8 Reasons Why Writers Need Twitter

Get Twitter to Market Your Writing!Twitter. Yes, that crazy, 140-character insta-communication place everybody’s talking about. It seems like you’re either hooked on it, or you don’t understand it. I was a serious skeptic, but now that I’ve spent some time on it, I’m finding it an invaluable tool for me as a writer and blogger.

When I first heard about it, I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding.” What can I possibly communicate in these short messages? How can I meaningfully connect with anyone?

But I believe the space limits on Twitter in fact make it more powerful and efficient than other social-media sites. Here are some of the reasons I’ve grown to love it:

1. #1 Internet brain-picking site. Would you like to be inspired daily by the Dalai Lama? Want a quick hit of what Guy Kawasaki or Chris Brogan is thinking? Don’t know who Guy Kawasaki or Chris Brogan are yet? Just follow them and find out. Twitter gives you instant access to some of the brightest minds around the globe, in various fields (especially social media and marketing). For starters, just hang out, follow some whip-smart folks, and learn.

2. Make new friends. I’ve connected with wonderful writers around the country, some of which I’ve chatted with on the phone since, from poking around on Twitter, and seeing who follows me.

3. Learn to be concise. The 140-character discipline of Twitter really teaches you how to write for today’s short-attention-span, online audience. Try to be witty in two lines while still including a link–it’s good practice.

4. Find sources…and let them find you. I’ve found Twitter a good emergency source-finding mechanism, even for arcane stuff. Also, some folks are so into Twitter that it’s the fastest way to get them–give it a try if you’re having trouble reaching someone by phone or email. Also, lots of marketing consultants are out there telling business owners they need to find journalists on Twitter to market their business…so if you get on, story ideas will come your way.

5. Meet editors. Lots of publications are jumping on Twitter. Can be a great way to find an editor name in this era when so many publications don’t seem to have mastheads anymore.

6. Get listed. Twitter’s lists feature has become a great way to get known (and to find people). I’m in 85 or so lists, and have made nearly a dozen–easy way for me to quickly save names by category, i.e. writers, business sources, etc.

7. Find jobs. Twitter is an increasingly hot place for jobs. I created a list for job sites that are on Twitter, so I can run a feed and just look at listings whenever I want. You can also use tools such as TwitJobSearch to run job searches on key words.

8. Get social-media skills. If you’re not working with clients yet who want you to do social media for them, you probably will be soon. So hang out on Twitter and learn the etiquette so you’re ready to combine  your copywriting skills with social media to earn more.

How are you using Twitter to help your writing career? Let me know if I’ve forgotten anything. And for more on how writers can use social media to help their careers, see my Twitter tips and samples.

3/15/01–Oh heck! I DID forget one more thing that’s great about Twitter — #WriterWednesday (or #WW). Every Wednesday, writers on Twitter tweet about what they’re up to, salute new friends or listers…fun dialogue to scroll through. Just search on the hashtag phrase and enjoy…great way to connect with other writers.–Carol

Photo via Flickr user 7son75

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13 comments on “8 Reasons Why Writers Need Twitter
  1. Dahlia says:

    Hello! This link:LinkedIn tips over on the WM Freelance Writing Connection is no longer accessible. Were you aware of this? Just wondering…..I’d’a loved to have read it, is all. Thank you for being such a great resource and help to many. I look forward to learning more as I follow your work.

    Dahlia

  2. pm27 says:

    Great to know even more about the benefits of Twitter!
    Thanks!
    Patricia
    My recent post FOOD–BUY LOCAL

  3. Mac Marvier says:

    It's good to see a great post about Twitter plus social networking every once in a while. Nice one, ta for an excellent read!

  4. John Ferriss says:

    Hello!!

    This page is excellent, very good information … I am looking for more methods of using Twitter for business and am currently using Tweetomatic ( http://tweetomatic.biz ) with good results … but … I’m sure there more and better ways … (Still can not find them, but I’m looking for)

    Again, thanks for the information.

    Greetings!
    John

  5. John Gent says:

    nice blog (: you should follow me on twitter @gr8p <33

  6. Great post, Carol, and I’m glad to find you and your site! I’ve inadvertently gotten a few writing projects from Twitter, but I don’t ever use it to solicit a job. I mostly use Twitter to ask questions about Web challenges, and to help drive traffic to my blog posts.

    I simply let people know what I’ve written on my blog, and once they’ve come to the blog, they’ll find products and services if they need them. And since blog readers can retweet a post when they like it, new readers are finding me every day.

    I don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter, I use SocialOomph keyword alerts, and stay tuned with whom is saying what about my favorite topics with their email alerts. Easy!

  7. It’s nice to see an interesting post about Twitter plus social networking every once in a while. Thanks for an excellent read!

  8. Martin says:

    Carol, I agree with all of the points in this post – especially # 7 and # 8. I've experienced the benefits of building sincere relationships on Twitter which has resulted in finding new clients and even having other writers send opportunities my way.

    # 8 is also a budding reality. many of my clients need help getting started in social media, or want to include social media with the other services I provide. Social media skills can increase your value as a freelancer.

  9. Marissa says:

    Hello Carol,

    Great article. I really enjoyed the tips!

    I'll definately be reading your blog regularly.

    Cheers,

    Marissa

    ps: My main blog is dog related: http://mydoglucyadventures.blogspot.com/

  10. Carol Tice says:

    Hi Denna —

    It is kind of small…but look for the little orange and white square up in the upper right-hand corner of each page, that says "subscribe" next to it.

  11. This is a great blog you got here but i can't seem to find the RSS button.

  12. Kimberly Ben says:

    Carol, I agree with all of the points in this post – especially # 7 and # 8. I've experienced the benefits of building sincere relationships on Twitter which has resulted in finding new clients and even having other writers send opportunities my way.

    # 8 is also a budding reality. many of my clients need help getting started in social media, or want to include social media with the other services I provide. Social media skills can increase your value as a freelancer.