How to Start a Book Review Blog: A Complete Guide

How to Start a Book Blog and Succeed

How to start a book blog, review books, and have a successful book blog


After doing some research on blogging and finding relatively few resources that were specifically about how to start a book blog, I decided to put together this guide for those thinking about diving into the book blogging community.Β  (Especially since some of the top results on Google are things like “How to Start a Book Blog in 6 Easy Steps” that cover only the very basics and seem to be articles written by paid bloggers for clicks, not by people who have ever actually started or run a book blog!) I started Pages Unbound in 2011 with very little idea of what I was doing, so I hope other new bloggers feel they don’t have to do the same!

Table of Contents: 17 Steps to Start a Book Blog

  1. Choose a blog name.
  2. Choose a blogging platform.
  3. Choose a theme.
  4. Write an about page.
  5. Write a review policy.
  6. Write some posts–and schedule some posts in advance.
  7. Decide whether you will rate books.
  8. Read other books blogs.
  9. Add widgets to your sidebar.
  10. Make graphics for your blog.
  11. Decide which social media platforms to promote your blog on.
  12. Start a review archive page.
  13. Participate in the book blogging community and comment on other blogs.
  14. Work on SEO for your blog.
  15. Apply to get ARCs to review.
  16. Consider whether you want a co-blogger.
  17. Host a blogging event.
Beginner Book Blog Tips

The Basics of Starting Your Book Blog

1. Choose a Blog Name

Once you’ve established yourself under a certain blog name, changing it can be hard, so you’ll want to put some thought into this. Choose a name that reflects what your blog will be about, and also do some research to check whether it’s an original name or whether there are other variations.  (For instance, someone started a blog called “The Page Unbound” several years after we founded “Pages Unbound.”  This could be confusing to both of our audiences.)

2, Choose a Blogging Platform

First, decide whether you want to go paid or free for your blogging platform.  Free is a good place to start if you’re not sure about how long you’re going to keep blogging or you’re just on a budget. The two most popular free platforms are and Blogger. While I personally recommend for ease of use (and ease of converting to paid later), you should research both platforms and decide which will be most useful to you.

If you know you’re going to be serious about blogging, it could be good to go paid from the start.  At least pay for a domain name.  That way you won’t lose any followers if you change blogging platforms from, say, Blogger to and end up changing your URL.

3. Choose a Theme

Think about two things: the tone of your blog and user readability. Pick (or pay for) a design that represents the spirit of your blog: playful, serious, focused on mysteries, obsessed with fantasy, etc.  However, make sure it’s easy to navigate and that your text will be easy to read. (For example, avoid light fonts on dark backgrounds. Also check if you can change the font size if the default is too small.)

Also, I discuss this more in the intermediate tips on using graphics, but do keep in mind that you should adhere to copyright laws and should use images for your blog theme that you have paid for the right to use, that are your own images, or that are explicitly free for use online.

4. Write an About Page

Readers consistently say they like to know about the blogger behind the blog.  While you don’t have to get too personal if you don’t want to, you should still say something about yourself and the general purpose of your blog. Allow your readers to get to know you and what they can expect you to be writing on your book blog.  If you’re comfortable with it, consider adding a photograph for an even more personal touch.

5. Create a Review Policy

As a book blogger, even a newbie one, you’re likely to get requests from authors and publicists to review books or feature other content on your blog, such as author guest posts or interviews.  Instead of waiting for people to email you and then panicking, decide up front whether this is something you are interested in and then list your guidelines on your Review Policy page.

Some things to include in your review policy:

  • What posts you will consider. (Only reviews? Only author interviews?)
  • What genres you are interested in and what genres you don’t want to review.
  • Whether you will post negative reviews or whether you will post only three star reviews or higher.
  • Whether you will post the review somewhere other than your blog (Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.)
  • How quickly you expect to read and review book requests.
  • What formats you will accept. (Only print books, Kindle books, PDFs?)
  • The email address people can contact you at. (I recommend creating a blog-specific one, instead of using your personal email.)

