Twitter is a way to gain connections all over the world. Used effectively, it will help you stand out and get noticed. Here I will talk you through how to set up a twitter profile, how to use twitter and how to take advantage of twitter as a writer.

The Anatomy of Twitter

Hashtag – A hashtag is a word (any word) beginning with the # sign. (Example: #writer)
It’s a way to categorize messages to help them show more easily in Twitter search. Hashtags can be used or organise conversations around a particular topic, to group folks, target folks, and meet others with similar interests. When you click on a hashtag you are taken to a group of tags associated with that term.

Retweet – A retweet is someone else’s tweet that you choose to share with your followers. Use hit the retweet’s button to send the original text or image to all of your adoring followers.


Mention – To bring a tweet to someone’s attention and still allow all of your followers to see the message, use the @ key followed by the username. Example: @username
All mentions are clickable and link back to the profile of the person or business mentioned.

Reply – To respond to a Tweet, hit the reply button. When you reply, your response is public to everyone and it will show up on your timeline of the person whom you are responding to. If you want your message to be private you can send a direct message where only you and the person you’re messaging can see. Private messages can only be sent to someone you are following and who follows you back.

Twitter Terminology

With only a character limit of 140, you’ll find people often use shortcuts to portray their message, and you’lle want to know what they’re trying to say. (This will also help when trying to de-code your son or daughters text message when they send you a txt (text) forgetting you’re not sixteen).

SMH, SMDH = Shaking My Head, Shaking My DAMN Head.

H/T = Hat Tip. Use this if you’re sharing something you heard through someone else. It’s a way to give credit where credit is due.

RT = Retweet.

IMO – In My Opinion.

ICYMI – In Case You Missed It.

PRT – Partial Retweet

CX – Correction

AFAIK – As far as I know

DM – Direct Message

EM – Email me

IDK – I don’t know

NTS – Note To Self

TBH, TBQH – To Be Honest & To Be Quit Honest

TMB – Tweet Me Back

Set up your Twitter Profile

The aim is to set up an author’s platform on Twitter to gain recognition. It needs to be attractive and appealing.

Name your Account – You will need an account name (your name or company name) and a phone number so that Twitter can verify you as a real person.

– When you’re satisfied with your name and phone number, click next and Twitter with double check with you to make sure you’re happy with your choice. If you are, press the big sign up button and you’ll soon receive a text message with your verification code. Twitter will wait for you to find the number that has been sent to your phone. Enter the exact number in the Twitter text box. Twitter will then ask you to chose a password.

– Twitter will ask you for your interests. This means that Twitter can sent you other twitter accounts you have something in common with, and if you wish, you can follow these recommended accounts.

– Your username is is what we use to locate you, follow and comunicate with you. If you need to link your twitter account with your blog, locate your username by clicking the gear in the top right of your screen, and going to Settings–>Account and it should look like this: @yourusername

Add a Profile Picture 

– Use a professional, high resolution photo.

Add a Header Profile Image – 

– Add something colorful and fun here, or maybe an image of your latest novel/s.


Craft an intriguing bio – Example: Writer – blogger – domesticated by two cats and a Dalmatian. Something fun and quirky.

Follow People

As a writer, there are many ways to gain followers. Mainly, follow people. about 10 out of 50 writers you chose to follow will follow you back. But how do you find followers?

There’s a search icon on your twitter (I don’t know if you’re using a webpage, or the Twitter app), but you’ll see the search icon. Click on it and type in Writer’s Digest. Click on their followers and scroll down the list of followers until you find some people you want to follow. Be carefully though, there’s a limit of 1000 per day you’re allowed to follow, and if you click on too many people, too fast, you’re going to get flagged as a spammer or robot. This can lead to account suspension. Do the same with author’s who have similar genres to yours. For example: if you have a novel about a plain girl with the personality of a scrunched up ball of paper, who falls in love with a sparkling vampire of one hundred, who for whatever reasons, chooses to go to school, then look for Twilight and follow some of their followers.

Of course, don’t forget to add all of your favorite authors so you can follow up on their latest books, book tours, and the interesting author things they have to say.

As you write interesting tweets, often someone is going to retweet your tweet resulting in more writers knowing you exist, which equals more followers.