How to Take Over the Instagram As a Writer

Vitalii Anufriiev

Vitalii Anufriiev is a co-founder and CMO at Writing Metier. He is focused on digital marketing and brand strategy in his spare time, an adherent of the concept of Byron Sharp. Always believed that the marketing strategy is the key to everything.

Instagram might be not the first social media platform to come to mind when you are thinking about creating a writer’s profile. After all, a lot of people still regard it as a visual picture-driven platform, however, it is not the case.

Instagram is one of the most popular media nowadays with 1 billion active users as per 2018. According to recent data, about 32% of the internet audience uses it. Demographically it is also quite versatile; however, the majority of users are young adults. 

Another benefit is that Instagram writer’s community is also pretty big, they are easily found by #bookstagram. There are lots of authors, readers, and other people involved in the industry here. 

Instagram is one of the most exciting platforms regarding marketing opportunities, brand deals, and advertising. Nowadays it is praised as the number one tool for engagement among other social media. It also gives many possibilities to directly engage with the audience and grow your following. 

Whether you are starting as a writer or have published a couple of books, you can benefits from Instagram presence in many ways. 

How to Gain Subscribers and Stay Relevant 

It is important to create a profile that will increase your following and help to promote future books and projects. Start with paying attention to the bio on your page, leave contact or links to your books or website. Here are some other tips on how to grow an audience. 

  • Post regularly and use proper hashtags. The constant flow of content is what is expected from any successful Instagram blogger. 63% of Instagram users log in every day. It is better to post at least three times a week or even every day. 

Hashtags help users to find relevant content, so use the ones that are appropriate for the matter, but not more than 30 at a time (such captions are automatically deleted by Instagram). 

  • Use paid promotions wisely. Any Instagram account can be set as a business account, which gives opportunities to sponsor your post to attract more subscribers. It is a good way to increase subscribers and the platform has an opportunity to promote the same post via Instagram and Facebook at the same time. A business account also shows statistics regarding your page, number of visits, visitors’ demographics and other information that can be very helpful to analyze the target audience. It is a good way to promote a page as Instagram advertising has a potential of reaching 849 millions of users. 
  • Shout out other creators, whether they are involved in work on your book or you’ve just stumbled upon something amazing. It is great to praise other’s people work and might attract some new followers; 
  • Keep 80/20 balance where only 20% is self-promotion and 80% is other content. If you only self-promote all the time, users will get tired of this pretty soon. It is important to provide them with exciting and unique content regularly.  

Content Ideas for Writers on Instagram 

Of course, this platform is driven by images, but it has many amazing opportunities regarding content creation. Here are some ideas on what to post on your writer’s profile. 

  • Photos of book covers, pictures from presentations and meet-ups. If you have a published book you can post a cover, shout out the artists who worked on it and talk about future meetings with readers. If the work is in progress, you can also show the process and give a unique insight to followers on publishing and writing. Whenever you are attending a meet-and-greet or give a reading at a book store make sure to take some pictures, to show it to the audience. You can post pictures with readers from such events and thank them for coming.
  • Citations from your books or other authors. Instagram posts can feature several hundreds of words in them, so it is a great way to show your writing skills. You can write a citation from an upcoming novel. It is a way to promote the future book and make the audience more excited about it. Posting citations from previous releases is also great, especially when they are relevant for a particular day or event. 

If a citation is short it can be published in the form of a picture with a certain aesthetic. The good example of successful use of it is Paulo Coelho’s Instagram. He has 2 million followers and posts aesthetic pictures with quotations from his novels. He also publishes pictures of readers with his books. 

It is also great to quote other writers, for example, those who inspire you. It can be either a classic author or your colleague; it is always great to introduce an amazing writer to your audience. It also gives a look at what you are reading and what types of novel move and inspire you. 

  • Casual photos with you reading, working, traveling. After all, it is a personal page and people like to engage in a writer’s everyday life. It can be a traditional bookshelf picture, a photo of your work desk or something that inspires you. You can also post photos from traveling with some thought on what you’ve seen and experienced. The good example is Jon Krakauer, he posts amazing pictures from trips often without any captions. These posts are inspiring and sow his personality through his interests. 

Besides traveling, you can take picture of a pet; take a photo in a park with a book, etc. The opportunities are endless; it is a type of exclusive content, which the audience appreciates. For example, Steven King loves to post pictures from daily life as well as photos of his adorable dog. It gives the audience a closer look to his life and makes the profile more relatable.  

  • Upcoming events or books. It is important to let readers know what you are working on. Whether there are going to be readings, conferences or other opportunities to meet. Show them a little behind the scenes or ask them a question in a caption to engage in conversation in comments. You can also post about working on a new novel, the process and how it is going. 
  • Engage via stories. Stories have many engagement tools to communicate with the audience. According to statistics, brands post on average 2.5 stories per week. However, a personal account can get away with posting much more of them. 

Followers can ask you questions, vote for one of two options, etc. You can post books that you read, writer’s events, interesting facts, other writer’s works, ask followers what they think of a new cover, etc. Stories are not expected to be as flawless as pictures. It is more fast-paced updates on what you’ve been up to. They are also great for the cases when you don’t have a post but you need to be regularly active on your profile. You can also repost other writer’s posts or announcements in stories. 

  • Use Instagram like a blog. Photos are great, but as a writer, you can do a little more than just putting hashtags. Make your profile a blog on how it is to be a writer, what kind of tasks you are dealing with, what exciting events are taking place. You can share personal stories, show parts of the writing process, give tips to young authors. For example, K.M.Weiland has an amazing Instagram blog for authors’ on storytelling and overcoming writer’s block. She has built a strong following with her pieces of advice. 


Instagram is one of the most popular platforms nowadays because it is fast, visually-driven and gives many marketing opportunities for brands and creators. It is also a great place for a writer to promote their works, engage with the audience and show their creativity. It allows combining visual mediums with writing, which is a fascinating combo. If you are dreaming of becoming a world-known author, it might be the way to go. 

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