One of the biggest issues we readers face is the lack of people to gush about our favourite books with, so we head online. There’s Twitter, Bookstagram, Goodreads, Tumblr, us here at MP! Books, and, of course, book blogs. But it can be a bit intimidating to see bloggers who’ve already been in the book community for years when you’re only just starting out.
So we’re launching a new series to help you newbie bloggers start up your blogs and become a part of the UKYA blogger community.
You’ve got to start somewhere, so we’re going back to basics this week – Everything You Need to Know About Setting Up Your Blog.
Choosing Your Name
The first task when setting up a blog is also the hardest – finding a name.
Don’t rush into this one. Your blog title will almost become your brand – it’ll feature on your Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, email address and it’ll become how you introduce yourself at booky events!
Take your time, mull it over. And check the availability of the names before you get your heart set on it! All you need to do is type in the name as part of the URL on the host you’ve chosen – more on that below.
Remember, something unusual and booky that will catch someone’s eye is a really good bet. Here are some of our favourites:
Where to Blog
There’s actually quite a lot of choice, but WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr are the most popular blogging platforms. Now you need to figure out which one is for you.
- All three of these platforms are free. You can pick a free template and customise to your heart’s content without paying a penny.
- Though if you’ve got fancy coding or web design skills, WordPress or Tumblr allow you the most freedom.
- Do you need to buy a domain? You don’t need to, but it’s always an option – you definitely don’t need to decide straight away, though.
This is something you’re going to spend hours agonising over. We promise. It feels like a signature design is something you need to get perfect the first time around, but it can be a working progress. Look around other book blogs and see what sort of thing you like and are able to create yourself. Here are our biggest tips:
- Avoid fancy, difficult to read fonts.
- Keep the colours simple – light writing on a dark background is uncomfortable to read!
- Find a format that works for you.
- Keep your page as clutter free as possible – you want your blog to be read rather than just looked at!
- Avoid having sounds, videos clips or anything flashing from automatically playing when the page loads.
- Make it easy to navigate. Search bars and drop down page selections are a godsend.
Here’s a few we love:
The First Blog Post
This is a scary one, and one you’ll probably look back on and cringe in a few years, but it has to be done! Here’s how to minimise the cringe-factor of blog post number 1:
- Introduce yourself! Make it short, snappy and get across your personality as much as you can.
- Tell your readers what they can expect from your blog over the upcoming days/weeks/months.
- Don’t expect too much from your first post – just go with it and have fun!
The UKYA book blogging community is one of the warmest, most welcoming around and they’re always happy to help out newbies. Join in with #ukyachat Fridays at 8pm, #SundayYA Sundays at 6pm and #FeminismInYA Tuesdays at 7:30pm to meet everyone and get your name out there!
Interact on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads and Instagram and you’ll find the best thing about being a book blogger – having bookish friends!
Tell us what you want to know about book blogging and how we can help at @maximumpopbooks!
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