A writing degree makes for one of the more flexible career options. After all, companies across all kinds of fields require written content in some form, such as copywriting or content writing. You can also choose to work for one company or take on freelance work. Freelance work can be a particularly lucrative choice as you pick the jobs you want that fits your desired schedule. With all of these options available, it may be difficult to settle on a profession. Below are some of the most popular career choices for you.
Paying for Your Degree
If you are still at the stage where you need to figure out how to pay for your writing degree, you have some options. Private lenders offer loans for college students with low rates and flexible repayment options. You can work with a lender to settle how much you’ll need to borrow and how you’d like to pay the loan back. This is often a better choice than government loans which can be much stricter in what you can borrow and how you can pay it back.
Being a content writer is perhaps your best option with a writing degree in today’s digital world. Countless websites need blogs and articles for their site on just about every topic imaginable. You can work for a freelance writing website where clients list jobs, letting you pick what works best for you. You can also set your own payment rate, increasing it as you receive more clients over time. Content writers can make good money this way.
Copywriting involves writing for advertising or marketing purposes. If you have got a knack for the creative side, this type of writing would be perfect for you. You will come up with campaign ideas, write them out, and work with a company in executing them. They require you to be very knowledgeable about the subject you are writing on, so if there is another field of interest you love, this will be a fantastic option.
Journalism is a tough field full of deadlines, late nights, and trying to talk to people who may be unwilling to speak. Even though it has these difficulties, it also has a vast array of benefits. You can be right where the action is and have the chance to truly make a difference in your field, whether it’s news, politics, or even the entertainment world. Journalism also involves quite a bit of creativity as you develop a story, making it another option for those on the creative side.
Social Media Strategist
Social media reigns supreme as a form of communication and promotion today. That means just about every company in the world needs an individual who can write social media posts across multiple platforms. If you’re a fan of social media and consider yourself a savvy poster, this would be a great avenue to pursue. Note that you’ll have to consistently keep on top of the latest trends, requiring research as well.
Alternatively, pick a community-focused niche, such as books about a particular gender or ethnic group.
2. Pick a Site Platform
Generally, you have two options when picking a site platform:
Self-hosted platforms, like WordPress and Drupal. They offer more control, customization, and flexibility. However, you need to buy a hosting service to use them.
Hosted platforms, like Squarespace and Wix. Setting them up is easier since you don’t have to think about the key features, such as hosting, a website template, and even a domain name. However, this option is more expensive and has limited customization.
Our recommendation is to choose WordPress.
It’s a user-friendly platform with tons of themes and plugins. Therefore, it’s possible to customize and expand the website functionality as you want. Besides, it’s relatively easy to figure out the platform since the internet is full of WordPress tutorials and forums.
3. Choose a Domain Name
Pick a unique and short domain name for easy memorability and lasting impression. If you’re stuck, use a domain name generator to help find a perfect domain name. Just type keywords related to your website, and the tool will give you plenty of name ideas.
Also, think about the domain name extension, a suffix following the domain name, like .com, .net, and .book. Consider choosing .com over other options. More than 40% of registered domain names use this extension, making it familiar and reassuring.
Purchase a domain name immediately after finding the suitable one – you don’t want someone else to do it first. If you haven’t chosen a hosting plan yet, you can buy it separately.
4. Purchase a Web Hosting Plan
This step is important if you have chosen a self-hosted platform.
Generally, there are four types of hosting: shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated server hosting. Each of them offers a different server capacity. For example, you have to share space with other users if you choose shared hosting, while you get private virtual resources with VPS hosting.
Shared hosting is a suitable solution for beginner bloggers. It’s affordable and requires less work since the web host manages the server for you.
Still, make sure to pick a scalable hosting provider, so you can upgrade your hosting easily once your website grows.
5. Choose a Website Theme
With hosted platforms, simply pick one of the available templates. Meanwhile, WordPress users can choose a free theme from the official theme directory or purchase a premium one.
When searching for a WordPress theme, read its description. Check whether the theme is responsive and supports other essential plugins, like page builders and SEO tools.
Some of the best WordPress themes are Sydney, Astra, and Zakra. They’re responsive, SEO-friendly, and customizable.
After setting up the site platform, start personalizing your website elements, like typography, menus, and header.
Hosted platform users can generally customize the website using a drag-and-drop editor containing all elements.
For WordPress users, go to your dashboard, click Appearance -> Customize, and adjust the settings based on your preferences.
