Not all online writing communities were created equal. It doesn’t take much effort to find one – but it does take work to find the right writing community for you. Before I start ranking the pros and cons of each online writing community I’ve been in, I should run through what I mean by an “online writing community”. Essentially, I’m talking about online spaces where writers have grouped together. These aren’t websites dedicated to writing – rather, they’re general social media platforms where writers have congregated together.
The most prominent online writing community is on Twitter: it’s where all the indie authors go. I have had huge success over on Twitter and it is where I spend a lot of my social media. It’s easy to see why writers flock to Twitter. The platform is super simple to get started on, required minimal effort due to the character limit, and the writing community there is already huge (just check the #writingcommunity tag and you’ll see the number I’m talking about).
However, Twitter does have its problems, just like all communities do. Let’s explore. A large number in the writing community engage in writers lifts and follow trains. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t effective – true, you will get a lot of followers very quickly, but you won’t be getting engagement to match the numbers, and that kind of growth isn’t sustainable. Too many people spam hashtags, links to their books, and then get frustrated when their marketing isn’t going well. It’s exactly the topic I talked about in last week’s blog post.
However, Twitter is still a great community – it’s just going through a period of reinvention at the moment. Good hashtags to follow are #writersq, #writerscafe, and all the discussions in this thread.
Being a member of a writing discord is a much more intimate experience – but with that added privacy, comes an added difficulty finding the discord in the first place, since you’ll need to get an invite. Public discords are generally very welcome, while still having airs and illusions of being exclusive. Personally, I love writing discords – but I would be biased, because two years ago I founded one. Discord can take a little time to get used to but it is certainly a platform I recommend taking a look at.
Personally, I haven’t much experience with the writing community on Instagram. Much like Twitter, there is a lot of spam content and writing is very difficult to get noticed on the platform due to sheer oversaturation. The book community, however, is someone I’m very familiar with, so I know how the platform functions in general. Instagram cares primarily about the aesthetics of the content being uploaded, rather than the content itself – a huge problem for writers. It’s fine for book marketing, but a very different story for discussing the actual content of books in big detail; that, of course, is the main reason why book bloggers cross-promote on Instagram so successfully. They match up their beautiful photography with longer form posts over on their blog. That brings us to blogs as writing communities!
Creating a Blog
This one is a little different, but there are big reading and writing communities on blogging sites like WordPress. Never heard of it? Congratulations – you’re already here! The difficulty with sites like WordPress is that sites are very disconnected from each other, and usually rely upon discords, online forums, or group chats to keep in touch. But… unlike all the other platforms already discussed, creating a blog by default means focusing on longer form content, which is exactly what you want with a writing community. You don’t need to even create your own blog! Find a blogger you love, and engage with their content in the comments section. You never know who you might meet and connect with.
FIND LOTTIE ELSEWHERE
Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
Are you a member of any online writing communities? What is your experience? Tell me about it in the comments below!