Twitter for Rank Beginners II – Customizing Your Profile

Welcome back to our July class on Twitter! Last week, we talked about Choosing Your Niche. This week, I’ll walk you through the steps of actually (gasp!) signing up with Twitter and setting up your profile.

It’s easy. You’ll see.

How to Sign Up for Twitter

This process below is current as of Summer 2014. For those of you finding this post at a later date, just remember that Twitter may change things down the road.

  1. Go to https://twitter.com
  2. Where it says “New to Twitter? Sign up,” fill in your name, email, and a password you create. Click “Sign up for Twitter.”
  3. You’ll land on a confirmation page. The important thing here is to make sure Twitter thinks your password is strong and to choose your username. (4th line down).
    1. Your username is the same thing as your “Twitter handle” (the “@whatevername”) and will be the way people find you (say, via your business card.) If you choose a username and decide one day you don’t like it, you can switch it later. You won’t lose any of your current followers, but your business cards will be useless.
    2. Now click “Create my account.”
  4. The next page will be your new Twitter account, which still needs to be personalized (stay tuned). But you’ll also see a note at the top saying to check your email for a confirmation message. So go check your email and click “Confirm your account now.” It’ll bring you right back to your Twitter account, and your email will now be verified.

Your Twitter Profile

  • Along the very top bar, click “Me.” This is your Twitter profile.

Your Twitter profile is like your “homepage,” where you’ll eventually see all of your own activity–all your tweets, as well as stats on how many people you follow, how many people follow you, and how many tweets you’ve favorited (with further links to details on all of the above information.)

Just like your website, your Twitter profile should be a landing place that is appealing and tells potential followers what you’re all about. This is all public, and people will decide who you are and what you’re like based on your pictures, description of yourself, and tweets on this page. But personalizing is easy–and fun!

How to Personalize Your Twitter Profile

HEADER AND PROFILE PHOTOS

The header photo is the big one along the top. Your profile photo is the smaller one on the left side.

For your header photo, you can use the same thing you have on your website (for brand recognition), or the cover of your latest book (for advertising) or just a picture that says a lot about you and your books. I went for brand recognition.

My Twitter profile:

My Twitter Profile

And my website:

My Website

For your profile photo, you can use a head shot of yourself (so people can see who they’re talking to), a logo (if you have one and want to use it), or again, just something that’s meaningful to you and tells people something about you as an author.

I used a combo of a head shot and something meaningful to me — my dog!

My Twitter profile photoHere’s how to set up your photos:

  1. Click the button on the right side of your screen, below the header photo space. It says “Edit Profile.”
  2. Click on the header photo space to select an image from your files.
  3. Click on the profile photo space to select another image from your files.

THE “ABOUT ME” SECTION

While you’re still in the “Edit Profile” mode, take a look at the fields available below your profile photo. You can fill these in to tell people a little about yourself.

  1. Bio: This is another first-look place when people are deciding whether or not to follow you. So tell them what they really need to know about who you are. (I.e., you’re a novelist, you write in genre x, etc.) This is also a good place to use your tagline. (For branding.) You can use hashtags, too, if you want, to help people find your profile. You can also throw in something personal, like, “Forever in love with horses.” Or you can say, “X book coming out in August 2014.”
  2. Location: Where you live. City and state, or just state. Or you can be clever. With fantasy authors, it’s popular to fill in the name of your fantasy setting. “In my head” is popular amongst all novelists. And I’m pretty sure someone once said “Starbuck’s.” But for professionalism, a real location is probably better.
  3. Website: Self-explanatory. Plug in your link!
  4. Theme Color: You can select what color you want your links and hashtags to be.

After you’ve filled in photos and personal information and chosen your theme color, click “Save changes” on the right. Tada! You’re all done personalizing your account.

Now Tweet Something! 

Twitter gives you a couple of suggestions, including the hashtag #myfirstTweet, so others can start finding you right away. For now, you can just say something sort of introductory, like my first tweet:

MyFirstTweet

Don’t be nervous! Just jump in and start talking.

Homework

I think you can guess.

  • Go sign up for Twitter
  • Customize your profile
  • Tweet!

Feeling lonely out there in Twitter land? Feel free to follow Carrie and me! Just click these links and hit the “follow” button on our profiles: @CarrieLynnLewis and @DanielleLHanna. And don’t forget @IndiePlotTwist! Then tell us you just signed up for Twitter! We love to chat with other authors!

Next week we’ll talk about tweeting and hashtags. (Hashtags. You know, what we used to call “the pound sign”: #) Hope to see you then!

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