W ondering how to start a book blog? Wonder no more! In this article, we’ll show you how to create a successful book blog and make money from your love of reading.
If you want to share your book recommendations and reviews with the world, starting a blog is the perfect way to do it.
With the right strategies, you can even earn money from your book blog. And what’s better than making money from your favorite hobby?
In this article, we’ll show you how to start a book blog, step-by-step. Plus, we’ll share some tips that will help you grow your blog and make money online.
Let’s dive in, book lovers!
In This Guide:
- Step 1: Consider Picking a Book Blogging Niche
- Step 2: Choose a Blog Name
- Step 3: Use the Right Blogging Platform
- Step 4: Set up a WordPress Blog
- Step 5: Design Your Book Blog
- Step 6: Install Essential WordPress Plugins
- Step 7: Create Content for Your Blog
- Step 8: Promote Your Book Blog
- Step 9: Monetize Your Blog
But first, let’s go over what a book blog is…
What is Book Blogging?
Book blogging is when you create a blog for the specific purpose of sharing book recommendations, writing book reviews, and providing other book-related content to your audience.
Book blogs are also useful for promoting new books on the market and generating sales for them.
To give you a better idea, here are a couple of book blog examples:
Book Riot is a well-known book blog that publishes book lists, daily book deals, and other bookish content. There’s also a podcast on the blog where you can listen to the latest book news.
Novel Novice is another example of a book blog. This blog mainly writes book reviews but it also publishes interviews with authors.
Now that you know what a book blog is, let’s go over how to start a book blog of your own.
Step 1: Consider Picking a Book Blogging Niche
Before you build your book blog, you need to decide exactly what you’re going to write about.
There’s nothing wrong with creating a book blog that covers all types of books. If you want, you can write book reviews and recommendations on all genres like historical fiction, romance, fantasy, horror, and so on. In fact, some of the most popular book blogs do this.
But, you might also consider narrowing down your blog niche into something more specific. This will help you stand out from the competition and make it easier to attract a loyal audience of readers.
For example, popular book blogger and influencer, Crime by the Book, focuses only on crime fiction. She’s known for her short, quick reviews.
And the blog, Happily Ever Elephants, writes book lists and recommendations specifically for children aged 0-12.
You can also narrow down your niche to genres and topics like:
- Classic Literature
- YA (Young Adult)
- Cozy Mysteries
- Comic Books
Thinking about what type of books you like to read will help you decide which niche to go with.
If you read a wide variety of genres, you can cover all of them on your blog. But, if you mainly read romance, stick to that.
After all, you want to be passionate about what you’re writing about. Don’t force yourself to read and write reviews on classic literature if you struggle to get through Pride & Prejudice.
Step 2: Choose a Blog Name
Once you know what your book blog is going to be about, you need to choose a name for it. It’s important to pick an attention-grabbing blog name because it’s often the first thing people see when they discover you online.
Your blog name should also help people understand what your blog is about. For example, if your blog name is “Ashley’s Life” that doesn’t tell people that your content is about books. A name like “Ashley Reads” makes more sense.
Here are some popular book blog names to inspire you:
- Thrifty Bibliophile
- Modern Mrs. Darcy
- One Little Library
- Epic Reads
- Paper Fury
Hopefully, these blog names will spark your creativity and help you come up with an amazing name of your own.
If you need more help, you can also use Blog Tyrant’s free domain name generator:
Simply type 1 or 2 bookish keyword ideas into the generator and it will instantly display a ton of blog name ideas you can use.
Step 3: Use the Right Blogging Platform
Now that you’ve decided on your niche and a blog name, it’s time to start building your blog. The first step is to choose a blogging platform.
A lot of new book bloggers choose free blogging platforms like Tumblr, Wix, and WordPress.com to save money. But, at Blog Tyrant, we don’t recommend doing this if you want to create a successful blog.
Here are the disadvantages of using a free blogging platform:
- Unprofessional Domain – With a free platform, you don’t get your own professional domain name. Your domain name would be something like BookBlog.Wix.com instead of BookBlog.com.
