Near the end of August, I opened a Twitter account... and since I had no idea what I was doing, I did very little. I used it to post my thoughts, and to post links to whatever I had recently published on my blog. For about two months, I hovered between 16 and 18 followers. Nobody cared about what I had to say. Even I didn't care, and I was very close to abandoning Twitter and forgetting about the whole thing.
Fortunately, instead of giving up I decided to seek advice on how to revamp my Twitter account. Here's a link to a cross-blog guest post by Richard Stephenson: Indie Author's Guide to Twitter. I strongly recommend everyone who is just starting out with Twitter to read the article and follow the advice. It worked for me! I applied these tricks in November, and my followers rocketed from 16 to over 300. I'm currently receiving between 5 and 10 new followers each day.
How? The main thing is to show interest in others. Building relationships is the funnest, most rewarding and probably most difficult part of Twitter. To build relationships with other writers, first you have to find them. And how do we do that?
A hashtag is a word or string of words without any spaces or punctuation, preceded by the pound sign (#), sometimes also called a "hash". They are links you can click on to see all the recent tweets posted under that tag.
Hashtags classify tweets by topic. Jumping from one hashtag to another is like wandering from one chatroom to another. You can use several hashtags in your tweets, but try not to overdo them: using more than three can be considered spam.
My personal favorites are #amwriting and, this month, #NaNoWriMo. As I mentioned above, you can use hashtags to hover from one topic thread to another. I've found lots of support and made several acquaintances thanks to these two hashtags.
Below you'll see a list of 30 popular hashtags for writers. You'll find hashtags to connect with other authors and readers, to share and ask for advice, to find inspiration and to promote your work. Each hashtag in the list is a hyperlink to the Twitter search page. Just click on your hashtag of interest to see what people are saying now.
Tip: once you have the hashtag in your Twitter search box, and if you like what you see, save the search. That way, you'll get a drop-down menu of all your saved searches each time you click on the search box. This is very useful for forgetful people like me!
#CampNaNoWriMo Active during June and August.
#NaNoWriMo Active during November.
Are there any other hashtags you use to connect with other writers? Share your comments below! Oh, and don't forget to follow me @NadineDucca!
Update: don't forget to check my new post with 40 more Twitter hashtags for writers.