How to read your insights and use them to grow on Instagram

May 13, 2020

Let's start with the basics:

To get your insights numbers you need to have a creator or business account. 

Here are instructions on how to Set up your creator Account on Instagram.

There is literally no downside to having a creator account. There are rumors about having a creator account will decrease your engagement and it is completely wrong.

If you are a content creator I 100% recommend activating this feature on Instagram because it will give so much information about your account and your audience.

Here is some information you will get:

  • Daily follower count (how many follow you AND how many unfollow you)

  • You get an overview of all your posts and see which ones have the most impressions, reach, comments, what pictures bring you the most follows, saves, or shares. And other information.

  • You get information on your account’s activity. Weekly Reach, Weekly Impressions, Weekly Interactions, and Profile Visits.

  • My favorite feature is you get what time your followers are most active throughout the day, which is so helpful when you are trying to figure out what time to post.

To take it even a step farther if you sign in into Creator Studio there is a chart that literally breaks it down HOUR by HOUR.

I have had access to my insights for more than 2 years now, and I have seen the feature evolve and give you more and more detailed information about your account. I would recommend the sooner you turn your statics on the better because when I didn't have this feature on my post statics were not recorded at all.

I would say that once you turn your statistics on, give Instagram 2 weeks to gather data based on your new posts and it gets calibrated correctly.

It does take time to take a full grasp on how to read your insights and use them to benefit your account but here is how I read and interpret mine.

But before we go deeper into it. Let's go into a few very important disclaimers:


I focus on my insights because I want to learn more about what works for my account, what content my audience enjoys, and honestly, I hope to pursue a career in marketing so learning about how Instagram works and growing my account is beneficial for me.

If you are doing this for FUN. Keep it FUN. Do not obsess about numbers.

In the morning, I usually quickly check my statistics and to be completely honest I keep checking them like 10 more times throughout the day (because I am a bit obsessive), but if you don't want to obsessively check your stats (probably is healthier that way) I feel like if you check them every 2 or 3 days is good because then you get to practice on reading them and like I said before the more familiar you are with your insights the more you learn how your account works. 

I am at the place where I know my account so well, I usually know how many likes a picture will get and where most of the audience will come from. Now I will also want to add another quick disclaimer: Just because you know a piece of content will not do as well as your top posts do not mean you should not post it.

For example, I know some Bookstagram Academy posts with advice that is more for bookstagrammers that are 2 or 3 years into their journey will not be as popular as “beginner” advice does not mean I should not post it. I am passionate about that piece of content and I am going to post it anyway because it matters to ME. It's important to ME. It's so vital you are creating content that you love regardless of how “popular” it is.

Let me give you another example: I also know that for my account solo pictures of books that are not as “mainstream” or does not have big fandoms will not get as many likes or engagement as bookshelf pictures or popular fandoms but I still post about them because I love those books.

Please do not limit yourself by likes or numbers. Post things you are passionate about.

Post from IG @berrybookpags

Now, what do I mean when I quickly check my stats every day? 

I just check how my pics are doing in terms of likes and read all my comments.
I also check how my individual post for the day is doing. (for me it's fun to see how the picture grows in engagement) For example; I have noticed that usually, the reach of home grows first, and then I keep checking the post throughout the day to see if the picture is doing well in explore or the hashtags.

I call this “babysitting” my posts and I do it more during the first hour of posting a new picture so I can reply to comments. Why?

Because the algorithm is an engagement algorithm base. The way it kinda works (I say kinda because no one is 100% sure how it works)  is that it first shows your content to 10% of your audience, then if they like and interact with it, Instagram will push the post to new audiences via hashtags and explore and that's how your picture will get more likes and potentially more followers.

Post from IG @kaizenexecutive

Now let’s understand what each category means: 

From Home
Are people who already follow you. Your set audience. The goal is you want to appear on a person's home page, and how do you do that?

INTERACTIONS. If you have DM conversations with them or you constantly like and comment on each other's posts you are more likely to appear on a person’s homepage. 

For example, I interact a lot with @baecrate so my posts appear on their homepage first. That's why interactions are so important.

From Hashtags:
People who find your post because they searched a hashtag you use in your posts. I will go more in-depth this week on hashtags but the basic concept is that you have to use a very niche hashtag you are featured in the “top” section or in the “recent” section a bit longer so more people searching the hashtag can find your posts.


From Explore:
This section will have bigger numbers if your post is EYE-CATCHING and CLICKABLE for your target audience. Why?

Let's do an exercise, take a look at my explore page and pick which picture you would potentially click on, and then I will tell you which ones I would click on.

Here is what I would click on:

Let's do it again, what picture would you click on?

Here is what I would click on 

Some of our choices may be different and some may be the same, but this is because the explore page is tailor to each account based on what you have liked before.

The goal of this exercise is to show that people have different definitions of “eye-catching” but also there are some things that will instantly create maas appeal.

That's why posts with popular books are more likely to get more likes because people are more likely to click on things that are familiar and they recognize.