6. Write Some Posts–And Schedule Some Ahead

Obviously, your blog is going to need content. You can start out with a simple introduction post telling people who you are and why you’ve joined the book blogosphere. (You can read my tips on writing your very first book blog post here.)  From there, your content is likely to include book reviews, discussions of books, book tags, etc.  Write some of these posts in advance. 

Decide how often you want to post on your blog (three times a week? once a week?) and consider writing out at least three weeks’ worth of posts before your blog goes live. This will save you a lot of stress trying trying to post consistently and keep you from scrambling to create content.  New bloggers often report blogger burnout when they fail to schedule posts before they launch.

7. Choose Whether You Will Have a Rating System

Many, but not all, book bloggers use a rating system on their book reviews to give their audience a quick indication of how much they enjoyed the book they are reviewing. There are pros to including ratings (for instance, other people seem to like them) and cons (for instance, sometimes people seem to skip the review and just check the rating). Krysta and I didn’t use ratings on our blog for several years. And it was fine. However, you probably want to be consistent with using or not using them from the start, and you’ll also want think about what graphic you’ll use for the rating.  In fact, many people don’t use stars at all, but some other image that goes with their theme like tea cups, cats, muffins, etc.

8. Read Other Book Blogs

If you’re not really reading other book blogs, now is a good time to start. While there’s always room for creativity in the blogosphere, there are also conventions. Find out what other bloggers are doing and what readers might be expecting from your blog.  If you want to break the mold and do something wildly different, that’s great, and now you’ll be doing it as an informed decision.

Intermediate Book Blog Tips

The Details of Starting Your Book Blog

Once you have the foundations of your book blog, it’s time to start thinking about the details: making the user experience good for your readers and getting visitors to come to your blog.

1. Cultivate a Great Sidebar

Don’t overwhelm visitors with too much information in your sidebar. Think about what information will be useful to them, and put the most important things towards the top.

Consider including in the sidebar:

  • a brief bio (save the long version for your About page)
  • a search bar for your blog
  • a way to subscribe to your blog (email or WordPress feed)
  • links to your social media pages
  • a blog button if you have one
  • a list of your most recent posts
  • a list of popular posts
  • information about any special events you have going on

Consider omitting from the sidebar:

  • the tag cloud (No one really uses this to navigate.)
  • a calendar (I can see your recent posts.)
  • recent Tweets (I can just follow you on Twitter.)
  • too much information about favorite books or other fun facts

You can also choose not to have a sidebar at all. Some bloggers feel that sidebars clutter their space and prefer to include information like how to follow them on social media elsewhere.

2. Think about Graphics for Your Blog

Most blogging experts recommend having at least one image per blog post.  Planning this out can take some time.  First, you want to be sure you’re staying on the right side of copyright laws and not using images illegally. Secondly, you’ll want to think about branding your images and keeping the look consistent across posts. (Consider making graphics similar sizes, fonts, and colors.)

Image Basics

To get started, you might want some basic graphics so you don’t have to make an entirely new one for every single post (unless that’s something you love to do). So, you might make an image for use on all discussion posts, an image for use on all Top Ten Tuesday posts, etc.

Advanced Images

If you have time to invest into making many graphics or you’re invested in using images for traffic growth, make a unique image for each blog post.  To be really unique, you can use your own bookish photography.  Otherwise, find royalty-free images and optimize them for sharing.  This means putting the post title on the image and putting your blog name or URL, as well.  If you’re going to be sharing a lot on Pinterest, expects recommend portrait-style graphics (long vertical images).

Check out my recommendations for free graphics tools for book bloggers here.

3. Choose What Social Media to Join

Few book bloggers only run blogs.  Joining social media will help you both meet other bloggers and readers and help you promote your content.  If you’re a social media fiend, feel free to join everything: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Riffle, etc.  However, remember that the most valuable social media is the one you enjoy enough to actually use. If you’re going to start slowly or have limited time to devote to other outlets beyond your blog, I recommend Goodreads (of course) and Twitter as the places where the book community is often most active. (You can also read my posts on using Goodreads to drive traffic to your blog and using Goodreads to write better reviews.)

