How to monetise your book blog

January 19, 2020

These days, blogging can be a real money spinner. I started my book blog back in September and was making money from it within the very first month! Since then, I haven't looked back - so here are my top tips on how you can turn your love of books into a side hustle. 


Write for your reader


This is a pretty basic tip, but it's one I read somewhere when I started my blog that has stuck with me ever since.

You're reading this post in order to find out how to monetise your book blog - not just to read the story of how I monetised mine.

Hooking  your reader and getting that all-important click for pageviews and sessions is all about writing for them - you need to be offering them something, whether it be advice, or recommendations they simply can't turn down.

You can see this very clearly in the angling of my 'top book lists' posts (which make up the majority of my site content). I don't write about my favourite books; I write about new releases, compile lists of the most popular books in certain genres, etc.

This is all because I know my reader is more interested in, and therefore more likely to click on, a post angled towards them rather than towards myself.


Popular posts 


In my advice on growing your #bookstagram post (click to read), I talked about the importance of finding your niche, and it's the same with blogging.

This one takes time, but you simply have to write and write and write until you notice trends in what posts gather the most traffic.

For me, it is my 'top book lists' and 'top new releases' which my readers seem to love the most. Once I had that figured out, I made sure to stick with it to ensure that all of my posts were bringing my site good traffic.



Promote on social media 

I had my bookstagram account before starting my blog, which definitely helped kickstart my pageviews from absolutely nothing at first.

I would recommend starting up a few social platforms alongside your blog in order to reach the widest audience possible.

Remember, this is all about building traffic. There's no question of monetisation until the traffic is secured.


The power of Pinterest


Pinterest gets to be a tip all on its own because it is the ultimate secret to my blogging success! I used to hate Pinterest - I found it so confusing and had no idea how it worked. I saw bloggers constantly talking about how great it was, and I never understood. But then, all of a sudden, I sure did.

The majority of my traffic now comes from Pinterest, and without it, I would never have got enough pageviews/sessions to be able to monetise my site in the way I have.

I use Canva to make pins of my content, using different designs with stock images (and sometimes my own).

I would recommend pinning around 20 pins of your own content a day, and you are guaranteed to start to see a rise in traffic pretty quickly.


Join an ad network

I originally monetised this site using trusty old Google Adsense, who were totally great, but after spending some time on the blogosphere I started to hear about the perks of joining other ad networks.

At the start of this month I signed with Mediavine, an ad-management company - I'd heard so much about their unbelievably high RPMs that I had to see for myself! And I'm now earning a lot more money from the ads on my site compared to what I was making with Adsense.

This is where the traffic to your blog is so important for monetisation - these higher paying ad networks usually have minimum pageviews/sessions requirements before you can apply to join. Mediavine's is 25,000 sessions per month, for example.


Do sponsored work 


Once you have started to gain traffic to your blog, you're bound to have brands (and obviously publishers in the book blogging niche) reach out for promotional work.

I'm a firm believer that if you are doing such work for a brand or a publisher then you are well within your rights to expect a fee in return. Writing blog posts and producing other forms of content can be serious work, especially if a brand has certain requests for the feature.

Plenty of bloggers make a media kit which they feature on their site, which breakdowns their average page views and followers/reach on other social media platforms for potential brands to see.

Side note: I haven't done this myself yet because I'm too lazy. It's somewhere on my to-do list - one day I'll get round to this. 

This is then used as a basis for charging fees related to the work completed.

Don't get me wrong -  I accept gifts from brands and publishers all of the time without asking for a fee in return (especially ARCs). It depends on the requests of the brand - if they specifically want me to dedicate a post/feature their product on Instagram, then I will charge for this work. However, if products are gifted with no obligation to post, then I will of course accept and usually feature them on my blog/socials as a courtesy anyway!

Click here and here for some examples of promotional work I have done with brands on Instagram (which is where I focus this type of work). Although my income from ads on my blog is much more steady, these one-off promotions can be a great way to earn some money on the side.


Those are my top tips for monetising your book blog and other bookish content. But most importantly, remember to have fun with it - and keep spreading the book love!

And as always - add me on Goodreads and Instagram for more stackedshelves!

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