So, you are a wordsmith crafting content that captivates readers of all types. Whether your wordsmithing is used for books, copywriting, blogs, or any other kind of content. Irrespective of the kind of content you author, you should consider the power of Instagram for writers.
When considering social media for networking and marketing, most writers usually gravitate towards platforms for Facebook, Twitter, or other communities. From offering services, exposure, publishing work, feedback, promotions, and general interactions are considered on these platforms.
However, despite the popularity of Instagram and the number of authors on Instagram these days, many writers still express doubts.
So, before the blog delves into the various aspects of using Instagram as an author. It would be best if a more personal experience were shared. I have used Instagram for promotional purposes and individual branding myself and various clients over the years.
However, the power that Instagram has for writers is incredible. I got a front-row seat of what was possible when my sister used Instagram for her first poetry book.
Instagram allowed her to connect and interact with potential readers in a way not possible on other social media platforms. My sister is a first-time author, and she managed to create a fanbase through her Instagram branding. But she went further and created enough hype that the sales allowed her to recuperate the cost and earn profit. More authors should make accounts and be writers on Instagram and take advantage of the tools and opportunities it provides.
This blog will go over several questions that you as a writer may have about Instagram. Is it worth it? What are the strategies for growth for authors on Instagram? And so on.
Why Should You Use Instagram as a Writer?
Instagram is excellent for writers. First and foremost, it has a massive user base. The platform has more than a billion active users per month. And of those billion or so people, around 60% check Instagram at least once a day.
The average user spends at least 30 minutes on Instagram. And a growing number of users use Instagram solely to find new products and services.
As an author on Instagram, you can tap into this massive user base. Of course, that is a lot of potential readers. But the benefits go beyond just reaching potential readers. Instagram as a platform is geared towards creating compelling content, increasing accessibility, networking opportunities, and monetization possibilities.
And lastly, the size of individuals associated with books and the written word on Instagram is large enough to have earned their own moniker. The people in the community are called “bookstagrammers.”
How to Grow as a Writer on Instagram?
There is no one master strategy to growing as an author on Instagram. But, there are several things that you can do that will help you grow while using Instagram as an author. So, let’s quickly go over how you can make the most out of Instagram and grow as a writer on it.
It’s All in the Hashtag
The first thing to keep in mind are hashtags. Whether using Instagram for authors or chefs or any other creator variation or even a regular user, you know the importance of hashtags. The key is to use the right ones and use them strategically.
Too many hashtags are counterproductive, and so are the irrelevant ones. Using irrelevant hashtags can hurt your overall reach and traffic. A good rule of thumb is to have one or two hashtags easily identifiable with your brand.
Everyone likes to win something. Giveaways are a great way to help you gain followers and market your written work at the same time. For example, if you’re a writer on Instagram, you can give away signed copies or even book-related merchandise.
My sister did a birthday giveaway for her book, and the traffic and interaction rate increased by a substantial margin. In addition, several of the people tagged as per the giveaway conditions ended up following and buying the book as well.
Don’t Just Promote
A common mistake when using Instagram for writers is to fill the entire profile with nothing but promotional content. It leads to followers getting bored and unfollowing. The reason is that most people follow an author on Instagram because they want to forge a personal connection. And let’s be honest, just promotional content can get stale after a while.
The rule is to keep about 20% of your posting related to promotions and the rest engaging and diverse. It raises the question of what one should post as a writer on Instagram, and the blog will cover this in a bit.
Consistency is vital to growth on Instagram. For example, if you don’t post regularly, the Instagram algorithm ranks you lower because it sees you as a sporadic user. Consistency in terms of posting also includes maintaining a schedule.
For example, I generally post on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 p.m. because I noticed this was when I got the maximum engagements. Additionally, it helped me be consistent with my posting, and I could plan ahead.
Don’t Buy Followers
It can be very tempting to spend a little money to increase one’s number of followers quickly. However, this will kill your growth as a writer on Instagram.
In addition, these fake followers will not bring engagements to your post, which are crucial for growth on Instagram. Therefore, it is always best to build your following organically.
You can use Facebook to run ads that target the demographic that utilizes Instagram for writers. These ads do not buy you followers, but they greatly expand the reach to your intended target audience. An engaging post properly sponsored can help bring in a lot of new followers. How to run Instagram ads is a topic itself, and there are plenty of guides that can be found.
Trends on social media are constantly evolving, and what kind of content is being looked at changes with time. Similarly, your approach to using Instagram for writers should also change to reflect these trends.
But a word of caution, just because something is trending does not mean it will work with your brand identity. So be flexible, study what is trending and see what fits your niche.
Can You Earn Money Using Instagram for Writers?
Instagram may not be designed for monetization, but there are several ways the platform can be used to make money. Depending on what kind of writer you are, one or several of these methods may be usable by you.
