Tips for Writing Your Very First Post for Your New Book Blog

Blogging Tips and Tricks

I write blogging advice posts for people who are already blogging.  (The exception is the comprehensive post I wrote about how to start book blogging, which includes tips for both complete beginners and slightly more established bloggers.) However, we’ve been getting a few search engine hits from people looking for suggestions on what to do with their very first blog post when they launch the blog, so I’m here to give people what they want!

Disclaimer: When Krysta and I started Pages Unbound, we jumped right in.  Our first post was a review of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.  So I’m not saying I personally followed this advice, but it is what I would do if I were to start a book blog again, based on what I’ve learned.

Introduce Yourself

Generally speaking, the first post on your new book blog (or probably any blog) is going to be an introduction.  Tell readers who you are–to the extent that you’re comfortable sharing personal information online.  You don’t have to tell readers your age, location, job title, etc. if you don’t want to, but tell them something.  How long have you been reading?  Why did you decide to start a book blog?  What are your favorite books or genres?  Feel free to add fun facts like your love of hedgehogs or obsession with strawberry lemonade.

Make It Meaty

In addition to introducing yourself, make sure you introduce your blog.  At the time you hit publish, this post is going to be the only content on your blog (excluding any information you have on your sidebar or on an “about page”).  So make sure you tell readers what they can expect your blog to be about.  Consider including:

  • what genre books you are most likely to feature
  • how often you plan to post (and what days if you think you will post specifically on Wed. and Sun. for instance)
  • what content you plan to feature (reviews? discussion posts? memes? author interviews?)
  • where else readers can connect with you (social media accounts?  Goodreads?)

You don’t have to stick to this.  If you think you’re going to post four times a week and realize in three months you only want to do three, that’s fine.  But give readers a sense of what your goals are right now.  (Pro top: Schedule some other posts in advance, before launching your blog!  This will help you keep up with the workload.)

Include an Image

Studies have shown that blog posts with at least one image are better at engaging readers and attracting more traffic, so make sure you have one in your introduction post.  This will help set the tone for your blog.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  It can just be a photo of you (if you’re comfortable with that) or of your cat or of your bookshelf or just your favorite book.  Include an image that will both grab your readers’ eyes and help them get to know you.

Here are some of my recommendations for websites for photos and graphics.

Consider Ending with a Question

Your first post is like to get a lot of comments to the effect of “Welcome to book blogging!”  If you want a bit more of a conversation, try ending your post with a question that helps you get to know your future readers a bit better.  For instance, ask them their favorite books or genre, or even something like their favorite sport or food, or their preferred Hogwarts House.

Promote the Post

After you’ve put all that work into writing your very first post, you want to make sure people see it!  If you have an established social media presence, you can let people know about your book blog on those accounts.  If not, it’s time to start visiting other book blogs and leaving comments!

As fair warning, a lot of bloggers dislike comments that essentially amount to “I wrote a blog post.  Please visit my blog.”  So try to visit blogs you’re interested in and leave thoughtful comments.  You can throw in a sentence at the end noting that you’re new to blogging, and this may encourage other people to more naturally check out your blog–without your having to ask them.  You can also approach bloggers with questions about blogging and note that you’re a newbie; most of us are pretty friendly and will want to help you out!

Follow It Up with Other Content

Once you’ve written and published your first post, don’t leave your readers hanging!  They want to see some of the great content you’ll be offering on your blog.  Even if you’ve decided that you only want to post once a week, I would suggest publishing a second post on your blog just a couple days after the introduction post goes live.  When I visit a blog for the first time, I like to look around at their various pages and posts to get a sense of their writing style and their reading tastes, to see if it’s a blog I want to follow.

If you have only one post on your blog for a week or more, you’re not giving readers much to look at.  You may sound like a really fun and interesting person based on your introduction post and “about me” page, but giving your readers at least one review or discussion post to look at, as well, will be helpful to attracting followers to your blog. (Just ask yourself: Would you follow a blog with one post? Or an Instagram account with one photo?  Or a Twitter account with one tweet? Probably not.)

Briana

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28 thoughts on “Tips for Writing Your Very First Post for Your New Book Blog

  1. alilovesbooks says:

    Great post with some really good advice. I kind of wish I’d seen something like this when I was starting out. I ended up doing a WordPress 101 course which had many similar tips but wasn’t specific to book blogs.

