a lot of information on how to perfect your posts on whatever social media platform it is you are focusing on.

Share the love

One of the fundamental tenets of social media is sharing. You will hear many a blogger and social media guru talk about it. But what do they really mean?

Well, I will continue with Twitter as my example, as that is my main social media home.

If you were skimming about, make sure to read this next part!

On Twitter you have the opportunity to share a boatload of content throughout the day. Each tweet only has a limited life (minutes? seconds, sometimes!) so you can certainly tweet a lot.

But what your followers on Twitter are expecting is that you tweet more than stuff about yourself and your products or posts.

Sure, they want to get to know you. So tweeting a little about yourself is okay. However, when you are tweeting for your blog or business, it should be mostly professional.

You should share other peoples’ stuff. This is super-important!!! More specifically, share posts from the people in your niche.

Trust me on this one. You will get noticed more if you share a lot of other relevant and interesting information. Just sprinkle your self-promotion in among them. People expect you to.

They just don’t like having your products shoved at them all the time. By mixing it up, you’ll get noticed faster.

Use an amplifier

There are a lot of ways that you can increase your reach and amplify your voice on social media.

One of the first ways is getting to know influential people in your niche.

Don’t go for the most influential people at first, because getting noticed takes time. But if you aim for mid-level people, you will get attention far more easily.

Sharing their content is important, as is interaction. Comment on their tweets. Always give thanks for retweets. And sometimes just a little bit of chit-chat goes a long way.

Another way to extend your reach on social media is to make use of the many sharing platforms out there.

I know what you are thinking, what kinds of platforms? Well there are a lot, but some examples off the top of my head include: Triberr, JustRetweet, ViralContentBuzz, and Empire Avenue.

If you want some more detailed information on how to use these sites, I have done another guest post on this very topic.

The beauty of these platforms is that many of the mid- to high-level influencers use them. So you will get social media love from many people, and sometimes, from the big guns too.

You will see your stats spike when that happens. It has happened to me before, and the rush is awesome!

Increase your following

All of the above tips will get you far. Believe me, I have improved a lot in social media over the last few months, and it is these strategies that have helped.

But what you also need to be doing, just a little each day, is increasing your following.

If this is something you want to do on Twitter, I can help you out for sure. My current stats include nearly 4300 followers and this is what my growth looked like over the last 3 months.

madlemmingz twitter growth

In fact I am in the process of publishing an eBook on this very subject. So stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, here are a few tips you can use to increase your following.

  • Follow influencers in your niche
  • Follow their followers
  • Follow people who retweet your posts
  • Follow people using hashtags in your niche.
  • Follow people you know from other social media platforms

Of course this all applies to Twitter, but the ideas are the same across all social media.

Quick Interjection from Greg…
As I mentioned in Lorraine’s check-list, I always planned to blog solo here. I felt this would make it easier to connect 1-1 with you – and keep those connections going.

This worked for about 5 months until I basically fell off a blogging cliff; I didn’t anticipate our scale of growth or readership.

In blogging it can be dangerous to think you can control everything or that things will always stay the same – they won’t. It’s adapt or graveyard, and as the blog grew it became clear I needed a team to keep our quality levels high, and to keep me grounded.

When I found two other bloggers with the excitement and vision for fluffless blogging answers I outlined in our first post ever, I knew it was time.

Blogs I worship – CopyBlogger, ProBlogger, FirePoleMarketing – all started as one person then expanded. I’m not saying my goal is to be them or anything; it’s quite different. But this helps.

That said, I introduce you to Lorraine, the excitably writer/editor/teacher who turns simple WordPress pages to gold, and now Ashley, the quiet Swiss webmaster who always has the right plugin or fix for your site.

Taking them on here was 5% about my own agenda and 95% about delivering new answers to you.

Trust that I’ll write more on this – a formal welcome – soon, but for now I needed to bring you, especially you long-term readers, up to speed.

Now, back to Ashley…

Summary

Social media can seem very difficult when you are first starting out, so take it easy, and just focus on one platform at a time.

Research what the perfect formats are for your chosen social media platform, and use those.

Share other peoples’ stuff and watch the benefits roll in.

Last but not least, connect with relevant people in your niche however you can.

If you have any questions or ideas you want to share, I would love to hear from you in the comments below! And feel free to drop in to Mad Lemmings and say hi!

Thanks for guest posting Ashley! Now it’s your turn. Post a comment – it is the first step to taking action, know you πŸ˜‰

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38 Responses to "The Maddest Guy I’ve Met in Blogging Shares How to Grow Your Twitter to 4K"

  1. I just want to tell you that I am new to blogging and seriously loved you’re web-site. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly have good posts. Many thanks for sharing your webpage.

