So let's look at ways to support other writers without spending any money at all. Whether the other writer has a book or is putting different writing projects out into the world, there are plenty of ways to help them without spending a dime.
If They Have a Book
Leave a review.
Reviews are incredibly important for authors because the more reviews they have, the more visibility they get and the more discoverable they become online. As soon as you've finished reading their book, leave an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads - or both!
Add their book to your Goodreads shelf.
Speaking of Goodreads, you can add their book to one (or many) of your Goodreads shelves. Again, this helps them gain popularity on this major book recommendation site so others can discover the book.
Request their book at the library.
Put in a request at your local library to have their book added to circulation. Most libraries allow you to submit new book requests on their website or you can talk to a librarian directly - which is always nice because then the librarian learns about the book too.
Face their book at the bookstore.
Whenever you take a trip to your local bookstore, find the author's book and rearrange it on the shelf so the front entire cover is facing out. We all judge books by their covers at least a little so having their cover face out will attract more potential buyers.
If They Don't Have a Book
Leave thoughtful comments on their blog
If they have a website with a comments section, leave a thoughtful comment. The writer will love knowing their work has been read and that you thought it was engaging enough to leave a comment. Plus, it encourages others to leave comments too and starts a nice snowball effect.
Interview them on your blog, podcast, or YouTube channel.
If you already have an audience, invite the writer to join you for an interview and introduce them to your followers. This kind of exposure is invaluable for the writer, and it creates some extra exposure for you too. Win-win!
Connect writers with other writers, editors, and clients.
Imagine yourself as the Cupid for writers. If you know writers who would be a great fit for a project together, introduce them! Same thing goes for editors or clients. Connect people who might work well together in some way and watch the (platonic) sparks fly!
Share their work on social media.
Sharing on social media is the word of mouth for today's generation. Hype up your favourite writer's projects on your social media so your friends and followers can check out their work. Don't forget to tag the writer in your posts so they get a heads up and can engage with your followers.
Armed with a list of ideas like this, you can support many of the writers around you without putting a lot of money (or even much effort) into it. An even easier way to think about it? Ask yourself how you'd like your writing to be supported. Now take your answers and do those things for other writers!