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    • Briana says:

      I wish I’d seen it too, when I first started! :p

      Your WordPress 101 series sounds awesome! I decided I wanted to focus a bit more on book blogs specifically just because I’ve seen a lot of general blogging advice that I think doesn’t apply well to book blogs.

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  2. alibooknerd says:

    Good advice, this helped improve my blog a little bit. I’m always updating it trying to fit it to my needs, so far it’s coming along quite well considering I had the blog for a year now.

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  3. Ravenclaw Book Club says:

    What a nice post!
    The first thing I posted on my blog was a short welcome post, quickly followed by my first review. I think that’s a pretty good way of jumping in – you’re introducing yourself, but you also have some actual content ready for people who want more. It’s very true that I wouldn’t follow a blog with just one post, so I posted a lot of content in my first few weeks (and months!) of blogging. Of course it was also because I was having a lot of fun 😀
    And regarding comments, I rarely check out bloggers if they include even just a little bit about having a blog in their comments. Even if the comment is thoughtful, it just gives me the impression that they’re not commenting because they like my post, but because they want followers. I check out the blog of everyone who leaves comments – just not if it sounds like self-promotion 😔 What I do love is when new bloggers approach me with questions, as you mentioned. I think it shows eagerness to learn and to accept help from people, something I really appreciate. It also starts a nice conversation! Someone left a comment on one of my posts recently saying they were thinking of starting a book blog but weren’t sure, and I encouraged them – now they have one! I thought it was so sweet and I love helping people out like that 😊

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    • Briana says:

      Yeah, I think a lot of bloggers dislike any comment that looks even a little like self-promotion. Personally, I’m a little more forgiving of new bloggers mentioning their blog because I think they may actually just be excited they started blogging and are seriously just telling me out it, without much expectation I’m going to follow them or whatever. And I assume if they’re new they may have no idea how much people dislike “Look at my blog!” comments, especially when a lot of general advice on blogging seems to encourage you to mention your blog in comments. But I definitely need them to say more than “I’m new! Check out my blog!” If it’s an actual comment with that at the end, I may be fine with it for newbie bloggers, but I agree a lot of people still won’t be.

      That’s so cool you encouraged someone to start a blog!

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      • Ravenclaw Book Club says:

        It just bothers me because I see comments like that waaay too often. It’s a bit like people commenting on features with a link to their own TTT post or whatever. Just seems really annoying and obvious to me 😔

        Yes it made me really happy! It’s the first time something like that has happened to me. x

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  4. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    Oh yes this is all great advice!! I think my first post was…the Jabberwocky poem!?? I KNOW.😭😂 I didn’t even understand what a blog WAS for 2 years so let’s just pretend those two years never happened haahha. *coughs and dies* I really like it when I get to find out more about the blogger and A+ yes to ending with a question. Get audiences engaging by talking about themselves. It’s always the best thing to do.😂

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    • Briana says:

      I had no idea what I was doing when I first started either! I barely read any other book blogs, and the idea of commenting around or any kind of self-promotion to get people to know my blog even existed was foreign to me. Basically no one read my blog in the first year or more. :p

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  5. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Love this post!! I have to admit to fumbling around a bit when I started and not having a clear plan- and since it took me so long to get going, I definitely think I could have used this advice!! And yes, bloggers hate getting the old ““I wrote a blog post. Please visit my blog.””- it’s just annoying and very transparent :/

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    • Briana says:

      I just hate seeing this advice given on other blogging sites. So many people act like it’s great to link to your own blog posts! Maybe, but I’d only do it if it’s really, really relevant to the comment you’re leaving!

      Liked by 1 person

      • theorangutanlibrarian says:

        Yeah that’s so true!! Once or twice people have linked to their own post, in a relevant way- but the problem is they rarely read my post before doing that- they just go “oh you read book x, I did too, check out my review”. Bah! Some people have no manners :/

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  6. Artsyteen777 says:

    This is such an awesome post I will look back on this each new post to make sure I’m doing everything!! Thank you so much for this! I’ve been unactive for awhile and things have been slow, these tips will totally help my blog!

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  7. Chibueze Afugbuom says:

    I’ve been a blogger for just a day now, this helped me tho!! I also have new blogger tips on my blog if anyone is interested…I know I’m a new blogger but believe me it might just be worth it. Thanks for this post !

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  8. Emily - The Faceted Collection says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I just started blogging and am really looking forward to diving in, hopefully touching on a lot of book-related content! I was wondering if I could reference your post in one of my upcoming posts, as a great resource to check out (with a link back to it, of course) – let me know!

    Like

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