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How to start a book blog

Kaili

Hey everyone and welcome to Owl Book World! Today I wanted to talk about how to start a book blog. I’m hoping to use this post to talk about some of the things you should consider when you’re wanting to start. Why? Because I feel like a lot of these posts don’t give helpful information. Granted they do talk about some of the things I’m going to talk about but they’re vague and a lot of bloggers repeat what others have already said. There are several that tell you to jump right in and learn as you go.

To be honest that’s terrible advice. You will learn some things but there are so many things you should learn before you even create your blog. Why? Because it will save you so much time no matter if this is serious or a hobby. Granted you can learn some of these things after you have created your blog but it makes things easier and makes the whole process easier.

The first thing you really need to consider on how to start a book blog is whether or not book blogging is serious or a hobby?

Is book blogging serious or a hobby?

I’m starting this post off with this because it is something you really need to consider before you start. It will save you so much time and frustration. If you’re planning on doing this as a hobby I would still implement some of these tips. Who knows you might want more or your blog might do so well you want to earn money from it.

Don’t be afraid to take courses

I know I know, major eye roll. Courses typically cost money and who knows if they’ll work. But I suggest doing research on courses and seeing what works for you. A lot of them have ratings to help you decide if this is right for you. I suggest this because there is SO much information out there it can be overwhelming. So, getting it in one place is helpful. If you’re wanting your blog to be a source of income sometimes it’s best to put some sort of investment in what you want to do.

Otherwise, there are some free courses out there, but I’m not sure how good they are. If you have kindle unlimited there are some books you can get on there along with YouTube videos.

This is something that I wish I would have done sooner and now I don’t really have the means to do it. So, if you do have the means then LOOK INTO IT. Just make sure that it’s a good one.

How to start a book blog? Research, Research, Research…

This goes into a little with courses. With the last topic, I was mostly talking about the basics of blogging. This is a little more in-depth and deals with SEO and affiliate marketing.

What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is how readers will find you through Google and other search engines. This is where you want to put most of your focus through even though it’s a long process. Getting views from social media isn’t always reliable, but depending on your post and how well you do SEO you’ll have a more reliable source of views. Even if this is just a hobby I would still learn about SEO because you might change your mind later on down the road.

Another thing to learn about is affiliate marketing. I swear making sales through affiliates is one of the hardest things to do (for me anyway). So soon I will be reading some books on this in hopes I can start making more sales!

You can find some of those books below.

How to start a book blog when you don’t know how to build a website?

This is why I say start with WordPress. There are so many tutorials that you can find that will help you set up your blog. Once you get the handle of setting things up then it’s so much easier. There are tons of tutorials on blogs or even YouTube that will walk you step by step on setting things up. Trust me these tutorials make it super easy and walk you through step by step. If this is what’s stopping you from doing it then don’t let it. This was the first time I had ever created a website and I’m not exactly that great with technology even though I know the basics.

Pinterest

I know you’re probably asking ‘I’m wanting to be a book blogger. How can Pinterest help me?’ I get that Pinterest mostly aims towards home improvement, DIY, and food but it can really help out book bloggers as well. If this is something serious then I highly recommend setting up a business account. Whether you think so or not people really do search for books on there as well as book lists. But you can’t treat Pinterest as a social media or as your “personal account”. Pinterest needs to be treated like a search engine like Google so you will have to apply SEO like you would your blog posts. There are courses out there as well as YouTube videos and blog posts to look into.

I also say to not treat your business account as you would your own personal Pinterest account. I see so many bloggers and authors who start pinning some of the most random things that aren’t even book-related. I hate to say it but I unfollow those who do that pretty quickly. That’s because I don’t have this account to find meals or DIY projects. I use it for book-related topics only. If you’re wanting to pin other things then it may be best to create two different accounts; one where you can save book-related content and the other for personal content. On that note, I have noticed that bloggers who are doing that sort of thing aren’t doing as well on Pinterest.

Pick a Niche

I know I know book blogging is technically a niche, but you also want to narrow it down a bit. I would pick two genres you love and stick with them. I say this because not every reader reads a little bit of everything. Or maybe they do but they have a couple of genres they really stick to. It’s okay to talk about other genres every once in a while but readers do have a tendency to follow you because of the books you talk about.

Create a blog name

Creating a name should be easy right? Sometimes this isn’t always the easiest thing to do. However, I suggest making a list of names and going with the one you can’t get out of your head. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it because that’s what will stand out and make others remember! Just make sure the name you choose describes what your blog is about because you want others to know what your blog is at a glance. Sometimes being vague will make it hard to gain any readers.

How to start a book blog

Where to blog at?

