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What if I told you that you could be a published author in less than a week?
Nope, I'm not talking about using AI, low-content books, or signing up for one of those intensive masterminds where you're just writing like mad for a weekend. I mean a real book that builds your credibility and authority for your business, 100% written by you, that you can publish and sell in bookstores like Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Walmart, Target, and more.
It's easier than you think: start with the content you already have. That's right, I'm saying you should turn your blog into a book.
Table of Contents
Turning a Blog into a Book
As a business owner, you probably already know that having a blog isn't enough.
No one ever says "here's Jon Doe! He literally wrote the blog on how to do this thing!"
Nope. They say he "wrote the book". And with good reason:
- Perceived Expertise: Having a book published immediately suggests a higher level of expertise and in-depth knowledge on a particular subject. Readers just tend to hold books in higher prestige. The process of writing a book requires significant research, organization, and a comprehensive understanding of the topic, leading readers to view the author as a credible authority.
- Depth and Detail: Books typically allow for a deeper exploration of any topic compared to blog posts (even long blog posts like this one are usually much shorter and less comprehensive than a book on the same subject). The extended length of a book allows authors to delve into intricate details, theories, case studies, and examples, showcasing a thorough grasp of the subject matter.
- Commitment and Effort: Writing a book requires a substantial investment of time, effort, and dedication. The commitment demonstrated by completing a book project implies a serious commitment to the topic, further enhancing the author's perceived credibility. That's not to say that maintaining a blog isn't just as much of a commitment, but the commitment to running a blog is just perceived differently.
- Publishing Process: Whether self-published or published through a traditional publishing house, the formal publishing process often involves being reviewed by experts and professionals in the field, adding an extra layer of validation to the author's work. This validation contributes to the author's credibility and reputation. (Hey, not only did you write a book, but an editor said it was a good book worth publishing!)
- Tangible Achievement: Completing a book is often seen as a significant accomplishment, which can impress both peers and audiences. People tend to view authors of published books as more credible due to the recognition associated with being a published author. Owning a blog is certainly an achievement, but again, it's perceived differently. Readers just don't tend to recognize it the same way.
- Enduring Presence: Books tend to have a longer lifespan than blog posts, even when they cover the same content. A book can remain in circulation and relevant for years, contributing to an author's credibility over an extended period of time. Even evergreen blog posts can lose their luster after a few months or a few years simply because emerging technologies can make them "look old and dated."
Old makes a blog post less interesting and dated, but it makes a book positively vintage.
Yet creating and maintaining a blog also takes a huge commitment and allows you to develop and share in-depth information on a topic. And if you've ever dreamed of being a published author but didn't really relish the idea of having to take time away from your business in order to sit down and write, it's time to consider repurposing your blog content into a tangible and timeless literary creation.
Actually, scratch that: even if it was never your dream to write a book; even if you're only reading this because someone told you to write a book and you just don't want to start from scratch, this is the best, fastest way to get a book written that's already been proven to be a hit with your audience.
By converting your blog posts into a book and publishing, you'll be reaching an entirely new audience. Though your blog posts offer immediacy and accessibility online, books possess an enduring quality that can linger on shelves long after internet trends have come and gone.
A book not only solidifies your status as an authority in your chosen niche but also presents an opportunity for deeper engagement with readers who prefer the satisfaction of flipping pages over scrolling screens. By transforming your virtual musings into inked words on paper, you can expand your reach beyond online enthusiasts and captivate those who crave a more immersive reading experience.
The Benefits of Repurposing Blog Content
There are several benefits that come along with repurposing your blog posts into a book.
- You can start with your existing content: You might even be amazed at how much content you actually have out there. I had one client who thought she would be lucky to get 10 pages for her book out of her blog, but after we finished putting together her outline and pulling the content from her blog, she was already over the 110-page mark. You already have a foundation of content to work with. Your blog posts can serve as the starting point for your book, providing you with a solid base of ideas, research, and writing to build upon. Then you can fill in the gaps to build it out.
- You can get it done fast and efficiently: Blog posts definitely don't read like books. They don't even read like chapters of books. So while it won't be as fast as copy-paste-and-publish, converting blog posts into a book is still a more efficient process than starting from scratch. You've already done a significant amount of research, concept validation, and writing, which can save you time and effort.
