You’ve been blogging for a while and you have a lot of great content, right? Your readers love what you’re sharing and they want more. Why not turn all your words into a book that informs, inspires, or entertains your readers? Why not sprinkle a little magic dust on your hard work and make the transformation into an author? Why not blog your book?
If you already have a blog or a series of articles and want to turn it into a book, this post will get you to the heart of it.
Turning your blog into a book is both easier and more challenging than starting from scratch. It’s easier because you already have lots of content written which can save you tons of time. It’s harder because you’re trying to fit your blogs into a box that may not flow, has overlapping content, has language that’s more appropriate for a blog (like “check out my post on this”), or doesn’t meet the objectives of the book. And you don’t want your book to read like a series of blog posts.
What I do know is you’ve come this far. Take the next step toward building your credibility and establishing yourself as the go-to person in whatever you do best.
Here are 10 manageable steps to blog your book:
1. Determine why you are writing this book. How is it different from the objective of your blog? What is your vision as an author? Can you see a new path forward?
2. Target a specific customer. Your blog may appeal to different customers in different posts, which is fine. But, when you put your book together, it should speak to a particular target reader. For example, I worked with a financial advisor who had clients ranging from beginning investors to those with more experience, more money, and a higher risk profile. He had content for the range of clients and potential clients on his blog, but it didn’t make sense to talk to everyone about bond ladders when a large group of readers were just opening their first retirement account. He chose to focus his book on the beginning investor. It eliminated some of his blog posts from consideration, but he can still use them later in another book if he chooses.
3. Determine what problem are you solving for your reader. Target your ideal reader and you will find them. If you are clear on solving your readers’ problem, they will find you, too. What is the main takeaway for the reader once they read your book?
4. Create a spreadsheet or table and organize your blog posts into categories. My blog posts generally fall under five categories: writing, publishing, book marketing, the writing life, and inspiration. Each one of my blog posts will fit under each of those five categories. When you compile the blog titles in your spreadsheet, you can see where you have a lot of material, not much material, or overlapping posts. You can choose to write your book based on one category or you can combine some or all the categories for your book. It may depend on whether this is your one and only book or if you have several more in you dying to come out. I hope this is the first of many!
5. Develop a story arc for your book. The story arc is the order in which you tell your story. In the example of the financial advisor, he gave his reader a tour of why readers should save money, when they should start, and how to decide which options are best for their goals. He ended with an encouraging word about creating the future they want even if they aren’t starting with a fortune. Look at your blog posts and determine where each post fits into the story if it does at all. Look at the overlaps and gaps. Where to you need to add information and where do you need to choose one post over the other or combine two posts? I use just the titles at this stage and dive into the details in the next step.
6. Put it all together. Once you have the titles lined up, include each full blog post into a single Word document or other word processing program.
7. Smooth out the transitions at the beginning and end of each blog post to make it read like a book and not a series of blog posts. Don’t be surprised if you need to eliminate posts or significant chunks of your posts.
8. Edit it. Use these content editing guidelines to look for places to make your book the best it can be. Use editing tools like Grammarly and the Find and Replace feature in Word to search for common grammar and punctuation errors.
9. Publish it. Make the dream real for you and accessible to your readers. Use publishing platforms like CreateSpace for your paperback book and Kindle Direct Publishing for your ebook and send it out to the world! If you don’t have the tools to transform your words into a print-ready manuscript, seek out a reputable self-publishing company to expedite the process and create a professional product. Because publishing is often the biggest hurdle, here are some answers to your self-publishing FAQs.
10. Share it with your readers! Even before the book “hits the shelves,” tell your friends and fans. Engage them in the journey as you write and publish so by the time its available for sale, they can’t wait to buy it. Ask for suggestions about titles, book covers, and more and they will feel part of the journey. When your readers connect with your journey, they will help you by sharing with their friends. And on it goes.
So, give it a try. See what happens when you take this next step (or giant leap). Blog your book. Your readers are waiting!
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