Why Bookstagram 101?
Seek and ye shall find
Over the past few months I noticed the increasing frequency of the search term bookstagram leading to my blog. In fact, my all-time second most visited blog post is Is Bookstagram Losing its Shine? — Overcoming Bookstagram Problems. Only my guide to managing TBR piles has had more hits, mostly because that post is almost a year older. Another post I wrote that ranks very high is Bookstagram Safety.
Google bookstagram and my blog shows up right on the first page. Do an image search and you might just land at Blogger’s Bookshelf where I shared a guest post on the rise and lure of bookstagram.
Putting things into perspective, my blog receives considerably low traffic. Yet when it comes to something as popular as bookstagram, I’ve got some of the top resources. That’s because there hardly are any resources outside of Instagram itself that are accessible to someone interested in joining the community.
This led me to think about bridging the gap. I want to help that person who searched for “how to join bookstagram” and the other who wondered, “how to pick a bookstagram name”. I also want to create a conversation to address other concerns like “how to make my bookstagram more interesting”.
To gauge the interest levels for this, I took to Twitter with a poll. With more than 90% positive responses (Abeer accidentally voted against, even though she’s for it), the results were practically unanimous. The interest is there and I hope that together we can build it up even more because bookstagram is a wonderful community to be a part of.
Judging from the searches that lead to my blog I should set up a Bookstagram 101 feature 😅 What do you think?— Joséphine (@wordrevel) January 2, 2016
How will this work?
During the next four months or so, I will be posting weekly topics pertaining to bookstagram. They’ll be in the form of tutorials where I’ll cover aspects that I feel are important. In the beginning, things will be very basic to help those who are new to it all. Nonetheless, those of you who are more seasoned bookstagrammers might still find a nugget of information here or there that is useful to you.
So far the tentative topics are:
- Choosing Equipment & Apps
- Creating & Posting Content
- Copyright Matters
- The Power of Hashtags
- Consistency is Key
- Theme & Style
- Real Time vs. Planned Content
- Interaction Makes a Difference
- Injecting Personality
- Discovering Other Bookstagrammers
- Pursuit of Originality
- Building a Genuine Follower Base
- Pitfalls to Avoid
- Help! Someone Stole My Photo
- Pros and Cons of Watermarks
Depending on how things go, I might switch up some of the topics or I may even think of additional ones. The goal is to help anyone who’s interested in joining the bookstagram community to do so. Diving in without knowing anything at all can be rather daunting, so I hope Bookstagram 101 will guide the process.
Submit your questions
To ensure that the tips and advice shared will be relevant, I’m open to questions. These will shape the direction of the tips I share. All you have to do is fill out this form. You may refer to the tentative topics to help you formulate your questions.
Share your expertise
Are you a bookstagrammer itching to share your tips as well? I’d love to hear from you too! Fill out my contact form, email me, tweet at me and let me know that you would like to have some input with your advice.
What is bookstagram?
For those of you who are unsure what bookstagram is, it is a portmanteau consisting of books and Instagram. It’s the bookish community on Instagram, much like booktube on YouTube and booklr on Tumblr. On Instagram we share anything book-related from our current reads to book hauls to bookish events. The focus is on sharing photos, though captions and comments propel the conversations forward.
How to join?
Get the App
Joining is simple. Download the Instagram app to your smartphone and sign up. You’ll need the app in order to post your photos. Logging in on the Instagram website is possible too but it only allows you to browse, like and comment.
Choosing a username
If you already are on Twitter, have a blog or YouTube channel, you may want to streamline the names. This will make it a lot easier for others to find you. It also ups the recognition factor if someone stumbles upon your Instagram account and remembers you from your blog or booktube channel.
If you’re completely new to the online sphere, your only limit is the 30 characters. Many bookstagrammers include books, reads, biblio or other related terms to signify that they’re part of the community. You can do that too but you don’t have to. Your content will speak for you.
You can rename later
Should a username be your stumbling block, join your favourite words together, use your nickname or something that describes you. That will at least get you going. You can always change your username when you think of something snazzier. The beauty of Instagram is that even if you change your username, your followers aren’t going anywhere. Rebranding isn’t as huge a deal on Instagram as changing the URL of a blog, where a blogger might lose followers who don’t bookmark the new Internet address.
Length is a matter of preference
The length of your username doesn’t limit anyone’s words on Instagram. It’s not like Twitter where tweeting at someone with a crazy long username means we have less characters to work with. Twitter is part of the reason I came up with @wordrevel. Since it’s short, those who tweet at me have a few more precious characters to use for something other than my username. On Instagram, the only reason you might want to choose something shorter is so that it’s easier to remember.
My challenge to you
Stop hesitating. If you’ve been watching from afar but haven’t joined, do it! You don’t need a fancy camera to take good photos. Besides, few bookstagrammers started out with stellar photos. It takes practice and that can only come from taking and sharing photos. Believe me, it opens up another world to fellow book lovers.
What do you think makes bookstagram so great? Comment with your top reasons and you might just persuade someone new to join in the fun!
Psst. Have you visited me on Instagram yet? Follow @wordrevel to see how I approach bookstagram.