Note that there is also a large book community on Instagram (Bookstagram), but this site generally is not going to be a traffic driver back to your book blog.  Join if you’re truly interested in taking book photography and interacting with other readers on the site itself, not because you think it will be a good way to promote your blog.  And, if you are interested in joining, don’t worry about not owning “enough” or “beautiful” books.  It’s perfectly fine to take creative photos of your ereader featuring book covers or photos of library books.

For my tips on Bookstagram, check out:

Josephine at Word Revel also has an excellent Bookstagram 101 series.

After you’ve joined, make sure your social media is clearly linked to in your blog sidebar, so people can find and follow you. Then add your blog URL to your social media profiles.  If you’re on WordPress, you can also set up your blog so it will auto-share new posts on Facebook and Twitter.  (There are also options for sharing other sites, such as LinkedIn, but most book bloggers won’t be using these.)

4. Start a Review Archive Page

One of the first things I do when I visit a new book blog is check out their review archives.  I want to know what kinds of books the blog features, and whether I agree with the bloggers opinions on books we’ve both read.  Make it easy for visitor to access your content by starting a page for your review archive, which you can choose to alphabetize either by author or by title of the book. You can also make archive pages for any other posts you routinely write and want to group by category.

5. Participate in the Book Blog Community

If you want people to read your blog, the single most useful thing you can do is read and comment on other people’s blogs.  Write meaningful comments and connect with readers, and they’ll want to read your actual blog content. Alternatively, no one can visit your blog if they’re not aware it exists, so go out there and talk to other readers!

You can also join memes, read-alongs, reading challenges, Twitter chats, or other events that other bloggers are hosting.  Big events include Bloggiesta (a few times a year) and Armchair BEA in May.

For more on how you can get traffic to your book blog, go here.  You can also see the best blogging advice submitted by our readers.

Advanced Book Blog Tips

Advanced Book Blogging

If you’re super serious about getting traffic to your blog or becoming known in the book community, start thinking about search engine optimization (SEO) for your blog and creating timely and unique content.

1. Complete These Quick SEO Tips

There’s a lot of information on the web about improving your SEO and getting traffic to your blog. The following tips are quick ideas to get you started:

  • Include ALT tags for your images. (Use the media editor in WordPress to do this.)
  • Compress images. Part of good SEO is making sure your site loads quickly. If you’re using lots of  large image files on your posts, use a site like to make them smaller.
  • Use heading tags.  Your blog post title will be an H1 tag. In your post, use H2, H3, and maybe H4 to structure your post.
  • Use keywords.  Make sure you’re naturally including the words you think people would use to search for your post in the post itself.  If you’re reviewing a book, for instance, you’ll probably want to mention the title and author name a couple times throughout the review, not just once.
  • Use links.  Send readers to other related posts on your blog to keep them engaged and reading.
  • Update old content.  Once you’re an established blogger, make sure your old content isn’t wasting away.  If you’ve written an interesting discussion post or helpful guide, update it and re-share it on social media.

If you’re wondering what kind of stats you might be able to expect as a book blogger, check out this informal survey I took.

2. Get Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs)

Indie authors and publicists may begin contacting you about reviewing their books very early in your blogging career.  However, if you’re interested in getting ARCs from major publishers, your blog will probably have to be at least six months old, and you’ll have to demonstrate to publishers you’ll bring the book visibility by sending them your stats for follower numbers and average page views.  Updating your blog frequently and having comments on your posts can also be useful.

For e-ARCs: Simply go to Netgalley or Edelweiss, fill out your profile, and request.

For physical ARCs: Check out some of these guides.

Some publishers have specific forms they ask bloggers to fill out to request ARCs, and the publishers do not wish to be contacted by email for ARC requests.

You can also enter Goodreads giveaways for ARCs for check the Shelf Awareness industry newsletter for ARCs.

3. Think about getting a Co-blogger

As the tasks “big” book bloggers are expected to perform increase, I’ve been predicting that bloggers seriously invested in growing or even monetizing their book blogs may want to co-blog.  After all, bloggers are expected to

  • consistently write unique content
  • read books and other blogs
  • comment on other blogs
  • take photos
  • make graphics
  • run social media
  • host events
  • …and more.

