Hello, bookish people! Literary Quicksand has been going for a little over two years now, and it’s really hard to believe that it’s been that long! I thought I’d do a short series on how to become a book blogger, for those who might stumble upon this blog and be interested.
Of course, please keep in mind that Literary Quicksand is not one of the most popular and successful book blogs like some of the others I follow (I’m looking at you, Modern Mrs. Darcy, Novel Visits, Sarah’s Book Shelves, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and a bunch of others I don’t have room to list), but we do get a fair amount of traffic and have a fun time doing it.
So, here’s my first little guide to getting started with becoming a book blogger. I hope it’s helpful!
Step One: Define the Why
The first thing to do (in my humble opinion) is to sit down and write out why you want to be a book blogger. It’s not absolutely necessary of course, but it’ll help you put together a solid foundation in your head about embarking on this adventure. It’s not all just easy and fun, and it’ll be helpful to come back to your foundation in those moments where you’re maybe not finding it super fun.
My why: Reading and writing about what I read helps me escape into something I love when I need a mental break from the rest of life. It’s a fun hobby that I enjoy doing any time, but particularly when life gets hard, I can read and write some of my cares away. Since LQ is a group endeavor, I also get to chat with friends who also love books all the time. It’s sort of like a virtual book club!
Step Two: Write Some Reviews
Do you write reviews on Goodreads? How do you know you actually really like writing book reviews?
Try it out! Try writing some book reviews that are long enough to be blog posts. Write several to use as your first posts on your new blog.
What do you think? How did it go? Is writing reviews really enjoyable for you? Do you have fun doing it? Or does it feel more like a chore?
Step Three: Name and Branding
If you’re sure you find writing book reviews enjoyable, it’s time to think about the branding for your book blog! Grab a notebook and hang out and start brainstorming. What will you call your book blog? It’s also helpful at this stage to find a color palette you like (Pinterest is awesome for this – just search “color palette”) that you can use for your branding.
I definitely suggest using something like Canva to come up with a “logo”, or just the name of your blog in a font that you like. If you think LQ’s branding is nice, thanks! I definitely didn’t design it. It’s all the work of my genius and wonderful designer friend, Whitney.
Step Four: You Need a Website
Obviously, to be a book blogger, you need a blog. My advice is to keep it SUPER simple, especially when you’re just starting out. You might be all gung-ho about book blogging now, but after you’re a couple months in, it’s possible life will change and you’ll decide it’s not for you. So, don’t put a whole bunch of time, energy, and money into making some beautiful website straight out of the gate. Just a free blog with a free template will do for now.
Personally, I prefer WordPress (LQ is WordPress). I’ve been in the internet marketing industry for years, and I’ve tried multiple different platforms, and I can tell you that for development purposes, WordPress is superior. However, you’re also not creating a fancy business website: it’s just a blog. So, do a little research and pick what’s right for you.
Step Five: Try it Out
Before you go announcing your blog all over the web, just get it going first. Put a couple posts up, then a couple more, THEN start telling people and making your social accounts. This is not a race, and the book blogging world will wait while you get a couple posts up.
There you have it! The very beginning steps to starting a book blog. This’ll be a small series, so stop back for more tips and tricks!