Unlock your blog’s book potential

Blog-to-book series, Pt. 1

In a previous post, I introduced the concept of turning a profit by transforming your blog into a book. You can take the exact content from your posts and recycle and rearrange them into a book you can sell. With that in mind, I thought it would be a great idea to expand on this topic as more and more bloggers are hopping on the blog-to-book train.

In this three-part series, I’m going to share with you how to get started, strategies you can use for your content, and ultimately how to go about getting your work published. I’ve interviewed some amazing people, as well as listened to others’ successful blog-to-book stories, and I can’t wait to share with you their tips on the best way to make your book a reality. So without further adieu, let’s dive right in!

Use pre-existing content

The first step in turning a blog into a book is to have at least some killer content already written. This content can be used as inspiration, or it can be used to develop the actual pages of your book. For example, Smart Passive Income blog founder Pat Flynn created his first book from content already published on his first blog, Green Exam Academy.

Pat said that 80 to 90 percent of his first book was pulled directly from his blog.

 

From there, he drafted new text and reorganized his existing content into a format that made sense chronologically.

Craft new text

The Fire Path by Kate Erickson

Now, this is not to say that all of your content from your blog has to go into a book — it could simply serve as inspiration. Such was the case for Kate Erickson’s book, “The Fire Path.” She was inspired by her blogger boyfriend, John Lee Dumas, and crafted her novel after his blog, Entrepreneur on Fire.

 

The Suitcase Entrepreneur by Natalie SissionNatalie Sisson’s book, “The Suitcase Entrepreneur,” was also inspired by her blog of the same title. However, she only took one chapter directly from her site.

As Natalie explained:

 

“I actually wrote everything afresh for my book, bar one chapter about outsourcing. I took that chapter from a very solid in-depth blog post I’d already written, and then updated and added to it.”

Find a balance

Many blogs that become books meet somewhere in the middle, with the authors pulling enough content from their existing blog and drafting new text when needed. For example, Krayl Funch’s book, “An Appealing Plan,” used roughly 25 percent of existing content from her blog. Similarly, Candace Braun Davison’s book, “Collegiate Cookbook,” featured 30 percent of the recipes from her blog, Collegiate Cook, at the time of its publication.

 Find a happy medium by balancing original blog posts with inventive new content.

 

So what does all of this mean for you? If you have engaging content on your blog, then you might have the makings for an awesome book. Even I took a leap and created a book based off of my blog. I started with content from my blog and then eventually ripped all of it offline so I could put it into book format. And then I put it up on Amazon for readers to purchase.

The book was my embarrassment known as “50 Ways to Keep Me From Gambling,” and I learned a lot from that experience. Regrettably, it’s still on Amazon, and I consider taking it down every day. But the point is, I used my blog to create something I could sell, which is something you are capable of doing, too.

Here’s how to get started

In summary, here are the action items to start the process of turning your blog into a book:

1. Start with what you’ve got. Whether it’s a load of content, a bit of content or just the inspiration for a book, see if you can take it further.

2. Determine the topic of your book. Take a moment and do a “brain dump” on paper, writing down everything you would like to see in your book.

3. Create a rough layout. This is where you can rearrange content for clarity. After you’ve determined what want to include, you can spread your message accordingly.

4. Review your current blog posts. Browse your blog and see if any posts line up with your layout. You don’t need to start copying, pasting and deleting at this stage — just use your posts to develop your book’s message.

5. Go through your content with a fine-toothed comb. Get up close and personal with your content. Ask yourself the important questions: can this post further my book? Can I use any of this to develop a completed work of awesome nonfiction?

And that’s all it takes to get started. Be sure to check back for the next post in this series where we’ll talk more about content strategy. We’ll explore common mistakes and helpful tips for turning your glorious posts into a published piece of awesomeness.