If you’re a reader, and you love to write– I have a secret for you.
Start a book blog.
And guess who has two thumbs and is ready to show you how to start one, this girl!
Seriously, you might be shaking your head and clicking off this blog post right now, but hear me out. As someone who loves both of these things (reading and writing) it’s been one of my favorite ways to spend my time.
So, let me show you how to start a book blog from scratch!
*This post contains affiliate links, this does not affect your purchase*
- What To Know Before Starting A Book Blog
- Choose Your Book Blog Niche & Focus
- Name Your Book Blog & Create A Tagline
- Buy Your Domain Name and Hosting
- Branding, Colors, Fonts … Oh My!
- Create Essential Pages on Your New Book Blog
- Come Up With a Content Plan and Schedule Your First Post
- Join Social Media Platforms
- Just Start Posting!
- How To Make Money Book Blogging With Ads & Affiliate Links
- How to Become a Book Blogger… Q&A
- If You Liked This Blog Post..
Grab This Checklist!
What To Know Before Starting A Book Blog
I have to be honest with you from the start. There are two approaches for blogging in general:
- Hobby blog
- Money-making blog
I’m not saying that you can’t make money on a hobby book blog, but what I will say is the work and time put into both are very different. The approach on topics you discuss is very different. For example, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is much more important on blog you’re trying to grow to earn an income rather than a hobby blog.
Both are amazing, but your choice in route will determine how much time you will need to invest to grow.
If you want to:
Just write for fun with no audience in mind– Hobby blog
Replace your income with that from your blog– Money-making blog
Write without thinking about SEO– Hobby blog
Choose Your Book Blog Niche & Focus
One of the first steps for starting a book blog is to pick a niche. What is your focus going to be? Will you be a general book blogger? Perhaps you’re going to focus on a specific genre?
Here are some genre-focused book bloggers to check out.
Name Your Book Blog & Create A Tagline
This part of the book blogging journey is a tough one. Well, maybe it’s not as difficult as it seems. I could just be incredibly indecisive.
But, it took me weeks to come up with my blog name and tagline.
The Novel Thief is my blog name. My tagline is “Feeling Bookish.”
My suggestion would be brainstorming a list of words you like, anything that relates to your favorite books, reading in general, etc.
When you decide on a blog name, you absolutely must ensure this name is available on all the social platforms you plan on growing alongside your blog.
It would suck to have a terrific name and find out “JaneDoeBookBlog” on Instagram and TikTok is taken by some random guy with no intention on actually using it.
Buy Your Domain Name and Hosting
Let’s talk about hosts baby, let’s talk about you and me..
Hosting! Where do I begin with this crucial blog topic? In order to run a successful blog you need to host that blog somewhere. Ideally, this would be self-hosted. A self-hosted blog means that your blog is YOUR blog, it’s the “.com” you see at the end of websites.
Hosted blogs are hosted on a software of your choice (WordPress, Wix, Squarespace). Though hosted blogs are usually more affordable, you have less control than a self-hosted blog. A self-hosted blog gives you more flexibility, security and just overall it being more of yours. Check out this article for a more in-depth discussion on the difference.
Let’s dive into some hosting options for your new book blog.
Pros: Price, easy set up
Cons: slow support, slow-ish site speed
Pros: Offers security backups, good support, easy set up
Cons: A little more pricy than Bluehost, low storage bandwidth
BigScoots < this is the host I use!
Pros: Fast, reliable support, easy to set up
Cons: Renewal prices higher, slow support, difficulties reported setting up
My Favorite Themes
Not only do you get a beautifully designed site, but an amazing Facebook group to ask all your questions.
Here are some other beautiful themes they offer:
WordPress Plugins for Beginner Book Bloggers
So, you’ve got your theme ready now it’s time to add in some plugins.
You might be asking, “Ash, what even is a plugin?”
A plugin for a website is defined as “individual services designed to extend functionality of your site.” Think about your theme and website so far as the foundations of a house. You have the bulk of it, but now you can add parts to make it more homey. Maybe a chair, or a desk.
There are so many plugins with different functions. Some plugins are for helping speed up a site, others are for security, and some are used for things like adding your instagram feed to your sidebar.
Here are some of my favorites and their functions:
Tasty Pins – for Pinterest pinning and other social functions
Grow – for social sharing
WP Rocket – for improving performance
Yoast SEO – for post and other Search Engine Optimization functions
Branding, Colors, Fonts … Oh My!
