Do you dream of writing and publishing a book someday? The idea of writing a nonfiction book can be overwhelming, but the process is actually pretty easy if you’re a blogger. It’s surprisingly simple to turn your blog into a book.
Major topics in this article:
- The top 6 reasons why you should turn your blog content into a printed book
- The 2 main ways to turn your blog into a book
- Tools and services that turn your blog into a book for you
- Pros and cons of using blog-to-book services
- 7 simple steps to turn your blog into a book yourself
- How you should publish your blog as a book
Why Should You Turn Your Blog into a Book?
I promise I’m going to get to the how in just a second, but I want to spend a minute talking about why you should turn your blog into a book. When you understand why having a book and becoming an author is so important, you’re more likely to finish your book and actually publish it.
Instant Authority and Credibility — When you publish a book (yes, even if it’s self-published), you get instant authority and credibility. You show the world you’re an expert because you’ve literally written the book on your area of expertise.
You’ve Already Done the Hard Work — If you’ve been blogging for a while, chances are you already have a book’s worth of content in your blog. Why not repurpose that blog content and turn it into a book?
You’re a Great Writer! — Bloggers do so much writing to build an audience and keep them coming back. That means you have a lot of practice writing, and probably on a tight deadline, too. You’re used to churning out the words consistently, a necessary habit if you’re going to write a book.
Build a Relationship with Readers — Reading a blog post and reading a book are two very different things. When a reader takes the time to read your entire book, they’re spending a lot of time with you. That’s the foundation of a solid relationship!
Add More Revenue to Your Blogging Business — Smart bloggers make money from every available revenue stream, including book sales. Although royalties aren’t everything, it’s definitely nice to get those royalty payments deposited into your bank account.
Reach a Wider Audience — Unless your blog has more traffic than Amazon, you can reach new readers with a book. It can be tempting to just sell an ebook on your website, but your book will do a much better job of building your blog if you can get it on Amazon…and it’s really easy to get your book up there!
How Should You Turn Your Blog into a Book?
There are two main ways that you can turn your blog into a book:
- You can use a service that directly copies and pastes your blog posts into a document that they print into a book.
- You can organize and compile your blog posts into a book manuscript yourself, editing and improving your work as you go.
In my experience, the second option is the way to create a successful book.
When you use an automated service to put together your book, you can lose some control of the way your book goes together. If it’s just a copy and paste deal, you won’t have the opportunity to polish the work and make sure the pieces all flow together. Your book will feel like a compilation of different pieces than one cohesive book.
On the other hand, if you collect and organize your blog posts yourself, you can control where each piece goes in your book. Decide you need to put half of a blog post in one chapter and the other half in another? No problem! Think Chapter 3 doesn’t really flow into Chapter 4? Add a transition! You’re in control.
Tools to Turn Your Blog into a Book
Services that turn your blog into a book include:
- Into Real Pages
In my opinion, these services work best for bloggers who use their blogs to capture moments in their or their family’s lives. They’re great for compiling stories and photos into a single book. These services tend to be a little pricey (usually at least $35-$45 per book), but if you only need one or two copies, that’s not too bad.
Conversely, if you want to produce a book to sell on Amazon and get in front of a large number of readers, these blog-to-book services are almost certainly going to be too expensive. Your blog’s superfans might be willing to pay over $40 for a book, but most blog readers won’t. You need an option to create a book that won’t break the bank.
Pros and Cons of Blog-to-Book Services
Still curious about book-to-blog services? Let’s go through the major pros and cons of these businesses so you can decide if they’re right for you.
Pros of Blog-to-Book Services:
Blog-to-Book services wouldn’t exist if they didn’t have some pretty considerable benefits. The biggest reasons why bloggers use these services are:
- Simplicity — These services make it incredibly easy to compile blog posts into a book. You direct them to your content and they do all the work for you. Most will directly integrate with Blogger, Tumblr, or a WordPress blog.
- Formatting Included — Blog-to-book services deliver an actual book or a file that’s ready to print. You don’t have to do the formatting yourself, which can be a huge headache for some self-published authors who DIY their formatting.
