Twitter for Writers – How Tweets Help Writing Careers 19


Is Twitter for writers? You betcha! Here are 13 ways tweets help writing careers; these Twitter tips are from freelance writers, book authors, and copywriters who share how Tweets have helped their writing careers. If you’re wondering if and how Twitter can make you a successful writer, look no further!

Before the tips, a quip:

“The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.”  ~ Mark Twain’s Notebook.






Yikes…once you’re done writing, then the real writing begins! No wonder surviving on a writer’s salary is an uphill battle. But, thanks to the internet, our battle is definitely easier. Twitter is a professional and social networking site that benefits writers in various ways. To learn more about using social networking to help your writing career, read Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs.

And, here are tips for successful writers and Twitter…

Twitter for Writers – Tweet Your Writing Career!

Source of writing jobs

“The book I’m writing came from an interview on how my library uses Twitter,” says technical and library nonfiction writer Robin Hastings. “The author of that article ended up offering me the opportunity to write this book, so *indirectly*, Twitter got me my book writing gig, too!”

Neverending supply of ideas and sources for articles

“Twitter is a great way to learn about news and trends – and therefore potential article topics – and it’s also great for finding sources,” says part-time freelance writer and ghost blog writer Julie Bonn Health. “Recently I posted the need for a source for up-selling and cross-selling for my business column, and the person who responded has 14 years experience in store management and training salespeople for big box stores. He was very helpful, a willing source, and it made my article really shine.”

Networking tool for introverted writers

“Twitter is a surprisingly good icebreaker when it comes to networking,” says Kelly Watson. “I’m not very good at going up and introducing myself to people I don’t know, but thanks to Twitter I’ve been able to say, “Hey, I follow you on Twitter!” It’s a great conversation starter, especially for a shy person like myself.”

Increased writing confidence

“Twitter is deepening my sense of self-confidence,” says Julie Isaac of WritingSpirit.com. “Even though I know I have gifts to share with others through my writing, having almost 4,300 followers is truly awe-inspiring. Constantly hearing how this writing tip helped one person, and that writing tip helped another, while being recommended and “retweeted,” often, as well as blogged about outside of Twitter, has strengthened my confidence in a way that I, as a fairly capable writer, have no words to express. I’m a different person. Twitter hasn’t just helped my writing grow, it’s helped me grow.  I’m not the same shy and quiet woman I was when I first tiptoed onto Twitter. I know, now, how powerful and life-changing 140 characters can be.”

Writing and editing practice with tweets

“Twitter keeps me focused. It keeps me writing a tidbit directly to the public every day, and it forces me to make what I say count,” says Dusty White, author of How to Get ANY MAN to do ANYTHING You Want! ” I feel like a solider in a war with 140 bullets. No matter how many shots are fired at me, I have to make mine count; not fill the airwaves with what I had for lunch, or when I am going to the bathroom.”






New business ventures

“I have made some fabulous connections on Twitter,” says freelance writer Teresa Hall. “In fact, I have started to completely new business adventures with two different Tweeple I met on Twitter. Both connect to my freelance writing career, of course, but brand new ventures that I never would have been a part of without Twitter.”

Promoting your writing achievements

“I use Twitter more for finding news topics, connecting to people, and promotion, rather than finding freelance jobs,” says Nick Belardes. “There are so many fellow journalists and news sources on Twitter who found my Twitter novel. I’ve done several interviews that I think have been really helpful in promoting me, which in turn helps promote my freelance work. Any press that we write or that we get for ourselves via social networking engines like Twitter helps our writing careers.”

Connecting with readers

“Twitter has helped me carve out a niche audience that is truly invested in the work I do,” says Joe Bruzzese, author of the Parent’s Guide to the Middle School Years. “Many of the users have families with kids that are either in middle school or approaching the middle school years. Connecting with my target audience has also given me opportunities to speak at a host of schools and organizations.”

Increased blog traffic

“I’ve increased hits to my blog, which in turn increases exposure to my work, which hopefully can translate into more work coming my way,” says part-time freelance writer Pj Perez. “I’ve also come across a new network of writers, social media “experts” and bloggers, people with whom I can both collaborate and cross-promote our wares.”

New writing opportunities

“It’s easy to find sources for stories by reading tweets,” says part-time freelance writer Jill Nussinow (The Veggie QueenTM). “I’ve been invited to be a guest blogger and hope that will lead to future paying assignments.”  And, full-time freelancer Thursday Bram adds, “I actually landed a blogging gig through Twitter – a friend announced he was looking for a blogger, I contacted him and shortly had a new gig! I’ve also found an absolute wealth of sources: a week doesn’t go by that I don’t post a question to Twitter, looking for someone I can quote.”

