If you’re reading this post, I’m kind of guessing you are either A) interested in book blogging or B) Are my blogging friend & read lots of my blog posts.
So friends and new bloggers alike, welcome to my Liz Explains Book Blogging Series. Is this going to be a thing? Yes, it should be. Because I’ve planned an entire month of blog posts, so it’s a definite thing right now. And when I say that I’ve planned a month of posts, I’ve planned like 4 posts. You know, one a week.
Anyway, back to this post. I’m talking today about starting a book blog and 7 helpful tips for when you start! Honestly, I didn’t know most of these when I started book blogging and my beginning blogging was a STRUGGLE. Such a struggle.
If you want to NOT struggle and get into the swing of blogging, especially book blogging, then this post is for you! Now, blogging isn’t easy, but it can be super fun and challenging and definitely worth the work!
Before you start a book blog or any blog, start following lots of blogs! There’s several reasons for this:
You experience a ton of different blogging styles. And run into blog ideas, memes and tags and discussion posts. You’ll see so many different ways to blog and help nurture your own blogging voice.
Blog hopping is a great way to make blogging friends! When you blog hop, comment, comment, comment. Commenting shows that you care about other blogs, and it engages in the blogging community.
*footage of book bloggers meeting for the first time*
Blogging friends are seriously the BEST part of blogging. Yes, reaching follower counts is great. Making money might be awesome. (seriously, though how does one make money book blogging? if you’re expecting to make money book blogging, I am sorry to say that I have no idea how to do that!)
But if we’re talking about blogging friends, I do know about that. When I first started blogging, I knew people made friends blogging. But I didn’t know if it was really possible. I was kind of cynical about the idea. BUT my cynicism was wrong, because I have several GOOD blogging friends, so it is very possible.
If you’re wondering about book blogging and friends, I’m planning on writing an entire post about making book blogging friends. So if you have any questions, ask away!
How I see myself answering questions
Plan, plan, plan
You can’t really even plan too much. Planning is a vital part of blogging. Sometimes, I feel a tad bit overwhelmed knowing that I need to post blog posts 2 or 3 times a week. That’s a lot of content! And I’m just a teeny human with lots of jobs other than blogging.
But planning helps this whole process happen smoother. I bought a book planner at the beginning of this year, and it has been so helpful. I doodle into my calendar different ideas. It’s hard, but I try to plan out about a month in advance. Or at least have some idea about my blog posts for the month.
me, planning blog content.
Some questions to ask yourself as you start making blog plans:
➤ Am I going to participate in blog memes or tags? If so, which one works better for my life and schedule?
➤ How many book reviews can I post? How long does it take me to write book reviews? What kind of reviews should I do? Do I need to take pics of the books???
➤ Should I blog once or week or more often? Maybe even less often?
➤ When in the world an I going to write these posts?
I’m sure there are plenty of other important questions, but these are just a few questions to get the planning process started.
Self host OR Don’t spend money if you’re not sure
It can be hard to know which platform to use to start blogging, but the important thing is to know your options. I didn’t know the difference between self-hosting and not self-hosting, and I ended up spending money on both! Oh! ANNOYING!
me, paying for two different self-hosting plans, two different blog titles, two different graphics persons, tow different…you get the point. I wasted a ton of money trying to figure out how to start this whole blogging thing.
I know there are A LOT of articles you can find on the interwebs about hosting vs. not hosting. I’ll just talk about a few, just so you can get a few ideas. Also, so you don’t throw away money like I did. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Benefits of self-hosting
➤ You own your domain name
➤ More versatility over the style of your blog
➤ Widgets and Fonts and Cool Things, oh my.
There’s definitely some downsides, including paying for the blog services. I pay a lot of money for my yearly hosting fees, and that’s never exactly fun..
Benefits of going through a blog host site, like WordPress or Blogger
➤ Pretty Cheap
➤ Very simple, and you don’t need to worry about coding and hard things.
I’m sure there are plenty of other benefits, but I’m fairly biased towards self-hosting.
I just like the freedom of self-hosting.
Even if it does cost more. at least, I figured it all out and I’m not exactly throwing away money anymore. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Follow several inspirational bloggers
Blogging is fun, but even if you start with the very best intentions, it can become very overwhelming. This is why I don’t just follow my book blogger friends. I also follow inspirational bloggers. Bloggers who write creative posts about finding your creative spark, loving what you write, and being creative.
Sometimes, I read these blogs to be encouraged. Other times, I read these kind of blogs to get ideas. Either way, it helps me avoid blogger burnout and enjoy what I do.
Reply to comments and ask questions
This is such a simple thing, but it improves your blogging so much! Comments are a vital part of blogging community, so write posts that people enjoy and want to write comments. When I’m writing a post, I know that I need to write questions for this post.
You know that little paragraph right after the Let’s Chat graphic? Yes, that paragraph of questions. It is the HARDEST part of writing a blog post. Coming up with conversation starters about your own blog post. It’s the small talk of book blogging and it is murder.
How do authors write discussion posts for their own writing??? I’m so confused now thinking about this because I know writing questions is so hard, but authors come up with questions about their own books? WHAT??? How?
Incorporate Social Media
Social media is such a fun part of blogging! Whether you choose to jump in on twitter or bookstagram or booktube, it can be super helpful!
Why? Because it’s fun and encouraging. Book chats are easy ways to engage in the book community, and get to know other readers. You also get so many new books recs!
Of course, you don’t have to use social media if it makes you uncomfortable, or you don’t enjoy it, or you simply don’t want to! Do what you love and just enjoy your corner of the blogging world, whether that’s through just your blog or multiple social media outlets.
Remember, you don’t have to talk about just one thing! I enjoy blogging about books, but I also like writing posts about my writing, and music playlists and other things. And that’s totally okay!
You don’t have to talk about one particular subject all the time. In fact, if you talk about one thing ALL the time you can start to feel stuck.
Feeling stuck is just frustrating. Talk about what you enjoy, and don’t worry if it’s not exactly related to the ‘name of your blog’ or your niche.
Blogging should be your creative outlet, so don’t ever feel bad if you want to chat about something you’ve never done before. Blog about what you enjoy, and find your blogging voice. If you feel ‘stuck’ talking about books, try talking about something else.
Whew, that is my first How-to-Start blogging posts. And I’ve got a whole series planned? I want to ask my brain how I’m going to do this series because writing this was actually really hard work? Also, did I really do all of this when if I first started blogging?
Not exactly. But my first couple of months blogger were rough. So I really hope a few of these tips help other poor souls navigate blogging. At least, a tad bit easier than my journey.
What do you think of my seven tips? Do you have any tips of your own to add? Or any questions about book blogging? What inspirational bloggers do you follow? Do you try to plan your blogging? How does that work for you?
Isn’t writing questions about your own post the hardest thing in the world? Anyone else struggle with this?