Are you a newbie book blogger looking for book blogging tips and resources? Check out The Uncorked Librarian’s book blogging guides. Learn about everything from how to start a book blog to Photoshop, #bookstagram, and affiliate marketing.
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If you are looking for guidance as a book blogger, new or old, you are in the right place. The Uncorked Librarian LLC (TUL) started as a hobby blog years ago. By the end of 2018, though, TUL transformed into a business and monetized travel and book blog.
Below, you will find my favorite blogging tools and resources for book bloggers as well as links to some of TUL’s most popular book blogging tips. I will frequently update this page, too.
Book Blogging Tips And Resources
Why Book Blog and Review?
A lot of people ask me: Why should I even bother starting a book blog? Will people care what I say? Will they even read my reviews? Am I really making a difference in the world?
The answer is yes to all of the above. Starting a book blog can be semi-stressful at first, especially if you are like me. I had NO computer skills. I had no idea how to host my own site or even write simple code. WTF was affiliate marketing? You could use Pinterest to advertise your book lists and book reviews? WHO KNEW!
Before we get into the details and juicy book blogging tips and resources, I recommend reading my GIPHY, silly post about why you should become a book blogger.
Book blogging is like winning free backstage passes. Read this bad boy to discover 10 fun reasons why you should become a book blogger and/or add book reviews to your blogging niche. From free advanced copies to working directly with authors and publishers, the field is rewarding and pretty much instant fangirl/guy status.
Plus, you get paid to poop. Did that catch your attention? Maybe grab a glass of bubbly too:
Did you know that TUL is quoted on the back of books these days like Oprah and The New York Times Book Review?
Are you convinced that you should start a book blog now? Keep reading.
Book Blogging 101 & How To Start A Book Blog
I love book blogging, and I also love blogging about book-related places. While it is important to have a blogging niche, like books, travel, or vegan cooking, you can have more than one focus.
The Uncorked Librarian focuses on travel books and bookish travel. Because biblio-tourism is a growing trend, I mix in generic travel posts as well. Sometimes you can niche too much. I also have a section for blogging tips since I love helping other bloggers. We are all in this together. You will need blogging friends and a community.
Once I determined my blogging niche and name, I looked at other’s guides for how to get started. The post below will walk you through how to start a book blog. Topics covered include picking your name, starting a website, writing a book review, and where to find free ARCs (advanced reading copies). Even if you have a blog, you’ll find helpful book blogging tips for once you monetize.
OK: You have decided to start your blog and got the basics down. So now what do you write about? BOOKS, of course. But in case you get stuck, here are some book blogging tips and content ideas:
Let’s be honest, too: Book reviews are great. BUT, people crave diverse content. Find a way to make your reviews and site unique. No one wants to constantly hear, “I think; I like; I don’t like.” You are a grown ass adult with personality. Don’t write a 5th-grade book report. A few of my book blogging tips for writing:
- Don’t copy and paste the publisher’s summary before your own on a review (a second click affiliate page is another story). Even non-librarians can look up that info on Amazon themselves. Plus, you will most likely get denied by Google Adsense and other affiliates for not having original work.
- Let people know who that title is for, genre and age.
- Keep your paragraphs and sentences short for SEO and mobile readers.
- Remember that readers are diverse and authors are people too. With feelings. What you might hate, someone else may love. Be honest, fair, and respectful.
Book Blogging Tips For Social Media
As you start and progress with your book review blog, you want to scoff up all of your handles on social media.
P.S. Oh screw you, Grammarly; Merriam-Webster says that “scoff” is indeed a word. So THERE. P.S. Grammarly is great for checking your grammar and spelling. I use the free version which I downloaded here.
Important social media channels for your book blog include Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook Business, and Instagram. Each one may bring you a different type of audience and reader. Some will work better than others. Regardless, you want to have a consistent presence everywhere.
Key book blogging tips for social media:
- Post consistently whether it be once a week on the same day, always three times a week on a particular platform like IG, or posting every day on Facebook. Don’t start a channel and disappear for a month. Your audience will notice and dwindle.
- Make sure your SM handle matches your brand and name. Ensure readers can find you.
- Keyword your social media profile with terms such as “book blogger” or “book lists” and “books for wanderlust.” Tell people who you are as a business blogger and as a human. Be human and relatable. Never leave your profile blank or hashtag it to death. ALL CAPS SCARE ME AWAY.
- Don’t over self-promote on social media. The golden rule is 20% self-promotion and 80% other fun. This fun may include sharing others’ posts, getting a little more personal, or posting pictures related to your niche. The only exception to this 20/80 rule is Pinterest–but only once you’ve superhero changed into a Pinterest pro.
- Have share buttons for all of your SM channels on your blog post. I use the free Shareaholic plugin.
Instagram For Book Bloggers
Want to know another secret?! I semi-despise IG because it’s a lot of work and can be a pretty controversial, shallow platform. There, I said it. If you follow me already, though, you know this. Instagram eats your time and sometimes your soul. BUT, every business owner and serious book blogger should have some sort of positive presence on Instagram.
I am a double niche blogger: travel (usually focusing on boozy and literary travels) and of course, books. I don’t run a traditional bookstagram, but occasionally, I crack out the ever popular and non-sexual flat lay. Also, I try to mix up my book reviews in traveling posts. I hike with books, poise them on the Eiffel Tower, and throw a dress or bikini on them because that flies on IG.