It is by far the most common method by which Instagrammers earn money. However, this essentially works if you have a significant following. For example, as a writer on Instagram with a respectable number of followers, you can easily post sponsored content about several things. Posts about stationary, especially brands that you use. Relevant tools that have helped you with writing. A third-party vendor’s book merchandise. As long as it relates to your brand image, you can create sponsored content for it.
Sell Your Book and Merchandise
As an author on Instagram, you can easily use the platform to sell your book and its related merchandise. The sheer amount of individuals using Instagram as an ecommerce platform is a testament to how good it is. Coming back to the example of my own sister’s books, about 40% of all her orders came via Instagram from people who came across her posts or profile and then sent a DM.
Write for Others
Use your account to showcase how well you can write. And build upon that a brand image that lets you market your services as a writer to others. Most small companies do not have the budget to hire firms to do the writing for them. So, they look for writers on Instagram to write captions and social media content for them.
What Kind of Content Should Authors on Instagram Post?
Now that you know why Instagram is good for you as a writer and how you can grow and make money on it. The question arises what kind of posts can you make as a writer on Instagram.
It is important to be consistent with your posting while ensuring its quality. All of this has a direct impact on your success as a writer on Instagram.
A Glimpse Into Your Life
The diversity of what you can post on your Instagram that will grab the attention of potential readers is a lot. Instagram is about forging a connection with current and potential readers. Give your audience a window into your day as a writer and a person. It will make you more relatable. Not everyone may relate to a book, but they can relate to a person who enjoys time with family, pets, or life in general.
You can also share your creative process, behind the scenes, and even tips and tricks for writing. The point here is that these posts are all non-promotional and will generally make up 80% of your feed.
Appearances and Events
As an author on Instagram, you can use the platform to post about the events you will be part of as an author or attending. This way, people can know where to meet you in person. For example, let’s say you are making an appearance on a radio or TV show, post about it. That way, more people can tune in to your interview.
As a writer on Instagram, don’t forget to post teasers of upcoming works and then details of the launch. Use the platform to promote your upcoming works. For example, my sister more or less exclusively used Instagram to promote her book before launch. She posted excerpts from her upcoming book and behind the scenes.
Also, don’t forget to post any early bird reviews that you may have gotten.
Live Sessions & Stories
Instagram Live and Instagram Stories are two features that are underutilized by a lot of authors on Instagram. Use stories to post snippets from your upcoming releases, behind-the-scenes moments, or moments in life that are more personal and informal. Posts require a certain level of quality. Stories can be very unfiltered and raw.
Instagram Live is an excellent way to have an interactive session with your readers. Talk about your books, your inspirations, take questions from your readers. It is live, and it’s unscripted, so the possibilities are endless. You can even talk about the writing process for aspiring writers who look up to you.
Quotes and written word posts have become more common on Instagram as the platform has become more than just an image-sharing medium. Inspirational quotes are generally very sharable and highly engaging. We have often seen it used by authors, magazines, news agencies, etc.
As a writer on Instagram, you can also do the same. For example, they can be quotes from your works. Or from authors and writers that you admire. The bottom line is that it should connect to you and the rest is entirely up to you.
How Can Instagram Help You Sell More Books?
At various points during the blog, we’ve talked about how Instagram for writers will help you reach a wider audience and sell books. The biggest way that Instagram helps writers is by expanding the potential readers that they can reach.
As we mentioned earlier, with over a billion active monthly users, the platform has a reach unlike any other.
Follow the steps and tips that the blog talks about, and Instagram will become the ultimate marketing tool for your book. Which, in turn, will help you sell more books than would be possible on any other platform alone.
How to Setup an Author Profile on Instagram?
It’s quite easy to set up an author profile on Instagram. We’ll break it down into easy-to-follow steps.
- Download the app and create an account
- Connect the account to your Facebook page
- Finish entering all the relevant information on the profile to finish setting it up
- Go to setting and select “Switch to Business Account”
- Select the category “Author”
- And now your profile is set up as an author account on Instagram
- Write an engaging profile bio
- Add a relevant link to your profile
And you’re good to go.
Authors on Instagram to Get Inspired From
There are hundreds of writers on Instagram. We’ve made a list of a few of our favorite authors that you should check on Instagram.
- Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) is one of our favorites, and he actively engages with all his fans
- Paulo Coelho (@paulocoelho) has one of the quirkiest accounts that we have come across. He also has some of the best quotes on Instagram
- Kate Gavino (@lastnightreading) is an excellent account for discovering new authors. She posts caricatures of various authors with quotes from their books
This brief list is to get you started. Search using relevant hashtags and find the authors that inspire you on Instagram both for posting and your writing endeavors.
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