Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Different Purpose for Your Blog

Have you ever wanted to write a book? Many of us who have honed our writing skills as a result of the Blogosphere secretly dream of writing the great American novel or a historical analysis of the Civil War – some of us anyway. But have you ever thought about re-positioning your blog posts into a book? It might be easier than you think.

According to Nina Amir’s book, How to Blog a Book, you can “Write, publish, and promote your book one post at a time…If you write good copy and promote your blog well, it’s possible to gain more readers than you would with a traditionally published book.”

First, you need to decide why you want to write a book. Since you already write regular posts for your blog, you have established your ability for consistent writing as well as a routine for sharing ideas and arguments. But is that enough for a book? You may choose to write a book from scratch post by post. Or you can peruse the archives of your blog – you may have a lot more content than you think – either on a specific topic or many topics. Either way, if your answer is yes, move on to the next step.

Second, you need to ask yourself these key questions:

[1] Is my topic unique?
[2] Does what I have to say add value to my readers?
[3] Is there a market for this blog or blogged book?
[4] Who are my readers?
[5] How is my blog or blogged book different from the competition?
[6] How will I position myself in the cyber market or bricks-and-mortar market?
[7] What will I include in my blogged book?
[8] How will I organize the blogged book’s content?
[9] Does a blogged book offer me a way to gain customers for my business?
[10] Will a blogged book prove that I am an expert on my subject?

If you can answer those questions and are still eager to blog a book, here’s the third action item: write a pitch for your blogged book. Consider the following questions:

[1] Are you giving readers a solution to a problem? What is the problem? What is the solution?
[2] What’s your goal in writing the book?
[3] What do you want your readers to achieve by reading your book?
[4] Who are your readers?
[5] Is the book timely or time-sensitive?

In the words of Toni Morrison, “If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”

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