How to Start a Book Blog
A Step by Step Dummy Proof Guide

poetry blog

For the first time here on this website, I feel the need to clarify/explain what kind of blog I am referring to…

When I use the term “book blog”, now and henceforth, at the back of my mind, I am thinking of a blog dedicated to books and only books. That said, I would wish to clarify that you can use the information in this guide on any genre of blog you find necessary.

Book blogging is a vast niche. You may opt to write book reviews, promote specific books or discuss and share books with your visitors. The decision on what you want to do on your book blog is entirely up to you. However, if you are going to blog about books, it is the best it can get. You are talking to readers- I mean people who derive fun from reading books.

Writing a book blog calls for a certain level of professionalism. You can’t afford to make mistakes. But lucky for you, you have me. I will guide you on how to create the perfect book blog. I have divided this guide into two, a three step text guide and a video guide. And without any other further ado,

How to start your own Book Blog in 3 Simple Steps

This guide is for us all. Regardless of whether you are tech-savvy or just a mere internet user with no coding knowledge, this guide got you covered. Thirty minutes from now, you will be the proud owner of a book blog. You don’t believe it? Try me.

1. Choose and Buy Your Domain – A domain or URL is the name and address to your blog site. Your visitors will need to enter your domain name in their web browser in order to access your blog site. This in mind, you should keep the name as short and most memorable as possible. A simple domain ideally has a “.com” or “.net” prefix.

You can buy a domain or get one for free by simply signing up for BlueHost hosting package. What is BlueHost? What is a Hosting package? Keep calm and wait for the next step.

2. Sign Up for Hosting – A host is remote server (fast computer with massive storage space) that stores all your blog content including pictures and text. A good ensures that your visitors can access your website quickly when they need it. I don’t need to stress the importance of having a good hosting provider. I always recommend Bluehost for hosting because:

a. It is so easy to use.

b. Signing up takes just moments, and they let you register your domain on their site as well.

c. If you purchase a hosting package, you get a free domain!

d. Their service is also very affordable so you don’t need to invest much at all to get your book blog started.

e. They offer excellent 24/7 customer support if needed.

[Disclosure] BlueHost gives me a small commission for my referral and it doesn’t add anything to your cost. This helps me continue to provide lots of free information for bloggers.

3. Install WordPress
Now, you are just a step away to having your blog site. The next and most important step is to install WordPress. WordPress is the engine that will run your website it will determine how your website looks, the user experience and the content you will have on your website. The theme and colouring layout will all depend on WordPress. I will tell you more about WordPress later, but for now, you’ll need to install it in your BlueHost control panel. With just one click, you’ll have WordPress on your BlueHost…

If you need a visual step by step guide to creating your own book blog, I’ve created a simple video that will walk you through each of these steps so you can see how it is done yourself. Watch this video, and then follow the link, which will bring you to BlueHost where you can purchase your domain and hosting.

Tips for the Book Blogger

I hope you’ve not served the champagne yet. Having a blog is one thing. Having a good blog is another thing. I want you to have a good blog and that’s why I have compiled a few tips and tricks that will ensure you have a killer blog. Please read through carefully…

  • Social networks are your friends – Social networks are the best and most successful way of promoting a new blog. Get on your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram etc. and tell your friends all about your blog. Start a Hashtags and social media book clubs and always mention your blog on your social accounts.
  • Be a grammar Perfectionist – If you will be running a book club, your visitors will most likely be grammar experts. You can’t afford to make grammar mistakes. For all that it is worth, know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” Have a spell checker and always consult if you are not sure of a word.
  • Keep Reading – Just because you are blogging about books doesn’t mean you stop reading them. In fact, you should even read more. Always create time to read both books and other book blogs. Reading will give you inspiration and content for future blog posts.
  • Network – It is a cruel world out there. You cannot make it alone. Join a network of bloggers and be part of other people’s guest blogger list. When you guest blog, other people will guest blog on your blog site too. Alternatively, be part of a brick and mortar book club. This gives you an opportunity to pitch and sell your online platform.

Best Free & Paid WordPress Themes for your book blog

A WordPress theme is more than a blueprint of your book blog. How your visitors will see the blog heavily relies on the WordPress theme you choose. To keep your visitors coming back, you will need a good highly responsive WordPress theme. Worry not, I got your back.

Premium Themes

Bookish
Cost: $40

1

Bookish combines everything you need to quickly get your ebook noticed. The responsive theme features a one-page design with four available skins to make it your own. The theme also includes a slider, unlimited color choices, Font Awesome icons and Google web fonts. Bookish is also ready to help you sell your product with WooCommerce integration.

eBook
Cost: $49

eBook

 

eBook also comes with unlimited color options, a tool to set up promotions and coupons, sales tax and shipping functionality and is integrated with WooCommerce. This theme also features one-click auto install, plenty of documentation and support for third-party plugins.

Literary Theme
Cost: $40

Literary

Literary is a beautifully crafted blog theme that comes with a post type for showcasing ebooks. The theme includes plenty of color and font options as well as mapping, blog and portfolio pages. The fluid design works at a number of sizes and includes widget areas, social media integration and touch features for mobile and tablets.

Free Themes

Penscratch

Penscratch

This theme is prepared by the guys at WordPress. It is easy to use with a basic layout. The typography and white space are friendly, inviting, and easy on the eyes. It’s ideal for writers because the focus is the text.

Hemingway Rewritten

Hemingway

This is another beautiful theme from our brothers at WordPress. It is ideal for peeps with beautiful photographs to incorporate into their blog. As the theme name indicates, it’s great for writers, but it also has a lot of opportunity for visual customization, so you can incorporate your own voice and personality. Good for book reviews.

Recommended WordPress Plugins for Book Blogs

A WordPress plugin is a small application that adds features to your blog site. It is a nice tool to compensate for what the theme left out or to increase customization of your website. I have compiled a list of five plugins that will help promote your blog, increase search engine ranking and improve user experience.

Comment Reply Notification

You receive an email if you get a reply to a comment you left. Never miss a chance to interact with other like-minded bloggers.

WordPress SEO by Yost
It helps improve your search engine ranking. I can never find enough terms to describe the importance of SEO.

Shareaholic
This is your one stop shop to social media integration. It lets you share your posts to all your configured social media accounts.

WP Super Cache
If your blog has so many images and apps, this plugin will cache the images so that the website can be accessed faster the next time the specific device visits the site

UBillboard 3
This plugin adds a highlights slider on your homepage. This feature is available with most themes, but in case you fell in love with a theme that doesn’t have this feature then, you are good to go with this plugin.

Great book Blogs to Network With and Be Inspired By

Never feel afraid to learn. AT one time, the owner of our favourite blog was in the same position as you are. It is okay if you look at what others are doing in order to get a grasp of things. But do not copy what they are doing. Strive to be unique. Here is a list of some good blogs to inspire you:

Final Words

I must love you and leave you. Every good thing must come to an end. Not that I wanted to stop telling you about book blogging and blogging in general, but I have to give you time to go and work on your newly created book blog. Just in case you get stuck, I am her to pull you out of your misery. Feel free to contact me.

It is a wrap for now, but if you want to stay up to date with all my latest tips and tricks about blogging in general, as well as book specific blogging, please consider signing up for my free newsletter. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive occasional emails with valuable information.

 Top Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons  CC BY-SA 2.0