Some writers or bloggers would just begin blogging their book without a second thought. That’s not the best way to succeed, however.
Blogging a book allows you to write your book quickly and easily in small chunks—just 500 words or so. It does something else that’s equally important. It helps you build an author platform or foundation of raving fans as you write. You can only accomplish the latter, however, if the book you blog is worth reading.
To produce a book—and a blog—worth reading, approach your book blogging with a business mindset. Don’t write or blog by the seat of your pants. Plan instead.
Step One: The Business Plan
The first thing you need to do is create a business plan for your book. I’ve written about this extensively here on the blog, for instance in this post. In the early days, I called producing a business plan for your blogged book (or any book) the “proposal process.” These days, I call it the “Author Training Process” because it trains you to become a successful author by showing you how to craft and write (or blog) books that sell. To learn more about this process, read The Author Training Manual.
When you start your blog or book with a business plan, you increase your chances of producing a book that gets read. In other words, the business plan helps you develop a book (and blog) idea that is unique and necessary, and that will, therefore, fill a need in the marketplace. You learn how to target your market with your blog and book content and provide something totally new in the category where your book will be sold, such as self-help or history, for example. When done with your plan, you are ready to create content that stands out in the crowded blogosphere as well.
Fail to accomplish this step and your chances of producing a book or blog that succeeds decreases considerably. So take the time to go through all the Author Training Steps, including:
- Evaluating yourself
- Evaluating your market
- Evaluating the completion
- Developing a book pitch and brief summary
- Listing the benefits your book will provide to readers
- Creating a promotion plan
- Considering how you can help sell your book via your authority or expertise and your platform
- Outlining your book’s structure or crafting a table of contents
- Writing summaries or a detailed outline of each chapter
And do all of this before you write or blog a word of your book.
Step Two: The Blog Plan
Create a blog plan. (Yes, another plan.) As part of the business plan for your blogged book, you develop a table of contents and either a detailed outline or summary of each chapter. Now it’s time to look at this through the eyes of a blogger. More specifically, you want to approach your book like a book blogger.
To do so, you must break each chapter’s content into post-sized bits of 500–700 words. If you write fiction, you can write 1,000–1,200 words or so. Therefore, you now need to plan out each chapter in detail.
Also consider if:
- Your blog readers only want to read your blogged book
- Your blog readers are interested in other topics
- What you will blog about when you complete your book
- If you will blog more books on this site
- How often you will publish posts
- The schedule you will use for post publication
- If your blogged book content fits with the content or focus of your existing blog
Step Three: Begin Blogging
With both of your plans in place, you are ready to start blogging your book. Each mini-installment represents a chance for you to introduce readers to you and your content. And it’s a chance for them to become a fan by:
- Subscribing to your mailing list
- Following you on social media sites
- Sharing your posts on social media sites
- Subscribing to your blog fee
- Commenting or providing feedback on your posts
Lure readers along…let them “turn the page” day by day as you post another small chunk of your manuscript.
Step Four: Get Buy-In
Don’t forget to ask readers for their feedback. After all, these are your book readers, not just your blog readers. They are the same people that would—and will—purchase your book when it is complete.
Ask them to participate in the process by telling you what they like and don’t like about your work. Survey them. Provide a call to action at the end of each post asking for their feedback in the form of a comment.
The more buy-in you get from you readers—the more ownership they feel in the process—the more likely they are to purchase the final product: your finished blogged book.
Step Five: Take a Hard Look
In the first step, I mentioned that you need to evaluate yourself. I want to remind you that you do, indeed, need to take a hard look at yourself. Blogging is not for the faint of heart or those with little endurance.
If you choose to blog a book, you become a blogger. You can’t just stop blogging when you complete the book. If you do, you lose all those potential book buyers—the platform you built.
The point of blogging a book is to get the book written while you promote and build a platform for the finished product. And then you need to keep the blog alive. That’s part of continuing to promote yourself and your book or books.
Are you willing to do that? Do you have the ability to stick with your blog for the long haul? If not, you might not want to begin your blogged book or a blog at all.
To find out more about how to blog a book, pick up a copy of the revised and expanded edition of How to Blog a Book. It contains much more information than what I’ve published on this blog or in this post. It’s the essential guide to blogging a book.
My How to Blog a Book Template Kit, created with Joel Friedlander, also provides a great companion to my book. It’s an essential tool if you want to blog a book this year, because it leads you through every single step of the process. Click here to find out more!