How to Get More Followers On Instagram for Writers: A Video Guide With the Top 3 Tips

How to get more followers on Instagram for writers can seem like a total mystery, especially if you are just starting out! This blog is here to be your powerful kick-start guide to either get your Instagram up and running or enhance your existing account by getting more followers.

A little about my social media expertise. Professionally, I’m the content manager at a higher ed marketing agency. I manage social media and create and execute the editorial calendar, with year-over-year increases in page reach of +590% on Facebook and +1,100% on Instagram, and +2,140% link clicks on LinkedIn. I also boosted our social media website traffic by +2,993%.

I’m excited to share my knack for marketing and social media to help other writers. Over the last few months, I doubled my Instagram following on my author account so I could offer the tried-and-true tips I found so other writers out there could benefit from them too.

With the fall of Twitter, Instagram has become the premier social media outlet to build your author platform. You can read more about surviving the Twitter fallout in my last blog, “The Writer’s Survival Guide to Social Media Live at DIY MFA!.

But in a lot of ways, Instagram is tougher than Twitter to build your following! Plus, it can even be confusing where to begin. That’s why this month, I published another article on DIY MFA: The Top 3 Simple Instagram Tips for Writers.

I thought making a companion video blog here would help even more with how to get more followers on Instagram for writers. So here we go! We’ll start with the basics of optimizing your account and profile page and then dive into how to use follow trains and follower strategies on Instagram.

Let’s dive in!

How to Get More Followers On Instagram for Writers Tip #1: Set Up Your Profile for Success!

How should you set up your Instagram profile to attract more followers? This video explains it all:

Watch the video for a step-by-step guide on making your profile the best it can be.

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Don’t look like a spam bot! Have a great profile picture. I use my professional headshots, but a smiling selfie would be terrific. Bottom line: you don’t want a blank image or a random object that clearly isn’t you!
  • Have a descriptive bio! In the video, I go over how you can use emojis and even hashtags to show what kind of glorious author content your followers can look forward to. Make sure to let the world know right away what kind of writer you are and mention any affiliations you might have so fellow members from your groups can find you.
  • Lastly, if you have a website, make sure to list it!

How to Get More Followers On Instagram for Writers Tip #2: Instagram Following Strategy

What’s a follow train? And how can you determine who you should follow in the hopes that they’ll follow you back? This video tells it all:

From follow trains to being super strategic about how you gain followers, this video is a robust guide into how to get more followers on Instagram for writers!

First off, you’ll discover what follow trains are and how to find ones specifically for authors.

Next, we’ll take a deep dive into who you should follow and who you shouldn’t:

  • Newbies: Newbies on Instagram might not have a lot of posts, followers, or people they are following. I love to encourage newbie writers to Instagram by following them, BUT ONLY if they meet certain criteria. They must have a decent profile picture and a bio that aligns with my Instagram author community, and they must have good content, even if they haven’t posted a lot. A newbie who is following +2,000 people but who only has 200 followers is a red flag for an account you might want to avoid.
  • Middlers: Middler users are in the middle of their Instagram career. They have about an equal ratio of followers to following, and they have generated a decent amount of content. If they have a bio that aligns with your writer brand and good content, then these are great folks to follow. They will likely follow you back!
  • Influencers: Influencers have way more followers than folks they are following. Remember: Instagram caps you at 7,500 people you can follow! So, if someone is close to that cap, chances are they won’t follow you back if you follow them. That’s not to say you should never follow an influencer! I follow plenty of influencers who offer amazing content. However, just know that these folks probably won’t follow you back, so be judicious.

How to Get More Followers On Instagram for Writers Tip #3: Instagram Follower Maintenance

You’ve set up your profile and you’re on your way to attracting new followers. Great! Now, here are some hands-on tips for regular Instagram follower maintenance, security checks, and boosting post engagement:

Now that you’ve gained a following, it’s time to do regular maintenance to make your profile the best it can be!

In this video, I talk about how to monitor your account to weed out spam bots and deadweight followers. I’ll also cover how to keep an eye out for evil spoofers and a good strategy for following back folks (or not) who follow you. I’ll also cover how you can boost your posts in Instagram’s algorithm by keeping an eye on your comments and a solid engagement strategy.

How to Get More Followers On Instagram for Writers: Key Takeaways

Instagram can be a tough nut to crack at first. But by following these three tips, you’ll be well on your way to a stronger following:

  1. Make sure you have a bold profile that reflects your brand as a writer.
  2. Develop a follower strategy that’s smart, especially when it comes to follow trains.
  3. Keep up your regular Instagram maintenance and monitor your engagement strategically.

