If you’re looking into using your blog to make money or promote yourself professionally, then you’ve probably heard that one of the things you need to do is to make a book out of your blog. In theory, this is a very good idea – it gives potential audience members a means of checking out your best work without having to stay online. Whether the book is in electronic or paper form, the relative convenience of being able to read your stuff anywhere and anytime can do wonders for your reputation. You can sell it or give it away for free; either way, you’re getting folks to notice you.
Of course, that doesn’t really guarantee massive success for both yourself AND your blog.
The thing about translating blog posts into book chapters
It’s not exactly easy to turn blog posts into a full-fledged book, especially if you didn’t start out thinking that your blog can be turned into an e-book or a paperback book.
Among other things, you don’t know if you’ve written enough posts to cover one topic – or if you wrote too much to cover one topic to the detriment of others. You don’t know if one blog post is good enough to be a book chapter, or if you need to combine several blog posts to make a chapter that can pique the interest of potential readers. You don’t know how much you need to change the blog posts so that they can be more book-friendly. And you really can’t be sure that the posts that you collected in that book are the ones that will get readers to check out your blog.
In other words, turning your blog into a book is a VERY difficult process because – despite what some people say – they are different media of communication.
Can YOU turn your blog into a book?
The key to being able to make a book out of your blog that actually HELPS you is to pinpoint a theme on your blog that your book can focus on and make sure that you have enough material for it. This isn’t all that difficult when you’re running a blog that has a fairly singular focus.
For example, Walker Lamond’s Tumblr blog “Rules for My Unborn Son” focuses on giving young men advice on how to be good men. Its streamlined theme made it very easy for the blogger and his editor to make the transition from blog posts to book chapters; it was all a matter of choosing which posts will be included in the book. The Bloggess Jenny Lawson may not be focused on ONE topic, but many of her best posts have one thing in common – heartwarming weirdness and a healthy dose of humor. That running theme helped turn her book into a New York Times Best Seller.
Before you decide to turn your blog into a book, you might want to see if your blog has a single theme that you can work with.
Maybe writing a separate book first is a better alternative
If you find that you’re having trouble generating a book from your existing blog posts, then you may want to write a book inspired by your blog posts instead.
In some cases, doing this can even actually help you figure out the overall theme of the blog that you happen to be running. It doesn’t have to be a very long book – it can be a booklet outlining a manifesto that you apply to your blog writing. It doesn’t need to be officially published by a big-name publisher – you can self-publish. You can get people to pay for it, or give it away to your audience for free. What’s important here is that you find a way to make that book sell your blog as a resource and promote you as a great authority or entertainer.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll probably have an easier time turning your blog into a book in the future (who says you can only write one book in relation to your blog anyway?).
Turning your blog into a book can be very tricky; it needs a whole lot of effort and just the right circumstances. Given the way the world works these days, you’ll eventually have to seriously consider turning your blog into a book if you want to make money off of it. But you have to do it when the time is right for you.