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I Killed My Twitter Account with 20,000 Followers - and Started a New One

by | Oct 25, 2021 | Writing

Twitter is the most underrated social media app there is.

Many people don’t get it. Twitter still has fantastic discoverability, their recommendations are solid, the newsfeed is killer, the quality of users is high, and influential people still use it. Twitter is what all the wannabe social media apps have tried to recreate. And failed.

I’ve spent a stupid amount of money on Twitter courses. I’ve spoken with the some of the largest accounts on the platform, which led me to delete my Twitter account with 20,000 followers.

People think I’m nuts.

Let me explain because this almost certainly applies to your Twitter account. If you don’t use Twitter then you’re about to understand why you should immediately.

The big secret that will make me look stupid

Okay, I shouldn’t tell you this. Screw it. I set up my Twitter account in 2009 at the tender age of 23 years old. I was a young, loud-mouthed punk with a successful startup. The idea of followers tempted my oversized ego.

So I purchased Twitter followers on some random marketplace. I don’t remember how many. Somewhere around 5000–10,000. As you’d expect they made no difference — I didn’t become an overnight insecure male with a playboy mansion and a Lambo full of broken dreams.

I later realized almost all of the followers I got were bots. Haha … I’m a sucker. For years I didn’t do much on Twitter. Occasionally I’d click a link and end up on the app.

Then in 2020 I rediscovered the magic of Twitter.

The underrated benefits of Twitter

Content creators I admire led me back to the platform. At the height of the global health crisis everybody all of a sudden went all-in on social media, because they had nothing to do. That’s when I took a second look at Twitter. Here’s what I found.

A hidden audience

Twitter has awesome discoverability. There are 206,000,000 users on the platform. All you have to do is post good tweets every day. Two tweets per day is plenty. The platform is excellent at recommending your content based on its relevance to similar creators.

The hard part is getting the first 1000 followers. From there it’s pretty easy to build an audience, even in 2021.

The stupidly simple way to make passive income

I discovered last year that there’s a feature called Twitter Threads. A tweet can be maximum 280 characters. A tweet thread is no more than 25 tweets in a row. They’re all joined together with lines. A thread is like a blog post but without all the fluff. All you do is write a thread about a topic you know well.

On the last tweet you make it an external link to a paid book or online course (if you have one). Or you can link to your Substack or email list to capture the user’s details and perhaps offer a paid product or service to them later. I prefer to get their email address and give them free content forever. But I’m a weirdo so ignore this part of my strategy.

Many Twitter content creators have embraced a platform called Gumroad to sell products on. If you do decide to make passive income from your tweets then put your product there. Gumroad equals trust within the large Twitter community. The same way Substack has become the standard for premium newsletter content we’re happy to pay for.

Low barrier to entry

Tweets are short. They are quick to write. Even if you are a busy professional that has been ignoring your content creator dream, you can find time for Twitter. It’s a good place to start if you need a first step. I can write 10 tweets in 30 minutes. You can too. Do it.

Web 3.0

The Twitter community is one of the main places online to learn about Web 3.0. On a daily basis you’ll see Web 3.0 topics trending on Twitter. The co-founder of Twitter is a Web 3.0 enthusiast and even enabled Bitcoin payments on the platform. He’s one of the good guys. He even plans to completely decentralize Twitter in the future.

Why you might want to nuke your Twitter account

Many of you reading this have a Twitter account. It’s probably more than 5 years old. Let me explain your hidden problem.

The Twitter algorithm is simple in how it works. Let’s say for example you post a tweet and it goes out to your 1000 followers. Let’s say 100 people have it appear in their newsfeed. Let’s say only 2 of them engage with your tweet via a like or a comment. This tells the Twitter algorithm it sucks.

The problem may not be you. In my case I was posting tweets to a large number of bots. On top of that the followers I didn’t buy were from a long time ago. Many of those users have left Twitter or haven’t been active for years. So basically I had an audience full of zombies that did nothing. But there were a decent number of followers who did engage.

The problem is Twitter uses a ratio to measure the quality of a tweet. If you have 20,000 followers and only 50 of them engage with a tweet, then this signals to the algorithm that your tweet is crap. Your tweet may be good but the ratio is way off.

Takeaway: A lot of you have large numbers of inactive followers. They’re screwing the engagement ratio of your tweets.

How to start on Twitter again like a badass

There’s no way to remove followers on Twitter. The only option is to start again, so that’s what I did. Here’s the exact formula I was given from a group of well-known Twitter users.

  • Give your old Twitter account a new username.
  • Without a few minutes quickly set up a new Twitter account and make the username the same as your old one. This seems counter-intuitive but when you use your original username on your new account, it automatically links it to every platform you’ve connected Twitter to. This helps point people to your new account without lifting a finger.
  • Next, go to your old Twitter account and remove all the links in your bio. The sole purpose of your old account from now on is to point people to your new account.
  • Change the bio of your old account to say “Unfollow this Twitter account. My main Twitter is <Insert Username>.”
  • Update the banner of your old Twitter account to say the same with an arrow pointing down to the link in your bio to the new account.

How to hyper grow your new account

Your new account is live. High-five. Now do this.

The retweet method

Every tweet you post on your new account needs to be retweeted by your old account. This helps guide your old followers who care about your work over to your new account.

Tell your superfans

Make sure you’ve published a few tweets before doing this step. Once you have, say, ten tweets on your new account, let your superfans know. Mine are all on my email list, so I sent them a helpful article. At the end of the article I asked my superfans to follow my new Twitter account. Steal this script:

PS –Will you please follow me on Twitter right now? Here’s the link! twitter.com/tim_denning

It would mean the absolute world to me. I urgently need to start my account again. It’s where I share some of my best short insights you can’t find anywhere else, daily. I’m confident my Twitter will change your life.

The growth trick all Youtubers use

I’ve spent a bunch of time researching Youtube. All the top accounts do one thing: they share audiences. Youtube creators go on each other’s accounts and tell their audiences to follow other people like them.

There are Twitter groups you can join full of content creators. Basically if you share the same values and niche, you can share each other’s audiences. You can retweet their work. Or go on their podcast and share a link to your Twitter. Or make a guest appearance in their online course.

The secret to Twitter is to build your audience with other like-minded creators. That’s how you experience hyper-growth on Twitter.

The real power, though, is the friends you make in these communities. I haven’t found these Twitter communities, yet, so I can’t tell you where to look. When I do I’ll happily share the info.

Write Twitter threads

Most users publish single tweets. Tweet threads are rare, so if you create them then you’ll stand out and grow faster.

The Unexpected Results

It took me 12 years to get 20,000 followers and one day to start on Twitter again. Already in a short space of time I’m seeing a huge benefit. I have a tiny number of followers but extremely high engagement on my tweets.

If I keep this up my audience will grow fast. You can copy my approach and tap into the same magic.

The bottom line is this: a lot of your Twitter followers are probably inactive.

Start a new account to build an audience from scratch. The engagement rate will be higher because now that Twitter is 12 years old, there are mostly only the people who love it using the app. Those users are the ones you want as followers.

If any of what I’ve explained doesn’t make sense, then check out my new Twitter account (@tim_denning)to see this strategy in action and the results I’m getting.

If you’re a content creator or have a side hustle and don’t tap into the huge audience on Twitter, then you’re missing out. Start now.

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