Did you find these tips helpful? Tell us if you were able to leverage some of these tips to build your Instagram following in the comments below! And keep your eyes peeled for more DIY MFA columns and blogs from me about how to market yourself as an author.

Oh, and if you want to connect on Instagram? Come find me at @RachelTeferet, and yes, I follow back my amazing readers 🙂

The Writer’s Survival Guide to Social Media Live at DIY MFA!

Hey writing friends! I’m so pleased to announce that I am a new columnist at DIY MFA, an innovative writing community and hub. I’ll be sharing my expertise from my marketing background to writers looking to strengthen their author platform. My first article just came out: Is Twitter Dead? Don’t Panic! Social Media Survival Guide for Writers.

Like so many writers, I was BUMMED when Twitter bombed. But don’t fret! The article has lots of great ways to diversify your marketing and some great tips and tricks. You’ll learn the ins and outs of getting started with Instagram, weighing the good and bad of TikTok, and a whole lot more.

This article is like a broad intro into the many great platforms that are out there besides Twitter. In the future, I hope to do a whole article on Instagram. Do you have any topics you’d like me to cover? Let me know in the comments and I’ll put it on the agenda!


I discovered the DIY MFA community during the pandemic and they have been a lifesaver. There are TONS of free resources, podcasts, and webinars for writers in all stages of their careers. They describe themselves as the “do-it-yourself alternative to a Masters degree in writing.” They also offer a free “writer igniter” prompt generator that’s loads of fun!

Anyway, it’s a lovely community, and I’m honored to be able to contribute to it.

In Other News… Watch Me Read this Saturday, 2/25, at 3 PM Eastern!

I’m celebrating completing a year-long novel class with the amazing Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop. To conclude, all us revision authors will be reading from our work. It’s a talented bunch of folks you won’t want to miss!

You can sign up at–events-virtual.html. I hope to see you there!

I have some more BIG writing news coming down the pipeline, so stay tuned. Let me know how your writing life is going in the comments below.

[Laugh Attack] 2 Funny Micro Fiction Stories Published & Read By the Author

Are you ready for a good belly laugh? Then watch the video below to hear Eat Dessert First published by 101 Words, about a Thanksgiving gone awry, and First Born published by Quarter Press, which reveals the true secret of the Rumpelstiltskin story:

Catch two funny micro stories, coming live from my backyard!

Eat Dessert First, Published by 101 Word

Doesn’t everyone have a relative like Aunt Pauline? I was tremendously happy when 101 Word decided to publish this funny short. I can’t say enough great things about the editors—they had great suggestions that made this piece even better, and they were so fun to work with. If you are interested in writing and publishing micro fiction, I highly recommend checking them out!

Also, what was unexpected and so nice were all the lovely comments from readers around the world on my little story. 101 Word is truly a wonderful community of readers and writers.

If you’d like to read the story, check out 101 Word at

First Born, Published by Quarter Press

“My mother confessed she never knew how to spin straw into gold. Her deathbed secret brings me to this cursed wood…”

In my retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, the real deathbed secret turns out to be quite a surprise! Quarter Press is a delightful publisher to work with, run by Chris Smith since 2016. I was impressed with the professional quality of the publication, both in the other work and in the layout. I highly recommend checking them out if you need a good read or are looking for an awesome publisher.

You can purchase The Quarter(ly) – Vol. II: Myths, Fables, and Folklore on Quarter Press’s website to read my story and many, many others!

Many More Stories in the Hopper…!

While I’ve submitted some other short stories this quarter, my main focus right now is editing my middle-grade fantasy novel. I’m actually in a year-long revision course with the wonderful Kate Senecal through the Pioneer Valley Writers Workshop, and my goal is to finish the FINAL draft by the beginning of 2023. 

It’s a tremendous undertaking I’ve been hammering away at since 2016, and I am so thankful for all of the help I’ve received along the way from so many talented writers. By the way, PVWW just opened up registration for their year-long writing courses, which I highly recommend if you want to make big progress on your work in 2023.

Of course, NaNoWriMo is starting TODAY, which should help light a fire under my desk chair! I’m proud to be volunteering as a municipal liaison in my new home region of Western Mass and look forward to furiously “writing in” with new friends and old this November.

