Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

Why Building an Audience as an Author Takes Years, Not Months

6 min read

Building momentum for yourself and your work is a marathon, not a sprint

Numerous writers enter the literary world with the intention of building a huge audience and living their dream as an author.

And yes, this is something that you can achieve. However, the timeframe for this audience may take longer than you expect.

The biggest mistake that writers make is thinking that their audience numbers on social media or elsewhere will rise quickly.

When in truth, it can take years to build awareness about yourself and your brand. Years to cultivate a presence online through blog posts, interviews, reviews, and published works. And years for people to join your audience and value what you have to say.

Now, this isn’t to say that some writers can’t make this happen, because there is a rare percentage who can do it.

But for most writers/ authors, you will be consistently writing and posting content for your audience for a while before you see traction.

The big question is, how do you build this audience?

The best way is through social platforms. And there are three components that can answer this question:


In order for your content to be seen on social media and any other places that you are sharing, you need to be doing so regularly.

The act of being consistent is going to continuously place you in front of your audience or people who could potentially be in your audience. Because the more that you post your content, the better the chance that they will see it.

However, if you are going to work on your consistency, you need to create a plan.

Plan your content for social media ahead of time and decide how many times a day you are going to post. After so long of following through with this plan that you have created, you need to investigate. Look over your previous posts and see what times you get the most engagement.

By doing this, you see when your audience is paying attention to your posts and you can adjust accordingly.

If we are talking about publishing books, you want to be sure that you are consistently updating your audience about it, doing reveals, or trying to release a book at least once a year.

This helps your audience to stay interested.


Unfortunately, too many writers give up on social media.

However, you can’t. This is a free marketing and connection tool that you need to be using to build your audience. The more people you meet, the more people you can potentially know about your work.

And the truth is, you aren’t going to hit gold with your first or even second plans to build an audience.

You are going to try a bunch of things until you see progress. And that is all part of learning.

So even if you post on social media or your blog and you haven’t hit a huge audience. Keep plugging away. Because, like my first point, if you are consistent, it will draw people in.


This is the aspect that perhaps is the most overlooked of them all.

The main point of social platforms is the contributions that you make. So, if you are tweeting, or posting somewhere and never engaging with anyone else's content, it doesn’t show that you care. And as much as you want to be heard, so do others.

The more that you engage by commenting or sharing or even just talking, the more you are going to gain. Period.

At the beginning of my writing career, I knew nothing about social media or how to build an audience.

I literally posted about my first book to friends on Facebook and the word spread…but then just as quickly fizzled.

So, I did some research and looked at what other people were doing. I made social media accounts as an author on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And then…nothing happened.

I actually abandoned Twitter for like three years because I couldn’t get a handle on the platform.

But, I did some more research. I looked at what other writers were doing, and I learned from it. And crazy enough, I built an audience.

See How to reach your audience through social media as a writer for more details on each platform.

Twitter was where I did the best. For Twitter, I started asking questions about stuff I had questions about and people answered. And slowly but surely, I grew my audience now close to 23k followers over a span of three years.


As for Facebook and Instagram, I’m still learning how to navigate it all. But again, as I keep using the three components in mind to build my audience, my numbers will steadily grow and hopefully in another three years, I can have larger audiences there too.



If you can be consistent, have determination, and engage with others, you can too build your audience. But don’t expect overnight success.

For more on how to grow your social media audience, see How to Grow the Social Media Portion of Your Authors Platform.