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Tips to Build Your Following

Suggested by Chere Taylor here on Inkitt. Go follow her and read her books if you love horror novels or just want to read amazing novels in general. Thanks again for the idea.

One of the hardest things to do on a writing app, at least from talking to others and also from what I've learned, is building a large following that actually wants to read your stories and interact with you.

On many apps, you'll see these people with astronomical follower counts and sometimes wonder why that isn't you. But then you glance over at their following numbers and see that it's either the same, close to the same, or more than their follower count. I've had at least three different people with those numbers try to follow me, most unfollowing when I wouldn't follow back.

One of the big things is people will follow you looking for a follow back. Many will follow you and then immediately unfollow you if you didn't reciprocate in a certain amount of time. One person followed and unfollowed me so many times that Inkitt stopped notifying me that they did so. Follows for follows can be a way to grow your following in numbers but not so much quality. Many don't read your books or respond to you on your message board. Just another notch in your follower belt. While having a large following count might attract more readers to your profile plus lead to Inkitt recommending your profile, but following that many people you don't want to interact with isn't worth a maybe to most. Your feed would be clogged with notifications you don't want, hiding the few import ones.

Do you really want to take that risk for a maybe? Many don't.

I use an approach to following people where I follow them if their books interest me, if we both like each other's books and build each up, or their friends to me in real life. Or they hosted/judged in an award I was in or currently in. I don't do follows for follows, never have. Not even when I was first starting out on here or starting out on Inkitt.

Since follow for a follow doesn't interest you, you might be wondering: well, how do you grow your following? Young padawan, here are some tips. They aren't miracle makers. You won't magically wake up one day with thousands of followers like you're a main character in a teen fiction novel. These are tips, just that. Simple advice.

Tip One: Write What You Want

I literally had a whole ass rant on this subject back in my welcome chapter. If you need a refresher, go check it out because that was long and I don't have the time to go rehash what's already been said.

Basically, write what you enjoy and not solely because others enjoy it/it's popular. If you enjoy it, your readers will enjoy it and will in turn be more apt to finish your novel or whatever you're writing and even read other works by you. And if they want to keep up with you, they'll possibly even hit that green follow button just a little gift of appreciation.

I live by writing what you enjoy, I write for myself and my enjoyment. Others enjoying is an added bonus. When you enjoy what you write, those stories are more out to be finished. You're excited rather than dragging your feet. And people can see that in your writing. Trust me when I say it's very obvious when someone is enjoying what they write rather than not. I could see it in my own writing.

Readers are more out to enjoy your stories when you do. They might even go all the way and finish it. Maybe even go to other stories. Even push that huge green follow button as a gift of appreciation.

Tip Two: Engage Your Audience

I've seen a good bit of people do this. I try to myself when I can, even if I do fall short at times.

With this, your message board is a good friend. You can hold questions of the day like moi-moi here on Inkitt. They're a good way to get people talking and even learn a bit about each other. Even share your struggles with the app. It shows just like them, you are human and helps you appear more relatable. Some of my most commented posts on my wall are me venting about issues on Inkitt or even sharing a new cover I made or just asking a question. Stirring up questions really helps.

Some people even hold contests with nice rewards like follows, free covers/profile aesthetics, reviews, and even stuff involving their books like character names or minor plotlines.

Whatever you can think of to try and engage them. It doesn't have to be something major, just be yourself and talk.

Now this kind of relates into tip three.

Tip Three: Be Yourself

If you are authentic and not fake, people are more apt to cheer for you and talk. You don't need to create some sort of persona or manufactured image. Those fall apart and even can lead to people not being able to relate to you. Authenticity can translate into your books and even bolster them. Feeling down, write about it. Sometimes more emotions pour out when your down or up. Or even listening to music.

It's a little hard, but be you. People want to know the author for them, not a manufactured image. On the same note, I'm not saying reveal everything about you or literally give them all your information, that can be dangerous no matter what app you're on.

Like book characters, some people root for authors they can relate to or laugh with or just pal around with. Even if it can be hard to do so through an app.

Your friends want to be friends with you, and I've found it's similar for lots of readers concerning their authors.

Tip Four: Accept People's Taste Change

This is more of a mindset. A good mindset. I touched on this in the welcome chapter as well. When I stopped writing fanfictions and felt comfortable pursuing my own novels full time, I lost a good bit of readers. Dropping from thousands of readers to very few. People will unfollow you if their taste change from your novels. It's normal. And you shouldn't be afraid to write what you want out of fear people will unfollow you or stop reading your books. That's on them, not you.

Once you stop worrying, a weight is lifted off your shoulder.

But, changing your mindset takes time. Again, not a miracle cure all, but a tip. And also a suggestion to help you love writing rather it be über stressful.

Tip Five: Skill

Honestly though, it's true. A little self explanatory. Some people will read a wide range of stories. Many are sticklers on grammar and the foundations. Some just like a gripping plotline and relatable characters.

You need to have your own special skill writing. And believe in yourself.

Tip Six: Perseverance

Some people believe luck is a main factor, but it does take a little. But the luck factors in with skill and perseverance. You got to keep pushing through the rough times to enter happiness. And some people when they write their token book already have a semi decent audience, so when they upload that book, they maximize on it. Don't give up when the going gets tough. Push through and the other side should be better.

Tip Seven: Don't Be Afraid to Put Yourself Out There

Go into the groups and advertise your books and profile. Do review swaps. Enter contests whether they're corporate run or run by fellow authors. Expose others to your work.

On that note. Don't bug people. If people don't want others advertising on their walls, don't do it. Honestly, I'd advise against advertising on others' walls. While it might seem like a sure fire way in theory, in reality it annoys a lot of people. Many doing so only want free reads/follows/comments etc. Not saying all do, but many do. Some won't hold up their end of a review swap. Same goes for some people in the group.

Don't be one of those people.

People adding your book to their reading list is a good promotional tool that you don't have to do yourself. On Wattpad, one way some people found my most popular book was through others' reading lists. Also because some people would tag others in the comments and one person even added it to a book where they recommended the best books to them. There was probably others, but the reading list I know was prevalent and it also is a thing here.

There might be other tips, but those are the ones that I remembered off the top of my head. Plus, there's no sure fire formula. Just what works well for you. Be yourself and find your own style.

Also, I know I said I was going to try and organize the contents of this book but the app is once again screwing up and it hasn't been fixed for months even though I contacted them. Guess I got to wait until I can get to a computer. Until then, enjoy the unorganized mess. Hope this helps y'all and also hope this answered your question Chere Taylor! Happy Wednesday everyone!

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Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.