Now more than ever, social media is a center all things mainstream, from photo and video-sharing to communication to online businesses. Social media sites such as Instagram are now also platforms for users to grow their following as influencers. For book lovers (and most of you reading this likely are), Bookstagram are an increasingly popular way for book lovers to share their passion and gain their following.
Bookstagram is essentially a side of Instagram where book nerds share book blogs, reviews, photos, and all things literary with a book-loving community. If you enjoy reading and all things literary, you may have come across an account or two scrolling through Instagram. These pictures are usually artsy, aesthetic, and very-well curated images of novels that help to gain a large following for many Bookstagrammers.
If becoming a Bookstagrammer is something that you’re interested in, then you should also know there is no single route to develop a large following as an influencer. Nevertheless, there are ways to get yourself situated if you want to curate your passion and grow a following. Our team at Bookstr presents for all of you book lovers and Bookstagram-hopefuls some methods to get yourself started!
1. Getting the right tools for your Bookstagram aesthetic
If you really want to develop your platform as a book-fluencer, then you need to make sure you have access to the right materials to build your Bookstagram.
The most important and vital thing to remember is that you are essentially building your followers through the visual art and aesthetic of your account. Think about it, when you look at Bookstagram accounts, or any Instagram account, what catches your eye? It’s not the caption, is it? It’s the photo, or more specifically, the arrangement of the photo. Aesthetic and visually-pleasing placement of your books, background, and other props in one frame is what attracts viewers to your account and gives you your following!
Here is a basic list of what you may need for to create an aesthetically pleasing Bookstagram feed:
- An artful eye- You don’t have to be an artist, but knowing a little bit about colors, light, and basic photography tips could definitely help with prop placement to complement your Bookstagram grid.
- Natural Light- Arguably the best kind of lighting, and it helps to naturally illuminate your photo. When possible, try to use natural lighting as much as you can.
- Ring Light- For times you may not have access to natural lighting, ring lights provide a bright, consistent source of light for your photo!
- Camera– Phone cameras should also work fine! But if you’re really serious about becoming a professional Bookstagrammer, then you should consider investing in a good-quality camera for photo-taking. If money is tight, then you can stick to learning to use your phone camera and its settings while starting your account. Once your Bookstagram grows, then you can upgrade to a higher-quality camera!
- Photo-editing/Photoshop apps- Essentials for ensuring your photos come out in highest quality, and also essential for keeping up with your feed’s aesthetic!
- Props!- This will definitely be a fun tool to think about in the process of developing your Bookstagram feed! Props help balance and create the mood of your bookish photos. Perhaps a coffee mug in the corner of a wooden table where your book lies creates a warm, welcoming mood for the viewer. Or, maybe setting your novel onto a picnic blanket with a stack of books and some flower and food artfully scattered around will provide a sweet and bright tone to correspond with your book!
- You can easily use objects from home or to the nearest craft store to find props that go with your planned aesthetic, such as mugs, blankets, ornaments, or even figurines! Go wild!
- Lastly, but most importantly: Books!- you can’t be a Bookstagrammer without books! Since you’re likely in the beginning phases of your Bookstagram career, you can start off with books you already own. As you grow your feed and following, you can start widening that budget towards looking for some new books to read, review, and share to your platform!
2. Curating your own Bookstagram Style and Theme
Adding onto the whole spiel of prioritizing the visual aesthetic of your Bookstagram, you should look into what kind of style, theme, and aesthetic you want to curate and maintain for your Bookstagramming. Maybe you want to maintain a specific mood throughout your Instagram grid, perhaps with the outdoors, or maybe a single fireplace you always read next to? Or if you’re someone who’s more visual, you could also use similar colors throughout your feed to create an aesthetically pleasing page? Again, a big part of being a Bookstagrammer is maintaining the visual aesthetic of your account, and you can start by considering how you’d want to formulate the beginnings of your Bookstagram.
Additionally, you need to make sure your account’s username and bio are relevant to your bookish image! For example, maybe something like your name along with a literary-related term, such as “reads” or “books” or even a specific genre! Something that even users who come across your account will just need to read your username and know what your account does!
Your Instagram bio should also be clear in your purpose as a content creator. Perhaps as a starter, you can write some quick bullet points or a sentence talking about what you do as a beginner Bookstagrammer (reviews, diaries, etc.), or the genres you’re interested in exploring through your account. It’s important to include Bookstagram-relevant keywords also, so you show up on potential followers’ radars and are straightforward in the intentions of your Bookstagram. This will ensure that you gain a more loyal follower base who likely share the same interests or are looking for someone like you to engage with for content!
3. Finding and sticking to your Bookstagram niche
With any social media account where you plan to build followers, you need to maintain a consistent and stable schedule. Posting too little or having inconsistent intervals between activities will likely push followers away. Maybe a few times a week? Once a week? Whichever you’re more comfortable with. Nevertheless, by adapting and enforcing a consistent schedule for your Bookstagram, you can ensure your dependability to followers and depend on them to stick around!
To have followers stick around, it’s important to not only stay consistent in posting, but also in the content you’re posting. Do you enjoy young-adult fiction? Your followers likely enjoy the genre, too, and are looking to you for a similar taste in books or some new book recs. Maybe you like romance? Or fantasy? Whatever it is, you should recognize what niche you want to maintain in your Bookstagram. It’s completely okay if you ever want to change your niche, but be clear and consistent in what you post!
4. Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags!
Same with trying to build a large following on any other Instagram account, hashtags are vital to help expand your account and bring it to the radar of potential followers. Like earlier when we talked about “key words,” these apply with your hashtags, too. Try to use hashtags that are relevant with your account, content, and anything bookish. For example, below are some hashtags that Bookstr uses for every Instagram post!
As for how many would be the right amount? For beginner accounts, the more the merrier! Instagram has a limit on how many hashtags you can use, so it is important that you use some high-volume and low-volume hashtags in an even mix. For example, the hashtag “#books” is relevant for your account, but there are probably millions of posts under that hashtag that your account may get lost in! Perhaps something a little focused, such as “#horrorbookstagram” or hashtag phrases with smaller pools of posts. That way, you have a better chance for your account to stand out!
It’s also important that you don’t use the exact same hashtags for every post, and make it relevant to what you are posting every time, so there’s no risk of shadowbanning. Once your followers and platform starts noticeably expanding, you can start limiting the number of hashtags for each post!
5. Interact with your followers and other bookish Instagrammers!
First things first, set up your Instagram account to be a creator/business account. This allows you to gauge your audience and understand information and demographics such as age, sex, locations and times your followers are most active. That way, it will be easier for you to figure out a posting schedule and understand the audience you’d want to appeal to and grow that following!
As you continue the beginning stages of growing your platform as a Bookstagrammer, you need to engage with your audience and followers as much as possible. Engage, engage, engage! Reply to comments and DMs, answer questions, and post stories that encourage viewers to interact with your account. You can maintain a steady and loyal following by just being a responsive influencer!
As for developing your platform, you should also start following some other Bookstagrammers. Instagram will curate your feed to understand your interests in books, literature, and Bookstagramming, and this will also help give you an idea of how you’d want to further develop your account. Feel free to tag authors and accounts related to your book posts, too, which can help with engagement and interaction with other users.
Now, there is never a surefire way to guarantee you’ll quickly grow a large book-nerd following, but these tips provide a foundation for you to build yourself and your Bookstagram up to par to declare yourself an official Bookstagrammer!
To learn more and get some examples of current Bookstagrammers, be sure to check out our Bookstr’s “Bookstagrammer of the Week“, or check us out on Instagram, where we share videos about some current accounts for inspiration!