Let me know if you’re planning on participating this November in NaNoWriMo in the comments! And until next time, be well, and keep writing.

Good Fiction in [Micro] Packages: Top 5 Awesome Micro Fiction Magazines

I’ve been on a serious micro fiction kick lately. I love reading it, I love writing it, and I’ve fallen in love with some amazing magazines that pack a big punch into tiny stories.

Recently, I was pleased to score two micro fiction publications, including winning first place in the Storytwigs micro fiction contest, which you can read here! In honor of this awesome honor, I thought I’d share about my top micro fiction picks.

Below you’ll find some of my favorite magazines that feature very tiny stories, along with some exclusive submission tips about getting your own work into some awesome markets.

Good fiction comes in very micro packages. Let’s start off by defining what exactly micro fiction is and why it’s so tasty. 🙂

What is Micro Fiction?

Jimmies or sprinkles, a sign of very tiny sweetness, like the sugary goodness of micro fiction. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

It’s smaller than a short story…

Tinier than flash fiction…

Micro fiction can be as short as one sentence and generally about as long as 300-400 words. I’ve seen micro the size of Tweets, postcard-sized, and oh-so-pocket-sized. They explode like fireworks in your brain and sizzle like Pop Rocks in your mouth.

My Top 5 Places to Read (and Submit!) Micro Fiction

In no particular order, here are my favorite places to get my micro kicks:

1. Storytwigs Free Micro Fiction Contest (Where I Won First Place and a Cash Prize!)

A little frog on a stem. Photo by Noah Negishi on Unsplash

Every month, writers from all over the world enter this free contest to vie for awesome cash prizes. There is a fresh theme every round to write sweet micro stories in 100 words or less. While contests are paused at the moment while the editors catch up on past months, it’s definitely a great publication to keep an eye on.

According to Duotrope, this market has about an 8% acceptance rate, with a 42 day response rate.

I was lucky enough to tie for first place in the September issue, which you can read for free here!

2. The Citron Review

Citrus. Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash.

This “zesty” magazine comes out four times a year and celebrates short lit. It’s a tasty selection of all things tiny that goes all the way back to 2009!

You can read their brand-new winter issue on their website for free!

Submission tips:

  • According to Duotrope, it’s best to submit to this market early in the month. The Citron Review will close to submissions when they reach their monthly submission quota.
  • This market ranks in Duotrope’s top 25 most challenging markets for poetry and nonfiction.
  • Citron has an acceptance rate of about 2%, with a response rate of about 40 days.
  • Check out their submission page for more info on sharing your micro, flash, nonfiction, and poetry!

3. 50-Word Stories

Miniature figures kissing. Photo by Julian Paolo Dayag on Unsplash

50-Word Stories publishes two new pieces of micro fiction every day! Stories are exactly fifty words, which can make writing them a delightful challenge. It’s free to submit, and the best story of the month commands a handsome cash prize of $10. I highly recommend subscribing to their daily digest and checking out their creative work at

This market has a fond place in my heart, as they were the first magazine I ever published with 10 years ago! To honor my decade-long anniversary with the magazine, I recently submitted another story, which was accepted, to my delight. You can read “To My Cat” on their website.

Submission tips:

  • Submit only once a month, max.
  • This magazine ranks in Duotrope’s top 25 most approachable fiction publishers.
  • About 47% of submissions are accepted, with a 25-day response rate.
  • On a personal note, it’s a pleasure to work with the editor, Tim.

4. 100 Word Story

A little bird on a line. Photo by Syed Ahmad on Unsplash

I first learned about 100 Word Story through National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), since NaNoWriMo Executive Director Grant Faulkner is one of the founders of the publication. Stories are exactly 100 words. There’s something about the exactness of 100 words that hits my micro fiction sweet spot.

I just love what they have to say about why 100 words make the perfect micro brew:

One hundred seems perfect. It’s the basis of percentages, the perfect test score, the boiling point of water (Celsius), purity. Pythagoreans considered 100 as divine because it is the square (10 x 10) of the divine decad (10). Even a Scrabble set has 100 tiles… The whole is a part and the part is a whole. The 100-word format forces the writer to question each word, to reckon with Flaubert’s mot juste in a way that even most flash fiction doesn’t. At the same time the brevity of the form allows the writer “to keep a story free from explanation,” as Walter Benjamin wrote.

About 100 Word Story

It’s tremendously fun to read stories on the site, and the magazine has also published a book of 100 100-word stories that is worth perusal.

