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The Abyss

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How to Get Your Stories Read · 12:31am Apr 18th, 2022

I've been seeing a lot of people make the same mistakes when it comes to publishing on this platform, so I'd like this blog post to be your one-stop guide that'll cover everything you need to succeed on FIMFiction.

Here's how you can get more views, comments, and followers on this wonderful pony-filled website!

As a writer, it hurts to see so many stories that have hundreds of thousands of words receive very little feedback or action on the website. You'd think that these stories would have tons of comments, likes, and views, right? It's rather saddening to see people put in so much time and effort crafting their own worlds only to see little success for their effort so I'm here to change that! It's all quite simple, really.

Part I: The Basics!

1. First impressions matter a lot. If you want to have success on this website, you must have a unique username and an avatar. Come up with something meaningful that people will remember. Having an avatar is very important, too. The default one is pretty bland and doesn't look good. For a reader, it's okay to use the default one, but for a writer such as yourself? Show your readers that you put a lot of thought and effort into your userpage because it'll make them think that you put a lot of effort into your stories.

2. Use your bio to stand out. Tell people who you are! It can be funny, witty, or it can be a phrase that means a lot to you. Don't let it be blank. With so many users on this website, it's already hard to stand out so be creative!

3. Make your userpage beautiful. Fill it with pictures of your favorite ponies, put up bookshelves of your favorite pony stories (yours or other authors), and have a comment section for people to comment on. Interacting with your fans, followers, and new readers is a great way to build up viewer retention. You might even make some friends along the way! :pinkiehappy:

Part II: The Important Stuff!

1. Groups are the single best way to get your story out there. If you don't put your stories into groups, you're basically shooting yourself in the foot because the only time that people will see your story is when it's freshly published and visible on the front page. Depending on what time of day you post it, it might be up there for 30 minutes or a few hours, then nobody sees it again until you post another chapter. If you don't have that many followers, it can be very, very hard for any new story or new story update to gain any sort of meaningful traction.

https://www.fimfiction.net/groups is where you can find every single group on the website. I recommend going through all of these groups to see if your stories can fit in them until you get to the groups that have around 100 people in them; the perks of submitting your story to smaller groups like that start to dwindle at that point.

Once you find a group that you like, click the big green JOIN button on the right. Once you do that, you can now submit your stories to the group! I really recommend that you DON'T submit every single one of your stories to all these new groups that you just found because that can piss some people off if they see you put your story into 8 different folders in the group. If you click on the SETTINGS button next to the FORUM button, you can disable seeing new stories and new forum thread posts in your feed. If you leave these enabled, it might clog up your feed. On the other hand, if you leave them enabled, you'll get alerted when someone posts a new story or forum thread into any of those nifty groups that you just joined. Could help you find new writers to follow!

You'll also see that there's a FORUM button as well. Interacting with the group is a fantastic way of getting your name out there. There are lots of threads where people are asking for help, for an opinion, or just to chat about a certain topic. Nearly all groups will have their own set of rules, so before you add your stories to any group, PLEASE go find the group's rules; you'll usually see it pinned at the top of the forum. You might find restrictions on what you can submit. Do NOT submit stories to folders where they don't belong. This will only hurt you. You might think, "More groups, more folders, more views!" While you might get a few more views, you'd also piss a lot more people off by putting your story in the wrong folder. You don't want several downvotes to pop up on your stories because you got greedy for views, right? Of course not!

As for adding your story to a group, it's really easy! Just click on the STORIES button where the FORUM and SETTINGS button is at the top, see which folders your story can fit into, then click on one. Under the bar that holds the STORIES, FORUM, and SETTINGS button, you'll find a smaller green button that says ADD STORY. Click it, pick your story out of the list, and then click the second green ADD STORY button just under your story's title. Congrats! You just submitted your story to a group! Give it some time for people to check out your story.

Remember how I said that first impressions are everything? Before you submit your story to a group, make sure that it has:
1. An interesting title.

2. An attention-grabbing short description and a long description.

3. Attention-grabbing cover art. This is extremely important. Commission someone or ask permission to use an artist's picture. Poor-looking cover art will hurt your chances of getting your story read, so please ensure that it's the best that you can find. If you have to commission it, don't go looking for the cheapest artist. Find someone reputable who'll turn your vision into a beautiful reality.

4. Proper grammar throughout everything. This is also extremely important. Bad grammar or misspellings will push people away from your story. If you have grammar mistakes anywhere in your short or long description, you'll lose viewers before they even click on your story.

