5 Ways for Writers to Build Readership on Wattpad

by Kristina Ludwig
Nov 20th
By: Kristina Ludwig Posted: November 20, 2014 at 8:49 am

Recently, I joined Wattpad, a social media community that lets you read, vote for, and comment on the work of other writers, as well as post your own stories. Wattpad is the ideal platform for authors of YA fiction, since teens and young adults are the primary users. Once I checked out Wattpad, I knew that it would be the ideal medium to build my readership, allowing me to reach fans in my new genre, teen mermaid romances.

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With this in mind, I’ve spent a few hours a week on Wattpad, and have built up more than 50 followers in the past two weeks. I know this is just a start, and my goal is to reach at least 1000 by the end of the year. But here are 5 strategies I’ve implemented so far to increase my followers and build readership of my story, The Mermaid’s Curse.

  1. Search by keyword - I searched the keywords “mermaid,” “mermaid fiction,” teen mermaid,” and “merman,” just to name a few. These searches brought up stories as well as users with “mermaid” in their  usernames. I added all the stories to my library, and have been reading them as market research. I also followed all the users I could find related to mermaids. Many of these users followed me back automatically after I followed them, and still more followed me after I voted for and commented on their stories.
  2. Search by category -  I also searched by broad categories, such as “Paranormal,” “Teen Fiction,” and “Fantasy.” I joined some groups for users interested in these categories, followed several users, and added stories to my library. After I did this, my followers increased again.
  3. Follow users with large and small fan bases - I follow “big ticket” and “small ticket” users. The users with many fans are great, because I can study their profiles and works to ascertain how they became successful. However, I also like to follow users with small fan bases, since they’re more likely to have the time and inclination to follow me back, respond to my comments on their stories, and read my work. One strategy I found was to follow a very popular user and then check out the people who commented on his or her story and follow them, too. Many of these people have smaller followings, and I found that they follow me back and comment on my stories.
  4. Interact often - Comment on stories, message new followers or people you’ve followed, join groups, dedicate chapters to fellow Wattpad users, and vote on stories. Wattpad is a community of reciprocity, and if you give others your time, interest, and attention, it will come back to you. I have already had two chapters dedicated to me because I really connected with another user who incorporates celestial elements like the moon and stars into her stories, and liked the way I also did this in The Mermaid’s Curse. 
  5. Publish your best work - Wattpad is pretty raw, and many writers post first drafts with grammatical errors and punctuation issues. I like to give every story a chance, but when I stumble upon a work in which the author used “they’re” instead of “their” or some similarly offensive faux pas, I usually stop reading immediately. I know everyone is not so discerning, and many of the users are barely out of middle school, but I find that the works with the most views, votes, and comments are polished, with a sound plot structure and correct grammar. Sharing your best work on Wattpad can enable you to stand out. Another great strategy I’ve employed as I post The Mermaid’s Curse chapter by chapter is including a link to the book on Amazon at the end of the chapter. This encourages readers to buy it for only 99 cents. I also plan to message all my followers when I have a free promotional day on the book.

Other writers out there, are you a Wattpad user? If so, what strategies have you used to increase your readership? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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