Quite a few well known book bloggers claim to have no time for social media, least of all Instagram. I have to admit, I totally understand! Blogging alone is really time consuming, so if you add Instagram to the mix it seems near impossible to keep up. Today I thought I’d share a few “bookstagram cheats” that has helped me during those times when I felt like I had NO time at all:
FOR WHEN THOSE PESKY HASHTAGS GETS YOU DOWN
I think the number one aspect of #bookstagram that I absolutely detested was the hashtag part. Typing out hashtags every single time I wanted to post a picture was a constant source of torment for me! It felt like such a huge waste of time even though it’s one of the most crucial elements to draw attention to my work. And then I decided to copy all the hashtags I use into the note app on my cell phone – and what a time saver it’s been!! Now, each time I post a picture, I simply copy and paste the text from the note into a caption/ comment without the hassle of having to type each tag out. It has been a game changer for me!
TIP – I try to switch up the tags once in a while, and these are a few of my current favourites: #bookgeek #bookstagram #bookish #bibliophile #booknerdigans #sareaders #southafricanblogger #seekthesimplicity #booktogrophy #becauseofreading #bookstagramfeature #igreads #igbooks #ilovebooks #booklist #bookcommunity #readbooks #booksarelife #bookpassion #simplepleasures #ilovereading #totalbooknerd #epicreads #culturetripbooks
MY INSTAJO, YO!I mentioned on #bookstagram a few times that 2017 was going to be the year where I implement a proper system to stay organized. I’m here to say that I’ve found a system that really seems to be working for me, and what’s more is that I actually enjoy it! A few weeks back I purchased a couple of old 2016/2017 diaries from Typo at a massive discount. One of these diaries has been serving as my “InstaJo” (or Instagram Journal) where I keep track of my daily stats such as follower count, likes and comments as well as overall follower engagement. The “InstaJo” is also used to brainstorm ideas for pictures, challenges I plan to take part in or tags I still need to complete. I even draw pictures of posts so that when I do a photo shoot I’ll know exactly what to do.
- Stand in front of bookshelf and decide which books to use
- Take down books from the shelf
- Gather supplies and props
- Find a spot with good lighting and set up the shoot
- Photograph a million pictures, moving props around while always making sure the lighting is in optimal condition
- Do this for a few hours
- Once satisfied that there are enough usable pictures, pack away books and clean up.
Now this process can become tiring fast, especially if you’re busy (or lazy) and have no patience. What I like to do during a shoot is take 2 – 3 pictures that I can keep as “extras”. These are pictures that I have no intention of using anytime soon, so I keep them for a day when I don’t have time to do a shoot or when I know I’ll be out all day. This has really saved me on more than one occasion when I want to post something but don’t have new pictures in my camera roll.
CAPTURE THE CAPTION
This kind of ties in with the very first point since it’s more or less the same idea. Sometimes I want to get a post up ASAP but just don’t have time to think of a good caption. Here is where my nifty lil trick comes in handy. I write up a few captions in a note app that I can quickly copy and paste into a caption when I decide to post up a picture. I find it so helpful because I would’ve had time to write a good caption when I was relaxed and filled with ideas. Normally if I am on the go or stressed then I find it difficult to write a good caption as I’m so anxious about getting something posted.
USE VSCO CAM
I get asked this question a lot: What do I use to edit my pictures? The answer is VSCO C AM! I find this to be the best app for a number of reasons:
- The editing tools don’t make it obvious that you’ve used an editor
- It doesn’t diminish the quality of your shots
- All your edited pictures are stored in a library which makes it easy for you to keep your theme going. You can see if your picture fits with your theme before posting.
Using VSCO really saves me because I don’t spend time on pictures that I’m not 100% sure about. I’ve seen people put huge amounts of effort into a post only to delete it soon after hitting the publish button. VSCO is amazing in this regard since it’s so easy to spot a picture that won’t fit with your style. Their library is set up in the same grid-like structure as Instagram so you know exactly how each post would look in your feed.
These are just a few of my #Bookstagram Cheats to help save time. Let me know in the comment below if you’d like me to post some more tips to help take the pressure off of social media marketing. Or if you have a few tips and tricks of your own to share with your fellow Bookstagrammers then go ahead and let me know.