Twitter for Freelance Writers: Tweet with a Plan
The world of freelance writing is changing rapidly; Twitter, the microblogging platform, is a great way to keep up with changes. But be careful: if you’re using Twitter, tweet with a plan; otherwise, Twitter can be a fun waste of time and a lot less useful to your career than it should be.
Here are four tips to help you build your Twitter writing success.
1. Use separate accounts for business and personal tweets
Did you know that you can have as many Twitter accounts as you want? Make use of this facility. You need to separate the purely personal tweets for your family and friends from the business tweets.
On your personal Twitter account, tweet about your purchases, the music you’re listening to, and the sandwich you just ate. On your business account, make useful contacts, network with other writers, and get writing jobs.
2. Set goals and achieve them
Once you’ve separated the business and the purely personal, it’s time to set a goal for what you want to achieve. You can set as many goals as you want, but each goal should have a deadline, and once the deadline has passed, take a few minutes to write a short report on your success or failure.
A word about “failures”: I am a huge fan of failures, simply because with any goal worth achieving, YOU WILL FAIL on your way to success … there is no other way to achieve success than by shooting at goal and failing.
You can set goals for anything, but let’s say you’ve found a website or magazine that you love and think you could write for. On your business account, Tweet using hash tags to inquire about the business (more on hash tags below).
You’ll usually get a tweet within moments, often from someone at the company asking how they can help. This is much more effective than writing an email or inquiry letter.
3. Use hash tags to attract the attention of your target audience
Hash tags are a way of tagging your tweets, so that your tweets can be indexed and found. Tagging is simple, just prepend your subject / tag with the pound sign: #.
Here are some examples:
You want to tag a tweet about Twitter: #Twitter
You want to tag a tweet about writing: #writing
You want to tag a separate tweet: #freelance
4. Measure your success
It’s easy to waste time on sites like Twitter for minimal results.
For example, I have spoken with several writers who were delighted that their follower count was increasing day by day. But when I asked, “How is that helping you?” they had no answer.
Building a large following can be helpful if that’s a goal that will serve a purpose for you. However, follower counts are often only used as a measure because they are highly visible.
It’s much more useful to measure your success by the goals you’ve achieved: the research you’ve found, the sources who contacted you, the writers you’ve established a relationship with, the editors who have contacted you … Twitter can help you achieve your writing goals, as long as you tweet with a plan.