- You can launch with your current audience: Bloggers have what most new authors wish they had: a built-up author platform ready and waiting for their book. If your blog has a dedicated readership or following, they will probably appreciate having your content in a more organized and cohesive format, such as a book. It can make your insights and expertise more accessible to a broader audience. Plus, because they already know, like, and trust you, they will probably be first in line to buy your book.
Here are some steps and tips for turning your blog into a book you can publish and sell.
Start by Planning Your Book
A lot of people want to start this off by grabbing all of their blog posts and either copy-and-pasting them into a Word Document or exporting them into a Google Doc or something along those lines, and then they try to put the posts into some sort of order that they think it'll work in.
But remember what I said: blog posts don't read like books. They also aren't easily organized into books (unless you want your book to read like a collection of articles, in which case carry on).
What you actually want to do first is figure out a plan for your book as if you were writing the book from scratch.
What is the goal of your book? Is it to make you money, build your legacy and credibility? Who are you writing the book for? Is it for your ideal client or will it be used to transform people into your ideal client? Will you be marketing it separately or will you be using it as a tool to market your business?
There are a lot of questions to answer, and sometimes this step can feel boring and even unnecessary. But the more complete your answers are to these types of questions, the better plan you can have for your book and the easier it will be to build out the book in the long run. So spending a few extra minutes now will save you much more time later.
If you're not sure where to start with this, you can make a copy of this document here (no strings attached!). It's the same list of questions I send to every client for their ghostwriting projects to help give me an idea of the type of book they are hiring me to ghostwrite for them.
And if you'd like some help outlining your book, you can also grab my nonfiction book outline template here. This will also walk you through some of the same positioning and branding questions I ask in my consultation document, as well as walk you through putting together an actual outline for your book.
Choosing the Right Book Genre and Format
When it comes to turning your blog into a book, the first step is to select the right book format that best suits your content and resonates with your target audience. Consider what type and genre of book you're trying to write.
Now, I don’t want you to start getting obsessed with the idea that you have to know every single genre inside and out before you can start writing your book. There is plenty of wiggle room and you can always, always fix anything that goes too far outside of your genre during editing. But if you know some of the basics of the genre while you’re writing, it’s a little easier to stay close to that framework. So, just what are the expectations set forth by each genre?
11 Popular Genres in Nonfiction:
Cookbook: The cookbook is a fairly self-explanatory genre; a book whose primary focus is to share a collection of recipes. While many cookbooks differentiate themselves within the genre by including histories and personal stories, the focus of the book, the primary goal, is to share the recipes with the reader.
Development: A book on personal development focuses on helping the reader generate and nurture a change in their character or mindset. Because development books are often released with the promise of helping readers improve their lives. In some ways, these books get lumped in with the more general self-help books, but the focus on improving the self in order to improve your life is the main focus and differentiator for the development book.
Families and Relationships: The focus of a family relationship is just that: families and relationships. This may include dating books, marriage advice, or parenting advice. These books are often written by people holding education around such relationships, such as therapists and psychologists, but there are also a number of books available written by people drawing experience from their families and personal journeys rather than formal education.
Health: A health book is as the name suggests: a book on health and overall wellness. This can mean physical health as well as mental health, nutrition, and fitness; and while having a formal education in any of these areas can help build credibility behind your book, it’s not a requirement in order to write a book about any of these topics.
For example, a nutritionist can write an amazing book on nutrition and dietary lifestyle that helps thousands of people who are struggling with health problems related to their nutrition. Someone who has changed their dietary lifestyle and lost a significant amount of weight and has been able to keep it off, with or without the help of a nutritionist, could also write and publish a book chronicling their weight-loss journey, and what worked for them. Either way, the author should take care to remember that not every bit of medical advice will pertain to every case and, of course, readers should be encouraged to seek medical attention when they need it, rather than taking the advice out from a book as medical advice.
History: A history book chronicles events that took place in the past and sometimes analyzes the impact of those events on the present. In some cases, the actual chronology of an event might be lost or misunderstood, and so sometimes the accuracy of these events may be off or left unknown. But the goal of the history book is to help the reader build a new understanding of the event in question and, if possible, increase their understanding of how that event has helped shape an aspect of their life.
