Difficulties converting Twitter followers into #blog #subscribers



Every blogger wants to get eyeballs to his content. I described before my long-term strategies to grow visitor numbers to my blog. I still think that is the best way, but now I face some challenges regarding the time frame to grow my list of subscribers. And, let’s be clear, there is no budget for advertising.

Subscription goals

I set myself a goal to get the first ten subscribers before November. Just ten. This month, November, I aim to reach 100 subscribers and before new year I expect to have 1000 people opted in to my newsletter. I am looking for ways to get the attention of potential clients as described in my strategic visionary statement. It would take only 33 clients to get my Management System rolled out the first year in 2017.

I do realize that you may not be my perfect prospect, but I value all my readers a lot. I share opinions on sustainability and management and my experiences on the building of a new company. These blog posts will reflect all the different phases and challenges, and I hope you will be able to enjoy this. Avoid to make the same mistakes. It also helps me to show my commitment.

By sharing this and letting my expertise on generic business and online strategies shine through, I am getting more exposure, my content gets shared into business communities I did not knew of before and in return I am glad to share all related sources, communities and even refer leads.

how-to-get-blog-subscribers-using-twitterI tested Twitter as a channel for obtaining subscribers to my blog. It was not easy. Out of my first 1000 followers, I got only 3 subscribers. That is three per mile. They did not come by itself, forget about that. I had to ask them by Direct Message (DM).

I have mixed feelings about twitters DM feature. People use it to send one-way automated messages asking to subscribe or like a Facebook page. I started with doing exactly as they were asking, liking, subscribing and sharing. I am disappointed to see there is hardly any reciprocity here. Most people did not even answer, sometimes a brief thank you message. Doing that different can be a great strategy!

Difficulties sending Direct Messages on Twitter

Email reply rates are in general well below 20 percent, so I guess DM reply rates will be similar or even lower. Twitter has a strict anti-spam policy, and sending bulk messages to large groups of followers is not possible. I started sending a single message to my latest followers. My first subscriber came in after only ten messages, so that looked promising. Then I reached message limit and my DM messaging got blocked.

After waiting a day, I continued, now using personalized messages for different groups of followers. Bloggers received a message with a link to a post about blogging, and Sustainability Management Professionals some content relevant for them. Again, I reached a limit and was not able to continue. I even got my account freezed for sending less than 50 semi personalized messages.

After reactivating with a sms code I continued, wondering how people build their twitter following without using some sort of automation. I continued with sending original messages, some even without a link in it, just to get a conversation started. I was at three subscribers and perhaps 100 messages, you could say that is 3 percent and not that bad at all, but it is a tedious process.

I came across an app that can help build lists with twitter users based on interests, it is called If This Than That (IFTTT). It can do many things, but this was a recipe for part of what I was doing. Organizing followers by topic, to be able to personalize the messaging. They are not charging for the service. As with many online services, it is guessing how long it will be free or functional.

The next day I found my account blocked again. I do not know if this was because I was unfollowing many users (just the ones that did not follow back and some fake or spammy accounts), or because of using some sort of automation generating my lists. I do not get it, so many people do the same and that’s seems alright?

Welcome to all new subscribers!

After my reactivation, I found that I was set back to following zero users. I do not know if this was some system error, or even hack, but it costed me 30% of my subscribers. I was back to 2 subscribers and seemed like a weirdo following nobody at all. Luckily my following number was reset to the correct value (a little over 2000).

Now I am super careful not to upset twitter and it made me realize the platform cannot be trusted as a sole source for lead generation. At this moment, I have perhaps four or five subscribers, out of the 1207 followers on twitter. I did set up an auto message for new followers (Hi!) and will continue to interact with people that have similar interests.

It is not easy to admit that I did not even manage to get 10 subscribers, but I think it is super valuable to share this, because all you read are success stories. I am glad to face this difficulty now, because there will be many more to come.

I will be glad if you tell me in the comments what did you think of our first interaction and where did you find this post?

Jeroen

PS. Subscribe to my blog updates at houdyk.com/benefit

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