More people become bloggers each year. They don’t necessarily decide to blog because they have dreams of becoming authors. In February 2014, there were around 172 million Tumblr and 75.8 million WordPress blogs worldwide.
Each time those bloggers write posts and hit “publish,” they become both authors and independent publishers. And they do so often.
In a survey conducted by Technorati, 61 percent of the respondents said they spend more than three hours blogging each week, and 33 percent said they update their blog at least once per day.
That means they write consistently. They have a daily writing practice, whether they call it that or not. (They may call it a daily blogging practice.) That’s more than can be said of a lot of would-be authors.
Blogging a Book is Quick
Average blog posts are short, usually just about a computer screen’s worth of copy or so—300 to 500 words. If you write fast, you can finish a post in about 30 minutes to an hour.
If you blog an average of 400 words per day for 52 weeks, you will write 145,600 words. That’s equivalent to two nonfiction books in 12 months (each 72,800 words long).
You could complete one book in six months.
Bloggers “Book” Blogs
A lot of people realize they have produced a book’s worth of content—or more—after they’ve been blogging a while. They then decide to repurpose their posts into a book. A super idea on the surface, “booking a blog” can be time-consuming and overwhelming if you have a lot of content. It doesn’t always produce a salable book, either.
After all, with this approach, you don’t blog with the intention of writing a book. When you decide to book your blog, you must figure out how to repurpose your blog content into a good book, which means a marketable book. That’s more difficult than planning a marketable book and writing it from scratch.
Then they get offered a book deal based on their blog. The most famous blog-to-book story is, of course, Julie Powell whose blog ended up the bestselling book and movie Julie & Julia. But there are many more, like:
- Pamela Slim’s Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur
- Brett McKay’s The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man
- Christian Lander’s Stuff White People Like, The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions
- Martha Alderson’s The Plot Whisperer
- Jill Smokler’s Confessions of a Scary Mommy
- Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston’s The Declassified Adoptee Essays of an Adoption Activist
- Mallory Ortbert’s Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
- Benjamin Dewey’s The Tragedy Series: Secret Lobster Claws and Other Misfortunes
None of these bloggers set out to blog a book. They simply blogged and created a popular blog in the process. Then they went back and booked their blogs.
Writers Blog Books
If you are an aspiring author, you can do better. You can blog a book. In so doing, you can move into the two percent club—write your book—and do it quickly and easily.
To blog a book, intentionally write a blog post a day (or several times per week), but not just any blog post. Write a blog post that is one small part of your manuscript—actually one part of a chapter. That chapter is just one of many that comprise the full-length book you will write, publish, and promote on your blog.
- Spend time creating a business plan for your book, which includes evaluating your idea to decide if it is marketable.
- Plan out your book’s content. Once you have a table of contents and know what material will fill each chapter, break this content into post-sized bits. The easiest way to do this is to write a headline for each post. (Think of these like subheads in your chapters.)
- Decide how often you will publish posts on your blog; the more often, the better. Then commit to writing and publishing a post—a small bit of your book—on that schedule.
- Create a manuscript off-line at the same time, so you have a document to edit later. Continue writing and posting on your schedule until you finish your book.
- Edit and revise the manuscript, add a bit of new content (plan for this) and self-publish it. Or submit a book proposal to a traditional publishing house—if you didn’t get found by a publisher along the way.
- Keep on blogging—and blog another book.
Blogging a book—creating your manuscript intentionally with short posts on your blog—is easy for writers. Your project won’t feel overwhelming or “big” but doable because you are producing short bits of content in small time increments. And, you’ll feel excited because your work will get read—discovered—while you write!
To learn more about blogging books and booking blogs, click here to order your copy of the new and revised edition of How to Blog a Book today.