The Twitter Secret by guest @DanaLeipold

Image courtesy of  stockimages at

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Today please help me welcome author and writing coach Dana Leipold to the blog as she shares her secret to Twitter success. 

My real life friends often ask me, “Why do you do that Twitter thing? I don’t get it.” At first, I didn’t get it either but now I see the power Twitter has to help writers and author build the ever-important platform. There are a bunch of things you can do to build your following and find readers, which I’ll outline coming up but first here’s something people don’t often understand about Twitter:

The secret to Twitter is acknowledgement.

Everyone wants to be recognized and acknowledged. That holds true on Twitter. In that big, wide, world of tweets all most of us want is for someone to notice us (because getting a reality TV show is not on everyone’s agenda). Most people, like me, love it when someone retweets one of their tweets or when someone recommends a link that they tweet. That’s what Twitter is all about. It’s sharing and connecting but MOST important is acknowledging someone.

There are several ways you can acknowledge people on Twitter:

  1. Retweet– this is probably the easiest way. When you see a tweet from someone you follow that you like or you want to share, copy their tweet and put “RT” next to their handle. It’s the best way to make sure they see that you retweeted their tweet. You can also just click the retweet button but I think it’s more personal if you do it the other way (and it shows that you took the time).
  1. Mentions– you can just mention people you follow and share what they are good at or what their major contribution to Twitter is. For example, if you follow someone who shares great recipes you mention their Twitter name (@Twittername) and then say what you like about them: .@Twittername has got some great recipes! Check her out!
  1. Hashtags– a hashtag is a filtered search of all people who tweet something related to that hashtag. It’s a quick way to see what’s going on for certain topics. For writers and authors, there are tons of ways to recognize others using specific hashtags. Like the #WW hashtag, which stands for Writer Wednesday. On a Wednesday, you can use the hashtag and list the Twitter names of writers you want to give props to. It is sort of like the #FF hashtag which stands for Friday Follow. You simply list people you follow on Friday that you suggest to the people that follow you. #MondayBlogs is another great one for indie writers and authors.

Click here for a great summary of hashtags for writers.

Twitter can be confusing for those who are new to it or who have never tried it. But it is a very powerful tool for building your author platform. Once you know the secret, it’s a snap!


About Dana Leipold:

LeipoldPhotoDana Leipold, author and writing coach has 16 years experience as a marketing copywriter and has self-published two books, Stupid Poetry: The Ultimate Collection of Sublime and Ridiculous Poems and The Power of Writing Well: Write Well. Change the World. She just finished her first novel, Burnt Edges, available for pre-reading on Wattpad and available October 2014. In addition, she founded POWW School–the place where writers of any genre can learn the power of writing well, and where she coaches other writers on story structure, messaging, and writing skills so they can achieve their dreams to become published authors. She also loves coffee and yoga pants. Dana is on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and GoodReads and her websites: and

Burnt Edges:

Burnt EdgesAbuse or an uncertain future. This is Laurel Lee Page’s choice when she is faced with an unplanned pregnancy at 18. Born into a broken family, all she has ever known is guilt and shame. No matter what she does or who she meets, Laurel appears to be living a condemned life but she is determined to find independence and freedom in spite of her family’s legacy of hatred and self-contempt. Can Laurel see that she is in a powerful position, poised to break the cycle of abuse? Set in Southern California during the tumultuous 1960s era, Burnt Edges is based on true events and proves that strength can be found even in the most horrific situations.


Thanks for reading! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter for lots of tips and tricks!  And don’t forget to enter my September #MondayBlogs giveaway — a free month-long feature for the lucky winner.

All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2014 by Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.

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  1. Susan Fox on September 15, 2014 at 5:52 am

    This article by Dana is great for every Twitter user new or a pro. So many folks think they know the ropes of Twitter or social media yet seem to not even consider the basics of common coutesy. Thanks for publishing this great and thought provoking reminder of how to use Twitter and basically most of social media especially to consider using good manners. Its not all about “you” all the time. I appreciate your work Rachel.
    Your fan,
    Susan Fox
    Gaga’s Garden

  2. Dana Leipold on September 15, 2014 at 9:35 am


    I’m so glad you found it helpful! And I agree, Rachel is great!

    Peace, love, and writing!

