3 Tips to Grow Your Writer Platform with Twitter

Getting Started

Earlier, I mentioned that Twitter had been my best social media investment for building my platform so far. I created my Twitter account in early December, and as of right now I have 226 followers. That is small potatoes in the Twitterverse, but after 3 years of blogging in my old life, I never reached those kinds of numbers. Not even close.

So in a month, I have the attention of more people than I did in three years with my blog. I wish Twitter had been around back then!

In this brief time on Twitter, I have already learned a few things that I hope will help you, too.

The point of Twitter is to interact with others, sharing things you find interesting and helpful.  (Or to occasionally go on a rant :-)) If you want to have followers, you have to get out there so you can be found. Here are three tips to get you started.

1. Curate

Part of Twitter’s beauty is that you can just create your account in a few clicks, and moments later, you interact with other Tweeters by replying, favoriting and retweeting their posts. This is a quick and easy way to start building community, because helping others promote their posts is a good way to get them to follow you back or mention you in a tweet.

Search Twitter using the box at the top using keywords, hashtags or names to find people and content that interest you. (They even have an Advanced Search here.)

2. Create

Finding great tweets from others to share is good, but you need to post original content of your own, too. Let your personality show, but be consistent with your brand voice. If your blog is going to be “professional,” quoting Stewie from “Family Guy” is probably going to confuse your followers. Use your tweets to direct readers to your own blog or website, share any promotions or products you have, or even plug a friend. But don’t be spammy!

3. Automate

I had email notifications turned on for EVERYTHING in Twitter. Each time I got a new follower email, I checked out their Twitter profile, read a few tweets, and decided if I wanted to follow them or not.

That lasted about three days.

I was buried with emails by then, and knew that I was going to have to devise a better plan. I needed to automate my follows, unfollows and tweets. I’ll dive into those tools in another post, but I don’t think you can be successful on Twitter without at least a little automation.

If you are like, “What’s Twitter?” or you truly don’t know where to start, here are some links that I found helpful for the very basics of Twitter. Enjoy!

Welcome to Twitter from Twitter Support

5 Beginner Twitter Tips for Businesses from AddThis

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter by Michael Hyatt

Twitter Tips for Beginners by Jeff Goins

If you are on Twitter, let me know who you are and we’ll connect! I am @evsloane. Happy tweeting!

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How to Start Building an Author’s Platform

beginning

We need a platform, right? That’s a place or opportunity for public discussion. Sounds like we need to find The Public and start talking, so where do we find them?

Social media. You know, the ones you spend hours on: Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest. Snapchat. YouTube. LinkedIn.

But wait! I have a novel to write! I don’t have time to tweet, like, share, snap, follow, pin, comment and post!

That’s true. But, to find The Public, you’ll have to engage. You can be smart about how and where you invest your time, though. Here’s a few tips to help you find the right social channels for you:

1. Don’t try to be a superstar on every outlet.

Pick the ones that work for you and the brand image you are trying to create and focus there.

I am not a big photo-taker, and my writing is still in the draft stages. I don’t have much media to share, so Instagram doesn’t make sense for me right now. However, I can curate loads of content on Twitter and find new followers every day.

2. Go where you already are.

If you have thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook friends, then why are you reading this blog? You already have a platform! (Just kidding. A little). Use those numbers to your advantage. Find or create content that you can share with the people who are already paying attention, and share often.

3. Go where The Public will be.

Think about where to find your target audience, and then join in yourself. Where do they spend their time? What sites will they be on? Blogs, Facebook groups, and other online communities based on your niche are all great places to start. I have signed on to a couple of writer’s groups and blogging courses, and met one of my best friends and advocates that way, as well as a fellow writer.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, before I started this blog, I went ahead and set up a few social media accounts to get started. I purposely wanted to wait for January to launch the blog, but didn’t see a reason to wait for the others. Here’s what I chose:

So far, Twitter has been my best investment by far, followed by Pinterest. Instagram and Facebook have very little activity, though for different reasons. I’ll discuss each channel in more detail in future posts.

Until then, think of a site or two that you could get started on, and go do it! I’d love to see what sites you choose. Tell me where to find you in the comments so we can connect!

No author platform? Me either. Let’s fix that.

Hey. I’m Evangeline. Or Evie, Eve, Eva, Ev, or whatever else you feel like calling me.

To find out a little back story on me, click over to my Meet Evangeline page.

Forty has been a liberating year for me. Over and over, as that big birthday approached, I was told that my perspective would change, and that I just wouldn’t care about some things anymore. I thought, “yeah, sure,” but they were totally right. To sound very cliché, I decided to not sweat the small stuff anymore. Life’s too short to waste on that shit.

One of the things that’s always been buried in the recesses of my heart is to be a published novelist. It’s scary to think about the work that goes into it. How many hours of research to get the details of a certain scene right. How many words drafted, edited, tossed out and rewritten. How many cups of coffee, writing prompts, computer failures, tears and cuss words. And after all that and then some, you still may not find anyone willing to publish it.

Scares the crap out of me just thinking about it.

But, I’m not known for being chicken. And all those gorgeous shelves of books in Barnes & Noble were written by people who weren’t scared. If they can do it, then hell, I can too.

I know that in this day and age, I need a platform to pull this thing off. And I don’t have one. Honestly, I hate the idea of a platform as it relates to writing.

(Believe me–there WILL be a post or two about that!)

As much as I may rant about platforms and publishing, I know that if I want to see my dream fulfilled and see my name on the spine of a book, I have to play by the rules. This blog is where I will start that, and show you what I learn along the way.

I’ve already jumped ahead and launched on a few social media channels (see the Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram buttons on the upper left), but this is the beginning of the blog–my home base.

Building a platform, especially for a fiction writer, is a big task. As much as I have searched, read blogs and e-books, pinned infographics, and took web courses, I still haven’t found anyone offering quite what I was looking for. So, I’m going to do my best on my own, and hopefully what I discover will be just what you needed, too.

My next post will jump right in, as I tell you what I’ve already experienced by starting my social media accounts. Come back to read all about it!

Bring it, 2015!