Simple Instagram Tips For Authors


Ready to jump in and start an Instagram profile? Author coach Shelley Hitz shares five Instagram tips for authors getting started on this visual social media platform.

I’ve been using Instagram since March of 2015, and I’ll admit, I was confused for a while because you can only post to it from your mobile device and not from your computer. On my account, I post quote graphics, selfies, and a few short videos. Now, I want to share with you a few simple Instagram tips for authors (and anyone reading) that I learned as I was first getting acclimated to the platform.

Instagram tips for authors:

Tip #1: Customize your profile

As you can see, I put icons after my name and title of “author coach.” You cannot add these icons from within Instagram, and you can’t add separate lines and spaces from within the Instagram app. What you can do to customize your title and your bio is to create it in a text message first, along with all your icons, and then you copy and paste it into Instagram. Taking a little time to customize your profile will help you to stand out from the crowd a little.

Instagram Tips For Authors

Tip #2: Post a variety of images by identifying content buckets

I’m still getting used to this, but I have a notebook in Evernote called “quotes” and in it I have a note titled, “what to post.” I have different content buckets, or subject headers, to help organize the content.

What to post:

  1. Inspirational/motivational messages
  2. Personal (things to help my followers to get to know me better and establish my personal brand)
  3. Tips on writing/publishing
  4. Quotes from my book Procrastination to Publication

In addition to this, I’ll occasionally share my free opt-in video series and link back to my website.

Tip #3: Keep a file on your phone that has quotes you can use for your graphics

As I find quotes from eBooks I’ve read or other sources, I copy and paste them into a note in Evernote. This way I always have quotes I can choose from for the quote graphics I make with the Word Swag app.

Tip #4: Use hashtags

I’ve created a note within Evernote that has all my hashtags in it. Then I’ll copy and paste the appropriate hashtags into the comments section of my Instagram posts.

Instagram tips for authors

The reason I recommend including your hashtags in your comments is so they don’t clog up your description, but you’re still discoverable on Instagram. People can find you via different hashtags like a search list. It’s working: every day I get several new followers organically, which I attribute to people finding me through my hashtags.

Here is a list of some of the hashtags I use for my niche:


  • #quote
  • #quoteoftheday
  • #quotes
  • #quotestoliveby
  • #quotestags
  • #quotestagram
  • #quotesoftheday
  • #quotesaboutlife


  • #entrepreneur
  • #smallbusiness
  • #smallbusinessowner
  • #businessleaders
  • #entrepreneurs
  • #entrepreneurlife
  • #solopreneur
  • #entrepreneursofinstagram


  • #author
  • #authors
  • #writer
  • #writers
  • #writersofinstagram


  • #christianbusiness
  • #christianbusinessowner
  • #faithinbiz
  • #christianauthor
  • #christianblogger
  • #christian
  • #christianquotes
  • #faith

Tip #5: Post your images to your Facebook page when you’re posting to Instagram

Since Facebook owns Instagram, it tends to promote your Facebook posts more when you send them from Instagram. This is another reason I don’t put my hashtags in my Instagram description: I don’t want the giant list of hashtags to show up on my post on Facebook.


As an author, I don’t recommend being on every social media platform. Choose one or two. If you have an audience that is younger or if you have an audience that is very visually oriented, Instagram may be a great place for you. Personally, I like to post my pictures on Instagram as well as my other social media platforms, but you do not need to try to do everything.

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  1. What a great article! I love it when someone takes the time to share their knowledge in an open and inviting way. Thanks so much :) Looking forward to reading more of your articles!

  2. My experience with editors is not usual.
    I have paid $1000 for editing 3 mss.
    The editors said that my mss. were letter perfect, so they merely had to read it. They did not do much more. Each caught a serious error. But, afterward, as I continued to polish, I found more serious errors, and innumerable typos.

    I am not complaining because they all gave me my money’s worth. The trouble is that the editing I want must cost $thous. I can’t afford it. Especially when I have no way to know beforehand than an editor won’t say it is letter perfect, already. And none of them like what I write. So, I do the best I can by myself.

    When published, the novel is downloaded in the top 10% on the big Women’s shelf, and #3 on the small Family shelf, so it can’t be all bad despite no promotion whatsoever other than Word of Mouth.

  3. I love Instagram too! I find it’s such a bang for your buck since it costs nothing, is super easy to reach people with tags, and I genuinely enjoy it! – which always helps ;) I also post heaps of book covers of what I’m reading which connects with people who are reading the same things. Great post, I’ve changed by bio to add in the little emoticons, and I really love Tip #2 as I forgot sometimes to do a variety.


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