It’s like the Wonder Twin Powers! Your blog and Twitter. They reach out to each other with a click of a button. And boom — shape of a picture card! Whether you use Twitter or not, I highly recommend setting up Twitter cards for your blog. I’ll tell you the why’s, what for’s and how to’s.
Get more blog views. It’s marketing. That’s pretty much it. People like to share the good stuff they read, and Twitter is a big part of the sharing.
A Twitter Card is simply a media rich tweet. Yes, people can tweet your page as is, but it’s been shown that tweets with images (just like blogs) get more click throughs. For the simple reason, they stand out. It’s eye candy. Look at the image below. Which one in a timeline would stand out?On the top is the Twitter Card. It pulls the first image from your post and adds the first 140 characters of your post as well as linking to your post. It gives people a visual and a sample of what they’ll be reading.
The good news is that it’s pretty simple—even though it looks intimidating. I put it off because, ugh, so much to read and not enough of it helpful. But I did it and I want you to do it too! But I’ve cut out all the blah, blah, blah.
- Step One
Set up social sharing on your blog. Thought I better not skip this one even though many bloggers already have it set up, but I have run across sites that do not. GASP! It’s those little buttons at the end (or beginning of a post).
- Step Two
Get a Twitter account. — You don’t have to use it or get all active in it, but you need one to set up the cards. Think of it as having a Blogger or Gravatar account. This is part of your social media promoting tools.
- Step Three
- WordPress.com Users
You’re done! Yup, they’ve already set it up for you. Ya can probably skip the previous step too.
- WordPress.org | Self-hosted WordPress Users
I tested adding code and plugins. Just do the plugin. It’s way easier and you’re less likely to mess up your site. I tested a few. The best one for reliability is put out by Twitter.
- Go to your Plugins > Add New, then type Twitter in the search field. It’s the official Twitter plugin.
- Install and activate it.
- Go to ‘Twitter’ in the left navigation area, and add your Twitter handle in the Site Attribution area.
- Save Changes. You’re done.
- Blogger Users
This is more complicated—but trust me, it really is easy. I set it up on my Blogger test site in less than three minutes.
- Start by backing up your template, which you should always do before messing around with anything. Go to your Dashboard > Template > Click on “Backup/Restore” in the upper right hand corner and download your theme. (1)
- Now click on “Edit HTML” (2)
- Click inside the html box and click control+f (“find”) and locate this code:
<b:includable id='post' var='post'>
- Immediately after it (not the next line or at the end, right after that last >) paste in this code
<!-- twitter card details --> <meta content='summary' name='twitter:card'/> <meta content='@USERNAME' name='twitter:site'/> <meta content='@USERNAME' name='twitter:creator'/> <meta content='YOURBLOG.blogspot.com' name='twitter:domain'/> <meta expr:content='data:post.firstImageUrl' name='twitter:image:src'/> <meta expr:content='data:post.title' name='twitter:title'/> <b:if cond='data:blog.metaDescription'> <meta expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' name='twitter:description'/> <b:else/> <meta expr:content='data:post.snippet' name='twitter:description'/> </b:if> <meta expr:content='data:post.sharePostUrl' name='twitter:url'/> <!-- end twitter card details -->
- Now change:
- @yourname to your Twitter handle (will need to change two occurrences)
- YOURBLOG.blogspot.com to your site’s URL
- Save Template. You’re done.
- ETA: WIX & Weebly Users
Sorry I left you folks out! Now, I haven’t tried these myself, but the directions look easy. Please report back if you try them.
- WordPress.com Users
- Step Four
This is an optional step, but recommended. Validate and test the cards. Go to https://cards-dev.twitter.com/validator and input the URL of one of your blog posts. It will show you a sample card and if it was successful or not. If it looks good, tweet a post, and watch it appear in your timeline.
I suppose I should point out that there are other styles of Twitter cards, but I don’t care for them. So, uh, this is what you get.
Speaking of Twitter
Go ahead and follow me @SouthpawPOV, if ya wanna. I mostly retweet stuff I think is inspiring or will make you smile. I also tweet my own stuff like these treasures:If you’d like sneak peeks into my writing (and me), check out these hashtags:
The links will take you to my tweets for these hashtags. Tweets before April refer to my completed novel; tweets after that are about my current WIP.
I highly recommend joining it. They can help you flesh out your characters and perk up your imagination and creativity.
- I went through my old gemstone posts and added famous stones and jewelry to the posts when possible. I realized this would be fun information for a writer!
- For example, did you know Dr. Dee’s Magical Mirror is an Aztec obsidian cult object in the shape of a hand mirror that the good doctor used to call upon spirits? Now, you do.
- I updated my Writers Guide to Quartz. It now includes the magical properties for rose, milky, rutile, prasiolite, and smoky quartz. (There wasn’t enough new information to justify separate posts.)
- I also updated my Writers Guide to Garnet. I have added the magical properties for the color variations.