Six Easy Steps to Starting a Book Blog

A book blog is a great way to share your love for books with others. Let me tell you, if you are worried about starting a bookblog but don’t know where to start, it is very easy to do. You can actually launch your blog today by following just six steps.

Since almost a decade, I have been a blogger as well as a consultant in blogging business growth. It’s because of this that I know the most important decision you will make regarding which blogging platform you use. I recommend a self-hosted WordPress website for book bloggers, especially those who are looking to make money. Bluehost offers secure hosting solutions. Bluehost is a great option for bloggers. You can even start your blog as low as $2.95 per monthly.

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1. Choose Your Book Blog Niche & Establish Blogging Goals

First, you need to decide what type of book blog you want to start. It is also important to identify your top blogging goals.

The Most Popular Types Of Book Blogs

There are many types of book blogs available on the internet. Three categories are the most popular: book review blogs and book club blogs. Blog-a-book blogs are also very popular. You can also have book blogs that include all three categories of books on one blog.

Book Review Blogs

Book reviews are the most popular type of book blog. Book reviews can be either brief or detailed reviews of books in a specific genre, or they may focus on a single topic. Book review bloggers tend to target a particular audience, such as book club leaders or classic literature enthusiasts, parents, and children.

John Pistelli’s book blog focuses mainly on classic literature and features book reviews and recommended reading lists. (Source: johnpistelli.com)

You must do your research before you choose your niche to be a successful blogger. Look at the work of other book bloggers. You can see their social media channels to see how many people they have. To confirm that there are many books available in your chosen genre, you can check out online book-selling websites. You can ensure that your niche is a suitable one for your blog by doing your research beforehand.

These are some popular book review blogs that you might like to visit for inspiration.

  • Snazzy books : This website reviews books in contemporary crime, romance, and non-fiction genres.
  • The Literary Sofa Isabel Ocsteller reviews contemporary fiction on this blog. Her original work is also posted.
  • My Chestnut Reading Tree : Although this blogger is primarily focused on crime and psychological thrillers, he will occasionally write about other genres such as horror and sci-fi.
  • I’m All Booked up The Bloggers Christy & Clair review and recommend young adult books via this blog. A monthly book club is also hosted by them.
  • Shelly’s Book Corner This book review blog provides reviews of nearly every genre of book. You will also find interviews with authors and announcements about new books.

Shelly’s Book Corner is a great example of a book blog that covers many genres.
(Source: shellysbookcorner.com)

You don’t need to worry if you are thinking about starting a book blog, but you are concerned that you won’t be able to spend enough time reading and writing reviews. Book reviews can be accepted from guest bloggers. This is how book review blogs keep their content fresh.

Book Club Blogs

Book bloggers can create virtual communities through the creation of online book clubs. Others organize online communities and coordinate meetings in person through club chapters.

  • Modern Mrs. Darcy Anne Bogel manages this blog as well as the podcast “What Should I Read”. MMD Blog hosts the MMD Book Club, which costs $12 per month. Members can participate in book club discussions as well as have access to past author chats and MMD classes.
  • Nerdy book club: The online book club features a variety of review posts and its over 25,000 members are housed on the Facebook page.
  • Silent Book Club – This blog is for people who want to start their own Silent Book Club in their local communities. There are over 240 chapters worldwide. Interviews, book reviews and events are all part of the blog. You can also shop online for branded merchandise and other books-lovers products.

The Silent Book Club blog hosts a Facebook community that connects readers around the globe. Source: facebook.com

Blog-A-Book Blogs

Some writers launch books via blogs. They usually post one chapter per day to keep their readers interested. Andy Weir is perhaps the most well-known example. He wrote “The Martian”, which was a blockbuster movie with Matt Damon as its star.

Weir initially blogged his book, but he didn’t intend to publish it in book format. A number of Weir’s blog followers requested a book. In 2011, the new author created a Kindle Direct Publishing ebook and sold it for 99c. Crown Publishing published Weir’s book in 2014, making it a bestseller.

Andy Weir’s bestselling book, “The Martian,” was first released chapter-by-chapter on his personal blog. (Source: csmonitor.com)

Establish Your Blogging Goals

Although there are many reasons why people create a blog about books, the primary goal for most is to make money. You need to first ask yourself this question: Are you just starting a blog for fun or do you want to make a living blogging? Your answer to this question will determine how you proceed if you want to create a profitable blog. (We’ll get to that in step three, when we talk about choosing a platform for blogging).

What are your reasons for starting a blog, other than making money blogging? What are you hoping to achieve? These questions will help you create a blog that is focused on clearly defined goals.

2. Name Your Book Blog & Choose Your Domain

Books blogs are known for their creative names. This is likely because book bloggers love words, and they enjoy using them in a playful way. Puns and using the blogger’s name as the blog name is a common practice. Bloggers who focus on a particular genre tend to give credit to it in their titles. Crime Reads is a blog that focuses on crime thrillers and mysteries.

When choosing a name to your book blog, my top tips are to be memorable and keep it short. I recommend keeping it around 18 characters. Below are some ideas to get you started when you start thinking about a name for your book blog.

Names of popular book blogs
A Life in Books From the First Page to the Last 49th Shelf
Bookz Hooked Crime Reads Emma Reads (Too Much)
Another Book in the Wall Caffeinated Book Reviewer Rose City Reader
Lit Buzz The Perpetual Page Turner The Book Wheel
Feed your Fiction Addiction Birdie Bookworm A Good Book is a Good Book.
Beth’s Book Nook Blog Kids Lit Book Cafe Booked on a Feeling

Select Your Domain

You should ensure that your domain is available when you name your blog. To check if the blog name that you are interested in is available, use the Bluehost domain checking tool below.

