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I think by now most people have heard of Twitter. It has really gotten popular in a short amount of time. Last time I looked Google already gives it a pagerank of 9, and Alexa Traffic Rank of 47!

If you haven't heard of it or you are not that familiar with it you really should check it out sometime. It's probably one of the easiest sites to figure out. It's very simple and not much to it really. Which makes it more appealing for most people. Simple, quick, easy and effective. What more could you ask for!

Now I'm not a huge fan. I can live with or without it. I do try to keep up on it and familiarize myself with it when I have some free time.

Basically people post little text messages of what they are doing. They follow what others are doing, and people follow what they are doing, kind of like a friend's list in a manner of speaking.

The nice thing about Twitter is it can drive huge amounts of traffic to your site. A lot of people even set it up to receive these posts on their cell phone.

So depending on what kind of site you have or how tuned into it you are it can be a powerful traffic source. All for FREE!

Like anything you post in an attempt to get visitors it's all about the wording of your post. You really need to be creative and post things that grab someones attention.

The drawback is the 140 character limitation. So that don't give you too much room to post something eye catching when the link you want to include is 50 characters long alone.

Twitter uses tinyurl.com and bit.ly service to automatically do this. I actually prefer bit.ly not because it's an even shorter address in general, but it seems to be faster than tinyurl. I think tinyurl is used so much that it seems to be a lot slower at doing it's purpose than it used to be.



So here is an example of how to shorten a URL for Twitter before posting.


As you can see you are asked "What are you doing?" Notice I have 140 characters available to enter my message.

 

What are you doing?

Now here is a link to an article I recently wrote in this screenshot. Notice that the link/URL is very long, and it only leaves me with 22 characters left to type a descriptive message in Twitter. I really can't do much with only 22 characters. So before I post this let's make that URL much smaller.

Long URL Link

As I mentioned Twitter likes tinyurl and bit.ly's services for this.

This first example is tinyurl. Simply go to http://tinyurl.com

The link I want to shorten is:
http://www.dialme.com/articles/entry/Boonex-Dolphin-Hosting-and-RMS-at-Bluehost-Hostgator-Hostmonster-Terabyte-Hosting

So once I am at tinyurl.com I simply copy and paste this long address into the "Enter a long URL to make tiny" box and click the "Make TinyURL!" Button.

 

Make TinyURL



Now here is the URL tinyurl created for me:
http://tinyurl.com/nd8wdr

If I enter that into my browser it will take me right to http://www.dialme.com/articles/entry/Boonex-Dolphin-Hosting-and-RMS-at-Bluehost-Hostgator-Hostmonster-Terabyte-Hosting

Also notice tinyurl says the original link was 118 characters and it is now 25 characters, which is ideal for Twitter.

 

Short URL




And pretty much the same concept here at bit.ly I simply enter http://www.dialme.com/articles/entry/Boonex-Dolphin-Hosting-and-RMS-at-Bluehost-Hostgator-Hostmonster-Terabyte-Hosting into the "Enter Web Address (URL) Here" Box and then click the "Shorten" Button.

 

bit.ly shorten



Now bit.ly makes that big long address only 19 characters long

This is what I will post. So I just copy and paste http://bit.ly/mhefl.

 

bit.ly Shortened URL

Now after pasting this into the "What are you doing?" box I now have 121 characters available to use yet. I can say much more now, and type a much more creative description.

What are you doing?


Here is what I really posted, and I still have 14 characters available to use if I wanted to.

What are you doing?


Simply click the "Update" Button and done deal. Now you can see it is posted and the bit.ly link is actually click-able by a visitor. When they click on that http://bit.ly/mhefl link/URL in the description it will take them directly to:
http://www.dialme.com/articles/entry/Boonex-Dolphin-Hosting-and-RMS-at-Bluehost-Hostgator-Hostmonster-Terabyte-Hosting

 

Posted to Twitter



Like I said I can live with or without it. I post some links occasionally to keep active and get a few new visitors. There are people that claim they can post a link and get thousands of visitors to check out what they posted. So the possibility is there with some work. Most of these users are pretty hooked, and have lots of followers though.

Notes:
Twitter is extremely hot and popular right now. If you are not familiar with it, you really should check it out. It's free to register and use so get one for your screen name before someone else grabs your name, if they haven't already.

Try to build up a list of other members to follow and hopefully you get some followers. Try to post something at least once a week if possible.

Tinyurl.com and bit.ly are totally free services. There is no need to register an account to use them, and the links they create never expire.

Twitter can be a very powerful resource if used properly. Like anything it takes some experimenting to get the hang of it and to figure out what works for you.

 
Tutorial by: Jeremy LeSarge (AKA Ray)

I am the owner and administrator of DialMe.com. I write Tutorials for Boonex Dolphin as well as tips and resources surrounding website programming and development. I enjoy working with WordPress, SEO, and Web Hosting / Servers. I also maintain a WordPress Blog here on this site where you will find a variety of technology and webmaster resources.

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