Today I’m going to talk about how to build your author platform with Wattpad in a very basic Q&A style summary. I’ve also got some amazing insight from some of the biggest names in the Wattpad community. I love these writers!
I’m going to assume that you’ve already figured out how to set up your Wattpad profile page. It functions a lot like any other social media program. Utilize the bio information on your homepage. People do actually read it! Wattpad also allows you to include links in that section which is a gold mine. Personally, I have links to my website and mailing list as well as all my other social media platforms that I normally use. You can see my Wattpad page here. If you haven’t already done so, I highly suggest you set up an Instagram account. Lots of the readers on Wattpad use Instagram over other forms of social media like Facebook and Twitter. And for those of you who are still Twitter-shy, it’s time to get over that and become active on Twitter. Wattpad and Twitter work hand-in-hand a lot of times to connect writers with other writers. Use it! (Check out these Twitter hashtags to see what I’m talking about: #wattpad4 and #wattpadres.)
Your Wattpad Questions Answered:
What should I post on Wattpad?
You should post your best work on Wattpad. I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to give anything away for free, it had better be the best. Imagine if you walked into a grocery store that gives away free samples and they were giving away 2 week old, dried out chicken nuggets. Would that make you want to purchase? Nope. If you want to build your author platform—ia fan base that will purchase your work—ilet them try your best fiction for free. Don’t give them crusty leftovers.
Will I lose money if I post my paid novels on Wattpad?
I have noticed zero negative impact from posting my work on Wattpad. In fact, several readers grew tired of waiting for the next chapter to be published went out, so they purchased the full length novel. Did it make me a millionaire? Of course not. The point is, the eBook marketplace and the world of Wattpad are two different groups of people. There is some overlap, but the majority of Wattpad users are teenagers who use Wattpad
HOW should I post my books on Wattpad?
Wattpad is based serialized fiction. That means you post a chapter (or less) at a time. Instead of calling them chapters, they are called Parts on Wattpad. Shorter chapters do really well on Wattpad. 1,500-2,000 words seems to be the sweet spot for part length. I try to break mine up into scenes. My YA novel was written specifically for Wattpad; each chapter had 3 different short scenes.
You should plan to post on a schedule. Wattpad algorithms favor works that are regularly updated, so plan on posting regularly and frequently. 2-3 days a week was ideal for me.
How do I get reads, votes, and comments on Wattpad?
One of the moderators, Katharine Arlene wrote a fantastic ‘how to’ book on Wattpad called “How to Get Reads, Votes, & Comments.” (It’s free because everything is free on Wattpad.) I read it very early on in my Wattpad existence. It’s loaded with great advice on this subject.
I know this is in her book, but I’m going to say it here also: DO NOT ASK PEOPLE TO READ, VOTE, OR COMMENT. IT’S TACKY.
How do I get followers on Wattpad?
Something that worked spectacularly for me was offering bonus content for followers only. Wattpad allows you to publish “private” chapters that are only viewable by followers. Both my YA book and my Chicklit book have bonus chapters that aren’t even available in the single novels on Amazon.
How do I get Wattpad users to BUY my books?
Simple answer: You don’t. This should never be your sole intent in using Wattpad. You’ll never be successful as a Wattpad user if this is the only reason you’re there. Your goal is to build long-lasting relationships with readers. Imagine if you were sixteen and you got a personal response from Stephen King. He would have a new fan for life. Wattpad is the only form of social media specifically created to foster a relationship between writers and readers, and if you can form a relationship with a reader, then they will read your books for as long as you write them.
With that being said, just like with any other form of social media, don’t depend on Wattpad to BE your platform. Use every method you can to get people onto your mailing list. I have a free book offer on my website, and I regularly offer it to people on Wattpad. I also do a lot of giveaways to get subscribers. All of this and more is available to my Wattpad followers.
I asked some of the biggest Wattpad superstars, “What is your #1 piece of advice for someone who wants to be successful on Wattpad?”
Here’s what they had to say…
gabycabezut on Wattpad
If someone is reading your story, be grateful. They’ve chosen your book out of millions out there. Try to answer to all comments, go to your reader’s profiles and thank them for giving your story a chance, and see if they have something that might interest you.
rkclose on Wattpad
A little kindness goes a long way and may have a larger impact than you will ever know. I made a lot of connections that began with someone taking the time to share a bit of encouragement or advice with me. A year and a half later, my first book will be published. This would not be happening if others on Wattpad had not encouraged, supported, and sometimes pushed me when I needed it.
LDCrichton on Wattpad
Number 1 piece of advice. Engage with your readers any and every way you possibly can! Take advantage of the multimedia. Thank them. Show them how important they are!
Katherine A. Ganzel
KatherineArlene on Wattpad
I would say my number one tip is to reach out and make friends with others, whether it’s fellow authors or readers. The friendships you make will give you a support system, and make your overall Wattpad experience much richer.
Michelle Jo Quinn
michellejoquinn on Wattpad
Write well. Update Often.
Share the love. Reading an excellent story? Share it with your followers! Good karma will return the Favor.
Read and be read. You want more read counts, votes and comments? Read other users’ works, share a thoughtful, constructive comment and vote.
julietlyons on Wattpad
I would say, make friends and have fun and keep at it. When I joined, I had no followers, no reads, and no votes. It doesn’t happen overnight and you probably won’t get there any faster by asking people to follow you and read your stories. Why should they?
Lucyface on Wattpad
Wattpad is Social Media, so take advantage of that, and don’t fool yourself that you can be a success on WP without engaging with people.
RebeccaSky on Wattpad
Read other writers, comment on their works, connect, get to know people. That’s a big part of the Wattpad community experience. But there are other things you can do to stand out and get noticed. The key ones being: your cover, your blurb, and your marketing. I won’t go into crazy details about them here, but I do in my FREE online course with Skillshare and Wattpad. (http://skl.sh/wattpad).
(Rebecca was kind enough share a lot more information with us. I’ll be posting that full interview soon!)
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