Twitter tips for writers, coming up. But first, a fun fact: My parents hate all social media. Including Twitter.
I hated all social media, including Twitter, until I started using Twitter for writing. But there was a pretty steep learning curve, which I talked about in my first installment of Twitter tips — three things you should know about Twitter — especially for someone who had never used social media before.
Last time, I discussed why you should take initiative on Twitter and how you will be rewarded if you do. And though I mentioned the #WritingCommunity, I didn’t have the chance to discuss its ins and outs in more detail, or to talk about the famed #writerslift. Which is infamous in some circles, like the #WritersCafe. You Twitter people know exactly what I’m talking about.
Let’s dive into some Twitter tips for writers.
What You Should Know About the #WritingCommunity
So, first of all, a little bit of a story. Because I know how much you love stories!
My perception of Twitter and of the #WritingCommunity has changed over time. There was that initial jolt — the realization that people on Twitter were normal human beings, just like me, and pretty kind, supportive human beings to boot. Then, my perception began to change as I got bombarded with self-promotion. And lastly, my perception changed again, when I realized Twitter was a useful tool for both self-promotion and exploring others’ work — and adding to a growing list of reading material.
I’ll talk more about this when I get to the #writerslift, but let’s talk about the #WritingCommunity first.
The #WritingCommunity is multi-faceted.
That’s right. And all-purpose!
If you have a question about the craft, head to the #WritingCommunity! If you want a GUARANTEED answer, tag me — @VoyageoftheMind — and I’ll get to you. Probably several other people will, too.
Some people believe that the #WritingCommunity is just filled with self-promotion and that no one talks about writing. But this isn’t true. There are many people in the #WritingCommunity who want to talk about writing and who do talk about writing. If you want to be really safe, you can try tagging the #WritersCafe as well. The #WritersCafe was formed by a group of writers who feel that the atmosphere of the #WritingCommunity isn’t conducive to real talk about writing. But do tag me. I’ll make sure some others give you input on your question, too.
You can just as easily use the #WritingCommunity to self-promote or to discover your new favorite book, blog, poem, or other writing-related piece. Just write a good bio, be honest and friendly and open, and you’ll be golden.
About those bios…
Yes, I want to be able to tell from your bio that you’re a writer. A lot of people in the #WritingCommunity only follow fellow writers and creatives, so make sure people know what you’re on Twitter for!
If you maintain or have previously maintained an active personal account, consider keeping that one and making a separate one for writing. That way, you won’t risk people unfollowing you because you, say, tweet a lot about politics. Some people try to stay away from politics. It’s all up to you, of course! I personally don’t worry about who might unfollow me if I tweet something political or post an article with a political stance.
My bio also gives some details about me, all of which are not necessary features. If you want to tell people things like your age, sexual orientation, or race, go right ahead! As far as I know, these kinds of details don’t turn people off. I also include a little tagline: “Dreams come first where I come from.”
Something I love about the #WritingCommunity…
I love seeing how kind the writers out there are and how supportive they are to each other (and to me). It reminds me of human goodness, which is sadly not something you see every day.
The dark side of the #WritingCommunity…
Okay, too dramatic. But the #WritingCommunity, like all other parts of Twitter, *can* turn into an echo chamber at times. If you happen to upset someone, you might end up upsetting a lot of people. I don’t think I’ve ever stepped on toes (yet), but I’ve seen others do it. If you do, take a step back, take a deep breath, and keep a calm head. Apologize if you feel you need to. Listen to the other views at play. Continue to express yours in a rational way, and you’ll be fine. Worst comes to worst, tag a Twitter friend for arbitration! (Never seen that done, but I feel it could work.)
Now let’s get onto more Twitter tips for writers!
What you should know about the #writerslift
First of all, what is a #writerslift? Writers lifting weights? A misspelling of #writerslife? What in the world?
Simply put, a #writerslift could be one of two things. One, you could request a #writerslift for yourself or for a friend, which basically equates to you asking the #WritingCommunity to follow you or your friend.
Second, you could run a #writerslift for everyone, which means you’ll let everyone drop their books, blogs, art, articles, etc. in the comments of your #writerslift tweet. Usually this means you’ll like and retweet many, if not all, of these replies.
This means that you can find the #writerslift tweets being run by other people and drop your links! But hold it a second, before you start copy and pasting — it’s best to personalize your message in some way. People often run #writerslifts to celebrate big milestones, like reaching a follower count or having a successful book launch. Take time to read what the person is celebrating and congratulate them! Then drop your link. And if you think this person won’t be interested in your erotica or what-have-you, or if they’ve asked for books not blogs, then don’t drop that erotica and don’t drop that blog. Just say hi.
Interaction is also key. If you want more people to read your blog post, read and comment on other people’s blog posts. If you want more people to buy your book, buy some books yourself!
My #writerslift story
When I first started on Twitter, I thought that the #writerslifts had to be a big waste of time. To me, from the outside, they looked like chains of people spewing self-promotion into oblivion. Sure, the person running the lift maybe liked and retweeted your tweet, but that was about it.
Sometime this spring, I decided to try a couple myself. And I was honestly surprised. Even when I put zero effort in, just dumped a link into the comments like I’ve advised you not to do, a couple people read my stuff! And said they liked it! And I got to thank them and read some of their stuff, too.
You connect all the more when you’re proactive — when you make an effort to connect with people, when you read their stuff and buy their books. This is common sense, but it needs to be said.
And if you throw out a #writerslift and don’t get big results, don’t get disheartened. Try again until it works. Fake it till you make it. That’s how I found my way.
I’d be happy to see you on one of my #writerslifts (which are pretty few and far between) or on any other! Say hi. Share your stuff. Get to know the #WritingCommunity.
If you enjoyed “Twitter Tips For Writers,” read more on Voyage of the Mind!
Definitely check out three things you should know about Twitter. And give three things you should know about Pinterest a read. To round it out, find out the three most important things Laura learned about blogging in her first year and a half on the blog.
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