    Reply
  2. Hey Ashley – great post as always. You have done such a great job on social media – I hope readers take what you say to heart. BTW, thanks for linking to your guest post on my blog. Have a great upcoming weekend!

    Reply
  3. I really appreciate this blog, however, do you do anything with Facebook? Since I use dlvr. to distribute everything that’s on my Facebook will get on my Twitter account. I’d like some guidance for effective Facebook work.

    Reply
  4. This was such a helpful post that I’m bookmarking it to go back and spend more time on a couple of the concepts. I was trying to remember why I know the name Mad Lemmings, and I realized I was reading an earlier post a few weeks ago that recommended this Bloggers helping Bloggers group. Greg and Ashley, you’ve both helped me so much, without even knowing it. Thank you! (And I think I originally got to the first Mad Lemmings post from pinterest, in case you were wondering.) Social media at work!

    Reply
    1. Hi Meredith
      Thanks for your kind words. I am glad to share the knowledge I have gained this year. It has been an intense one for sure!
      Pinterest is starting to work out well for me, it is my second biggest traffic referrer. But as with all social media, it depends on how you use it and the methods you use.
      Hope to see more of you on the blogosphere!
      ashley

      Reply
    1. HI Jeanette,
      Glad you made it over to Greg’s blog and found some worth in my post.
      An awesome to hear the card made it, and you can potentially read my handwriting! I only type these days, my hand was killing me writing all those cards.
      enjoy your week
      ashley

      Reply
  5. Twitter’s great once a person gets used to how to filter out all the noise. I utilize lists to keep track of various accounts that suit my interests. The JustUnfollow App was also extremely helpful in growing my following. Triberr is great too, but as with all things, some members participate better than others πŸ˜‰

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  6. Excellent post. I have been stuck at about 710 followers on my professional twitter account since March. I need to get those numbers up. I will use those tips and start following back the people that RT me.

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      1. Guys 5 followers is good. 700 is amazing. Everyone of them is person πŸ™‚

        Going to turn in – it’s 2am here – and head back tomorrow am…

        Reply
  7. I talk too much and find the whole 140 characters… very… Put it this way I write into the tweet box, then spend 5 minutes editiing it to fit! I have 555 followers, no idea how but I’m not complaining as I’m still learning it really : )

    Reply
    1. Hi Claire,
      Impressive following!

      That’s funny, I used to do the same. Eventually the message I ended up with made zero sense.

      Try to make your tweets a short as possible. The 140 thing is limit for sure, but it’s not like 139 means you’re super clever. You want reads.

      Reply
    2. Hi Claire
      Twitter is indeed a different mindset in terms of content. You really need to think of it as headlines not sentences. It pays to keep it shorter, say max 120, for many reasons. YOu can add hashtags. People can add their thoughts, and add retweets. So go with the “headline:” mentality and see if that works for you.
      have a great day
      ashley

      Reply
  8. This is great advise over all. I have been very active on Triberr and it has made a huge difference. When you think about it, it all gets down to sharing and engaging. The more you do the more you get back. I am not near where you are but i’m getting there. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Dead on Susan, and great to have ya here.

      Err…how does Triberr work? I’m such an old-fashioned late adopter, though my WordPress skills are sharp πŸ™‚

      Reply
    2. Hi Susan
      great to see you here.
      Triberr is one of the best places to be for sharing and caring and really made my blog take off.
      The rest is just a matter of time and investment.
      Have a great week
      ashley

      Reply
  9. Hi Ashley and Greg ! I am new in blogging just a couple of months or so, and find it quite hard right now. The main reason is that I do it in English, that is not my mother tongue. Somehow I have about 600 followers on Twitter, and I don’t know why , I follow them back. I decided myself not to follow anyone, who doesn’t follow me back and do not follow any famous bloggers at all. Thanks guys, nice post!

    Reply
    1. Heyy Oksana,

      What! That’s so cool! Welcome to blogging. Good to hear you’re already a mini-celebrity πŸ™‚

      What’s your major goal now? Sponsorship, guest posts, design, other?

      Cheers,
      G

      Reply
    2. hey oksana
      600 is a pretty decent number for little effort.
      If you decide Twitter is the place for you, then you should start hunting for people in your niche. The benefits can be amazing. It will expand your reach, get you new readers, you will meet new people and your influence as a blogger will be more measurable.
      if you need any tips let me know
      ashley

      Reply
  10. Hi Greg; First, thanks for sharing ashley’s guest post and bringing him on as part of the deer blogger team. he has been helping this blind blogger whip his site into shape and i can personally attest to his skills detection and being one of the good guys. ashley what you said about one platform at a time makes me feel better about my anemic twitter following. That is because i first concentrated on face book and then linked in and last of the big three twitter. after i started meeting more of the bloggers and commenting and sharing their posts i have noticed increases in twitter followers. also writing more constantly on my blog also seems to be leading to more followers. but the one thing i didn’t realize or didn’t want to hear is that each social media platform has its own lingo. for me using speech means that accessing each of these platforms is more time consuming than for a sighted person. so with the exception of twitter with its 140 character limit i usually copy the same text with my links on all my social networks. so going to have to relearn and make even more of an effort. thanks to all of you fred lorraine and ashley for helping me grow my site. looking forward to amazing things from all of us in 2014. keep up the great work you all, max

    Reply
    1. Hi Max,

      Your honesty is endearing – I think you’ll find fans anywhere.

