Life of a Book Blogger Part 1: Building Your Social Media Presence

Life of a Book Blogger

Part 1: Building Your Social Media Presence

So, you want to be a book reviewer, book blogger or bookstagrammer?  I will admit it right here at the beginning that I am NEW at this!  I am by no one's definition an expert.  But I have been slowly trying to figure out what others are doing, what works and what doesn't work so that I could share my limited knowledge with all of you other newbies.

I think the most important first step is to build your social media presence.  I personally started with Instagram and then built out from there, but there I actually think you could start everything simultaneously and hit the ground running a bit faster!  I primarily utilize Instagram and post more detailed reviews on my personal blog, but I know there are others who seamlessly switch between accounts.  Some people may want to stick with just one platform and that is fine, too.

That being said, if you have any killer advice, please share it with me!  You can leave a comment, drop me an email, or connect with me on any of my social media platforms.  I'd love to hear from you!

Instagram: @jackiereadsbooks
Twitter: @jackiereads24
Goodreads: jackie_reads_books

Steps to Build Your Social Presence:

Step 1:
Figure out where you want to review books.  Some common options are listed below.

Step 2: 
Set up book accounts.  Or use your personal account.  Whatever works for you.

Step 3: Read books!  Write up reviews or quotes or funny quips.  This is the part where you can be as creative as you want to be.

Step 4:
Post all of your pictures and reviews to your accounts.  Personally, I like to switch things up and use different pictures on different accounts, but some people post the same thing on different platforms.  There are no rules here.

Step 5:
Follow other big accounts or just accounts you enjoy to get ideas and see how they do it.  Comment, direct message, and chat with others.  I think the best and fastest way to build your presence is to actually be present.  Be encouraging and relatable and be an account (i.e. person) that others will WANT to interact with.

Step 6:
Get to know and love hashtags.  I used to find them a distraction and thought they made things look cluttered, but apparently they help get you noticed.  So use them, when appropriate.  I try to hide them away at the end of posts or in the first comment.  That way, they are a bit less apparent.

Jackie's Recommended Social Media Sites:

Do you want to only use a blog to review books or do you want to go at this with a variety of social media platforms?  I'm a dabbler - I primarily utilize Instagram and then also use other websites, though less frequently.  I will outline those below.


When thinking about Instagram + books (bookstagram), I recommend a book-only account.  I actually like when the people I follow occasionally post about their personal lives - travel, work, kids, pets (always pets), but I want the account to primarily relate to the books they are reading and loving.  That is why I recommend a books only account, so that you can keep your regular account separate.  You will have to try this out and figure out what works best for you.

I actually read a story about how to grow your Instagram followers, but a lot of the advice felt cheap for me.  The best advice that I have (as I indicated above) is to follow some accounts that you love and actually interact with those accounts.  There isn't a magic number here, guys.  You don't need 500, 1000, or 10,000 followers before all of the magic happens.  

I personally find that smaller accounts (a few thousand or less) means that they are more likely to interact with you (respond to your comments, messages, etc).  I rarely follow HUGE accounts for that reason.  I tend to like the smaller accounts and I'm a smaller account myself.  That being said, some of the big accounts are big for a reason - they interact with their followers and are fun, so don't trust only in the numbers.

Don't be shy when you are new on instagram.  You have to put yourself out there and comment and interact with others until you feel like you are part of the group.  You will eventually find some people who you vibe with and will find yourself interacting and being bookstagram friends with them.  These could be people you would NEVER meet or interact with in real life, but that is the power of the internet!


Twitter is still a bit of a mystery for me, but I get its potential. I recommend that you have a Twitter account, even if it is simply used as a secondary to one of the other accounts listed.  Personally, I utilize Twitter primarily in order to interact more directly with authors.  Some authors have Instagram accounts (see above), but others just use twitter.  Some large book clubs have twitter chats, where everyone (including the author) gather to discuss a book at a set date/time.  This can be a fun way to interact with authors and readers with similar tastes.

Do you use Twitter?  What do you like it for?


I started using Goodreads way before I started using other social media websites to talk about books.  Goodreads is a bit of a mecca for me.  At a basic level, Goodreads is a place where pretty much every book has it's synopsis and you can leave reviews.  It's nice to be able to pull so many reviews into one place.  That being said, I don't always agree with the average ratings, so don't let that scare you off a book.  No one is average.  So if it sounds interesting, go for it!

There are other cool things on Goodreads that I like to check out:

  1. You can create a bookshelf with the dates you've read (and re-read) books.
  2. You can create a yearly reading goal and Goodreads keeps you posted about your progress to that goal.
  3. You can connect with friends that you've met via other social media websites (or just make new friends on Goodreads).
  4. You can enter Goodreads Giveaways to win free books (more on that in a later post).
  5. Goodreads can recommend what books you might find interesting based on your previous ratings.
  6. You can join a Goodreads Discussion Group (kind of like a bookclub) where you can discuss books.

Your Personal Blog:

You guys, it is really pretty easy to set up your own blog.  And you can do it for free!  I'm not saying that you will have the most beautiful and interactive blog, but it is easy to set up a free account.  I used Blogger, as I already have other Google accounts.  I would recommend reviewing some internet articles about how to pick a blog and then just making a decision to move forward with one.  I'm personally not sure what the BEST option is, so I just picked something that is easy for me!  You aren't necessarily going to make a wrong decision.  I would hesitate to spend any money on it though unless you know you will be using it regularly!

I use my blog as my primary place for book reviews.  On a blog, you have no character limit, so you can really share all of your thoughts.  If you are using Instagram and Twitter already, you may have some awesome pictures, so you can put embed those into your blog posts as well.  

I have mixed feelings about Litsy.  To me, it feels kind of like a second Instagram, but with some specific book features.  I have a Litsy account and post occasionally, but I'm not an expert user and so I would love to hear back from others who LOVE Litsy about how they use the app.


I actually don't use a Facebook account for books.  I made a personal goal (for personal reasons) a few years back to stop using Facebook so much and I've held pretty firm that that decision.  I know others who utilize Facebook pages as part of their book blogging.  I've also seen advertisements and posts referring to Facebook giveaways, but I've generally been okay without using Facebook.

Do you have any advice or compelling arguments about why I should be using Facebook to discuss books?

As always, I'd love to hear from you.  What social media websites or applications do you use?  Why do you like those websites specifically?


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