Book Blogging for Beginners | Starting a Blog

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I’ve been blogging about books for nearly three years now, and Adventures of a Bibliophile has grown into a fairly successful blog (beyond what I’d ever expected). It’s taken a lot of hard work to get here, but I’m really happy with where I’m at.

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about book blogging, so I thought I’d start this series as a way to share what I’ve learned over the years. I’m by no means an expert, but I have discovered some tips and tricks along the way that have really helped me. Hopefully they help you, too.

Today I’m starting at the beginning: how to start a book blog. These are a few things I’m either glad I did in the beginning, or wish I had. If you’re thinking about starting a book blog, I hope you’ll find this advice useful:

Choose a Platform

This is the very first thing you need to do. Personally, I decided on WordPress because I’ve had other WordPress blogs in the past and am generally happy with it. I also think there’s a lot of room for growth and customization. I also find blogging on WordPress very convenient, since I can use the app on my phone to work on posts even when I’m not around a computer.

You need to do some research and figure out what’s right for you. But regardless of which method you choose to go with, you do not need to spend any money. I decided to spend a little bit to get a domain name (and not be, but that is not really necessary and always something you can opt to do later.

Choose a Blog Name

I know ‘Adventures of a Bibliophile’ might not seem like the most creative blog name in the world, but it took me a while to think about it. I wanted something recognizable that clearly indicated what my blog was about. And then I had to contend with the millions of blogs already out there. I went through about ten iterations before I found one that hadn’t been taken already. Choose a name that speaks to you and that also fits the image of what you want your blog to be. Tip: You can change your blog name later, but it might cost you a few followers, since people tend to bookmark blogs they like.

Decide Who You Want to Be

This isn’t really something I think most people think about, but it was important to me to establish who I wanted to be online. You may have noticed that I don’t share too many identifying details – like my last name or picture – and that is because I want to protect my privacy. Once something is on the internet, you can’t really take it back. I love when bloggers are more open with who they are online, but I’ve had a few uncomfortable interactions in the past, and I don’t want to have to deal with that again. Regardless of what kind of blog you’re writing, you should make a conscious decision of how much information about yourself you want to share with your followers.

Choose a Theme

Blog themes dictate how your blog looks. And they’re more important than you might think. They instantly tell readers what to expect, whether it be more professional posts or something fun and colorful. I’ve gone through my fair share of themes, and even though I love my current one, I still feel the itch to change it all the time.

Choose a theme you like, but also make sure it isn’t going to be obnoxious to your readers. Don’t make them read black text on a neon background, or tiny letters that span the entire page. A good tip is to really look at blogs you like, and see what exactly you like about them, whether it be a minimalist theme or a fun color scheme.

Make a Few Pages

It might be different on other platforms, but, on WordPress, pages are kind of static webpages linked to your blog. On this blog, they live in the menu bar at the top of the page. I have quite a few pages, but when you’re starting out, all you really need is an ‘About’ page, and maybe a ‘Contact’ page (I’d recommend creating an email address specifically for your blog). These pages are pretty self explanatory, and you can always branch off to include other things (check out my pages if you need a few examples).

Start Writing

Blogs take time and effort to grow. You have to start somewhere. Once you have your name, your theme, and your blog all set up, it’s time to write your first post! It doesn’t have to be long or particularly exciting – you can even write a first post introducing yourself and your blog – but it needs to exist, otherwise there isn’t a blog, right?

I believe my very first post on this blog was a 2014 favorites and un-favorites, which is kind of embarrassing to look back on. But I’ve gotten better with time, and you will, too. So don’t be too hard on yourself right away, you’ll become a better blogger with time, and your blog will improve, too.

That’s it for this installment of Book Blogging for Beginners. Let me know if you enjoyed this post, and if there is anything else you’d like to see from this series (I’ve already planned posts about blog organization and gaining followers).

Feel free to comment below with any questions, or if there are any tips you’d like to share.

Happy blogging!