- Limited Control – Free platforms don’t offer many customization options. You won’t be able to design your blog exactly the way you want or add specific features you need.
- Lack of Ownership – When you use a free platform, you don’t actually own your blog. It can be removed by the company anytime if your content goes against guidelines.
- No Monetization – Most free platforms don’t offer monetization methods, which means you can’t make money from your blog.
Because of the reasons above, we recommend starting your blog with WordPress.org.
WordPress.org is the most popular blogging platform in the world. It gives you complete ownership of your site, endless customization options, and you can monetize your blog in any way you want.
Plus, WordPress.org is free—all you need to pay for is web hosting and a domain name!
We’ll go over those in the next section…
Step 4: Set up a WordPress Blog
Like we mentioned earlier, to set up a professional blog with WordPress.org, all you need to pay for is web hosting and a domain name.
Web hosting is an online service that stores your website files and lets you publish your site on the internet. And a domain name is the web address that users will type in browsers to reach your site, like www.blogtyrant.com, for example.
Bluehost is the best web hosting service on the market. In fact, it’s officially recommended by WordPress.org. Plus, it’s affordable.
Blog Tyrant readers get a special discount of 60% off with Bluehost, which comes with a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and more!
We have partnered up with Bluehost to get 60% off for our readers! You also get to register a FREE domain for a year which normally costs around $14.99 per year.Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer
With Bluehost, you get everything you need to start a successful book blog. It’s also reliable, easy-to-use, and comes with 1-click WordPress installation.
Even if you’ve never created a website before, you can easily set one up with WordPress and Bluehost today.
Getting Started with Bluehost
First, click on the exclusive Bluehost offer link above. Once you’re there, click the Get Started button, as shown in the screenshot below:
On the next page, you’ll be asked to choose a pricing plan. Choose the best pricing plan for your needs and continue.
The next step is entering your domain name, which should be the blog name you came up with in Step #2. Type your domain name in the box under the Create a new domain and click Next.
You can also click on I’ll create a domain name later if you haven’t picked one yet.
Now you need to enter your account information and pick your account plan. The 36-month account plan will give you the best value.
Once you’ve completed the payment, you’ll get an email with your login details.
After logging into your Bluehost account, go to the My Sites tab. Click Log into WordPress and enter your login information.
When you’re logged in, click on Create Site.
This will launch Bluehost’s WordPress installation wizard. All you have to do is follow the simple steps to set up your site.
If you want step-by-step instructions, check out our guide on how to install WordPress on Bluehost.
Now that you’ve got the basics of your WordPress blog set up, it’s time to make it look amazing!
Step 5: Design Your Book Blog
The best part about using WordPress.org for your blog is that you get access to thousands of free and paid WordPress themes.
WordPress themes will give your blog a professional look in an instant. And an eye-catching blog design is important to grab the attention of visitors and make them want to stick around and check out your content.
When choosing a WordPress theme for your blog, here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Simplicity – Pick a simple WordPress theme that puts the focus on your content. A busy, cluttered design will only distract your readers.
- Responsive – Make sure to pick a responsive theme so that your blog looks good on both desktop and mobile devices.
- Reviews – A theme might look great at first glance, but if the reviews aren’t good, it may be poorly designed.
At Blog Tyrant, we recommend Astra. It’s a multi-purpose theme that comes with 100s of starter websites you can import with 1-click.
Astra comes with lots of customization options so you can choose the layout, headers, colors, typography, and much more. It’s also compatible with all popular page builders so you can easily create a custom blog design.
OceanWP is another WordPress theme that’s perfect for book bloggers. And it’s free!
OceanWP comes with dozens of website templates to get you started quickly and there are extensions (free and premium) to add extra features to your blog.
For more theme recommendations, check out our list of the best WordPress themes for blogs.
If you’re new to WordPress and don’t know how to install a WordPress theme, don’t worry, it’s easy.
Check out this tutorial on how to install a WordPress theme for step-by-step instructions.
Step 6: Install Essential WordPress Plugins
Now it’s time to add some important features to your book blog using WordPress plugins.