If that’s not something you have the time to all by yourself, or you don’t have the skills or interest to do, you may want a co-blogger to help.  If this idea appeals to you, find out what questions you should ask potential co-bloggers.

4. Host Your Own Blog Event

Once you’re fairly established, you can think about hosting your own bookish event.  This can be anything from a read-along of a book you enjoy or a book you want to read but haven’t yet, to an event where you focus on a single author/genre/series/etc. and collect some guest posts from other bloggers.

It’s a good idea to look around and see how other people host events first.  For instance, what times of discussion questions or activities might go with a read-along?  How long should the event last?  How many people can you expect to participate?  Start planning and scheduling from there.

If you want guest posts, I recommend approaching some bloggers you think will be interested in the topic of the event and sending them an email specifically asking if they would like to contribute something.  (Also include details like when you would want the draft, how long the post should be, whether you will be linking to their blog and social media, etc. so they can make an informed decision.)  If your blog is still smallish, you may have trouble getting participants if you just send out a general call for guest posts.  Approaching specific bloggers to guest post will help ensure you get content and your event succeeds.

Krysta and I asked other readers for guest posts when we first launched our (kind of annual) March Tolkien Reading Event.  Now that we’ve been blogging for several years, the event is big enough that we get participants from putting out a general call for guest posts.

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Other Posts You Might Be Interested In

What tips do you have for people looking to start book blogging?

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136 thoughts on “How to Start a Book Review Blog: A Complete Guide

  1. SERIESous Book Reviews says:

    Great tips!

    I wish I had thought more about writing posts in advance when I started my blog. I was just so excited to start it, I published the first thing I wrote πŸ˜›

    But going to other blogs is so important! It’s so easy to think that “because you build it, people will come” but you need to get involved–and I didn’t do that much in my first year of blogging and it is one of my biggest regrets!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana says:

      Me, too! I think it’s there’s only one thing you can do to help when you start, it’s planning a little bit ahead! It’s just that starting a blog is so exciting and a lot of us just jump right in!

      Exactly! I didn’t interact much my first year either, and I noticed a huge jump in visitors once I started to speak more to other bloggers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • theworldisherstage says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! I know that my response is a tad late, but this article was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for creating a blog guide specifically for the book community. I am relatively new to book-blogging, but I am thrilled to see that there really is a niche for all of the book lovers out there.

      For the SEO section, are there any books or articles that you would recommend to gain a better understanding of how to successfully optimize the SEO experience?

      Thank you once again for this great article!


      • Briana says:

        I’m glad you found it helpful!

        There are a lot of good “blogs about blogging” out there that address SEO and getting more blog traffic (Neil Patel comes to mind), but I think for a lot of book bloggers, the SEO tips that would work are pretty basic. Like, write the subject of the post in the headline. If you want search engine traffic for a review about, say, Throne of Glass, you should really just title your post something like “Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas” instead of something creative like “Assassins and Dresses and Fun, Oh, My!”, which some bloggers do. Also, incoming links to your blog/post can be important for SEO, so you’d want to internally link to posts on your blog and, when possible, have other bloggers link to your content. (However, a lot of blogging advice out there is basically “Ask other people to link to your content!” which I don’t think goes over well in the book community; it’s one of the things that maybe works for tech blogs or other niches but not as much for our niche.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • theworldisherstage says:

          Thank you for taking the time to write all of this! Please know that it is greatly appreciated. I would like to build a large β€œmental library” of SEO knowledge, so every bit of information I receive helps. The title of the post information that you provided is definitely going in my notes. Thank you once again! I am excited to read more of your posts. Your blog is very informative.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Kate Drexel says:

      This is seriously helpful. Thank you so much! I just started a blog back in late August ( and I’m somewhat of a beginner in this area. I mean, I’ve written concert and album reviews for online music publications but I’ve never done anything like this. Again, thank you! If you can review my blog and drop a line on what I can do differently, etc. that would be great! Keep up the awesome job! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lunch-Time Librarian says:

    This is a great guide! I’m sure it’ll be a big help to anyone starting out with a book blog πŸ™‚ And I’ve been blogging for a bit, but that tip about updating old content is so key and I needed your reminded to do that! It’s definitely something I’ve been working on doing more.


