As a book blogger of many years, I often get asked by others about how they can start a book blog. If you’ve never blogged before, or you’re looking for somewhere to start, you’ve come to the right place!
For some inspiration, check out my blog post here on Why You Should Start a Blog. Now that you’re eager to start blogging and recommending your favourite books, let’s begin! My video below also offers some practical tips and advice on starting a book blog.
Before you begin…
- You don’t need any coding, web design or graphic design experience! It does help, but it’s not mandatory.
- You also don’t need to spend any money on expensive web hosting, a unique domain name, or even fancy plugins, as there’s so many fantastic free blogging resources out there.
- All you need is the internet, a computer, a passion for books and a willingness to learn.
- Set aside some time to go through the steps below – you don’t need to complete them all in one go.
Step 1: Choose a name for your blog
The first step is deciding on what your book blog presence will be called! A great way to start is to add a keyword for what your blog is about, eg. reading, books, fantasy, writing. You don’t have to add this though, although it does help to get your creative juices flowing. What is your blog about, and why did you start it? Happy Indulgence was started as a way to share my indulgences with others, because it makes me happy!
The same name should be used across all your platforms later on, so keep that in mind. Make sure to do a Google search first on the name(s) you have chosen to see if anyone else had the same idea as you.
Step 2: Choose a platform for blogging
This is the most important step – deciding on your new home for your blog! WordPress or Blogger are great free platforms for you to get started, with many inbuilt templates which make it easy to set up your site.
Step 3: Start designing your site
Don’t get freaked out by this step – you don’t need to be a coding or web design guru! This means choosing your template within WordPress or Blogger, and starting to set it up how you want.
Most book blogs contain the following pages: About You (you don’t need to use your real name if you don’t want to), Review Policy (containing your rating scale), Blog (the main feature of your blog) and Contact Details. The key things here are to make sure your blog is easy to read, contains clear images that aren’t too blurry and are scaled to the web. Have fun and showcase your personality! And remember you can always change it later (it took 3-4 years for Happy Indulgence to get to this design).
Step 4: Plan your content for your blog
Most book blogs contain book reviews about what they thought on each book. Have you decided on a rating scale for your reviews? Most bloggers use a 1-5 rating scale, although some also use half stars (like Happy Indulgence) or a rating out of 10. Some even just use “Recommended, Not recommended, and Neutral” so it’s up to you how you want to rate your books.
Here’s an idea for some other content to get you started:
- Top 10 lists – favourite books, favourite authors, etc.
- Discussion posts – books that mean a lot to you,
- Fan art, quizzes, etc.
- Book blogging memes are a great way to get inspired, with a different topic for each month. Some of these include Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, Sunday Post.
- Book tags – search up some book tags and answer the questions on your blog! Here’s some we’ve done on Happy Indulgence.
- Monthly wrap ups to share what you’ve read each month and what you rated them.
- Anything that meets your fancy! You don’t need to just make it about books.
Step 5. Decide on your blogging schedule
Are you a planner or do you go with the flow? It can be weekly, fortnightly, once a month or whenever you feel like it, as long as it fits in with your life. Remember, you need to allow yourself time to write, create and plan out blog posts and the more you post, the more you have to keep up with. When I first started blogging, I posted 3-4 times a week but this was too much for me to keep up with.
Allowing yourself some time to prepare for posts and plan advance posts also helps! Scheduling gives you flexibility to write content in advance before you need to post it. If you find your blogging schedule isn’t working for you – like everything else with the blog – you can change it up later.
Step 6. Write your first post
This is your introduction to the book blogging world! Share a bit about yourself, how you became a reader, and why you started the blog. Also a good idea to post what genres you like to read, your favourite books and any other posts people can expect to see.
Step 7. Connect your social media accounts
Once you have your blog up and running, it’s time to tell the world! It’s always a good idea to share your blog across social media channels to boost your traffic and to connect with other bloggers.
It depends on you which social media you want to share your posts on, but Twitter is an easy one to start off with as your posts can be automatically shared on there through WordPress. Goodreads is also a fantastic one to add your blog URL to, as it is already a community of avid bookworms who love to discover new reads!
Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr are also some other platforms you can use and reshare your posts, although the use of each of these are slightly different.
Step 8. Follow other book bloggers
Now comes the fun part, discovering the exciting world of other book bloggers! Whether you’ve already been getting your bookish fix off other book bloggers, or it’s your first time venturing out into the bookish community, there are many of us out there to be discovered.
Need somewhere to start? Here are some of my favourite book blogs:
Some final tips and advice
- Relax and have fun with your book blog! That’s the key thing to remember with your foray into the blogging world – sometimes it can get overwhelming, but having fun is the key.
- Don’t be afraid to share your honest opinion about books, after all, that’s what book reviewing is all about! Remember, don’t tag authors in negative reviews however as some of them do read them.
- Interact with other bloggers and have fun! This is the funnest part about blogging for me, commenting on other posts and following each other on social media. You get what you put into blogging, and joining the community of passionate bookworms is the best.
- Don’t stress too much about your blogging stats – you’re doing this for you! Your readers and subscribers will grow as your blog does.
- No one else has the same voice you do, so don’t stress too much about not being unique.
Have you started a book blog? What are your tips for beginners?