3. Choose a Blogging Platform

There are several options available when choosing a blogging platform. Your plan to monetize the blog will determine which platform is best for you.

A free blogging platform such as Wix and Blogger.com is a good choice if you are starting a book blog for fun, but not intending to make money from it. There are so many limitations on these platforms in terms of blog design and monetization that I wouldn’t recommend it if you want to make money with your book blog.

Bloggers who wish to make money from their book blogs must choose a platform that is built for monetization. A self-hosted WordPress blog is my favorite blogging platform, and it happens to be the most used by bloggers.

A glimpse at what the intuitive WordPress dashboard looks like
(Source: bluehost.com)

WordPress is available for free. However, you will need to have a reliable and safe hosting provider. Bluehost is a trusted hosting provider that’s known for its reliability, security, and accessibility. Bluehost allows you to start a self-hosted WordPress blog for as low as $2.95 per monthly

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Each platform offers its own set of instructions for setting up a blog. Many sites allow you to choose a theme for your blog. This is a guideline that helps you create a beautiful blog, even if it’s not something you are familiar with. You can choose from thousands of themes if you have a WordPress blog hosted on your own server. While some themes are free and others cost $19-200, many of the premium themes have exceptional design features that may be worth the extra expense.

After you have set up your blog platform, it is time to begin writing. For most book bloggers, this is where the real fun begins.

4. Start Blogging

It is easy to write content for a blog about books. You will need to make a lot more decisions about what topics you write about depending on the book niche. If your blog is focused on books for young adults and children, then you won’t be posting about horror stories.

You don’t have to stick with one format for your blog posts. Many book bloggers love to mix and match their posts using different formats.

These are some of the most popular post formats for book blogs:

  • Book reviews The depth and breadth of book bloggers’ book reviews varies. Reviews can be very short or very long. To find out which one your audience prefers, test both.

 

Tip –Keep your book reviews brief and not reveal any information that could spoil the experience of someone who hasn’t yet read the book. You can include spoilers in your book reviews, but you should warn readers so they can decide if they want to continue reading.

 

  • Character profiles A book review doesn’t have to be about the entire book. You can simply write about one character in a book and explain why they are important.
  • Book announcements – Keep your audience informed by publishing blog posts about new and soon-to be-published books.
  • Interviews and author profiles: Readers love learning more about authors. You can write author profile posts and include author interviews on your blog.
  • Blog posts about books you have written: To generate interest in books you have published, you can write about them on your blog.
  • Book club insights Create blog posts that highlight highlights from book club discussions.
  • Book Recommendations:Book lovers always want to find the best book. Most popular book lists focus on one genre or subject.

Example of a “recommended reading list” blog post
(Source: believeandcreate.com)

It is important to create content that your audience enjoys. This is key to success in blogging. To find the best content for your audience, you may have to try different formats, blog topics, and post lengths.

5. Monetize Your Book Blog

There are many ways book bloggers can make money. Bloggers often post ads to their websites by joining the top ad networks such as MediaVine or Google AdSense. For a small fee, some blogs offer monthly book clubs. Booksellers can also make money selling their books, whether they are traditionally published or self-published.

The Caffeinated Reviewer blog participates in several affiliate programs, including the Amazon Associates program. (Source: posted affiliate ads on caffeinatedbookreviewer.com)

Affiliate marketing, which is the act of promoting other people’s products or services in return for a fee, is another popular strategy that book bloggers use to make their money. You can make it simple for readers to purchase a book by linking to an affiliate link when you review or recommend a book. Amazon Associates Affiliate Program pays a 4.5% commission on all books purchased through the platform.

I am an Amazon Associates member and frequently recommend books on my blog. Although I earn only a 4.5% commission for book sales, I can earn a fee for any other purchases. For example, if a person who clicks on my affiliate link to a book recommendation–whether they buy the book or not–buys anything on Amazon in the next 24 hours, I receive an affiliate commission on whatever they buy (and commissions range from 1% to 10% on other products on the Amazon site).

Amazon is so well-known, it’s easy to get a lot of people to your book blog by charging you commission fees. Although you may not be able to make a lot of money through the Amazon Associates Program it is one of the best ways to generate passive income.

When you join the Amazon Associates affiliate program, you can add links to books and book images and make money if your readers buy the books you recommend.

6. 6.Build an audience for your book blog

This step assumes you have a working live blog. But you’re wrong. Book bloggers make the biggest mistake of thinking that readers will flock to their blogs. But that is not how blogging works. Now, your job is to find readers for your book blog. This can be done in two ways: through search engine optimization (SEO), and through blog promotion.

Use SEO to drive traffic to your book blog

Search engine optimization refers to making your blog visible on search engines such as Google. Your ideal audience should be able to find your blog by searching for the content that you have on your book blog.

The higher your rank on Google the more traffic you will drive to your book blog. SEO includes keyword research, getting other people to link to you, and writing blog posts Google considers superior to all others.

Promote Your Blog to Drive Traffic

There are many ways to get positive attention for your blog. Social media is a popular way for book bloggers to promote their blogs. Paid ads and email marketing are also options to promote your book blog. Blog outreach is another way to create an engaged and enthusiastic audience for your blog. This is where influencers and other large audiences reach out to you to increase awareness and build interest in your book blog.

Example of a book blog (Alexa Loves Books) that has an active social following on Instagram
(Source: Instagram.com)

Bottom line

There’s no better time than now to create a blog for book bloggers. It takes just six steps to get your blog online. Depending on what type of blog you have, it can be up and running within a matter of hours. Once your blog is up and running, you can simply create blog posts that are great and then promote it to the right audience.