Why your blog can make a good foundation for a book

Why your blog can make a good foundation for a blogIf your nonfiction/business blog posts form a coherent series – or, as we do here on HTWB quite a bit – you actually write specific series of posts about a topic within the greater remit of your blog, from start to finish – you could well be sitting on the potential for a very good, well structured and successful nonfiction book.

A week or so ago fiction author and expert Lucy McCarraher launched her new book, “How To Write Fiction Without The Fuss” which is a compilation of the superb series of tutorial articles she wrote for us here on HTWB. Not only is the book a brilliant, uncomplicated way for you to learn how to write good fiction that sells … also, the book’s structure works superbly. Why?

Obviously, Lucy’s expertise is the number 1 reason. But beyond that, it’s because the book is based on the way a series of “how to” blog posts needs to work … combining onwards flow with standalone credibility for each “episode,” so allowing people to pick up the topic, read a short segment, put it down again and then go back to it later without having to run through a lot of earlier material to catch up on what has gone before.

So, how should you go about organizing your blog if there’s a potential book in it?

Needless to say a lot depends on the nature of your blog.

If it’s about one very specialized niche topic…

… consider organizing your posts so that they flow from one end of a process to another.

For example, if you write about garden design, you could put up a series of posts on how to design a new garden from scratch. Let’s say your readers either have moved into a brand new house with nothing but some turf/sod grass in the back garden/yard, or have otherwise inherited a pile of weeds and junk.

You could then take them on a journey from there, through all the stages they need to work through right up to and including planting, nurturing and ultimate enjoying a beautiful new garden. You might want to tighten up the niche further by focusing purely on new-build property gardens that are small, and for families on a low budget.

Hence, a series of blog posts for your readers to follow and a book at the end of it called “How To Create A Gorgeous Garden On A Budget – From Scratch.” (And from a marketing point of view, you could contact the developers/real estate brokers selling brand new homes and suggest maybe they use your book/eBook as a promotional piece…at a price!)

If your blogsite is like this one and covers a variety of related topics

… in some ways it’s easier to isolate a specific series and develop those into a book.

Book cover - Lucy's fiction adAs you’ve seen, Lucy McCarraher’s series on fiction writing became “How To Write Fiction Without The Fuss.” And in a reversal, Lynn Tulip’s excellent series “The Write Way To Get A Job” was based on her very successful book, “Get That Job” (So bear in mind this process can work two ways.)

Currently Babs Saul, our techie supremo (suprema?) and I are working on a book to be called “The No-Bullshit Guide To Blogging For Small Businesses,” which will be based on and developed from many of the “what to write for your blog” articles I have written on here, combined with Babs’ brilliant technical and internet-savvy advice. Watch this space … should be out early in 2014.

So how can you look to the future book potential within your own blog?

As you’ll have gathered already, think in terms of series, not one-offs.

Needless to say I do lots of one-offs here on HTWB and that’s fine, especially if you’re posting nearly every day as I do and cover a wide variety of topics and issues.

But if you blog on a smaller scale, think how you can share your expertise and interests in a linear way (as opposed to a random way) in your blog posts, so that one day they may well fall into a cohesive structure that forms the basis of a very successful book.

And don’t worry that your audience might not want to buy your book because they could view each installment on your blogsite for free, although in theory that’s true. Readers don’t have time to scroll through, bookmark, download and print out endless stuff from your site: they will pay for the convenience of a contained product.

This is particularly relevant if it is a) offered as a print book as well as an eBook/Kindle and b) is the sort of book people will want share with friends and family as a gift for birthdays, Christmas, etc.

It’s also very relevant if it contains information that will help people in business or whatever enterprise your topic involves; people buy business / self-help / developmental books in their droves. Do some research and you’ll see where your book-based-on-your-blog will fit in.

And to check out what I said in my earlier article based on this topic, click here. It was over two years ago but I don’t think much has changed in the intervening time.

Have you thought about turning your blog, or some of it, into a book?

Please share here and if you have questions on how to do it, I’ll answer them as well as I can and if not, will refer you to other experts.

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family (don’t forget the Holiday Season is coming soon)…

photo credit: Easa Shamih (iZZo) | P.h.o.t.o.g.r.a.p.h.y via photopin cc

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  1. my ultimate aim is to publish at least one book. thanks for sharing this informative post.

  2. I am writing a book at the moment and a while ago I realised that I had already mentioned some of the stuff in blog posts. So, rather than re-inventing the wheel, I’ve transferred those bits – if only the rest was that easy to write!!!

  3. Yes 🙂
    (That’s all I wanted to say, but it won’t let me comment unless I waffle a bit more. I think this is enough ….. ;-))

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