By nature, traders are generally pretty private people. So a lot of you may not be interested in being able to show the world your trading results. Besides, it can be a little embarrassing if you are not trading well or you are just starting out.
I don't care. If I'm going to blog, I'm going to do it right and that means that I need to show the world that I'm actually doing what I'm writing about.
If you are like me and one of the few people who do want to publicize your results, then this article is for you. This post actually came as a result of a good question that I got from Micah Fox of InvestingJourney.com on Twitter.
I figured that if he wanted to learn how to do this, you may want to learn how to do it too.
You might consider publishing your results if:
- You are a blogger and want to get more links back to your website
- You want to get more publicity on Twitter
- You want to manage money in the future and want to attract attention to your trading and establish a track record
- You want to save yourself the public embarrassment of bad trades being published publicly (motivate to trade well)
If one of the above describes you, then this article will show you how to tweet your trades with no additional effort, except for the 15 minute setup in the beginning. I'll show you the little tricks to make auto tweeting your trades a great marketing strategy and what to avoid to keep yourself out of trouble.
It can be done in demo or live accounts and you can hide private information like account balances. You can setup your reporting just to show % profit/loss, which is the most important information anyway.
The big picture
So what we are going to be doing here is connecting our live or demo Forex account to MyFxBook (MFB) to track our trading results. Within MFB, there is a function where you can automatically tweet each of your trades.
MFB is a free online reporting website that has read-only access to your trading account (it cannot make trades) and will graph your trading performance and allow you to journal your trades.
That is the basic idea. Now lets get into how to do it.
A word of caution
Before we go any further however, there are a couple of things that I would like to caution you about.
First, MFB actually has two ways that you can tweet your trades. You can tweet when you open a trade or close a trade.
Or you can do both.
There is a temptation to be a smarty pants and tell the whole world when you are opening a trade. I would strongly recommend against this.
The reason is that, especially if you are trading well (or even if you aren't), people may mistake your tweets for trading advice and start to mimic your trades.
But they may get the tweet late or not understand the entry and enter at the wrong place and lose money. Then they might badmouth you or worse, take legal action against you for “causing” them to lose money.
It's just not worth the headache. Don't try to be the smartest Forex Trader on Twitter.
Second, just to be safe, I would put a link to a disclaimer in your profile description somewhere. I'll show you how to do it in a bit, but just keep that in mind for now.
How to setup MyFxBook the first time
This can depend on your broker, but if you are using Metatrader, it is pretty straightforward. The individual instructions can be found here on the MyFxBook website.
The MFB website does a pretty good job of showing you what to do, so check that out before you proceed. If MFB doesn't support your broker, then open a demo account at another broker that is supported. I recommend using Oanda because their demo accounts don't expire.
Once that is setup, MFB has a great set of reporting tools to show you how well you are doing.
One thing to note is that your system does not need to be publicly accessible in MyFxBook for the Tweeting function to work. Also, when people visit your account report page, you can hide sensitive information like the account balance.
Setting up shortlinking
Why do you need shortlinking? Because in this online world of short burst messages, every character counts. Instead of using a long ass website address, you want to be able to use as many of those characters as possible for your message.
Not to worry, you can set this up for free through sites like Bit.ly. Shortening your link not only allows you to use more characters, but it also allows you to track how many clicks you are getting on your links and where those clicks are coming from.
I use Bit.ly myself and I really like it. You can setup a new account by going to their website. After you set that up, you will be able to use that account in the next steps. Be sure to look out for the bonus lesson at the bottom where I show you how to setup your own branded shortlinks with Bit.ly.
Setting up Twitter
If you do not have a Twitter account, head on over to Twitter and set one up.
Here are instructions on how to get started with Twitter.
Remember to put a disclaimer into your Twitter profile description if you want to be safe. It might be a little paranoid, but I would rather be safe than sorry.
If you don't have a blog already, just setup a free one on WordPress.com or Blogger.com, create a page with your disclaimer statement on it, shortlink it in Bit.ly and add the link in your Twitter profile.
Don't know what to say in a disclaimer? Feel free to cut an paste from my Disclosure Statement. I make no guarantees if you copy mine, but it will get you started. And just like when you copied work in high school, remember to put your name on it, not mine. 🙂
What is a hashtag? You can simply think of hashtags as labels that start with #. It is just a way to add a label to your tweet so people can only follow tweets with that label. For example, if you wanted to find tweets about Bruce Springsteen, you would setup a search for the hashtag #theboss.
But if you wanted to see all of my trades, you would follow the hashtag #thebossfx. Here is a video on how to setup hashtag searches in twitter.
Hashtags are important because people follow hashtags. If you use the right hashtags or invent your own, that increases the chance that more people will find your tweets and go to your website or check out your trading record.
Setting up the connection between Twitter and MFB
Now you have to go into MFB and setup your account to broadcast to Twitter. Here is a video on how to do it:
Remember to put in a link to your blog or back to your public trading report on MFB so people can track what you are doing.
What I do is embed the MFB widget into a page on my blog and send people to my blog page. This gets people to my website where they can still see my trading record, but they can also find other useful information and sign up for my email course.
Here is a video on how to embed the graph of your trading in your blog:
Bonus lesson (totally optional)
If you want to add a touch of personalization to your links, you can do what is called a domain hack. Don't worry, it's not illegal, it just refers to using special domain endings to create domains that spell whole words or phrases, using fewer characters.
Some famous examples are:
- del.ico.us (10 characters instead of delicious.com, which is 13 characters)
- about.me (8 characters instead of aboutme.com, which is 11 characters)
- goo.gl (6 characters instead of google.com, which is 10 characters)
Yes, every character counts.
The best way that I have found to find domain hacks is to use the website domai.nr. It is a free site that is a huge help. Get creative and see what you can come up with for your personal name or blog name.
Using a domain hack for your bit.ly links will look more branded and stand out…not to mention they are what all the cool kids are doing. But if you could really care less, then don't do it. The standard bit.ly links work just as well.
These domains cost money and can cost significantly more than regular domains like .com or .net. For example, I purchased thero.es for this blog. The .es ending is for Spain, but luckily they only cost about $17 per year.
However, I also purchased hugh.hk for my personal links. This is a Hong Kong ending so those cost $50 per year.
I've seen domains for certain countries that cost $1,000 per year or more. If the one you want is too expensive or not available, get creative and try other options. There are so many ways to skin a shortlink and domai.nr is really good at suggesting them.
Quick note: No matter how hot or how good a driver you think Danica Patrick is (I think she is both), and no matter how many strip tease commercials they have during the Super Bowl, do not get anything from GoDaddy. That is not just my personal opinion, Google it.
Same with Network Solutions, I don't know how they can charge that much for their domains. But I guess if people pay…
Anyway, that is my lesson on domain hacks for your shortlinks. Fun stuff, but totally optional.
So if you are looking for a way to publicize your trading on Twitter is this the easiest way to do it…that I know of.
Is this something you would do or are you doing it already?