How writers can build a following on Wattpad - Katie Tyler

9 February 2014 / 3 comments

What kind of work do you post on Wattpad?
When I joined I only posted fan fiction, firstly the classic One Direction fan fiction as that was the area I felt I could easily fit into as so many other people were writing them as well. A while after I had some attempted ideas at Werewolf stories, they turned into ‘one shots’ as I found they weren’t quite as popular and my priorities were on the fan fiction as more people were reading them. In October 2013 I started writing a fan fiction about ‘Youtubers’, I hadn’t seen many, if any, fan fictions in this category and decided it was a topic I knew well so would attempt to fill the gap.

How did you build your following on Wattpad?
It took a long time to get 400 followers on Wattpad for me. Compared to some other, bigger accounts that is barely a dent in their following but for me it is a number of people I never imagined would voluntarily read something I had written. At first there were around 50 people who purely followed me because they read the book, this gradually over time grew to over 100. However, if you want tips or tricks on how to gain followers I have picked up a few techniques. Of course, just asking your readers to check out your profile and ‘follow’, some users could be new and not know how to. Another way, which I still do, is to head on over to Omegle, type in the ‘interest’ bar Wattpad and talk to people who also use the site. Strike up a conversation and exchange profiles, this way you gain a new found friend and follower.

Finally, the way I found most effective was to create a ‘private chapter’ or book on Wattpad which only your fans can read. It could be a little spin off chapter from your main book, but if you put in an Authors Note at the bottom of the original chapter in your book that you have made a private chapter and must be a fan to read it, then all the people that like your writing and want to read more will follow! I did this and gained over 120 followers in less than 3 days.
Simple but effective.

What is your best advice for new users on Wattpad?
Put yourself out there, create an interesting bio telling people about your interests and things you like, bands, music, TV shows, movies and celebrities. This way if someone comes across your profile and finds you have something in common they will check out your stories out and it gets you involved in the Wattpad community.

Also, make sure you have a unique book cover as we all know the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but if that’s the only representation you see of the book you want to be drawn in instantly and catch your attention. Follow people! Post on their message boards introducing yourself and have a conversation, making friends on the site is one of the perks. I actually only recently found out about the ‘clubs’ side of Wattpad, join yourself to one of them. They include really interesting discussions!

How has using the site benefited your work and career as a writer?
This may sound cheesy; however I do write fan fictions so it’s acceptable. It made me realize that I actually like writing, that potentially it could just be more than being bored on a Saturday when your tumblr dashboard is dead. It’s made and helped me realize that writing could actually be a future career path. It’s helped me meet so many similar people to myself, introduced me to a whole new community and I’ve made tons of new friends. I do struggle with school work, and my grades dip from time to time, but it’s showed me if you are dedicated and put a lot of effort in, results will come. The first ever proper fan fiction I wrote called Starbucks, which is a One Direction one, gained 17,000 reads. At the time I was so shocked, I still am. I couldn’t believe that that many people read my book. I couldn’t even picture that many people in my head. When I started Zalfie I didn’t think it would get very many reads, it was in a category I hadn’t seen many fan fictions about so assumed it wasn’t very popular. In the first 3 days it got over 5,000 reads. I was in complete shock as it had taken me over a year to get 17,000 on Starbucks. I mean, my maths isn’t that great but I could work out the difference. As I started updating daily chapters on it the views grew and grew, people were leaving comments and hundreds of votes. Now Zalfie stands at just over 430,000 reads. I can’t even comprehend how much that is, and I am eternally grateful.

In early December I entered the ‘Watty Awards’ which is the Wattpad awards for best in their categories. I had completely forgotten I had entered this, a banner came up on the home page advertising it so I thought I would check out the finalists, I went onto ‘youtube celebrities’ and on ‘up and coming’ was Zalfie. MY BOOK. I couldn’t believe that I had made it to the finalists! The results for that are yet to come, I’m not sure if I have a chance but if I did win, I can say for definite it would greatly impact my career as a writer.

All the support has deeply benefited my career as a writer, at the moment and the past few months I have been throwing around the idea of actually publishing my book into an ebook and maybe even a printed version. Self-publishing of course, after all I don’t want to push it. Just having a printed, paperback version of a book I wrote myself in my hands … it’s an achievement and goal that would just be remarkable for me and to prove to myself, parents and peers that I haven’t just been wasting my time on the internet for months on end, I have actually created something.

Without Wattpad none of this would have been possible. I would be doing something completely different and probably wouldn’t be the person I am due to not having read hundreds of book on the site and learnt from other amazing writers. It’s so easy to interact with the people that read my work, it’s hugely benefited me as with the comments and messages people leave me that I have actually inspired them to write their own fan fiction! At the age of 15 I’m pretty proud to have achieved that.

I cannot thank Wattpad and all the people that have read even one chapter of my books enough. In the future I plan to take a gap year and write, publish and sell a book. This would not be possible without Wattpad. So, in conclusion, to say it has benefited me hugely would be an understatement.


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