Not on Instagram? Use It to Build Your Brand, Find Success


Yrsa Daley-Ward, a traditionally published poet, attracts quite a crowd to her poetry readings at bookstores.

How did she gain this popularity? One word. Instagram.

She’s one of a growing breed of poets who uses Instagram and has been referred to as Instapoets.

Most Instapoets are self-published, such as Lang Laev (1 million+ followers on Tumblr), Robert Drake (1.3 million Instagram followers as of three years ago), and Tyler Knott Gregson (335,000 followers on Instagram).

In the New York Times last weekend, journalist Lovia Gyarkye reported that Daley-Ward:

“is part of a new generation of writers using social media to share their work, build their brand and find an audience.”

Perhaps the New York Times reporter just realized it but writers have been doing this for several years now. (In fact, I wrote a blog post about this phenomenon among indie poets three years ago.)

According to the 2018 Pew Research Center report on social media data, Instgram is the second most popular online platform, after YouTube

And as of last week, Instagram now has 1 billion users.

The New York Times reported that Instagram poets vary the way they use the online network.

“They use the platform in multiple ways: adding images to their poems, taking photos of printed text or, in the case of Daley-Ward, filming their laptop screens as they write.”

Below are examples of some of Daley-Ward’s Instagram posts. In this post, she shares a poem from the printed page of her book.


In this post, she encourages people to attend an event.


This is a post from Tyler Knott Gregson:


And here’s a post from Tumblr from Lang Leav:

Now Follow These Four Tips

If you’re a poet, and you’re wondering what you need to do to reach your audience, follow these steps:

  1. Join Instagram and learn how to use it. Post, at least, two text images with your poetry daily. Check out these posts to get start: Should Authors Be on Instagram? Absolutely! and Instagram Tips for Every Author
  2. Sign up for Tumblr. Add your blog posts, poetry and images. Remember to keep it simple, don’t be afraid to show your true personality, join conversations with readers and other poets, and above all, be visual. Post daily.
  3. Sign up for or step up your presence on Twitter. Send five tweets daily, tweet your poetry, engage with readers, and use the hashtags #poetry, #poem, and #haiku. Refer to your Instagram posts on Twitter with the hashtag #Instapoet. Check out these posts to learn more: Grow Your Twitter Tribe with These Tips10 Things Authors Should Never Do on Twitter, and Advanced Twitter Tips for Authors.
  4. Some poets, such as Gregson, find Facebook helpful as well. Add visually appealing text-based posts, like the ones shown above, at least twice a day. In addition, notify your following of upcoming readings and signings. Check out these posts to learn more: Learn How to Create Shareable Facebook Contentand Do Authors Really Need a Facebook Page?

What If You’re Not Strictly a Poet?

Are you wondering how the same fame that these poets have achieved could possibly apply to your career?

I’m sure you’ve written a couple of poems in your life; I know that I have. So why not put them on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook? Who knows what might happen?

Learn more about Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook in my new edition of Social Media Just for Writers!


Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.

I would not limit this book to the audience of only writers, it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to take full advantage of the online platforms available. Janet Kinsella

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers








Indie Author Weekly Update – May 5, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update is chock-full of posts ranging from blogging to Twitter to Amazon ads. I hope you enjoy the diversity of posts.

On a personal note, I’m pleased to see the cold of winter fade as spring bounces back. Where I live, the temperature has risen to the low 90s and I’ve enjoyed the sun. How’s the weather where you live?

Indie Author Updates

Self-Publishing Secrets Revealed – Five Free Ways to Expose Your self  Books to Readers from Martin Crosbie: “Over the past year I’ve had the privilege of speaking at writing events all over my little corner of the world. I’ve given a weekend workshop at a writers retreat in Smithers, in Northern British Columbia, I opened the prestigious Whistler Writers Festival, and I’ve made multiple stops in between. By the end of the year I’ll have spent time at fourteen different events. It’s been a phenomenal experience and I’ll share a number of my findings with you over the coming weeks. The major takeaway from all these events is that there are some phenomenal writers out there working on some extremely interesting projects.”

[Read more…]

10 Quick Tips About Social Media

10 Quick Tips About Social MediaIf you’re just starting out on social media, it may seem overwhelming. Even if you’ve been using it for a while, the prospect of staying up to date on numerous social media platforms may seem like a full-time job.

Don’t get disheartened.

There definitely are learning curves to social media. That’s a given. But social media needn’t be overwhelming.

Take it from someone who works in social media every day.

As the joke goes, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Take the same approach to the social media networks you want to learn and keep up with.

[Read more…]

Weekly Roundup – Social Media Updates for Authors

Weekly Roundup - Social Media Updates for Authors by Frances Caballo

This past week was rich in terms of content on the blogosphere. I hope you enjoy this week’s social media updates for authors. But first, here’s the story about the above image.

Here’s a little-known fact about me: I hike every Saturday morning, even in the rain. It’s a ritual I refuse to relinquish. The woods is where I replenish myself. Recently, I heard indie author Mark Dawson say that all the writers he knew were walkers. Well, count me as a member of that group. This past weekend, I slipped my iPhone into my back pocket and, of course, silenced it. I intended to take pictures of the wildflowers growing in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. I did take pictures of lupines, paintbrush, and monkeyflower, yet the above tree was my favorite subject. One never knows where the path will lead or where intention may be diverted. But if my experience last weekend can be seen as a metaphor, then it’s this: Don’t be rigid in following a path or pursuing an intention you think is best for you. You’re a writer, an artist. Follow your intuition and you’ll always be on the right course.

Social Media Updates for Authors

The Myth of the Average Reader from Writer Unboxed: “I usually see references to this mythic creature — the average reader — in one of two contexts. First: `I’m going for mass market appeal — I think the average readerwould enjoy my book.’ Second: ‘Well, the average reader obviously doesn’t know what good writing is. Why else would they buy crap like (popular bestseller)?'”

Note: Until this post, I hadn’t heard of anyone discussing psychographics in terms of readership. This is the definition the author offers: “the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.” This was an informative post with a new perspective.

[Read more…]