In this lesson we take a look at How to use Twitter for Affiliate Marketing - what Twitter is, and how you can use it to your advantage.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a micro-blogging site that allows people to make posts of up to 140 characters. It may sound odd, and it seem minimalist, but it's proven to be a huge hit, with millions of people discovering that it doesn't take many words to keep others updated and share thoughts and ideas.
So why use Twitter?
To start with, Twitter is very simple to use — you don't even have to be at your computer to use it. You can make a post by sending an SMS message, email or RSS feed to your account.
Twitter is frequently crawled by Google so it's a great way of getting other sites indexed. For example, if you were to set up another website, either a blog or static site, then you can simply make a Twitter post about it and it will get indexed by Google very promptly.
For instance, if you follow the Affilorama Twitter feed you will see that we frequently mention new sites we've just launched for this very purpose. The rest of the time we give value by talking things relevant to internet marketing and things we've been up to.
Twitter and the nofollow attribute
Near the end of 2008, Twitter added the “nofollow” attribute to all links on Tweets. This little piece of code stops search engine bots from following the link (hence “nofollow”) and therefore prevents Twitter's high PageRank from being passed on or the link being counted towards your site.
This is an unfortunate consequence of Twitter being overrun by automated bots and spam, but don't delete your Twitter account just yet. Remember there is a lot more to SEO, and indeed to running an online business than just building links. Twitter is still a great tool for creating direct traffic to your site, as well as updating your followers on new content and creating contacts with new and interesting people.
Following and Being Followed
No, this isn't about stalking. Twitter is a great way of keeping in touch with other people and keeping a finger on the pulse within the market you are interested. Twitter allows you to follow other people, which means you get alerted each time they make an update. And likewise, others can also follow you.
It's important to follow of handful of other people, because this adds you to their followers page automatically, which in turn makes it easier for Google and other search engines to find your Twitter feed. Some people who have been Twittering since the early days of Twitter, and who have lots of followers, now have a very high page rank for their feed.
Following people can be even more fun if you download one of the numerous Twitter desktop clients (similar to RSS readers) which go on your desk top and alert you with a pop-up whenever one of the people you are following has made an update.
It's probably better to make sure that you follow less people than you have followers, otherwise it gives the impression that no one is that interested in what you have to say!
Setting up account
Setting up a Twitter account couldn't be easier. All you have to do is click the Join button, create a username and password, provide an email address and prove you're human. And that's it — you're officially a Twitterer.
How to Make a Twitter Post
To make a post on Twitter (or to use the official name, a 'tweet'), login to your account, go to the home page, type your message and click update.
As you can see, this is meant to be as easy as possible to enable people to easily post numerous updates throughout the day if necessary.
Just like blogs, regular Twitter updates are critical for keeping followers — and the search engines — interested in your Twitter feed. So if your diary is looking a bit full for a couple of weeks, then you might want to take advantage of Tweet Later, a service that lets you schedule post-dated tweets.
To create an account, visit Tweetlater.com and fill in the required details.
Then login and click Manage Tweets. Write your tweet and set the time and date for when you want it to be released.
At the specified time, your tweet will appear in your Twitter feed. Simple.