What Is Wattpad? Strategies to Excel on the Popular Storytelling Network

POSTED ON Apr 29, 2024

Elena Rapovets

Written by Elena Rapovets

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Do you ever wonder how great it would be to have a group of beta readers provide almost instant feedback? Or maybe you’re looking to connect with other writers and share experiences. 

If you value online interaction and are seeking a writing community, Wattpad could be the perfect spot for you. Plus, the stories you publish there might even catch the eye of traditional publishers.

What is Wattpad? It’s an online platform where writers and readers publish, discover, and discuss stories across various genres, from Young Adult fiction and fanfiction to thrillers and sci-fi.

What Is Wattpad?

Launched in 2006, Wattpad was created to simplify reading and sharing stories. Since then, it has grown into a truly global community, with over 90 million users who spend billions of minutes on the platform monthly.

Unlike traditional publishing, Wattpad emphasizes direct interaction and community engagement. Authors can publish works chapter by chapter and get readers’ feedback immediately. As an author, you can also join contests, participate in community discussions, and collaborate on stories.

Readers can follow their favorite writers, vote on chapters they like, and comment and react directly to the passages they like. These features help writers understand what their readers like and also build a stronger connection with the audience.

Why Wattpad Appeals to Authors

Wattpad is a great place for authors to find and grow their audience. It offers a broad range of genres, from popular young adult fiction to niche non-fiction. While mainstream genres naturally attract more readers, exploring a less popular genre on the platform has its benefits. You might have a better chance to stand out and attract dedicated readers.

The platform is designed to help you build your readership. Readers can follow your work and receive updates when you post something new. A unique feature of Wattpad is that readers can comment on and react to specific parts of your story, not just at the end. This type of detailed feedback is like having notes in the margin of a book, helping you see what resonates with your audience right away.

Wattpad also offers programs that can help successful stories reach wider audiences. Wattpad WEBTOON Book Group selects stories for publication as traditional books, while Wattpad WEBTOON Studios collaborates with film and television producers to adapt popular Wattpad stories into movies and TV shows. If your story gains enough traction and engages many readers, it could be published or turned into a film.

Getting Started on Wattpad

Getting started on Wattpad is quite straightforward. You’ll need to sign up on the Wattpad website or app to create your free account. Once you’re all set, click the ‘Create a new story’ button to start uploading your stories.

Understanding Wattpad’s algorithm is key. To enhance your story’s visibility, you’ll need to grab readers’ attention. To do that, use catchy titles, interesting descriptions, and compelling cover images. Tags are also vital as they help categorize your story, making it easier for readers to find based on their interests.

Being active on the platform also increases your visibility. This means that you need to engage with the community. You can follow other writers, comment on stories you enjoy, and participate in events and contests. This engagement not only boosts your visibility but also helps you connect with other writers, similar to real-life writers’ groups online and offline.

When you publish on Wattpad, you keep the copyright to your stories. That means you fully own your work and can publish it elsewhere later. Wattpad educates writers about protecting their rights and offers clear steps to deal with copyright infringement, including how to file DMCA takedown notices if someone claims your work as their own.

To make money from your writing, Wattpad has programs like Wattpad Originals, where readers can pay to unlock your stories. The program is selective, and stories with strong reader engagement might get picked. There’s also Brand Partnerships, where you can collaborate with brands and get paid for including them in your stories.

Ultimately, Wattpad allows you to keep your rights and offers opportunities to earn from your writing within a large community of readers and writers.

Building a Wattpad Community

Building a strong community on Wattpad is key to getting your work noticed and growing your fanbase. Engaging with the community not only boosts your story’s visibility but also provides valuable feedback.

Here are some strategies to help you engage:

  • Start conversations in your chapters’ comments to encourage readers to share their thoughts.
  • Keep your profile updated and interact with your followers’ content to support their work.
  • Enter your stories into Wattpad’s writing contests to increase exposure.
  • Participate in Wattpad clubs and forums to discuss writing and exchange tips.

For those less comfortable with direct interaction:

  • Focus on the quality of your work; well-written stories naturally attract readers.
  • Use the right tags and SEO-friendly descriptions to help your stories find their audience.
  • Consider getting help from a friend or a fan to manage social interactions or promote your work.

Ultimately, providing engaging, high-quality content and consistent updates is the key to success.

Success Stories and Opportunities

Wattpad helped many writers start their careers, from securing book deals to seeing their work on the big screen. Here are some inspiring success stories:

After by Anna Todd 

After by Anna Todd Book Cover

After began as fanfiction inspired by Harry Styles. It became a hit on Wattpad for its intense romance and complex relationships. This popularity led to a book series published by Gallery Books and a successful film series, which helped the story reach a global audience.

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen Book Cover

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones tackles racism and friendship in 1950s Alabama. Its powerful themes struck a chord with Wattpad readers, leading to its publication by Wattpad WEBTOON Book Group.

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann Book Cover

Let’s Talk About Love is about an asexual protagonist navigating relationships. It filled a unique niche in young adult literature and was picked up by Swoon Reads, a Macmillan imprint focusing on young adult and new adult romance driven by reader interests.

Each of these stories found success not just because they were well-written, but also because they connected with readers and filled unique niches in the literary market.

Final Thoughts

Wattpad is a unique platform that can help writers advance their careers. It provides tools for exposure, community engagement, and chances to get published or adapted into media. While not everyone will land a publishing deal or see their work adapted into a movie, the possibility exists. 

However, even if you don’t reach these heights, being part of Wattpad’s vibrant community is rewarding in itself. You can learn from other writers, receive valuable feedback from readers, and simply enjoy the process of writing and sharing your stories. So why not give it a try? There’s a lot to gain with little to lose.

Elena Rapovets

Written by
Elena Rapovets

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