If you are an author, blogger, or content producer of any kind, and you are not on Instagram, then you are missing out on a big opportunity to grow your followers. Writers on Instagram are tapping into the 1 billion monthly users to grow their fan base. Let’s take a look at how you can become one of them.
Is Instagram for writers?
Instagram is more than teens exchanging pictures and short stories about their lives. In fact, there are 25 million businesses on Instagram. While about 67% of all Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 29, that means that there is a large portion of users who are older than that, too. This is an incredible market waiting to hear what you have to say.
The next thing you might be wondering is what a writer should do on Instagram to gain followers. One resource is #bookstagram, which started out as a hashtag and grew to a large, unofficial group of users who post on Instagram about books they have read. Authors set up accounts in this group to give readers a chance to get to know them better and give them a glimpse into their personal lives. This helps them connect to their audience in a deeper way, much in the same way TikTok can be used for the same purpose.
Successful writers on Instagram
If you need inspiration for what to post and ideas for Instagram writer hashtags, here are some accounts to follow to get your ideas flowing.
1. Last Night’s Reading (@lastnightsreading)
Kate Gavino seeks out local, New York authors and gets to know them. She posts a hand-drawn sketch of the author and posts a quote from them. Her account has 54,000 followers, so it is proof that this formula works.
2. The Write Practice (@thewritepractice)
This account is part of a website that sells writing aids, offers quotes, and advice on writing. It is a place to share links to their blogs and closely ties them into their website. It has a smaller audience, but it also has a more targeted audience.
3. Jon Krakauer (@krakauernotwriting)
Jon Krakauer takes a unique approach and combines his love of the outdoors with his love of writing. He is an avid mountaineer and shares nature shots of his adventures with an introduction that showcases Krakauer’s writing skills. The result is something beautiful and inspiring that has over 106,000 followers.
4. Michael Chabon (@michael.chabon)
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Michael Chabon uses his Instagram account to post goofy selfies and other amusing photos to give his audience an inside look at his personality. It helps him connect with his audience and allows them to get to know him better.
5. Adventure Cats (@adventurecatsorg)
Travel and food writers are two of the most popular categories on “Insta,” and we wanted to include this account because of its unique and creative twist. This account combines travel and adventure with the ever-popular topic, cats. Their tagline is, “Living 9 lives to the fullest.” Their posts are a dose of humor and puns that accompany these feline friends on their journey.
How writers on Instagram can make money
Now that you have some inspiration on the extensive range of creative ideas that are possible, let’s explore some monetizing tips on how writers can use Instagram to not only build their fans but also to build their bank account. Many of these could also be an extension of methods that you are using on other social media channels like Facebook and Pinterest. Instagram supports many of the traditional monetizing opportunities that you can use on other social media channels.
1. Advertise products on a blog
Many writers use Instagram to point followers to their own blogs and products. If you have a book to sell, a course to sell, or merch, you can use this platform to build a massive audience and following. This also gives you a chance to include more in-depth information than Instagram allows you to do. You can create better value for your customers and grow your blog traffic.
2. Affiliate programs
You can include links to affiliate programs where you earn a commission every time your sponsor makes a sale. The advantage of using Instagram for these purposes is that you can quickly gain a high number of followers, but you also have to give your followers more content than just a sales pitch, or they will not stay.
3. Video product placements
Video content is a great way to get your products in front of potential customers. Other businesses and larger companies will pay you to place their products in front of your fans. These programs pay a varied rate depending on the number of views that you get. The key is to build a strong following and then keep them with quality content. You can then throw in an occasional ad or personal review. No one wants to follow an account that is nothing but advertising.
4. Teach something
Everyone has something that they know how to do, and Instagram gives you a place to promote your courses. The best part about teaching is the low cost to get started. Whether you’d like to teach writing or another specialty, Instagram and the world is always looking for new voices and perspectives.
5. Start your own streaming channel
You can become your own mini-Netflix. You can create a paid channel where people pay to watch what you have to say. It sounds crazy, but there are lots of people up there who are already doing it. You get a double payout because you can earn revenues based on the number of views and your subscriptions. Make sure that you offer quality and narrow your target audience if this is the route you choose to take.
How to get started
Getting started with Instagram is probably one of the easiest things that you can do. Setting up an account is easy, but learning to grow your account is where your creativity and marketing skills come into play. I know that you are probably excited to get started right now, so let’s jump right into how to use Instagram.
- Download the app. You can use Instagram on your desktop or your phone. To download the app on your PC, you must go to instagram.com. On mobile, you can get it from the App Store if you are on iPhone or the Google Play Store for Android users.
- Sign up. Once the app is installed, you can choose to Log in with Facebook or sign up for a new account. Simply fill in the form if you choose the signup option. When you are finished, click the “Create Account” button. To log in with Facebook, just follow the prompts.
- Adjust your notifications settings. Next, go to your notifications settings and adjust them so that you only receive what you want, or you can choose not to receive notifications at all.
- Start building. Getting started is as easy as that. Now, it is time to find people to follow, start posting, and get started on building your followers.
Ways to build your audience
The first thing that you need to do is to define who you are and what you want to be known for on Instagram. Instagram is a big platform, and it thrives on highly-targeted niches. Visual content is an important part of the Instagram experience for fans. You need to develop a consistent visual style to represent you and your company.
Using a book-related handle as your identity will also help build your brand. Once you have a recognizable brand established, the best way to start building your audience is to start following and engaging with other bookstagrammers. Instagram is about sharing and getting personal with your audience. One thing to keep in mind is to vary your hashtags, otherwise, Instagram might penalize you by not sharing your posts.
As you can see from the number of other writers on Instagram, this social media platform has a lot of potential for building an audience quickly. One final thing to keep in mind is that just as with any other social media or advertising efforts that you engage in, the key is consistently creating quality content. If you give your audience something of value, then they will keep coming back and will tell others about you. This is the best free advertising that you can ask for as a writer.