Tag Archive: Twitter



Twitter is a valuable tool for any writer. From bestselling authors to those of us just trying to write something—anything—that people will enjoy as much as we do. And Twitter isn’t very hard to figure out, just takes a few months or years…Actually, I’m not sure I’ll ever really know entirely what I’m doing with Twitter. Mostly, I just take a shot in the dark and try it again if it works. The one thing that I’ve noticed, though, is that tweeting good content often, is the best way to engage with others and will get you the most exposure.

But finding good content can be hard. All that searching and reading and having to decide if it’s worth retweeting. It just takes so much effort. Right?

Wrong.

If I’m focused I can plan out a whole day’s worth of tweets in just two quick sit downs (I use Buffer, which only allows me to store 10 tweets at a time). How do I do this?

Tweeting good content is mostly about staying informed and trying to predict what your audience would want to know. Now, chances are you are no more a mind-reader than I am. So, how do you predict what your followers are going to want to read? Simple. Just pass on what you find interesting, chances are they will find it interesting too. After all, they most likely followed you because you share some similar interests. Now that that part is out of the way, we can talk about how to find good content. Or at least, what I’ve learned  about finding good content.

Half the work will be done for you if you follow the right people. If you follow people that are posting good content that interests you, it’s easy to find stuff you want to pass on to your followers. When trying to build your Twitter list look for these kinds of people:

  • Authors like you– Look for others that are in a similar spot in their writing journey. They are the most likely to post information that is applicable to you. They also love to interact with others like them. They will be the first to congratulate you when you make your word count. And the first to encourage you when your book is driving you up a wall. Or slamming you into the wall.
  • Authors that inspire you (or your friends)- I didn’t start following people like Rick Riordan (@CampHalfBLood), Ally Carter (@OfficiallyAlly) or Lauren DeStefano (@LaurenDeStefano) because I dreamed of becoming all buddy-buddy with them. I followed them because I loved their writing…Okay, mostly I followed them for news about their upcoming books, but I have learned so much from following them and other published authors. I’ve learned about book tours and copy editing and keeping going even when you want to burn your manuscript, so I now follow as many of my favorite authors as I can.
  • Publishing houses/agents/editors- These are good to follow so you can stay up-to-date with the publishing industry. They also happen to post a lot of advice about writing and publishing. So follow them. Especially if you’ll be submitting your book to them.
  • Social media experts– Let’s face it, we’ve entered a world where managing your Twitter and Facebook and blog are just as crucial as writing that book. Following social media accounts (good ones) are a good way to learn and keep abreast of what’s going on. After all, the more you know…

Another good source of info for me are the blogs that I subscribe to (Most of them are located in my blogroll to the right). I apply the same criteria to choosing my blogs. All I have to do is log into my email and I have all kinds of interesting posts at my fingertips. Plus, just like with retweeting, it’s nice to support others that you admire.

If neither of those are working for me—or if I feel like I’m lacking variety on that day—I will do a hashtag search. There are all kinds of people that you never even knew about posting stuff that might just tickle you. Plus, including posts with hashtags makes it easier for others to find and follow you. Some that I have used include:

  • #amwriting
  • #writetip/#writetips
  • #writer
  • #writing
  • #author

Finally, even though you want to be passing along the content of others., there is one big reason that people (real people at least) decide to follow you: They like you. Something you said resonated with them. So don’t forget to be yourself. After you’ve got all kinds of fun stuff to pass along, put in a few personal tweets. Twitter is a great place for accountability. Ask people to hold you responsible for goals. Post updates about where you are. Are you sitting down to write for a few hours? Post your word count, people will celebrate with you…or berate you if you didn’t make your goal. Twitter can also be a great place to ask questions and offer any insight that you might have.

Finally, I couldn’t talk about Twitter without mentioning how I make it happen.

The main problem that you may discover if that you don’t have the time to sit on Twitter all day long and space your tweets out evenly. Nor do you want to flood the Twitter stream with everything that you’ve found to share. Here comes the importance of scheduling your tweets using an app like Buffer or TweetDeck or HootSuite. They all have their pros and cons and it doesn’t much matter which you use. It just depends on what your preferences are.

Now I can’t claim to be any kind of Twitter expert. Heck, I can’t claim to be an expert at much of anything (except running a Chick-Fil-A drive-thru). But this is what I have learned so far, so I wanted to share it with you. Please chime in with your own advice.

And if you’re interested in following me my handle is: @TheGladElf.


Montreal Twestival 2009 Cupcakes by clevercupcakes

Do you tweet?

In an age where authors are having to market themselves more and more on Twitter, Facebook, and personal web pages/blogs, online presence is becoming essential. We’ve become a society where you have to market yourself as well as your book.

Now, if you are not already a Twitter convert (and I understand there may be a straggler or two), I know where you are coming from. I resisted the Twitter trend until last fall. I mean, how could I possibly express myself in only 140 characters?

Turns out you can fit a lot into 140 characters.

