Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links from Amazon and other networks which means I earn from qualifying purchases.
You’re thinking about starting a blog? That’s awesome! I’m so excited for you! Maybe you’re even wondering how to start a book blog. I hope you are, book blogging is a wonderful thing. I can’t wait to help you get your site off the ground.
Actually about this time last year I was thinking about starting a blog too. Then I did it and it’s been amazing! Best decision I ever made. Which is why you should do it too, I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!
If you’re anything like me, you probably have million questions about blogging and how to start a book blog and what to do once you’ve started a blog… You’ve also probably been Googling night and day trying to find something specifically about starting a book blog. There’s not a lot out there.
Which is why I’m going to tell you absolutely everything you need to know about book blogging, from where to find the best hosting to how to get the hottest new release books for free, before they’re released.
Let’s Get Started
Getting started is obviously the hardest part. It’s a bit intimidating really. You’re about to make your very own website. Pretty soon you’ll be able to call yourself a webmaster which looks amazing on a resume.
The best advice I can possibly give you is just do it. Take the plunge and go for it. You’re going to make a few mistakes, I certainly did, but that’s how we learn.
I’m not much of a gambler but I’d bet a good cup of coffee that once you start getting into the swing of blogging, there will be things you want to change. it’s not going to be perfect the first time. The best blogging advice I’ve ever received is that you have to settle for good enough before you can make it great. You blog will be a work in progress for a long time.
I know, it’s unfortunate for those of us who have perfectionist tendencies. Think of it as a work in progress, something you’re learning as you go.
As I know many other bloggers have tried to do in similar posts, I’m going to share as many tips, and tricks, and lessons as I can from my year as a book blogger. With any luck you won’t make the same mistakes I did.
With all that said, if you have any questions – ask away. The comment section is at the bottom of the page that exact reason.
If I’m lucky you’ll read this guide and maybe you’ll remember some of it when you go to set your blog up. If I’m really lucky, you’ll pin or bookmark it to look at again.
How to Start a Book Blog
1| You Need a Name
Whether you go with the free route or self hosted, you need a name. Something catchy, something that tells the world who you are, something people will remember.
This is my absolute favourite part of starting a blog. Logo design is one of the quirky little hobbies I rarely admit to. But whenever I think about starting a new blog, I always think about branding the colours and shapes that I want to go with it.
Want me to design your logo? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk. ***This is not a free service.
You’re going to have to think long and hard about what you want on your blog and how you want to present yourself to the world.
Remember too though, nothing is set in stone, I changed my domain name and completely rebranded my blog after 6 months. It was a bit tedious, but not difficult. In the end, it was a good business decision as I wanted to try my hand at making a bit of money off this thing.
Once you’ve decided what you want to call yourself, you have to see if the name is available. I use this site to play around and see what’s available.
There is usually a bit of a cost for the domain name but if you choose a host like Bluehost you can get your domain name for free when you sign up.
2| Pick a Platform
As far as platforms go, I can’t recommend WordPress highly enough. I’ve never used anything else. But the word in the blogosphere is you go with WordPress if you’re serious about blogging. So, that’s what I would recommend. I haven’t had any major issues with it and it’s been super user-friendly. So for purposes of my advice, I’m going to pretend you’re using WordPress.
But if you don’t like WordPress for whatever reason Blogger and Wix are also options.
3| Find Hosting
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links from Amazon, Bluehost and other networks which means I earn from qualifying purchases.
If you’re serious about blogging and hope to make money from it one day, I strongly recommend going the self hosted route from the beginning. There is a little bit of a cost to this. So before I ask you to part with your hard-earned money, I’m going to explain why it’s important.
When you have a self hosted WordPress, you have access to the code, which means you can customise your theme completely. You can even build your own if you’re so inclined. You also have access to so many amazing plugins. This is the best way to make sure your website looks and functions exactly how you want it.
I would recommend BlueHost. Their hosting plans start at about $4/ month, you get a free domain name and a free SSL certificate (we’ll talk about what that is soon). They’re also super WordPress friendly and offer 24/ 7 support.
That 24/ 7 support I just mentioned, super important. I can’t even tell you how many times I found myself awake at 3:00 AM because my blog just wasn’t working the way I wanted it to. I probably would have been up yet later if I had to wait for normal business hours.
If you’re serious about blogging and plan on seeing your blog grow, thrive and maybe even generate some income, you should consider going self hosted from the beginning. You’ll have the opportunity to build your blog exactly how you want it from the beginning.
You’ll find yourself on a page that looks a lot like this:
You’re going to click on the green get started now button and select your plan.
If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend the $3.95/ month plan. You can always upgrade later if you need to.
This is where you want to put in the domain name you choose earlier. The next few screens have you filling out your personal information, paying for your hosting and setting up a password.
You don’t need me to show you that! I’m pretty sure you’ve been on the internet long enough to have purchased a few things and possibly even use the same password created when you were 10 years old (not a good idea, but it’s so easy to remember). So go do those things and come right back here when you get to the following screen.
Don’t be afraid to play around here. You can change your theme at any time if it’s not working for you. Truth be told, I probably went through 20 themes before finding mine. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make a few mistakes. Once you’ve chosen your theme, you get to start setting things up, that’s when the real fun begins.
They’re going to ask if you want to set up a business or personal site, choose the one that feels the most right to you. I went with personal. Once you’ve done that, you’ll get your first glimpse at your WordPress Dashboard.
Isn’t it pretty!
You’re now the proud owner of your very own blog! The only thing left for you to do is launch your site and start writing. Don’t be afraid to play around. There are tons of customization options if you click “appearance” on the left hand menu. There’s even more options if you start looking at the plugins.
We’ll go through customizing your site and adding plugins over the next few days. For now, you deserve a pat on the back and an extra piece of cake after supper. I’m so proud of you!