A lot of blog-to-book deals have fallen into the hands of bloggers who haven’t necessarily written great content. Let me qualify that statement: They asked others to contribute to their blogs, and sometimes that content wasn’t even in the form of blog posts. It might have been videos or photos or little snippets of copy rather than superb stories or information.
Some great examples of this include Postcards from Yo Mamma and The Fail Blog. Check them out. Both landed book deals. Why? They were, and are, hugely popular. They are entertaining. Yet, the blog “authors” actually just compile the submissions. And you can do the same—but I wouldn’t necessarily call it blogging a book. You are compiling a blogged anthology.
You can take a cutesy or silly approach to some topic and then ask for submission. These could be videos or photos or short phrases. Or you can take a more serious approach and ask for guest posts on a particular topic. For instance, each year on my blog Write Nonfiction in November, the sister blog to Write Nonfiction NOW!, as ask 25+ expert bloggers to write about how to write, publish and promote nonfiction of all sorts. You could do something similar and then ask the guest bloggers’ permission to include their posts in a published anthology prior to publishing the pieces on your blog. Once you have their permission, publish them on your blog, and then later publish them all in a book.
I would suggest taking the same approach I recommend with other blogged books and provide an incentive to blog readers to purchase this previously published material. Add a few extra posts of your own to the mix that do not appear online. In other words, edit and revise and add an introduction and a conclusion, possibly even a few extra chapters.
Here’s a great way to organize this whole project: Run what author and marketing expert John Kremer calls a Blog Palooza. This is a bit like a blog tour, except you invite the bloggers to come to your blog instead of you going to theirs. If you have bloggers of some renown participating, your blog definitely will see an increase in traffic. Fans of these experts will follow them to your blog to read what they have written, and you will get traffic from these posts for a long time to afterward. In addition, if you ask these expert guest bloggers to promote their posts to their lists, the traffic you gain from their participation in your Blog Palooza will be even greater. That said, if you end up with lesser-known guest bloggers, if they promote the event to their fans and followers, you should see a rise in traffic even from their smaller fan base. (To find out how to run an effective Blog Palooza or blog tour, check out John Kremer’s Blog Palooza course.)
After gaining some extra blog readers, get that book produced, maybe even as an inexpensive ebook, and market it to all your fans—new and old. They’ll be happy to be able to have the advice from all those experts in a form that isn’t stuck online. And you’ll have a book you didn’t even have to write.
Anthologies are harder to sell to publishing companies, however. But this is a great way to create a self-published book in 30 days (or less), in particular a free book to promote your business or service.
Another Two Days to Grab Your Free Coaching Sessions!
I am offering a 15 minute FREE blog-to-book coaching session for all those who preorder before April How to Blog a Book. (Books have still not started shipping from Amazon, which means you can still preorder today, April 24. They are shipping from the Writer’s Digest Shop.) Just email a copy of your Amazon receipt to namir(at)copywrightcommunications.com to schedule.
For those who purchase a copy ON May 25 , which is when I am now assuming books will ship, send me a receipt (at namir(at)copywrightcommunications.com). On that day I am giving away 2 FREE blog-to-book coaching sessions!