    • Briana says:

      Thank you!

      I’ve been trying to think about updating some old posts recently too. It’s easy to assume that once they’re publishing, that’ it and they may not get any more views, but that doesn’t have to be the case.


  3. rantandraveaboutbooks says:

    I wish I had this when I first started. This is so comprehensive it should be under the WordPress help links. I learned a lot from social media in the beginning. Then I started reading and commenting on a lot of blogs. It’s very intimidating when you first start and you’re trying to figure out what to do each day to make it work. I started with a feature about my favorite book to movie adaptations and back then, I had assumed everyone had read and watched Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, so I didn’t think to remove spoilers. I learned that lesson right after I finished those posts. I remember setting up my submission process page and thinking no one will ever want me to review their book. Haha! I was wrong about that one. I also look at book reviews to get a feel for what the blogger likes and their writing style. That’s usually my deciding factor if I want to follow them. Great post! This was such a good idea.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Briana says:

      Thank you! I was kind of inspired by the fact, after I realized there’s a lot of advice about general blogging that I think isn’t always useful for specifically book blogging, what does exist is sometimes limited, or otherwise divided across posts. You can, for instance, find plenty of posts about ARCs or about setting up your sidebar–but as a new blogger I didn’t even realize these were things I perhaps should be thinking about. I also think a lot of new bloggers are surprised that authors will start emailing them right away with review requests and it’s good to have a policy from the beginning!

      I honestly don’t worry about HP or HG spoilers either. Oops? They’re just so ingrained in modern culture it’s almost like trying not to spoiler Romeo and Juliet for someone. They’re going to find out how it ends sooner or later. :p

      Liked by 1 person

      • rantandraveaboutbooks says:

        It’s funny you mentioned similar blog names in your post because I found someone on Twitter with a blog called Unbound Pages. I almost sent them a tweet one time when I meant to send it to you. Yeah, I think this is so helpful. There’s never anything specifically about blogging. It’s usually just general info. I do see a lot about ARCs but none of them have been very helpful to me with the exception of a few from more experienced bloggers. I don’t even bother requesting ARCs anymore. Is that weird? I just have too many books to read on my iPad. I’ve seen some sidebar posts. I didn’t see the point in those without talking about the important pages you need on a blog. You hit every single thing a new and even current blogger could ever need. I had a review page from the beginning and haven’t changed it since. I just looked at what other bloggers were using and read a few articles on it. But it was very cumbersome in the beginning. It was stressful in a way trying to setup a blog that people would maybe want to read. Now, it comes so natural I don’t even think about it. I just write down notes or save post ideas when they come to me. Haha! That’s true. I can’t believe there’s still people who haven’t seen or read an HP movie or book.


        • Briana says:

          I understand we don’t have the world’s most uncommon name for a book blog, but when I see people found blogs after ours with extremely similar names I have to admit I’m mildly annoyed. It’s just confusing for everyone. There’s also some relatively new music festival thing called Pages UnBound (note the capital “B,” really distinguishes them) in Canada, and I’m forever being tagged by people on Twitter who are announcing they’ll be performing with us soon. :p

          I don’t really request ARCs either, besides some on Netgalley. I just get too stressed out with “having” to read things. So much of the rest of my life is structured and about having to read things that I just don’t like it, I guess. JK Rowling could write a completely new Marauders era book and if I got an ARC I think I’d be like “Ugh. Do I really have to read this within one month?” But I know some people feel they’ve really made it as a blogger if they can be approved for ARCs, so I think it’s helpful to know how to go about getting them.

          I get so confused when I visit blogs without review archives! It’s one of the first places I look! I’ll admit I’ve let ours get away from us, but it’s also so long at this point that it’s bordering on un-useful. Mostly I like to just get a sense of what the blogger usually reviews. If I want a specific book I’ll just use the search bar.

