50+ Writer Uses for Twitter

by Meryl Evans | Category: Blogging, Business, Meryl's Notes Blog, Tech, Writing 28 comments

Whether you like twitter or not, it can be a valuable tool if you make the most out of it. Standing by and watching conversations go by won’t work. Anyway, plenty of other posts about twitter use exist on this blog and elsewhere — this focuses on what it can do for writers.

Thanks to the superb Phil Baumann’s health care uses for twitter for the idea.

  1. Post story ideas for comments and quotes.
  2. Ask questions related to a story you’re working on. I did that for this one.
  3. Request experts for a topic.
  4. Link to your stories (don’t overdo this!). And say something more than “Check out my new post…” Instead “Get writer tips for using twitter…”
  5. Participate in group chats (#journchat, for example) for new ideas and insights.
  6. Identify trends.
  7. Network: I am deaf and prefer online networking because I’m on equal ground and no one judges me as my deaf accent doesn’t come through. I also don’t have to worry about misunderstandings.
  8. Practice writing effective and short sentences, which can improve your writing.
  9. Converse with readers. It makes you accessible.
  10. Share articles of interest to writers: I discover many useful articles that help me improve on a professional basis and share my finds.
  11. Help clients: I get involved in twitter conversations surrounding my clients’ topics and sometimes find an opportunity to refer a prospect to a client.
  12. Report news: I first learned about the US Air crash in the Hudson through twitter.
  13. Post urgent queries for faster responses. @skydiver can help here, too.
  14. Support from other writers: Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and need water cooler talk and motivation. Just saw a link to a writer’s block article and another on what to do during an economic downturn.
  15. Use alert tools to track keywords and topics. Twilerts and Tweetbeep.
  16. Ask for input from other writers. Someone needed resources for a writer workshop and received a fast reply.
  17. Receive feedback on published content. Become a better writer.
  18. Look for gigs and job postings.
  19. Discover great quotes about writing. Dr Seuss: “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
  20. Search Twitter: Use the search tool when you need experts on a topic, quotes, anything you’d search for through a search engine except use this one for twitter.
  21. Learn from other writers: “It allowed me to connect with other writers and find out what they’re doing,” says Deborah Woehr (and I met her on twitter)
  22. Issue story updates: You might not want to write another article or post on a story you previously published. Instead, post updates in twitter for those curious “What happened to…” or “How did it turn out?”
  23. Report site problems: For example, writers working for a major site can report when it experiences problems. I reported a problem with a site’s design to a friend. Sometimes code just goes bonkers. I don’t like to look at my own site, so I appreciate the feedback!
  24. Discuss grammar and language: I had a fun discussion on UK English terms with Brad and Joanna.
  25. Be playful: “It’s made me more playful,” Joanna Young. This stirs creativity and imagination.
  26. Find discounts: Could be books, courses, software and other useful writing tools.
  27. Find guest bloggers: When I had my blog’s 8th birthday, I found a couple of guest bloggers through twitter and others found me.
  28. Get prize donations: I found prize sponsors and sponsored prizes through twitter connections.
  29. Meet local writers: Great folks to know for discussing weather, local stuff, etc. and…
  30. Set up in person meetings: Many writers have met for lunch when they live close by or set up a meeting at a conference.
  31. Laugh: Hey, it’s healthy and writers tell jokes and stories about the writing life or not.
  32. Share writing and twittering tips.
  33. Talk health benefits.
  34. Share work-life balance tips. It’s too easy to keep working after 5pm especially with many working from a home office.
  35. Stay connected: When I injured my hand and had surgery, I couldn’t write articles — but I could tweet. Twitter kept me in the loop and in touch.
  36. Post pictures of funny signs.
  37. Tweet conferences: Many conferences have tidbits posted all over twitter usually followed with a hashtag such as #sxsw (for south by southwest).
  38. Talk about writer organizations.
  39. Reach goals: Post your goals for the world to see and it pressures you to meet them.
  40. Start your day: Twitter can be a good place to warm up your writing for the day and get you in the right mood for writing.
  41. Get referrals: I’ve been lucky some people tweeted that I am a good writer. I doubt that would’ve happened if I hadn’t been on twitter to stay fresh in their minds, which brings …
  42. Stay fresh in other people’s minds: Like newsletters help companies stay in the minds of prospects of clients, twitter does the same for freelancers and individuals.
  43. Ask about other locales: A friend was thinking of moving to Texas and asked me questions. Writers can live almost anywhere and take working vacations, so ask about great places to stay in a foreign country.
  44. Discover new songs and artists: It’s hard for me to learn new ones and I got a great suggestion from a twitter friend. Some writers work well with music playing.
  45. Post links to free downloads.
  46. Connect through social networks: I’ve met folks on Facebook and found them on twitter and vice versa. A well-rounded social network can make a difference. For instance, you might not use Facebook much and stay in touch better in twitter or the other way around.
  47. Discuss books: Writing books, good vs. bad.
  48. Discuss agents: Need or not? Good vs. bad.
  49. Discuss publishers. Good vs. bad, types, print on demand, etc.
  50. Discuss magazine opportunities.
  51. Discuss legal-related topics for writers.
  52. Ask about online sites: Find out their reputation and if it’s worth looking into for writing opportunities.
  53. Reminder to check blogs without having to look up URLs. Twitter makes it easier for me to catch up with people while reading their blogs at the same time.
  54. “Have plain old fun” Everyone needs a break, especially writers,” Jamie of How Not to Write.
  55. “See what’s out there in real time,” Tumblemoose.
  56. “Quick connect” with my community,” Tumblemoose.

What else?

Updated: January 28, 2009


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  • Posted by AnthonyF.