Have you ever read a book and felt like you just had to discuss the book ? To vent out all the grievances that the book put you through ? Congrats ! You’re on the first step to becoming a book blogger .
I remember googling ‘ how to start a book blog ‘ and feeling lost when the results showed me only how to create a blog . So , here’s my try at getting all the information you might need together .
Setting Up The Blog
1. The Blog Name
This is the most important part of creating your blog . The name you settle for represents your blog and once you get established as a book blogger , it can be very hard to change it . So I just you to think up a few names and then choosing one from them . And it is also wise to google the name , to make sure you’re not going to use a very common name .
2.The Blog Platform
That’s a little hard to choose , I know . Here are a few good options for you , if you don’t know them already :
To be honest , I think there are pros and cons to every platform . For example , wordpress is the most easy one to learn but weebly is more beautiful than wordpress . It doesn’t really matter much which one you go with , as long as you feel comfortable with the layout and customizations .
Free Vs Paid : Decide whether you want to get a paid website or a free one , this will narrow down the web platforms you might want to use .
3. Create that Blog
Go ahead and click the ‘create blog’ button on your chosen platform . After the initial steps and choosing URL , you will have to design your blog the way you want it . I recommend just playing around with the icons and ‘getting to know your blog’ .
Once you’re sure your blog looks decent , click the publish blog button and you’re a blogger !
Don’t : Become obsessed with making it look too pretty . Publish your blog once it is decent looking , you could change the designs later .
After Setting Up
1.Pages For Your Blog
While you could whatever pages you want to your blog , these are the pages you should really think about adding to your list
- About Page
- Contact Page
- Review Policy
- Review Index
In the review policies , add details such as
- What are the genres that you prefer / would be accepting ?
- Will you post negative reviews ?
- Will you post to other social media and online sellers ?
Here is a sample review polic for you to check .
2. Blog Content
Now you have a pretty blog that will make people linger on your blog for a while , but without quality content , your blog will not get anywhere .
Your first post could be a tidy introduction post about why you joined the blogging world. After that , you could post pretty much anything you want . Here’s a few blog ideas :
- Your To- be – Read
- Book Reviews
- Your Favourite Books and Why
I started the tag Why The Book People Hate Me . Please consider yourself tagged ! I’d love to read your posts !
Note : You can skip the others posts if you’re aiming primarily to review books , although that is quite rare around the book blogs these days . That would make your blog your review journal , which is also equally amazing .
Schedule : How many days per week are you going to be posting ? Or are you going for once a month ? Think about if your blog will be taking too much time out of your personal life and plan accordingly , to avoid the blogger burnout .
3. Your Side Bar
Your side bar should be a quick look around your blog . Make it look tidy and clean and add the important details at the top of your sidebar . You might want to add :
- An Author Bio ( keep it short )
- A Search Bar
- List of Popular Posts on Your Blog
- Follow Blog Button
Avoid Adding :
- Your Recent Tweets
- Full Reviews from Goodreads
- A Calendar
- Tag and Category Cloud
- Monthly Archives
4. The Post Images
You might want to make your posts more prettier and readable with pictures inserted here and there . They are completely worth it because they will keep your reader reading to the end of the post and maybe interact . But make sure that you
- Don’t use copyrighted pictures without permission
- Don’t clutter your post with so many images that it takes forever to load
Use blog titles and banners that suit the theme of your blog . Example : If your blog is colorful , maintain that cheer and colors in your images .
Online Editors :
These are a few free editors where you can make your banners , blog headers , etc .
5. Develop Your Socializing skills
In all honesty , your blogging is getting nowhere if you don’t socialize and I don’t mean the social media alone . The first step is to follow other blogs and comment and do some real interactions . Don’t do it for the sake of followers . Do it because you came here to socialize , to find humans that actually understand the crazy book addiction and you’ll get along just fine .
Read other blogs : Check out what the other bloggers are doing and trust me , you will learn a lot about blogging doing this .
Join Social Media : Almost all book bloggers are also highly active on the social medias because that is where the most interesting interactions occur . If you choose not to join them , it is fine .
I recommend Twitter as the most interative space for book bloggers, so you might want to check that out . You might also want to check out Instagram but I don’t think it is going to be useful for your blog stats .
6. Learn SEO Details
SEO skills is essential if you want to drive more traffic to your blog with google’s help . Here are a few things you need to know
- Learn to Resize Your Images
- Keep Updating Old Content
- Cross Link to Your Other Posts
- Add Alternative Text To Your Images
Add keywords that people would search on the google .
7. Write a Few Evergreen Posts
Ask any book blogger and they will tell you they have atleast one post of theirs that is getting very high attention from the google . You need to keep thinking up good ideas until you have atleast a few evergreens .
They might be a :
- How to Post
- Blogging Tip
- Some Other Discussion Post
There might be other types of posts that might get a lot of fews , but it is worthy to note that reviews don’t generate a lot of views .
8. Join Book Blogger Lists :
Joining blogger lists might boost up your stats to a certain level , so it worth checking them out . But beware , a lot of authors use these lists to find book bloggers , so you’ll end uo getiing a lot of review requests .
For getting started out , you can join the Blogger List that I’m building over at B & R .
9 . Join Book Tours
This is for when you are not really getting ideas for new posts . You just join a few tours , wait for the host to send you the material and post them .
Note : For some tours , you might be required create your own content .
Here is a list of Book Tour Companies that you could join .
10 . Obtaining ARCS and Review Copies :
Once you have established yourself as a book blogger , you can go ahead and request review copies . Along the way , you must have had authors offering their books to you , so you probably already have an idea about what is expected of you .
You can read my detailed post about getting review copies
11 . Spam Comments
Always keep trak of the spam comments and be careful what you aprrove of . I’ve seen a lot of bloggers who aprrove comments without checking and it just looks awakward , to put it bluntly . Imagine reading a wonderful blog post and then looking down to see an unintelligeable comment which makes you wonder why it got approved .
And there is always the possibility that a non-spam comment got checked out by wordpress spam filter and you didn’t notice .
Useful Extras :
That’s it for now , since the post is getting too long . I will be adding more to this topic in other posts . Was it useful ? Let me know in the comments below !
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