          Liked by 1 person

          • rantandraveaboutbooks says:

            I would be annoyed, too, if I were you. That would drive me crazy. Pages UnBound doesn’t even sound like it’s related to music. I agreed to a bunch of author reviews and interviews over a one month span and it was very stressful. I even had one author request I give her a donation if I didn’t write a review of her novel I had zero interest in reading. That really takes some nerve. After that, I haven’t accepted one request. I honestly don’t have the time, and some of these self-pub books are not that great. I stopped requesting on NetGalley when I realized it lowered my ratings when I didn’t read and review the books. No blog archives is weird to me. I post all of my book reviews under their own page. Some people have them in every type of order you can imagine, which seems like overkill, but to not have one at all is unusual for a book blogger. I also look through most recent reviews to see if they read the same books.


            • Briana says:

              Maybe it is a literary festival. And people do readings or spoken word or something? I’m not sure. Just that they stole our name and people perform there. :p I find this REALLY weird because, yeah, amateur book blogs are probably going to overlap with the book-related names, but if I were a legitimate event, I think I’d Google a bit to check my name were unique. They’re probably really made they can’t have the @pagesunbound Twitter handle though. πŸ˜‰

              Yeah. In addition to not wanting ARCs for time constraint reasons, I’ve had some unpleasant experiences interacting directly with some authors, and I know many other bloggers have, as well. The unprofessional ones ruin it for everything, and then they wonder why many bloggers have decided not to deal with self-published authors. Frankly, it’s easier, even if I am missing out on some self-published books that are great.

              Liked by 1 person

              • rantandraveaboutbooks says:

                Yeah, that really sucks for you guys. I think it’s pretty lame that some book bloggers use a similar name. They couldn’t think of something else? Like they weren’t married to it or anything. A lot of bloggers have said the same thing about authors. If you say no, you’d think they would just be like okay and move on. What I find is that some people will send me a request without checking my page to see what I read. The other thing I noticed is that the self pub authors can never classify what genre their book fits into. I hate reading that it’s a 200k word book that’s a mix of contemporary, fantasy, and criminal drama I’m like huh? That makes no sense. Or I get the adult version of HP and Hunger Games mashed together. I’m like no way. I don’t know if I’ll ever take on another review from a self pub author. So far, only one of them has truly appreciated the time I spent to read and write the review.


  4. Jamie @ Books and Ladders says:

    I think the tip about creating posts ahead of time before starting a blog is REALLY helpful. I didn’t do that when I started my own, but we did that when I started blogging on Books Are My Fandom and it REALLY helped. We didn’t have to worry if we had posts for the day or not and it was more just a “let’s check it over one more time before releasing it to the world”! This is really helpful and I will be sure to send it to my followers!


    • Briana says:

      Yes! It’s nice to start out ahead, instead of starting out at a run and then trying to write very quickly so you can eventually get to a point where you’re able to schedule posts in advance. I wish I had thought of this when I first started blogging, or had someone suggest it to me!


    • Briana says:

      I’m glad you find it helpful! It probably too me a couple years to really get what people were expecting a book blog to look like, or what features they thought made one easy to navigate.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Alex says:

    Considering I’ve literally just made my blog, this was a really great post to read! I’ve been combing through tip-posts all day and this is definitely my favourite.


    • Briana says:

      Thanks so much! I wanted to write a post that had most of what would be immediately useful in a single post, instead of making people comb through a whole series of posts for advice.


  6. shansbookshelf says:

    Thank you for this post. It very helpful, I’ve recently just started blogging three months ago and I had no idea what to say in a review policy or even if I should do one. Now I think I will. πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana says:

      Congratulations on starting your blog! We didn’t have a review policy initially either, but it becomes really helpful when authors start emailing you review requests! (Of course, ours says we don’t accept any review requests and people still pitch us stuff, so obviously not everyone bothers to read the policy…)

      Liked by 1 person

      • shansbookshelf says:

        Thank you! I must say I found your post helped so much:D. Already I’ve seen a huge improvement communicating with other bloggers. My review policy is up now, it took a while to get it perfect but I’m happy with how it turned out.
        That’s not fair they should always read your Policy first πŸ™‚


