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LATEST NEWS  -  07-10-22

Writers are often heard to say, “I need to get lots of likes or retweets on my social media so I will be recognised.” Well, to be honest, that’s not always true. If you want to engage your readers then you should be asking them what they actually think. The reason for doing this is so you can foster a community and thus help build up your audience. After all, you will need these connections to promote your discussions.

We shouldn’t be that interested in the likes or retweets because they don’t show the true measure of your success. What we should be much more interested in is the comments section. It is suggested that a writer shouldn't always be reading their social media comments.  Although this rule won’t apply where a writer is specifically soliciting responses, engagements, and/or is looking for ideas through discussion prompts.

Whilst readers will often look for an online community that connects with a favourite author they like reading, they will also want to engage with them. Wanting to discuss what they’ve learnt in the book they’ve, either with you the author and/or with their fellow readers. Many readers want to get to know an author better, so they feel as if there is a two-way connection in the relationship. By listening and hearing out your followers you are sure to keep them. Remember, having regular discussions is also a good way in which to build up your community.

A community gives people the opportunity to discuss a given theme in the comments, as well as offering support and feedback to other followers. It can help us, as creators, to ensure that we continue creating the right content that will serve our readers. Listening to your readers, hearing what sparks their interest, and causing good debates, are some of the easiest ways to beat writer’s block. After all, you are letting them tell you what to write about next.

A great way to get people involved in your community is to use discussion prompts. However, you must remember to respond. Being a crucial part of the process is important, even if it's only acknowledging a comment with a ‘Thanks for sharing!’ comment. Doing this gives the impression that you have a reciprocal interest in your readers' thoughts and suggestions. And it’s a great way to build authenticity and trust within your audience. By utilising the discussion prompts offered by your followers, it will also help you to grow as a creator.

Of course, don’t let every discussion prompt be a post of its own. As the creator, you can ask questions. And what about posting prompts at the end of your posts; ones that will help sow the seeds of further discussion? This will encourage your followers to respond with comments and possibly prompts of their own. And is thus another way to urge your readers to be more involved and engaged with your writing. It will make them feel as if they have invested something into what you are sharing with them.

Mind you, the better the story you write the more your readers will have something to think about and discuss. This will then leave them wanting to share their thoughts about the story. And where would that be? Well, why not on an online discussion community?

If you interact well with your followers then the results will, of course, be beneficial. Especially if you are writing a sequel. Just think, you will be able to ask them for their thoughts on what they think should be included in the new book. Of course, you don’t have to use all or any of their ideas but you never know what they will come up with.

Now, if you are starting to write a new book, why not start your community as soon as you can? Dropping some snippets about the upcoming book could create some interesting discussions. It will help you to gather your follower's thoughts on your ideas about the book or on how they feel about the way each chapter is going. If you get stuck, why not start a question-and-answer discussion on what your characters might do in a certain situation? You never know what ideas your readers will come up with, perhaps even some unusual ones that you hadn’t thought of.

So, remember, when trying to engage with your readers you need to use discussion prompts, open threads, questions for consideration, and comments regarding a specific piece of writing or a new chapter. These are all smart ways to help you keep your readers engaged, as well as being great ways to build those strong connections with your audience.

If you have any ideas or ways other than those mentioned that you use to connect with your followers and are willing to share them with our listeners, then please email them to us so we can spread the word. The more we writers work together the stronger our writing world becomes.

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