Book blogs are the best, aren’t they? We obviously think so. And it appears you do too. What are you doing at Hooked To Books if you don’t like blogs about books?
Have you ever considered blogging for money? If so, you may want to start a book blog!
Starting a blog can feel overwhelming, I get it. What about just learning how to write your first blog post?
Before we dive into a deeper look at book blogs… some of you might just WANT TO GET STARTED RIGHT NOW.
If that’s you, use this quick-list below to jump right in.
Why Start a Book Blog?
- Profits ($$$)
I don’t mean to over-spiritualize a matter that you might see as dollars and words. I’m just telling it like it is for me.
Personally, doing work day-in-and-day-out that doesn’t matter just won’t work anymore.
My daily grind needs to have purpose and meaning. I realize these are subjective matters, I’m not asking you to share my opinion of purpose.
But I would strongly encourage you to do work that feels purposeful to you.
What content is going to be around for a long time?
This is important because if you are going to invest a lot of hours, weeks, months, years… (you are) into building a blog from scratch, you want to know that you’re investing in something evergreen and long-term in nature.
Books and book blogging stands out as an obvious choice for evergreen, long-term content.
People read books that were written hundreds and thousands of years ago.
That’s a long time. With a book blog, you don’t need to worry that your assets (content) will become irrelevant overnight because you can choose books that people will have an interest in for a long time.
Blogs about books are also fairly easy for a beginner in blogging to create a content strategy.
In blogging, you target keywords that people are searching for. If you’re writing book reviews on your blog — it’s very straightforward. You are targeting the keywords [book review] + [book title] + [book author].
You also have oodles of content available on the shelves of your local library or bookstore. You don’t have to bang your head against the wall trying to get prodigiously creative with every post… Pick up a book, read it, and write a review!
Books are topical, so you can write about whatever you want!
This is another perk of starting a book blog vs. another type of blog. There are sooo many books out there, you have plenty to choose from.
What about Presence and Profits?
In a culture dominated by doing and performance, it’s been hard for me to simply be present to life. To just be.
To get present at the moment, and be with all my feelings, thoughts, doings, and imagination.
And let me say this right away, loud and clear: we will focus on money in this blog post. It will be central and you can get rich if you decide to move forward and start your own book blog.
Monetizing your blog for maximum reward is going to be more lucrative for you than you could ever imagine at this point.
The wealth that you will create for yourself, your posterity and your personal brand will blow you away.
You are creating a masterpiece of marketing for yourself that will last a lifetime and beyond.
Think about this… If these bloggers walk away from their blogs, what do you think their earning power is at a new job?
This is one of the perks of doing work online: your name grows in value. Your personal brand enhances.
The investment you make isn’t just returned in dollars. You build yourself at the same time.
Bonus Round! The Future is Creative
If you have a futurist mindset (anyone can learn to), you recognize the shifts happening in the world. Right now, if you aren’t being creative in your work, it’s time to get started.
By 2030, it is estimated that between 30% and 45% of all present-day jobs will be automated.
There is no competition between big-data algorithms and human beings, we lose to the robots. Sorry about that if you were confused.
We already cannot compete with the capabilities of machine learning. It is astounding to witness the sheer volume of data being collected today.
Feeling down? I have great news for you. You don’t really want to be competing for the jobs these robots are automating anyways.
You are an innately creative being, and your joy comes from creativity. There is no greater joy in this life than that of exploring and expressing that which is within you, around you.
Your life is truly remarkable. Even the stuff of your subconscious is creative, pulling raw material from your daily life to form imaginative dreams.
Why Book Blogging?
Because blogs are the superhighway of decentralized influence. Marketing is now the most powerful industry on our planet, and three things are necessary for effective marketing: attention, access, and trust.
We want to know you, we need instantaneous access, and we want your authenticity.
Today, with technology, we can ask questions (and find instant answers) like:
- How many toddlers are searching for lemonade this month?
- Are there any existing lemonade stands? If so, what do they look like?
Are you starting to see the light? Blogging is connecting people with what they are looking for through the medium of words.
How to Start a Book Blog (7 Steps)
- Register a Domain Name
- Select a hosting company for your blog (Bluehost or Hostgator at first)
- Connect your domain and your host
- Install WordPress
- Pick a theme for design and function
- Choose your three content pillars
- Decide on a monetization strategy
1. Register a Domain Name
Pick a domain company, and pick a URL. We recommend NameCheap for beginners for it’s low-cost and reliability. (This is an Affiliate link! But we do think that NameCheap is the best domain company out there, at least for new bloggers)
When choosing a domain name, think about what your audience will be searching for.
