No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there is always more to learn. As part of the Weekly Writing Challenges,…
No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there is always more to learn. As part of the Weekly Writing Challenges, once a month, we’ll be highlighting a feature in the WordPress.com Dashboard and challenging you to incorporate it into your blog. We want to help you take full advantage of all the tools available on WordPress.com to make your blog the best it can be — and to make your friends jealous of your web wizardry.
To participate, tag your posts with “DPchallenge” or leave a link to your post in the comments. Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; obvious attempts to link-bait will be deleted. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed each Friday.
Last week, Michelle encouraged us to get out there and participate in blogging events. Whether the blogging events you’re contributing to take place online or in person, Twitter often plays a large part in tying participants together. Conferences, monthly blogging challenges, or even meetups often have their own Twitter hashtag so that participants, or potential participants, can stay in the loop on all of the discussions and general awesomeness that happens when bloggers work together.
At WordPress.com, we have two great ways to plug your blog into these conversations: Publicize and Twitter embeds. Publicize, which allows you to automatically share your new blog posts to other social networking sites, also includes an option to edit the message shared with your Twitter followers on each blog post.
To edit the message Tweeted along with your post, click on the Edit button next to Publicize and customize away. By adding a hashtag to the custom message, your post will automatically be included in the list of Tweets related to that topic, which means you’re reaching even more people. For example, Freshly Pressed post The Behavior of Socks mentions the hashtag #iWillNeverUnderstand. By inserting a hashtag into the custom message area in Publicize, all those following the topic will then see your post:
Twitter can also be an excellent jumping off point for a discussion or dialogue. Run into a Tweet that sparks your interest or prompts a 1,000 word blog post on the benefits of participating in NaNoWriMo? You can share the Tweet with each of your readers by embedding it into your post. To do so, click on the date to the right of the Tweet so you can get to the individual Tweet page (or follow this handy guide). Then, grab the URL and paste it directly into your post on its own line. It will look something like this:
A NaNoWriMo author confronts his straight-talking muse after wrapping up 2012's attempt: wp.me/pP03N-P2—
Freshly Pressed (@freshly_pressed) December 04, 2012
Oh, and if you’re new to Twitter, never quite understood what a hashtag is anyway, or just want some more general information about the Twitterverse, don’t forget to take a look at Twitter’s Twitter 101 page and their introduction to hashtags.
For this week’s writing challenge, find a conversation that you want to be a part of, whether it’s a blogging event or a salient topic trending on Twitter, and use these features to slip yourself right into the discussion. Let us know, did you gain any new followers? Find a new Twitter friend or collaborator? If you have any questions, we’ll be here to help.