7 Tips for Authors to Build Twitter Presence

I’ve compiled some tips that will help beginner Twitter users start to build their online presence. If you don’t already have a Twitter login, the first step is to create an account. The process is pretty simple, but here is a video tutorial. Something you will want to consider before you create your account is your username. Your username is what people are going to remember you by, so make sure that it’s appropriate for what you want to achieve with your account.

1. Use hashtags.
Coming into the world of Twitter can certainly be overwhelming. So much information is being thrown at you, and it’s daunting to try to connect with people you don’t know in real life. A good place to start connecting with people interested in similar topics is by using and searching hashtags like #writingcommunity or #publishing. You can find a fuller list of some basic yet essential hashtags here. You can also create your own hashtags to keep people updated on your books.

2. Tweet 3–5 times a day.
At first it may feel like you are shouting into a void, but that’s okay. Take it as practice. Observe other tweets. See what works and what doesn’t. At certain times, your tweets will gain more visibility because of user activity. According to Sprout Social’s 2018 study, the best time to post on Twitter is between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays. While it’s good to heed this advice, you don’t have to strictly follow this schedule, as many writers keep irregular hours.

3. Leave comments and retweet with comments.
Twitter permits you to have an ongoing conversation about different topics. Getting to be a part of that conversation is one of the joys of being a writer. Leaving comments will boost your visibility and make it more likely that someone will click on your profile and follow you.

4. Reply to comments and messages.
This is another part of the interactive element of Twitter. Of course, you don’t have to reply to or like all comments that you get, but interacting with your followers is one way to keep them engaged and create rapport with them.

5. Don’t just promote yourself.
Just like in real life, it’s annoying when people only talk about themselves on Twitter. Writers are in constant need of encouragement, so help promote work by other people that you enjoy.

6. Be genuine.
The most important thing about relationships on Twitter is that you remain true to yourself. While it’s important to observe trends, don’t just become a copy-and-paste version of other authors’ accounts. Over the past year, I’ve personally been more likely to check out a book I’ve seen on Twitter if the author has a genuine-sounding voice on their social media.

7. Use lists.
After you have become more Twitter savvy, you can organize the different topics you want to keep tabs on into various lists. Say, for example, you want to create a “Favorite Authors” list. You can add all of the authors to the list, and Twitter will create an exclusive feed that you can either keep private or allow people to subscribe to.

Although I haven’t been a part of the Twitter writing community for long, I’ve found that it is very welcoming. If you feel overwhelmed or lost, most likely someone else does too, and that is the beauty of social media: you can relate to other writers, share tips with each other, and create good relationships.

Three Reasons Writers Need Websites

If you’re a writer without a website, this is the post for you. With 84 percent of the American population online, your largest potential audience is waiting for you out there in cyberspace, and you can’t afford to not have one. Whether you don’t have the time, you don’t appreciate the internet as a medium, or you just don’t know how websites work, the fact is that if you want to succeed as a writer, you need a website. If you’re not sure why that is, here are three ways that websites will help you out and a few author sites to check out for some inspiration:
 

  1. Creates a Professional Platform – Sure, you have a Facebook page and a Twitter account, but that’s not really where you want to send potential clients or sales reps, is it? If you’re trying to get a piece published, or if you’re looking for freelance work, you need a platform that shows off your talents, gives publishers a better idea of who you are, and provides another way for these people to contact you. A quality website not only gives people a place to go to find your work but it draws potential clients and readers in, ultimately creating more business and more money.

  1. Provides Motivation – The great thing about writers’ websites is that they often include blogs. And there’s no better way to work on your writing than in your own blog. A blog you own is low stakes: you get to pick what you write; you can write any way you want; you can use it to develop voice, tone, or style; and best of all, it keeps you motivated when you’re between projects. It’s a good way to keep yourself in the writing habit without too much pressure.

  1. Builds Your Email List – If you plan on doing any kind of marketing when you publish, an email list is easily one of your most important tools. A website can help you fill out that list with people who are excited about your work and can’t wait to read whatever you have coming next. If you have some writing samples you really like but don’t mind giving to fans, just put them up on your website as gated content. This means that to access those pieces, site viewers have to put in their email address. Your readers get new content from you, and you get another address to add to the email list. Then when it is time to market, you can send out an email to all of those people who you know love your writing.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out these great websites from a few of our more recent Ooligan authors:

Eliot Treichel seamlessly incorporated all of his social media accounts into his website. This is a really good way to get people talking about your writing, which builds your online presence. He also makes it super easy for readers to navigate to a site where they can buy his books, a major sales bonus.

Ruth Tenzer Feldman’s website is a perfect example of how to get your blog going. Hers is not only updated frequently, it’s posted front and center on the homepage of her website. This is a great way to bump your site’s rankings on Google, get new visitors, and keep your faithful readers coming back regularly.

Karelia Stetz-Waters’ site is another good place to get some web design inspiration. Her site puts a big emphasis on quality images, a great way to draw new site visitors in. Those attention-grabbing pictures feature her own titles, making it easy for viewers to see what she’s published and what she’s doing.