NO, no I don’t do any of these things. And once again, Grammarly hates my use of “poise” there.
If you are looking to start a bookstagram, here are my traditional bookstagram tips that I update a few times a year:
Bookstagram is basically porn for book lovers. Find the latest hashtags, best photo editing apps, and supplies needed to start a #bookstagram. Learn about Instagram if you have a double niche like me.
Pinterest For Book Bloggers
These days, it is no secret that Pinterest is a book blogger’s dream. Did you know that along with SEO (basically landing on the front page of Google for search terms), Pinterest is my number one blog traffic source?
Readers head to Pinterest to find book reviews, book discussion guides, and book lists. They love BOOK LISTS. All of my blog posts have buttons and pinnable images for sharing on Pinterest.
A Few Main Pinterest Tips for Book Blogging:
- Keyword your Pinterest profile with your book blogging niche. You can check out my Pinterest account here.
- Join group boards on Pinterest specifically for book blogging. Book bloggers love to re-pin each other’s content. This gets your pins seen more, too.
- I use a Pinterest scheduler, Tailwind (TW), to pin at optimal pinning times (usually when I am sleeping). Tailwind lets me pin key posts throughout the day. I also create board lists so that I can pin an image to multiple related boards as well as group boards in seconds. TW has tribes that allow me to drop my blog pins into like-minded groups where we all share each other’s work. Learn more about Tailwind.
In order to up my Pinterest game (and if the above sounds alien to you), know that I took a course by the infamous Boss Girl Bloggers creator, Ell. Her course teaches you step-by-step how to get started with Pinterest and Tailwind to drive even more traffic to your blog. Check out that course as well as her FREE blogging course here.
With Ell’s Pinterest tips and TW, I reached almost 1,000 daily views in one day with less than 6 months of blogging experience.
Also, want to know two book blogging Pinterest coding tricks that are not so secret BUT SO IMPORTANT? This is a little more advanced but for those who are looking for more from this book blogging tips post:
1. Many bloggers get alt tags messed up for their blogs and include Pinterest descriptions in them. Don’t do it. That’s a terrible SEO practice. Alt tags should be keyworded and accurate descriptors for that image in case the picture doesn’t load. Period. Instead, enter this super easy code into the text/html part of your editor right after the image alt tag:
data-pin-description=”Your keyworded Pinterest description.”
Make sure that your ” ” are facing the right way. That messes everyone up.
An example (placed immediately after the image size) would look like this:
width=”300″ height=”450″ data-pin-description=”Are you looking for book blogging tips for beginners? Check out this comprehensive book blogging guide full of blogging resources for beginners.”
2. You really don’t need to have three pinnable images in each blog post. I recommend having one or two. If you create two pinnable images, keep one at the beginning and one at the end. I hide any seasonal or special pins within that post. This means that when pinners use my share button, these images are available to see. However, they don’t sit and overload my blog. Hiding images html looks like this:
Place this code BEFORE the image opening html (which looks like this: <img class=) :
<div style = “display:none;”>
And type this one after the image’s closing tag (width=”375″ height=”250″ />):
Book Blogging and Reviewing Tips For The Hidden Computer Geek In Us All
If you think coding is hard, picture taking is even worse for me.
I am not a pro-photographer. In fact, I kind of stink. To help spruce up my images, I use Lightroom and Photoshop for Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and my blog images. Adobe programs are easy to use for color filtering, resizing, and editing your pictures. You can find endless YouTube videos and free tutorials online for how to use them.
Plus, do you ever wonder how those 50k following accounts on Instagram make beautiful, consistent themes? These programs are exactly how IGers achieve uniformity and professional-looking shots. Try Photoshop for image editing and compositing. Plus, check out Adobe Spark for a new way to make Pinterest covers.
TUL also created this special tutorial for book bloggers. With author/publisher permission, superimposing book covers on your eReader for digital copy book reviews creates cleaner and clearer #bookstagrams. Learn basic Photoshop tips in this quick tutorial for how to create beautiful #bookstagrams and images for your blog and social media platforms.
This is my secret for making even prettier pictures:
Book Blogging Tips To Show Me The Money
What is a great way for book bloggers to start making money? Affiliate marketing is one method to earn passive income and an easy first step to monetizing your blog.
Easy Peasy Affiliate Programs For Book Bloggers To Apply For:
- Amazon – Amazon takes under a minute to sign-up for and is easy to use. They have a lot of rules that you should read first. You can get kicked out of their affiliate program. Links must only be used in blog posts and not directly on social media. You must make three initial sales within a certain timeframe to become fully approved. Don’t list prices, and don’t change their links.
- Barnes and Noble – Barnes and Noble has an affiliate program through CJ Junction. This one is slightly trickier to learn, and I use a browser plug-in to create my affiliate links. Their guidelines will talk you through it.
- Book Depository – You can apply through Book Depository directly or use Awin. I prefer Awin because not only do they include Barnes and Noble, but they have great vendors like Etsy. As you gain book blogging skills, think about all the fun links to Harry Potter wine glasses that you can add to your book reviews.
So Are You Ready To Book Blog?
Is this resource guide helpful? What I can add? What questions do you have? Drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, as you are getting started in the book blogging process, I highly recommend visiting TUL’s generic Blogging Resources Guide to learn about self-hosting, designing your site, and some of the best free plugins to use.