How to Turn your Blog into a Bestselling Book
As a blogger, you write your experiences and thoughts and share them with people around the world. An author does the same. Writing a book is not everyone’s cup of tea; however, bloggers make great candidates who can start and complete the book. Why? If you are a blogger and have been writing consistently for years now, you will have a lot of existing content, and you also understand your target audience. If you have an existing loyal fan following, you would be writing a book the next logical step.
If you are a blog writer, you must be wondering how to turn your blog into a book. The question is absolutely genuine. However, before you look for an answer, you should know most writers struggle to write down what they want to say. You already have done that, so you are well ahead of other potential authors out there.
Examples of Bloggers turned Authors
Before you learn how to turn your blogs into a book, you need to believe it is possible. Here are three examples that will make you think that if others can do it, you can:
- Tim Ferriss – Tim started his blog in 2007, his blogs were relatively new but rapidly growing when he decides to write a book around it – The 4-hour workweek. The book has been in the Bestseller lists for months, and his blog by the same name is listed number 1 in the top Management and Leadership Blogs and is a favorite of CEOs and adventurers everywhere.
- Author Araathu – Araathu started tweeting micro-stories, which became an instant hit. Later on, he published his book ‘Araajakam 1000’, a compilation of his 1000 micro-stories. He soon realized that the concept and subjects of short-stories have changed over time. However, its narrative structure has not. The idea and the key to catching the readers’ attention are to narrate the story from a new perspective.
- Darren Rowse – Darren read his first blog in 2002 and soon after started blogging as a hobby. Once he realized he could make a living out of it, he started – Problogger, a series of blogs that tells his story and provides new bloggers a space to discover how to make a living from blogging. In 2006, he co-authored a book, Problogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way To a 6 Figure Income, with Chris Garrett, published by Wiley. The book has been a great success.
Steps involved in the process
You have a successful blog, which means that you can write well, and have content. You have an audience who knows and appreciates your writing. Here is how you can take it further:
1.Decide the book’s angle:
Since you have blogged for a long time, you must have a great deal of content around a single subject. To turn the material into a book, you will have to think about a strong core message that will provide your readers value. If you have written content around a lot of different topics, you should ask two questions – which of those content offers more value to the readers and which your audience well-received topic/blogs you wrote. Once you have answers to these questions, deciding your book’s angle will be a lot easier.
2. Expand your audience:
The harsh truth is that most people don’t read as many blogs as they read the books. Writing a book as compared to writing a blog might feel like climbing a steep mountain, but you are expanding your audience and carving a different niche by doing so. Picking up a topic and get going is the most crucial step.
3. The planning:
Now, you have the topic and the message you want to convey to your readers. The next task for you is to decide the issues your book will have. Create a mind map or start a brainstorming session to finalize the content that fits in your writing. An important thing at this stage is to make sure you don’t end up filling the content with only what you have. You are creating a roadmap of the complete book, so you may have to include something you may have still not written and needed.
4. Picking up the blogs:
Once the table of content is ready, the next task is to find your blog posts relevant to the chapters you have decided to write in your book. If you have put your blogs in categories, finding them won’t be such a difficult task. Once you find a relevant blog post, copy it to a word document or any other tool you use for writing. Once you have seen and copied all the blogs, you will know what all topics are still missing.
5. The missing content:
There will definitely be missing pieces in your manuscript; the best thing would be to write a blog around it and then put it in the manuscript. If you decide to take this approach, don’t put all the new content on your website, your readers should get something new when they buy your book. The best thing would be to put teaser content.
Once your manuscript is ready, the next step is to edit the work just like you would do with any other book. If you are thinking, ‘My blogs were already edited, what is the need for editing?’, you are looking only on one side of the story. A blog is different from a book – the way you present things in a book changes slightly. Since you are putting the missing pieces together, you will have to ensure the flow is maintained between the chapters. Readers should not feel disconnected when they read your book. For the same reason, most of your efforts should go into editing. Proper introductions, transitions, and conclusions will give your content the structural change from blog to book.
Once you are fully satisfied with your content and editing, the next step is to publish your manuscript. You have to decide if you want to publish your book through traditional publishing or self-publishing. Suppose you’re going to publish through traditional publishing. In that case, you will have to prepare a list of publishers and then send your manuscript to all the traditional publishers interested in your book genre. If you want to self-publish, which is a quicker path to get your book published, you will have to decide the budget and services you require and then pick the best self-publishing house.
8. Market and Sell:
Once your book is ready and published, you will be called a first-time author, but you will have an advantage over other first time authors. The most challenging part of being an author is getting an audience for your book and making others read your work – you already have an audience. If the content you wrote interests readers, your book can have a real monetary value.
Some Precautions That You Should Take In The Journey
If you are trying to take a shortcut to convert your blog posts to a book by simply copying/pasting the content, you should know most of the platforms won’t allow you to do that. For example, Amazon Kindle will delete or remove your book because of duplicate content. For the same reason, you should always rewrite some of your blogs and also put additional content.
You will also be reaching your existing readers, if they don’t find anything additional and exciting, something they have not read so far, they would be disappointed with your work, and you may end up having low ratings.
Additionally, estimate the shelf-life of your blogged ideas. There are chances that the content you have blogged about may not be relevant anymore. If you are writing a non-fiction book or a fiction book around a current topic, evaluate if the content will be relevant in the upcoming future.
Another issue that you should look out for is that there are many tools and software online that would turn your blog into a book. It would be done for free. It is advisable not to use these. Instead, opt for traditional publishing or self-publishing.
To sum up, if you are an existing blog and can come up with a topic to create a book with your blogs as the base, you should not miss being an author. Being a published author adds a lot of credibility to your name. If you blog for other businesses, your work will be taken more seriously and perhaps increase your worth as a writer. Take time to review the work done on your blog, work on it, invest some money, and you will end up publishing a book that your readers will enjoy.