Then, design each page layout by coding manually or using a page builder like Elementor for an easier option.
After that, create important pages, such as:
Homepage. Help visitors navigate your site by putting hyperlinks to other pages.
Blog page. Include all your blog posts and categorize them here.
About page. Introduce yourself to readers and tell them what to expect in your book review blog.
Contact page. Mention your contact information and social media profiles. This page helps visitors and potential partners contact you.
They will make navigating your website easier.
7. Start Writing Reviews
Begin with a book’s summary to give readers context. Explain the most important aspects of the book, like theme, plot, writing style, and characters.
However, avoid going into too much detail because it can be a spoiler. Instead, share important takeaways or insights from the books.
Next, describe what you like and dislike about the book. It’s also possible to include short quotes to support your reviews. Finally, give the review a star rating and conclude whether you recommend it or not.
To fasten the writing process, consider installing plugins like Recencio Book Reviews and GS Books Showcase. These plugins provide review formats to organize your reviews based on categories like star rates and authors.
Image optimization. Describe the images in the Alt text box and compress your image files to reduce the loading time and save space on the hosting storage.
Technical practices. Ensure that the book review site has a fast loading time using a tool like PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom. Also, check whether your website is mobile-friendly because around 50% of web traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check the responsiveness.
After building the website and writing reviews, it’s finally time to launch and promote your blog.
Below are some website promotion ideas:
Use social media. Post a sneak peek of your reviews using an attractive photo and a caption. Integrate popular hashtags like #bookreview and #bookstagram to reach a wider audience.
Share your site on book clubs. The members are more likely to visit your book website because they’re interested in this topic.
Connect with other book bloggers. Help gain backlinks and tips for growing your book blog.
Join forums. Answer book-related questions on online forums like Reddit and Quora. Then, encourage them to visit your website for more book content.
10. Consider Monetization Methods
Once your book review website starts growing, think about how you will make money from it.
Here are some popular monetization methods for blogs:
Advertising. Join an ad network like Google AdSense or Monumetrick and make money every time people click or see the ads. Alternatively, sell space directly to companies, such as booksellers or publishers. This option can generate better returns than ad networks.
Affiliate marketing. Earn a commission when someone clicks or buys a book from your referral links. Popular affiliate marketing programs for book website owners are from The Book Depository and Amazon.
Sponsored reviews. Authors usually reach out to popular book sites to write their books’ reviews. If you know some authors who want to publish their books, contact them first and offer a partnership.
11. Track and Monitor Site Performance
Tracking site performance can give you insights about your readers, so you will know overall trends and what to improve in the future. Hosted platforms usually have built-in analytics. For WordPress users, install analytics plugins like Google Analytics and Jetpack.
Key site performance indicators are:
Traffic, including its sources and the number of unique visitors.
Your search ranking.
Most popular content.
Engagement, like bounce rate and page duration.
Audience demographics and interests.
Starting a book review site has many advantages, such as making money, connecting with other readers, and helping people learn about particular books and cultures.
Follow the 11 steps we’ve covered above to start your book blog:
Find a niche based on what you or the target audience likes.
Choose a blogging platform: hosted or self-hosted.
Pick and buy a domain name.
Purchase a web hosting service if you choose a self-hosted platform.
Decide on a website theme or template.
Personalize your website.
Write your book reviews.
Optimize the website for search engines.
Promote the site on social media, book clubs, and others.
Consider monetizing your book blog.
Track the website performance.
Creating a book blog can be a long and tedious process. However, with creativity and perseverance, it’s about time you have a high-traffic book blog and reap the benefits above.
Chaffee-Thanh Nguyen is an International Speaker, #1 Best Selling Author, and Business and Success Coach.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
After college, he worked in Corporate America for over 11 years as an Engineer and Senior IT Business Analyst.
He was a Certified Project Management Professional with the internationally recognized Project Management Institute for 6 years.
Using his corporate experience, he went on to start multiple businesses starting in 2002, including Real Estate Investing where he has invested in multiple states across the nation.
His passion, helping others achieve their highest potential in both business and in life.
As a refugee himself, Chaffee-Thanh Nguyen is committed to helping others and giving back. He is very active within his community serving within the Jaycees as a 10th Degree Jaycee, US Jaycee Senator #70583, and a JCI Certified National Trainer.
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November 10, 2021 ・ Industry News