If you have trouble motivating yourself to write that next blog post, whisper a little reminder: this could be a book one day.
Adding to your blog means you’re producing content that can work for you in so many more ways than just…well, adding to your blog.
Those humble posts can become snippety, share-able social media content, they can become handy infographics, or they can be published all together into a powerhouse of page-turning gold.
There are a lot of famous books-that-were-once-blogs out there, after all. Some of them have been turned into films as well, such as Julie and Julia, which began life as a blog project by Julie Powell. She spent a year cooking all the recipes in chef Julia Child’s book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’, faithfully chronicling the results.
The end result for Julie Powell was that Amy Adams played her in the film.
Whether you fancy a slice of Hollywood stardom yourself, or you just want to put all that writing work to its most efficient use, here’s how you can transform that blog of yours into a lovely book.
Write a lot of posts
It seems obvious to say that you’ll need a lot of blog posts to make a book, but you know what? You will.
(When I started compiling my own blog-book, Procrastinations, I had over 1,000 original posts to choose from. 300 or so made the final cut).
So if you’re not already, get writing and posting. Test out styles and subjects, then check what people respond to the most. Do a bit more of that.
I sent some prototype posts to a willing collection of ‘test’ readers, which can really help you sort the wheat from the chaff. But that will only work if your readers are prepared to give you no-holds-barred feedback. Empty, nicey-nice praise has no place here.
Select, compile, and present
As you narrow down your favourite posts, the ones you really can’t not include, think about the common thread that links them all.
Maybe you’re writing about a specific subject or purpose, in which case finding the right posts to include will be easier. You could then thread them all together in follow-on chapters.
If your blog is a bit more random, as mine was, you might have to break it all up into different book sections instead. Mine include ‘Work’, Food and Drink’ and ‘Random Life Observations’.
If you’re doing it this way, make sure your book still has an overriding premise. Mine was simple: a light-hearted collection of easily dip-able posts on the theme of life.
Edit and introduce
You’ll have to read through all those posts once you’ve put them together into a book, so you can make sure they all segue nicely into one another. If there are any gaps, get on and plug them with newly-written content.
(This will take far less time than you might think. You’ve already written the bulk of your book, remember?)
A short introduction can also be helpful, for readers to understand the context of your book, and why you’ve decided to write it.
Oh, and don’t forget to end your book with a link to your website, or somewhere else readers can go to learn more about your subject.
How to publish?
This bit is often where people get stuck. Fine, you’ve got the content and the idea, but how do you actually get your book out there?
My friend Ally Sparham, an excellent non-fiction proofreader, has written an in-depth, well-researched guide to getting published (Go It Alone or Go Traditional?), which you can download as a PDF. I highly recommend it.
Bear in mind that if you’ve worked on building a huge following for your blog, it’s possible that publishers will approach you. In which case, you could start thinking about who gets to play you in the film!
Next steps? My Business Blogging Club kicks off on Wednesday 30th October, and it’s perfect if you want to a) learn how to blog from scratch, b) gain confidence in your blogging skills, and c) be a productive idea-generating machine! You'll learn it all from the comfort of home, too. Find out more here.
I can also help you write that book and get it into print, with personalised, one-to-one coaching sessions.
I'm a friendly and professional writer, reviewer and editor who works with warmth, humour and flexibility.
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