Picking up where I left off, you now need to take long hard look at any other blogs that might compete with your blogged book. You do this to ensure not that you are the only one blogging on your topic but that you are blogging on the topic from a unique angle. You want to be different from the other blogs.
Actually, it’s great if lots of bloggers have chosen to write about your book’s topic. That means readers find it interesting. Just like a regular book, if publishers keep publishing books on a topic, that means they feel a market exists for books on that subject.
Of course, you may find that no one else is blogging on your subject matter. That might prove a good thing—if anyone really has an interest in reading about it. You can make a name for yourself as the first and only one in that particular market. However, there may be no other blogs for a reason; no one may care about your topic.
It’s possible, though, that no one has yet thought of your topic besides you. If so, that’s great! Buy a domain name that relates to your topic, set up your blog, and start writing and publishing fast!
This exercise of looking for competing blogs relates to two sections of a book proposal: Competing and Complementary Titles. Since you are blogging a book, it behooves you to also look at what books have been written on your topic. Make sure the book you are writing is different and adds something new to existing titles on bookstore shelves.
Also look at complementary titles. These are the related books someone interested in your book might purchase as well; however, these books do not represent competition per se. If there are many books on one complementary topic, you might want to see if your book fits nicely with, or parallels, these books, since obviously a readership exists for those books.
You can look at complementary blogs as well. These blogs might be great ones to try and develop reciprocal links with at some point. The readers on a complementary blog might be just as likely to read your blog as the other—or to purchase your books, products or services.
It’s easy to find information on competing and complementary blogs. Simply go to blog catalogues like Technorati.com or blogcatalog.com. Sometimes you can find a directory related to a certain subject area. Try doing a Google search for web or blog rings, blog networks, or blog directories on your topic. For instance, my blog, My Son Can Dance, is listed at DanceBloggers.com. If your blogged book involved a subject related to dance, you’d want to explore the blogs listed there. Another blog of mine, As the Spirit Moves Me, deals with both Jewish and secular spirituality as well as human potential and personal growth issues; it is listed at JewPI.Com under the Blogs category. If you were writing about Judaism, you’d want to check out the blogs at JewPI.com or at Jewishblogging.com. (As the Spirit Moves Me used to be listed there as well; for some reason, they dropped it, and I can’t get it back on the site—I’m not sure why.)
Look at the ranking of the blogs you find in the catalogues. Each catalogue will offer information on the popularity of a blog. You’ll want to examine the highest-ranked blogs as well as those lower down in the rankings.
Take all the information you gain from your research and take a second look at your blogged book idea. Does it still hold up? Does it need to be re-angled? Do you need to rethink the content to make it stand out from the pack of other blogs or books? Will you choose to compete with the top ranked blogs already being published or to compete with the ones ranked fifth or sixth or even tenth. (You might find those lower down the scale an easier niche to break into.)
Be really honest. Refocus your idea now—before you start blogging—for success in both the cyber and the traditional publishing marketplace.