You’re probably already microblogging and don’t even know it! Microblogging is the act of publicly sharing short posts to a microblog platform like Twitter, Instagram, or even your own website. These posts are less than 300 words and are sometimes much shorter—such as a sentence or two.
Where to Microblog
Many people microblog on several different platforms simultaneously. For example, a personal finance microblogger might share an image and post to Twitter and later share that same post to Instagram and Facebook—all while linking back to their microblog on their own website. This blog content strategy helps get more page views. You don’t have to choose more than one, but the nature of social media makes it really easy to microblog on many platforms at the same time.
Your Own Blog
Many bloggers actually microblog thanks to the long-held belief that a blog post should be around 300 words. In fact, some search engine optimization plugins state your blog post needs to be 300 words.
You can start a blog using platforms like Wix.com or WordPress.org. When using WordPress.org, you need to choose a web host. We recommend using Bluehost, because you can get started for as little as $2.59 per month and it offers 24/7 support.
Many people consider Twitter the original microblogging platform, because you used to only be able to write 140 characters in a single tweet. However, the platform now allows you to write up to 280 characters.
Should you have more to say than just 280 characters, you can write a “thread” of tweets. To do so, you simply respond to your own tweet with your next set of 280 characters or less. You can do this as many times as you need to.
Instagram is a social media platform where users share images and videos along with captions, or microblog posts. When you create an Instagram microblog post, you can share up to 2,200 characters. However, most people summarize their post in just 125 characters because anything longer than that truncates. This means that a user must click “…more” to see the entire post.
If you do choose to write a post longer than 125 characters, make sure those first 125 characters are attention-grabbing. You want to get people to stop scrolling on the platform and read more.
Medium is one of my favorite platforms for microblogging because of its enormous community of readers that can “clap” your work. When a reader loves your post, they show it by clapping (up to 50 times for an article!). Think of it like applause. If you’ve chosen to monetize that particular article, you can even get paid for each clap received. Not a bad way to make money microblogging, huh?
There’s no real limit to the number of words you can write on Medium. However, at the top of every article is an estimate of how long it will take to read. Readers can also leave comments at the end of your microblog post and make highlights of sentences that intrigue them.
With 2.45 billion monthly visitors, Facebook should be on any microbloggers’ radar. It has one of the largest maximum character counts, too—an enormous 63,206 character limit. However, most people share just a paragraph or two when microblogging on Facebook.
If you microblog on a Facebook Page, your posts are visible to anyone that likes the page. Plus, if someone searches for any keywords contained in your post, they can discover your content. When sharing a microblog post to your personal Facebook, you can control who sees your post—anyone, friends, or just you.
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the co-founders of Pinterest while at a blogging conference. There I learned that the founders started Pinterest because they wanted a visual search engine, rather than a social media channel.
For this reason, when you view a Pinterest feed, you only see images and videos until you click on the post. Then, you see the caption, or microblog post, just to the right of the image/video. Then, if you click on the image/video again, you go to the URL of the full article or post, usually hosted on a blog or website.
Your title needs to be less than 100 characters, and you can write up to 500 characters in your microblog post. So, if you have more to say, you’ll want to link the pin to a post on a platform that allows for more characters. For example, you can link to a regular blog post on your website or even an Instagram post.
Pros & Cons of Microblogging
Microblogging allows you to share content with your audience on a variety of platforms on a consistent basis. With word counts less than 300, a reader can also implement faster than it would take if they had to read a 5,000-word article on the same topic. However, you’re also not likely to rank in search engines with short content, so you’ll have limited reach.
It saves time: Writing microblog posts takes significantly less time to do than traditional blog posts. This usually means you can keep in touch with followers more regularly.
Search engines prefer long content: According to SEMrush, posts that appear on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs) contain 1,890 words. You might not be able to thoroughly answer a readers’ question in less than 300 words.
You’re likely already doing it: You probably post on social media right now anyway. To really increase the value of your microblog posts, be intentional about creating evergreen content. This type of content includes posts that stay relevant for more than just a season.
Posts have limited reach: Because you’re not likely to rank on the first page of SERPs, you have to rely on getting traffic in other ways. You have to use hashtags, or you may even need to run ads to get people to see your content.
Readers can implement faster: If you share microblog posts with quick, actionable steps, your readers can see results right away. This is particularly helpful if you plan to sell anything to these readers—these quick wins make them want to buy from you. After all, if your free content is this good, imagine what your paid content will be like.
Your content can go away: You’re building your audience on someone else’s platform when you use any microblogging platform other than your own self-hosted WordPress blog. This means that should the network cease to exist (like Vine or Myspace), your content goes with it.
Regardless of whether you microblog on a social media platform, blogging platform, or your own website, you can create content relatively quickly and without a ton of effort. This helps you grow your influence and expertise, because you’re more likely to create posts on a consistent basis.