You may not realize this, but there are books hiding in your tweets. Not fully actualized books, maybe, but hints of tomes that solve problems, interest readers and get your name out to your target clients.
In this post, I want to show you four ways that you can mine your Twitter feed in order to outline your next book. Before you start, you’ll need to go to Twitter and request an archive of all your tweets. To do this, click on the gear symbol on the top right of the home screen. This button is highlighted with a red circle in the image below:
Next, scroll down to settings and click it.
Finally, click request archive.
It may take them a while to get the archive to you, but when you get it you’ll be able to open it in Excel and search it for keywords, which is a function you may need for some of the ideas below.
Four Ways to Use Your Tweets
1. Use your tweets to outline: Think about the overarching topic of the book you think you’d like to write. For example, you may want to write a book about life insurance, trading, options, forex or travel insurance. Whatever it is, type that word into the search box of your archive file. Reviewing all the tweets you’ve written about that topic, you may quickly pick out several related to the primary topic that would make great chapters in your book. For example, in my feed, I searched for insurance. I got a ton of results from the six years I’ve been using Twitter, but in going through them, these 13 stood out as possible direction for a book geared toward insurance agents who want to start blogging (click for a larger version):
Based on this list, I’ve now outlined the book with four chapters:
- Chapter 1: Creating your blog: Choosing topics, working current events into the mix, considering Google in your topic choices, rethinking holidays, focusing on niche topics/prospects
- Chapter 2: Should you hire a writer? Considering the benefits and drawbacks, specialist writer versus generalist, experience
- Chapter 3: Writing posts: Writing with future usability in mind, avoiding jargon, finding your voice
- Chapter 4: Using press releases and other tools to promote your blog: How to come up with regular press release ideas, creating free reports, discussing timely insurance company news
2. Chart your growth: What kinds of questions were you asking two, three or four years ago that you now know the answers to? For example, if you scroll through your tweets from 2009 and see that you were asking about options, but now you know all about puts and calls, then it might be time for you to write a book for others who may not yet know about these same topics.
3. Share tips learned through your own evolution: In 2009 you might have been facing far different struggles than you are now. Read through your old tweets and see what you were talking about, concerned about, challenged by and so on. Use those tweets as chapter starters for a book that helps other people get through a similar situation.
4. Consider what you find interesting: Looking at your archive, you can see the kind of content you consistently retweet. Trends in your retweeting could indicate a topic that you’re very passionate about and want to explore in a book of your own. You can even reach out to some of the Twitter users that you retweeted to see if they’d like to contribute to the book or be interviewed for it.
These are just a few ways you can find your next book in your Twitter feed. As you trawl your archives, you’re bound to come up with many, many more.