So you want to start a book blog, or vlog, or podcast, or bookstagram, or literally anything online having to do with an awesome book you’re reading. Great! Good luck! We love finding new book blogs and podcasts to follow, so whether you’re just reviewing or having discussions, feel free to leave the URL in the comments. Booked All Night has been around since 2016 and before that we blogged about books elsewhere. So we know a few tricks. But let’s get started with your project. There are lots of things to consider when you start a book blog:
Do you have the time to blog?
No. Really. Blogging takes a lot of time. Between drafting content and actively promoting your posts you can easily get sucked in and lose a lot of time. Think about blogs and websites that you like to check out: do they post once a month or multiple times a day? Chances are they post multiple times a day because they have many people working on that one site.
And they always have pictures or videos.
Are you prepared to get your hands dirty with code when you have to?
You are one person. You will need a schedule to keep a regular amount of content flowing. I highly recommend the following time frames for different media:
- Blogs & Vlogs: no less than twice a week
- Instagram (bookstagram): reviews at least once a week, pictures at least once a day.
- Podcasts: every two weeks, or at least once a week. Monthly works fine too if you already have the following.
Do you have the time to read?
We read mostly middle grade and young adult books, many of which are very quick reads but we’ve often come across books which take a few days to a week to finish. If you aren’t going to be able to keep up with the reading I would think of a significant amount of filler posts. BookTags and image-heavy posts are always a good idea to have on hand in case of a long period of downtime when you’re reading or just living your life.
Do you have access to newly published material?
Yes. New. Recent. It’s great that you have a whole shelf of classics but new books come out everyday. You can always contact the publisher or use services such as NetGalley and Edelweiss to request an advanced copy. Don’t forget to support your local library system and use tools like Hoopla and Libby to check out some recent releases.
Keep in mind that when you request ARCs (Advanced Reader/Review Copy) that the more followers you have the more likely you are to get an advanced copy. The same goes for timely material.
So if you are reviewing books years after they came out, you’re not exactly timely.
Are you a picky reader? Should you be a niche/genre blogger?
I. Hate. Contemporary. There I said it. But knowing that I am not a fan of the contemporary genre, I specifically do not request or accept requests for it. Here at Booked All Night, we have the mother categories covered: I read Sci Fi, Maggie reads Fantasy, and Dan reads Contemporary. This is great because we can explore different books on teh blog instead of getting sucked into one genre only.
But if you have a fantasy addiction-stick to it. Niche blogging is great. If all you blog about is fantasy YA, it gives your reviews a sense of authority.
The same goes for the other side of the spectrum. Do you like to read… anything in which the print is legible? Blog your heart out.
It’s about what you are going to be comfortable with.
Are you socially savvy or a newbie?
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc. If you’re on everything… great! If not… also great! But promote your new blog on something that is not your blog. Imagine only telling your mother about your new book and then getting mad that your friends haven’t read it.
Get on and get used to using social platforms and learn about scheduling links for your posts. It will make your life that much easier.
Over the next few weeks I’m sharing tips and tricks for all book bloggers! If any lesson sparks a question, feel free to leave it in the comments. And if I haven’t covered something that you’re curious about, feel free to ask about that too.