10 Steps to Build Your Twitter Platform from Nothing to 1,000 Followers [exercise]

In the last lesson, publisher, poet, and author, LL Barkat, said Twitter is the best tool for authors to reach new readers. Whether you agree with her or not, Twitter is worth learning and experimenting with.

Personally, I’ve found Twitter to be the best social media tool to build my audience. While Facebook provided me with most of my early readers, Twitter is now my top referral source.

All that’s to say, if you aren’t on Twitter already, you need to consider joining.

Your Assignment

In this assignment, you’ll follow a step-by-step guide for how to build your first 1,000 followers on Twitter. This might take several weeks or even months. Be patient. However, if you follow this guide, you will soon be making hundreds of new connections for your writing. I promise!

1. If you haven’t already, start a Twitter account.

If you have, share the link to your profile in the comments section so we can follow you!

2. Add a clear photo of your face, a short, quirky bio, and a link to your website.

Need ideas for how to write your bio? Check out a few profiles from more experienced Tweeters (e.g. Jeff Goins, Pamela Hodges, L.L. Barkat, me).

3. Compose four tweets:

  • a quote by an author you admire
  • an article you enjoyed
  • a quirky update about your life
  • a link to your book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble (if you have one)

4. Then, and only then, follow 20 people.

  • Friends and Family
  • Writers you admire
  • People in story Cartel

If you want people to follow you, share a link to your Twitter profile in the comments!

5. Tweet three times a day.

Again, quotes, articles, and quirky updates, and links to your books are fabulous things to tweet about.

If you don’t have time to check Twitter three times a day, sign up for Buffer (bufferapp.com), an easy tool that lets you schedule tweets to go out when you’re not on Twitter. I use it every day!

6. When you reach 10 followers, follow 20 more people.

Be sure to reply to others, thank them for following, and in general, be friendly. Twitter is a cocktail party. Treat it like one. Don’t be shy or afraid to “interrupt.”

7. When you reach 20 followers, follow 20 more people.

As LL Barkat suggested, follow other writers, agents, and other people in publishing. If you have any other hobbies, feel free to follow people who tweet about those hobbies.

8. When you reach 30 followers, follow 20 more people (you should be at 60 now).

Another tool that’s helpful to find followers is JustUnfollow, a free tool to help you manage your Twitter followers.

On the Copy Followers menu, enter the username of someone you like on Twitter. Then, follow the people who follow them. They’ll probably follow you back!

9. Keep tweeting and following new people.

But don’t follow more than 100 more people than follow you.

You want to keep your following to follower ratio as close as possible, otherwise, people might think you’re a spammer.

Here, the JustUnfollow tool is helpful again, because you can easily find the people who aren’t following you back and unfollow them.

10. Be patient!

If you follow this plan, slowly following people as more people follow you, it won’t take long to build a solid Twitter following. Be patient, show up consistently, and you’ll soon be meeting interesting people, building your Cartel, and expanding your audience!

How about you? What have you done on Twitter to build your audience?

  • staci troilo
  • http://profiles.google.com/kpooler63 kathleen pooler
    • Audrey Chin

      Kathy I don’t seem to be able to click to follow you?

  • http://twitter.com/TheBishopofCTB The Bishop of CTB
    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Jeff, you should consider turning off approval for followers. It really makes it hard to grow.

      • http://twitter.com/TheBishopofCTB The Bishop of CTB

        Thanks Joe! I didn’t even realized it was turned on. Just turned it off.

  • Cynthia Dagnal Myron

    I actually have a 600 followers already, but I haven’t been able to really “work” that system. I post at least once a day, not three, so maybe I should start trying that three times a day move. So far, though…Twitter hasn’t quite done it for me. Anyone else doing well with it? Tips? https://twitter.com/bioko

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      I’m surprised because Twitter is such the journalists tool. It’s like a headline ticker.

      I would follow more people. You already have a good buffer of followers to following. You’ll start to see a lot more traction once you get over the 1,000 follower hump. I used to get 30% of my blog traffic from Facebook. Now, I get a much larger percentage from Twitter than Facebook. I like Facebook better, actually, but Twitter scales.

  • Audrey Chin

    Right… I’m here… https://twitter.com/AudreyChinWrite I think?

  • BernardT

    Well, I’ve started … but it’s a slow process. https://twitter.com/AlexBrantham Numbers are 65/40 as I write this. One issue is the difficulty of finding something interesting to say – quite clearly a lot of twitterers don’t worry too much about quality, and tweet stuff which is frankly pointless. I also dislike a tweet that consists solely of a URL, with no clue as to why I might want to follow it. On the other hand, I have been led to some truly fascinating places – the problem is sorting the worthwhile from the banal, and I fear being another of the sources of banality!

    • Joy Collado

      I couldn’t agree more! I have a handful of favorite twitter users though. they can balance between selling and giving out great tweets. :)

      • BernardT

        Was it really only 7 months ago that I started on Twitter?! Wow. Well, now I’m just over a thousand followers … I’m sure I could be at quite a few more, but I am quite selective about who I follow/back, which I think is important for my sanity.

  • disqus_uw8kXCNacZ

    Major overhaul for me on twitter as I transition from a voice on design only to one that focuses more on the creative process in general and specifically more on my writing. It’s a journey that’s begun. No doubt it will be an adventure.

    • Joy Collado

      what’s your twitter handle? :)

      • disqus_uw8kXCNacZ

        @JamesSwan