It’s tempting to try and get cute and clever with your domain name, and you’re free to do that, but you’ll find domain authority and position ranking much easier if you pick a domain that has the right words in it.
Pick words for your domain that will be searched for by your ideal audience.
Find a domain starting at $0.88
powered by Namecheap
For example– hookedtobooks.com has the word “books” in it, and that helps us rank on Google (and other search engines).
As you consider your own book blog, this is a great place to start.
2. Select a hosting company for your WordPress blog
There are several considerations for selecting a hosting company for your blog, but most of the important considerations come in down the road once you have substantial traffic.
Premium hosts give you top-tier support and often cater to your specific Content Management System (like WordPress).
They also have powerful features like automatic backups, and often throw in premium themes complimentary. (e.g. Sign up for a WP Engine plan and receive the Genesis Framework and 35+ StudioPress Themes free!)
As you grow your blog, your traffic increases and you need server speeds to be blazing. This is important for your SEO optimization as well as User Experience (UX).
BlueHost (getting started)
But at the beginning when you are just getting started, your top concerns are support and cost. Even uptime is debatable because all of the top hosting options are going to have incredibly high uptime ratings.
Some of the top companies get a bad reputation, and particularly amongst bloggers who are affiliate marketers (like we are).
But despite complaints, we have used each of these three hosting companies and will share that we have no major issues. We did not find Siteground’s user interface to be the easiest, and while we wouldn’t complain about the support offered by Hostgator, it wasn’t our favorite.
Keeping all of this in mind, for low budgets and beginners, we do recommend BlueHost.
Bluehost has an easy WordPress setup. We had excellent customer service experiences with them, though we’ve heard others have not.
Other Hosting Providers
HostGator offers exceptional pricing packages and top tier uptime, just like the others.
SiteGround has a reputation of excellence and superb backend functionality, we just found that it wasn’t as easy to get around for us.
3. Connect your domain and host
If you’ve chosen to register your domain and purchase your hosting through the same company, you’re all set! Your domain and host are already connected.
But if you’re using two separate companies for your domain and hosting, you’ll need to point them to each other. This is a simple process that involves something called nameservers.
Log into your domain registrar and, in your control panel, find the section that allows you to change your nameserver.
Once you’ve located the nameserver section, you’ll need to remove the default nameserver values and change the values to nameservers of your hosting company.
That’s it! The changes can take up to 24 hours to propagate but usually occur much quicker.
4. Install WordPress
Most hosting companies make it incredibly easy to install WordPress on your website.
Once logged into your host, access your control panel and look for a section called “Apps” or something similar.
Once you’ve found the WordPress app, click install and let the wizard walk you through the initial setup.
5. Pick a theme for design and function
There are literally thousands of WordPress themes available for purchase. I would recommend choosing a theme that has a proven record of reliability and that has a good and dedicated support team.
What you don’t want is to purchase a theme, get it installed, run into an issue and get left stranded with no help from the developers.
Make sure and read reviews for your theme before you purchase and buy from a reputable and good-standing company.
In order to get your website looking the way you want it to, you’ll also want to choose a theme that is highly and easily customizable.
Lastly, think ahead a little bit and ask yourself if the theme has room to grow! As your blog develops and grows, you may need room for expansion. A well-designed theme will have many features, page types, and options.
- Looking for an elegant, feminine-styled theme? Check out the Simply Pro Theme.
- Need something a bit more Macho? (Masculine Styled Aesthetics) Try the Monochrome Pro Theme.
6. Choose Content Pillars
The most successful bloggers have a strong sense of purpose behind what they are doing. They want to be adding real value to their readers.
This is the most important part of blogging. Understand your audience and reader, and adding genuine value to that person.
Walk them through a journey of transformation.
Arguably the second most important is Search Engine Optimization, which is basically writing for the robots.
You write (and code) in ways that bring attention to the core content of your blog posts, and the bots pick up on those things, and this helps you rank in higher positions on Google.
Both of these important components benefit from you constructing content pillars for your blog.
As an example, DollarSprout.com pushes (1) Make Money, (2) Save Money, and (3) Invest Money.
But the premise is “get rich.”
7. Decide on your monetization strategy
The three (primary) monetization methods in blogging are advertising, affiliate partnerships, and direct sales (products and services).
Each of these three has its own advantages and disadvantages. In general, the more passive options are a lower return on traffic, but also much less work.
Once you’ve completed these steps…
You’re on your way to greatness!
There’s a long road ahead, but if you have taken my advice to write stuff that matters to you, pursue purpose, presence, and profits all together… it’s a beautiful journey. Good luck with your book blog!