What 8 things do all book bloggers need?
Book blogging is a small niche of the ever-growing blogging world. There aren’t many of us compared to bloggers who focus on travel or finance or food.
But like most other blogs, book bloggers need a few key things to get started. Once you have these 8 things, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running and make your own book blog.
Book blogging is an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s changed the way I read. It’s changed the way I learn. I’ve never been more excited to share the things I love with the people around me. So if you’re read to join in…then let’s get started!
Here’s what you’ll need:
The first one on the list is obvious. If you’re a book blogger, you’ll need books.
The content of each book blog will differ, but I think it’s easy enough to say that you will need books in some form.
E-books, hardback, library books, yardsale books–it doesn’t matter. But you need books and lots of them.
A large majority of book blogs will feature book reviews and recommendations. Book reviews certainly require that you actually read the entire book cover to cover. Recommendations might require only a quick skim of the synopsis or reading other blog reviews before making that particular book a recommended read.
The rest of the items on this list are pretty universal to all blogs, but keep reading to know what you’ll need for your book blog to succeed.
Blogs are a digital format. They require the internet.
You might get by for a while trying to create and run a blog on your phone, but in the end, you really do need a computer.
Mind you, you don’t need anything fancy, no $2000 custom gaming computers are required. But you do need a reliable computer with basic internet and functionality.
3.) WordPress (or other web hosting)
You need a place on the internet for your book blog to exist. That’s where web hosting comes into play.
I personally used WordPress to create Spine & Leaf Books and I’ve been very pleased with the results. It’s easy to learn and use, with quite a few free themes to choose from. I’ve been able to customize nearly everything imaginable.
You can even start for free! Of course, if you want certain additional features, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee. You can get a better price by buying and paying for a whole year up front, which is what I did. If you’re committed to trying this book blogging thing, go ahead and get the reduced price by paying in advance.
There are plenty of other web hosting sites out there if WordPress isn’t your thing. Try Bluehost, Squarespace, DreamHost, or GoDaddy.
4.) Camera (or phone)
If you want to run a book blog, you’re going to need to take pictures to accompany your content. Pictures rate really well with views and search engines.
Take clear, high-quality photos that support your topics.
Take pictures of the books you are reading, where you are reading them, and with some cool and interesting props.
Canva is a free website (and app) that allows the user to create one-of-a-kind digital images.
Combine your pictures with their free templates, add a catchy heading, and you’re ready to go.
Canva offers a wide selection of templates, graphics, fonts, and pictures for free. If you want to go the extra mile, get the paid version for access to thousands of options.
You’ll need Canva when you’re editing the pictures you took. And when you need to create spiffy graphics to accompany your posts.
Grammarly is another free service that all book bloggers need.
It helps you become a better writer by alerting you to spelling and grammar mistakes and then shows you how to fix them.
You can’t publish a blog post riddled with silly grammar mistakes. Because of the casual format, a few simple mistakes are generally forgiven, but when your text is hard to read, your viewers won’t come back. Keep in mind that blogging isn’t as strict as other writing formats, but it still pays to be professional and correct.
Download and use Grammarly whenever you draft posts or create content on Canva. This will be that one last check to make sure you’re not making silly mistakes.
Every blogger needs discipline. Motivation is not good enough.
You must become dedicated. You must create habits.
Being dedicated to your blog might mean different things to different people. But its easy to tell when a new blogger is about to fizzle out and quit.
If you want to make it as a long-term blogger (even as a hobby blogger) you need to create standards for yourself and achieve the goals you set.
While discipline isn’t a physical thing you can buy or download, it is one of the most important. Realistically, book blogging will not get you many views. It will not turn you into a millionaire-full-time-blogger-extraordinaire….at least not overnight. You must put in long dedicated hours to build a site that you are proud of.
Your goal might be to only write the blog for yourself. That’s ok too. But you should still build discipline so you don’t let yourself down.
8.) Social Media (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
Social media has taken over the world.
Everyone is on it. Everyone knows who’s on it. And we’re all at various levels of being addicted to it.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.
Social media can help book bloggers and readers. Bloggers can use social media to promote their posts and spread their thoughts and ideas further. Readers want to be connected and they want to find good content. So combine the two and you’ve got something good.
I personally use Pinterest as my only social media account for Spine & Leaf Books. I find that trying to do too many things at once just leads to them all being done poorly. Better to have one solid account that gets a lot of action than four that are all equally abandoned.
Try mastering one social media type first before adding a second or third. You’re already running your book blog as well, so that’s going to consume most of your time anyway.
Pinterest is an image-heavy search engine that is perfect for book bloggers. Snap some pics of your must-read books and use Canva to bring it all together into a pin-able post. Add good content or a teaser in the description.
Pro-tip: join book blogging boards. When you join a group board, you get a chance to share your posts with other book bloggers that want to spread the love. You have a greater chance of your posts being seen, and then your blog being visited if more people pin your posts.
Did I miss anything?
Comment below to tell me what else a book blogger needs!
P.S.- I could’ve added ‘coffee’ to the list, but let’s face it, we’re all drinking that anyway, blog or not…