Understanding Trends and Audience

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While you are writing it is important to take into consideration your audience and your target audience, as well as trends in pop culture. This is not necessarily a tip that is based on a function of Wattpad, but it is a critical component to understanding Wattpad on many levels because of its unique approach to writing.

For starters, Wattpad is online, which means works can be written and published instantaneously, and can thus follow trends. Latest movie came out about zombies? Write a zombie book! A fad in pop culture can rise and fall much faster here than in print media because of speed and ease of access. At the time of writing this, zombies are on a big upswing with shows like The Walking Dead. Previously it had been a craze about werewolves and vampires and before that had been wizards. Future trends look like dystopian teenage sci-fis, thanks to The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner

Due to the speed of trends, it is entirely possible to quickly catch on to a popular fad at its peak to gain maximum exposure. This can be a bit of a double-edged sword, as a fad can create instant popularity and fame but can also fall off the radar just as fast and leave a writer behind in its wake. Where will One Direction fan fictions be in three years when they're no longer relevant?

Simultaneously, most of the Wattpad audience is comprised of two specific groups that are important to keep in mind:

1) 13-25 year old females. Most of those Wattpadders range just from 13-18 but they're all important to keep in mind. Works aimed at this demographic will generally have a higher chance of succeeding than those that don't simply by volume of potential readers. However, more and more older and male users join every day, so this is slowly evening out over time, but it is always something to remember.

2) Mobile readers. Well over the majority of Wattpad's traffic is on the application, hovering around 85%. This means readers are on the move a lot of the time, looking at books while on the bus, in transit, or in a waiting room. They want works that are typically easier to read to pass the time or that have shorter parts to make it easier for them to progress. Long paragraphs and parts look different on a mobile device and sometimes can appear...well bad. It is always recommended after you post a work that you view it on the app to see how it will look to the majority of your readers. This also means that extraneous chapters before the beginning (author's notes, copyright pages, extra synopsis, character bios) slow down the experience and can turn readers off. Placing those at the end of a book makes life easier on readers, as tempting as putting it at the start can be.

Combining the knowledge of trends and audience can help you to maximize your potential audience, but it should not be the reason you write a work. You should not alter your story to make it a teen fiction romance that includes zombies, but you should at least consider it when thinking about intended audience, as well as when you question why a teen fiction romance that includes zombies has more reads than your work.

A last note is that many Wattpadders are very very forgiving of spelling errors and grammar mistakes. Many of them accept that works here will be unfinished, unedited, and basically raw, as well as coming from rookie writers who are just figuring things out. This is both a good and bad thing. In some cases it means that writers can still gain reads even with an unpolished book, and in other cases they may not get the right instruction because their mistakes are overlooked. Still, this is one more thing to keep in mind before questioning why a teen fiction romance that includes zombies with a lot of spelling errors has more reads in it.

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