Pingbacks and Twitter Mentions, Are You Up to Snuff?

Like a toddler teaching astrophysics, I’m probably the last person to give tech advice.

But I won’t let that stop me.

For any bloggers not yet savvy about pingbacks and Twitter mentions, here are two tips I’d like to share that will make things easier for your followers:

My mom's cat, Diva. She me.

My mom’s cat. She loves…er…tolerates me.

1. Pingbacks

It’s an honor to be mentioned in someone else’s blog post, and it’s a great way to build blogging connections. But unless our blog gets a notification, we won’t be aware we were mentioned unless we stumble upon the post. And since most of us can’t read every post of every blogger we follow, we risk not seeing the mention at all.

The good news is, we can help our fellow bloggers by activating a pingback whenever we mention them in our posts. Pingbacks are an automated way to alert other bloggers we have linked to them. With a pingback, the mentioned blogger will receive a comment notifying them of the link.

How do we send a pingback? It’s easy—WordPress does it for us. But only if we link to a specific blog post and not the blogger’s homepage.

For example . . .

If you want to mention Stinky Pete on your blog and you want him to know about it, you can link to his latest post about stinky feet (stinkypete/2015/12/29/my-feet-stink/ ) or any other one of his posts and he’ll get a pingback—a comment that tells him your blog has mentioned his. BUT if you link to his homepage (, he won’t receive a pingback notification, and the only way he’ll see the mention is if he happens to read your blog post that day.

I don’t know about you, but the thought of not visiting a blogger’s post when they’ve been kind enough to mention me rocks my polite Midwestern sensibilities. I would feel horrible. I imagine the rest of you would too. So by linking to specific posts instead of a blogger’s homepage, we can prevent this from happening.

My brother-in-law's dog. She me.

My brother-in-law’s dog. She loves…er…tolerates me.

2. Adding Your Twitter Username

Sometimes when I share someone’s post on Twitter I find the generic attribute “via” instead of the blogger’s Twitter profile (for example, “via @stinkyfeetpete”). Therefore, if I tweet the post as is, the blogger won’t be aware I’ve shared it since he or she won’t get a Twitter mention (assuming he or she is on Twitter).

But this is another thing easily rectified. If you’re on Twitter, go to your WordPress blog settings and click on “sharing.” Then scroll down to the box that says: “Twitter username to include in tweets when people share using the Twitter button.” If your Twitter user name isn’t already listed, type it in. Now, whenever someone shares your post on Twitter, you’ll get a mention on Twitter, which is nice in case you want to thank the thoughtful tweep with virtual hugs and kisses.

And as any introvert knows, those are the best kind.

Any social media tips you’d like to share? 

A special thank you to List of X for coming to my book signing last month. What a treat to have this blogger stop by and pick up copies of my two books. Another special thank you to butimbeautiful for her mention of Eating Bull in her discussion of overweight/obesity and to aetherhouse for including my book in her year-in-books review. Virtual hugs to you all! (Again, that introvert thing…)

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Rubin4Carrie Rubin is the author of Eating Bull and The Seneca Scourge. For full bio, click here.




319 Responses to “Pingbacks and Twitter Mentions, Are You Up to Snuff?”

  1. Alex Hurst

    YES, YES, YES. The pingback part is so essential….. but I would definitely add keeping your Gravatar up to date, and making sure that email notifications actually include some sort of link to your blog. I think I had to inform 5 bloggers in the last 6 months that their commenting wasn’t connected to their blogs.


    • Carrie Rubin

      Oh yes, good point. The Gravatar thing can be frustrating. If I see a new ‘like’ but it’s no longer in my notifications, I’ll click on the Gravatar image to find their blog and reciprocate. But if there’s no link to their blog there then I have no way to find them.

      Liked by 1 person

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