Twitter for Writers — Part 1

Twitter is huge. It reports having 462 million accounts. (Yes, almost half a billion!) In this post, we’ll take a look at the basics of setting up a Twitter account and using it. In my next post, I’ll share how writers use Twitter to promote themselves and their books and even to become better writers.

Let’s get started.

What is Twitter?
Twitter is a free online social networking tool that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters

What is a tweet? 
A tweet is just a cute way of saying “a Twitter post.” You post to Twitter in a way similar to how you post on Facebook. The big difference is length. A Twitter post is limited to 140 characters.

How do I get started?
Michael Hyatt, former CEO for Thomas Nelson Publishing, offers a 20-minute “Beginners Guide to Twitter” HERE. Follow his simple steps, written for “non-techies.”

What if I need more help?
Twitter’s Help Center provides all the information you need and presents it in a clear, easy-to-understand way. Start with the “Twitter Tour” HERE. Then check out “Twitter Basics” HERE .

Why is my profile page important?
Your Twitter profile page presents a first impression. This is how you introduce yourself to followers. It includes your photo, a brief bio, and a link to your webpage and/or blog. Make the most of the short bio. Include a link where followers can find out more about you. On my profile page HERE, you’ll see that I include my web page URL in the bio and that I’ve also linked to my blog.

How can I change the look of my Twitter page?
Twitter makes it simple to change the background design HERE.  They offer a few basic design templates, but remember—this is your author page. You want it to stand out and look different from the rest. If you Google “Free Twitter Backgrounds,” you will find sites with many background images to choose from. Some will automatically set the design on your page. Others will direct you to download the background to your hard drive and then upload it to Twitter. Here are a few places to find backgrounds:




Sharefaith (This site has some nice free Christian backgrounds for a limited time only. If you like these, save them to your hard drive now.)

If you know how to use basic design tools, you can create your own background at Free Twitter Designer HERE. I used this tool to create a custom background on my profile page.

Whom should I follow?
You should follow writers, agents, publishers, and other informative sites for and about writers. Here are a few names to get you started. Visit their profile pages, see whom they’re following, and you will find others to add to your list.

Authormedia presents “29 Christian Literary Agents to Follow on Twitter” HERE and “7 Twitter People Every Author Should Follow” HERE.

You’ll find a list of Christian publishers on Twitter HERE. I’d like to add Barbour Books to this Twitter list.

And a directory of book trade people on Twitter HERE

Until next time, get to know Twitter. Set up an account, play with your design, and find some interesting people to follow. Think about how you could use Twitter as a part of your platform and also as a learning tool.

If you missed my last post “Taking The Mystery Out Of Facebook,” you can read it HERE. And then, would you log in to Facebook, and  please

LIKE my Facebook Author Page HERE.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next time.



Filed under Social Media, Social Networking, Twitter

4 responses to “Twitter for Writers — Part 1

  1. I hopped back on Twitter not long ago but haven’t done a whole lot with it. Was curious about changing the background, so I appreciate the link for that as well as the others. Thanks, Jean, for the info!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I’m not wild about Twitter, but I know it’s a useful tool. Kind of like a frying pan if you don’t like to cook.

    Thanks for the info; I need to add to my profile page. I wish a real person popped out of the screen to talk to you, rather than screen shots and written instructions. They leave me cold.

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