Organising and repurposing your blog into a book and then an online
However, before you rush off to copy and paste 20 to 30 of your blogs into a WORD document, give them a little edit and call them a book, please have a think.
How aligned is the content you want to repurpose, with the core message of your business, brand and proposed book?
Don’t copy and paste your blog into a book and here’s why
- We write blogs differently to the way we would write for a book, you still have a big edit to do
- It is likely that you haven’t outlined this book and nor do you have a chapter framework
- It seems like a good idea, but in reality it is a lot of work, unless you plan it first
Ok, only three reasons, but they are big reasons and they are important. Why write a book that doesn’t have a clear purpose and plan? Yes, ok you can write a book, just because you want to – I do too.
Outline your book first
- Create an outline
- Understand what your ideal reader will get from this process
- What is the core message of your business?
- What is the core message of your book?
- What are the key messages of each chapter?
- What kind of content will go into the chapter framework?
Now go and work out what you have and where it is.
The knowledge challenge
We all know a lot, however, knowing what we know can be a challenge. Plus some of what we know is already articulated on our blog and some remains in our heads, its stuff that we just know and do on an unconscious level and for the purpose of our book needs documenting.
In a ‘knowledge management’ environment the things that have been articulated are called explicit knowledge and those that are in our heads are called tacit knowledge.
For your book (and course), you may be thinking of leveraging existing articulated content, your blog for example (explicit), existing unarticulated content (tacit) and formulating new content from your thinking and research.
Your blog is explicit, it exists and you can lick it…
The knowledge formula
To make sense of our knowledge we need to locate it and create a map of where it is and how to access it. To do that we start with the knowledge formula.
Knowledge = Knowledge (explicit) + Knowledge (tacit)
Explicit = you can touch and feel it because it has already been expressed – you can lick it.
Tacit = it’s in your head, it is your unconscious competence (you just do it without thinking).
To make the formula work we need to gather together what we know we have, along with the stuff we know but don’t always know that we know, or even know how to articulate to others and therein lies the knowledge challenge. Confusing isn’t it?
The knowledge challenge and the unconscious competence model
The learning model unconscious competence explains what stages we go through to acquire new knowledge.
One way to understand how this works is this.
Stop and think about how you might make a cup of tea. Now write all of the steps down and then teach someone else what you do. Easy? Now find a subject that you are an expert in, try it again. Still easy?
Think it through, walk it through, break it down into chunks, map it out and test. Keep refining and changing your processes until they work for you.
Understanding this model will also help you when it comes to outlining your book and establishing flow and trying to get your points across.
Keeping a track of your knowledge for your repurposing your blog and other content strategy
If you haven’t already done so, create a master spreadsheet of your knowledge / content – create columns, such as:-
- Category (chapter or Book and chapter)
- What it is (blog, report, video, presentation)
- Type (facts, concepts, procedures, know how)
- Where it is?
- Explicit or tacit?
- How you will use it?
- What questions will this answer – think key chapter questions?
- Research needed?
There are two ways that you can do this:-
- Make a list of everything you have and then categorise it
- Outline your book or books and the work out what content where
Discovering your knowledge with a knowledge audit
Go and find your content in your blog or otherwise and list it in your spreadsheet. Where are the gaps? After you have made your list the next step is to pull it together in some kind of a system, be that something electronic like a file folder or Evernote or by putting it into a document folder or a combination.
Your tacit column will tell you what you have to find a way to articulate it, and possibly undertake some research. This could be new blog content or you will write it specifically for this book and blog it later.
Organising your content with a knowledge Map
A knowledge map is useful for organising related information in a structured manner that facilitates comprehension by showing the connections between the information pieces. In your spreadsheet this is the category, how you will (re)use it and what questions does it answer?.
E.g. think of your book outline, you could organise your ‘stuff’ by chapter and in doing so you can see a logical flow and know how it will address your readers needs.
When you know what you have, you can plan how you will use it.
What is re-purposed content?
In simple terms, it is taking what you have and reusing it in a way that fits the new purpose. E.g. The content you have pulled together from blogs and articles can be reused as part of your book and vice versa what you write for your book can be reused for blogs, videos, tweets etc.
If you are a regular blogger you will probably have enough material on your blog to write many books. I did this with Plan your non-fiction book.
When you are collecting your knowledge and content think of all the ways, not just as a book you can use it. Identify your reuse purpose in your spreadsheet.
Being critical about your content
Undertaking the organisation of your knowledge and content is a brilliant way to keep on top of the content for a book, but it is really important that you also know how that content fits with your core message and what need it fulfils for your reader. In other words, don’t reuse it if it doesn’t fit, hence the category and what questions does this answer. And be tough!
Make sure everything is aligned – your book, brand and business
Do not throw anything away
Keep it all, even if it doesn’t seem to be useful right now, you never know!
Which book can you blog
Once you have all of your knowledge and content mapped out, you will be able to see if you have one or many books. Please do map it out, yes it takes time, but it will be worth it and when it comes to repurposing your blogs into a book it will be so much easier.
Now that you have mapped out your blogs do you have a feeling or knowing about which is the right book, right now?
If writing a book to build your brand and business is
- Something you think you want to do, and then consider this 7-day plan your book challenge.
- A burning desire and you know you need support, then please message me – a chat costs nothing, and we can check out if we are a good working fit
- Definitely on the table, and you’d like to work in a group, then get on the waiting list for write a book, create a business you love
- You can grab a copy of my book Plan your non-fiction book in a weekend on Amazon