How-To / Step-by-Step Guide: The how-to book or guide is pretty self-explanatory. This is a book that walks a reader through a process to complete a goal or task.
Memoir: A memoir is a book in which the author chronicles certain parts of their life in order to help the reader extract significant lessons that they can apply to their own life to find a solution or overcome obstacles.
Motivational: A motivational book is a book that has been written with the sole purpose of uplifting the reader and compelling them to take action in some aspects of their life or business.
Self-Help: Similar to a book on development, the self-help book aims to help people improve their lives, in whole or in part, while also empowering them toward a positive change. The primary aspect that sets a self-help book apart from a development book is the catalyst leading to these improvements within the reader’s life. In a development book, the focus is on the reader improving some aspect of their mindset or character in order to enact a change that will benefit their life. In a self-help book, the focus is on helping a reader help themselves by learning skills or gaining a new understanding of a complex topic.
For example, a self-help book on decluttering and organization might help the reader by teaching them quick tips and hacks they can use to declutter their house within a few minutes, but the development book will help them solve the issue around cluttering by helping them to understand why they allow clutter to build up in the first place and how their relationship with the objects cluttering their home is keeping them from being able to let them go.
Travel: Books on travel typically help readers understand various regions around the world, tourist attractions, or experiences they might expect when planning a trip themselves.
Teen Nonfiction: Most nonfiction books can be read by teens without really causing too many issues. However, teen nonfiction books tend to perform better when you focus your attention more on the emotional struggles rather than the outward advice. When young adults believe that you can understand how they are feeling, they are more likely to follow the advice given to them, but if you just start throwing advice at them without establishing that emotional connection, they have a tendency to tune you out more often, even if the advice that you are given is proven and would normally be something they would be open to trying.
Sometimes your choice might seem a little obvious: if you maintain a food blog, then a cookbook is probably the obvious choice for your genre and format. On the other hand, if your blog is about self-care and mindfulness, it might not be so obvious: do you want to write a self-help book, or the more in-depth development book? Or maybe you'll opt for the uplifting motivational book?
Remember what I said, you can always tweak things later, and making a choice does not necessarily lock you into anything. So if you start down one path and need to pivot, that's okay! But having some of these expectations and understanding the differences can help you with some of the choices you have to make later.
You Don't Need to Include Everything from Your Blog
Once you've figured out your plan for your book, you'll probably come across some amazing blog posts that don't really fit in anywhere.
That's probably a sign that they don't belong in the book.
If you feel strongly that you need to include them in your book, re-evaluate your outline and plan and find a spot to expand on your outline so you can fit it in.
But other than that, your book should not end up being a simple copy of your blog. So it makes sense that some of your blog posts, amazing though they might be, just don't make the cut. Maybe they veer too far off topic, open up a can of worms you don't want to approach in this book, or just don't quite fit into the purpose and theme of your book.
Maybe they would even make a great concept for your next book...
Whatever the reason, there's no need to try to force a blog post into your book if there's no space for it to naturally fit. Better to leave those out than try to jam them in.
Evaluate Your Blog's Content and Identify Posts that will Fit
Once you have your outline set up, the next step is to take a look at your blog posts and see what you actually have.
Some of your chapters might be filled with some of your individual posts. Some of your longer posts, like your cornerstone content, might get split up between chapters. And, of course, some of your shorter posts might be put together to create a single chapter.
You'll also probably notice that some chapters seem really thin while others are nonexistent. That's okay! We're going to fill in those gaps later.
Identifying Gaps and Areas for Expansion in Existing Blog Posts
Speaking of gaps!
Now it's time to figure out a few things. Dive deeper into each individual post and critically analyze its content. Are there any important aspects missing that should be included in order to provide comprehensive coverage? These gaps might include additional research on certain subtopics or addressing counterarguments not previously explored.
Look for connections between related posts that can be bridged through new chapters or sections. Will you need to write in transitions between thoughts to help everything flow from one chapter to the next? Take note of any outdated information or references within your blog posts. Refreshing the content with updated statistics, examples, or recent developments in your field will help maintain relevancy in the book format.
Depending on your blog's content, you'll also need to think about more personal anecdotes and stories to add into your book.
