You’ve created a website. You’ve been blogging for a year or more. Now you want to write a book on your blog, but you have one question you want answered first: Can you blog a book on your existing site?
I get asked that question all the time. My answer? It depends.
What does it depend on? I take into consideration four elements.
If you’ve been blogging about a particular topic, such as how to work with virtual assistants, and suddenly you begin blogging a memoir about the four years you spent surfing in Hawaii, your readers will get confused and frustrated. They will wonder how your blogged-book content relates to the subject of your blog.
In fact, the memoir has nothing to do with your current blog, site or the content you’ve previously produced. You probably shouldn’t share it there at all.
Your memoir, in this example, needs a site of its own. Or you need to change the focus of your site so it encompasses the topic of your memoir—but I’m not sure how you’d do that!
Now, if your memoir is about how you built your business from the ground up using virtual assistants, you likely can share it on your current blog. Why? The topic will interest your readers. They will learn something valuable from your personal experience.
As you decide whether to blog your book on your existing site, keep in mind that you will lose your hard-won readers if you don’t give them content they expect. Using the same example, if you introduce a blogged book on the topic of how to hire and work with a virtual assistant successfully, you neatly can house this on your existing site. The book focuses on the same subject, and posts won’t be noticeably different. In fact, they will just drill down deeper into existing subject matter and provide additional content as well. The new posts will make sense to readers and attract new readers to the site.
Your Blog Plan
Most successful bloggers have a blog plan of some sort. If you typically post once a week and each month you stick to a theme, blogging a book may feel awkward to you and your readers. For instance, maybe you blog about dog training and your theme this month revolves around using treats as a training aide. When you decide to blog your book, you suddenly add two additional posts per week on the topic of your blogged book, which is about the most trainable dog breeds.
Although the topics are related, your readers will wonder why your blog suddenly publishes so many posts per week and why they are on a complementary topic rather than the subject at hand.
Before you blog a book on your existing site, therefore, first consider if you can fit the book into your current blog plan. And consider your future blog plans. Can you blog that book and continue as you did before once you complete the book? Can you blog another book? Do you want to build posts that are part of blogged books in your plan going forward? Or will you disrupt your readers sense of content flow if you do so?
Which brings us to your readers, who represent the most important consideration of all. What do you readers like, need, and want from your site and your blog posts? Will they enjoy the blogged book? Will they find the blogged-book posts valuable?
Will your readers know you are blogging a book? Will you tell them, and will you ask for their buy into the book-blogging process? Will you seek their feedback, or will this change your relationship with your readers?
What do your readers expect and want from your posts and you? You need to know. If they expect exactly what you’ve been giving them, and you change things up, you might lose readers. On the other hand, you might gain new readers, which is, of course, one reason to blog a book.
Those readers who have subscribed to your posts or who frequent your site come for a reason, though. Be sure your blogged book doesn’t eliminate that reason.
The decision to blog a book on your existing site must revolve around doing what is best for your readers while still accomplishing your goals.
Your Site’s Future
Last, consider where you see your blog going in the future. Does a blogged book help you get there?
As a blogger, when you transform into an author, this positively affects your authority or expert status. This title can, and usually does, boost your site traffic. A blogged book serves as a superb promotional tool, which is why many aspiring authors choose to blog books to build author platform.
Blogging a book also allows you to write your book as you do what you do already: blog. You blog, produce a manuscript, and promote all at the same time. If that helps you achieve your future goals, great! But you still need to determine if you can do that on your existing site.
A book can provide you with a way to build a business around your blog. The book content lends itself to creating additional products and services that can increase your income. You might develop courses or become a coach.
Don’t forget to consider if the future holds more blogged books. If so, you need to determine If your current site accommodates that.
If you feel you can’t blog your book on your existing site, no worries. Start a new site focused on the topic of your book!
Maybe you can redesign your current site so it better serves your needs and those of your readers. Or maybe it’s time for a bit of rebranding to help incorporate your plans to blog books now and in the future.