If you love books, there is a huge chance that you want to start a successful book review blog that has a dedicated following. After all, book blogs are for sharing your views and for starting conversations around the books that you have loved.
Let’s dive into the steps to set up a book blog.
The tech stuff for a book review blog
Let us be frank here, as an avid reader all you care about are books, reviews and recommendations but the seemingly tech stuff leaves you cold.
Starting a book review blog though is easier than ever before. If you are struggling with the basics and would like some hand holding, register here for guidance.
Choose a name for your baby
Your book review blog is a baby right now and you need a name for identification when you start. You can name it after yourself (eg. ‘Sona Reads’) or you can choose a name that reflects your vision for the blog (eg. ‘The Young Reader’, ‘Women in Literature’, ‘The Chic Lit’)
Choose a blogging platform
Decide on your blogging platform. You could be on Blogger or on WordPress. In the beginning you could start with a free blog to get your head around blogging, writing posts, adding pages etc. However, you need to go self-hosted as soon as possible.
If you are feeling ambitious right at the beginning, go ahead and look around for web hosting to have greater control on your book review blog from Day 1.
Layout and Themes
This is the time to look at other book blogs for inspiration. Head over to a few of your favourites and see what they look like. If you are going in for a free blog, your platform would have a number of free themes that you can use to experiment with the colour scheme and the look of your blog.
Add pages to your blog
An ‘About‘ page is a must. All your readers would like to know about the person behind the blog. Add a photo of yours and give a candid introduction.
You should also add a ‘Contact‘ page so that your readers and authors looking for book reviews are able to contact you without much search.
You would also need a ‘Review Policy‘ on your blog if you wish to read and review books other than on your TBR. As you grow, this could be an opportunity to make your voice and reviews count.
The stuff you love in a book review blog
Now that the slightly uncomfortable 😅 part is out of the way, let’s head over to the actual posts.
Have a Content Plan
Think about what you would like to share on your blog. Are you going to be writing reviews or would you also showcase other books you have read as recommendations, listicles or categorised as per theme or niche.
Write a new post
Write a review of a well-loved book or a book you have most recently read. Add an image, set category and tags and hit publish. Voila! You are a blogger now.
Have a content marketing strategy
Now that you have a blog and plenty of opinions to share, it’s time to find readers. Interaction with other blogs in your niche and with the ideal readers you are looking for us z must. Respond to comments that you have on your blog and visit all your readers. Make an effort to search for new blogs.
This is serious promotion. Use a platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Quora to share links to your book blog posts. It might take some time to get the engagement going but the efforts here are with the results that you get after a while.
Another way to put yourself out there is to collaborate with others in your field. You could invite guest bloggers and in turn you can seek out guest blogging opportunities. You could also collaborate with others in doing book giveaways etc for better visibility. Look for review opportunities actively. Blogchatter Book Review Program is a platform for authors and reviewers. Register to get more books and a boost in the traffic on your site from the community.
Some more tech stuff
Website design, SEO, experimenting with content formats may sound intimidating at first but is easier as you get the basics right and build on your efforts. With time, these elements will make you successful in your blogging journey.
These are some of the steps that put you on the path to starting a successful book review blog. If you have already have a book blog and are looking to scale it further, drop your website links in the comments.