Twitter Trick

Here’s a quick tip about tracking Twitter clicks.

Link-shortening services such a bit.ly or tweetburner are easy to use – depending on how you access Twitter…

… and they provide some tracking capabilities.

But here’s the problem: you have no control over these services. They could stop working tomorrow and your links would not work. Not good.

It doesn’t matter if the service fails, or is bought by a company for some different sort of use. Either way, you’re hosed.

Here’s another approach:

Simply set up your own URL-shortening service on your own server! If you have ever installed a WordPress.org blog, you can do this!

In fact, this method requires the use of a WordPress blog. Perhaps in the future, I’ll come up with options for other scenarios.

Here’s the plan:

1. Decide whether to use an existing WordPress installation, or whether you will set up a new one strictly for this task. If you have your own blog, great! It will extend your brand. If your URL is JoeSmith.com, your shortened URLs will be something like JoeSmith.com/abc.

One thing to keep in mind is you will likely want a short of a domain as possible, because the URL takes up characters.

2. Install a Redirection plugin. I use the one by John Godley.

3. Anytime you want to shorten a URL, simply navigate to your redirection plugin admin panel, enter the destination URL, and the extension of your domain.

That’s it!

I would like to point out a few of advantages to this approach, other than the fact that you “own” it:

a. You can select your own URL (the part after your domain name). You can therefore make it as descriptive as you want. This is a feature you cannot get with the typical URL shortening service.

b. The Redirection admin panel will tell you how many clickthroughs you have for each link.

c. This works regardless of where your peeps are clicking from: any browser or device will register a click.

Let me know how this method works for you!

To follow me on Twitter, go here: http://www.twitter.com/darrelhawes

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