In February of 2015, (after meeting the illustrious Ashleigh Gardner, Head of Publishing at Wattpad) I posted a story titled Bon Bons to Yoga Pants as an experiment on Wattpad. 1.4 millions reads and countless sponsorships later, I wanna chat about this social media platform.
8 Tips To Navigate Wattpad
1. Wattpad is Not a Critique Session.
Don’t point out errors in the comments or get analytical. They’re loving and supportive—haters don’t hate. If you don’t like the story, don’t read it. Serious fans re-read stories like cray-zay. Several of mine have read BBTYP at least ten times. They watch the comments.
They will attack haters.
2. Statistics Counts
- Shorter is better. The sweet spot hits around 1500 words.
- Don’t post a novel all at once. Space it out over months. Start with a 3 x a week, build some attention, then go daily at the end.
- Ask a compelling, pertinent question at the end of the chapter. Separating it in bold really helps. Answer the reader comments. If the fans take the time to read and comment, I take the time to answer. (Until I can’t. More on that later.)
- Consistent posting. More is better. I hit the highest ranks (#1 in Chick Lit) and made it to the trending lists by posting every MWF as promised. When I posted daily, my numbers soared into the 1000’s.
- Start with a strategy. Let the readers know that strategy. IE—I’m going to post every Monday. I’m going to post MWF. I’m going to post every day . . . etc.
- Use GIF’s, movies, and photos wisely.
- Wattpad HQ is genuinely interested in helping their authors succeed. If you play nice, work hard, interact, and keep going, they will notice.
- The One Direction fan fiction story After by Anna Todd has 412 million reads, a six figure book deal, and movie rights optioned to Paramount. She basically wrote the whole thing on her phone. (Every. Day.). Just so you know what Wattpad is capable of.
3. Want followers? Do the ollowing:
- Be a follower. Follow back. (Until you can’t. More on that later.)
- Share your favorite one-liners or Wattpad love on twitter like this, this, and this.
- Create a Wattpad Pinterest board.
- Follow Wattpad authors on their Facebook pages.
- Create Wattpad reading lists and share them.
- Comment on the chapters you read.
- See those video ads? Watch them. Wattpad authors make over half the revenue that comes from them as a way to compensate all their hard work. Let the authors know you did it in a comment. They’ll love you forever.
- Talk with your readers on their profiles.
- Buy their books! And then post a review.
4. Link Love
Wattpad prevents readers from being able to copy/paste. (They like to fight plagiarism around there. #likeaboss) So if you post a link, make it short. Bit.ly links tend to have the most success in my experience. The readers will have to type those links in manually, so inserting some crazy Amazon link won’t help your sales.
5.Readers-to-Sales Conversion isn’t Great.
Bon Bons to Yoga Pants had zero sales on release day.
Wattpadians don’t want to pay for their stories. They don’t. Just don’t expect conversion miracles. Keep on keepin’ on. Publish that baby and get back to work.
Caveat: Some of the readers will buy! Several fans came back after I posted all of Miss Mabel’s School for Girls on Wattpad to say they bought the series. Advertising with Bookbub and posting a chapter on MMSFG to notify my Wattpadians of the sale helped. 😉Always set your expectations on your Wattpad story at the beginning. Then follow them.Click To Tweet
6. Be Honest.
If you’re only going to put part of your book on Wattpad, let the reader know. Short, sweet Author’s Notes are good. Nothing that will make a Wattpadian hate you more than getting them into a book and then dropping them like a hot potato and saying, Buy the rest of my book here!
You’ll lose readers if you’re just going to tease.
7. Authors Need Love
Message your favorite author and give them some love. No one has to post on Wattpad. They’re giving you free stories. Don’t get all uppity and entitled and think they owe it to you. #nospecialsnowflakeshere
Be cool. Sincere, honest messages are my favorite. I always respond. (Although it takes time!)If you want to be a successful on Wattpad, you have to cultivate relationships. Not high reads.Click To Tweet
8. Success Takes Time
Success on Wattpad takes time and patience and dedication. Have fun. Read lots. Comment. Be friendly. Post often. Get into the culture. Learn your craft.
Note: I adore my followers. Srsly. Unfortunately, the number of followers and comments I receive on my stories are too much for me to respond individually. Literally hundreds to thousands a day sometimes. I visit my stories frequently, I skim almost all the comments via my email notifications, and I respond as able. About once a month, I set aside an hour and go through the stories to catch up on comments here and there. Nothing is more important in my business than my fans.
Want more information? Here are some great links.
- KWL podcast with Ashleigh Gardner about Wattpad.
- Anna Todd Earns Book and Movie Deals from One Direction Fan Fiction.
- How to Become a Wattpad Star
- Aron Levitz to lead Wattpad Studios
- List of Philippine Films Based on Wattpad Stories
- The Watty Awards on Wattpad
Find me on Wattpad here:
Have you posted a story on Wattpad? Do you love it? Let me know!
Put your username in the comments and I’ll be sure to follow you! <3