I spent ten years teaching literature, and while shaping young minds was what I lived and breathed for, mostly I was just really pumped to read a book and have people to talk to about it. Not only that, but I got to choose the books. Are we reading Hamlet this week? Masterpiece. Classic Flannery O’Connor? You bet! Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s stunningly gorgeous graphic novel about the Iranian Revolution? Junot Diaz’ Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (my favorite novel)? YES. So yeah, did I sometimes treat the classroom like my own personal book club? Of course I did! I had the power to turn my classroom into a place where we could discuss, question, explore, share and navigate all the books we read together–a book lover’s dream come true.
The digital age offers exciting possibilities to share your bookish passions with the world–no classroom necessary. If you’ve ever wanted to journey into the world of words as a writer, reviewer, or just spill your thoughts on all things literary, then get yourself (and your shelf) out there into the brave new world of online blogging, and bring your book loving community together by learning how to start a book blog. Blogging is one of the most effective ways to create a vibrant, vital place for book lovers just like you to find each other, connecting readers from around the world (Oh, the places you’ll go!)
So if you’ve ever felt the urge to celebrate a book, a writer, a whole genre, or really anything worth reading, browse the table of contents below for simple and easy suggestions for how to start a successful book blog, a guide for experienced and brand new bloggers alike.
Table of Contents
How to Start a Book Blog
If you know exactly the topic or book you want to start blogging about, great–if you’re still working that out, a handful of questions can get you going on the right track pretty quickly. What books are you passionate about? Make a list of your favorite books. What do they have in common?
Maybe there’s a specific writer or genre you want to focus on. Always wanted to make a space to share a conversation about your favorite true crime titles? Or maybe you’re just burning through some romance novel by a certain author or with a unique niche–even if it seems specific, don’t underestimate the chances that someone else out there shares your same interest.
Consider the ways you can use your blog to build on an existing conversation–and alternatively, how a blog can give you the platform to start a new one that you’re just burning to have. Treat your blog as an opportunity to create your own space for readers and book lovers just like you to talk about what you love.
Content Management System (CMS)
Get the most out of your book blog with a high quality content management system, and one that lets you choose the best hosting so you can reach the most readers possible with website safety, security, and reliability. Fortunately, there are a handful of tools at your disposal that can make the technical aspects of site building much, much easier, and that’s honestly half the battle.
Think of building your website like a book. If your blog is the story–the content you want to share with the world–then your Content Management System (CMS) is like the actual book. A quality CMS is where you’ll place and manage your content for the world in the same way a book is what circulates and shares an author’s stories. There are a few CMS options when considering how to make a successful book blog, but I recommend using WordPress because it gives you the whole website setup with flexibility and choice in mind–from the overall design, features, plugins, and anything you could possibly need to start a new blog–all in one convenient place. WordPress is a great resource for bloggers, it’s user-friendly and gives you everything you need to design the foundation of your blog–best of all, it’s free and easy to use.
WordPress lets you build the site from scratch or to pick and choose from their freely available (and tasteful in a classy book club way) options for design. It makes content management easy, and for this book lover who came into blogging with no experience, actually pretty fun. The themes are easy to navigate, and you can tailor the overall look and feel of your website to the type of audience you really want to bring to your book blog.
How to Name a Book Blog
You’re gonna wanna give your website a name that fits, one that makes sense and is appropriate to your target readership–one that’ll identify your particular brand of book loving community that you want to cultivate. (If you need some further suggestions for how to start conceptualizing the focus of your site, I’ve got you covered in step 2.)
Here’s a short list of some of my favorite book blogs that might give you some ideas for how to name a book blog something that will provide insight into blog branding, tone, and content:
- Epic Reads
- We Need Diverse Books
- Reader Witch
- The Volta
After you’ve done the (fun) task of giving your book blog a name, make it official and claim a digital home by registering a domain name. Domains are the web address where readers can find you, and a good one is not unlike a book title–pick one that your readers will want to pull off the shelf. You can use sites like NameCheap to choose a domain name, and ideally choose a .com version of the domain if you can.
If your blog is the story and a CMS is your book, web hosting is like a bookshelf and a good librarian all in one. You don’t want to just have your book out there, you want to be sure it’s looked after with care, it’s safe, and always in top shelf form. One of the big benefits of WordPress is that it gives you the ability to choose your own reliable hosting. Paired with a good CMS like WordPress, a supportive and trustworthy hosting option like WP Super Host can set your book blog up for the most success possible with a variety of advantages at an affordable cost.
