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84% of People Would Prefer More Blog Readers than Twitter Followers

Over the last 10 days I’ve been running twin polls on two of my blogs – ProBlogger and TwiTip – asking readers whether they’d prefer more Twitter Followers or Blog Readers.

The overall results were fairly clear – 84% of those who responded people would prefer more Blog Readers.

blog-readers-twitter-followers-overall.png

I expected this result but was curious when starting the poll to see if there’d be a difference in the responses by ProBlogger readers to TwiTip readers (given the topics of the blogs). Here are the results as they happened on each blog (at the point of writing this the ProBlogger poll has had over 1230 responses and the TwiTip one has had just over 700):

blog-readers-twitter-followers-compared.jpg

Again – the results are fairly clear on each blog although there is some unsurprising skewing towards Twitter on TwiTip.

The comments section on each of the poll pages (ProBlogger and TwiTip) really illustrates the Pros and Cons of each option quite well and is a fascinating read (at least I enjoyed it). People argued strongly for one or the other (although there were a lot more for ‘Blog Readers’ of course. Let me highlight some of the comments that caught my eye:

Arguments for Blog Readers:

“I chose blog readers. Twitter, for me, is like melted butter and the blog is the lobster. They can compliment each other very nicely, but if I have to choose one I want the one that provides the most meat and satisfies the hunger.” – Howard Hopkins

“People follow too much with the hope of a follow-back and don’t pay attention as much on Twitter. If they are subscribing to your blog, it usually means that at least one point they were engaged with your content enough to take action, they didn’t just go down a list of people and click a button. I’d trade every Twitter follower I have right now for a blog subscriber.” – Andrew

“The viral power of Twitter is amazing, but if it doesn’t convert to more blog readers, it’s just an ego trip.” – Janet Barclay

“Capturing and retaining a small percentage of faithful blog readers is more difficult and time consuming than acquiring and keeping Twitter followers. Blog readers are not easily replaced, whereas lost Twitter follower counts can generally be recouped within a day or so with little or no effort. Therefore, I would much rather have more blog readers than Twitter followers. There’s more of an investment and sense of loyalty.” – Snow Vandermore

“Definitely blog readers! I can’t type huge articles in Twitter, and plus the posts on Twitter scrolls so fast that most people will miss what you have to say.” – Kai Lo

“That’s like asking a newspaper: Would you rather have someone read your headlines or your stories?” – Jamie Littlefield

Arguments for Twitter Followers:

“I do think you have more ‘power’ with a large follow count on Twitter (and make of that statement what you will), but a large subscriber count on a blog monetizes significantly better.” – Sheamus

“With that said, as time goes by, I’m beginning to value Twitter followers just as much as my blog readers. While it’s harder to promote and convert Twitter followers using 140 characters than it is with full blog posts, the relationships that can be created on Twitter are very valuable.” – Jamie Harrop

“Depends on what business you’re in. If you have a media business model, a blog post offers more engagement (which translates into revenue via ads or some other kind of media-based monetization). But if you’re marketing physical goods, Twitter can spark a more immediate call to action (that is, it can drive demand and generate sales through other channels). ” – Jonz

Some Wise Words to End On

I think Monologue Blogger had some good thoughts:

“Both serve a specific purpose and yet both complement one another as well. I think first and foremost, it depend on the nature of your usage of both media and the goals you have in place regarding that media.”

Personally I would prefer Blog Readers to Twitter Followers (as I wrote a few weeks back here) however I don’t believe that there’s a right or wrong answer with this poll. Rather it needs to come back to your goals for using these mediums. It probably also has a fair bit to do with your personality, style, skills and the topics that you’re writing about.

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. Bridgette says:

    I completely agree that blog followers are better than twitter followers, but they both serve their purpose.

    Your blog is very helpful and I always enjoy reading it.

    Check out my blog — http://pinkpick.blogspot.com/.

    Have an amazing day!

  2. foodie says:

    Twitter is a childish over-obsessed concept. If we can benefit from twitter, then I’m happy to encourage the obsession. I’ve yet to delve too deeply into the twitter world. Thanks for the article.

  3. alain clark says:

    I can understand why most people would want more blog followers instead of twitter followers, but the fact is you can build relationships on Twitter that eventually help your blog grow. Sometimes you can get incoming links from new blogs via the relationships you have built on Twitter.

  4. Aditya Iyer says:

    i would go with blog readers … i have nothing much to say since it is conveyed through most of the argurments . indeed a nice survey :)

  5. Alex says:

    I would prefer blog readers because you can get more feeback than twitter.