63 thoughts

  1. This is a very sweet idea, and I’m sure a lot of people will find it useful!

    I think WordPress is definitely the best blogging platform. Blogspot is ugly and doesn’t have a proper following system, and the other sites are less well known. WordPress works well and looks professional!
    (Also I never realised you had your own domain! Not sure why I find this so surprising ๐Ÿ˜‚)

    I think choosing the right blog name is the most important step. I like my own name, but sometimes I wish I had gone for something else – “Ravenclaw” will always be associated with Harry Potter, and it kind of sucks cause I mostly read adult fiction and non-fiction now ๐Ÿ˜… I’m contemplating changing it, but I fear it might put off or confuse people!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! And I like your blog name – Iโ€™ve come to basically associate Ravenclaw with books and learning, so it works. And I agree – I really love WordPress. Itโ€™s so easy and it looks great.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is a brilliant idea for a series – and I’m sure it will help a lot of new (and old!) bloggers along the way. I certainly wish I’d had this sort of easy guide when I started my blog up.

    I’ve always preferred the interface of WordPress so it was an easy choice when I made my blog years ago. However, I never expected it to become a book blog so I just flippantly chose a phrase from the lyrics of my favourite song for the blog name. It’s a decision that I now sincerely regret as none of my other social media matches since I’m ‘askirmishofwit’ everywhere else and that’s already taken on WordPress by a defunct blog (so frustrating!). I have been considering getting a domain to compensate for this, but I’m not sure how to go about it. Do you happen to have any tips for looking into that?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! I like both of your blog names (theyโ€™re really unique). You can actually get a domain directly through WordPress, which is what I did. I believe itโ€™s about $18 (US) per year. Of course you can also purchase a domain somewhere else and link it to your blog, but I like having everything on WordPress, it makes things easier.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post! I’ve been blogging for almost 4 months and I’m learning every day. Your tips are helpful. When you change a theme, does it preserve your data but just change the format? I’ve been afraid to try.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This was extremely helpful considering I’ve made a new blog just two days back and I had no idea on how to manage it. But if it isn’t too much trouble, would you mind going through my posts and suggesting a few ways for me to increase my audience? Thanks for your time and for this post ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Perfect timing, then! Building an audience takes time (it’s actually what my next blogging post will be about), but it looks like you’re off to a good start. I would definitely add a widget where people can follow you, either by email or through WordPress.

      Other than that, just keep blogging. It took months for me to get any followers, so don’t give up. Best of luck!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you soo much for this post and as a bigginer I’d say this was really helpful! I’ve been thinking about launching my first blog post but every time I’d back out, you just gave me the push to hit that publish button.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Really great first post! It’s an excellent introduction. (I’d recommend deleting the “First Blog Post” generated by WordPress, though, because it’s showing up first on your homepage.) I really enjoyed your “About” page, too. It has a lot of personality without giving away too much. Great start! And good luck!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sorry I haven’t been able to reply before. My laptop isn’t working and is currently at repair and using WordPress from my phone is alot of work. But thank you, thank you, thank you so much. I’m so glad that you liked my posts! ๐Ÿ˜€

            Liked by 2 people

  6. Your blog posts are very good. I enjoy reading your post.
    This one is very helpful as I am new to Blogging and mostly confused about what I should do and shouldn’t be doing. Thanks for the post, hope you update some more post on Beginners Blogging.
    Please take a look at my blog too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! I’m glad this was helpful! Looks like you got a great start on your blog. I especially love the pictures! I’m planning on making this a series, so there will be an another post in a couple of weeks ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is so helpful, thank you! I’ve only just started blogging (just over a month) and I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing – this is helping a lot. Would you mind checking my blog out and giving some feedback? It’d mean a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I started a book blog in September, but I didn’t understand how everything worked. Over time though, I realized that things don’t have to be perfect. It’s ok to make mistakes. I started my book blog because I wanted a place where I could ramble on about the books I read. I can only improve from here on out. I’m sure I’ll look back in years to come and cringe at some of my posts.
    Love your blog! Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for posting this! Iโ€™m just starting a book blog but it hasnโ€™t gone live yet. These tips are helpful for setting it up before I get going. I appreciate it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for posting all these tips for beginners! I just started by book blog and was feeling sort of discouraged, but reading all of your tips gave me a WAY more realistic timeline in terms of gaining readership and building relationships. I’m feeling much more content to keep blogging away and letting other things slowly sort themselves out. Thank you again ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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