Let’s make things pretty now! Not that your new book blog wasn’t beautiful before, but she needs a little something.
This was one of my favorite parts when creating my blog, it’s also the part you’re likely going to change the most. I’ve changed my logo and brand colors dozens of times over the years. Remember, nothing is set in stone and realistically over time we change our minds on our initial blog design.
Branding Your Book Blog
When it comes to choosing colors for your book blog, you want to ensure a few things.
- Your font isn’t too small. I’d pick a font with the size of 14-18. Those who check out your blog on mobile don’t want to squint to read your amazing post!
- Your brand colors are visually appealing and people can easily see them apart. Pair dark colors with light and vice versa. Never put two super light colors on top of each other, or two super dark ones on top of one another.
One of my favorite sites to find a color palette is ColorHunt. I would recommend choosing a max of 5 colors, otherwise your blog might be quite the rainbow.
I’d also recommend diving into other book blogs to get an idea of general branding ideas. Don’t copy! But, it never hurts to get inspired by others.
Fiverr is the place to go when it comes to logo design. You definitely also have the option to just use your site name OR create a logo yourself in Canva for free.
But, for those looking to get a custom made logo design I’d highly recommend checking out Fiverr.
Create Essential Pages on Your New Book Blog
There are certain pages on your book blog you’re going to want to include as soon as possible.
For legal reasons you’re going to want to ensure you include:
- Disclaimer page
- Terms & Conditions page
For more information about your blog you may want to consider including:
- An about me page
- A FAQ page
Come Up With a Content Plan and Schedule Your First Post
This is the time when you sit down and think about how many posts you can realistically write a week. I’m talking high-quality posts that utilize SEO if needed. There’s no shame in only being able to write 1 post per month. It’s whatever you can do!
Join Social Media Platforms
One of my key tips when learning how to start a book blog isn’t even blog related. It’s about social media. You should aim to join social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest as soon as you can.
Though, it’s not the best for bringing traffic in (with the exception of Pinterest), it’s important to get your brand out there. People need to recognize who you are in order to be interested in reading what you write about.
Just Start Posting!
Just start writing, whenever you have time. Don’t wait until you have a spark of motivation. Motivation comes and goes.
Consistency is key when it comes to blogging, pick a realistic number of posts you can complete a day and just get to it!
How To Make Money Book Blogging With Ads & Affiliate Links
Now it’s time for bringing in that money. I’m going to be completely honest with you when I say being a book blogger is pretty difficult when it comes to bringing in revenue. The range most book bloggers see is about 0-500$. Others tend to do much better. But, there is no risk in trying.
You can join ad networks like Google Adsense, Monumetric, and Mediavine , but only when you reach a certain threshold for views per month. I’d say you should aim to hit about 10k views per month before even considering ads on your blog.
Affiliates are a bit different. As a book blogger, Amazon Affiliates is going to come in handy.
How to Become a Book Blogger… Q&A
Can I actually make money reading books?
Yes! You can offer authors an opportunity to be featured on your blog with reviews of their books. You can charge authors anywhere from 50-300$ for this!
Do book blogs make money?
Yes, but it takes time. Focus first on pushing out at least 100 blog posts. I’d then recommend creating an email list so you can push a potential product.
Is it better to start a blog or write a book?
Why not do both?! Who says you can’t write for your blog, and write a book. Afterall, you’d be building on your creativity and writing skills.
What should I write about on my book blog?
The topics are endless when it comes to writing on your book blog. Perhaps you want to write more book reviews? Or you’d rather give recommendations? I would suggest checking out what other book bloggers do and go from there.
How do I make my book blog successful?
In order to make your book blog successful you will need to do 3 things:
- Post on a consistent basis.
- Create an email list
- Either sell a product or service and/or put ads on your site
Does anyone read book blogs anymore?
Yes! A lot of people read book blogs to get ideas on book recommendations, tips for being a better reader and more. Though it’s not one of the most popular niches out there, you can be assured it has quite a following.
If You Liked This Blog Post..
Did you know on The Novel Thief I also give book recommendations based on some of the most popular books available now? Yup! You should check it out.
You’ve reached the end my friend! This is a step by step guide on how to create a book blog and everything I wish I knew.
I can’t wait to hear about how successful your book blog becomes!