  6. In my opinion, the numbers that follow a person and yet ignore their tweets are significantly higher than those that subscribe but dont take interest to read through.

  7. Kenny Laurie says:

    I would much rather people read my posts as in a post you are delivering content as is more thought out, information based and more researched and to get more readers is a vindication of your time and effort.

    Whereas with Twitter, 1. I think it will pass as a trend, 2. The ticker goes round so quick that you could say the meaing of life and only a handful of people would pick it up and finally 3. very little care and attention go into most tweets and it is easy to have your voice drowned out.

  8. roentarre says:

    Though your data is useful. Your target audience are mainly bloggers. So the results are skewed towards prefering blog readers

  9. Bariski says:

    Same here. I have always preferred sites with more readers than twitter followers. I keep twitter for my personal updates as to when m sleeping and waking up, going out ….

    But after seeing these results hmm look likes I have to change my tweets to blog updates also :P

    Anyway thanks for sharing this vital info, will come in handy to me :D

    Regards
    Tutzone

  10. Drezz says:

    Personally, I think it’s all dependent on the depth of your activity.

    If you’re blogging about personal stuff and not into monetization and its a casual thing, its a lot easier to get your points across more effectively by blasting it through twitter and having people follow and comment back.

    If you’re trying to do something worthwhile with a blog and provide a “service” through your sharing of knowledge, you’d definitely want more blog readers.

    Both are great tools – twitter is great for sending info to people with short attention spans. Blogs are great if you’re spreading the wealth to people who can afford the time.

  11. Dalton Hurd says:

    Well, it makes sense to want more actual blog readers, than Twitter readers. The main focus is your blog, and the activity in Twitter is just to further your network marketing of your blog. Unless of course, your blog revolves around Twitter, in which case you’ll probably want more Twitter readers.

  12. Carla says:

    I definitely prefer blog readers because I can convey information to my blog readers that I can’t do in a 140 character Tweet.

    Overall, I utilize both tools, but if I had to choose, it would be blogging.

  13. Great idea Darren. As another reader commented you probably knew the results before you asked.

    However, you demonstrate your blogging prowess by using a tool that engages your readers.

    Engaged readers = loyal readers = strong relationships = sales

    Kudos to you!

  14. Jack says:

    Blog readers. I’d much rather have more blog readers.

  15. both is great tools for making networking…..mix for getting good result

  16. Parth says:

    Email subscribers – oh wait, that isn’t an option. Once again, it depends on what your goals are. If you’re just trying create a fun blog with a massive readership and perhaps bank some money off of private ad sales, then yes blog subs are the way to go. But email newsletters subs should have been an option up there. Maybe in the future you can do a poll with all three options.

  17. Blog Readers are like the brick foundation for a successful blog, thanks for posting some numbers on your stats approach!

  18. Vu Tong says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with the results of this poll. There’s this waving momentum of hype building around Twitter and how effective it is at being a marketing tool.

    But so far, I have yet to see any new bloggers relying on Twitter, showing any substantial results based on the claims of how effective it is, from established bloggers.

    Does twitter really live up to the hype?

  19. Stephanie says:

    I would have been surprised if the majority would have been Twitter followers. I think this quote in your blog sums it up quite nicely: “That’s like asking a newspaper: Would you rather have someone read your headlines or your stories?” – Jamie Littlefield

  20. Blog readers for the most part actually read your material. Twitter followers are lucky to see a couple of your posts a week.

  21. Grate article, I do agree with the statement. Twitter, for me, is like melted butter and the blog is the lobster. Interesting comparison; However, it dose seam that one is more how your doing social environment were the other offers the same but gives you more ability to monetize your presence.

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  22. Merry says:

    Very well put Stephanie. It is a def. for more blog readers. Twitter is like one-liners and thousands to sift through…..even tho’ they are coming out with some cool stuff it is still quite the process and nobody really gets to know you or what you are about, do they?

  23. This one was expected but with such a huge margin was not at all expected by me at least.

    Seems to me that Twitter have to prove itself a lot to win this race.

  24. People need to understand that Twitter is not only a marketing tool. It wasn’t designed for that and I think that’s a good thing.

    You can leverage Twitter in so many ways, it’s an endless stream of ideas. For instance, I had some problems with my blog’s theme and I turned to Twitter. Guess what? I got my problem fixed AND I doubled the # of my followers.

    Check out my blog for the whole story.

    Remi Vladuceanu
    http://www.remivladuceanu.com

  25. Hello people! This article was very usefull to me. I will come back frequently.