You might have tweeting paralysis.

Many people don’t realize the virtues of Twitter. They have a Twitter account, but they don’t tweet. Why? They don’t know what to tweet about. It’s intimidating, they say.

That’s the beauty of Twitter. You can tweet about anything. But that kind of freedom doesn’t mean you tweet whatever you want.

If you want to build yourself up on Twitter, why? Do you want to share your expertise? Do you want to build your network? Do you have something to sell? Channel your inner-kid curiosity and ask yourself “why?” five times to drill down to the sole purpose.

Now write down 3 topics that you love to read or talk about. For example, here are my favorites:

1. Business books and stories about leadership, entrepreneurship, productivity, and creativity. They fuel me with new perspectives, practical takeaways, and ideas.

2. The Warriors. I grew up in the East Bay and played basketball my entire life. As a kid, I cheered on Tim Hardaway, Latrell Sprewell, and Chris Mullin. I thought they were good then.

3. What’s new and evolving in social media. It’s been one of the biggest areas of growth for Stanford Graduate School of Business. We tap into social media for sharing our professors’ business research and insights. It’s also great for connecting with students and alumni.

Voila! You have three buckets to dip into for your tweets. If you’re still feeling stuck, you either didn’t pick the right topics or you have writer’s block. Tweeting paralysis is real. I’ve spent more time than I can justify trying to write a tweet.

To get unstuck, I like to stick to 5 key principles:

1. Keep it simple. Write one idea.

2. What makes your idea interesting? And please don’t say, this article is interesting. Explain why it’s interesting. Share a quote or insight.

3. Write a full and complete sentence.

4. Check for spelling and grammar.

5. Is there a call-to-action? Do you want people to read the story or article? Leave enough room for a link at the end.

For more inspiration and tips on tweeting, I wrote a short ebook with 140 ways to build your brand on Twitter. I break tweeting down to the basics and share ideas on how to develop interesting and engaging tweets.

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