Building Your IG Following

 

About six months ago, I had about 250 or so Instagram followers.  Let me say, first, I LOVE ig. Love it so hard. No politics. Few ads. Little conflict. My kind of place.  It’s also really, really hard to reach out to anyone else. To create meaningful interaction, even though the endless scrolling through lovely pictures soothes my soul.

To be fair, the 250 was a huge improvement over a year ago, when I still hadn’t heard of tagging, but I digress.

Somehow, I don’t even remember how, (it probably popped up in my feed) I saw a post  for an Instagram book challenge. And I thought….I like to take pictures of books.

I have tons of books.

This sounds like fun!

For about 2 weeks, I participated in that first challenge. I’m not going to lie. It was super fun. It was kind of hard. I took a lot of pictures.  Most of them were pretty bad, actually. Poorly lit, badly staged. And so, to solve my photography shortcomings, I went out and bought new books.

(As an aside, I should mention, I’m a fulltime artist and I take about 200 pictures a week, edit them and post them to sell my glass pieces, so this is really nothing new. Just a different sort of photography, and one I really sucked at. At first.)

Now, I’m not saying this is how it’s going to go for you, but I will warn you, it might. There’s something about pictures and lighting and books that must make you want more. Just sayin’, because now I’m buying books every week and my husband thinks I’ve gone insane.

But I digress, yet again.

Each  month’s challenges are usually different, have a theme of some kind, depending on who’s running them (Harry Potter, vampires, romance across the centuries, antique books, to name a few) so you do have a starting point. Then, every day has a theme of some kind- Favorite villain, best female character, best series, blue books, YA, Fantasy, and so forth.  Then there are the “challenge specific days”, which go like this: #SockSunday, #MapMonday, #Bookshelfie, #StackSaturday, #MugshotMonday, #BookHaul, #TBR, and so forth.

For instance, this is an example for #FlatLayFriday

Here’s an example for #FantasyFriday:

 

So I take the pictures, I edit the pictures (either on my phone, or in the app), and either write something about the photo, or include a quote, to complement the daily theme.  In six months, my followers have gone from 250 to 1380. I’ve gotten better at taking pictures of books, and depending on who you ask in my house, my book collection is awesome!

If you’re looking for a way to build your following, this is a fun way to try and meet some new bookish friends, and find some new readers.  Search for the tags: #bookstagramchallenge, #bookishchallenge, #bookphotochallenge

Here are a few of my favorites:

#bookstagramreadsseptember

#bookqueenssept18

#brightbookpagesseptemberchallenge

#inflameslit

#readgushsept18

They usually post the challenges during the last week of the month, for the upcoming month, so you have a week or so to prepare. There’s no need to do it every day, I usually skip a few days, just because I can’t come up with 30 ideas every month.

Check out my Instagram if you need any ideas: my instagram

Setting Up A LinkTree on Instagram

If you have been wishing there was some clickable way to allow your followers to click over to more than just your website, this is an easy and free way to accomplish this!

First, let me say, I’m not affiliated with this company, a fellow author was using them, and recommended them to me.

I signed up for the free version to start.

The free version includes walking you through the LinkTree set up, tracking of link clicks, and a couple of themes.

How it works: This site puts a link in your bio page, which then one-click links to a “tree” of your social media links- I have 4 right now, but you can add unlimited links. The template is somewhat customizable- you can drag the social media links into the order you want, and there are a couple of background choices.  Nothing fancy, but it does the trick.

It took me a total of about 10 minutes to set this up, including the time to cut and paste all the shortcuts into the fields and name the tabs to my liking- these will probably get some tweaking, once I look at them for a week or two.

I’ll report back when I have used it for a month or two and see if it streamlines usage.  With a big release coming up next year, I’m trying to position myself better, and people seeing my books on ig and then being able to access my other social media platforms, including this website, with 2 clicks, should make it easier.

Happy writing!  LA