Another useful tip that I've been doing recently is that I used to follow tons of bachelor accounts because I am a bit obsessed with that show (do not judge me.I enjoy the drama and the chaos). If you find a post you are not interested in just click the three dots on top of the picture and click “not interested” and Instagram will show you less content related to that topic.

I go into more detail on why you want Instagram to have you in the right algorithm category in this blog post so make sure to check it out. 

Now apart from Home, Hashtags, and Explore there is also an “other” section and in some posts, it can be big. 

Impressions from other includes:

  • Shares (your post/video has been shared in direct messages, outside the Instagram app or to other account stories)
  • Saves (your post/video has been saved in the Instagram app to be viewed later)
  • Mentions (posts from other Instagram users, who mentioned you in the caption)
  • Notifications (your posts/videos that show up in the “FOLLOWING” tab in the notifications)
“Other” impressions are so important because it also tells Instagram people are interested in these posts, so it will push it to new audiences. 

The more people share your post to their public story, their audience will have access to your posts and potentially discover your account.

Now once a week I look at my account in a bit more depth, these are the key number I look at:

I sit down and see individually how each picture is doing, I ask myself 

Where the majority of the audience is coming from?
What hashtags may be working the best?
What caption had more responses? 
Is there a topic more people want to talk about? 
Why was this picture successful, what is the picture or the caption? 
Why was this picture not as successful? What can be improved for next time? 

That's why I know what works better for my account, and figure what content methods work better for me. I talk a bit more about it on this Instagram post.

This may seem like a lot, but all of this happens in my head so it doesn't take as long as it may seem. 

If you are just starting out to read your insights, it may help to start with writing all of it down.

Keep in mind that because of the Instagram algorithm your posts have longer "shelf life" , what that means its that while the majority of your engagement will come in the first 24-48 hours of your posts it can keep growing in the next few days that's why I get my posts get 7 days old before I ask myself all those questions. It's not a requirement but that's how I do it.

I hope this was helpful, remember to check my Instagram @berrybookpages .

Let me know if you have any questions.

If you want to support my content, you can buy me a Ko-fi and also comment and share help support me. Thank you so much.

Don’t be suspicious

Feb 26, 2020
Don’t be suspicious
by Michelle R. Lecumberry 

Don’t be suspicious while I gather my scatter clothes around the hotel room. 

Ignore the creaking sounds the wood boards make, just like you ignore the feeling things have not been good for a while.

Don’t listen to the voice inside your head telling you I am leaving you. 

Why would I leave you? I love you

Ignore the feeling at the pit of your stomach warning you not to trust me. 

Why would you not trust me? You love me.

Ignore your instinct telling you to wake up because something is not right. 

Don’t be suspicious while I gather the money out of the hidden spot in the corner.

Don’t listen to the sound of the car driving away. 

Because I am leaving you. 

And you should have listened
to your instinct,
the voice inside your head,
the pit in your stomach,
and all the other little clues. 

My love, looks like you should have been suspicious after all. 

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez - Book Review

Feb 4, 2020

Woven in Moonlight

by Isabel Ibañez

Release Date: January 7th, 2020

Publisher: Page Street Books

Links: Goodreads


A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.


This review comes with a heavy disclaimer; please don't let me influence you into not supporting this author or not reading this book if you were really excited about it. Opinions are not facts. Give it a try and agree with me or fight me. (but don't really fight me I WILL CRY)

It's a sad day when one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 doesn't deliver. Let me paint you a picture of how sure that I was going to enjoy this book not only did I preorder it on Amazon, but I also selected it as my BoTM and when I saw that a book box had an exclusive cover I also brought that copy. Now, I have 3 copies of a book I didn't enjoy.

Let's start with the review.

Things I liked:

-The magic system was interesting and original. The main characters' magic is tied to the moon and other characters can read the stars making the magic aspect very beautiful and delicate.

-The inclusion of Bolivian culture and food descriptions.

-Girl unlearning prejudices and that history has two sides.

Things I didn't like:

Worldbuilding: The world was one of the things I was most excited about reading, nevertheless it was underdeveloped, I didn't feel like it was grounded enough.

Plot: Very predictable and it didn't feel like high stakes enough, this may be because of the lack of emotional connection with the characters.

Characters: All characters were very one dimensional for me.

I mainly want to talk about Ximena who suffers from the cliche and typical YA girl affliction “she is so strong and stubborn” - but it's more like rude, selfish, and unwilling to listen. I also didn't appreciate her description of Llacsans who are supposed to be inspired by indigenous people, she describes them as smelly, and mocks their traditions. I know some of the story arc was to unlearn prejudices but I just didn't feel like it was given enough attention and depth.

Also, I have no idea why the other characters find Ximena amusing when she is not doing or saying anything witty or funny but many times someone is trying suppressing a smile when there is no reason for it.

The characters are not consistent at all, they just react to the plot making it hard for the reader to care for them.

The relationship between the characters was almost nonexistent. The author just tells us that these two characters are supposed to care for each other but what about the most basic writing rule “show, don't tell”.

My main example is the relation between La Condesa and Ximena, they are supposed to be like sisters but we really don't have any bonding scenes or anything that made me feel the deep sisterhood they are supposed to have other than when it's told to us and this directly impacts the plot since it's crucial to feel the “high stakes crossroad” Ximena is in.

