About oh, three years ago-ish, I started #MondayBlogs. I wanted an obvious way for bloggers (any blogger, any subject) to connect on a specific day of the week. It’s grown exponentially more than even I had ever hoped (8-10 thousand tweeps participate weekly, generating over 10,000 tweets).
People send me messages and tweets about how it has helped their blog writing, traffic, and even social media followings. Others say, not so much. They don’t feel enough people RT them and feel slighted.
What IS #MondayBlogs? I created this hashtag (and Twitter handle @MondayBlogs) to hopefully be obvious that it’s about BLOGS on MONDAYS. Well, apparently some folks don’t understand that. They see the hashtag and add it to:
- Porn pictures
- Pictures of office equipment, cats, or a bowl of soup. Often all at once.
- Statements about how Mondays suck.
The majority of tweeps, however, DO understand that it’s for sharing blogs on Mondays, as I intended and for that I’m grateful. There are really only three rules:
- Use the hashtag #MondayBlogs in your tweets IF you’re sharing a blog post and if it’s on a Monday
- Share ANY post. You don’t have to write a post specifically for Mondays (and you can post any day you want — just don’t use the hashtag except on Mondays); then you can share it on Mondays with the hashtag. For example, you can write a post on Wednesday, and still share it for #MondayBlogs, on Mondays.
- Generously retweet others throughout the day. THIS IS IMPORTANT.
And that’s it.
HOW TO TWEET
For the folks who seem to do the best (get the most RTs), I find a theme: they have learned the art of creating intriguing headlines. This is a blogging basic that honestly, some folks never really get. I recommend using the free CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to ensure awesome headlines!
They also generously RT others, read and comment on others’ blogs. A great blog post headline should ask a question, provide tips, create interest, be hilarious. The headlines that tend to not garner as many RTs (and this is based solely on my completely unscientific observations):
- Have ‘I’ in them. People read to see WIIFM (what’s in it for me), so shift your paradigm. Instead, add ‘you’ to the headline.
- Say ‘My new poem about my dog.’ I’m sorry, but unless you’re some famous rock star or celeb with a cute purse dog, does anyone really care? (and I write poetry, so I get it. Not about my dog, though.)
- Repeated rants, particularly about politics or religion (unless, as I say in my latest RachelintheOC.com post, your book or job is specifically related to those topics)
- ‘Here’s my latest blog post’ is always a big snore. So what?
Let’s talk about what TO do to get more RTs. Here’s an example of one of my most popular tweets:
It has several key components:
- The hashtag. On a Monday (I say this repeatedly because people tweet with the hashtag any ole day of the week and I can’t possibly keep up with that. The reason Monday is in the hashtag is obvious. My only real concession is that I do start RTing late Sunday nights on the @MondayBlogs stream because it’s already tomorrow in Oz and Europe)
- A title that creates interest and is branded (The bossy redhead is telling you what to do)
- A shortened link (if you don’t know what that means, look it up)
- A second hashtag that’s quite specific. This helps any kind of writer (and that’s my demographic) know that this post is for them.
- It’s not ME or I focused.
- It’s short, 120 characters or less, meaning easy to RT without any editing at all.
Anyone can write a great headline, and do all the things I mention above. This isn’t tricky or secret.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Anyone who has a blog, a vlog, companies sharing tips, journalists and publications, poets, whomever! As long as you’re not sharing nakey pictures, anything unlawful, or hate speech, we will retweet you.
Every week, on Tuesdays, I go to ManageFlitter and look up the term “#MondayBlogs” to get an idea of who is participating and how many tweets are generated (you can do the same thing on Twitter, but it doesn’t give you any totals). Anyone can search on the term as I do — just take it a step further and FOLLOW them.
Why bother? I follow every single person who used the hashtag properly (I’ll not be following the porn people) and you can do the same. This is a wonderful way to connect with other writers and bloggers, as well as grow your following in an organic way. As authors, our focus should be on readers, but because this is a blog meme, the focus is on connecting with other bloggers.
I’ve met so many incredible folks these past few years of #MondayBlogs, and I can’t tell you how many new followers and readers I’ve gained because of it. More importantly, I’m reading some incredible writing and that’s always inspiring for my own work. Like anything on Twitter, I find it takes some time for people to notice your presence and RT you.
I cannot promise others will RT you, but I do my best to keep up and RT as many as I can throughout the day, skirting around the Twitter limits by RTing from several different accounts. Shhhhh.
Like I tell my kids, you get what you give and you give what you get. Twitter is an interesting social media channel — it grows and changes daily based on current events. What does this mean? Some posts will resonate, others won’t. Don’t take it personally — just try again another week. At the very worst, you’ll have created a blogging schedule for yourself and met some cool peeps, right?
Good luck, and if you have any questions or suggestions, I’d love to hear them! If you have tried it and don’t feel it’s worth the effort, no hurt feelings here. My advice (on anything social media related) is always this: don’t go in expecting anything. Give and you will receive…eventually.