Over the years Wattpad has impressively become a first choice for aspiring writers for its easy access and wide-ranging platform.
Wattpad is a platform where there are no boundaries between the amateur and the established writers;
a perfect environment for inspiration and adaptation.
Founded by Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen (the then aspiring writers) based in Toronto, Ontario launched Wattpad in the year 2006, to provide an easier reach, space for the new writers/authors to bring out their work.
The website as well as the app has done a tremendous job since then accumulating more readers and writers worldwide.
The platform claims to have an audience of more than 80 million users, who can directly interact with the writers and share their opinions with fellow readers.
With over 50 languages available, but 77% of its content is written in English.
Several Wattpad users are translating stories to continue to build the platform.
Their slogan was previously "Stories you'll love". But as of March 2019, it is now "Where stories live".
Publishing works here has an easy go!!
It's all a matter of quick registration, and then it's a free reign.
With an audience of over 80 million, and numerous genres there are a good number of teenage writers with amazing ideas; hence this experience has helped many of them to sharpen up and had set them to be the writers they have dreamt of becoming in whatever genres they like.
However, like every other activity, it is also a matter of patience, consistency, and promotion of the work by the writers themselves initially [so the wisest the advice for all the coming-up writers would be to stay patient].
In this platform, the reader/writer community is huge and there are many established/pro writers who come forward for interacting and guiding the new writers.
For a writer in Wattpad, the first thing apart from the story plot is the presentation; the cover.
Having a good cover which is catchy/attractive can catch the attention of the readers even though the saying goes as ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, nevertheless it matters, add banners, fill the description box with the stats of the works whether they're complete or ongoing, etc.
Then comes the update, which is basically what you need to concentrate on to keep your readers hooked; put cliffhangers to pull them back for the next updates.
Releasing the story all at once might not catch attention; especially if it is a long one and even though some readers prefer completed stories, for the writer’s convenience if they don’t want to release all at once, part by part end it in a way that will create a vision and curiosity in the minds of the readers.
For the promotion of the stories
For promoting the stories, many of the accounts or forums can help, enter your stories in the contest; participate, interact with other reader and writers because no matter whether the story wins or loses exposure can bring experience and help in gathering a fan base as Wattpad has various programs under it that can make a writer break big out of the website/app.
But just like every other activity in an application, Wattpad has its ups and downs; different pros and cons.
According to Kindlepreneur, some of the Pros of the platform are:
Free: No cost to read or write on Wattpad — and plenty offered in return.
Open: It is really a platform for creative writers. It encourages expression and is open to most modern genres.
Community: Having a community of over 70 million readers is an awesome resource. This is as if everyone in the United Kingdom, plus a few more million, was reading on Wattpad.
Growth: Writers love the free resources offered by Wattpad and the mentorship and development opportunities available.
And the Cons are:
Monetization: We feel as if Wattpad could offer more opportunities for authors to monetize through the platform. The new beta program is a step in the right direction, but this could be developed further.
Not for everyone: Although there are no age limits or anything, conservative writers wouldn’t feel at home on Wattpad. It is a very liberal, very young-focused platform which is fine, but a lot of writers do not fit into those categories.
Requires Time and Effort to Succeed: To see results from Wattpad, you're going to have to invest more time in the marketing of your book. There are lottery winners out there, but most need to invest time and energy.
However, there are many small seasonal contests held by the communities from the Wattpad and by the Wattpad also; which mostly comes yearly such as The Watty’s Contest.
These help in boosting the confidence and the hype for the writers to put on more effort into their work to grab on the lucky opportunities that come along.
There are also many that question, "Why Wattpad?"
Because there are plenty more websites and apps similar such as Webnovels, Inkett, Movellas, etc. which is available for reading and writing, then why drift to Wattpad?
Well, the answer to it will be yes, there are massive apps which are good and have really impressive ratings but those seem to have a particular kind of niche regarding the age groups or the genres which makes the reach and approaches limited, in contrary to which Wattpad differs as it has various genres that let the writers be able to exploit through the variations and find the ones in which they have good strength at.
Talking about the activities that are mandatory post-publishing
After the story is published, engagement is very much important with the story updates and with the readers as the stories get ranked according to the tags that are put for the exposures.
There's a limit of up to 25 tags that can be put related to the story, and mind it this can even get your stories noticed by the editors.
So keep notifying your readers based on the way updates will be done, be it one or two chapters weekly or any specific timings of your choice to maintain the ranks once given.
My experience with Wattpad
As one of the new writers in Wattpad, it can be said that this is one of the most easily accessible app/websites for the ones who want to try putting out their work for the first time.
There are not many issues with publishing and un-publishing, privacy is well kept and opportunities are always a step ahead.
In the recent years, along with all the contests that it holds, it has also developed the Wattpad studios where the stories are turned into a motion picture, then there's the paid story section which is yet not completely in a go but it will come. Patience writers.
However, readers and views will not come overnight, so the wisest advice for all the new writers will be to keep the eyes on the prize but work till it meets the middle of the necessities.
Views, votes, ranks, and fans will come to you as you keep making your work better each time, so don't be afraid to put out your imagination into words; remember, this is your story, so write for yourself for that is the foremost thing that made you pen it down.
Good luck and be awesome because, from all the talented writers in the community, you're one of them.