How to Make a Book Blog Readers Will Love
Whether you’re writing reviews, sharing your reading experience, curating a reading list or book recommendations, or keeping up with all the news and takes swirling around your literary community, there are almost limitless ways that you can provide your readers with opportunities to engage your content with other book lovers out there in the world.
Reading Lists, Book Clubs, Reviews, and Forums
Decide what form your blog will take and what your readers can expect from your blog. Some of my favorite blogs are tastemakers that offer reliable reviews that I trust to consistently give me good book recommendations. Other blogs provide insight into a genre and its corresponding news, new releases, and notes that keep me up with that publishing community and readership–this is especially true for genre fiction, like mystery or romance that moves at a fast pace. Sometimes I just want a place where I can go to get to know other readers on a more personal level, what they thought about a book in a more casual way, and one that offers me a good place to contribute my own thoughts to a supportive readerly community with a bustling comment section.
Start an online book club if you’re dying to get some people together to have an ongoing conversation on a theme or a subject or a specific writer. If you’re really into reviews and recommendations, gathering even a little bit of a following can quickly turn into an opportunity to get in with the publishing world. You can even get free books as a reviewer in the form of advanced reader copies–and you might be surprised how easy and natural that grows from your dedication and affinity for what you read. Finding your own voice for how to make a good book review for a blog will come naturally the more and more you do it.
How to Make a Book Blog That Builds Community
Starting a successful book blog means cultivating a literary community built around a particular thread in the book world that tells stories about who readers are, what books they value, and how shared reading experiences can create new worlds of possibility.
To bring in the most engagement with your readership, set a clear content realm that you’re truly invested in–and potentially one that readers seek out with enthusiasm. The young adult book market is booming, and the more that readership grows, the more people are seeking online communities that engage those conversations. Well Read Black Girl (WRBG) is one of my favorite places online to find new, vital voices in the lit world, and also one of the most thriving blogs in the book community. The bloggers at WRBG successfully identified a specific need in the online lit world, branding themselves as a “book club exclusively for Black women” and in doing so created a carefully curated place to have vital and valuable conversations that actively sought to include underrepresented voices through the transformative lens of literature and book blogging.
How to Start a Book Blog and Make Money
You can even tap into your book passion to explore business opportunities. If you want to start thinking about how to start a book blog and make money, find out who publishes your favorite books, especially if you’re already doing the work that they love to see, like promoting their books on your site. Reach out and get to know your favorite publisher–the opportunities for coordinated promotion are vast. There’s real potential to make money from writing and blogging about books, especially ones you’re already invested in. As always, my best advice is to make the most of what you love, create opportunities for yourself to thrive, and let your passion for reading and writing guide your decisions about what shape your blog will ultimately take.
How to Make a Successful Book Blog with Top Shelf Hosting
Take all that valuable potential and passion and create something that will last. Once your book blog is ready for the world, choosing quality hosting will ensure your website is everything you ultimately want it to be. Whether you’re coming into blogging with years of experience or none at all, WP Super Host has an easy to navigate dashboard that showcases all the tools you need to keep the site up and running smoothly, not to mention a dedicated support team that can help you with whatever you need.
WP Super Host ensures your website is reliable and secure with the crucial added benefit of top notch performance speeds. Our hosting provides automated daily backups and site speed reports to give you peace of mind knowing your content is always in good hands. WP Super Host makes WordPress plugins easy and monitors them for you, giving you the tools to stay current on all the latest updates. All WP Super Host sites include free SSL for dependable site security and protection against hackers, and we make the most of Cloudflare’s global CDN to ensure valuable uptime so that your blog always looks its best, cover to cover.
No matter what hosting you choose, make sure you’re getting the most value with a hosting package that will set your book blog up for success from the first page to the last. Explore the full list of all the features and performance advantages of WP Super Host to see what makes our hosting package top shelf at a competitive and affordable price.
The literary community is as passionate as it is diverse, and learning how to start a book blog opens up possibilities to engage with readers all around the world. Not only that, books lovers love to read! People love books, but they also love to read about books. There’s so much momentum built into book blogging, and making thoughtful choices about the content you create paired with thoughtful decisions about the framework like good hosting that presents your blog to the world will give you everything you need to make your own little reading nook one worth sharing with the entire world. Read on!