In June I had my two year bookstagram birthday. I let the occasion pass quietly, partly down to the fact that I wasn’t feeling too inspired and because, well, life. The latter is responsible for my lack of activity here too!
Anyway I am marking the occasion a little late, as is often my way, with a return to this blog and a little refresh. And in doing so I’ve had a chance to reflect on all I have achieved and all I hope to do. I want to share some of those thoughts – and some advice – with you all.
In what has been a challenging year-and-a-half bookstagram has been a safe space and reading has been my escape. In a year of uncertainty and isolation, bookstagram was a corner of the internet filled with bookworms, thousands of them, who all wanted to share their love of literature. Their passion is infectious. At a time when I couldn’t see my loved ones I was buoyed by that bubbly feeling which comes with connecting with others over something which matters to you.
And of course I now have a to-be-read stack which seems to grow daily.
Prior to setting up my account I was a bit of a bookstagram lurker. I followed dozens of accounts which reinvigorated my love of reading and had me buying new genres. Often I wished I could do the same, but I always thought I couldn’t.
Obviously I overcame that; perhaps a post for another day on how that came to be.
And then there is book blogging. Not only is this a fabulous creative outlet but also an opportunity to exercise my writing muscles. Thanks to this page I have started writing fiction again for the first time in years. So I suppose I owe you all a thank you for that.
As I mentioned I’ve been reflecting and I have a few tips for anyone who is thinking about starting a #bookstagram account of their own.
I don’t know about you but the thought of sharing content publicly on social media terrified me. I planned my first posts for weeks before I hit share. And even then I was shaking like a leaf. I worried that no one would like my photos, that I would get no comments, that I would fall into some internet black hole.
I didn’t. Instead lots of people welcomed me, complimented my photo, my choice of book (Circe, a booksta favorite) and wished me well.
Some of the people who kindly commented on that first post and the posts that followed remain some of my best bookish buddies. As I said, the joy of this community is the connections that you make, so get hitting that like button, save and share posts that you like and comment.
My favourite people on bookstagram, and on social media in general, are those who are authentic. For me that means being honest, but fair, when reviewing. I like learning more about the things that make creators tick. And of course with bookstagram I want to get wrapped up in their passion for books.
Have a passion for a certain genre? Shout about it. Have a book that you firmly believe everyone should read? Here is your platform to persuade. Want to share some more things about your personal life? Go ahead.
As with all things growing a bookstagram following can take time. Just enjoy the process of meeting fellow bookworms, of creating content which means something to you and discovering new favourite books and authors.
As an aside to this try not to compare yourself to others and don’t get too caught up in the numbers. I’m enjoying bookstagram far more now that my focus is on my content and building connections. And finding your style sweet spot can take time, keep experimenting until you find something which works for you.
I’m not saying post every day, because I don’t, but it helps to post at a similar time of day. Take a little time to work out what time works best for you and your followers. For me that is early evening, for you it could be mornings or midday.
Personally I think it helps to have a consistent theme. That could be in the genres that you feature or in the style of your photos. I’d say I’ve found my photo style – minimal and clean with pops of colour – and my preferred genres. I know many of my followers found me, and have stuck around, because of this.
But really do what works for you, ultimately this is your space to express yourself!
Hopefully there were some helpful tips in there for you. Would you like me to share some more practical tips? Do you have any suggestions? Drop them in the comments below.