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When I started my Instagram page, back in 2014, my purpose for that page was very clear: I wanted to sell my books.

I didn't just want to sell a few books here and there, and I didn't want to make "passive income" - I wanted to eventually be able to quit my then job and be a full-time author making a living from selling my books. 

I knew I wouldn't achieve my dream overnight, but I also knew that Rome wasn't built in one day. 

 

Something I understood very early on was the value of promotions/ads - and not the shitty built-in "boost post" ads that Instagram offers (they didn't even exist back then, but I have tried them a bunch of times when they were introduced and in my opinion, they're trash.) 

The promotions/ads that really worked for me were the ones that I would personally pay other pages for, so basically paid shout-outs. 

I didn't use hashtags to grow my page, I didn't jump through any of these Instagram hoops - my formula was very simple: Pay for my shout-outs once a month until I was able to afford once a week, then twice a week, and show up 4-5x a day on Instagram with valuable content.

I invested in myself, stuck to my formula, released 3 books, and within one year... my dream of quitting my job and being a full-time author became, and still is, my reality. 

Not all of my shout-outs were a "success". I experiemented with many different pages who charged many different prices. Sometimes I would gain hundrends of new followers from one shout-out, other times I would gain sixty, but through the process I learned two very valuble things:

1 - Which pages had audiences that made sense for me to get in front of and which pages didn't. 

2 - What I needed to work on when it came to my own posts to