Growing your Newsletter on Instagram
How Writers should think about Instagram and the Instagram Algorithm
It’s no secret that social media is kind of a big deal. Many writers that I have talked to mention Facebook Groups as a large source of incoming traffic and subscribers. This is an awesome way to make connections, but Facebook Groups are really just the tip of the iceberg in how social media can help grow a newsletter.
Today we are going to explore how writers can take advantage of Instagram to grow their following
Here for the quick tips? Scroll to “The Takeaways”
Over a billion unique people log on to Instagram each month. It is the sixth most visited website on the internet. (need more convincing?)
Instagram is also the premier destination for image-based content. You as a creator, are given unlimited 1-second glances at your images to convince potential readers to subscribe. Instagram has a fan page for almost every topic. This is quite the opportunity! I believe an Instagram account of any topic can gain traction with the right approach.
If your newsletter is about arts, food, comedy, news, lifestyle, or follows a quotable/interview or listicle format, then you should absolutely be looking into Instagram. These genres of content tend to grow much more quickly on the platform.
Ah, the infamous Instagram algorithm. It is extremely complicated, to the point where it many people’s full-time jobs just to keep up with the latest best practices. As a writer, it can be incredibly intimidating to take on something this complex while maintaining a high-quality newsletter. My advice? Don’t worry about playing the algorithm. Spend your time writing and just keep posting. One thing is for certain, Instagram and most social media sites reward consistent posting from within their apps (as opposed to an automated solution). The value of posting daily, or once every few days will always pay returns over the long run.
What to Post?
I see many writers only using Instagram to announce their newest issue. I personally think this is a huge mistake! It’s ok to announce new issues to your existing subscribers, but someone who has not subscribed is not going to be convinced by a post like this. Here is an example of a post that does not do much convincing:
Ethan, I’m sure your newsletter is awesome and we are excited for you! But a post like this is not going to bring in much new viewership, unfortunately. Instagram has a viewership that moves fast. At a glance, this post isn’t going to convince many readers to investigate your story more.
So what should you post about instead? Well, every issue of your newsletter already has tidbits of interesting information buried within the walls of text. These key sentences make great hooks to entice potential readers.
Let’s take a look at another example:
This post uses a question to bring in potential readers unfamiliar with the newsletter. It is quick to look at, and if you want more information, there is plenty in the caption and bio. Locating these engaging “tidbits” is a skill you develop over time, but I recommend jotting them down while you are writing.
To create an engaging IG post, I recommend looking for the following within your newsletter:
Using these tidbits of text from your existing newsletter issues, you can start to pump out lots of potentially engaging Instagram content.
To create these images, I recommend using Newsletter To Socials or Canva. Newsletter to Socials will scan your newsletter to automatically locate these tidbits of info. It also has a built-in way to select text directly from your newsletter (no more copying and pasting). Canva on the other hand offers more templates and customizability, but less writer-friendly features.
Instagram growth can be described as both sporadic and constant due to the algorithm. You will always be growing, sometimes slow, and sometimes quite rapidly when one of your posts inexplicably takes off. Regardless of your growth, just make it a goal to post consistently.
We recommend daily or every other day. In the long run, consistent posters are always rewarded!
Thanks for reading our 2nd issue. In the future, we hope to dive deeper into advice for writers who want to grow a social media following while still putting all their effort into writing. Follow along!
Brought to you by Newsletter To Socials