There are over 59,429+ free plugins available in the official WordPress Plugin Repository and even more premium plugins available online.
You can pick and choose which plugins you need to make your book blog more powerful and help it perform better.
Here are the plugins we recommend:
1. WPForms Lite
Every blog needs a contact form. This will help your website visitors easily keep in touch with you. And as a book blogger, you may have authors reaching out to you to review their books as well.
WPForms is the best form builder plugin on the market. You can use the drag and drop builder and ready-made templates to create a contact form in minutes. You can also use WPForms to create newsletter signup forms, registration forms, surveys, and more.
All in One SEO (AIOSEO) will help you optimize your blog for search engines in less than 10 minutes so that you can get more traffic. It comes with features like an SEO setup wizard, on-page SEO optimization, a headline analyzer, unlimited keywords, and more.
The smart schema markup feature can even help you get your book ratings displayed in Google rich snippets like this:
With your blog ratings displayed next to Goodreads and Barnes & Noble, you can get a ton of clicks and traffic.
You can use the free version of AIOSEO to optimize your blog, but to get more powerful SEO features, you need to upgrade to the Pro version.
MonsterInsights will help you set up Google Analytics in WordPress. This makes it easy to monitor your website traffic and find out which blog posts are performing best, right from your WordPress dashboard.
Keeping track of these stats will help you boost traffic and learn what content your audience likes best.
If your blog is slow, people won’t stick around and wait for it to load—they’ll leave. That’s why you need a plugin like WP Super Cache. This plugin will speed up your blog and optimize it for a better user experience.
You also need a security plugin to keep your blog safe from hackers and other threats. After all, you’re going to put a lot of work into your blog, so you need to protect it.
Sucuri will regularly scan your site for threats and quickly fix issues as needed.
These are just a few essential plugins you should start out with. But, like we mentioned, there are a ton more you can use to add extra features to your blog.
Check out our list of the best WordPress plugins for more.
Need help installing a plugin? Read our tutorial on how to install a WordPress plugin for instructions.
Step 7: Create Content for Your Blog
Once your blog is all set up with a WordPress theme and plugins, it’s time to add the content.
Then, it’s time to start writing your first blog posts.
Start brainstorming a list of blog post ideas you can write about on your book blog.
Here are a few bookish content ideas you can steal:
- A list of your favorite books of all time
- Your favorite book characters
- Reading challenge updates
- Author interviews
- Best book to film adaptations
- Monthly TBR (to-be-read) lists
- Book hauls
- Upcoming book releases
And of course, you can’t forget about book reviews. Book reviews are one of the most popular types of content for book bloggers.
If you’ve never written one before, you might be wondering: What should be in a blog book review?
Most book reviews include:
- A Synopsis – A brief summary of what the book is about.
- Your Thoughts – Write about what you liked about the book or didn’t like. You can include specific elements like the pacing, story, characters, etc.
- Rating – Give the book a rating out of 5. For example, 4 / 5 stars.
For more tips, check out our post on how to write the perfect blog post.
Step 8: Promote Your Book Blog
Okay, now your blog is live and you’ve published some blog posts. Amazing!
The only problem is that no one is visiting your site or reading your awesome content.
Well, that’s because you haven’t promoted it yet. Instead of sitting around and waiting for people to discover you, you need to let people know your blog exists. And the more you promote your blog, the more readers you’ll attract.
Here are some easy ways to promote your book blog:
Goodreads is one of the most popular websites for book lovers. You can use Goodreads to keep track of the books you read, get book recommendations, and connect with other readers.
You can also leave book reviews, which makes for a good way to promote your book blog.
In the example above, the blogger has linked to her website at the beginning of her review to encourage Goodreads users to read more of her content.
Share on Instagram
Instagram is another popular social media platform for book bloggers. On this platform, you can share beautiful photos of your latest reads and include hashtags like #Bookstagram and #BookBlogger to attract your target audience.
Don’t forget to add a link to your blog in your Instagram bio to drive more traffic to your site.