Finally, read over any comments people left on your blog; a lot of times you can find questions that may either indicate a gap within the blog content itself or to a related item that you haven't already written about but may want to include in your book.
Now your book is really starting to look like a book!
Rework, Rewrite, and Revise
When it comes to turning your blog into a book, one of the key steps is enhancing the quality of your existing content. Blog posts can be raw and informal, but readers expect books to be polished: everything in there should belong in there.
Edit and Proofread Existing Blog Posts for Better Flow
Edit, edit, edit!
Your first step is to go through the structure of your book and reworking your blog posts to make them read more like a book. The areas that are going to need the most attention here are the beginning of your articles and the end of your articles, the length, and the headings / subheadings.
The beginning and end of your articles:
Most blog posts are written to be complete, self-contained vehicles of information. They are written to answer a specific question for a specific person and have a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Chapters in a book also have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but they are not self-contained vehicles: they are part of a whole. Instead of an introduction, a chapter needs a hook that brings people in from the previous chapter; and instead of a conclusion, a chapter needs a cliffhanger that compels the reader to turn the page and keep reading the next chapter.
The goal of a blog post is to inform the reader about something, teach them something, or sell them something. The goal of a chapter in a book is to get the reader to read the next chapter.
- The book's introduction sells the reader on Chapter One...
- Chapter One sells the reader on Chapter Two...
- Chapter Two sells the reader on Chapter Three...
- And so on...
- And so forth.
You may also need to work in some added transitions, either in the form of new chapters or of subchapters, to help with the flow.
Addressing article length vs chapter length
First thing's first: there is no perfect length of blog post or perfect length of a chapter in a book. My favorite piece of advice for people wondering how long their articles or their chapters need to be is "use as many words as you need, and not one word more."
In other words, make sure you convey your message in a detailed and thorough manner, without imposing any unnecessary limitations on the length of your response.
That said, and there is still a noticeable difference between most online blog articles and the chapters in most books. Most blog posts average about 500-800 words—although posts that rank in Google tend to be closer to the 1800-2000-word mark. Businesses tend to write online content that caters to a very specific human trait: the need to get in, get the answer, and get out.
With a book, that particular human trait doesn't come into play—no one is buying a book to read one chapter, get their answer, and then never pick the book up again. Which is why the average chapter in a book is closer to 4000 words.
Reworking the headings and subheadings
You might be thinking that the headings and subheadings you have in your blog posts will work in your book and that you can just copy-and-paste them over. But the truth is that headings and subheadings serve very different purposes in books than they do in blog posts, so you'll want to give them more attention than just a few keystrokes.
For one thing, headings and subheadings in blog posts are usually included to help make the content skimmable and to boost the post's SEO. But headings and subheadings in books are there to give structure to the book and make it easier for readers to read. People skim and scan posts on the internet and try to glean as much as they can from the headings because they are in a hurry and your blog post is fighting for their attention.
But readers read books. When they sit down with a book, even a book they are reading for an answer or plan on skimming through some parts, they dedicate more time to that book and you aren't usually in a competition for their attention. You already have it. And now your headings and subheadings just have to make it easier for your readers to find what they want to read.
In this way, the headings and subheadings in your book will act much more like a menu than they will the sections of a blog post.
Additionally, books use headings and subheadings to prepare their readers for a transition into a new thought. When a reader comes across a heading in a book, they know that one thought has finished and another, related thought is about to begin. When a reader comes across a heading in a blog post, it is more about a hierarchy of content, following the same train of thought into deeper levels.
Add New Material
Write new chapters or sections to supplement existing blog content
With all your blog posts chosen and edited, your book is starting to really look like a book!
Now it's time to go through and fill in all those gaps you've discovered.
The way that you do this is completely up to you. You can sit down and just start banging out words on your keyboard, you can use dictation tools and talk your book out, you can even hire a ghostwriter to help you write these last few chapters if you need to.
Conduct Additional Research to Add Depth and New Insights to the Book
While blogs often provide valuable information based on personal experience or general knowledge, books often go a bit deeper than what we can do on blog posts. Therefore, expanding upon your information with fresh insights from reputable sources can add credibility and depth to your book.
