Starting a book blog for free is exciting but also a bit scary – you probably have lots of questions, like how to actually do it with no money down.
Here’s how to start a book blog for free:
Start a book blog for free by choosing a catchy name for your blog, a blogging platform or host, and a simple theme that loads fast. Use free graphic design software to create custom images for your blog. Also, use a free keyword tool to pick topics and a free AI writer to help generate content.
In this ultimate guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to start a book blog for free.
21 Best Tips for Starting a Book Blog for Free
I run a portfolio of websites on different topics. When I started, I needed to launch them cheaply, even for free.
Here are my 21 best tips for starting your book blog absolutely for free as a complete beginner.
I cover all the simple basics, the tools, and when to start investing more in your blogging business. Grab your coffee or hot tea and let’s talk about how to start a book blog for free.
1) Choose a Catchy Name for Your Free Book Blog
Choosing a name for your free book blog is a good place to start.
You want it to say something about who you are and make a statement about the type of books you’re passionate about. Short, simple, and clear is definitely the way to go.
If someone can’t remember how to spell your blog’s name, then they probably won’t be able to find it.
Plus, if it has too many syllables or words that require complex spelling, then no one will be able to pronounce it properly. Maybe take some cues from famous book characters like “Fantastic Mr. Fox” or “Alice in Literaryland”.
Or try weaving your own personality into something witty like “Page Turner Palooza” or “Crazy About Classics.”
Here’s what I like to do:
- Keep my website name as short as possible
- Use one or two words max
- Go broad instead of super niche
On that last bullet point, you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself into only blogging about Young Adult fantasy books when you might want to blog about horror or romance one day.
2) Choose a Free Blogging Platform or Host
The three free blogging platforms I recommend are:
- Google Sites
Personally, I’m an opinionated zany book nerd and my top choice would be Medium of the three platforms listed.
You don’t have to start from scratch with Medium, which means you don’t have to worry about coding or expensive website hosting fees. Instead, you can focus on what matters most – creating graphics and writing content.
Plus, if your blog takes off and you decide down the road that a personal/paid blog is more appropriate for your blogging needs, you can easily migrate your blog.
Keep in mind that Medium (and all free blogging platforms) come with certain restrictions.
- Platform rules to follow
- Usually, no display ads are allowed (which means you earn less money)
- They control the platform, not you
3) Go With a Simple and Fast Theme
Choosing a theme for your blog is your next task.
If you go with Medium, you’re off the hook. But if Google Sites or some other platform is your jam, then there’s no better way to pick out the perfect theme for your blog than by going simple and fast.
Your theme is basically the way your book blog looks to readers.
Sure, fancy frills may look awesome, but all those bells and whistles are gonna slow down your site and any book nerd worth their salt knows that nobody likes waiting around while pages load.
It’s like trying to read a book made out of molasses.
Keep it simple and make sure your readers can access your content super-swiftly.
4) Create Free Graphics for Your Book Blog
Use the free version of Canva to create original and unique images for your blog posts.
You’ll want to take pictures of your books (to show your readers and Google that you have personal experience and expertise). But you also want to spruce up your images with a free tool like Canva.
It’s what I use for all of my blog posts (even this one).
You can select colors and graphics, upload images, and add text. You can even edit your text and images to your liking.
5) Launch a Free Book YouTube Channel for Your Blog
You should create a free video channel to go along with your free book blog.
You can make custom videos for each of your blog posts and post them to YouTube, TikTok, or both. You can use software like OBS, Audacity, and Clipchamp to make and edit your videos 100% for free.
Some people ask about the benefits of blogging vs vlogging.
I think you should do both. That’s what I do.
By blogging and vlogging your book blog, you’ll not only reach a larger audience, but you will also help your blog rank higher in search results.
6) Go Through a Free Blogging Course (My Recommendations)
If you want to start a free book blog, then taking a free course on blogging is essential.
Such courses can teach all the basics of how to set up, manage and monetize your blog. Learning the best practices and trends of the blogging world will make sure your book blog is properly optimized for increased audience engagement and website traffic.
And, it’ll help you more easily convert visitors into customers or patrons so you can start earning some passive income from your blog.
Here are the free “blogging courses” I recommend:
- Binge-watch the Passive Income Geek’s YouTube Channel
- Binge-watch the Income School YouTube
- Binge-read my list of blogging articles on Medium
On Medium, you can read two or three articles per month for free. Just scroll through my list of articles and read the most interesting ones first, then come back next month for more.
7) Use Free Keyword Research Tools
To come up with topics for your book blog, use free keyword research methods and tools.
I like these ones:
- Google Autocomplete
Don’t worry: I’m here to show you the multi-step process of rocking keyword research tools to get all the best ideas.
First up, Google Autocomplete.
This trusty tool will show you all sorts of super-specific keyword phrases that relate to your topic. It’s a great way to get ideas that people are actually searching for. Plus, it’s free!
Second, on the list is DeapMarket.
This little gem organizes web data into groups of searchable keywords, so you can see what’s popular and identify potential topics right off the bat.
