The other day I was introduced on Twitter to an aspiring author. He had an interest in blogging a book because the colleague who connected us had used this methodology successfully to write and publish his book. So, we began exchanging tweets on the topic.
My Advice on How to Start Blogging a Book
He asked me how to get started. I stressed, as always, that he needed: to focus his blog on a topic that served his book, and in this case his business, too. This would help both become more discoverable. Of course, blogging his book in a focused, planned manner would make his book discoverable as well. I also stressed, as usual, that he needed a blogging plan. This would help him stay on topic, create a unique, necessary, cohesive, and marketable book that also would promote his company.I also stressed, as usual, that he needed a blogging plan. This would help him stay on topic, create a unique, necessary, cohesive, and marketable book that also would promote his company.
He then tweeted, “I have a lot of stories. For years my friends have been encouraging me to write a book.”
I said, “That’s great, but the stories need to be planned out so they create a great book that supports your business and that readers want to read. The book has to be put together in a way that makes sense and that is marketable. You need to plan it out before you write it.”
What Happens When You Write Without a Plan
Then it got quiet for a little while. The next tweet I received included a link to the first post for his blogged book. He stated, “I took a seat-of-my-pants approach.”
The post told a nice story. It was engaging. It had something vaguely to do with this man’s business…in some roundabout but not-at-all-explicit way.
But it also had some basic blogging errors and some formatting problems and some typos. Plus, I didn’t have any idea how it would fit into the greater scheme of a book or help him grow his business, which I assumed he wanted it to do.
My Critique of His First Post
You can imagine my critique.
- You don’t have a plan for the blog or the book.
- Your post had formatting errors.
- Your post needed proofing before hitting “publish.”
- You haven’t determined the focus of the book.
- The post title doesn’t tell the reader what the post is about.
- The title contains no keywords to help with discoverability.
- The post contains no keywords to help with discoverability.
- You haven’t used any subheads to help readers scan for content.
- I don’t now what this story have to do with anything?
- What is the focus of the blog itself? Does it have a long-term plan?
- You can write.
He wasn’t too pleased.
Plan and Write For Your Readers
It’s great to have an idea or stories and to want to write a book. But you have to keep one thing in mind:To write a successful book, however, you must get out of the way. It’s not about you.To write a successful book, however, you must get out of the way. It’s not about you.
You must know why your readers need or want to read your book—not why you need or want to write it. (That has a place in the process for sure, but ultimately it’s more about the reader than the writer.) Create a book blogging plan with them in mind, that adds value to their lives.
And you must know what purpose your book serves. Will it help you grow your business or expertise? Will it inspire readers to change? Will it offer them escape via a fabulous, previously untold story? Will it open the door into an extraordinary life of an ordinary person? Create a plan that fulfills this purpose. This is where your needs meet the needs of your readers.
All of this takes planning. It takes foresight. It’s not about writing by the seat of your pants, especially if you plan to blog your book. So, please, don’t blog your book without a plan.
To learn more about now to create a business plan for your book, click here to find out more about Author Training 101, the course based on my new book, The Author Training Manual (Feb. 2014). It takes the “proposal process” discussed in How to Blog a Book and teaches you how to use it to plan out the best book possible.
Photo courtesy of nasirkhan / 123RF Stock Photo