Writing Style:

This is not something exclusive to Woven in the Moonlight, it's just a matter of personal taste but I don't like when in dialogue or descriptions just go randomly to Spanish without any reason and this is coming from someone who speaks Spanish fluently;

I really enjoy it when you have Spanish names like Ximena, Juan Carlos, Atoc. There is some Spanish that is beautifully used like in names for names of people, cities, magic items “La Estrella” or in full slang sayings but in others is just forced and overused.

Also, I have to mention that there is a city called La Ciudad which means The City so yes there is a city called the city and the bad guy is called “evil” in Quechua.

I see the intention of this book, I appreciate the look into Bolivian culture, the effort of trying to make a commentary about colonization, and harmful prejudices. But at the end of the day for me Woven in the Moonlight falls short.


Plot: ✰✰
Characters: ✰
Writing Style ✰✰✰
Personal Experience ✰
Overall: ✰✰✰✰✰ (1.75Stars)

Why did I unfollow 1,500 people on Instagram

Everything started with two questions that really left me thinking:

1. Do you unfollow inactive accounts?
2. What makes you unfollow an account?

Those questions inspired the idea of check who I was following, it was really eye-opening to see that I didn't know most of the accounts, some were business that closed, some were accounts that were deactivated, some were accounts were not active anymore that had new accounts, personal accounts and some were accounts has not been active for more than a year.

Other accounts that I was following were vlog squad accounts or bachelor accounts since I am currently obsessed with both but I should have been following those accounts on my personal Instagram.

So I made the decision to start unfollowing people but with these criteria;

  1. Do I enjoy their content?
  2. Have we interacted?
  3. Have they been active on stories or feed in the last year?

It was an overwhelming bittersweet experience, I re-discovered accounts I used to love and kind of forgot about and I got really happy to see them thriving, but it was really hard to see accounts that I admired that were gone or accounts of people that started their accounts around the same time as me and to see the gone was so sad.

The task of unfollowing accounts took me around 5 days (and still not done). There is a warning, be careful how many people you unfollow daily because Instagram will get mad at you if you unfollow a bunch of people at the same time. Take it from me, I was blocked from Instagram for 2 weeks so I really don't advise you to unfollow more than 100 people a day.

There are some benefits to following only accounts you are excited about and active;

-The algorithm will have a clear picture of what accounts you enjoy following and will help create a better Instagram experience.

-Your explore page will be mostly filled with similar accounts you are following, this will help you discover more bookstagrammers.

-When you are always seeing fresh and different content it is easier to get inspired.

-Being in the right category and interacting with bookish accounts will tell the algorithm that it is likely that other bookish accounts will enjoy your content therefore it will push your account’s engagement.

I have new goals for 2020;

-Follow only people I know.
-Follow people who are creating content that I enjoy and admire.
-Try to find new accounts to follow every week

What's one of your new goals for 2020?

Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi - Book Review

Jan 22, 2019

The Gilded Wolves

By Roshani Chokshi

Release Date: 15 January 2019

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre: Teen & YA

Links: Amazon |  GoodReads | Book Depository | B&N


Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can't yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.


Yeah, I have many questions, Roshani Chokshi. Number one: how dare you? how dare you give me ten million new crushes and a world I desperately want to live in.

This book, you guys, WOW. 

One of my favorite things about Roshani Chokshi is her writing style, we first saw in Star-Touched Queen but this is her masterpiece, the writing just flows across the page and everything is so poetic. 

Throughout 2018, I desperately looked for a new heist crew trying to fill the hole Six of Crows left in my heart; Ocean's 8 was a failure for me (and queen Bardugo agrees with me if you want to fight me), Widows was decent and Money Heist on Netflix was able to fill the hole for a little while, but I don't have to search anymore. BOI, Gilded Wolves was the heist my heart was looking for. Definitely Six of Crows meets Money Heist, meets National Treasure with Chokshi's own delicious twists and characters. 

The characters were one of the best parts of this books, I adore everyone, but especially Laila who is my queen, she protects everyone when she is the one that must be protected at all cost. There is autistic representation! Zofia is another character I would lay my life for, she is goals and Jewish too which was nice to see. 

Leigh Bardugo said that the key to creating a good heist book or movie is the relationship between the characters as it raises the stakes and I completely agree with her. Chokshi succeeds in creating a crew you want to join and care about. I adored all of their interactions. 

I had some minor issues with the plot, as sometimes it had continuity issues, but honestly, this is me being picky or in need of a reread to clear my thoughts and appreciate all the details. It was an amazing puzzle to solve. 

Overall, Gilded Wolves is a stellar new release that everyone must-read. 


Plot: ✰✰✰✰

Characters: ✰✰✰✰✰

Writing Style ✰✰✰✰✰

Personal Experience ✰✰✰✰✰

Overall: ✰✰✰✰✰ (4.75Stars)

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How to read your insights and use them to grow on Instagram

Let's start with the basics: To get your insights numbers you need to have a creator or business account.  Here are ins...

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