Writing book reviews is an excellent way to engage with a book you’ve read and to give potential readers a taste of the experience. Book review blogs are relatively widespread and can be a lucrative career path.
Book review blogs are usually not profitable, but people can make money from them. Money made from blogging usually comes from sponsorships, ads, and affiliate marketing. A book review blogger may even make money through commissions.
Read further to develop a deeper understanding of book review blogging and how online book critics can cash in on their reviews.
What Is a Book Review Blog?
A book review blog is a website dedicated to reviewing books. Bloggers usually keep their blog as a hobby, and not as a job they get paid for. However, it can earn them money in a few different ways.
Anyone with an interest in books can become a book review blogger. They don’t need anyone’s permission to review a book or run a review blog, and they can post on their blog as frequently or rarely as they want.
Well-known book blogs include The LitBuzz, The Taurus Reads, and Reedsy Discovery.
Not everyone can become a full-time book review blogger to pay the rent. To make money off blogging, you need to drive quite a bit of traffic to your site and have a significant and loyal following.
How To Make Money With Book Review Blogs
Book review blogs aren’t necessarily the first thing you think of in successful business ventures. But they have the potential to make you some serious money if you put some work into it and do a few things. Advertising, sponsorships, and donations all work to help you make a living with your book review blog.
Let’s look more closely at these actions you can take to earn a living.
Authors often approach reviewers to ask for their input, promote their book on their blog, or for a sponsored spotlight post. Reviewers can and should ask for monetary compensation for advertising an author’s book on their page.
Additionally, bloggers can agree to have Google ads placed on their blogs using Google AdSense. This is a simple way to get ads on your site and keep track of whose ads are being posted and how much revenue those ads are generating.
You do this by pasting the ad code on your blog where you want the ad to be placed, and the highest ad bidder gets to occupy that spot on your page. Google will then deal with billing and pay you the money generated by these ads.
The money is generated through clicks, impressions, and leads triggered by the ad.
There isn’t a solid average amount of money that you can or will make per month. However, staying consistent with your work and producing quality work will undoubtedly give you a leg-up on the competition.
Affiliate Marketing and Sponsorships
In this instance, affiliate marketing is when an online marketer pays a book blogger money to promote their product or service.
They’ll get paid for every visitor they bring to the marketer’s site. Typically, the blogger will get a percentage of every sale made through their affiliate link on their blog.
Bloggers could also get paid sponsorships to promote other brands, which could include partnering with a writer for a book giveaway, which benefits the author and the blogger. Alternatively, they could feature products in their blogs relating to their content.
For example, they could be paid to include links to reading lights, handmade bookmarks, and other items.
Affiliate marketing and sponsorships are excellent for bloggers to create lasting business relationships with brands and authors. It can instill great confidence in their audience, letting them know that this blogger is reputable.
The downside is that this option only becomes available with a reasonably large following. It’s improbable that a blogger will get paid when they’re just starting, similar to how YouTubers have to gain a following before being approached by brands who want to sponsor them.
Don’t be disheartened by this, because if your content is good and you gather a large following, becoming a brand affiliate or getting sponsorships is an attainable goal.
If you watch YouTube videos or follow artists on social media, you have most likely come across Patreon. Patreon is one of the many ways content creators can monetize their work, in addition to Ko-Fi, SubStack, and other crowdfunding alternatives.
As most content creators do so for free, at least initially, once they gain a following, they can begin offering exclusive content for paying “members” or ask for donations for their work, as Wikipedia does.
Crowdfunding is a pretty good low-pressure way to earn money. If your followers enjoy your work enough, they’ll be willing to pay for it or contribute to your ongoing content creation.
However, it also doesn’t force casual readers to fork over money for something they haven’t invested in. Crowdfunding isn’t always reliable or stable in this regard, which means it’s not the best option for someone who wants to make a living as a blogger.
How To Become a Book Review Blogger
To become a book review blogger, identify the tone you want to write with, what books you want to review, and who you want your audience to be. There are several blogs that review books of every genre and length, but many of them also focus on a particular genre.
For example, a reviewer might focus on horror literature or young adult fiction.
You’ll also need to decide what content you want to make before deciding who your target audience will be. Religion-based books have a particular audience, as do sports and fitness books.
If you’re blogging as a hobby, you don’t need to worry about driving a lot of traffic to your blog to monetize your work. However, if you want to generate revenue with your reviews, you need to ensure that there’s a big enough market for your content that you’ll get a fair amount of traffic.
Remember that book reviewing isn’t all about the critic’s opinion. To adequately review a book, you need to know some background about the author, the topic they’re writing about, and what makes a book successful.
This includes whether or not the book you’re reviewing achieved what it set out to achieve, which is the hallmark of a good book, not whether or not you found it entertaining.
If this is more of a hobby, feel free to give your opinion liberally. But, if you want your reviews to be taken seriously, you need to take a more objective stance. Learn more about the relationship between monetization and website traffic on Robben Media’s page.
Though not an overnight phenomenon, book review bloggers have several viable ways of generating income with their blogs. To do so, however, they need to ensure that they produce work for which there’s a market and will drive traffic to their website.