Many aspiring authors worry about starting a blog. They fear they won’t have the time to produce a book manuscript while trying to produce consistent blog content. However, the blog-a-book and book-a-blog strategies provide an efficient way to write and publish books—and keep up with blog content schedules. Today, digital nomad and full-time writer and blogger Jay Artale (@BirdsOAFpress) explains how she has used her blog content in books, her book content on blogs, and created work flows that allow her to write books without blogger’s overwhlem.
Do you feel overwhelmed by your blog? At some point in your blogging adventures, there won’t be enough hours in the day to produce and publish your blog content, build a following on social media, publish books, and grow your mailing list. There comes a tipping point in every blogger’s journey when you either have to let some things slip or hire a virtual assistant to help. That’s a challenge if you’re a control freak or on a tight budget.
I reached that breaking point after three years of blogging, but for the past six years, I’ve been able to maintain an effective balance between my five hungry blogs and a voracious writing schedule.
By building a synergy between my blogs and books, I’ve been able to streamline a continual flow of content and get maximum leverage out of every piece of content I create
How did I do it?
Over the years I’ve found a hybrid combination of blogging my books and booking my blogs that’s worked to keep a consistent blogging schedule and streamline my content creation process.
From Blog to Book
I’ve developed a travel blogging niche around Bodrum, a delightful corner of Turkey overlooking the Aegean. None of the traditional travel guide publishers like Lonely Planet or Rough Guides had a dedicated destination guide about the area, so I exported all the content from my travel blog and compiled it into a rough book draft. This was my first adventure into booking a book and was very organic and unstructured. It meant I had an uphill climb to turn these blog posts into a book to create an effortless transition between chapters and segments.
My second blog-a-book experience was more mindful. I took what few articles I had on my blog to start my book and used the index card feature in Scrivener to plot out all the chapters. Each card included a short summary of the content scope.
I used these index cards as prompts for blog posts, and after writing the articles, I’d take the content and tweak it to create the first draft of my book manuscript. In many cases, the content was too long and extensive for a single blog post, so I was able to schedule a series of articles out of one chapter’s worth of material.
From Book to Blog
With my nonfiction books for travel writers, I’ve taken a different approach to creating synergy between my blogs and books. I completed the first draft of my Freewriting for Travel Writers book before I’d blogged a single related post on my Birds of a Feather website. It was one of those book drafts that exploded from a seed of an idea and is the quickest book I’ve ever written. I waited until I’d published it before serializing sections on my blog.
What I love about this approach is that when I start writing my next nonfiction book, I can use the previous book’s content to ease my blog post schedule. That allows me to focus on writing my next book.
I’m now two books into my four-book series about How to Write and Self-Publish a Travel Guide, and this book-to-blog approach is really effective. I’ve just published the ebook of Book 3 (How to Publish your Book), and I’m currently focused on Book 2 (How to Write your Book). While I’m focused on writing, I have 60,000 words from the previous book to serialize into blog posts. This provides me with an effortless flow of content and reduces the stress of constantly having to create all my content from scratch.
The Hybrid Approach
I’m working on my third travel guide, and started off using a blogging-a-book approach, and switched to a booking-a-blog approach. I had been blogging the travel narrative articles from my Cambodia flash-packing trip on my personal blog and later decided to copy them into a Scrivener project.
Then I joined a 30-day writing sprint in January to flesh out a rough book draft. So now I have a mix of content that has appeared on my blog and additional content that can be used for future blog posts.
The Right Content Approach for You
Whether you plan on blogging your book, booking your blog, or taking a hybrid approach, there’s a method that will work for you, your content creation, and your writing style.
Knowing that your content has a dual purpose and can be leveraged for a book and a blog is a great writing motivator. You’re getting more mileage out of each word you write. This approach to content creation and leveraging it on multiple outlets is the cornerstone of content marketing. When you create synergy between your blog and books, you become a more efficient writer and can reduce the stress caused by continual content creation.
The added benefit of creating multiple publication channels is that you provide your audience with a choice of how to consume your content. Giving them what they want, is a great way to build a loyal following.
What strategy or strategies will work best for you?
About the Author
Jay Artale abandoned her corporate career to become a digital nomad and full-time writer. She’s an avid blogger and a nonfiction author helping travel writers and travel bloggers achieve their self-publishing goals. Join her at Birds of a Feather Press where she shares tips, advice, and inspiration to writers with an independent spirit.