Dive into books, academic articles, reliable websites - anything that can provide you with new perspectives or data relevant to your subject matter. Incorporate these findings into your book while ensuring proper citation where necessary.
This additional research will give readers a more comprehensive understanding of the topics discussed in your blog and provide them with valuable knowledge that exceeds what they could have obtained from just reading your blog posts alone. Additionally, you'll avoid those complaints that all the information was just available on your blog.
This also helps with imposter syndrome. A lot of my clients will feel like imposters taking their blog posts and turning them into a book, as if that makes them less of an author somehow than just writing a book. Well, it doesn't—I mean, you wrote the blog posts, right?—but if you're adding to the blog posts and enhancing the information with even more in-depth information, that's not very impostery of you, is it?
Think of it like pie: sure, baking a pie from scratch is probably best, but baking a pie in a pre-made pie crust isn't too shabby either. And if you can't do that, store-bought pie is also good.
I mean it's pie. Of course it's good!
Incorporate personal anecdotes, case studies, or interviews to enrich the book
To truly enrich your book and make it stand out from the original blog content, consider incorporating personal anecdotes, case studies, or interviews. These elements add depth and authenticity to your writing while providing real-world examples that resonate with readers.
Personal anecdotes allow you to share experiences related to your subject matter that can help illustrate key points or give readers insight into how certain concepts have impacted you personally. Additionally, incorporating case studies provides an opportunity to showcase real-life examples that demonstrate how theories or strategies discussed in your blog have been successfully implemented.
Another effective way to enhance your book is by conducting interviews with experts in relevant fields. This not only adds credibility but also allows for multiple perspectives on the topic. By including insights from professionals who have excelled in their respective fields related to yours, readers will gain valuable knowledge and different viewpoints. By adding these new elements throughout the book's chapters or sections where appropriate, you transform it into a captivating narrative that goes beyond mere blog posts, creating a more engaging and informative reading experience.
If you've already incorporated personal anecdotes into your blog posts, that's great. But you'll still want to review those stories and see if you can go deeper. Like I said, a book is deeper than a blog post, and your readers will really appreciate getting to know you on this deeper level (even if they've already read every single blog post you've ever written).
Expand with Visual Elements
Including High-Quality Images, Infographics, or Illustrations
Visual elements play a crucial role in enhancing the overall reading experience and making your book visually appealing. When it comes to turning your blog into a book, you have the opportunity to incorporate high-quality images, infographics, charts, tables, or illustrations that go beyond what you could showcase on your blog.
These visuals can help break up long blocks of text, engage readers visually, and provide additional context or examples to support your written content. To include images in your book, start by selecting high-resolution photographs that align with the topics discussed in each chapter.
If you choose to use stock photos, such as those from Unsplash, be sure to read the licensing carefully. Oftentimes, stock photos that come with a commercial license have special terms for being included in printed material.
While photographs are great for conveying emotions and capturing real-life scenarios, infographics can be an effective way to present data or statistics concisely and visually.
Bring it all Together with Formatting
Formatting is one of those things that sounds far more complicated than it actually is.
Yes, formatting can be time-consuming—maybe even downright tedious depending on how many different elements you've incorporated into your book. But it's necessary to help make sure everything looks cohesive, especially when so many parts of your book have been copied over from different sources.
The layout of your book is as important as its content because it greatly impacts readability and user experience. When designing the layout for your blog-to-book conversion project, consider factors like font choice, spacing between lines and paragraphs, margins, headers, footers, chapter titles, section dividers - all these components contribute to creating an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
If your blog posts were filled with different formatting and nothing matches, you can always try what I call the Nuclear Method of formatting: clear all formatting and then apply styles using Microsoft Word to slowly add it back in.
Start by selecting fonts that are easy on the eyes; use serif fonts for body text and contrasting sans-serif fonts for headings. Don't get fancy here, Georgia or Times New Roman work great and look great in books. Experiment with different font sizes until you find one that strikes a balance between readability and visual appeal.
Pay attention to line spacing as well; too much can make the text feel disjointed while too little can make it crowded. Utilize headers and footers to include relevant information such as chapter titles and page numbers. Make sure the spacing is even throughout the book.
