Imagine you have a friend who excitedly tells you that he’s learning to cook. Every day he spends hours planning out recipes, buying ingredients, chopping, grilling, and seasoning until he finally has the perfect creation.
And then, after all of his hard work, he takes a few bites and throws away the rest.
If you’re anything like me, you want to yell at him to enjoy the meal, or invite some friends over for dinner, or donate the leftovers to a local shelter. It’s ridiculous to put in so much work and not make the most of it!
Well, here’s my confession:
The way you’re feeling right now is exactly how I feel when I talk to bloggers who haven’t written a book.
It’s not that bloggers are putting in work for nothing. We all know the value of putting your content out there and sharing it with the world. I believe everyone should have a blog, and I know that’s it’s a crucial piece of your public identity.
But, like our hungry chef friend, bloggers without books are leaving a major opportunity on the table.
For many bloggers, the thought of writing a book sounds vaguely appealing, but they aren’t entirely sure why. They know other bloggers who have written books and seen great results, but they themselves don’t have any specific reasons why they should write a book, so this task never makes its way to the top of their to-do list.
So let me give these book-less bloggers 4 reasons why they should write a book…
1. More Attention
As a blogger, you are trading in the world of attention.
Whether your ultimate goal is for that attention to be focused on your blog, on your business, or somewhere else, the goal of your blog probably relates to drawing in eyeballs one way or another.
By writing a book, you are building a completely new channel for finding new readers. More importantly, a book gets you in the door with media gatekeepers who can put you in front of even larger audiences.
2. More Credibility
When someone lands on your blog, how do they feel about you?
Their response in the first 6 seconds will dictate whether they are likely to stick around and explore or move on to the next thing.
It’s important for you to be attention-grabbing, informative, and interesting; but even more than those things, it’s important for you to be credible. Proudly displaying your newly published book on your site is a sure way to build credibility.
3. More Opt-Ins
Most bloggers aren’t just looking for transient traffic. They want to build an engaged audience, which begins with gathering email addresses.
Back in the day, it was easy to have a “Subscribe to my Newsletter” form that readers would opt-in to, but over the years, the bar has been raised higher and higher in terms of the value you need to provide to get a reader’s email.
A free book (or at least free chapters) is the gold standard in terms of value you can provide to have a reader take that leap.
4. More Money
As an author, you’ll now have a product that speaks directly to your audience, fits your brand, and earns you more revenue than most other options.
Books aren’t the best way to maximize money making, but they’re a great place to start.
Isn’t writing a book a lot of work?
I’m always surprised when I speak to bloggers about their fears around writing a book.
Many of them seem intimidated by the amount of writing that’s required of them, and they seem to indefinitely put off starting until they “have more time”.
For most professionals, this fear makes sense, but bloggers are already writing a large amount of content. All that’s required is strategically choosing your content in order to support a book project.
Here is a process that works well for bloggers looking to create an incredible book with as little investment as possible…
1. Positioning & Outlining
The first step in writing a book, and the most often neglected, is to get as clear as possible on your book’s positioning.
Too many bloggers decide to write a book by taking their existing blog posts and weaving them together. That’s a recipe for a bad book.
Instead, before you start, try to answer this:
“Who exactly is going to read this book, and what problems will it solve for them?”
With this clear idea, you can outline the major points and chapters that will be needed to effectively solve their problems.
2. Write Your Blog As Usual
Once you have your outline, it’s time to go back to blogging.
Turn the book outline into a list of blog posts to write, and get to work.
To give you a guide, a short non-fiction book should be about 30,000 words, so if you write 1,000-word blog posts, divide the outline into 30 pieces. Adjust these numbers based on your desired book/blog post length.
Once you’ve finished your blog posts, it’s time to put them into basic book form.
Plug the finished posts back into the outline, eliminate introductions and conclusions, and write transitions that make the ideas flow together.
4. Hire An Editor
Finally, it’s time to hire an editor.
At this point, your book is very similar to your blog, and you’d like for it to provide something new and different for your readers. Having an external editor work with you and give you feedback is a sure way to do this.
Be sure to hire a “content editor” (as opposed to a “line editor”) and have them work with you not just on the phrasing, but on the content. Because you’ve already mapped out the structure in advance and wrote for that structure, the edits shouldn’t be too extreme.
Once your manuscript is locked, it’s time for publishing.
This can sound intimidating to many people who aren’t in the publishing industry. They’ve heard rumblings of ISBNs, distribution deals, royalty splits, and all kinds of other jargon meant to intimidate would-be authors.
The fortunate thing is that in today’s world, publishing is simple.
If you want to make sure the quality is amazing, follow the instructions in my free book to hire the best possible team to help you through the publishing phase.
And That’s How Any Blogger Can Easily Write A Book!
For many bloggers, the idea of writing a book is a far-off dream that can feel intimidating and something a little too easy to put off. But while you are waiting for the perfect time to start, your blog and career are missing out on the amazing opportunity that’s right in front of you.
Fortunately, as someone who already spends so much time thinking and writing, finishing a book is not as difficult as you think.
Like anything else, it’s just a series of steps. If you follow the process above, it won’t be long until your idea has been turned into a reality.
This guest post was contributed by Zach from Book In A Box.
Here are some hand-picked resources from ShoutMeLoud for launching your own book:
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