Also, if you’re looking for inspiration, check out their monthly photo prompt contest!

Submission Tips:

  • This market does charge a $2 fee, and there is no payment for publication.
  • The next submission window is March 1-7. They have short submission windows because they fill up fast, so be sure to mark your calendar!
  • Their acceptance rate is about 6%, with about a 47 day response time.

5. Wigleaf

A little ladybug on a leaf to celebrate the smallness of micro fiction.
Photo by Jens Jakob on Unsplash

I’m completely obsessed with Wigleaf! Ever since the wonderful Joy Baglio, Director and Founder of Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop, turned me onto this magazine, I’ve been a fan. (You can check our Joy Baglio’s awesome short that made the top 50 Wigleaf stories in 2017 here.)

They publish delightful short stories of 1000 words or fewer, which puts them on the micro and flash fiction cusp. They just have a fantastic selection of quirky, delightful stories that stick to your ribs and make you think!

You can read their magazine for free, including their top 50 stories each year:

Submission tips:

  • Wigleaf is open to subs during the final week of each academic month, except December. In other words, they are open the final weeks of August, September, October, November, January, February, and March. They do not publish during the summer.
  • Their acceptance rate is about 5%, with a 140 day response time.

It’s Always a Good Day to Write Micro Fiction

Sometimes, when I have writer’s block, I’ll turn to reading (and then hopefully, writing!) micro fiction. It’s a great way to get the juices flowing with a story you can turn out during your coffee break or even typed into your phone on a walk.

Do you enjoy writing micro fiction? Where are your favorite places to read and submit your own work? Let us know in the comments below!

2 Super Sneaky Publishing Hacks I Discovered by Accident!

Publishing hack number one: Forget writing, let's make art! Mixed Media of weird faces on a Found Object, Copyright Rachel Teferet 2021

I recently discovered two sneaky publishing hacks for literary magazines, and I’ve been meaning to share them with you! My goodness, it has been a minute since I blogged. Like so many of you, my life was sort of rearranged over the past year and a half! It’s been kind of a bumpy ride. Before we get started, I want to acknowledge the craziness that has been the past while and to extend my deepest wishes that you were all doing OK out there in cyberspace. And that you are continuing to make time for your writing practice!

One of the things I’m getting back into is submitting work for publication. That definitely took a backseat over the pandemic! But I was able to submit some visual art, something that I like to do about once a year. My background is actually in painting, and it feels really nice to offer some of my artwork to literary magazines. 

On this round of submissions, I learned about two publishing hacks, and I’m excited to share them with you today so you can start using them too!

Super Sneaky Publishing Hack #1: Always Query, Even if You Think it’s Hopeless!

Ben Franklin knows all about publishing hacks. That's why this stencil on someone's house is showing him relaxing to a boombox.
Cool Ben Franklin graffiti spotted in Manayunk, Philadelphia. Be cool like Ben; always query!

One of the markets I submitted to is the New Reader Magazine, one of my favorite publications of all time. I’ve had a couple of poems published by them, and they always do an amazing job curating content and making it look beautiful. So I thought, why not submit some artwork!?

The only problem was, I didn’t hear back for months and months. I use Duotrope to track my submissions, and the number of days out was highlighted in red, letting me know it was either time to query or mark it as “never responded.”

Now, previous to this experience, I always thought it was a waste of time to query. It inevitably led to rejection or, worse, no response… which made me feel like an even bigger failure.

However, I knew this publication was really friendly and great to work with, so I wrote an email. When I didn’t get a response, I knew something was up, and I contacted their general email instead of the one I’d been using for the editor.

As it turns out, the publication had changed editors while I had submitted and had lost track of my work! The new editor found my submission and accepted three pieces right away! 

Lesson learned: ALWAYS query!

You can check out the beautiful issue (June 2021 | Vol. 4 Issue 14) here on NRM’s website!

Super Sneaky Publishing Hack #2: Submit Visual Art & Open the Back Door to Competitive Markets!

This next hack is a bit of a back door that I discovered as well. I have been submitting to Zoetic Press’s Non-Binary Review for a while, but my writing just never got in. I thought, why not try submitting some artwork?

Not only does this market pay well for artwork, but I also could see in Duotrope that they have low submission rates for this category, so my chances were way better.

In fact, not a ton of people submit artwork to literary magazines. It is WAY LESS competitive than poetry or fiction!

I’m pleased to say that I got a painting into issue #23, which you can purchase from Zoetic Press!

