A friend’s daughter contacted me recently about wanting to start her own blog. And she’d also love to do book reviews. Since I thought others might want the information, here’s a post!
When I started blogging almost 7 years ago I started at a free site called Homeschoolblogger.com. They’re still around, but the more popular sites are Blogspot and WordPress. There are benefits to both, but I’m partial to WordPress. It’s very user friendly, and I love the plugins–free, or paid, apps that allow you to do special things, such as Comment Luv if you leave a comment or the little sharing buttons you see above and below the post. So far, I haven’t paid for any plugins.
There are many blogs out there written especially to help people blog better. My favorite is BloggingWithAmy.com and following close behind are The Blog Maven and Christian Mommy Blogger. Check out this post for a tutorial on how to start your own blog! She’s got it all there, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. :)
I would recommend spending some time reading through many of the posts at the above listed sites and making some decisions. Do you want to start out blogging for free? Or do you what to go ahead and buy your own domain name (like I did with http://ichoosejoy.org). You can get WordPress as your blogging platform whether you buy your own domain or not. Then, decide if you want to use a free framework (Twenty Eleven is what I used to use), or buy one such as Genesis. After that you can choose to buy child themes, as well, to give you even more capability to make your site your own. Another decision would be whether you want to hire a blog designer. Oh, yes, this can add up to a lot of money–but you can also be making money with your blog! I made enough last year (through affiliates–I’ll do another post on this) to pay for my website hosting, Genesis, and child theme (mine is the Adorable Theme). I haven’t made enough to hire a designer; I’m doing it all myself. I have also received many books and other products in exchange for doing reviews!
Here’s a handy guide to help you make your blog look great:
Here’s a great class to take with Blogelina. It’s very inexpensive, and you get a free year of web hosting!
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Which brings me to the next question. How do I get to do reviews?
I have signed up with several different companies who send me emails offering the books in exchange for an honest review. I always have the option to say yes or no to a book or product. They each have different guidelines to follow: specific deadlines, post a review at Amazon or another site, offer a giveaway, etc., so you just have to make sure you follow their unique guidelines.
They also each have different requirements for being accepted (a certain number of posts each week, minimum amount of Facebook likes for your public blog page, followers of your blog, etc.). I haven’t been accepted to all I’ve applied to. And I’ve decided not to be a part of others because they required more than I could give at the time.
Here are the ones I’m presently involved with:
I’ve also been contacted by companies and been offered books and products to review.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below!
(By the way, this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link from this site and purchase something, like web hosting or a WordPress framework or theme, I’ll get a percentage of the sale. Please help support my site by clicking through from here. Thanks so much!)