8 Ways to Earn Your Audience as a Writer
How do writers gain more readers? The answer is simple: they just write something extraordinary and the readers come to them. Well, it’s not that easy. Even the most exciting stories need a boost. You do need to tell a great story, but building an extensive audience requires something more than commitment and talent.
There are few tricks you can rely on while writing and promoting your next piece. When you know what elements of writing and promotion attract a greater audience, you can use them to make your story more appealing.
We’ll list 8 ways to earn a larger, more devoted reading audience with your work.
- Do What You Do Best, Avoid What You Don’t Do Well
In other words, don’t try to be something you’re not. You don’t like heavy promotions and public speaking? You don’t have to do that. You don’t like writing guest blog posts? It would be great if you could promote your work that way, but it’s not something you can force on yourself. All recommendations you get for writing and promoting – they are just options. You don’t have to check off every box on the list. You just need to do what you do best.
The audience is attracted to writers with unique personalities. The world of technology gives us a unique opportunity to connect with our favorite authors. We don’t want to see robots trained in marketing. We want to see raw, authentic personalities who are not afraid to show who they are. Take George RR Martin as an example. Yes, there’s definitely some marketing involved in his presentation, but we still see his personality behind it.
- Be Patient!
You thought you could earn an audience overnight? That won’t happen. With the book you write, you plant a seed. It will take a lot of nurture and devotion for it to grow into something beautiful. Gaining an audience is a process that takes work and patience. You’ll be gaining the attention of one reader at a time.
The main thing to do is to write a brilliant book. From then on, you’ll have to engage in some marketing and nurture connections with the readers. You’ll have to choose the methods that work for you, and you’ll keep trying, on and on.
- Appreciate the Feedback, but Don’t Let It Crush You
You have absolute power over your creative integrity. You do need to get some feedback on your work, though. You’ll be exploring Goodreads and other social networks, so you’ll see what the readers have to say about your work. Constructive feedback can only make you a stronger writer. You’ll enhance your strengths and dilute your weaknesses, so you’ll start delivering literature that works better for your target audience.
Still, you mustn’t allow the feedback to affect your creative integrity. Once you process the comments you get from the social media community, back away. Don’t obsess over the negative stuff. Don’t try to respond. Consider the feedback, but don’t let it crush you.
- Share the Process
This is where blogging is useful. When you attract a considerable number of readers, they will want to keep track with your work. They will ask you for updates on your progress, and they will keep bugging you with requests to announce your next big thing. That pressure can cause a writer’s block if you’re not being careful. Still, you do need to share something.
If you don’t like blogging, share bits of the working process in interviews. Tweet or post a Facebook status. Do whatever you feel comfortable with. You can share anecdotes, your daily routine, or tips that result from your own experience. You just need to show some personality. That’s what the audience is looking for: to see a human behind the books they love.
- Don’t Obsess Over the Numbers
It’s not okay to treat your readers as numbers. You have a goal to gain 100K readers over a year? That’s not the right way to approach this process. Your readers are real people, so you should be more concerned about the quality of the connection you make. If you gain devoted readers, who respect your work and want to see more from you, the bigger numbers will follow naturally.
- Open Up
Social media? Blogging? Interviews? Your own website? Email marketing? Reddit? Pick a medium that works for you, and start interacting with the audience. Even if you’re the greatest introvert on Earth, you can still find a way to communicate with your readers.
Ask for their opinions and answer their questions! The readers want to feel connected to you. Just be yourself and mingle with the online community.
- Offer Various Editions… And Something Free
If you’re not a famous writer and you publish a book that costs $14.99 in hardcopy and doesn’t have an electronic version, you won’t get many readers. That’s sad, but it’s the reality. People are looking for literature they can afford. That’s why you need to distribute your book in different formats. A hardcopy is nice, but you still need a more affordable electronic version.
Your audience will also appreciate free stuff. If you can write a short story or an eBook without much effort, distribute it all over the net for free. That nice sample of your work will attract many readers towards your “real” work.
- Keep Writing
This is the ultimate secret recipe for gaining more readers: just keep writing. The more work you produce, the more readers you’ll have. Keep exploring your ideas, no matter how silly they seem at the beginning. Read more, practice more, write more!
If you check out Paulo Coelho’s bibliography, you’ll realize he gets a new book out almost every year. We could blame him for focusing on quantity over quality, but we cannot deny that his strategy works. He keeps attracting more readers by the day.
Of course, quality is important. It’s the first and foremost criterion for gaining readers. However, it also pays to write a lot.
You can’t have a careless attitude towards your work. The way your audience perceives it is important, so you have to make an effort to be liked and appreciated. The whole process isn’t supposed to be a torture, though. You’ll still write what you want to write, but you’ll also focus on engaging the audience. Keep writing and connecting. The success will follow!
Julie Petersen is a writer and a founder of essay websites reviews blog for students. There she shares tips for students to help them succeed in college and life.