Five Ways Writers Can Use Instagram

Five Ways Writers can Use Instagram to create an online platform and grow an audience. bookishmarketing.com

Instagram is a wonderful place for creatives. Knitters, weavers, illustrators, photographers. So many people showing their work, talking about it, demonstrating their process, their inspirations.

But I never see many writers there. Perhaps because it’s a photo-sharing app so writers aren’t immediately drawn to it. But I think it’s a fabulous place for writers; a great place to grow an audience and to be inspired and connect with other creatives.

Want some ideas? Here are five ways writers (or any creative person) could grow an audience on Instagram.

1. Show us where you work.

Your desk, the table at the coffee shop, a crumpled duvet cover with notebooks scattered around. Cups of coffee, pots of tea and cake, stacks of books and notebooks are adored on Instagram. People love to see where writers are writing. Where creatives are creating. I know I do. Don’t you?

2. Show us your work.

Your notepads, notes, ideas and rough drafts. Pictures, sketches, art. My notebooks are one of my favourite things to share on Instagram and it has inspired my writing and visual creativity as well as given me ideas for blog posts and non-fiction. Again it’s that need to see how an author or creative works and how they create.

Need some inspiration for your Instagram feed?

Download your free copy of my Nine Instagram Steps below. These are the processes I go through with all my Instagram pictures - starting with the initial idea through to posting onto my feed and engaging with other accounts.

3. What inspires you?

Nature, buildings, front doors, cities, roads, chickens (oh, ok, the last one might be just me). Take a photograph and show us. Then tell us about it. Why does it inspire you? 

4. Use your captions creatively.

If you're a writer use this space to demonstrate your writing skills. Create some flash fiction or flash non-fiction to go with the photograph. Or use it as a prompt for others thereby creating a community. Really think about your caption – use it as a place to practice your descriptive writing. As you took the photograph what could you smell, hear, taste?

The day breaks. A muted crow from the cockerel. Breath chuffing like a steam train. Frost so heavy the ice is over an inch thick. A solitary leaf on a silver birch smothered in miniature icicles. Crunchy water in the stream. The willow weeps tiny flakes of ice onto my shoulders. Hands, stuffed into pockets, feeling like they’re burning. A heron rises in front of me and soars over the field. The sun appears, liquified orange merging with the landscape. The orb’s glow spreads around my heart.

The day breaks. A muted crow from the cockerel. Breath chuffing like a steam train. Frost so heavy the ice is over an inch thick. A solitary leaf on a silver birch smothered in miniature icicles. Crunchy water in the stream. The willow weeps tiny flakes of ice onto my shoulders. Hands, stuffed into pockets, feeling like they’re burning. A heron rises in front of me and soars over the field. The sun appears, liquified orange merging with the landscape. The orb’s glow spreads around my heart.

5. Show us what you’re reading.

Have you heard of the bookstagram community? It’s huge. Readers photograph their current read and chat about it in the description. It's a perfect place for writers who write about what they read to share their book recommendations.

I’m using Instagram more and more like a micro-blog. I use it to share my notebooks, my desk, my writing process, books I’m reading but also to share what I’m seeing and feeling outside. So basically – all of the above. And my following has grown to almost 12,000.

Tips

  • Always use (your own) good quality, non-blurry photographs taken in natural light.
  • Think about using a filter so when you look at the grid as a whole (the top three or four lines) there is a cohesiveness and attractiveness to it. I use VSCO.
  • Use hashtags to increase your reach. Don’t use #writing #desk #coffee – these are far too generic. Hashtags are used to evoke a mood or an action. #createmakeshare #makersandthinkers and #momentsofmine are just three of the hashtags I used in one of my notebook shots.
  • Think about your profile page. Tell us you’re a writer or a creative. Link to your blog, website or twitter. You'd be surprised how many people don't do this. An audience, if they like what they see in your feed, will naturally want to know more. Do you have an Etsy shop? If so tell us where to find it! Make it easy for the audience. Have a book for sale? Link to it in your profile. Or, if it's not linked in your profile but your blog is, make it very easy to see on your blog. 

You have to remember that no one is forcing your audience to follow you on Instagram. If people like what they see they will follow. If you've created something make it easy for your audience to buy it. You don't have to be salesy. You just have to make the paths easy to follow. 

Want to know all about my Instagram process?

Sign up to my mailing list and receive your free download of my Nine Instagram Steps.

Want to connect on Instagram? I’m abookishbaker over there.

 

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