And if you want to grow your social media following faster, try embedding your gorgeous Instagram feed right on your blog. This will introduce your website visitors to your account and encourage them to follow.
Here’s how the blog Literary Quicksand does it:
You can easily add an Instagram feed like this to your blog using Smash Balloon. It’s the best social media feed plugin for WordPress.
Smash Balloon’s Instagram Feed Pro is super simple to set up and it’s fully customizable. You can display multiple feeds on your site without limitations, design the feed to match your brand, display likes and comments, and much more. You can also test out the lite version for free.
Check out our tutorial on how to embed an Instagram feed in WordPress for step-by-step instructions.
Build an Email List
Creating an email list is another effective way to promote your latest blog posts and drive more traffic to your blog.
With direct, personal communication through email, you can create a loyal fan base that will always read your content, share it online, and eventually buy from you once you monetize your blog.
But, how do you get email subscribers?
You can use a tool like OptinMonster. With OptinMonster, you can create eye-catching email optin forms, like the one below, to turn visitors into subscribers.
OptinMonster comes with a drag and drop builder and tons of templates to get you started quickly. You can choose from campaign types like lightbox popups, slide-in scroll boxes, floating bars, and more.
Check out our detailed OptinMonster review for more information.
Run a Giveaway
Running a giveaway can also be a fun way to promote your blog and drive more traffic to your site. And with the right tool, a giveaway can also help you grow your email list, boost your social media following, and more.
We recommend using RafflePress to run a giveaway on your WordPress blog.
RafflePress is the best giveaway plugin for WordPress. It comes with a drag and drop builder that makes it easy to create giveaway campaigns and the pre-made viral giveaway templates are designed to help you meet your goals.
The best part about RafflePress is its bonus giveaway actions. These reward participants with extra entries for performing certain tasks like:
- Referring a friend
- Joining an email newsletter
- Visiting a page
- Following you on Pinterest
- And much more
With a giveaway plugin like RafflePress, you can skyrocket your blog’s growth.
Take a look at this list for more blog promotion ideas.
Step 9: Monetize Your Blog
Once you’ve started getting a good amount of traffic, you’ll want to look for ways to monetize your blog.
So, we’ll share a few ways that book bloggers can make money online.
With Google Adsense, you can display relevant ads on your blog. Every time someone clicks on an ad, you make some money.
Here’s a tutorial on how to add Google Adsense to your WordPress blog.
But, with this strategy, your blog has to have a decent traffic base in order to bring in a lot of ad revenue.
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways for beginners to make money online. You don’t need a ton of traffic to generate revenue, all you need is some loyal readers.
Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product online using your unique referral link. Whenever someone clicks on your link and buys the product, you earn a commission.
All you need to do to get started is sign up for an affiliate network.
Amazon Associates is a great affiliate network for book bloggers since a lot of books are sold there.
In the example above, The Uncorked Librarian created a recommendation list on her blog site using Amazon’s Native Shopping Ads. You can make an affiliate ad section on your site like this and customize it to match your content.
Writing Sponsored Content
You can also make money online by writing sponsored posts. This is when someone pays you to write a blog post or a review about their product/service.
In the book blogging world, authors and publishers often send free books to bloggers in exchange for a review. But sometimes, they might pay you to write a review as well.
Read our guide on how to get sponsored posts for more information.
If you’re an author yourself, you can also earn income by selling ebooks right from your WordPress blog.
To do that, we recommend using Easy Digital Downloads.
Easy Digital Downloads is the best plugin for selling digital products like ebooks, PDF files, and more, in WordPress. It’s simple to set up and comes with features like:
- Full shopping cart system
- Integrations with payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and more
- Unlimited file downloads
- Custom discount codes
- And more
If you’re interested in creating your own ebooks, then have a look at our guide on how to create a PDF ebook.
Congratulations! Now that you know how to start a book blog, you can share your love of reading with the world. And make money from it too!
If you enjoyed this post, then you might also like our post on 101 blogging tips. It shares even more helpful hacks for creating a successful blog.
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