Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Make More Money Writing with Twitter

Social media is something that nearly everyone is using. It’s not just for teenagers, for techies, and spammers. I firmly believe it can be useful to anyone. It has certainly been useful to me as a freelance writer. Sure, some social marketing tools can be time wasters but there are definitely benefits of using social media to get writing gigs.

Sure, there are a few 'paid to tweet' services that pay a fee for a tweet but that's not the kind of Twitter money I'm talking about.

I was using Twitter before it became main stream. Actually, the first time I saw it was on Sharon Hurley Hall’s blog in either 2007 or early 2008, I think. Sharon had posted a Twitter widget in the sidebar and I saw the conversation that was happening and clicked on it out of curiosity. It was a smart move because I learned how to unleash the power of Twitter early on and have definitely benefited from that knowledge now that it has become so popular.

I think Twitter has an amazing capacity to help writers. Here are a few of the ways it has helped me:

• Earlier this year I ghostwrote a big 250-page e-book on using Twitter.

• The other day I listed my writing topics for the day in a tweet and someone searching for ‘writers’ on Twitter DM’d me and offered me a gig. That new client has already paid for their first month of ghostblogging services.

• Due to my experience in social media, I have declared myself to be a social media consultant. I now help clients use social media tools to their advantage, which has been lucrative.

• I have included social bookmarking services as part of my service with some writing quotes and this has helped me secure several gigs.

• Several months ago, a writer friend that initially “met” me on Twitter forwarded me a client she could no longer look after. This client now orders about $250 worth of writing each month.

• Twitter brings traffic to my various niche websites through links I post on my accounts. I think I have four active Twitter accounts of my own and have login access to about a dozen client Twitter accounts. Some of my own links bring clicks that bring me contextual advertising revenue and some also help me earn affiliate marketing income. Some clients pay me to ghosttweet for them regularly.

• Twitter has helped me with writing skills. It has taught me to be more succinct (Although you’d never know by how often I go off on a tangent and write a 900-word blog post). Because I only have 140-characters to express a message, I often go back and find ways to make the message click-worthy and make it fit (without using gawd awful text-slang). 140-characters does force you to omit needless words (I think Strunk & White would approve of Twitter). I know I’d listen to that valuable advice more often if everything I worked on had a feature that physically stopped me from rambling on. :)

Twitter is fun, too. Twitter has helped me when I’ve asked technical questions, asked for advice on finding a Japanese steakhouse, helped me find other writers to connect with, given me great writing blogs to read, given me inspiration and ideas, and social media tools have also shown me the true colours of a few people I’ve added to my writing team (be careful what you tweet…someone is always reading!). Plus, as a bonus, on more than one occasion I’ve gotten a huge belly laugh when it has been sorely needed.

As a writer, your Twitter account is just one of many free social media tools that can help you expand your horizons, get writing gigs, and make the (sometimes) lonely job of writing less lonely. How do you use social media to your advantage?

Follow me: @DanaPrince


Sharon Hurley Hall said...

Dana, I agree with everything you say. I have ghostwritten a Twitter report, gained and given business leads on Twitter, connected with other writers and enhanced my income - all of this mainly by being myself. In addition, I also run a Twitter account for my travel blog client. I think it's a great tool for writers.

Lori said...

I've had great Twitter success! Two new clients in the same week. It's a tool that needs to be used wisely, but it's a great way to open new channels.

holli jo said...

How do you find the time to manage even one twitter account, let alone four? I have three accounts, but I find it so overwhelming that I rarely log in and thus miss out on the benefits of twitter that you mention.

Everyone praises twitter, but I don't know how to use it right. Maybe I need to read your ghostwritten report. Ha ha. :)

Dana Prince said...

That's great, Lori!

Holli, I don't always have time but I do log in to different accounts related to different ongoing projects so that helps. I also use Social Oomph which lets me schedule tweets for clients so I plan to start using it more for my own tweeting too :)