How to Use Archive of Our Own

How to Use Archive of Our Own

Step-by-Step Guide

Archive of Our Own (AO3) is an online platform that allows users to share fanworks, such as fan fiction, fan art, and vids, as well as other forms of fan content. This platform is an open source project that is managed and hosted by the Organization of Transformative Works (OTW), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and providing access to fanworks. In this step by step guide, we’ll go over how to use Archive of Our Own.

Step 1: Sign Up for an Account

The first step in using Archive of Our Own is to create an account. To do this, simply navigate to the AO3 website and click on the “Sign Up” link at the top of the page. You will then be asked to create a username, password, and email address. Once you have completed these steps, you will be able to access your account.

Step 2: Read the Terms of Service and Guidelines

Before uploading any content to Archive of Our Own, it is important that you read the Terms of Service and Guidelines. These documents outline the rules that all users must follow when using the site. They also provide information about copyright, acceptable content, and other matters.

Step 3: Choose the Appropriate Content Type

When you decide to upload content to Archive of Our Own, you will need to choose the appropriate content type. Content types include fan fiction, fan art, and vids. Depending on the type of content you wish to upload, you will need to choose the corresponding content type.

Step 4: Upload Your Content

Once you have chosen the appropriate content type, it is time to upload your content. To do this, click the “Post Your Own” link at the top of the page. You will then be presented with a form where you will enter the title, summary, ratings, and other information about your work. Once you have completed the form, click the “Save Changes” button to save your work.

Step 5: Tag Your Content

When uploading your content, you will be asked to tag it with relevant keywords. Tags help other users find your work, as well as help you categorize it for later use. It is important that you choose descriptive tags that accurately reflect the content you are uploading.

Step 6: Build a Following

Once you have uploaded your content, it is time to build a following. To do this, you can create a profile and bio, as well as use social media to promote your work. You can also join fan communities and participate in discussions, as well as comment on other users’ work.

Step 7: Take Advantage of Community Features

Archive of Our Own has several features that allow users to interact with one another. These features include collections, challenges, and voting. Collections are groups of works created by a single author or group of authors. Challenges are competitions for fanworks, in which users can submit their own works and vote for their favorites. Finally, voting allows users to rate and review each other’s work.

Step 8: Participate in Discussions

Archive of Our Own has an active community of users who regularly participate in discussions. The Discussions page provides a forum for users to share ideas, ask questions, or connect with each other. It is a great way to find out more about fanworks and meet other users with similar interests.

Step 9: Follow The Guidelines

Finally, it is important to remember to follow the guidelines when using Archive of Our Own. The rules and regulations outlined in the Terms of Service and Guidelines are there for a reason, and it is important that all users abide by them. Breaking the rules can lead to your account being suspended or even banned from the site.


Using Archive of Our Own can be a great way to share your fanworks and interact with other users. With this step by step guide, you now have the tools you need to get started. Don’t forget to follow the guidelines and take advantage of all the features that AO3 has to offer.

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