  3. Dean M. Cole on September 23, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Am I missing something? This is an excellent informative article, but I’m starting to feel frustrated. As an author with a new book on Amazon and the audiobook version scheduled for release next month, I’m trying to become twitter-literate by reading how-to blogs posted by authors with huge twitter followings. Considering the time it takes to build a twitter following, I am obviously late in starting this process. However, when I see the anemic book sales of the twitter superstars that write said articles, I can’t help but wonder, “Why bother?”

    Dana, please don’t take that as a personal affront; it definitely is not intended as such. Before investing the significant time required to build a twitter following, I need to know or at least believe a payoff is in the offing. On my previous book, expending the effort to secure book reviews seemed to create far better returns on that time investment than all my social media efforts combined.

    • Rachel Thompson on September 23, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Dean — I’m the owner of this blog, with a large Twitter following. I started building my Twitter following aggressively in 2009, a full 2 years before I released my first book. It’s now 2014, I have 160K or so followers, 3 books out, my latest Broken Pieces is consistently #1 or #2 on Amazon’s paid poetry list and top 25 on paid Women’s Studies. I can’t say that Twitter is the reason, but it doesn’t hurt. it’s one of maybe 20-25 tools any author has at our disposal.

      Reviews are great — I agree. But it’s not either/or. Use your time wisely, use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to manage your social media so you can spend time getting reviews, writing more books, interacting and building relationships with readers and targeting the right demographic. Being a writer is a full-time job, one that most of us do along with our regular full-time jobs! It’s not easy, but most of the things we love to do in life rarely are.

      Thanks for your comments, Dean!

      • Dean M. Cole on September 24, 2014 at 7:37 am


        Thanks for replying. It is heartening to see your success. I particularly appreciated your ‘tools’ link. While I have done several of your listed steps, I still have a ways to go. That blog post relates closely to my experiences since jumping into self-publishing.

        When I released my first book, I went through many of the same steps; sales soared for a time. However, the novella never gained traction. It forced me to ‘stop whining’ and look inward, to take a hard look at my product (and to listen to the few negative reviews nestled amongst the raves). I finally realized I hadn’t complied with step 1 of your list of tools.

        A year and a half later (this time with the help of a professional editor and a small army of beta-readers), the novella has grown into a full-length, significantly improved novel.

        Now it’s time for me to get to work on the rest of your listed tools.

        Thanks again, Rachel.

  4. Dana Leipold on September 25, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Hi Dean!

    I commend you for taking a step back and looking at what you can do to grow your following. It can be quite overwhelming! I’m not nearly as far along as Rachel so like you, I still have much work to do. May I recommend a few additional resources that might be helpful for you (they sure have been for me):

    The War of Art by Steven Pressfield – This book may change the way you see your mission as an author. It will hit you right where it hurts but maybe you’re like me and you need a swift kick in the butt to get you to turn pro.

    Author Publisher Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki – This book is by far the best in explaining the new paradigm self-published/indie authors are finding themselves in today. It’s no long just about writing a great book, it’s about connecting with readers, marketing your work, and viewing what you are doing as a business.

    Rachel is a GREAT resoruce so be sure to keep following her as well. You are on the right path, Dean. It’s not an easy path but you will reap the rewards if you do the work. I am seeing that myself right now.

    Peace, love, and writing!

  5. Cindy on September 27, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    There are lots of “secrets” to Twitter and any social media but I wanted to say that acknowledgement is only part of the equation. In my experience, interacting is the most powerful thing you can do. And I don’t mean barely acknowledging that person because you don’t have time to talk or even remember who they were. Yes, retweeting is good but commenting on tweets and getting into short conversations is far more authentic. Does it take time? Yes. And sometimes you don’t get much of response (because the person is flying by your tweet, trying to promote others so he/she can in turn be promoted) but that doesn’t matter. I’ve made friends on Twitter and while I don’t have many followers, more and more people are following me because they see me interacting.

    Interacting, talking to people sets you apart like nothing else.

    Besides you might have over 10K followers but how many people are reading your tweets because they have you on some list they barely look at? Or they have you on “mute?” It’s not just about numbers of followers.

    • Dana Leipold on October 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Hi Cindy!

      You make a good point. Acknowledgement without connection isn’t really engagement. I agree that you need to go deeper and try to make a real connection. It’s tough however when there is so much to do (especially for Indie authors like me). But like you said, it can be very worth the investment of time in the long run when you make the right connection.

      Thanks for bringing up this important part of the “secret.” 😉

      Peace, love, and writing!

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