Are you using Twitter to its full potential? Using Twitter smarter can help freelance writers discover viral topics and make more money.
Twitter has become a favorite hangout for freelance writers, particularly since the Trump vs Warren war started. Twitter wars can be a boon for freelance writers who are using Twitter smarter. Some statements from political principals, particularly those with Presidential aspirations circulate fast and furiously through social media. For those of us with a gift for prose, this can be an opportunity to pitch the story to editors within minutes of reading the tweet.
Political writing can be a fast moving train and today’s headlines can become as stale as yesterday’s dinner rolls very quickly. Therefore, you need to get out in front of the train, get the story, get off the tracks and on the front page before what’s viral becomes someone else’s lunch ticket.
Three Methods of Using Twitter Smarter
For some, Twitter may just be a simple means to network with writers and editors, keep up with recent news, or share their latest article. Consequently, it has become an integral tool for many freelancers. But, that does not mean that everybody is using Twitter smarter or to its fullest potential. Actually, there are many under the radar techniques that even the savviest freelancers might not know.
Finding work as a freelance writer is often considered the most challenging aspect of freelance writing. When you know that you can deliver quality content, but you have a difficult time finding new leads, where do you turn?
Twitter is an exceptional platform for freelance writers and can be used to generate leads as well as find new writing ideas. If you want to make more money as a freelance writer, you need to take advantage of Twitter. These are our three easy steps for using Twitter smarter to make more money:
1. Take Advantage of Advanced Search
So, as a Twitter user, you know already that Twitter is a great place to find viral stories. Hidden in those 140 characters are gold, you just need the right tools. Gold prospectors used a tool called a rocker box or cradle. It separated gold from sand or gravel. If you have a particular preference or subject to write about or you just want to “go for the gold” so to speak you need a rocker box to sift out the gravel and trap the gold. That rocker box could be an advanced search.
Take, for example, you like to write about national politics, you could put any of these words in your advanced search: Warren, Trump, Clinton, Sanders, Stein, Johnson, or whoever you want to see tweets from or about. Or, maybe you like the comedy of Trevor Noah, the South African award winning comedian and host of the Daily Show, who has an “itchy Twitter finger”.
If you get an idea for an article about a tweet you saw a couple of days ago and don’t remember the exact specifics, you could use the date, some of the words, people or places involved and do an advanced search.
This is a screenshot of an Advanced Search:
This is what the results of my advanced search for just Trump or Warren revealed:
OK, there were a lot more stories than just the one showing but because of the Warren image, not all of those are visible. But, you get the idea. You actually have the choice of words, people, places, dates, or other.
When looking for new leads, freelance writers should take advantage of Twitter’s Advanced Search feature. This feature allows you to search for specific keywords and hashtags. Using Twitter smarter means searching for hashtags from potential clients such as #hireawriter, #amwriting, #writinghelp, and #writechat to see if someone is working on a writing project and needs assistance. Then you can send a direct tweet to that user and offer your freelance writing services.
Advanced search can also come in handy trying to find editors to whom you can pitch your story ideas. Of course, you’ll need to experiment a bit with searches to find them. Try searches like, “pitch an idea”, “pitch to me”, or “send me your ideas”; who really knows what words will trigger a worthy result?
Another advantage of using this feature is that you can search for keywords such as “writing jobs”, “freelance writing jobs”, or “article writer” to see what is available. To help narrow down your search, you can also specify dates and eliminate anything more than one to two weeks old. You can also search for magazines and blogs with specific keywords for your niches such as “pets”, “animals”, “dog”, or “cat” for a freelance writer specializing in pet topics.
2. Use Notifications and Lists
Once you set up a notification and list system, you can sit back and watch the leads roll in. To use notifications and lists for leads, you need to first set up your lists and then choose to receive notifications regarding those lists.
To set up a list on the web, click on your profile and then click on “Lists.” Next, click on “Create New List” and then create a name for your list such as “Writing Leads.” Now you can add any Twitter user to this list to follow for updates. You can choose to follow publications that frequently hire writers, such as Craigslist, Freelance Writing Jobs, Upwork, or follow aggregated leads lists that other users have created.
3. Find Better Sources with Advanced Searches
Now that you have new writing work, you might find it difficult to come up with new and exciting topics for each assignment. Using the Advanced Searches tool, you can search for specific topics across various niches that can lead to unique perspectives by other writers as well as unique tweets from others.
For example, if you are writing an article on the introduction of the new virtual reality tech gadget Oculus Rift or doing a review on its potential impact on the retail industry, you can do a search in advanced searches for “Oculus Rift”. Include several words under the “any of these words” to combine with the search such as “facts”, “figures”, “opinions”, or “reviews” and see what other people are saying about the product. These articles and tweets that you find via Advanced Searches on Twitter can give you new ideas for your own article on the topic. You may even want to link to details found within the articles you read.
At the end of the day, the impact Twitter has on your freelance writing business is up to you. Perform searches, create lists, and keep an eye out for the latest tweets to get the most out of Twitter in regards to your writing career. Use Twitter to follow people that inspire you as well and you will always find yourself with new motivation every time you log in to check your Twitter feed helping you make money using Twitter smarter.
Check back next week, when I will discuss how to use Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to publish your articles at the best time to reach the most of your users. Additionally, I will show you how to setup a schedule to publish for the entire week.
Follow me on Twitter: @daltonspatriots