"I ♥ Blogging + Tweeting" Add a twitter widget to your craft blog

If you are looking for a way to increase your twitter followers and keep your sidebars full of interesting content then you need to add a twitter widget to your blog - live updates from you, your lists, your favourites or just your favourite subject!

Great Expectations - Follow on Twitter

I've been writing blog critiques for some brave bloggers who have submitted their blog links for me to come up with some constructive ideas to improve their blogs.  I've been offering these freebie craft blog crits on the CBuk forum as they give me so many great ideas for the tips that crafters need to make their blogs a real success - thanks for all the submissions so far.

I wrote this on a craft blog critique the other day, for a lady who sells her own handmade bags.
"...maybe you need to keep people there by having more content about handbags - perhaps create a twitter list of handbag experts / fashionistas and just contain a post a week on purely handbag news taken from your favourite tweets of the week (use the favourite button on twitter - you can create a widget from this too) this will also have the effect of drawing your blog to the attention of some bigger names in fashion - you may even get some links back which will be excellent for your search engine rankings - you can then link to these very specific posts in your sidebar or via a static page.
The blogger in question was concerned about her high bounce rate and the short time visitors to her blog about her handmade business were staying. My advice to her should help in a number of ways.

  1. Posts about experts in your field make a blog rich with keywords - This is excellent for google search engine bots to find your craft site and will result in pushing page rankings up in general.  
  2. Using a twitter search (check here for how to get a really well defined search) will help you identify the latest trends and keep your blog posts fresh - just one really keyword packed post as often as you can will help your blog get read by your target audience!
  3. Having a twitter gadget will enliven your blog - why? Because they're live! - and it doesn't have to be your own tweets! Choose tweets from the niche groups in your industry or pick favourite tweets to display that show you know your craft.
  4. I have created a list of UK Handmade Bloggers and I display the live feed from them proudly at the top of this blog, everybody loves a bit of free publicity. Displaying others tweets will result in more followers for them but also more followers for your list and of course in turn, more followers for you! 
Raku Buttons, Jude Allman

Twitter Widgets - Live streams from twitter on your blog
I have copied and pasted everything in this blue box from twitters own page because they say it so succinctly, please visit and create your own amazing twitter widgets - http://twitter.com/goodies/widgets

Profile Widget

Display your most recent Twitter updates on any webpage.

Search Widget

Displays search results in real time! Ideal for live events, broadcastings, conferences, TV Shows, or even just keeping up with the news.

Faves Widget

Show off your favorite tweets! Also in real time, this widget will pull in the tweets you've starred as favorites. It's great for moderation.

List Widget

Put your favorite tweeps into a list! Then show 'em off in a widget. Also great for moderation.

I have added a screen shot below from one of my own twitter widgets, which has a list of any tweets that mention CraftblogUK or the hashtag #CBuk - remember you can add as many of these live streams from twitter as you like!  Notice you can either copy and paste the code as a "3rd party content" gadget or just click on the "add to blogger button" which makes this so easy!

Use the auto width selection that way you can move your gadget around  your blog and it will always fit in. Make sure you pick some colours that suit your blog. I've tweaked the code so that I have a clickable link to follow in the text at the top, I'll add a tutorial on how to do that soon as it's really simple to add a few extras to the code.

I would really appreciate your comments on this subject - twitter is a subject I really love talking about! 

Also do let me know if you have created a new twitter list - your comment links are live as I am using the Disqus comment system, so people will be able to click through direct from this post and follow your new list (instructions on how to create a list in this post of mine from my haptree blog)