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Watch Me Launch My New Blog – TwiTip

Yesterday on Twitter I ‘soft launched’ a new blog – TwiTip.

The idea for the blog has been ‘brewing’ in my mind for almost as long as I’ve been experimenting with Twitter but I never had the time to dedicate to starting it up. Late last week I realized that if I was waiting to ‘have time’ to start it that I never would – so I bit the bullet and got it going.

TwiTip is a blog about Twitter. It’s a place that I’ll be posting tips, news and reviews of tools for those wanting to improve their use of Twitter whether it be using it for personal reasons, to expand their personal brand, to promote their business etc.

Twitip

At this point TwiTip is firmly in ‘beta’ (if not alpha). It has a long way to go in terms of content, design and almost every other aspect of building a blog. I generally would get a blog in a much better state before going public about it (and I wouldn’t launch it on a Sunday night or on US election eve) – but I thought it’d be interesting for readers of ProBlogger to see the development of TwiTip from the ground up.

So far you have not missed much but let me give you a catchup on what I’ve done so far:

Hosting

I’ve set it up on a very basic hosting package (GoDaddy of all places – I just wanted to get it up quick and as it grows I’ll move it to a more reliable service).

Design

I’m using the Thesis WordPress theme (I’ve long wanted to test it on a live site and I have to say that it’s amazing).

My blog design skills are poor but Thesis is easy to set up and configure – it is also set up really well for SEO which is cool. I plan to give the design more personality in time (I’ll get a designer in to overhaul it) but in the mean time Thesis is a great option and will be a good basis for the design tweaks that will come).

So far I’ve developed a few WordPress ‘pages’ that take the design beyond the default set up. These include an ‘about’ page, contact page and a ‘write for TwiTip’ page.

Content

I usually would have at least 5 posts live on a blog before launching it but in this case have 3 (including one welcome post). I would normally also have a couple of posts in reserve for the next few days. Again – I’ve gone public early as a bit of a case study but will get another post up in the next 24 hours to keep a little momentum building.

My plan with content for TwiTip is for it not to be a daily update initially. I’ll start out with 3 posts a week and work towards more as I find my feet (and perhaps as I bring on other contributers). My focus in the early days will be quality rather than quantity.

Promotion

So far all I’ve done promotion wise is Tweet that I’ve launched TwiTip. That was a nice start because the audience on Twitter obviously have an interest in the topic and it was retweeted quite widely through the Twittersphere pretty quickly.

Other than the Tweet announcing the new blog (and now this post) my only other strategy for finding new readers has been more about on site ‘hooks’ – highlighting subscription methods and encouraging people to track with me on Twitter and RSS.

Analytics

I’ve set up Google Analytics on TwiTip. While it is a little slow and not great for analyzing stats as traffic events are happening on your blog in real time it’s such a solid tool that it was a no brainer of a choice.

Setting Up RSS Feed

The only other task that I’ve completed so far is to set up the RSS feed over on Feedburner. So now the feed is not a ‘TwiTip.com’ one but a Google/Feedburner one. I find that it is best to do this on day one to keep eveyrone subscribing to the same feed. I’m yet to see how many people have subscribed and don’t plan to add a feedburner counter in the short term (in the past I’ve waited until subscriber numbers hit 1000).

Things Still to Do

I’ve done a few other miscellaneous things including adding a ‘subscribe to comments’ plugin, a ‘tweet this’ plugin and adding a sidebar polling tool. There is still a lot to do to get TwiTip up and running to a point that I’ll be happy with it! These include:

  • RSS to Email Subscription Option
  • Email Newsletter Setup
  • Getting a proper design done (I won’t do a custom one in the short term but it does need a header/logo and some styling etc)
  • Monetization – I’m not going to monetize this straight away but it won’t be far off. I need to consider my options here.
  • Plugins – there are quite a few plugins that I want to get installed, test and use.
  • Writers – I’ve had so many offers for guest posts already that I’m at a point of saying no to more as I can’t process them all. Over the coming weeks I’d like to develop a system for accepting and managing contributions.

This is just the beginning of the list (and I’m sure many of you will come up with other suggestions in comments below). The more I do the more I think of. For this reason I’m going to take my time with this launch. I’ll continue to document my progress here on ProBlogger as I go.

