Are you supposed to just constantly nag other people to try and get them to read your work? Are you supposed to endlessly spam forums with comments on what you do until you get lucky and someone clicks on your work and likes it?
No one just writes a story and automatically gets people reading their stuff unless they already had an audience through some other medium. As a newbie writer or one who needs an audience, below are some of the ways you can make or grow an audience:
Get on Social Media
This is the first thing you need to do. If you’ve already done this, congratulations.
Promote other Writers
When you do this, it has a way of coming back to you in folds. Review their books, advertise or attend their events, provide blurbs, leave inviting comments on their posts, etc.
This not only helps your network but gets you friends who can give you honest reviews and help you rise. After you do these, promote yours. The support and payback will be clear.
If you can afford to, advertise. Put your brand in the faces of people. You can use Facebook ads. It helps you reach your target audience and gain some followers too.
Because you’re a new writer seeking an audience, this is to enable people to have a feel of your talent, otherwise, they will be taking chances with you.
I’m not saying to put all of your work out there for free, but make sure that people can get a feel for your work and decide if they like you.
Start posting some of your short stories and ideas/musing in either a blog of your own or on sites that take submissions.
Make sure that you join discussion groups, and Facebook groups and pages about the genre you are hoping to publish. Comment, review, share and like the works of other authors.
Get a Blog/Website
You can now start a blog on your own without spending a dime. However, if you can afford it, hire a web developer to help you. There are so many features they can help you with – that is why they are professionals in that field.
Include keywords to do with the genres you write. Have a good SEO (search engine optimisation, google it if you don’t know much about websites). This makes you and your stories easy to find.
Start interacting with your readers and talking about your books. Post stuff about your opinions and things you like. You, as a person, are as valuable to the audience as your creative works, and if people buy into you, they’re more likely to value your work and become loyal readers.
If you’re photogenic, make use of it by putting pictures of your face on your posts. People notice faces, that way, they can easily identify you and purchase your works even when you did not advertise.
You can get a great cover image from illustrators. A good image that illustrates the tone and premise of your work will grab people. Look for an illustrator who has done evocative work in the kind of genre that fits your story best and whose audience is into that aesthetic.
They will probably also share that they have done a piece for your book, and since good illustrators amass fans faster than good writers, that’s a lot of potential interest!
It’s high time you started talking to people in person. Give out samples. Be active in your pursuit of readers and show that you’re passionate. Make yourself visible.