In this post, I will share an interview which I had with professional writer and Huffington Post blogger, Sarah Cannata. She explains how authors, writers and bloggers can leverage Twitter and other social media channels to promote their books, ebooks, blog posts and articles. For more information, you can visit her personal website and follow her on Twitter: @CannataAU.
1) Please tell us more about yourself?
Sarah: I’m a professional writer, blogger and best-selling author.
I am a regular Huffington Post contributor with one of my blogs generating 8.2k Facebook Likes and over 5k re-tweets on Twitter.
I’ve also been published in The Age, The Business Woman Media, Rare Birds, Women in Focus, Blog Society and so on.
I specialize in working with entrepreneurs who are driven by a bigger vision than themselves by helping them to tell their stories and change lives.
I’ve also been introduced to pod-casting thanks to the incredible Keith Keller, a Global Twitter Marketing Specialist.
Meanwhile, I’m writing a kid’s picture book series for young girls aged between 3 and 7-years-old and hopefully, the first book will be available in early December (just in time for Christmas!).
2) Personally, Twitter is one of my favorite social networks. We get a lot of traffic from Twitter for this site and for other sites as well. I would like to know about your experiences.
Sarah: Twitter has made a massive difference to my professional writing career. It’s helped to increase my profile, generate traffic to my writing (one of my articles reached 2.5 million people according to Tweet Reach) and most importantly, help me to establish fantastic connections all over the world.
Global multiple-sclerosis campaigner Kaz Aston (based in the UK), Back to the Future’s Claudia Wells (based in the US), Rachel Gillespie from Kaikoura New Zealand, The Learning Curve’s Nicholla Henderson Hall (based in the UAE) and of course, the fantastic Jimmy Star (also based in the US)… All people I never would have met before Keith introduced me to the Twitter universe. It’s incredible!
3) What is #TwitterWrite? How it is helpful for authors?
Sarah: Twitter Write focuses on using myself as a bit of a guinea pig to show other writers how they can use Twitter to market their book, blog, any articles they’ve written for websites and anything else they’ve got up their sleeves. Basically, we’re trying to help writers to increase their profile and stand out from the crowd. As Keith says, it’s great to be awesome, but there are a lot of awesome people out there.
The coolest part about this podcast though, is that the formulas we discuss in our podcasts (and we’ll detail this in the upcoming eBook too), are useful for anyone in any sector. It’s dead simple and as we can see in my case – I’ve gone from 63 Followers to over 1,1000 in 6 weeks – it works!
4) I have been a big fan of Keith’s Twitter marketing strategies, especially: Three hashtags and a hook formula. By using this formula, we saw lots of conversions happening and we were able to reach the target audience for most of the niches. Please share your experiences with Keith.
Sarah: Keith is a real mastermind when it comes to hashtagging and this idea revolves around including two to three hashtags in every post and a ‘juicy’ hook. In a language writers can understand, it’s just like crafting a headline that entices people to click on a story.
Throughout the Twitter Writer series, Keith has coined and evolved the TWITTER MAGIC 123 formula.
- Follow first
- Follow back
- Follow up
5) What would be your recommendations to fellow bloggers?
Sarah: Any strategy that solely revolves around blogging to make money is doomed to fail. Write about topics you’re passionate about, try to connect with people who can help you to get your word out there and stay true to yourself. Remember that you’re writing for the general public (keep the fancy language out of it) and don’t ‘overwrite’. A lot of people get caught up in the fact that they want to blog but they think they’re ‘not good writers’. Focus on getting your ideas out onto the page and then go back and review what you’ve done. I think when you write from the heart, you’ll find you’ll have a natural flow in your work that connects with your target market.
Oh, and while people do have the right to have their own opinion, don’t let anyone put you off. Not everyone has to like your work but be strong, take into account any criticism that comes your way and just keep on writing!
6) What are your short-term and long-term goals?
Sarah: When I left my full-time job, I wanted to write about stories that make me feel alive and that really connect with people out there. The kind of stories that plant a seed in someone’s mind and make them think a little more than they usually would.
I’m living my dream. In the short-term, I’m looking forward to working with more entrepreneurs who have a bigger vision than themselves. I’ll be contributing to a couple of installments into The Nurtured Women’s Book series and a lot of my time will be spent focusing on the first installment in my kid’s picture book series. This is the kind of book I imagine parents reading to their daughters – It really speaks to aspiring entrepreneurs and kids who dare to dream!
In the longer-term, I’d love to oversee the book being adapted into a TV series and be invited to talk in schools about the book and to encourage girls. I’ve had self-confidence issues in the past but I’ve basically made a decision to bite the bullet and I’m living my dream. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious and having different goals to those around you.
I’d love to partake in workshops for girls and aspiring entrepreneurs while continuing to write. I even believe I have a couple of novels in me that have nothing at all to do with kid’s books.
I love collaborations and my biggest dream in the world is to work with Buffy: The Vampire Slayer creator, Joss Whedon.
7) Is there anything else you wish to add?
Sarah: If you are ever told by someone (a friend, an enemy, an ex-boss and so on) that you can’t achieve what you set out to, don’t get angry, show them you are capable of everything you set your mind to.
Remember, if people treat you poorly, it’s more of a reflection on them, than you. Be tough and keep on keepin’ on!