Hashtags on Wattpad – Six Tips
Hashtags on Wattpad can be a tricky affair. In short, hashtags categorize and index your stories, allowing them to be searchable and help readers find your book.
They are one of the most important elements of your Wattpad book. Wattpad books have five main components: the story itself, the title, the book cover, the description (or blurb) and the book’s hashtags. In so many cases, despite their importance, hashtags are underused, overlooked or simply misunderstood when it comes to Wattpad.
Between the excitement of posting a new story and revealing the cover, hashtags often become an afterthought.
Hashtags can be the difference between having people read your book, liking chapters and leaving comments or your book being overlooked completely, because nobody can find it.
They are a gateway for potential readers and are absolute gold when used properly.
Whether you’re a new author or someone looking to optimize your current hashtags – here are six tips for using hashtags on Wattpad:
- Each story has the ability for 20 hashtags to be added in order to optimize visibility – USE EVERY ONE OF THEM!
Does your book feature vampires? Then #Vampire can be a hashtag.
Do the characters in your story attend high school? There’s another hashtag, or two.
Do any of your characters fit somewhere on the LGBT spectrum? Hashtag it!
As a new author starting out on Wattpad, you will be on the lookout for readers to clock up some much sought after reads on your book. When a potential reader is looking for a new book to read, they will enter search terms, such as “vampire human love triangle” into the search engine and if those search terms match your hashtags, your book will show up in the search results.
Using hashtags on Wattpad is different from other social media platforms. On Twitter it is recommended to use no more than two hashtags and overloading a Facebook message with hashtags can be off-putting to fans. On Wattpad, though, it is not only acceptable, but expected that you will fill all twenty of your hashtag slots.
Wattpad boasts 45+ million users who are constantly on the hunt for new books to read. Filling out all twenty of your hashtag slots increases the visibility of your book to potential readers.
This leads to the next question: What do I put as the hashtags for my book?
- Which hashtags are right for you
You want to promote every facet of your book. Ask yourself, “what are the key words people would likely search in order to discover my book?”
Let’s start with the obvious – if you are writing a vampire/werewolf love triangle story, you will definitely want the words “vampire” and “werewolf” to take up two of your hashtag slots.
If you’re writing fan fiction (meeting a member of One Direction at their future reunion concert, or writing your own Iron Man story), derivative spin-off works (like a story that takes place at Hogwarts, but features all original characters of your own creation) or if you’re like me and write twisted retellings of fairytales (What if Snow White wasn’t so good after all?), then use hashtags associated with the original stories.
- If you were writing a One Direction fan fiction story, you could put hashtags such as “HarryStyles,” “1D” and “OneDirection” as one word, or “One” and “Direction” as two tags if you have the space.
- For an Iron Man fan fiction, you may want to include “Iron Man”, “Avengers” or even “Robert Downey Jr” in your hashtags.
- If you were writing an original story within an established world such as the Harry Potter example, then you will want to include hashtags that fans might search for when seeking out a Harry Potter-themed story, such as “Harry Potter,” “Hogwarts” or even “Owl”.
- When your book is a retelling of a classic, like a fairytale, you could include as many hashtags relevant to the original work. In my case I wrote a twisted, dark Snow White retelling. So, I included “Snow” and “White” in my hashtags, along with “retelling” and “twisted”, allowing readers to get a taste of what’s in store.
But what if your book is an original and you don’t know where to begin dissecting your story to find some relevant hashtags?
The answer is easy:
- Check out hashtags on other stories with a similar genre/theme/tone/story to your book
See how the others do it. If you’re writing an action book, check the “Action” category on Wattpad and look at the stories which are doing well in the charts. These authors have been discovered and their works are being read and part of their success can be attributed to their use of hashtags.
Look at multiple books similar to yours and see if they have any hashtags in common – maybe that particular hashtag is a widely searched term that could help lead readers to your book.
This is a great starting point to get an idea of how you can fill your twenty hashtags slots.
Although, do not feel bound to use the same hashtags as other people – do what you feel is right for your book.
- Avoid spoilers in the hashtags
If your book is full of twists and turns – do not reveal the specifics in the hashtags. If you have a twist ending along the lines of “but they were all dead the entire time” – keep it out of the hashtags. I’ve had stories ruined for me because a big plot point or twist was revealed right there before I even opened the book.
- Do NOT put your character’s names in the hashtags
Unless you’re doing a fan fiction or a retelling, where well known characters feature in your story, then there is no reason to put the names of your original characters in the hashtags.
This is something I’ve found in multiple Wattpad stories, where a main character with an everyday name such as “John” is used as a hashtag. Who is searching for the word “John?” Nobody is desperate to read a story about “John.”
Even the books where a main character has a strange or invented name, such as “Jembarella,” a word specific to your story, sure, but nobody will search for a character they don’t know and have never heard of.
You’re attracting new readers to your book and they cannot search for invented words that only exist in your book – a book they are yet to discover.
- MAKE SURE THE HASHTAGS ARE RELEVANT
On Wattpad, “OneDirection” is a popular hashtag with lots of reader traffic. Do not put “OneDirection” in your book’s hashtags, just to get readers if your book has nothing to do with the band.
Readers are savvy and will work out quite swiftly that your book has no relevance to the hashtag.
This kind of intentional deception creates distrust with the users of the site and tarnishes your reputation as an author.
Bonus tip: If your book is eligible for the #Wattys – add that hashtag!
The #Wattys are the annual Wattpad awards that feature a wide variety of ever changing categories. Read over the requirements and if your story is eligible – add the relevant #Wattys hashtag/s to your book.
If you already have the twenty hashtag slots filled, just rotate one hashtag out temporarily and replace it with the #Wattys tag.
Experiment with hashtags. You can change your hashtags at anytime. If you find yourself wanting to try out a new hashtag – give it a go. You never know, it could bring lots of new readers to your book!
My name is Nick Burgess but I go by @AtomicNicky pretty much everywhere. I have a Film and Screen Media degree and graduated with First Class Honours and I’m an early career Screenwriter and Author. I’m from Australia and I have been on Wattpad for almost two years. My first Wattpad book, Snow White and The Blood Queen, was selected to be a Featured Story on the site just after I posted the seventh chapter and I have been fortunate enough to be a featured author in the #WattpadBlockParty twice.
Find @AtomicNicky here:
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For more tagging tips, check out Wattpad Tags by Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror, Mystery/Thriller (+ General Tips on Tagging Your Stories).