Guide to Becoming Successful Instagram Poets

Instagram began as a convenient app that allows people to share memories in the form of photographs. Its square-grid format instantly became popular. It rapidly grew into a platform that combines photos, micro-blogging, and instant messaging. But, in recent years, Instagram poets have turned into social media megastars by using this platform to share free-format poetry. Names such as Rupi Kaur, Atticus, r.m. drake, Nayyirah Waheed, and Lang Leav come to mind. These poets have become eminent worldwide in an unbelievably short amount of time!

They made the most of Instagram by writing couplets that are meant to be quickly consumed, especially for a generation that adores multi-tasking, and tries to stay ahead of the hustle culture. 

Rupi Kaur’s poetry book milk & honey sold up to 3.5 million copies and was translated into 40 languages. r.m. drake now has 12 poetry books in print, several of them appearing on the New York Times Bestsellers list! Using this modern, fast-paced, closely connected platform on the internet, these Instagram poets have taken over social media by storm!




So, what were the secret formula that took Rupi Kaur and other Instagram poets to the top? In this article, we will unravel what there is to know about being Instagram poets.


How to find success as Instagram poets and become published writers 

Think about it – back in the 1900s, the idea of making your bread and butter by writing poetry would have made you the laughing stock of your group. Poets such as T.S Eliot and Wallace Stevens took on a bevy of odd jobs before they became legendary poets. But, in the 21st century, with rapidly growing digitalization and connectivity, young writers can gain unimaginable amounts of success.


Step 1: Reachability And relatability 

Audiences are swooning over these writers because of their simple approach to poetry that has transformed classic, complex verses into easily relatable and understandable words. 

For instance, Instagram poets such as Lang Leav chooses the universal theme of love to capture and charm his audience. r.m. drake uses melodramatic themes of love, loss, grief, and relationships to tap into the emotions of his audience. He talks about generic but comforting topics in his poetry. In other words, if you want to reach a larger audience, write about topics that are engaging and relatable.


Step 2: Creating Your Aesthetic


The common link between famous Instagram poets is that they steadily build a loyal following on Instagram before they become published writers. They create a unique brand image for themselves. This translates into a swift rise up the ladder of fame and popularity.

Your brand image is what sets you apart from the competition. It is your style, voice, and other elements of your poetry such as illustrations. For example, Rupi Kaur uses minimalistic line drawings to go with her poetry. If you see similar drawings combined with poetry, she is probably the first person to pop up in your mind! That’s the beauty of having a unique aesthetic.

To create a distinct aesthetic, you can make use of varied tools on Instagram and experiment until you find one that suits you best. You can use themes, color palettes, typography, illustrations, etc. Whatever you choose to portray, be consistent with it to familiarize your followers so that they start recognizing you by your style.


Step 3: Marketing On Instagram

Once you have your audience, poetry writing themes, and aesthetic figured out, you can focus on building a large following. Instagram is constantly introducing new tools that help creators increase their followers. 

Here are some ways you can use these tools to their fullest potential:

  • Currently, some of the formats that gain the most traction are Reels and Carousels. Post poems using these tools.
  • Remember – consistency is key. There might be days where you don’t feel particularly inspired, but just keep writing! The more content you churn out, the greater is your scope of being discovered. 
  • Create engaging content that your followers enjoy. To understand what your audience wants, be aware of what your competitors are posting. Additionally, ask your followers for suggestions and try to implement them. 
  • Use hashtags to attract a larger audience. Instagram allows 30 hashtags for every post. Use all of them! Most importantly, add hashtags that are relevant to your posts; it does not matter if those hashtags are popular or not.

Pro-tip: Accompanying your poems with an exclusive hashtag not only increases your reach but also adds to your brand image! For example, Atticus created a quirky image for himself despite being an anonymous, hidden face. He monetized the hashtag #atticuspoetry and instantly stood out!


Step 4: Become A Poet AND An Entrepreneur

The interesting thing about Instagram is that it acts as a gateway into print publishing. When you establish a significant fanbase on Instagram, you are automatically noticed by other writers and publishers. If you publish your poetry book after becoming a successful Intsa-poet, you find yourself quickly under the spotlight. Your network increases and people begin acknowledging you.

The benefit of creating your brand image on Instagram is that you can harness e-commerce to augment your income. That is how poets like Rupi Kaur and Atticus are not just poets – but also entrepreneurs! Their persona and image sell along with their work. Atticus sells his merchandise inscribed with his poetry, right from a $35 poster to products priced at a whopping $174. These 4 steps to becoming a successful Instagram poet, a published writer, AND an entrepreneur, just prove that you can certainly earn your bread and butter from writing poetry. 


Bite-sized Instagram poetry is admired by everyone because it feels like a warm hug. In today’s fast-paced world, reading this short-form poetry on the go or with a hot cup of coffee is a soothing activity. It refreshes you and instantly relaxes your mind after a long, hectic day. Self-publishing platforms are welcoming these voices and giving them an even larger domain to shine. The Notion Press Platform offers free publishing for writers and poets to share their work with the rest of the world and fulfill their dream. This can be the first step in your journey to success!


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Naqiyah Hasan

Naqiyah is pursuing a BFA in Creative Writing at Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology. She is an avid reader, writer, and book collector.

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