Instagram (bookstagram): A time wasting effort?

A while ago, or more accurately, a year ago I wrote about social media on my blog. About how to save time on social media, twitter specifically, by using lists.  I am still bad at social media, I still haven’t tried out pinterest or snapchat and most likely won’t ever. But I’m here to tell you that having lists has saved me massive amounts of time, by being able to control what I see on twitter and making sure that the people whose tweets I most want to see, are always just a click away. Sometimes I missed so many good tweets and content, because they simply just disappear on my timeline, but with the lists, it’s helped me a lot by connecting with my peers, timeously.

I have had an Instagram account for almost TWO years. Yes, two years.  I’ve never used it, so about a month ago I decided to just try it out and see if Instagram could be used as a nice social media tool to drive traffic to my blog and hopefully give my reviews more visibility.



The enthusiasm I’ve put into it has been great, however that fire has burned out rather quickly. Not because I forgot about the account, but more likely that I just haven’t had any content, because I simply just haven’t had the time to take pictures of books (and maybe because my apartment is an absolutely mess).


The traffic to my blog from Instagram has not been great. It also seems like a wasted effort, yet I do want to try and give it a fair chance. Tell me, have you joined “Bookstagram” to market your blog and has it worked for you?


**Please note, I’ve deleted my Instagram account permanently. I just don’t have the time to keep it updated and therefore it becomes obsolete.

  • Ciska van der Lans

    Yes!! I try to find a bookstagram month challenge every month. Take some time to make pictures with the topics and post them on the day they are due.
    Other pictures the same. Sometimes you see 15 interesting things in a day. I make a picture and post them later to have content. I love browsing book pictures on Instagram.. more than Pinterest

    • I think I should probably do a challenge. I do like looking at the pictures, but I thought I could use it for another reason – to highlight book reviews. I was just trying to be a little proactive.

      I don’t have Pinterest – I go there to read poetry, but that’s about it.

  • Erika Kehlet

    I have – I don’t know how much traffic it generates for me, but I do have fun doing it! Honestly, I think I have found more blogs to follow than I have gained new followers.

    BTW – I just followed your account (I’m @booksthething)!

    • Thanks for the follow! Yes, I’m hoping to find more bookish people on Instagram, especially those who only tweet and instagram, but does not have a blog. I think maybe for that reason Instagram can be a fun idea. I will go follow back now 🙂

  • Isi

    I’m not sure, but I think that the people with big instagram accounts of books “blog” on their instagram; I mean, they don’t have a blog, they just write reviews below their pictures on Instagram.
    Anyway, I’m a big fan of this social network, and I love it, but I hardly use it for blog purposes; only to post photos I take with the camera, which include books only from time to time… To me, it’s just for fun.

    • I have also noticed that. I’m hoping to also connect with more bookish people, especially those who only tweet and instagram, but does not have a blog. It’s always fun to talk books 🙂

      I don’t particularly like Instagram much, you know that 🙂 But I’m trying. I can see it being fun, but I then need to take more pictures!

  • I think with instagram you just have to enjoy it. I LOVE instagram, it’s my favourite social platform. I don’t know that it drives people to my blog but I don’t care that much. If people find me, they find my instagram and that’s good enough. I rarely even post that I have a blog – the link is in my profile but if you’re just looking at a photo, you might not get that far.

    • I haven’t been very active on Instagram. I have a personal account (which is private) and is mostly used for scenery, personal photos, photos of food, my family, etc. And most of my family and friends follow me. I created an account for the blog, mainly because I wanted to separate the two (the same way I’ve done for twitter). I do like looking at pictures of books, but I must just make time to take some of my own!

      I just thought I could use Instagram, not only for pictures of books I have, but to also highlight a review. I do see it working that way, if I just put in more of an effort – by posting regularly. I think I still need to “get into it” with Instagram. Twitter is my favourite social media platform 🙂

  • FictionFan

    I’m intrigued that your commenters are all enthusiastic about Bookstagram, because much though I love books I can see no pleasure at all in looking at photos of them, unless the books were rare or unique in some way… and even then my interest would be limited. I’m clearly out of sync on that, but thought it might be worth saying anyway. If people are doing it primarily for their own pleasure, I can understand that, but I just can’t imagine it working as a way to drive people to blogs. Everybody’s different, I guess! 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment! I do like looking at pictures of books and I have personally clicked on the review link in the comments if the “short review” (caption) intrigued me. I do think that it can work, as a way to highlight reviews. But then again, as you say, most people on Instagram are there for looking at the pictures, not really to “read”.