Lastly, I recommend having someone else go over your story before you submit it to any group. Perhaps a friend or a follower might help if you help them? Groups are the best way of getting your story read because people tend to flock to groups when they're in the mood for a certain genre. This is why having all of your story's descriptions, cover art, and title all squared away is of the utmost importance. Only you know how awesome your story is, so you need to show people why it's awesome with your descriptions.

Part III: The Feature Box!

Another fantastic way of getting your story read is the ever-allusive Feature Box! The Feature Box shows the top 7 new stories in spots 1-7 while the bottom 3 spots, 8-10 show updated stories. Aside from adding your stories to groups, this is one of the best ways to get noticed on the website and it's really not that hard to get your story in. Here's how you can get featured!

The Feature Box is based off of an algorithm that's based off of several factors like word count, comments, like/dislike ratio, the time it's been published for, and views. With that in mind, the more comments, likes, and views you get in as short a time as possible will get you the highest chance of getting into the Box. Word count plays a very, very high role in getting featured, too. A story with 1k words will struggle compared to a story with 6k or more words. If you're hoping that spamming comments on your new story will force it to get into the Box, don't. Not only will it make you look bad, I don't think author comments play a role in getting your story featured AND it'll push away readers from reading your story.

Next, you want to post at peak times. You might find it a lot harder to get featured in the middle of the night when a lot of people aren't on. I think that the majority of people who use this website are in North America and Europe, so you need to cater to when they're online, not when you're online. If you go down to the bottom of every page, you'll see a users online statistic. Start checking that a few times a day to see when it's the highest. After a week or so, you'll figure out a good time to post. You would want to post when the most people are online, naturally.

As soon as you publish your story, start adding it to some of the biggest groups. Not only does this help get more eyes on your brand new story, you'll also get a trickle effect of new readers as they log on and check their feeds to see what's new. This is why having an interesting title comes into play. They'll typically only see your story's title in their feed, so make it count!

Part IV: Proper Etiquette!

Interacting with others on the website, reading their stories, and leaving meaningful comments is another fantastic way of getting seen. Follow people that write stories you enjoy and comment on their blogs. Not only will you meet new and interesting people, this is a great way to make new friends!

Do not ever self promote your stuff where it doesn't belong. This always leaves a bad taste in people's mouths. I keep seeing writers going to their reader's userpages and leaving a comment saying, "Thanks for reading (Insert story title here with link)! Glad you liked it!". Comments like that should only be posted on your story when someone leaves a comment. When someone favorites your story but doesn't comment, don't make a habit of going to their page and commenting on their page to try and get a response out of them. If they didn't want to comment on your story, then they didn't want to comment. If you do this, you run the risk of alienating people from reading your story further.

Thanking others for reading your story on their userpage is bad because you're promoting your content on other people's pages. They might not appreciate that, especially if that user has some followers or some clout on the website. While this might help you get one or two more viewers, potential readers aren't going to find your story on someone's userpage. Proper etiquette will help you more in the long run than trying to self promote your story in as many places as you can.

Part V: Resources to become a Better Writer!

When it comes to getting your stories noticed, it can be quite hard if you don't know proper grammar, syntax for stories, and how things are run on this website. Here's what you need to know plus more extra tips!

1. https://www.fimfiction.net/writing-guide This writing guide will help you become a better writer. If you learn and practice everything held within this writing guide, you'll find that your stories will become much higher quality because of it. It helped me figure some things out back when I was a smaller writer and I know it can help you, too! Spend a lot of time with this guide and you'll have no problems with formatting anymore. If you're confused or worried about how something should look or should be written, you can always come back to this guide!

2. https://www.fimfiction.net/articles/tag-information This is a great resource for new writers. If you're unsure of which tags to use, then worry no more! If you want your story to do the best that it can, I recommend giving this a read. Use as few of these as possible to properly tag your story. It might be enticing to add as many tags as possible to your story, but it's best to only put the main tags on your story.

3. https://www.fimfiction.net/faq If you still have more questions about the website, check out the FAQ! This is a repository of questions that get commonly asked and will be very useful to new users.

4. https://www.fimfiction.net/rules If you're a new user, I definitely recommend giving this a read. A lot of it is about having common sense and being polite to others, but still contains some things that you need to know. Getting banned for doing something dumb will hurt your chances of getting your stuff read, after all.

5. https://discord.com/invite/JxVYc6k This is the link to FIMFiction's official Discord server! In it, you'll find all sorts of channels including channels dedicated to writing, video games, and more.