        • Krysta says:

          Well, one does wonder why I should read a 300-page book for someone who didn’t have time to read my review policy. It’s just a bad marketing strategy to make it look like you didn’t spend any time researching your pitch.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. lynneawilson says:

    Great guide! I’ve just started my book blog and being a complete newbie to the world of blogging, I have been somewhat overwhelmed by it all. This guide has given me some points to focus on. Thank you x


  8. Thourya Osama says:

    I think I have to bookmark this πŸ˜€ . It’s a powerful post. I have started my blog months ago and many things you’ve said I didn’t know anything about. So, thank you so much.


  9. Riley says:

    I’ve been meaning to start a book blog for a while (as a university literature student who is happily consumed by books), and a couple things have kicked me in the butt to get started this week. I haven’t created my blog yet, but after combing through tips post, this has been the most helpful by far. Many thanks from a soon-to-be newbie!


  10. Morgan Madison says:

    This article was really helpful!! I’ve decided I want to start a blog too but I’m trying to decide if it’s better to leave reviews on Goodreads for a while and just get a following there or go ahead and start the blog right away. It’s just hard to know when the right time is to get started.


    • Briana says:

      That’s so exciting! I’ve personally never been the best at using Goodreads to network, so I have a lot more blog followers than Goodreads friends. I think whichever platform you’re most comfortable starting with is the way to go. πŸ™‚


  11. booksandreaders says:

    I get most of what I actually win through GR . No , let me put it correctly . The books I win are always from GR . GR giveaways are not random and I’m happy with it lol


  12. Zara says:

    Hi! I’m new to book blogging. how do you do the stars at the end of your book review? please reply, thanks!!


  13. anhdara13 says:

    I’ve been blogging for over a year, but I had not realised I needed this post so much! I know my blog is slow-moving – this year has been hectic because I had a baby in March, and she takes up most of my time – but I’m planning to (slowly!) up my posts next year. I’ve already planned to go from one discussion post a month to two (plus reviews on alternate Sundays because I have a backlog). This is helping me figure out whether I want to slowly change the direction of my blog.

    Thank you!


  14. Noel Bleu says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been running a blog for a few years and seeing very little success attempting to cover a variety of subjects, I finally decided to focus on just books and this post and the extras you linked to have been very useful.


  15. ofoceansandgeeks says:

    Thanks for the advice. I just started my blog and following your advice has made it easier to start. I found your advice really useful.


  16. Heidi @ The Meddlesome Scholar says:

    I recently started a book blog and this post really helps! I’m also a freelance writer and one thing I noticed is that whenever I go to sign up for writing websites and they ask for my blogging specialty they never have “books” as an option. You’re right– book blogging is pretty underrepresented. Thanks for going out of your way to put advice out there for us!


    • Briana says:

      That’s really interesting! I think there’s just this assumption that blogging mainly encompasses lifestyle, travel, food, and tech, and other things don’t count as much. 😦


  17. imperfectlybelle says:

    Thank you so very much for writing this post. I am in the process of setting up my own blog which will involve book reviews but also include other content. This post has been exceptionally helpful and instead of rushing in, I’m definitely going to be taking my time to get everything set up correctly before I start posting. Thanks again! πŸ™‚


  18. The Vagaries of Us - Book Blog says:

    Such great information all jam-packed into a single post! Thank you so much for this! I started a book review blog last year and it has been pretty slow – traffic wise. I get discouraged sometimes because of the effort it takes on social media, getting bombarded by authors, publishers, and marketers, and not really reaching many actual readers! These tips are great!


  19. Jodi says:

    Hi! Lot’s of great tips. Thank you so much for writing this. I’m still in the “research” phase before beginning my book blog, but I’m so close. Still deciding on a name. I’m kinda stuck because I am so Type A! I’m the kid that never really did anything bad because I was afraid of getting in trouble. πŸ™‚ I’m wondering are there any legalities to writing reviews on books that are not ARC’s or solicited by authors/publishers? What about including the book cover, pictures of the cover, etc.? Thanks again! I’ll be referring to your posts even more in the near future!