      I have to say that Instagram is not my favourite social media platform, so for now it requires some “effort” on my side. We will see how it goes. Your opinion is completely relevant, by the way!

  • I’ve had more fun with Litsy. I have instagram and like looking at it but don’t end up using it all that much but Litsy is a smaller group and is all book related stuff. I find I use it a lot more because I don’t get lost in the millions of photos.

    • I have had Litsy, but I never used it. It seemed too much like Instagram to me at the time. I just sometimes get overwhelmed with all the social media platforms, so I have to choose two and stick with that, so I get what you’re saying by getting lost in all the photos.

      Probably why I chose to have a second Instagram account.

  • I love Instagram, but I don’t use it for traffic as much as, I just enjoy using it. (I don’t post only about books though, so that ups the fun!)

    • I know. I created it 2 years ago and I just haven’t used it. I don’t love Instagram, but I use it to see the photos of family and friends. And myself posting some personal pictures, that’s mostly scenery, photos of food, my family, etc with the odd picture of books.

      I just thought maybe I can start using “Bookstagram” because I’ve never really got into Pinterest, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m very lazy to take pictures of books 😉

      This new endeavour might not last very long, but will try as I like looking at pictures of books that other people are posting. Also I’ve connected with people over books on Instagram (people that doesn’t have blogs) so that’s the benefit as well.

  • i’ve been having trouble with it because I don’t want to keep around a bunch of props for doing staged shots and I’m not big on sharing unstaged shots of my life online. I’d like to get into it a bit more though. It seems like it could be a good way to keep in touh with some of my friends since I just moved.

    • I think that is exactly my problem! Its more the process of having to take pretty pictures that makes it time consuming. Hence all my pics look awful 🙁

      I also am not very active on my personal instagram that’s private, for family and friends only. I am so lazy to take pics, but I must say I love looking at the pictures other people post of books!!

  • Lisa Sheppard

    My Instagram is a personal thing, although I do post book pics there occasionally. Now using Litsy for the bookish things. I gave up on Tumblr as a means to drive traffic to my blog though and hardly use Twitter (although my posts are linked to it). There is just only so much time and I’d prefer to use it actually reading!

  • I just use Instagram for posting pictures of pretty things, links in posts aren’t clickable, so getting traffic to the blog is a bit hard. Different if you’re doing ads though, then you get buttons.

    • I’m so bad at taking pictures, but I do enjoy seeing others’ pictures on Instagram. I’ll see what I do with my account in future!

  • Good question about whether I’ve used bookstagram to promote my blog…I suppose I’ve done it once or twice but otherwise I haven’t done it as often as perhaps I should. I use it more to just share what pretty books came my way recently xD

  • Read Diverse Books

    I spend so much time blog-hopping and on Twitter that I really don’t have the time and energy to be super active on Instagram. Because of this, my Bookstagram following is pretty small in comparison. I don’t think IG brings much traffic to people’s blogs in general. The best for that is Twitter hands down. IG is like a separate blogging platform entirely. I know this and that’s another reason why I don’t spend as much time on there. I’m on Bookstagram for fun. No one has approached me to review books, collaborate, partner or do anything through IG. Whereas Twitter and my blog have brought me tons of opportunities.
    I suggest you keep taking IG slowly. It’s so time consuming to get a decent following and again it’s not going to bring traffic to your blog.

    • I have noticed that Instagram is being used as a blogging platform (hence bookstagrammers hashtag). I’ve seen some people actually “review” books on Instagram, with a pretty picture of the book. However, I do think that most people are there just to look at images and I doubt that followers actually read reviews on there. I am really not a huge fan of social media in general, with Twitter being the exception 🙂

      I will of course keep my IG account (place holder name), but I’m hardly using it so it will most likely die a slow death 😀