As a business owner and/or blogger the ultimate goal in sharing your expertise and interests in blog posts is to see your blog content go viral. By viral, I mean that we would all like to see our shared knowledge go as far and wide as the internet will allow. The farther your posts travel, the more people that will see it, and that will then follow it back to you and your company right?
So how do you get your blog content to travel through the Big Wide Web?
It starts with your social networking accounts. You have to be on social websites, you have to share your blog posts on these sites, and then you need to track the traffic that comes from sharing on the social networks.
Here are some of the places you can find us:
When we post on our blogs we share that post on these sites, either with a feed built into our members page, or by announcing the post, or a combination of the two. In some cases your announcement is just a title and a link, and sometimes it is a title, brief description, and a link. Whenever possible it is advisable to keep it consistent, blog post URL’s (addresses) can be long, and on a micro-blogging platform like Twitter you need to keep it short.
Let’s look at two examples of sharing a title and link/URL:
Doing Business on Facebook http://www.thegetsmartblog.com/2008/11/doing-business-on-facebook/
Doing Business on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/56zlqn
The first example is the title and URL of a blog post, it will work but if we wanted to added a bit of a teaser it would be too long for Twitter. In the second example we use tinyurl.com to shrink the URL, it goes to the same place, takes up less space, and can be used on any site that we choose to share our posts.
The only downside is that if we shrink the URL with TinyURL.com we cannot track when that link is clicked on, like we can if we share the full URL, unless we make sure to include a tracking link.
I am going to use Twitter as my main example source since you see URL shrinking services being used there regularly, but this applies everywhere. On Twitter you may have noticed TinyURL, Twurl, BudURL, bit.ly, SNIPURL, ThnkLnk, and so on and so forth there are many ways to shorten a long URL.
TinyURL is an easy way to shorten a URL. you copy your original URL, paste it into the tinyurl link box, and shrink. This method is not trackable, but you can attach tracking by creating a Google campaign and including that in your TinyURL. Here is an article from Epikone.com that will walk you through this process, you can also go to Google to get information on tagging a link.
A comment from Jimmy Ruska the tech guy behind www.jimmyr.com
The link for the TinyURL API is http://tinyurl.com/api-create.php?url=http://www.google.com/
Twurl is a Twitter focused URL shrinking system, you can go directly to Twurl, you can also include Twurl in your web browser, you can use Tweetburner, or you can use Twitterfeed to access and work with Twurl. This Twitter tool has the tracking built in, you can track your links and also see popular twurl links, which is great if you like to share or retweet useful information.
BudURL is a URL shrinking service that tracks the many roads a URL can travel. BudURL offers a toolbar button so you can easily create BudURLs, in real time you can track the clicks on your BudURL, it allows tracking of visiting IPs so you not only see where on the internet your url has traveled but where in the world, and finally you can also make notes to keep it all organized. Check out Mashable’s BudURL post to see more on the pros and cons of BudURL as well as how it compares to the big url shrinking providers.
Bit.ly shortens a URL, gives you traffic and keyword analysis, tracks conversations, and history for a page. It has a toolbar button as all the other shrinking services do, they have applications that work specifically with Twitter and Facebook, and finally bit.ly just got even smaller.
These are just a few of the many URL shrinking services, you could pick any of the providers above and get what you need, just remember to keep track of your efforts. How will you know what works and how well it works if you have no way to analyze your efforts? I recommend that if you are sharing your content on the web keep it simple, consistent, and most importantly trackable.
I would love to hear if you are using these services or if you have one you would like to recommend…..