Update – a few people have been asking how readership has been so far. It’s a little difficult to tell at this point, I’m yet to see an update of how many Feedburner subscribers there are. Google Analytics shows around 1600 visitors for day 1 (but that’s not finished updating for the day). The vast majority of readers have come from my tweets (and the retweets of others. There have also been a few visitors from facebook (where my tweets get republished) and a few others from StumbleUpon where there are a few reviews/stumbles already). I’m yet to see full stats yet and will update it at some point.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Good luck with the new site Darren – I stopped by yesterday after seeing your tweet. I’m looking forward to reading your articles about how you develop the website – I’m sure you’ll share a lot of useful insights with us.

  2. Your new site looks good, clean cut and to the point. Easy to read with quality information, thanks!

  3. Gonzalo says:

    Hello, your new blog is great, very good tips about twitter.
    I wish you the best of the luks, i’m new in the blogging world and your blogs are going to help me alot.

    Best Regards…

  4. I’m confused by the GoDaddy statement about moving the blog to somewhere else more reliable.

    I’ve used GoDaddy since ’01 with only 1 unplanned interruption and 2 announced potential interruptions as they migrated data to upgraded servers.

    Is there something I’ve missed about their service??

    -Bruce

  5. I have visited this new site of yours and I love it. Since I am new to Twitter I needed the help.

  6. I have been using the thesis theme for about 2 months now on my site and love it! I have no issues with it at all and would recommend it to anyone.

  7. i will watch this close, very intresting

  8. I’ve checked out the blog and it’s coming along really nicely! Great job and I hope to find some cool twitter tips in the future.

  9. panca says:

    Great bos, you are already success in your blog & having many experience, I think your new blog will be success too…..god luck…!!!

  10. The most intersting point here is that on launch day you got, as a minimum, 1600 visitors.

    For most (i.e. 99.9%) bloggers, getting this much exposure on day one is impossible. The reason that it has got so much visibility (and the number of comments on there already indicate there is high visitor counts) is that Darren has leverage with his current sites.

    Problogger and Darrens Twitter profile both have huge followings, and therefore any new site that is given exposure has a much higher then normal chance of taking off quickly.

    Like Clement stated – launching a blog without announcing (or twittering) it on an already popular site/profile would be a great way to test Darren’s expertise on creating a new blog from the ground up without the helping hand of his brand (name).

  11. Darren Rowse says:

    Dave and Clement – I take your point – however part of the strategy of launching any new blog is to leverage whatever profile, presence, reach and relationships you might already have. I’m also building this blog not only to illustrate how to start a blog but to build something that is successful – so to limit myself by doing it privately doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

    The other challenge is that if I launched a blog without telling anyone about it might show my expertise – but…. then you’d not get the benefit from seeing it and watching what I do…. sort of a no win situation.

    So… I decided to post about it which of course does help grow it faster. I am however trying to show people what I’d do if I were doing it without my current online presence (ie I talked about having more content, not launching on a weekend or on the even of an election etc).

  12. Hi
    It’s great twitter,i have read your article.it’s interesting ,it’s helped me,more new information i find on site….

  13. Greg Ellison says:

    It looks like it is doing great. Keep up the great work. Greg Ellison

  14. jim says:

    Great idea, thanks for sharing all the steps.

  15. Congratulations on your new venture!

  16. Well done. I am sure it will be a success like your problogger site. keep up the good work!

  17. Teresa Hall says:

    Sorry it took so long to comment and tell you how much I like your new blog, but it took me a minute to DIgg it and Tweet about it!

  18. Alex says:

    I think it’s time to use my twitter account again. I hope it’ll be a great guide for us like problogger.

  19. Fery says:

    Nice tweetip blog
    Great work, Congrats Darren!

  20. Vinayak says:

    I thought I saw India in that flicker pic :)

    And nice to see the launch of a blog.

  21. Cath Lawson says:

    Hi Darren. What a brilliant idea. I can’t wait to check it out. I am slowly learning Twitter but I could really use some tips.

    I’ve heard a lot of people rave about the Thesis theme. If you really like that theme, you could always get a designer to customize it for you. I did that with Revolution on my blog.

  22. Zack says:

    Is it the twitter market big enough for you to write about it everyday? What do you think about http://SuSuNa.com?

  23. mecozz says:

    great job Darren, very nice

  24. Congrats on the new site! I’ll be sure to check it out! :D

  25. Salwa says:

    That’s wonderful news, Darren, congratulations on your new venture! I look forward to watching its progress. It’s not often we get the opportunity to see the experts do it from the ground up!

