Demystifying Twitter: A Beginner’s Guide For Freelancers

twitter freelancers

I’ll be honest with you.

Until quite recently, I emidn’t get Twitter.

And I know I wasn’t alone. Lots of people don’t get it.

Let’s face it. Twitter isn’t exactly the most user-friendly and intuitive social network around. In fact, I’d say it’s downright hard. There’s definitely a learning curve.

I must also confess I’ve always viewed it as more “business-oriented” – a place to network, if you will, rather than a place to hang out. Because of this, I never really bothered to figure it out.

Of course, all this changed when I started my freelance writing business.

Once I was up and running, I started focusing on building passive leads. Very quickly, I realised Twitter was one of the keys to achieving this. I needed to understand it and start using it to my advantage.

Here’s what I learned.


How To Find Financial Stability As A Freelancer

freelance business finance

While I do love me a good gangster movie, I have to admit I was never much of a Sopranos fan when it was on the air.

Don’t get me wrong. It did have its moments, sure. But for some reason it never really grabbed me.

Funnily enough, though, as I dealt with the cataclysmic fallout of Brexit this week, I found myself thinking a lot about it; and about one scene in particular.

I believe it was a sit down of some sort, and this one mobster was complaining that, because of the economic recession, he wasn’t making as much money as he used to.

As I remember it, Tony Soprano was up in arms in characteristically hilarious fashion. He countered that this just wasn’t possible, because “certain aspects of show business and our thing have been recession-proof since time immemorial.”

Which brings me to my point.



My 5 Steps To Freelance Writing Success

Freelance Writing Success

This week, I was featured as a success story on the amazing Karen Marston’s Untamed Writing blog.

I was really fucking stoked because: 1) I never thought I’d one day be featured on a popular blog as a success story; and 2) Who am I kidding? It feels good to have my efforts acknowledged in this manner.

Now I’m not going to get all self-indulgent and use this post to paraphrase the entire interview. You can read it for yourself if you want to. But doing the interview did get me thinking.

Maverick Words isn’t my first foray into freelancing. It’s probably my third or fourth one. However, it’s the only one that’s been successful (at least so far). My other ventures didn’t really work out for me.

So, having done the interview and all, I found myself soul searching to find out what I did differently this time round.

I’d like to share what I found out with you, in the hope that you can get something out of it.

Here goes.


What I Learned Spilling Coffee On My Laptop

Coffee Spill

It wasn’t a fun week.

I’d just been back home for a friend’s wedding, some catching up and a spot of r and r; and I had a hell of a time getting my ass back into gear.

Sounds like a pretty standard case of holiday blues, right?

But then, last Friday, things just flew up the scale from not fun to complete and utter disaster.

As I sat at my desk to start my day, bleary eyed and still half asleep, I accidentally spilled a whole mug of steaming coffee.

All over my laptop.

After staring at it for a few seconds in abject horror, I rushed for whatever I could find to mop up the bloody mess.

Having been blogging for a cleaning company for quite some time now, I should have known better than to rub instead of just blot the damn spill. But, in my panic, rub I did; and I think I made matters way worse.

My screen went crazy, and I couldn’t get the laptop to co-operate. So I shut it down, used the hairdryer on it, and tried to switch it back on. But, alas, nothing happened. My laptop was in a coma or, even worse – gasp – dead.

Which brings me to the moral of my story.


Waste Not Want Not: Repurposing Content Effectively


Do you have some really great content on your website but, for some reason, it didn’t get too many views?

Perhaps you created it back when you didn’t have much of a following; or were too busy to promote it properly?

Or, who knows, maybe it just didn’t resonate with your audience at the time?

It’s a common misconception that, once you’ve tackled a particular subject, you’re done with it forever. But really, that’s just wasteful. After all, you’ve put in a lot of time and effort, so you owe it to yourself to make the most of what you’ve created. Besides, sometimes, making your content work harder might be much easier than you think.

In fact, what if it was just a question of repackaging – or repurposing it –  into a different format?


