One of the best ways to write a book is to blog a book. Blogging offers the writer a great opportunity to get their content in front of their ideal readers and share their knowledge. When you blog a book, you also have the opportunity to test the content for your book before you go to the final edit.
This valuable research enables you to discover what your ideal reader is looking for before you hit publish.
Do you want to write a book and not sure where to start? Do you want a blog and don’t know where to start? When you blog a book, you kill two birds with one stone.
And if you are concerned that you don’t know how to do either, the key is to learn as you go along. Chunk everything down and especially where blogging is concerned you can come back and update your blogs as you learn more.
The beauty of using the blog a book approach to writing your book is that it makes writing your book manageable. You are able to chunk everything down and take it a step at a time while raising your visibility.
Why blog a book?
According to HubSpot ‘Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic‘
DemandMetric say that ‘On average, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month than those without‘
What are the steps to blog a book?
- Decide what you want to write a book about
- Decide why you want to blog a book
- Choose your blogging platform
- Identify your ideal reader
- What questions is your ideal reader asking
- Create an outline
- Generate blog ideas
- Blog your book a post at a time
- Edit while you blog your book
- Get a proofreader
- Design a cover
- Reblog your book
Decide what you want to write a book about
This is always the best place to start. Brainstorm ideas and do your market research. There will be a gap in the market for your book, your ideas, story and your process. I always ask my clients what they want to create in the world and for whom. What is the outcome their client will get from reading this book?
You know a lot, so it’s choosing the right content for book one. Never try to cram too much in.
Decide why you want to blog a book
This should include raising your visibility, driving traffic to your site, conversions and conversations that lead to sales or some other metric. It also needs to include that it is a great way to get your book written and your content ideas tested on your ideal reader.
Choose your blogging platform
The good news is that you do not have to have a website to be able to blog your book; there are lots of free places that you can blog. Start with what you have you can always invest in a full website later. Do not let the urge is to have everything perfect before you start stop you.
My platform of choice is WordPress (the content management system) and Thrive Themes (how it looks). I did start blogging on WordPress.com many years ago. When I migrated over, I simply exported the blog files out of there and imported them into my site once set up.
LinkedIn, for example, is a great place blog if that is where your ideal reader/client hangs out. I not only blog on my platform, but also on LinkedIn where relevant.
Before you rush off to set one up, what will you call your blog? This is part of your brand and needs some thought. Check that no one has trademarked your brilliant idea and research what comes up using your ideas.
Identify your ideal reader
Who do you want to read your blogs and become a customer? This could take some time to develop, but it is worth it. When you write to the one person with whom you want to make an emotional connection with you will write a better blog and book.
Draw a matchstick person and brainstorm who your ideal reader is and why. Give them a life and get to know them as intimately as possible, even down to their favourite Sunday breakfast.
What questions is your ideal reader asking?
When you know who your ideal reader is, make sure you understand what questions they are asking, not what you think they are asking. Hang out where they do and understand what concerns they have.
Start by writing out 30 questions you think they are asking, do your research, refine your questions and put them in order of the reader journey.
TIP: Imagine that you are interviewing your reader. Grab two chairs. Sit in the interviewer’s chair and ask your first batch of questions. Hit record on your phone. Once you have asked the questions jump into the other chair and become your reader. Answer the questions. It’s a fun way to access hidden knowledge.
Create an outline
Once you have the questions that your reader is asking and have an idea of the journey through your book, pull your book outline together. This is an important part of the process. I love the outlining process and getting all of the stuff out of my head and ready to write. As I step through the process, I always amaze myself what comes up. As you blog your book, you may find that this changes slightly because of feedback from your readers.
TIP: Have all of your questions on post-it notes, lay them out and make sense of them. Sort them into chapters and make sure you have at least 3 questions per chapter.
Another way to do this is with index cards. Write ideas and questions on index cards as you come across them. Keep the cards in an index box and put them in the order you need for your book. You can start this today. These questions make great blogs posts.
Generate blog ideas
Take a chapter at a time and brainstorm ideas for your blog. Take your questions which make great blogs ideas, research keywords and what kind of headlines your ideal reader is looking for.
Map each of your blogs out, ensuring that they are easy to read, have value and a strong call to action. You can learn blogging best practice as you go along. I often think that with the amount of best practice information out there you could spend a lifetime learning the art of blogging while your blog and book never gets written.
Do your research, read other blogs, constantly brainstorm and play with your ideas. The best way to learn is to experiment.
Blog your book a post at a time
This is where you can get your book written in super quick time if that is one of your goals.
You can blog a book in 30 days. 30 blogs of 1000 words is still 30k of words in my book.
If you want to take a bit more time 2-3 blogs a week will still get your content in front of your readers and get your book written quickly.
If your strategy is not to write your book quickly and it is more about getting traffic, conversions and customers over say 90-180 days, then you decide on your publishing deadline and work the plan backwards.
Edit while you blog a book
As you blog, your book have your manuscript open and build your book as you go along. I have two key documents at this stage, my synopsis which outlines each chapter and my blog ideas and my book manuscript.
I’ll write my blogs, put them onto my blogging platform where I change them to be read as blogs. If I make any editorial changes, I copy these back to my manuscript, if relevant.
It’s important to stay on top of the book. I then create a link in my synopsis to each blog. What you can also do is create the same book outline in another blog – which you may or may not publish later.
Key things to remember here is that the way that you write your book and the way that you write a blog will be different. So when you come to edit your book, you need to look at how you make it feel like a book rather than a collection of blogs.
Get a proofreader
One of the things that I love about the blog your book concept is that my first draft is an excellent first draft because I have had to edit each piece of content for my blog. However, before your press publish on your book, you must get a proofreader to be your final eyes.
Design a cover
Once I am sure what my book title is I will get a book cover designed and a 3D shot made, I use this to create a lead page so that my readers can sign up for my book and resources as I go along. When the book is in the final editing stages, I will refine the cover ready to publish.
One of the most exciting phases is to actually upload the book to a self-publishing platform like Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon) and let everyone know that the book is available to buy.
Reblog your book
Once your book is live, you now have the opportunity to go back to your blogs and repurpose them with links to your book lead page.
I like to have my 90-day plan set out with what I am doing over the blog to book period and to know when I am going to publish.
You will need to think about your marketing plan, both your blog and your book need a plan. Integrate your book launch plan into your marketing and plan and start marketing your book from day one.
And finally just because you have written a blog for your book, it does not mean you have to include that in your book. Review your content and make sure your book flows.
Deep breath, chuck overwhelm to one side, chunk it all down and take it one blog post at a time.
Blog your book in 30 days course and challenge
Ready to write your book and maybe blog your book? This course has been designed to get your book and blog ready.
Look out for the next 30-day blogging challenge so that you can fast write your book.
If blogging your book in 30 days feels too much take the Blog Your Book course and join the blogging group and share when you have a blog for your book ready to go.