Next stop: SearchResponse.io – perfect for brainstorming different topics quickly because you’ll get to see actual content about those keywords as well as lists of related ones for extra inspiration.
Last but definitely not least, AnswerSocrates is sure to have your creative juices flowing with targeted SEO questions and results from real-world searches (um, yas!).
And there ya have it – four amazing tools guaranteed to help find fabulous book blog topics in no time at all. Now go forth and CREATE AWESOME STUFF.
8) Avoid This Common Book Blog Trap
If you don’t want your blog to disappear into the void of internet obscurity, it’s essential that you make sure you’re writing content people are actually looking for out there.
Don’t just rely on your own reading preferences.
You’d be surprised how many people search online for certain topics and don’t always find what they’re looking for. That is where those nifty keyword tools come into play.
With those, you can uncover content gaps and step in to fill the void with blogs that your readers will love.
Who knows, maybe your post will be so good it’ll go viral. Everyone dreams of having a blog with contagious energy like that – if you focus on providing content aligned with real-world needs not just what tickles your fancy, getting there may not be such a far-off dream after all.
9) Take a Look at Your Top Competition
I highly suggest that you study some of the biggest book blogs.
Knowing what other book bloggers are talking about, what topics are already popular amongst readers, and who within the book blogging community is most influential can help you focus your content on topics that will draw in a larger audience.
Plus, researching the competition can also help you find new ideas and an opportunity to discuss fresh or overlooked aspects of literature.
You might also check out a few smaller to medium book blogs to see what they are doing.
10) Write Helpful Content That One Ups Your Competition
If you want to write the best content, make it helpful.
You can’t just write articles that are good enough – you need your content to be better than your competition. Use accurate language that isn’t contrived or dull.
Think of engaging ways to help them really “get” what they’re reading by simplifying information into a clear, scannable article.
Don’t underestimate the power of a truly helpful book blog post.
Go beyond the basics and deep below the surface. If your competitors don’t talk about a certain plot point or character, make sure you mention it. If they don’t include a video review, make sure that you do.
11) Create Blog Templates To Supercharge Your Productivity
A blog post template can be a blogger’s best friend.
Not only does it help you save time, but a good template ensures that all of your posts are consistent which helps readers easily recognize your work and come back for more.
Plus, when writing about books, it gives structure to your reviews and makes them easier to write.
A blog post template could include the title format, introduction topics, how to transition between points, the inclusion of CTA (call-to-action), and more.
For example, if you’re writing a review, you could have a specific section dedicated to atmosphere and setting.
Or if you’re creating a listicle, you can use the same structured list format so readers know what to expect. Comparisons also work great with templates as they always involve lots of data points that need to be compared in an organized way.
Having a post template makes sure nothing important slips through the cracks and also speeds up the process of writing.
12) Master the Art of the Book Blog Snippet
Writing a snappy blog post snippet for search engine results can be the difference between clicks and crickets.
One of my favorite tricks is to include the full snippet summary in my introduction so readers know exactly what the post contains from the get-go. And extra points if you highlight it in bold font.
What I do is completely summarize my blog post with as many details as I can pack into under 300 characters.
You can look at the bolded paragraph at the beginning of this blog post as an example.
Feel free to browse through a few of my other articles on this site for even more examples. The best way to learn how to write snippets is to study the ones that already work for other websites.
These snippets make it more likely for Google to pick up your blog post and promote it in search (all for free!).
13) Make a Video for Each Blog Post
When it comes to blogging about books, making videos can work wonders for bringing your content to life and reaching a larger audience.
For one thing, a video version of each blog post gives readers more options – all kinds of learners process information differently, so having the ability to watch a video can make all the difference when it comes to understanding a post.
Additionally, creating original videos is a great way to show off your expertise and demonstrate that you’ve done thorough research.
Not many others will go to the lengths of making their own videos.
And last but certainly not least, the SEO potential for adding a video version of your posts cannot be overstated.
Given how much search engines put on media content these days (photos and videos), adding them to your blog will help you rank higher in search results, resulting in greater visibility and potentially more readers.
You can use free video tools:
- OBS for recording videos and screen recordings
- Audacity for free audio editing
- Clipchamp for free video editing
Then post your videos to YouTube and/or Tiktok (or any other video streaming service). When the video is live, embed it into your blog post.
Make sure to cross-promote the article in the video description.
As an example, check out the video a few sections down in this article.
14) Make a Custom Graphic for Each Blog Post
You may be asking yourself why you should be putting in the extra effort to make an image for every single blog post rather than just pasting stock images.
The truth is, custom images for your blog posts will give them a much more personalized and professional feel.
Not to mention, stock photos are often used multiple times by other people, so having an original and unique image associated with your post ensures that your content stands out.
Plus, making custom images is super duper easy.
With the free version of Canva, you can use their templates or design something completely from scratch. I used Jasper AI Art and Canva to create my own custom image for this very blog post.
15) Use Basic SEO to Rank Higher in Search
Ensure that your content stands out by implementing basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) principles.
