In the first part of this series, I discussed the very basics of using RSS feeds with twitter and how to route your feeds to twitter using twitterfeed. This is an excellent way to get additional exposure to your blog and some of your blog’s offerings such as your Donanza Job Board.
As I indicated in that post, you don’t want to go overboard with your automation on your main twitter account. You want to keep a personal touch and build your brand, while automating a few sources of relevant information.
However, I do think that there are cases where you can use these tools in more imaginative ways to use twitter to earn more money for you. Just like you would with a niche blog, you can create some niche twitter accounts and use rss feeds to route relevant affiliate links to those accounts.
This way you can create twitter accounts that are specific to a niche topic such as electronics, fly fishing, dog training, itunes music, etc… You are limited only by your imagination.
In addition to sending tweets to affiliate links you can also monetize these twitter accounts further by using a custom url shortener such as Adfly to display ads through the links.
In this post, I’ll discuss easy ways to set up a niche twitter account.
Picking a Niche
It’s not hard to pick a niche. You can use some of the methods that you would use when starting a niche blog. But it’s actually easier with twitter because you are not limited by your own knowledge, since you can route rss feeds from almost anywhere to your twitter account.
One of the ways that I pick a niche is just to go to my affiliate program’s marketplace and see which programs send out rss feeds.
I find that this method works really well with Linkshare, which is a large affiliate marketplace with a number of affiliates that have rss feeds. I’ve looked into the other two large affiliate networks, cj.com and clickbank, but I haven’t found an easy solution for creating rss feeds with their products.
Linkshare has a number of reputable affiliate programs, such as itunes, buy.com and tigerdirect, that include rss feed links directly.
Here’s how I pick a niche through Linkshare
I simply log into linkshare and look for programs that provide rss feeds by following these easy steps:
Once you hit apply filter, it will show only the programs that have rss feeds.
Just select the programs you like and apply to them.
Once you are accepted into the program, you can scroll through the available rss feeds:
So, for example, let’s say you applied to Tiger Direct. When you go to your rss feeds, you can look at all the rss feeds from Tiger Direct:
Just pick one or two that you like.
Let’s use cameras in this example. This will give me an idea for a particular niche, such as photography. Now, I can create a twitter account dedicated to photography and I know it will be targeted towards people who may be interested in purchasing cameras.
Create Your Niche Twitter Account
Now, you can just go over to twitter and create a niche account.
The easiest way to create multiple twitter accounts is using a normal gmail account. Gmail allows you to treat a single account like multiple accounts by simply adding a + modifier after your account name.
I like to just name it after the niche I’ve chosen.
Once you create your account, Twitter will send the verification email to your regular gmail account. Just verify the account and you are up and running!
Routing RSS Feeds to Your Niche Twitter Account
I like dlvr.it for niche twitter accounts for a couple of reasons. First off, I find that it is faster to set up rss feeds and new twitter routes with dlvr.it. This is important because you are likely setting up many niche accounts and it saves time to be able to do it quickly.
Secondly, with niche twitter accounts, I also use Adfly as my url shortener to place banner ads into the link for some additional income.
Follow these easy steps to set up your rss feeds through dlvr.it:
This will open up the following menu:
Follow these steps in the images and you are up and running with your rss feed routes.
Just one thing to keep in mind when you set up your feed. you will want to adjust the time and the amount of posts that you tweet at a time:
That’s it. You are ready to send rss feeds to your Twitter account.
How to Find RSS Feeds
Of course, you already have one or two rss feeds that are simply affiliate links from Linkshare, but you also want to add content to your tweets.
In fact, you want the majority of your tweets to be real content, as opposed to affiliate links. You likely want a ratio of about 6-10 content tweet to 1 affiliate link.
Now, you could manually send out tweets yourself, but that would be overwhelmingly time consuming. Especially if you have a large number of niche twitter accounts.
The alternative is to do a simple google search for your niche keywords and see what blogs or websites come up. Then you can review those websites to make sure their content is related to your niche. Then use the rss feeds from those sites and route them to your twitter account.
Someone did ask me if the website owners would object to this use of their feeds. I have seen this topic raised in some forums that I visit and I can also speak about my own personal feelings on this subject.
The consensus appears to be that most website owners would not mind others using their RSS feeds this way. This is because you are providing free promotion to their website with your tweets. Remember, your followers will be seeing links back to their websites and will often be clicking through and visiting their site. The owner of that site benefits when you tweet out their rss feeds.
This is a case where both parties get a benefit out of the use of the RSS Feed.
You can certainly use my RSS feed for your niche twitter account if you chose.
Optional: Further Monetization by Using Custom Adfly URL Shortener with Dlvr.it
This next step is optional. If you decide not to set up a custom Adfly URL Shortener, then you are done! You can start setting up all your niche twitter accounts now.
If you want to further monetize your twitter account with pay per click ads, then read on.
You can further monetize your niche twitter account by setting up Adfly as your custom URL Shortener. This is the second reason that I like using dlvr.it for these niche twitter accounts.
Adfly is a service that shortens links, but at the same time inserts an advertisement into the link. When a user clicks on the link, they will see the website, but also see an advertisement either interstationally or framed in a banner. You make a small amount of money on each click.
It is very easy to set up Adfly with dlvr.it
First go to Adfly and get your api:
By default, the api displays an interstatial ad, which means that it displays that ad prior to go to the original link. While the interstatial ads pay out more per click, some people may find these kinds of ads disruptive. In that case, you can change the ads to display a framed banner ad instead. Just follow the instructions in the api documentation and replace the advert_type=int with advert_type=banner.
Now just take copy the URL from Adfly and go over to your dlvr.it account.
Follow these steps at dlvr.it:
From your dashboard go to edit your short link settings.
You’ll see this screen open up when you click add shortener.
When you click on Third party shortener, you’ll see the following screen. Just follow the instructions.
I usually just apply the shortener to all existing routes and then continue all. This is the simplest way to ensure that you are using Adfly for all your tweets.
Final Thoughts: Why set up Niche Twitter Accounts
First off, it’s very easy to set up. It only takes a few minutes to get up and running with your feeds. Then it’s just a matter of following a few twitterers in your niche and you’ll start to build up a small targeted following.
Secondly, as I just mentioned, your account will be targeted, and while you may start off slow, you will see a few affiliate purchases each month, which will grow as you build up your account.
Thirdly, it’s very low maintenance once you’ve set up the accounts. Once you set up the feeds, you only need to check in on your accounts every once in a while to see how they are growing.
Finally, it’s obvious that twitter is here to stay. If you’ve been keeping up with the news, then you’re aware that Apple just announced that they are building twitter directly into their next ios operating system. Twitter is clearly a growing medium and they just received the ongoing official support of Apple behind their brand. Likely we will see an influx of new Twitterers as iphone users adopt twitter as one of their default means of communications.
With all this in mind, we should consider all the different ways that we can market ourselves on twitter as well as finding different ways of making money on twitter.