How To Thrive on Wattpad from a Watty Winner

Updated: Mar 19

Hi everyone! Today I'm writing about a topic that is near and dear to my heart: Wattpad and how to succeed there. As someone who has been writing on Wattpad since 2013 (you can still read my earliest fanfiction there!) I have been through the ups, downs, and changes of Wattpad for nearly a decade now, from having no reads on my books to hitting 500K reads on my most popular book to winning a Watty in 2021.

So, if you want to read more about how to thrive on Wattpad, keep scrolling.

There are several components to Wattpad success. Here are some of them:

Reader Interaction

  • Comment on other people's stories, especially if they write in the same genre as you. Make sure to leave thoughtful comments in addition to the "LOL" and "aww" though oftentimes, if the writer doesn't have a very large following or popular book, they'll be happy to have any comments and may check out your account in return.

  • Interact with other readers in the comment sections of these books or popular books. Never say something like "Read my book" or "check out my werewolf story" for example, but feel free to *ask* people to read your book. A good template is "If you like X story, maybe you'll like my story, too. Do you want to read my book, [insert title here]"? I've often checked out others' accounts based on their comments on my story or replies to my comments.

  • Post on your message board. Ask things like "what's your favourite song right now?" or "what's your favourite Wattpad book?" You can also post encouraging or inspirational quotes, or teasers from the next chapter of your book. Don't post announcements more than once a day or even every day, as many followers may find it annoying to be constantly spammed with these announcements.

  • Join book clubs! They don't have to be officially Wattpad-run, just any moderately popular book club will do. I recommend one with at least 5k reads, so that you can be sure there are enough people who will read your work but not too many that your work will get lost or no one will accept you. Actually read the assigned books and leave insightful comments; in other words, do what you want other readers to do for your book.

  • Earnestly accept feedback and criticism, even if it may hurt your feelings. Unless the comment is a ball of incoherent garbage filled with profanity saying "your book is garbage, your heroine is an idiot, and I've never hated a character so much," with no suggestions for improvement, often readers may have something useful to say even if it is only pointing out a typo that you missed.

  • NEVER post on random or popular accounts' message boards saying "READ MY BOOK". Often accounts will have a note on their profile saying "no read requests," so try to follow that rule and not ask them to read your story.

  • Join writing contests. Again, these don't have to be official Wattpad sponsored contests, as long as they're moderately popular. I don't recommend big contests such as the annual Fiction Awards which are usually immensely popular and the winners are chosen based on number of readers who vote for their favourite book unless your book has reads in the hundred thousands. Find a decently sized writing contest and don't be too worried about wining. Even if you don't win, you'll likely get feedback from judges that may be helpful to you or at the very least, you'll get someone else to read your book. Of course, join the Wattys if your book is eligible to enter as oftentimes, books with few reads can see their reads skyrocket after winning.

Good Writing

  • Plot: Have a well-paced plot without plot holes. Try to plan out your story beforehand so you don't have gaping plot holes or inconsistencies (I'm guilty of not doing this! In Dear Future Husband I changed Rosalie's mother's name three times LOL). Your romance novel shouldn't go from the characters meeting in chapter one ot getting married in chapter two (unless it's a marriage-of-convenience story, in which case that's a whole different thing). On the other hand, don't drag out your story to the point that nothing happens and the whole book is filler.

  • Editing: Please edit your book before you post it! At the very least run your chapters through AutoCrit (it's free and will tell you how many words you repeat, if you overuse adverbs, and any grammar issues you have, etc.) or Grammarly or ProWritingAid. All of these tools have a free version that you can use.

  • Grammar: I can't tell you how annoyed I am when I read a book and someone says that something "peaked" their interest. The proper phrase is "something piqued my interest." Please know the difference between homophones before you post your chapters!

  • Genre: Some of the most popular genres on Wattpad are bad boy romance, YA, romance, werewolf, billionaire, and mafia. You don't have to write these genres, but you will see that the most popular and successful books on Wattpad (e.g. After, Perfect Addiction, The Girl He Never Noticed) fall into these categories. Of course, there are outliers such as The Last She (YA science fiction/dystopia), Light As A Feather, Stiff As A Board (YA horror), and more.

  • Niche: The most successful Wattpad authors, such as Sweetdreamer33, Claudiaoverhere, and imaginator1D, all write in a similar category with similar tropes. For example, Sweetdreamer33 writes about billionaire romances with a "possessive" or "alpha" male lead and a "sweet" or "virginal" or "feisty" female heroine, often with an arranged marriage. Find your niche and stick to it so that readers will know what to expect from you. Another example is the Wattpad Star, purplejeans, who writes mainly historical romances with realistic and well-researched characters.

  • Cliches: Wattpad readers mostly love cliches: bad boys, arranged marriages, teacher/student romance (that one is a bit icky), possessive/alpha/billionaire male leads, and virgin heroines. However, you can definitely find success by flipping these stereotypes on their heads. Maybe the woman is the one who's a billionaire and the secretary is a man. Maybe the bad boy exists, but he's also paired with a bad girl. You don't have to sacrifice your creative integrity to achieve Wattpad success.

Update Schedule

  • Update 1-3 times a week. Updating every day can be too much for you and your readers may not be able to keep up, but 1-3 times a week is a good schedule. Forgetting to update or not updating for a long time (say a few weeks or months) can cause readers to forget about your story especially when Wattpad has so many stories that are being uploaded every day.

I hope this post was helpful to you! I know it's a bit longer than my usual posts but I hope you enjoyed reading it and that it can help you achieve Wattpad success. Drop your Wattpad username and story in the comments below to make friends and maybe I'll follow you or read your story if it interests me!


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