    Thank you for sharing this and best of luck with TwiTip.

  26. Whateverebay says:

    This is great! A step by step blog!! I so appreciate your post! I learn so much from each of them. Thanks!!

  27. Ganesh says:

    Twitter is being used more and more by bloggers and marketers to promote their product or blog. It was very wise of you to start a website related to twitter. Maybe you could launch a short ebook on using twitter the right way too. All the best.

  28. aby says:

    great project, looking forward to see your next project which i can much to learn from it.

  29. Fred Carver says:

    Wow…Thanks for putting up a Blog for us all. I’m looking forward to getting some great tips on Twitter use for my real estate

    Thank You!

  30. Cecelia says:

    Thanks!! I’m planning on launching two new blogs this month and really had no idea what “launching” really means since my first blog started ground up, though I’m not willing this time around to wait an entire year for it to really get going! Thanks for taking us through yours step by step…

  31. Kim McGinnis says:

    I am so glad to hear you are doing this blog. I have had my profile up for a while, but have not really had the know-how on how to capitalize on Twitter. I will be subscribing.

  32. This is an interesting concept. I see you have drummed up quite a bit of interest. Good luck with it!

  33. Surender says:

    Hi dareen,
    Congratulations ! This is the Twitter Guide.Have a great content with lot of Twitter Tips.
    I am a Tech Blogger from India.I read your Blogs daily for my training.Lot of tools I found here.
    With your tips and tricks I am getting more than 300 daily visiters on my blog only from 3 blogs/sites.

  34. e7lam says:

    Thanks!! I’m planning on launching two new blogs this month and really had no idea what “launching” really means since my first blog started ground up, though I’m not willing this time around to wait an entire year for it to really get going! Thanks for taking us through yours step by step…

  35. Allan says:

    Have the search engines figured out how to index all those tweets? It’s actually an interesting data set to index because it is different than blog links. The conversation on Twitter is more direct. Is it the same thing with different semantics or labels or are the dynamics actually different?

    Whoever gets more direct Tweets is more popular?

  36. sudan says:

    Congratulations!
    Your new blog project is interesting.
    Topic cover all SEO and success to promote your business.

  37. Daniel says:

    Hey Darren your new blog is very interesting.
    Is new Success.

    Congratulations

  38. TwiTip is an awesome idea for a blog! I’ve been on Twitter for sometime now and the social networking capabilities are real powerful! Good Luck Darren!

  39. John says:

    Thanks for giving me the inspiration to launch my own site!

    This weekend I have launched http://fileinabox.com and I am using Twitter to get traffic flowing from the start.

    Because I have created a new Twitter account specifically for this site, it is not as successful as I hoped though… I find it really difficult to get fellow twitterers to actually click through to my site. Hopefully I will be able to leverage your tips to get more followers and more visitors from Twitter.

  40. Seeing this annotated blog launch is very helpful. I think it is particularly interesting to see how you have leveraged your existing online presence to fuel the new blog. As the publisher of an existing blog who is getting ready to formally launch a new blog, I struggle with how to use my existing online connections in the right way. Hearing how a pro would do it is inspiring.

  41. Hey, Sweetie

    I would like to thank that I have nominated you for the Butterfly Award on my blog. Congratulations with this, your blog deserves it

    Hugs and kisses

  42. Thanks for including information about the process of starting your new blog. It has been very usefull. I too am working on a site using Thesis. I don’t have any experience with coding and I am new to blogging, but I have learned so much from reading your blog.

    I have not used Twitter yet, but I will check out our new Twitter blog.

  43. Free Domains says:

    Good luck with the new blog!
    You are a blogging inspiration for all of us.

  44. Noel Lyons says:

    Hey Darren

    Instead of Google Analytics, what about using Woopra?
    Also free.

    Regards
    Noel Lyons

  45. Darren:

    Congratulations on your new project. I just love the way you kicked things off by keeping everything simple, and using free or low cost tools. This goes to show everybody that launching a blog doesn’t need to be complicated.

    While I have no doubt that you will throw in the bells and whistles over time, I love the current minimalist approach, and also the choice of topic. There is a lot of interest around twitter and not many good resources devoted to it. I’ll be reading twitips often.

    Regards,
    Mario.

  46. anon says:

    thanks for this. thesis looks awesome, classical. am really tired for these verdana / arial designs. very helpful ! good luck !