One of the easiest ways for you to build your digital author platform is with Twitter. Using simple search techniques you can find people who are actively engaged in your niche. Since they are already using Twitter, once you make a connection, you can be assured that some of them will help you spread your reach even further across the Internet.

As you set out to establish your online identity as an author or future author, it’s important to start building your Twitter followers as soon as possible. Maybe all you have come up with is the title for a book. As long as you have a basic idea of your niche, you can start making important connections on Twitter.

To get started, here are six ways to add followers:

1. Start by simply letting Twitter search your email address book and show you people on Twitter you already know. You may have forgotten to add friends and family to your fan base and these people are excellent choices to get you started. With Twitter, no one is obligated to follow you back, so adding someone is a pressure-free way to make contact.

2. Begin by knocking on doors and letting people know you exist! You are not going to sell them anything or push a flyer in their face. It’s much, much simpler and easier than that: every day find a hundred new people to follow. Some of these people will follow you back as a simple courtesy.

3. The secret to building a relevant Twitter follower base is knocking on doors that already have something in common with you or your book. To do this, you can use Twitter’s search feature and find other authors similar to you. Pick some famous authors in your niche. Go to their profiles and look at whom they’re following. These are people they think are important to follow. Simply go down the list and follow the people you yourself relate to.

4. Next, look at who’s following these authors. Follow their followers. Here you will want to be more selective. Some of these people have nothing in common with the person they are following. Some people will use programs that automatically follow a certain large number of Twitter profiles every day. If your book is on cooking, including folks who are selling on eBay or weaving baskets may not be helpful.

5. Use the search feature again and this time put in keywords that are relevant to your book. Use a hash tag before the word. Let’s say you wanted to find readers who like Westerns. Simply put #western in the search area. Once the list is generated, scroll down to add those who look like good niche connections.

6. Besides using the search box for keywords, search for the title of popular books in your field. This will provide a list of people who are commenting about books in your niche. This is a great source of readers to get connected with. Make a select list of those who are serious tweeters. These people may not only read your book but are likely to spread the word.

By using Twitter search you will find an almost endless supply of new people to connect with every day. While I have mentioned searching by keyword, author, and title, you can also search for events, geography, holidays, and news that relate to your perfect target audience.

Building a serious Twitter following does not happen overnight, but if you are consistent in following new people every day, you will be surprised how your list will grow.

Of course, this is only one part of becoming a serious Twitter user. Once you have made a connection you will want those you follow to follow you in return. This happens when you create a powerful Twitter profile, tweet regularly with interesting and valuable information, and respond to those who connect with you.