Welcome back to the Building An Author Platform series! I’m happy to be back with more tips of how to expand your audience and presence online, and today, we’re going to be talking about Instagram.
To be completely honest with you, I started Fluff About Fantasy’s Instagram page on a whim. I had my own personal profile, but I didn’t use it very much. It was mainly for big announcements or holiday photos and such. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to use good pictures that would draw people to the site. But I also knew that Instagram was a really solid platform that could draw a lot of traffic if used properly. So I set out to learn as much as possible as I was building my page. Here are my best tips about creating your Instagram page.
Tip #1: Use A Professional Account
As an author (who will one day go on to sell a bunch of books!), it is going to be important to separate your personal profile from your professional profile. Go ahead and make that distinction now by creating a Instagram Professional Account. You’ll be able to access features like Instagram Insights, which can show you the stats and audience reach on individual posts that you make. You can also connect your Instagram account to your Facebook Page!
Tip #2: Add All Of Your Blog Posts
My first goal in making my Instagram profile was to add all of my past blog posts. That’s what the page was for, so let’s make it happen! I used all of the pictures that I used at the top of each post on the website and added a paragraph or two excerpt underneath. It was slow going, but it was definitely worth it. You can either do this all at once, or you can add a few on a regular basis until you catch up with your current posting schedule. The most important part of this process is using hashtags! USE YOUR HASHTAGS. I use the same base hashtags for each post: #writingcommunity, #writingcommunityofinstagram, #amwriting, #amwritingfantasy, #yawriters, etc. Then, depending on the post, I may add a couple other hashtags that fit the theme of the post. For my querying tips, I add #amquerying; for my worldbuilding posts, I use #worldbuilding and #worldbuilders. Hashtags are going to ensure you are reaching the right people. So don’t skimp on them!
Tip #3: Utilize LinkTree
I discovered LinkTree when I realized that I couldn’t add more than one link into my profile and any of my posts. This site essentially allows you to create a landing page filled with an unlimited number of links that your users can click and be sent to any URL on your site. You can get an unlimited amount of links COMPLETELY FREE. There is a Pro plan that allows you to see more analytics, but I think that the free plan gives you everything that you need. Now, you can have every link to your posts and your site filed under a singular link that you can add to your Instagram profile. I would highly suggest taking a look at this resource. Make sure you mention in your posts that followers can find their links in the link in your bio!
Tip #4: Share regularly.
Regular can mean whatever you want it to mean. I update my Instagram page once a week with every new Fluff About Fantasy post and occasionally update with new announcements or writing process information as it comes up. You can update every week or every other day or every day if you want to! Whatever you feel most comfortable with. Let your followers into your writing life and let them see various stages of your writing process. And remember: social media is all about making connections. Reply to other people’s comments and questions. Follow other writers that follow you. When you give a little, you get a little back. Make friends. That’s what we’re here for.
Happy writing everybody!