I’m a little biased but I really enjoy WordPress. It’s one of the more popular platforms which means there are more tutorials with them. What’s popular isn’t always what’s best though. Granted you can always transfer your blog somewhere else later on if you don’t like it. Whether this is a hobby or more serious WordPress does have a free section. If blogging is serious for you then I suggest finding a host and buying the domain name. This is because you have more freedom with the blog. That’s with how the blog is set up and being able to create your own newsletter (Yes, you should create one when you’re just starting out). Here are a few hosting to look at.

how to start a book blog

How to start a book blog for free

I know there are probably plenty of places that you can blog for free, but I’m going to talk about the ones that I have heard of. These are ones I know that other people use.

For starters there is WordPress. They have a free option you can start off with and can eventually upgrade to a paid plan or get a Webhosting. To me getting WordPress is probably the best option. There’s a little bit of a learning curve to it but because it’s so popular and widely used there are also a lot of videos and tutorials out there that can help you with that learning curve. On top of that WordPress is probably one of the easiest platforms to eventually take your blog to the next step.

There’s also Wix and Medium. I don’t know a lot about Wix but I do know that a lot of people use them. I used Medium for a little bit before starting my blog here but I didn’t really like the idea of not owning my blog and figuring I can’t do what I want with it. But that’s just me. Either of these may be perfect for you. I do have to say that one of the good things about Medium is that you can see other people’s posts without having to do much research and this can kind of give you an idea of what you want to talk about.

Another thing is using Instagram. There are tons of book bloggers who just use Instagram for their blogs. The only issue with this is that you need to be a little creative and consistent. On top of that, I’m not sure there’s a way to monetize this way but I think there’s a chance you can get sponsored posts. But this could be a good way to start and ease your way onto a blog. If this is the route you go then make sure you create a business account. It’s free and it will give you insights into your account so you can grow.

Look at other blogs

Before completely setting up your blog I suggest looking at other blogs in the book blogging community. This will give you ideas of how you want to set your own blog up.

Looking at other blogs is an awesome way to figure out how to start a book blog. This gives you the idea of how you want to set things up. What makes the blog look appealing to you? Do they discuss any type of topics you can see yourself talking about as well? Finding ideas from other blogs is one of the best ways to get inspiration. But be careful.. I say get inspiration not copy everything they do. That’s a good way to get you into trouble and makes it hard for you to get any serious followers.

Choose theme/setup

Now it’s time to choose your theme and set up your blog. Don’t get frustrated with this step because if you’re new to this there can be a bit of a learning curve. Don’t fret because there are tons of videos that can help guide you through the process. Just make sure you’re happy with it before going live.

Social Medias

One social media I really suggest having is Twitter. There’s such a huge following on there and I love it. There’s such a huge following on there and I love it. There’s also Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Facebook is really hard to grow through. Instagram and TikTok are fun but I do suggest sticking with them once you create them (if you create them). I know having a social media presence is scary but trust me the community is so nice!

Schedule

Creating a schedule for your blog is such an important thing. You need to decide how many days a week you want to post and how many discussion posts you want to post a month. This will help you stay organized and be prepared. Also figuring out when to post is super helpful.

On top of that I also use the products below. I’ve created a bullet journal because I like to be able to get creative and add things that I want to in the calenders. Using a planner helps A LOT. That’s because you can dump ideas in the note area and also write down upcoming posts. I didn’t start doing this until recently but using them helps you plan out ahead with what content you want out on certain days and allows you to plan ahead and get them done.

Write out blog posts

Before your blog goes live I suggest writing a month or two of blog posts and scheduling them. This will help you get ahead of the game and not stress about what to post. It will give you the perfect opportunity to figure out what to post next and be able to promote your work.

I can’t begin to stress this enough. There are tons of book bloggers who find themself in a rut or get to the point where they can’t really think of anything else to talk about. This is why I suggest keeping a notebook of ideas as well as staying ahead of the game.

Tailwind

Tailwind is a scheduler to Pinterest. The only reason I made this later on in the post is because this is something you shouldn’t utilize until later. If you’re wanting to use Pinterest to promote your blog then I kind of feel like Tailwind is a must otherwise you’ll be pinning all day. I suggest considering this once you have up to ten posts posted or ready to be posted.

Resources for when you start a book blog

Canva – This is where you can create graphics for your blog posts and it’s free unless you decide to upgrade.

Netgalley – Netgalley is the perfect place for getting advanced copies of books.

Edelweiss- This is another website to get advanced copies of books.

Book sirens – You can get copies of books through here as well but all of the books on here are indie and self-published authors.

Blog tours – Blog tours are the perfect thing to join in on when you’re first starting. Most of the books are going to be indie books but I have found some awesome books through tours. Don’t judge it just because they are indie books or you’ll be missing out on a lot otherwise.

If you like how to start a book blog then you might like my post on whether books reviews are relevant. You can find that here.

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