The Lazy Way to 100,000 Twitter Followers Part 4

  • Thanks everyone for stopping back! This week I'll be sharing a bit of history with all of you about how I managed to get started and not get bogged down in the doldrums.


    As I write these words, I have over 150,000 great followers... people who actively tweet my books and work with me on marketing. I help them too. The best thing about all of this: it doesn't cost a thing... only a bit of time, and I am here to teach you how to manage an immense Twitter following with ease and fun and all in less than an hour a day.


    Don't believe me? Check out my Twitter profile: @DanGlover1 and if you don't mind, while you're there give me a follow. I promise to follow you back! That is one of the keys to growing your following to outrageous numbers: follow anyone who follows you. If they unfollow you later, well then you unfollow them too. We'll get to all that directly.


    I joined Twitter in January of 2012 in hopes of furthering my book sales. It was one of those ill-conceived New Year resolutions that we all seem prone to jumping into without a lot of thought backing it up. I basically had no idea what I was doing and no predetermined goals but Twitter in its beneficence offered to help find people for me to follow... of course Snoop Dogg and Lady Gaga didn't care anything about following me back.


    I allowed my account to sit dormant for a week, and then two. I didn't know who to follow, how to tweet anything, or how to retweet to save my life. That little blue bird that sometimes hides on top or in the corners on websites? I had no clue what it was or what to do with it. I saw other people tweeting their books but how did they do it? I was too stupid to know and too embarrassed to ask, so I just sat in front of my Twitter feed drooling like an imbecile and wondering what it all meant.


    By chance or circumstance about that same time I happened to be reading Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill, not an all together truly horrible book but neither is it one I would recommend to others. Still, when Twitter mentioned Joseph Hillstrom King (yeah, he's the son of that King) as someone I might like to follow, I thought, why not? During my first month on Twitter I had managed to acquire maybe all of a half dozen followers (and half of those were internet prostitutes promising to show me a good time) so what did I have to lose?


    Needless to say, big bad Joe didn't follow me back either. I guess there is something about fame and fortune that causes the lucky few to look down upon the rest of us poor insignificant slobs with something akin to distain though it is perhaps more likely related to complete and utter indifference. I noticed President Obama and the Dalai Lama didn’t follow me back either but then again the Lama doesn’t follow anyone back. Hey Lama... how about a little something? You know... for the effort... where's the compassion, man?


    Still, following Mr. Hill did not prove all together as fruitless as following the Lama and Obama. In fact, shortly thereafter I began receiving invitations from my lord Twitter to follow other writers... some were famous but also some were simple folk like me, struggling along word by word with no real hope of ever being able to cobble together a bestseller, and yet not allowing something as mundane as that to stop us:


    Independent writers! Independent musicians! Independent artists of all kinds... they were all out there unbeknownst to me, foraging in the Twitter wilderness for grubs and berries and little blue birds, scrounging around for followers just like me... lost in the maelstrom and floundering in deep waters, casting about for any lifeline in sight.


    Since I am a writer, however, those writers were of particular interest to me. I had no idea there were so many of them out there! Hundreds and thousands of writers, all tap tap tapping away at the keyboard (unless they're old school, of course, and scribbling out words on notepads) and all of them seeking someone, anyone, with whom to share their work. I had inadvertently stumbled upon a mother lode just waiting for an opportunistic soul like me to come along and mine.


    So, all was well in Twitterdom... the heavens had opened up and the stars were smiling down upon me, and life was good. Each night I would dutifully follow a dozen or maybe fifteen or so of the writers that Twitter suggested and sometimes they'd follow me back. I learned about tweeting and retweeting my fellow authors and once in a while we might even have a discussion. I'm not big on social interactions, though believe it or not I've made some great friends on Twitter... but I'm getting sidetracked.


    Anyway, I had managed to pass my first roadblock to Twitter success without too much angst and only a modicum of grief but soon I ran upon another... I had reached my follow limit of 2000 and I only had maybe 1200 good souls that were following me back. Twitter informed me in no uncertain terms that I was no longer allowed to follow anyone unless I managed to right the ship, so to speak, and eliminate those folk who I was following and yet were not following me back.


    I was out of balance. In my exuberance to gain new followers, I followed lots of folk who didn’t show the slightest interest in reciprocating. Now, I know some people get the grumbles about that and tweet the people who are not following them, asking for a follow. Not me. That isn't my style. And besides, that is another big time waster if you allow it to be. We all have 24 hours a day and in order to spend time with our chosen art, we have to minimize the leakage, otherwise you wake up one day and you're 80 years old and haven’t accomplished squat.


    So, if I were to start Twitter all over again, I would take care to keep my following balanced with my followers. As long as you stay within a nominal range, it's all good. However, most people get excited about Twitter, like I did, and they overdo it with following people. Either they don’t realize there is a 2000 follow limit (rules? we don't need no stinking rules!) or else they tell themselves that they are such likable people everyone will gladly follow them back.


    Not... I can't count the times people have informed me that as soon as they're able they will be delighted to follow me back. They don't understand that time waits for no one, especially the foolish, the prideful, and the worthless. No one was waiting around for me to get my Twitter act together so I could follow them. They simply unfollowed my silly ass and left me there adrift in a sea of sorrow on a sinking life raft...


    (to be continued)

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