Hey there! Welcome to the very first post in The Ultimate Guide to Book Blogging series! I’m so excited to help you start a book blog of your very own!
Let’s start with the very first question you must answer before you dive into the world of book blogging. Why should you start a book blog in the first place? It’s a fair question. Not everyone is cut out for book blogging. You should consider book blogging if…
1. Books are your wheelhouse and you need to talk about it.
To be a successful book blogger you don’t just have to want it, you have to need it. Book blogging has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, but it’s also been frustrating at times. When your Twitter account is hacked or you’re facing a technical crisis you don’t know how to solve, it’s your passion for sharing your love of books that will see you through to the sunnier days of high traffic and bountiful retweets. So if books are your One True Love and you need an outlet to express that, book blogging might very well be the right thing for you.
2. You want to connect with an amazing community of book lovers fanatics.
I’m an introvert and a very private person to boot, so when I started book blogging the thing that scared me most was the big “n” word–Networking. How to reach out to people in the book blogging community and whether or not I even wanted to were big questions for me. I had a few false starts in the beginning, but eventually I integrated into the community and have even made a few friends along the way. And you know what I’ve learned? For the most part, the blogging community is full of wonderful people! Our love of books unites us and that is a beautiful thing.
3. You want to challenge yourself and learn new things.
Something I never anticipated when I first started book blogging was just how much I would learn. The nature of the Internet is that everything is constantly evolving. Even now a week doesn’t pass without learning something new about coding, design, or technology in general. There are times when I get overwhelmed and this constant state of flux irritates me, but at the end of the day I know that I would be terribly bored if everything stayed the same. Being forced to adapt keeps me on my toes and prevents my mind turning into a bowl of spaghetti.
[tweetthis]Thinking about becoming book blogger? Here are 10 reasons why you should![/tweetthis]
4. You want free books (not gonna lie, it’s a perk).
All by itself, wanting free books is not a good reason to start book blogging, but if a lot of the other things on this list resonate with you, free books are a nice perk. The size of my home library has exploded since I started book blogging and I’ve had the opportunity to read many amazing books before they hit stores.
5. You want to become a better reader.
Book blogging has gradually changed the way I read books over the years. While I still enjoy reading as much as ever, I’m more analytical and I recognize subtle themes and patterns more easily. My reading life has progressed from a fun hobby to a fun hobby/job that helps me better understand the world and the human mind.
6. You want to become a better writer.
The best way to become a better writer is to write, and blogging is a great format to use because it provides the opportunity for instant feedback. My writing and book reviewing skills have vastly improved since I first started blogging. For an example, check out this review of 1776 that I wrote during my second month of blogging and compare it to this review of Parade’s End that I wrote in April last year. Now that’s not to say that all of the reviews I write now are as long and thoughtful as my review of Parade’s End or that all of my earlier reviews were as short and shallow as the one I wrote of 1776, but it is representative of the growth I have experienced as a reader, a writer, a reviewer, and a thinker, which is precisely what want to talk about next.
7. You want to become a better thinker.
Part of being a good reader and a good writer is being a good thinker. Book blogging has encouraged me to think more critically and to recognize nuance where I didn’t see any before. As someone who is naturally wired for analytical thinking, this expansion of consciousness has been exciting and invigorating. It’s also been helped along by my discussions with other book bloggers and by reading their thought-provoking reviews.
8. You want to make money doing something you love.
Here we come to it: the question of whether or not you can realistically make money blogging about books. I believe you can, in part because I’ve done it and in part because I believe anything is possible if you set your mind to it. I know many people who have made a good chunk of change book blogging and even a few who have turned it into a full-time job. There are numerous ways to creatively monetize your blog, which we’ll talk about later in this series.
9. You want to break into the publishing world.
Book blogging (or any type of blogging for that matter) is a great way to break into the publishing world. If you’re looking to become a freelance writer, blogging provides you the opportunity to show off your skills. If you want to become a published author, know that publishers often prefer authors who already have a public platform from which to launch their book. In the age of digital marketing, having a successful blog sets you apart from the competition.
10. You want to influence how other people see the world.
Since the dawn of the Internet, people have gradually grown to distrust the mainstream media more and more. The age of the individual thought leader has arrived and anyone with a brain and a computer can influence how people think and see the world around them. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on who is doing the influencing. If you want to lend your voice to the chorus of wise and intelligent thought leaders encouraging people to educate and think for themselves, join the club! You’re more than welcome.
Check out The Ultimate Guide to Book Blogging for more about how to become a better book blogger!