Blog Post


Since starting my blog in January 2019, I have yet to write a blog post, and after my frustration with IG shadowban on myself, I felt like a rant was an excellent place to start.

As I said, I started my blog in 2019, and so far, I have had nothing but great experiences. I don’t earn money from promoting these fantastic authors. I started this because I love romance and wanted to connect with other people who love it too. Also, because I have some favorite authors that I felt everyone needed to enjoy too, so why not help spread the word?

I have a handful of authors that I am on their launch team; some may refer to it as a street team or ARC team. What this means is that for these particular authors, I am reading and reviewing every book and helping them get the word out for those books. They take precedence over any other review or release I have scheduled. In addition to those authors, I also sign up with different PR agencies to help promote books. I do sign up to review books, but more often than not, I sign up to help get the word out about upcoming or new releases. The way I do this is by posting here on my blog, my blog Facebook page, and Instagram page.

Generally, on my Instagram page, I will make a post and tag it with hashtags, something like #romance or #booknerd. The point of this is so that if someone is looking at all posts tagged under #romance or #booknerd, they would see my post. Then if they like it, that person might come to my page and start following me. IG lets you use up to 30 hashtags per post, so wanting to make my life easier I had 30 hashtags that were relevant to my posts. This way, whenever I posted, I could copy and paste those to my caption and be done. Sometimes the author might have specific hashtags that they wanted to use so I would replace some with theirs, and that was it. Boy was this the wrong this to do.

About a month ago, I noticed that my posts weren’t showing up under any hashtags I was using. IG doesn’t have a way to reach out to them unless your account is blocked, so I had to report a problem. I never heard anything. So then about a week later the problem was still going on, I reached out to some fellow authors/bloggers, and other people checked and said they were having the same issue. So I reported the problem again, and again I heard nothing from IG. I decided to do some research myself and googled the problem I was having. A plethora of information popped up, some old, some new but all with a lot of different advice. Delete all your hashtags from every post because one could be a banned hashtag, wait three days and then try again. So I did, and nothing happened. One person said to archive all the old posts that I had used a repost app on, so I did and nothing happened. Another website said if I had any posts stating giveaway or free delete those, so I did and guess what? NOTHING. HAPPENED.

My page was a business account, so I sponsored an add for one of my favorite author’s new releases. Believe me, IG took my money for the add but didn’t change my hashtag issue. I changed my profile picture to an actual photo of me. I switched from a business account to a personal account. I read and reread and read again the community guidelines that IG has. A month later and none of it matters.

I had one person tell me that if I was doing this for fun, then why did it matter? That at this point I wasn’t enjoying myself because I was frustrated and since IG hadn’t blocked my account I should post and not worry about it. I thought about what this person said for a long minute. Could they be right? In the big scheme of things, does the fact that my posts don’t show on hashtags in IG matter, no. But to a new author trying to get their name out there, it does. And honestly, I haven’t committed any infraction for my posts not be posted. So, for no apparent reason, except that some bot in the IG algorithm flagged me and because there is no such thing as speaking to or emailing an actual person anymore, I’m banned and I can’t get it fixed.

Now IG would tell you that this is to prevent spamming. Okay, I get it there are spammers, hackers, people out there in the world wide web trying to get my information, trying to hurt people, but not me. I’m a 35-year-old mother of three from a small town in Mid-Missouri who wants to promote and talk romance books. How am I spamming the people following the hashtag #booknerd when my posts are regarding, gasp, books? And daily I still get inappropriate private messages from actual spammers wanting me to click on their link, so I can see how hot they are, or just random naked pictures of them with a link to see more.

Sadly I see no end in sight for the censorship IG has put on me. I guess we aren’t as progressive a world as I thought we were. That the taboo placed on romance novels was a silly thought of the past and calling them word porn or smut was over. I guess in truth IG is just like those prickly old ladies from church. They may not be burning the books, but they are slowing silencing us. First, it’s a shadowban to use hashtags next they will be blocking our accounts altogether.

So warning to anyone following A Bit Smutty Book Blog, this small town girl is going to spam you with inappropriate books about love and, wait for it, SEX! You should block me now before I take over the world with my smutty, smutty words.

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