Now, because I’m in the “in“ crowd with Zoetic Press, I get early, exclusive submission calls from the publication before it goes out to everyone in the universe. And, I was invited to join a contributors-only Facebook group. So not only do I have a relationship with the journal at long last, but I also get first dibs on future submissions!

Lesson learned: submitting visual art can open doors.

If you’re an artist or like to doodle, consider submitting work! And if you don’t consider yourself to be artsy-fartsy? Then check out some of these hacks:

Hacks to turn your creative writing into artwork!

A public domain image with cut up words from Twilight, an example of a fun literary art project for a rainy day.

Even though I went to art school, I’m not one of those pretentious noses in the air, I’m so special painters. I deeply believe that everybody is creative and can make art.

Having trouble getting a short story or poem accepted? Running into writer’s block? Try some creative parallel fun with art-making… And then submit your artwork to increase your chances of acceptance!

Art ideas to hack publishing and creativity:

  1. Print out your story or poem. Then cut out each word or sentence, depending on how fancy you want to get. Break out some magazines and a glue stick, and make a crazy collage. Then paste your words over the artwork! Bam, you are a collage artist! Submit that cool thing!
  2. Find a book that you hate (I chose Twilight, don’t hate me!). Turn that book into a sculpture! Or, rip out pages, cut out interesting phrases and words, and do the collage exercise above. (See the video down below for more!) OR, make some blackout poetry (see photo below)!
  3. Sign up for an art class, either online or in-person! Create something fun that you never would’ve done on your own. Check out gel printing, scrapbooking, or a creative practice that uses found materials. Make something weird! Stamp, scribble, or paint your poetry onto it, then snap a picture and try submitting it!
Above is a really cool, anonymous “blackout” poem I found in a free poetry exchange board. Just another way to make a poem with visual flare.

Feel free to try some of these ideas. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll have some fun. You might also beat writer’s block, create something funky to submit to a literary magazine, and get your foot in the door.

Take a few minutes to see the terrible, artistic things my friends and I have done to books!

Keep on Writing! And Creating!

I’ve gotten really down lately about how competitive it is to get your work published as a writer. I mean, it just gets brutal sometimes. I recently had a long spat of rejections, and Duotrope let me know that my acceptance rate was still higher than average. I don’t know if it was trying to cheer me up, but it definitely just made me more depressed.

Putting your work out there is great. I mean, it’s important. I try and make time to do it every month and submit a lot of work in batches. But I always have to remind myself that publishing isn’t the reason why I write or create. I do it because it’s fun and I like it! I feel like if I lose sight of that, the game is all over, and I’ve lost.

How do you keep your creative spark going strong? How do you keep up submitting work to publications? Let us know in the comments below!

Shortlisted for the Funny Pearls Contest! “Alphabet of Ants”

“Create a Magic Story!” With Magnetic Poetry from NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and Harry Potter 🙂

It’s my great privilege to announce that my short story, “Alphabet of Ants,” was shortlisted this January for the Funny Pearls 2020 Short Story Competition. Funny Pearls is a delightful lit mag dedicated to women’s humor, and it’s an honor to be a part of the magic.

The story is about what happens when intergalactic insects haunt your bathroom. You can listen to me read it below, or check it out at Funny Pearls:

I’m whispering a little bit because it’s early and my husband is still sleeping, haha 🙂 Enjoy the listen!

Big thanks goes out to my writing teacher, mentor, and friend, Rachel Howard, for editing the piece. A shout out also goes out to my critique buddies on Scribophile. Go writing community!

Funny Pearls is a wonderful market to submit to. The editor, Mette, is a pleasure to work with and an incredible editor. This has been one of my favorite magazines, and I’m so honored to have gotten in. You can check out the short story competition on Duotrope.

Aw, ants are kind of cute close up!

More Literary Good News!

Also this month, I have a piece of artwork that was accepted by the NonBinary Review, a project of Zoetic Press. The work will appear in their next issue with an apocalypse theme. This was a tough market to get into, with only about an 8% acceptance rate, so I was very pleased that my work will be appearing in the next issue. I’ll let you know when it’s live!

I also had the delight of helping host the Sierra Writer’s Conference last week, as well as live Tweeting the event. Once the event recordings of the workshops are up, I’ll post about that too so you can check it out!

Talk about alien insects! 🙂

That’s all for me! Please let me know in the comments how you liked “Alphabet of Ants” and what you have been up to in your writing life!