This month I introduced the idea of building a business around your blog and your book(s). You may be wondering how you can manage one more activity in your busy schedule. Actually, creating courses using membership site technology, like Premise by CopyBlogger, can help you use your time more efficiently by multi-tasking.
Create Courses While Planning and Writing Books
In January I ran a three-month-long course. As I did so, I actually fleshed out the idea for a related book as well. Teaching the material and creating webinars and homework assignments helped me consider how I might design the book, what content I might include and what seemed to be working or not working in terms of the material I taught. I could even ask students for feedback. I did all of this while making money and building a product I could sell as a home-study course later.
In February I began teaching another course, Author Training 101. The content of the course related to the book I needed to write, The Author’s Training Manual (Writer’s Digest Books, February 2014). I had a deadline to meet—June 25th—to meet my obligation to the publisher; so I asked those who enrolled in the course to commit to acting as beta readers for the book, and I made the first draft of my manuscript the text for the course. Each week I conducted a teleseminars and taught the material verbally. Then I uploaded a draft chapter (or two) to the membership site. The registrants also worked with a somewhat revised version of my workbook, How to Evaluate Your Book for Success, which will be enveloped into the new book.
Currently, the most recent draft of my new book and workbook exists as the text for the Author Training 101 home study course; once the book is released the published version will become required reading and the draft manuscript will be deleted from the members-only site. I also plan to rerun the course live again in September because some of the material from the first chapters changed; the new recordings then will be housed on the membership site. At that time I will also add a webinar component—videos. Until then, the home-study course, Author Training 101, is being sold at a discounted price.
Despite the changes I plan to make to the course, I accomplished a lot. During the eight weeks I taught Author Training 101and during the additional eight weeks when I was revising that first draft and finishing my book, I:
- Wrote the first draft of my book
- Got feedback on two additional drafts from my students
- Received anecdotes to use in the book from my students
- Got insight into how to improve the book
- Created a salable course
If I hadn’t made changes to the first few chapters, I wouldn’t feel the need to rerecord anything, and I’d be done. I don’t have to create videos, after all. I just want to do so to create more value for my customers.
How to Blog a Book and Create a Course at the Same Time
You could easily blog a book and create a book at the same time. If you have planned out your content so you can blog it over the course of the next six to twelve months, for example, you could create a lesson that corresponds with each major portion of material you publish on the blog. (Of course, this would only work if you are writing nonfiction.)
Think of it this way. You could plan your book out so you finish blogging a chapter every four weeks. In that time frame, you release one or two lessons. These lessons could be teleseminars or webinars. They could have handouts or homework assignments that go along with them. All of these elements would then get uploaded to your membership site. Only those who register for the site get access to the material.
You could sell this course or give all or just part of it away for free. Some feel an initial free offering helps you then up-sell interested people on a paid product. So, for instance, you could give the teleseminars for free, but provide video and homework assignments only to those who pay for the premium version. In the process, you promote your upcoming book—and build a nice list of people interested in your blogged book.
Learn How to Use Membership Sites to Build a Business Around Your Blog
Want to learn more about how to use membership sites and courses to build a business around your blog and book using Premise by CopyBlogger, which is the plugin for WordPress.org that I used? Purchase How to Build a Business Around a Blog and get a 1-hour bonus webinar replay of Kathleen Craig discussing How to Use Membership Sites to Build a Business Around Your Blog. Additionally, you will receive a 1-hour video of me discussing how to build a business around your blog and a workbook that helps you brainstorm ideas for products and services and create a plan to monetize your blog. Kathleen has also provided a worksheet with 14 ideas for how to build a business using membership sites. If you want to build a business around your blog, click here.
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