Learn how this health and nutrition blogger turned her personal journey into a business-building book that got her more clients!
Sometimes you know you need to write your book because your readers keep asking you for it. That’s exactly what happened to author and blogger Megan Olson. She was inspired to write her book Ditch the Diet after her readers totally fell in love with her free mini eBook on her blog, Skinny Fitalicious, and begged her for more.
In this episode, Megan explains how she turned her personal journey into a business-building book. She drew from her own personal weight loss experience, eventually going from blog to book and growing over time to write a book that helped her grow her nutrition and weight loss counseling services. And, you’ll be amazed by the story of how Megan wrote her book in just 7 days!
- How Megan used her personal experience to start a very successful blog, which has now turned into a full-time business
- How Megan turned that personal journey into her business-building book, Ditch the Diet
- How Megan wrote her book in just 7 DAYS
- Why writing a book can come very easily and naturally for many bloggers
- What Megan found to be the hardest part of publishing her book
- Why you may want to hire experts to help you with your book
- How a book can fit into your sales funnel and overall business strategy
- How book bundles can help you increase sales and your bottom line
- Legal issues authors and bloggers should consider before settling on a title or name
Megan, tell us about turning your personal journey into a business-building book.
I started my blog, Skinny Fitalicious, after losing 80 pounds. I create low-calorie gluten-free recipes that are easy to make. I try to make things that have very few ingredients and only take under 30 minutes for people.
I started Skinny Fitalicious originally with the intent of sharing with people how I lost 80 pounds. For me, weight loss wasn’t about doing high-intensity workouts. I had a bad hip and a lot of medical things that I had to overcome in order to lose that weight.
I was able to lose 80 pounds through walking, transforming my diet, and eating healthy. So many people were asking me about the steps I took or the things that I did to transform my body and lose weight. That’s when I decided to create my blog where I could share those things.
Originally when I started blogging, I never thought that I would become a recipe developer, which is a lot of what I do now in addition to managing my blog. I also went back to school to study nutrition, and I have found my true passion is helping other women find balance with their nutrition because I don’t believe there’s a one-size-fits-all plan for everyone.
I never imagined it would become what it has become today. I’m now a nutrition practitioner full-time, in addition to blogging and freelancing. Now I coach women to lose weight, help them balance their hormones, and help them discover what foods make them feel bad and find that sweet spot that makes them feel good and also helps them on their path to getting healthy.
Would you please tell us what your book Ditch the Diet is about?
I wrote Ditch the Diet almost two years ago. It’s about the healthy habits you need to build to lose weight. It’s not a weight loss book that tells what you to eat. It explains HOW you should eat to lose weight.
Again, I don’t believe there’s a one-size-fits-all meal plan for everyone. I really truly believe that there are habits that you need to build that will help you lose weight or get healthier, whatever that health goal happens to be. Ditch the Diet really breaks those habits down for people.
There’s a whole chapter just on fitness, a chapter on meal planning, a chapter on calorie, counting and portion sizing. I really walk readers through how to do different things, step by step.
The book also talks a lot about, about mindset and how mindset can really lead to weight gain and not being able to release weight, because often people are subconsciously holding onto weight for reasons that they don’t always know.
What made you want to turn your personal journey into a business-building book?
I had just started full-time blogging and I wrote a small eBook. If you go to my site and you sign up for my email subscription, you’ll get just a small eBook that talks about eight steps to jump-start your healthy living.
A lot of readers started telling me, “We love this eBook you sent us. Do you have another book?” So many people were asking me that I was like, “Okay, I have to sit down and write a book.”
To be quite honest, I love writing. Even as a kid, I remember sitting in my parents’ basement at my little desk and I would write short novels and short stories as a kid. My mom still has all of them. To this day, she says I was always meant to be a writer. So writing for me comes very naturally and it was something that I really wanted to do.
I sat down and wrote the book in 7 days. Once I got started, it just all came out of me very quickly and I couldn’t get it down fast enough. It was a very exciting process to get all of those thoughts down on paper and organize them, everything that I had been through with my weight loss, and all the things that I’ve learned as a nutritionist.
I think most bloggers have a knack for writing in general. So if you’re a blogger listening to this and you like to write, I definitely recommend that you look into writing a small eBook or a small opt-in for your website because it’s just such a good creative experience to go through.
What was the self-publishing experience like for you?
I will say that that was the most difficult part. The writing of the book came very easily for me. But the creating the graphics and cover and formatting and editing and proofreading the book was painfully difficult.
In hindsight, I really wish that I had hired a proofreader or a graphic designer. There are so many resources out there to help you hire people for not very much money. Looking back, I really wish that I had done that instead of going through the painful process of doing it myself.
It took me a really long time. I wrote my book in 7 days. Well, it took me two to three months to actually format it and get it published. Looking back, I think it would have been a better investment of my time and my energy to have had somebody else do that for me.
Tell me a little bit more about how your book has helped you grow your blog and your business.
Well, interestingly enough, a few months after I wrote the book, I had people who were asking me for more. I didn’t really know if I want to go through writing another book. So, I actually created an online fat-loss program.
I now have an online course that people can sign up for on my website. It has over 25 videos where I teach my clients what I teach in the book but in greater depth. So it’s kind of like phase two of the book.
What happens a lot of times is readers come to my site, they sign up for my email list and they get the first free eBook, then they buy Ditch the Diet, and then from there they decide to either take the online course or sign up and do nutrition coaching with me.
I get a lot of clients who have already read the book and loved it. They tell me, “Well, I read your book and I just wanted more information.”
Beth’s note: Megan is describing a perfect book sales funnel for online coaches or online course creators. You get people on your list with a lead magnet, get them to buy their book, and then convert them into clients for higher-priced coaching programs or courses. This is the best way to turn your personal journey into a business-building book. Smart move, Megan!
The other thing that I like to do is to create bundles with my book. When people buy Ditch the Diet, I also then circle back with them in 7 to 10 days and say, “Hey, by the way, here’s a great bundle you’ll love.”
Megan, what advice do you have for other bloggers or entrepreneurs who want to write a book?
Do your research understand upfront to learn what it’s going to take to really write a book. It’s easier said than done. Like I mentioned before, there’s a lot of other things that go into publishing and writing a book that people don’t really think of. Ask other bloggers who have published books what it takes to create one.
The second piece of advice I would have for people is don’t only think about the book in terms of you and your space. You also have to think about the legalities surrounding your book. So for instance, you want to make sure that your book is trademarked and copyrighted.
Megan is a nutrition practitioner, author of the book Ditch The Diet, freelance food photographer who writes for several websites, and group fitness instructor. On her blog, Skinny Fitalicious, she shares healthy, gluten-free recipes, weight loss tips & her personal health trials. As a nutrition practitioner, she works with others to take control of their health and lose weight while discovering their self-worth.
Where you can find Megan:
Skinny Fitalicious (Megan’s website and blog)
GET YOUR COPY OF DITCH THE DIET
Buy Megan’s book, Ditch the Diet, here.
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