Increased writing motivation

“Tweets from fellow writers that say “Finished my query quota for the day!” serve as a great kick in the pants,” says freelance writer Ron Doyle. “Perhaps it’s my competitive side, but I feel more motivated to work when I realize writers are doing the same.”

Links to great articles and blog posts

“Many of the people I ‘follow’ on Twitter are in the publishing and marketing/PR fields,” says April Hamilton, author of The IndieAuthor Guide. “Every day at least one of them posts a link to a great writing-, marketing- or publishing-related article or blog post, and there are frequent links to free resources and marketing opportunities for writers as well (i.e., notices about journalists looking to interview authors, free webinars, calls for conference presentations, etc.).  Twitter also allows me to publicize my own activities when those activities may be of interest to my Twitter ‘followers’, but may not quite merit a press release (i.e., notifying people I’ve got a new blog post up).”

Is Twitter an essential marketing tool for writers?

“I am both a writer and owner of an editorial consultancy company called BubbleCow,” says Gary Smailes. “As part of my day-to-day job I advise writers on ways in which they can promote themselves and their books. In the past few months I have begun to suggest that Twitter is an essential part of any marketing campaign.”

Has Twitter helped your writing career? I welcome your comments below…




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If you’re a writer who needs help marketing your book (in addition to using Twitter!), read Promoting a Book – Should You Hire a Book Promotion Company?.


19 thoughts on “Twitter for Writers – How Tweets Help Writing Careers

  • Laurie PK

    Hi Anna,

    Your experience with Twitter as a writer and blogger is the exact same as mine! I don’t notice a huge increase in page views….but I do like the interaction and information that Twitter offers.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment!

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..6 Tips for Long-Term Success as a Freelance Writer =-.

  • Anna

    This is a good post, thank you!

    Since I started using Twitter, my page views haven’t increased too much. Maybe you need a certain number of followers before you start noticing results. A few people click on the links I post, but nobody leaves a comment and certainly nobody clicks on the ads.

    But i think Twitter is good for writers for the reasons you listed.

    Anna

  • Mary

    I love twitter. It can definitely be a time drain if I let it, but I’ve made some of the best connections and know that I can always find great sources there. I love being able to connect with the writers who have inspired and taught me through their work as well.
    .-= Mary´s last blog post ..Writer’s Market =-.

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  • Laurie PK

    Thanks for your comments, everyone.

    As a “seasoned” Twitter writer (I’ve been tweeting for 2 whole months now), I must say it’s a double-edged sword. I could easily waste hours tweeting away – and following my tweeties’ tweets – but I need to schedule my Twitter time. It’s a perfect case of too much of a good thing being detrimental!

    But, I love how Twitter reduces my isolation as a freelance writer. I definitely feel more supported, creative, and even productive as a writer now that the honeymoon phase is over 🙂

    Tweet you later!
    Laurie

  • Mamashares

    My concern with Twitter is what you referred to at the end of your article. It consumes a lot of the time you should be spending writing. I suppose if you are disciplined, you can make it work for you.

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  • Becca

    I agree that Twitter and other social media sites are not just helpful, but even detrimental to the careers of freelance writers in this day and age. Blogging is just as important, if you ask me.

    In face, according to a recent article about hot job skills for 2008 that features outsourcing jobs, the demand for blogging skills has having increased by 4 times from that of the previous year. I find this encouraging nbecause in this economy, it’s good to be a part of something that is actually in demand.

    Looking forward to your next post. 🙂

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  • n.l. belardes

    I contributed to this piece, yet reading all the other answers is helpful to me. There’s just a bazillion uses for twitter, and I think we’re barely exploring all the possibilities… thanks for allowing me to be a part.

  • Stiennon

    I have been pretty heavy into Twitter for three months now. I am open about my attempts to work with trade journals, agents, and publishers. I get great feedback from the same. One tip led to a site for finding agents that is working! (@ me on twitter and I will share it with you)

    Another Twitter contact is an editor for one of the trade journals I could write for. He is forwarding my book proposal to an agent friend. I also met someone from Wiley on Twitter who is passing my book proposal along as well.

    And, hey, I found this post through Twitter!

    -Richard Stiennon

  • Lori Baer

    I’ve only been on Twitter for about a month, but I’m amazed at its potential for highlighting skills, showcasing work ethic, gathering article research leads, promoting published work, and driving traffic.

    I also think that ultimately people work with people. It’s a great way to get to know a person’s style, personality (even habits) before entering a working relationship with them.

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