Ahh…it feels nice to be behind a keyboard again after dodging a monster storm, throwing a three-year-old’s birthday party, and prepping for some big personal events (all good things, don’t worry). But now that I’m back, I’m having some difficulty getting back into the swing of things, especially writing my blog. I beat my head trying to come up with a topic and finally settled on one that has been fairly popular for me on Wattpad.
How do I get reads, comments, and votes on Wattpad? How did I earn over 6,400 followers in under a year? How am I pseudo-popular on Wattpad?
There isn’t one answer that will tell you what you want to know, but I will discuss a few things that I have done that I think significantly contributed to my success on the writing app.
Your Story Should Be Polished (or readable, in the very least) First and foremost, you’re manuscript should be as close to perfect as you can get it on your first run. I like to post my updates with minimal editing because I like the input my readers give me, and I often incorporate their ideas during my first round of serious edits. Readers will usually excuse an error or two in an update as long as the rest of the writing is quality and captures their attention. However, I’ve been writing for over a decade, so my first rounds are usually a little more polished than some. Note I didn’t say perfect; Heaven only knows if I wrote a perfect manuscript in the first go I’d be J. K. Rowling rich by now!
It bears mentioning, if you post an update that is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, plot holes (that you don’t intend to fill within a chapter or two), fragmented sentences or run-ons, and generally sloppy writing, then your readers will disappear.
Apply to be Featured Follow Wattpad’s rules for submitting your story to fill their Featured Section! It’s free, and fairly easy to submit your work. I did this with The Yellow Note and went from a few hundred reads over six months, to three million in the four months after it was accepted as a feature! It wasn’t a perfect story, but with the increased readership I was able to find issues that I would not have picked up on my own.
Having a featured story increases readership which increases votes and comments. The more people like what you write, the more followers you earn, which brings me to my next point.
Be Kind to Your Following If you treat your followers like tuna fish, they will unfollow you in a heartbeat. These readers like your work enough to follow you, and with any luck, they will become loyal supporters. I have earned several friends this way, including four I rely on regularly for advice on cover work, plots, character building, etc. (and maybe a few who I like to talk to for the giggles of it, you know who you are!)
If your followers are also writers, read their work. Vote, comment, and help them where you can. This is one area I admit I lack commitment, primarily because I am usually busy chasing a child, keeping up with my house, writing or editing, and other things that life says I must do. But I fit it in where I can, and it makes my friends happy.
Respond to Comments This can get tricky once your work takes off, and it’s one of the reasons I removed The Yellow Note from Wattpad. I loved the comments, but I found myself receiving over 300 a day, which was far more than I was prepared to handle.
Responding to comments should be fun, and it should connect you to your audience. It’s the best way to earn followers. But what happens when the trolls come out to play? Ignore them. I learned that lesson the hard way after trading one too many blows with someone whose only desire was to get a rise out of me. I’m a red head, it’s not difficult. It ruined my day and stuck with me, making me feel lousy about my writing and connection to my “fans.” When I decided to ignore those comments (or better yet, delete them), I was able to focus on the hundreds of positive ones that brightened my day.
Connect to Your Audience I’m a 37 year old female from the east coast of the US, yet I’ve found myself having the most interesting conversations on Wattpad with people who are very different from me. I’ve had mature conversations with twelve-year-olds, and I’ve fangirled with forty-year-olds. I’ve discussed politics and religion with people who grew up on the other side of the world.
How do you connect with people who are so drastically different and whose interests are as varied as they are? Read what they write, read their comments and start a conversation, view their profiles, and the most fun…CONTESTS!
I’ve had a few, and they don’t have to be big to be fun. A cover design contest or a scavenger hunt draw people into your world, and who doesn’t like to learn something new? The prizes for winners can be as simple as allowing the winner to choose a character name or cover design, even an actor or actress to “play” the part of the main character. It’s fun, and people remember you.
And last but not least…
Network Like Crazy Read a story you enjoyed? Mention it in an author’s note between chapter updates (be sure to include the profile name). It spreads the love and helps undiscovered writers gain a following. In return, you earn a friend and a loyal reader.
If you find something exceptional, leave the author a personal message on their wall or in the private message space. I know it makes me feel great when someone tells me how my work has influenced them!
I love the Wattpad community, and I’m so happy to be a part of it. If you follow my suggestions, I can almost guarantee you’ll increase your votes, reads, comments and followers over time. It takes dedication, but anything worth doing does.
You wrote a fantastic story and poured your heart into it, why not pour your heart into making sure it succeeds?