    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Congratulations on working on starting your blog! No, you can review whatever you want, and it’s perfectly fine! I had the same question about cover art when I first started, but publishers are perfectly fine with bloggers using cover art because it helps promote the book. The only thing you wouldn’t want to do is use another blogger’s photo of a book or something, but if you’re just saving the cover image from Goodreads or taking your own photos, you’re good to go.


  20. Angelica Joy says:

    Despite this being an old post, and having received so many comments already, i still wanted to show my appreciation.

    My blog has been up several years now but i only blogged reguarly for some parts. Ive now gone back to blogging and will be moving platforms and doing it properly this time. I fear I’ll loose followers as most are via GFC which is only Google based.

    I am reading up on posts like these so I can actually do it correctly this time around. Thank you for the amazing content and will be reading all posts.


  21. A Storm Of Pages says:

    Just a quick note to stay thank you for the work you put into this post – it’s helped me so much with figuring out what I needed when the idea to start my own book blog crept up on me. I was very undecided for a long time, but when I did finally decide to take the leap this post provided much needed information and guidelines, as well as things to consider that hadn’t occured to me before! I’ll be back when I’m ready for the Intermediate and Advanced advice for sure πŸ™‚


  22. Books N' Roses says:

    I was always so scared to start my blog, but (after many, MANY tries) I finally got mine up! it’s not perfect but I’m working on it! ill definitely be using some of the tips you shared!!


  23. the page and passport says:

    Thanks so much for such a detailed page. I’ve finally started to set up a book blog after only posting reviews on GR. It’s definitely bringing me back to English lit major days in college! Your advice has been very helpful in getting the basics sorted out – and the best part, you write it from experience in setting one up yourself! I’m enjoying your blog and all the help you’ve provided on here. Keep up the great work!


  24. goddessofhearthharvestandhellfire says:

    Hi Briana,
    I just wanted to send a little thank you to you for this super comprehensive guide. I’ve just begun to create a blog, and I appreciate how much time and effort that you have put into this. Your blog is beautiful, and I look forward to reading more of your post.
    ~Chloe Doubrava


  25. Lamia says:

    REALLY awesome blog post I really appreciate it, it’s exactly what I was looking for ❀ ❀ ❀


  26. venicedelacruz says:

    Thank you for this guide. πŸ™‚ Now I’m doubting my blog posts and thinking what the hell am I doing. πŸ˜› Haha. But seriously, thank you so much. This is really insightful.

    Janna. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  27. sorceryofstories says:

    Thank you so much for this! I just started my book blog today and am still really confused about how everything works but this is a great resource! This might be a really weird question, but I’m trying to make my own archive (thinking ahead haha) but cannot really find a clear explanation anywhere on how to make one. Can I ask how your archive works? Thanks already and again love the post!


  28. Hannah says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I know that this post was made years ago, but I discovered it while searching how to start a book blog (as I am currently trying to start one). I was wondering how often you posted at first, as I’ve noticed that you guys are posting about everyday right now? Also, your blog is AMAZING! I have been looking at a lot of book blogs recently, but I am yet to find one that has been going for as long as yours! XD


  29. Ember says:

    I wish I’d seen this when I started my blog! I did a bunch of research but this is a WHOLE LOT MORE USEFUL. I actually started on blogspot, then moved to wix, and now I’m on wordpress – but honestly, I didn’t feel like I posted enough, so I enlisted my friend to help…enough about me πŸ™‚ Just wanted to say that I love your blogs aesthetic (I need some tips) and that it’s super impressive that you’ve been blogging this long. I’ve seen a bunch of blogs that just stop blogging after a couple of months (I hope that doesn’t happen to me-) Anyway, this seems excessive.. so sorry XD


    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I’m glad you found it useful! I wrote it because I find a lot of general blogging advice doesn’t seem to really apply to book blogs.

      Someone told me the average life of a blog is 3 years, and I’ve definitely seen a lot come and go over the years. but there are also a bunch of other book bloggers who have also been blogging for about 10 years, so it does happen!

      Liked by 1 person

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