Use section dividers to separate different parts or chapters, using visually appealing designs that align with the theme of your book. Remember that the layout should complement the written content and not distract from it. It should flow seamlessly with the text and enhance the reader's experience by providing visual cues and making navigation through the book effortless. Expanding visual elements in your blog-turned-book can significantly elevate its quality and appeal.
Finally, remember to strike a balance between aesthetics and readability while creating an aesthetically pleasing appearance for your book. With attention to detail in these areas, you will create a visually stunning book that captures readers' attention and enhances their enjoyment of your content. They will feel like they are reading a book rather than reading a collection of blog posts.
In a hurry and need some help turning your blog into a book? I can help!
Package Your Book and Get Ready to Sell
Decide on a title that captures the essence of your blog/book
I suck at titles!
No, really. Trying to figure out the perfect title for something takes me forever. Lucky for me, my clients usually come and already have a title in mind for themselves (even though that title usually ends up changing at some point in the process).
A great title should help your readers understand exactly what is in your book as well as whether or not your book is for them. A lot of people want a very clever title, but clever can sometimes be confused with vague
Play around with word combinations, alliterations, or even puns to create that unforgettable title. And remember, simplicity can be powerful - don't go overboard with complex titles unless it truly aligns with your brand image.
Combine your title with the perfect subtitle to help convey to your readers exactly what your book is about and what they will get out of reading it:
- Write Out Loud: How To Get Over Your Fears And Build The Confidence To Finally Write Your Book
- The Introvert's Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone
- Unfiltered: Proven Strategies to Start and Grow Your Business by Not Following the Rules
- The End of Marketing: Humanizing Your Brand in the Age of Social Media and AI
- Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
Create an eye-catching cover design that reflects your brand
They say don't judge a book by its cover, but let's face it – we all do! The cover of your book is like a visual handshake with potential readers; it needs to make a lasting impression. Your design should reflect the style and tone of both your blog and the book's content.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I am not an expert at designing book covers and I usually hire someone else to do this. And it's usually worth the $100-$500 it costs me to get a great book cover. You can also find some pretty great cover designers at places like Etsy.
If you're not sure, skim through similar books on Amazon and take a look at the covers you see there. You don't want to copy any of the covers you see, obviously, but they will show you the types of covers that are working and what readers kind of expect to see in those covers.
Run Through a Complete Edit
I know you've already gone through and edited your posts, added in transitions, and written in all new stuff.
Now it's time to go through everything again, one last time, before your book is ready to be shared.
The biggest reason for this last edit is voice. Chances are that as you were writing your original blog posts, you were in a different head space for each one. Maybe in different moods, at different ages, with different information and different perspectives. Now you've blended these posts together and then filled in the gaps with new material...but it should read as though you wrote the book as a single thought, or at least from the same headspace throughout.
That's where this final edit comes in handy; it gives you a chance to read through everything using the knowledge and perspective you have now and level it all out together.
Get Feedback on Your Manuscript
Yes, you need feedback.
The good news is that you already know your content is good and proven because it's already been working for you. So you don't have to worry so much about idea validation.
The feedback you're after now is from editors or beta readers who will be able to give you audience feedback so you can form your marketing strategy around the book. Essentially, you're going to find out how a paying customer would react to your book before having to make it public anywhere.
This is an important step not only in finding any lingering pieces to adjust and fix in your book, but also to build up hype for when your book finally launches.
Asking your current audience for their feedback helps turn fans of your content into invested co-creators of your legacy; and believe me, they will treasure the moment you asked them for this type of help.
Now that You Have a Book, It's Time to Publish!
How you want to publish is completely up to you. If you want to try to get published through a traditional book publisher, you'll need to start with a book proposal to start sending agents. The process can sometimes take a long time, but often comes with prestige and opportunities depending on how large and engaged your current audience is and how well you've built up your platform.
On the other hand, if you want to self-publish your book yourself, you could get the book complete and ready to go in weeks or even days.
Final Thoughts on How to Turn your Blog into a Book
In this age of digital information overload, turning your blog into a book is not only a smart way to repurpose your existing content but also an opportunity to reach a wider audience. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can transform your blog into a professionally crafted book that captures readers' attention and keeps them engaged.
Not only that, but it is one of the most efficient ways you can frame your expertise and grow your authority within your field without having to lose weeks or months trying to write all new content.