SEO increases your visibility on the web and can help draw more visitors to your blog. Utilizing some key strategies like optimizing post titles with keywords and using search-friendly URLs will give you an edge when it comes to rankings.
It’s not difficult to get started with SEO.
Here’s a quick list of basic tips that every book blogger should know:
- Use clear titles with relevant keywords
- Craft relevant meta descriptions
- Include text variations of images where possible
- Optimize page URLs for readability (keep them short and include your keyword)
- Structure posts into clear headings & subheadings
- Conduct keyword research and use valuable terms appropriately in your content
- Analyze competitor pages/blogs to discover successful SEO practices implemented by others
Don’t overly stress about SEO.
If you use your keyword in your title, URL, and introduction, you’ll have covered most of the SEO basis.
Follow the tips in this article and you’ll be well on your way to SEO mastery.
16) Interlink Your Free Book Blog Like a Pro
Interlinking is adding links to other blog posts on your site in each of your individual articles.
One of the main benefits of interlinking is that it guides readers throughout your website, presenting them with more content related to the one they’re currently reading.
I have already been interlinking in this article.
Scroll down to the bottom of this blog post for even more interlinking.
Interlinking is also great for SEO purposes. Interlinking adds much-sought-for roundness and complexity for contextually relevant searches. And it helps you rank higher.
17) Link To High Authority Websites for Extra Ranking Power
When you’re writing book blog posts, it’s important to link to relevant external sources.
This helps establish credibility and trust in your content. Plus, it acts as a helpful reference for readers that want to learn more about the topic and explore alternative sides of the argument.
Of course, quality is key –– I always make sure that I’m only linking websites that are high-authority sites and not my direct competitors.
Things like published research studies or educational websites can add so much value to your post.
When selecting external sources, think about which ones would be most useful to readers — if it doesn’t bring any real benefit then keep looking.
18) Join a Free Affiliate Marketing Program To Make Money
If you’re a book blogger, joining free affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Associates can be an incredible way to monetize your blog without spending any money.
It’s easy to sign up for the program and start adding affiliate links to sponsored posts, social media updates, or any other content you create.
Plus, it’s all totally free.
Just make sure that you are following all of the rules of the platform you are using, including adding an affiliate disclaimer at the top of every post – this isn’t just a way to generate income, it’s an important safeguard that could protect you from any trouble down the road.
Signing up to be an Amazon Associate is a no-brainer if you want to bring some extra cash into your blogging journey.
Don’t stop with Amazon though.
Look around for other book-related affiliate programs as well.
19) Use a Free AI Writer To Help You Write Your Blog Posts
If you’re trying to start a free book blog, chances are you’re feeling overwhelmed. But never fear – help is here in the form of AI writers.
H-Supertools offers a wonderful free AI writer to make your life simpler.
With this limited version, you’ll be able to generate content faster and easier than ever before. Plus, it’s perfect for helping to outline and flesh out those tough paragraphs.
If you decide you need more features and functions, simply upgrade to Jasper AI.
This is what I use for all of my writing needs and it really takes things up a notch with its comprehensive yet easy-to-use interface. It’s simply the best ai blog writer.
20) Put Yourself Into Every Part of Your Blog
As a blogger, I can testify that personal touch really is key.
When writing my own posts, I strive to make them as personal and engaging as possible. That’s why I always make sure to take my own photos (where possible), record videos when appropriate, and reflect on the content through my own experiences.
By doing this, I know that every post I create will have unique elements to it that will help me stand out from the competition.
Putting yourself into your blog posts not only enhances their quality but also makes them more interesting for readers (and more rankable by Google).
21) Know When To Invest More In Your Blog
Know when to move from a completely free book blog to a paid hosting platform and personal website.
When you are getting lots of traffic, a ton of engagement, and a high number of followers, or you just want to make even more money, then it’s time to upgrade your book blog.
Go with a paid host like HostArmada, a platform like WordPress.org (different than .com), and a theme like Astra (hey, it’s still free :).
Here is a good video I put together about how to start a book blog:
Do Free Book Blogs Make Money?
Yes, free blogs can make money.
Not all free blogs earn money. Probably most don’t but, if you follow the tips in this article, you can make some money. Even good money.
However, you’ll make more money when you move to a paid host (like HostArmarda) so that you can get paid with display ads from Google Ads, Ezoic, Mediavine, or Adthrive.
I suggest that you start with Google Ads.
You can move to Ezoic once you hit a few thousand pageviews per month, and then to Mediavine once you reach 50,000 pageviews a month.
Here’s a good article I wrote about How To Make 5K a Month Blogging (Real Examples).
Final Thoughts: How To Start a Book Blog for Free
The long and short of it is that you can start a book blog for free.
Eventually, however, you’ll probably want to invest in low-cost hosting, plugins, and other “bells and whistles” so that you can maximize your earnings. You can scale up your investment as you grow your book blog.
- How To Start a Blog for Free and Make Money (Solved)
- Is Content Writing Worth It? (Explained for Beginners)
My personal experience
Passive Income Geek Blogging Program
Income School Blogging Program (Project 24)