6. Once you learn how to properly format and write a beautiful story, try submitting your story to Equestria Daily! You can submit Everyone and Teen rated stories at https://www.equestriadaily.com/2014/11/story-submission-guidelines.html. Be patient after you submit your story because it can take a while. If you're unsure if your story is good enough to be posted on one of the biggest MLP websites for the fandom, check out other stories that got posted to the website at https://www.equestriadaily.com/search/label/Fanfiction to compare the quality of your story to the ones shared there. Once you're done reading, see if you can learn anything from that writer's writing style, too! You should never stop learning as a writer and seeing how other people write is a great way to learn.

7. Lastly, Equestria Daily offers their own version of a writing guide. If you're able to go through FIMFiction's writing guide and Equestria Daily's writing guide, you'll not only have a higher chance of getting featured on FIMFiction, but on Equestria Daily as well!

I hope this helped!

Report The Abyss · 1,261 views ·
Comments ( 17 )

I have another tip:
When in doubt

lore and development :V

lol you got me there XD
wasn't expecting that behind the spoiler tag!

In Reply to the OP:
I'll try to clean up my bio. Maybe think about what I want on my userpage-

I tried alot of these things. I get some success, never a hated story so I'm grateful for that.

I've just accepted that people seem to only want erotica here and that's the only quick and effective way to get success. Been trying to make something original outside of MLP and wish for all the feedback I can get through my blogs here, but again, not what people are looking for.

Great! Hope it helps.

I took a look at your latest story and I have some pointers. Your most recent one's cover art doesn't really help attract people to the story, especially since I see the OC tag. What makes these two ponies interesting? Why should I as a reader click on your story? You need to ask yourself these things if you want people to check out your stuff.

Your cover art is just a black and white picture with no details on either character. It's a cute pic, but there's not much else going for it. Now, your description on the other hand, is rather interesting. As opposed to OnlyFans, I get the impression that the fans of these two OCs just want them to do cute and cuddly stuff. I'm a big fan of anything cute, cuddly, and snuggly, so this would be something I'm interested in. This brings me to my next point.

When people find a potential story to read, they look at everything on the story to see if it's something they'd be into. They'll look at your title, tags, cover art, comments, and most importantly, groups. You have put this story into 0 groups. That means that the only time people saw your story was when you first published it then never again. You got two day's worth of comments and then nothing since then. Adding it to groups is how people will find your story, so take some time and add it to 10-20 of them. I know there are groups focused on just OCs, snuggles, and other mature-related topics, so you shouldn't have any problem finding some good groups to put that story in.

If you really want people to read your stories, writing about OCs can be very, very hard. I didn't attempt it until I had a lot of stories under my belt. I enjoy reading stories about my favorite ponies (Twi, Dash, Tempest, and more), so I would tend to search those out over some random person's OC. You have to give your readers a very good reason to read about your OC. I'm not saying this to dissuade you from writing about OCs, but to just help give you a bit of perspective.

I really just threw it together to see if the fact that it's mature would give it a boost in ratings or something. Plus, I couldn't find an eye-catching enough story image.

Spent too much of my time on this site craving attention like a sad, strange little man, so I've taken to making a fantasy kid's novel (which is cute and occasionally snuggly btw). Feedback through my blogs have been mainly positive, but I kinda gotten myself too used to letting comments motivate me, lol

Comments used to be a huge motivator for me back in the day so I know exactly how you feel. I recommend that you don't give up quite yet because groups play a major role in getting read. Give it a shot and lemme know how it turns out.

Thanks, Abyss. This is all really good advice!

Hope it helps! :pinkiehappy:

This is precisely the kind of help I was looking for. Can I put my story in multiple groups?

A story with 1k words will struggle compared to a story with 6k or more words.

Source for this? I've never noticed this trend, nor does it make sense from a psychological perspective. If anything, new stories at 1k-3k will benefit over new stories at 6k+ in terms of views and traffic due to being quick reads.

This is also why long stories that are chaptered at 1k to 3k each tend to get more traffic over time than long stories chaptered at 5-6k or more each. People just don't prefer long chapters, be it in one shots or long form stories.

Changing Expectations I think is a good modern example of this. Pushing 3k upvotes despite starting past the site's peak years and coming from a new author who didn't have a previous following at the time. The bulk of chapters are 1-3k. Regular chapter updates helped this too, of course, but when nearly every chapter is a quick read that all adds up to your story being more approachable to a larger audience of strangers, overall.

Knighty said it himself when he designed the algorithm a long time ago. His reasoning was that people who put more effort into the story should have a higher chance of getting into the feature box than someone who put the bare minimum effort in. Given the same stats (like/dislike ratio, comments, views), a story with 10k words will have a much easier chance of getting into the box than a story with 1k words.

Interesting. I guess the algorithm sort of works against typical attention span tendencies then, so the playing field is a bit more even. Cool to know :derpytongue2:

very informative!

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