      Google+ is particularly competitive. I’ve been publicly bashed there a few times. It was after I guest blogged on Social Media Explorer on G+ stuff…then they attacked.

      You can do it though. You can make a living blogging Max, maybe you already are. You can build huge followings. You can and will.

      Now that you bring it up, what are your blogging plans for 2014?

      Cheers,
      G

      Reply
  11. Good suggestions.

    Personally have found that a lot of peope follow me on Twitter. Even receive requests from really famous people. Needless to say follow them back.

    Personally find Twitterfeed great and cooperate with fellow bloggers on it and it works very well.

    Reply
    1. Well yeah you have a famous sort of swagger to you Catarina! Not sure what it is quite yet…

      Yeah I think Ash told me to use Twitterfeed – no idea how yet πŸ™

      Reply
  12. Stayed up half the night reading every word of every article on your site and at MadLemming. I am new to this, making a ton of mistakes, but will learn and grow every day from your articles and wisdom. I am determined to succeed and just wanted to thank you for what you do. Going to put another pot of coffee on for the day, as I have 4 pages of notes from your articles that I need to put into action.

    Cheers!!!

    Reply
    1. Hi Andrea
      That is very sweet of you. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and let me (and greg) know how much you enjoyed our work. It means alot.
      All the best with your blog and please let me if you have any questions, I am more than happy to help.
      ashley

      Reply
      1. Whoa Andrea – don’t over do it! πŸ™‚

        What’s the status of your blog now? Let’s (all three of us) build something amazing.

        p.s. Amen on the coffee

        Reply
        1. LOL….I was on vacation from my day job this week with goal to get things up and running and build a plan for how I will operate and spend my time managing things moving forward. I am keeping the mindset of doing small but simple things every day that will ensure my success and help me grow.

          The site http://www.sasstopia.com is out there. I received about 150 unique visitors in the first two days, 3.11 page views per visit and had a really decent bounce rate (17%).

          Spent a lot of time connecting with a lot of influencers in my niche (which is personal and professional self improvement) and have about 100 really good twitter followers.

          Continuing to research/learn on techniques you have recommended to interact in a meaningful way and craft tweets that have most potential to get re-tweeted. Not there yet…but will continue to work on this every day.

          Planned two articles to publish next week…researching low competition, but decent monthly searched key word phrases to include within content.

          Got rid of the majority of the stupid ads that were complete overkill and no one will click on anyway.

          Commented on many niche blogs that drove some traffic. Will continue to set aside time to do this everyday.

          The biggest thing I need to take more time on is writing awesome content. Researching more and following the techniques you have recommended. The next article is going to be better…and so will the next one after that. I will NEVER put another post out there to just to get something up. I really need to refine my categories a bit more.

          I am open to any of you advice on small but simple things to do early in the journey.

          I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to share your wisdom, respond to this comment and care enough to follow up. As corny as this sounds, I feel like the things I have learned this week will change the course of the next chapter of my life πŸ™‚

          Reply
  13. Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog recently and found it to be very informative. This might sound like a very stupid question, please do not laugh to loud if it is very obvious and I am missing it. My question is how can you ultimately make money from twitter? Is it a case of getting people to follow you and then subtly start to try and sell something? Pretty to new to all of this and any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    1. Hi Jessie
      No question is a stupid question, so do not worry about that. It is nice to be asked.
      Making money and twitter are perhaps best separated.
      Twitter is for connecting and spreading your content and influence (ie. people come to know you and trust you via what content you share as well as your own).
      This is just one of the many channels you can use in social media to do this.
      Making money on the other hand is very dependent on what you are doing. If you sell something already, then ultimately the goal is to get people via social media and your blog to your sales pages. Slowly and over time after building trust.
      If you are new to blogging you can also use affiliate marketing and advertising (this is less lucrative for a newbie) and then slowly build your own product (ebook, course, seminars etc) which you would then market via social media and your blogs email list.
      Hope that cleared it up a little
      ashley

      Reply
      1. Ditto with Ashley.

        “Blog about what you love – the money will come later” has proven true for me and I’m pretty sure it’s the only proven path.

        Reply

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