7 Tips on How to Engage Your Readers and Make Them Feel Special
Margaret Atwood says, “You become a writer by writing.” However, being a writer does not only involve the act and practice of composing; it is a two-way street that includes you and your audience.
Part of being a writer is to know how to effectively engage your readers and make them feel special.
Remember that no fan wants to feel like a cog in a machine. He or she wants to feel unique as a fan. This is important especially to new writers.
Here are seven tips on how you can show your appreciation for the support you receive while building your community in the process.
1. Set up a great author website
When it comes to engaging your readers, an author website may come handy. It will act as your online marketing portal where you can introduce yourself and your work to your potential readers. You can post examples of your content in the form of articles, poems, and scripts.
Aesthetics and functionality are essential elements when designing and setting up a website. So, take the time to choose the right theme and implement it throughout your website. No visitor wants a fussy website where it takes forever to navigate and find content.
One of the best things about having your own author website is that it could be used as an online market for your work. Your readers won’t have to go to a bookstore to get their hands on your book. They could just purchase your book through your author website.
2. Connect with your fans through various social media platforms
In this day and age, it is so much easier to stay connected with fans. There are now so many social media platforms that you could use to engage with your readers. However, there are some social media platforms that could really enhance your social media reach. Here are some key examples of social media platforms that you should use.
One of the most efficient ways to engage with your readers is through Facebook. It is by far the most popular social media platform currently.
You could set up a Facebook account and release updates on your book releases. You could also post links to articles that you wrote on your author website.
Fans could also react to your Facebook posts and effectively create traffic between all your other social media platforms.
While Instagram is an image-sharing platform, it is also a perfect way to interact with your readers. You could post various pictures of your writing journey.
When you post through Instagram, you should make your feed as unique and tasteful as possible. Remember that aside from your writing, some readers will follow you because of your aesthetic as well.
As a whole, it is better to compile a very unique range of pictures that will capture the overall feel of your writing journey.
Twitter is a very efficient way to share your ideas to a very wide audience. You could post excerpts of your work and ideas and thoughts that come to you on a daily basis. Just make sure that you post only the good ideas that come to you.
If you want to effectively blog as a writer, it is a good idea to create a Medium account. The blogging platform could act as a supplementary blog site to your author website.
The best thing about Medium is that you could interact with fellow Medium users and boost one another’s readership.
3. Reply to messages from readers promptly
Once you release a book or any kind of content, there will be times where your readers will send you messages. They could send it through your author website or through your other social media sites.
These could be messages of well-wishes or even criticism of your content. Whatever the message may be, it is still important that you reply to them promptly. This will show your readers that you care about their opinions.
4. Give out freebies
If you want to create rapport between you and your readers, it is a very good idea to give out freebies. While your freebies need not be expensive, they should be able to convey to your fan base that you value their fandom.
You could make themed bookmarks and give them away during a book convention. You could also start an online contest and give away copies of one of your books—preferably signed.
You could even make an event out of it. By giving away freebies, you are not only gaining the goodwill of your fan base but their loyalty as well.
5. Set up a YouTube channel
Yet another effective way to engage with your readers is to set up your own YouTube channel. In the past few years, YouTube has gradually become an incredibly effective media form.
Through your YouTube account, you could release content that is specifically aimed at your target audience. The best thing about YouTube is that it is the most popular video-sharing site in the world and is technically free to use.
What’s more, the platform also gives you the chance to earn if your channel has a huge number of subscribers.
6. Be grateful for reviews
There will be times where you will have your work reviewed. This could be a very scary prospect for any writer because you are technically opening yourself up for scrutiny.
However, it is important that you have your work reviewed. How will you improve, if you don’t know what you did wrong? How will you know if you are any good if you don’t have your work scrutinized?
If a reader gives a positive review of your work, you should be gracious and thank them for the positive review. However, there will be times where the reviews could be very critical.
It is very normal for you to feel bad. During these times, you will be very tempted to lash out. This won’t do you any good and may even put you in a bad standing with your current fan base.
Just be humble and take the criticism. It might be painful at first; however, you’ll be able to grow from this experience. Make sure that you thank the reviewer for the help and improve your work.
7. Post fan content through your Instagram
There will be times where your fan base sends you content that they based on your work. It could be an Instagram picture that takes inspiration from some of your writings or even a caricature of any replication of one of your characters.
Whatever the content may be, it is a very flattering occurrence for any writer. In response to this, you should make the effort of posting this fan content through your own Instagram account.
This is a great way to show your fans that you appreciate their avid fandom of your work and that you value each and every one of them. Do not forget to credit the specific fan, though.
As an artist, you would know that copyright infringement is a grave sin.
Creating a sense of personal connection with your readers through these various online media is what sets you apart as a brand from other writers.
Fostering that kind of culture within your community of readers does not only further your reach in size but most importantly grows your relationship with your supporters.