Social Media Success: You’re Measuring It Wrong

Social Media

Every week, I invariably get at least two new Twitter followers whose profile description promises me 15K FOLLOWERS INSTANTLY, or TRIPLE YOUR FOLLOWERS (like that, all caps) if I whip out my credit card and part with my hard-earned cash.

And, every week, I ask myself the same question. Invariably without an answer.


Why would I pay good money to have thousands of people I don’t know (and who probably don’t really give much of a shit about me and what I do) follow me on Twitter?

I don’t get it.

Sadly, given how this business seems to be booming, it’s starting to look like I’m one of the very few who doesn’t.

The thing is, when you turn to these sort of tricks, you’re not just needlessly spending a lot of money, you’re also doing your business more harm than good.

In fact, you’re downright damaging your brand.


How To Use Haters To Build Your Brand


Let’s be real.

As great as the Internet is for business, it also has a dark side.

I’m talking about the whiners, trolls and assorted haters who use social media to mock and belittle you and your brand.

If you run an even remotely successful business, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Right?

And if you don’t, I bet you’re probably going to know soon enough.

It’s an old adage that you can’t please everyone all the time. But, when it comes to business, that’s not even the half of it.

More often than not, haters take great relish in making themselves heard loud and clear, even for petty or imagined slights. And thanks to social media, they can say it to your face whilst hiding behind the relative safety and anonymity of their laptop screen.

Well, if you have a hater problem on your social media page, I say it’s time to diversify and make your first foray into the lemonade business. In fact, with the proper attitude, haters can actually be a boon for your brand.

Let’s have a look at how to deal with them.


How I Increased My Writing Speed 5X In Under 6 Months


These past few months, I noticed I’ve been writing at a pretty consistent speed, day in day out. So, last week, it occurred to me to do the math. Just out of curiosity.

The results were pretty astonishing.

I wrote exactly 10,061 words in five days. And that’s just for one client.

What makes this figure even more incredible to me is that, only six months ago, writing a mere 2100 words a week was a struggle. That’s almost five times less than last week’s figure.

And no, I don’t work particularly long hours.

My day usually starts at around 9.30 am, give or take. I’ll break for 1 or 2 hours in the afternoon to have lunch, go for a walk and generally just laze about; and I’ll start working again from around 2.30 or 3 pm till about 5 or 6 pm. That’s six or seven hours a day, on average. Not too shabby.

So how do I manage to get so much work done in so little time, you may ask?

As it turns out, the answer lies in my process and how it has changed over time.


4 Copywriting Lessons From John Caples’ Tested Advertising Methods

John Caples Tested Advertising Methods

Whether you’re a seasoned copywriter, a newbie or even just someone with a passing interest in advertising, John Caples’ book Tested Advertising Methods is most definitely a must read.

Published for the first time in 1932 – way before anyone ever imagined the Internet, let alone marketing 2.0, would one day be possible – the book remains so relevant it’s uncanny.

Actually, scratch that. It’s even more relevant today.

In a world where we’re bombarded with so much information that capturing people’s attention is an increasingly uphill battle, Caples teaches us that tried and tested methods (and a good dose of common sense) will always win the day.

It’s been tough, but after much thought, I’ve condensed his philosophy to four nuggets of wisdom I’d like to share with you.

I’ve written them out and tacked them to my notice board, so they’re always firmly in my mind as I go about my day.

Here they are.


How To Make Your Email Newsletters More Personal In 4 Easy Steps


If you want your email marketing to be successful, you need to get personal.

Email is a really powerful way to reach your customers. In fact, I’d even go as far as calling it the ultimate online marketing tool.

Unfortunately, that counts for nothing if you go about it the wrong way.

Let’s face it. No one likes to feel like a prospect. Unless you lay off the hard sell and get down and personal with your audience, you’re putting your emails on the fast track to the trash folder.

Luckily, email lends itself really well to personalisation, which is one of the reasons why it’s so effective (and no, it isn’t just because you can address all your subscribers by their first name).

It doesn’t require that much extra effort, either.

Here are a few tricks you can try out yourself.