Having a successful blog is a powerful marketing asset for entrepreneurs to share content in actionable bites. But their ability to fully inform your audience is limited. If you’ve had a blog for a while, it may be time to build a higher level of credibility through an expertly designed publication. Here are our top tips for turning your blog into a book and for how we can help you.
Refine your audience and goals.
Before you put your pen to paper, take some time to delve into your vision for the book. What goals would you like to achieve through writing a book that your blog alone does not? Who is your audience for the book, and how does it differ from the audience for your blog? Are you trying to appeal to a wider group of people, or are you looking to expand on concepts within your niche? Do you plan to use this book as a means for providing expert consulting or teaching services, such as workshops or speaking engagements? Answer these questions to feel confident that your message is being communicated successfully.
“[Writing a book] has given me given me greater visibility and credibility in my niche. It’s opened opportunities for interviews, speaking, and has helped close deals with prospects. It is a differentiator that I can point to when asked why I’m different from others in my industry.”Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, blogger and author of The Yolo Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide For Small Business
Mine content from your blog.
In order to produce a manuscript with proper flow and organized content, your first creative step is to draft your table of contents. With that organizational step done, you can easily pull content from your blog that fits each chapter. Be sure to include your key takeaways to help choose the posts that will fulfill the brief for the chapter. You have most likely written 75 percent of the content needed before you even begin. In this stage, dump any and all relevant blog posts, articles, and listicles into your organizational sections. It is much easier to refine content than it is to create more.
“To help narrow it down, I looked at my blog analytics to see which stories were read the most. … For example, I didn’t include articles tied to a holiday. My annual Christmas Gift Guide is a hit online, but it didn’t make sense to run that in the book.”Olivia Fortson, creator of The O Report, who turned her fashion and beauty website content into a print “bookazine”
Turn it into a book.
Once you have the main text of your book, it’s time for editing. Blog posts are written to be consumed in a short period of time and are typically limited to a specific word count. In a printed book, you have the opportunity to expand further on the concepts you’ve previously discussed on your blog.
Alternatively, this is the time to remove any redundancies in your posts to create a book that flows naturally. Keeping your audience in mind during this step will guide you toward the right decisions. If you are widening your audience, take this advice from Rebecca Barnes-Hogg: “Join a writing group or form a group of people who you trust to give you honest feedback. This helps you understand your readers’ perspective. My writing group was outside my industry and niche and were invaluable in pointing out where things weren’t clear or became too complicated to understand.”
There might be a great deal of work involved in this step, which is why it’s a good idea to consider hiring a ghostwriter to help. SPARK Publications can connect you to a well-vetted ghostwriter who will clean up your manuscript and provide an expertly written draft.
“Even though the content was going to be similar, the format of the content needed to be taken into consideration. For the blog, I tried to optimize for length, included keywords for SEO, and considered how it would view when sent via RSS as an email. For the book, you can have longer-format content, and you can do more with images and charts. These changes allowed me to update and revise the blog content so that it worked better in a book format.”Adam Holden-Bache, author of How to Win at B2B Email Marketing: A Guide to Achieving Success and former blogger
SPARK Publications can help.
Does this sound daunting? Thankfully, you do not have to do this alone. SPARK Publications offers services to help you through each step of the process, starting with a Strategy Session. Our expert team of editors will walk you through the steps outlined above. Or we can simply take your completed manuscript and provide edits. Our incredibly talented team of designers work with you and your vision to create a cover and interior for your book that is highly effective, marketable, and professionally made. SPARK Publications’ production process is built so that you don’t need to learn an entirely new industry in order to create a quality product.
“SPARK Publications does a stellar job of holding your hand the whole way, and they are excellent about working with your budget. They are capable of doing anything, but really have great advice on where to save and where to splurge based on how much you want to spend. With my budget, one of the things I decided to splurge on was hiring SPARK Publications’ editor, Melisa Graham. Even though I write for a living, I still make mistakes. It gave me so much peace of mind to know that Melisa was proofing all my copy to make sure everything was perfect. When the process is complete, when all the hard work is behind you, and you’re holding the finished product in your hand, that moment is such a rush of accomplishment and excitement. Blogs are ephemeral. People read them and move on to the next thing. But to have something that really showcases the point of view you want to share with the world and that you can physically hand out to others—that is something very special. “Olivia Fortson
At SPARK Publications, we create high-level, beautifully designed books, magazines, catalogs, and digital media custom-made to your specific needs. If you are ready to turn your blog into a book, we can help.