Writer Tech Tip: Twitter Exposure & Hashtags

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Hashtags are one of the most commonly used tactics to improve exposure on Twitter. You simply add # and the term so that your tweet targets other Twitter users who visit that hashtag as a common interest to yours. It’s a great way to promote anything you have to share whether it’s just an opinion or an actual product. But is it as simple as it seems? Do your tweets actually reach as many people as you think? Let’s take a deeper look at this Twitter usage.

Last week I wrote a post about getting more out of Twitter using several sites to analyze how and what you tweet for more strategic exposure. One of the sites listed in that post was which provides a number of metrics and information about a hashtag including whether it even exists. Among the analytics available for free is the hourly trends for the hashtag over the last 24 hours. Why is this important? Most people agree that 2 or 3 hashtags should be enough for a tweet. Suppose you have more hashtags in mind to use than this. How do you decide which ones to use? Answer: check for activity trends as well as current engagement for the terms you want to use. Here’s an example:

Let’s say I wanted to tweet something and had #fantasy, #scifi & #wordpress in mind to use but I only wanted to have two in the tweet. I would look-up #fantasy and at the time of this writing here’s the results:

Fantasy Hashtag

There’s been a recent jump in activity so I may want to use this hashtag. Let’s see the trend for #scifi:

Scifi Hashtag

Hmmm, while #scifi is ticking upward too it isn’t as high in engagement as #fantasy. Let’s take a look at #wordpress:

Wordpress Hashtag

While #wordpress is trending down it is still much higher in engagement than #scifi at this time. For now, I would choose #fantasy and #wordpress.

So, this is a quick way to decide how to choose your hashtags to best promote your tweets and possibly gain more exposure. You may experience more re-tweets, follows and favorites than otherwise. I hope this helps with your Twitter engagements.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Have you used yet? What other ways could you put this tool to use in your tweeting? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section? I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Thanks for reading!


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Note: no logos have been used – only screenshots for instruction.

Clip art licensed via Microsoft Office


4 Free Photo Sites – More Tips for the Fund Challenged Writer

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

This is a follow-up to my blog post last week regarding inexpensive tips to the fund-challenged writer. If you’re like me you need access to resources but have little in the way of paying for what you need. The final tip from last week’s blog dealt with using a free source of clip art for your blogs. Here are more sources of visual media that offer free photos to use for your blog.

  1.  Flickr - Yes, it’s a well-known site already but you can search for photos with various kinds of creative commons licensing. Be sure to read about attributions licensing to understand what you must do to cite your sources.
  2. - This service offers both free and fee-based illustrations and photos. When you search make sure to choose the “Free” radio button.
  3. morgueFile - Again, there are many free images to use on this site. As always read the licensing language and be aware you may be required by the content owners to contact them by email before using their work.
  4. - Search this site for free content. Here’s their current license information.

For more discussions about free artwork see this blog posts:

Savvy Writers & e-Books Online: Where Can You Find FREE Photos and Illustrations?

Computer Hope: Where can I find free public domain images and pictures?

Articulate Network: How to Find Free Stock Photos and Clip Art for PowerPoint

Businessman Speaking Through MegaphoneThanks for visiting the site and reading. Share your photo resources in the comments section. Please visit the News page regularly for updates. I’m planning a sale for The Black Bag during October but you can receive a free coupon for the e-book for download by signing up follow this site via email. Just submit your information above and I’ll send you the coupon.

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft


Deep POV Tips Part 4: Of Sneaks and Shallow POV

Editing for Deep POV

Editing for Deep POV

Last month I attended a webinar the subject of which was deep third person POV and I then started this series. Part 1 (including links to other deep POV resources),   Part 2 & Part 3 of this series are available if you want to catch-up on the topic. As promised, here are more tips gleaned from the presentation that you may find helpful as I know they will be for me.

Sam: What are you up to? Sneaking off, are we?
Gollum: Sneaking? Sneaking? Fat Hobbit is always so polite. Smeagol shows them secret ways that nobody else could find, and they say “sneak!” Sneak? Very nice friend. Oh, yes, my precious. Very nice, very nice.
Sam: All right, all right! You just startled me is all. What were you doing?
Gollum: Sneaking.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

There’s often a sneak creeping through writing that hurts deep POV. It’s pervasive and slowly sucks the life, excitement and tension from a book like Gollum with a filched egg.

Gollum: [singing] The rock and pool, is nice and cool, so juicy sweet. Our only wish,
[he whacks the fish on the rock]
Gollum: to catch a fish,
[another whack]
Gollum: so juicy sweet.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Before you know it, the sneak is stealing all the fish in your writing and singing about it while you go blithely along with the story.

Be careful of the sneak! Don’t let him follow you from that log in the river! Beware lest you find your work rife with all kinds of sneaky, thieving, well you know…

So what’s so sneaky in deep POV and how can it be fixed? Prepositions. But not just any old prepositions, just the sneaky ones. Preposition are necessary except for those that express emotion.

Here are some shallow/deep examples our presenter, Delia Latham, used in her presentation, “Demystifying Deep POV”:

Sneaks in Writing

Sneaky Prepostion Examples

See the sneaks and how they work little bits of mischief in the narrative? Yet in the deeper examples there’s more lively, creative expression.

Have you got sneaks in your writing? Share how you root them out in by leaving a comment.

Please see my Contact page for ways to connect with me and view my News page for information on my current fundraising campaign for The Bow of Destiny on Indiegogo which ends on 9/5. Also read the companion blog serial for The Bow of Destiny entitled “What is Needed“. New links to reviews for The Black Bag have been post on the Store page so check those out if you are interested in a short fantasy read.

I’m always interested in comments so please feel free to leave them below. Also, remember that followers of this blog via email receive a coupon to download my short ebook, The Black Bag, from Smashwords so sign-up today.

Thanks for reading!