I’m only a person, not a brand or a celebrity or a household name. But nonetheless I get the same questions allllll the time, enough that I’ve put together this FAQ to answer them without me typing the same thing ten times a week.
Question not on here? Tweet me and I might add it.
You’re a freelance journalist! I would like to do that! How do I do that?
I got started by going to a Guardian Masterclass about freelance journalism. I’m not sure if they still run it but taking a short course is usually a good idea, just make sure the people running it know what they’re talking about before you hand over any money.
Also, if you don’t already have writing samples, start a blog and create some. Most commissioning editors won’t take a punt on you if they haven’t seen some of your writing already, so if you think you can write brilliant stuff, don’t leave it inside your brain — get it on the internet so you can prove it.
How do you have so many Twitter followers? How do I get more?
- I’ve been on Twitter a really long time and tweet a lot
- I have a good username that a lot of people find by accident
- I follow a lot of people (I recommend private lists to split them out into useful timelines on different topics)
- Like money, the more you have, the easier it is to get even more. It gets faster and faster as your following grows, because if you tweet something golden with 500 followers, it might go nowhere, but with 50,000, it’ll get noticed. In theory.
- Be real. Use your name and photo if you can. Tweet the good stuff as well as the bad. Don’t be a PR machine pumping out your work and your successes and nothing else — would you talk to that person at a party?
Do you really have eight cats?
Yes, yes I do. Because I run a little cat shelter called Holly’s Manky Moggies, and it’s the best thing ever.