Interviewer’s Note: Since the Olympics are in full swing, why not have a sports-themed blog entry today? I spoke with AJ Harris, who writes for his own sports blog, sometime before the Olympics, but we had a lively talk about how hobbies/interests can intersect on Twitter with vast audiences. And if after our interview, you want to hear his take on the latest Olympic news, check out his blog.
Hi AJ, welcome to the Pluggio Blog! How do you describe your work?
I am a sports writer, not so much of a blogger, but I talk about present-day NBA, NFL, MLB, MCAABB, NCAAF, and HSBB; as well as past NBA, NFL, MLB, and NCAA, FF, and NCAABB.
So pretty much all and any sports, huh? How did you get started?
Sports are my passion. I have worked in the NBA with a team in Texas, operated and owned a sports fFan shop, and now I am in the sports world as a writer/blogger.
What role does Twitter play in your career?
Twitter has played a HUGE role simply just by getting to a targeted audience. Without Twitter, how do you get people to see your work? It’s virtually impossible.
What impact or change have you seen due to Twitter/social marketing?
I can reach the masses almost instantly. My blog, BLUEDUDE SPORTSTALK, is seen and read in over 200 countries. Without Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, among others, you cannot get that type of following from just content.
59,000 people following you- wow! How did you build your following? What kinds of people/businesses are they?
They’re from all walks of life. I try to follow sports-minded or sports teams followers as well as just the non-specialized person on Twitter. I spend at least 2-3 hours a day on my blog, so that helps. Residual is the key to getting followers on Twitter but you must have an excellent product as well, and my blog is 5-Star vs anyone; and I mean anyone.
How will you choose who you will follow? What do you look for in a follower?
I have learned that on Twitter everyone like sports because it transcends generations, gender, religion, race , etc… almost everyone reads about sports on Twitter.
What strategies did you use for social marketing (either online or offline)?
I used social media to reach out to as many sites as you can, as long as they’re beneficial to what you do .
What worked bestfor you?
The hash tags on Twitter are like GOLD and if you use them right, a massive following will come about if whatever you’re tweeting appeals to potential followers .
What didn’t work for you?
Facebook doesn’t really help my blog.
If you could go back to when you first began using social media, what is one thing you would have done differently?
I would have learned how to use the Twitter hash tags as well as TWITPIC.com or Instagram. At first, not knowing how to use them was my stumbling block. Now I have graduated past that.
What does Twitter do for you that nothing else can do?
I can send a tweet out there, and 59,00 people could see it and like it.
What lessons have you learned about Twitter and online marketing?
If the product you have is good, people of all types can get to it instantly on Twitter as well as the new Google Plus, which is starting to come to its senses with its fabulous tool.: putting people in your circles, as well as people putting you in their circles…cool stuff!
Follow AJ Harris on Twitter here.
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