I went live on Instagram for the FIRST TIME – this morning – to announce the launch in June. I had a grand total of ONE viewer. Haha. It was the scariest thing though, when they came on. I was like oh sheeee, it’s happening! It’s real. Someone is actually listening to me, watching me.

It was also a reminder of how much work I need to put in if my book is to get any attention when the launch happens in June. You know, I’ve run a lot of Instagram accounts for different initiatives before, but the hardest one to grow has been my Iz Mazano account. When you look at effort vs output, it’s been a real slog. I started that account in 2015 and it only hit 100 likes last year – and the last 10 or so likes – I did a paid promotion for :-D. Go ahead laugh when you see me. I laugh about this too – all the time.

Initially, I didn’t understand why that account does so badly. On my other accounts, I know if I do certain things I will get certain results. My alter ego, Fungai, started an account last year for Valley of Writers and within a few months and not that much effort, it had hit 200 followers. Compare that with FIVE years for an account started when Instagram still didn’t have as much competition.

Then I heard of how some people start new Instagram accounts when their old ones are not performing because if your account has historically had low engagement it will be difficult to get the Instagram algorithm to get it the visibility it needs, whereas new accounts start on a clean slate and, all things being equal can get more visibility than older, once stagnant accounts, that are attempting a revival.

But I am NOT going to start a new account.

I have put a lot of work into this account. I will find a way together the fire blazing.

What’s even more embarrassing is that I TEACH this stuff to other creatives. I teach them how to use digital tools to get their work seen by more people. I am heading for a serious credibility challenge if I don’t fix this, right?

At some point, I had decided not to worry about the numbers on the account and to just keep on posting because I love the challenge of pushing myself to do so regularly and finding new ways of presenting poetry. I figured one day someone would see the posts, but no more. I’m on a mission now. I have a book coming out. I need to do right by that book, yes? Yes! I will find a path to Instagram growth that doesn’t include tactics like following 10,000 accounts that I have no interest in. Yes? Yes!

I am not looking to just get followers. I really want to find people who are interested in poetry, in the stuff I am talking about and who I can engage with. So no bots. No follow for follow, unless it’s meaningful. Am I asking too much?

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