So you want to write a book. You’ve gotten your excuses out of the way and you’re ready to go. These days, many publishers expect you to have a ‘platform’ ready-made for them when you pitch your book. That means they want an audience that you have already built up, chomping at the bit to buy your amazing book. This may sound like putting the cart before the horse, but try this on: through blogging, you can build up an audience for your writing.
You Can Blog a Book!
If you’re limited on time, you might think that writing a book AND a blog is an impossible feat. But here’s the secret: use your book. . . to write your blog. Don’t worry, we’re not advocating that you give away the farm. You can use your blog to build the platform and audience that will make your book successful, though, and you can use the one to build the other. It’s a mutually beneficial process that will make you wonder why you didn’t do this book writing thing sooner!
How to Blog a Book
You don’t have to publish each chapter of your book on your blog. In fact, you don’t have to publish portions of your book on your book unless you want to, but you can publish the lessons you learn while writing it. There are so many different ways to bring your audience along with you on your writing journey. First, though, you have to get started!
If you have a dedicated space, you are more likely to be productive. You’ll be able to get in the zone better if you have already set aside distractions like your phone or other devices. Dedicate a space to your book and don’t use that space for anything else. (Even if it’s a folding card table or just sitting in an empty corner of your bedroom!) You WILL see a difference as your brain begins to recognize this as “The Writing Space”.
The more you designate a Writing Space, the easier it will be to write your book and blog. Make sure that the people around you know that when you are in your Space, you are writing. When you are writing, you are not to be disturbed! Having that dedicated time and space to writing your book will ensure that it is a priority, and that not only do the others in your life know it, but your brain will too. Don’t underestimate the power of a focused mind!
While you’re writing, keep track of lessons you learn. You can start your book-blogging journey anywhere in the writing process: idea, outline, or manuscript. Try handwriting your first draft and see what the difference is from drafting on a computer. Try writing in different blocks of time (10 minutes vs. 30 minutes) and figure out why one works better for you, then stick with it.
Don’t forget to take breaks while writing, too! This helps you focus, and if you want to, you can review your notes. Don’t let your notes derail you into editing territory, though. Freewriting it a wonderful tool, and the best thing to remember is that a first draft is bound to look awful. That’s a good thing, though – it gives you plenty of room for improvement!
Here is where blogging your book comes into play! This should be easy, because the writing experience will be fresh. If you learned something, it’s most likely worth sharing. Help others learn by posting about these lessons you’ve learned. You’ll be improving your writing skills and starting a “snowball” of creativity.
The more in-depth you can be, the better. Don’t be afraid to share funny anecdotes from your writing journey, either. This lets your audience get to know you and keeps their interest. A sociology professor in college would lecture for 20 minutes, tell a somewhat-related (or not-at-all related!) story, to let the students’ minds regroup, then lecture again for the last 20 minutes. You didn’t have to take notes, because you retained it all! Let your readers’ minds relax in the middle, while you fill them up with all the good stuff at the beginning and end.
Use this adventure to build your audience to help you land a publishing deal. Get creative: issue a writing challenge for you and your readers; then you have even more accountability and motivation to write! Or connect with other bloggers and writers to create events together. Offer a referral challenge for your email list. Whatever methods you choose, make sure you build into those communities and find the people that YOU want to follow, as well as the people you’d like to have following you. Remember: the more you give back, the more you’ll get!