Twitter has probably become one of the most influential and useful tools in my writing arsenal. At least when it comes to motivating myself to write. Here are a few ways that Twitter can help you in your writing (btw, my Twitter account is @TheGladElf if you don’t already follow):

1. Connection- What really got me hooked on Twitter was when I started following some of my favorite authors. I was getting up to the minute updates on where they were on their current WIP (work-in-progress for the noobs or the acronym deficient, like me). Twitter is a great way to see what the big names (or not so big names) are doing and to get in touch with other writers who are at the same stage that you are. And there is some really great interaction. Find a Twitter chat to participate in, get to know your peers and the people who’ll be reading your books. Getting yourself out there is key to building an audience.

2. Information- If you know anything about the publishing/writing industry it is that it changes constantly. Staying up to date in the latest doings is key. Following accounts like Writer’s Digest (@WritersDigest) and Publisher’s Weekly (@PublishersWkly) will keep you in the loop and informed. I’m constantly finding links to other’s blogs and to web pages with great information.

3. Motivation- One of the awesome things about following other writers is that they are usually very vocal about where they are on their current WIP. It’s nice to see someone else where you are or where you want to be. And it is a constant reminder to you to pick up your pen and get to work. If my favorite authors can manage to write a book while promoting another, going on tour and buying anew fridge what excuse do I have that can compare. Although, you might want to disengage from Twitter to write. It can be distracting. Just a little. Or just a lot.

4. Promotion- Let’s face it. You write because you want people to read your writing. I’ll admit it at least. Because first thing I do when I write something is shove it in my best friend’s face and demand “Read!” Twitter is a great way to keep people updated and interested in your own work. Especially if you blog (which you should). In the last month since I started really using Twitter to post links to my blog (TweetDeck and scheduled tweets are a wonderful thing) it has become the most dominant form of referral to my blog.

5. Fun- First off, I did try to find a “-tion” word for this, but celebration wasn’t quite right and distraction just seemed offensive (and fun rhymes, sort of). Anyways, Twitter is fun. It cracks me up. I mean, I knew that I loved Ally Carter’s (@OfficiallyAlly) humor in her books, but she Tweets funny stuff too (as well as important, informative stuff). Also, you never know who’ll tweet back. A certain author might have tweeted a picture of a page from their upcoming book. And me being me, I might have gone ahead and read even though I knew it would only drive me crazy (relief comes next week, thank goodness). My retweet/reply read something like “AAAAGH!!!” and she tweeted back. Now, I did not take a picture of my computer screen and have it framed…but I might have thought about. Just might have. Suffice it to say, that one moment made a bad day much brighter.

So, I’m sure that by now you have been won over to the wonders of Twitter, or maybe you were already won over, but there are just a couple more things that I would like to mention. Because on Twitter, nobody wants to be that guy (or girl). You know, the one that nobody wants to follow. So before I go, five things that I have learned to help you tweet smarter (can you tell I’m all about the numbered lists?):

1. Be relevant- I think this is the one I run across the most often. Consider your audience. Do they really need to know what you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Everyday? If you’re a chef, maybe. But for the most part, try to refrain from the daily doldrums. Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t add a little personal flair or give a brief (key word, brief) glimpse into your perosnal life, but try to keep in mind your audience and what they are looking to read. In my case, anytime I come across a tweet about writing, or about someone’s book or just, something that has me rolling on the floor laughing, I’ll retweet it.

2. Be careful- Once you hit “tweet”, it is out there until the end of eternity. You can’t get rid of it. It’s kind of like that tattoo you got on Spring Break. Tweet with care. Double check that your wrods have all the letters in the rihgt places. And be careful what you tweet. Think twice and then thrice. and try not to offend anyone famous or rich.

3. Be nice- You know that thing your mom told you. Yeah, that one. I won’t repeat it, but, keep in mind that this may be the first impression that people get of you. Or the second. Have you heard of the “lost the job” horror stories because people assumed the big man didn’t do Twitter (Or Facebook, etc.)? It’s not just that you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. It’s that you want to create a professional persona here. It’s okay to disagree with someone, but be polite when you do. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.

4. Be giving- The world revolves around the sun. Not me. Not you. You know and I know it. So don’t just tweet your own stuff. You want people to follow you? You have to follow people. You have to do more than tweet links to your blog. You need to contribute and be useful. And part of that is helping share what others have brought to your attention. Best way to get someone’s attention? Retweet their stuff (but you should also be picky, make sure anything you RT matches up with the last three factors).

5. Be real- By which I mean, be you. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people out there who are going to get some part of your personality. Who are going to find it entertaining and thought-provoking and fun. Don’t try to be someone else on Twitter. I mean, if your M.O. is jerk-face, you might want to censor it a little (unless you’re famous, apparently it’s okay then). But otherwise, feel free to be you. Because that’s who your readers are going to want. And that is who they will connect with.

Obviously, I’m a Twitter baby. So please, chime in with any other advice or tips or enlightening (funny) stories you might possess.

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