- Hands-Off Book Creation — Because these services take care of producing the book, it’s a totally hands-off process for you. You give them a little information in the beginning and your book is delivered straight to you. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Cons of Blog-to-Book Services:
For most bloggers, I think the cons of blog-to-book services will outweigh the pros. The major “cons” to consider are:
- Cost — Most readers won’t pay for a book at the rates the majority of these services are charging. Services that do edit your content into a focused, cohesive book can be very pricey.
- Distribution — It’s not a good way to sell your book to other people. Most of these services don’t integrate with Amazon or other booksellers, so you can’t easily sell them to a wider audience.
- Appearance — Some of these services design books beautifully. Others…don’t. Also, don’t expect a unique, eye-catching book cover design.
- Lack of Creative Control — If you want to edit your book into one cohesive unit instead of a piecemeal copy-and-paste product, you’ll want to skip the big blog-to-book services.
Whether you should use a blog-to-book service depends on your goals for your book. If you simply want a printed record of the content you’ve produced in your blog, they’re a great option. If you want to create a book to build your blog as a business, you’re better off putting together your book’s content yourself.
Not sure how to do that? Let’s walk through the steps.
7 Steps to Turn Your Blog Into a Book
If the done-for-you services aren’t the right fit for your blog-to-book project, it’s actually pretty simple to compile all your content into a successful book yourself.
Step 1: Pick a Book Topic
To write a book, you first need to decide what it’s going to be about. You might already have a great idea for a book, or you might need a little help coming up with your book idea. Either way, you should take some time to think about your book topic before you start writing.
A big part of picking the perfect book topic is thinking about why you’re writing your book. Do you want to use your book to build your business? Are you trying to establish yourself as an expert or thought leader in a particular niche? Those books will be quite different from a book by an author who simply wants to tell their story or check becoming an author off their bucket list.
Here are the big questions to ask yourself to help you pick the right book topic:
- What do you want to be known for? Your book is one of the fastest ways to cement yourself as an expert in a particular topic. So, don’t write a book about a topic you don’t want to be an expert in!
- How do you make money with your business? Smart business owners who write books intentionally create books that turn readers into clients or customers. What revenue stream can you build or supplement with new clients?
- What are you passionate about? If you decide to write a book about a profitable topic that you hate, you’re probably never going to finish it. You need passion to motivate you through the writing and self-publishing process.
- Why do your readers love you? Is your blog the go-to resource for a particular type or group of readers? What are your most popular posts? Try to find what makes you and your blog special and tap into that for your book.
Step 2: Describe Your Book Readers
The best books are reader-focused. If you want to write an outstanding book that readers will love, you need to focus on what they need and how your book will help them. Sometimes it’s as simple as entertaining them, but if you’re reading this, you’re probably hoping to teach your reader to do something, although that something could range from how-to to self-help.
To write a great book, you need to know 3 things:
- Where your reader is starting from (“The Starting Point” in the Fast Author Framework™)
- Where your reader should be at the end of your book (“The Transformation”)
- How to get your reader from the starting point to the end (“The Reader Path”)
When you know who your reader is in great detail, it’s easier to understand how you need to lead your reader from where they’re at now to where they need to be at the end of your book. So, take time to think through:
- Your reader’s pain points
- Why other solutions haven’t worked for them
- How your reader is different from the ideal client for your business (there may not be any differences!)
- How you can convince your reader that they need to sign up to become your client or customer
Deeply understanding your reader will help you write a truly good book.
Step 3: Look Through Your Blog’s Archives
Once you have a book idea and you know the journey your reader will take in your book, it’s time to dive into your old blog posts. Make a list of any blog content that you can pull into the first draft of your book. And, don’t just stop at blog posts; any content can help you write your first draft, including audio or video transcripts, detailed social media post captions, or emails you’ve sent to your list.
Make a list of any content that might be related to your book topic. It’s better to round up too much than too little. Keep that list somewhere safe — a Google Doc or other cloud-based document would be great. Make it easy to access so you can get to your list in the next step.
Step 4: Write an Outline
Now, it’s time to organize your ideas and your existing content into an outline. I’m a visual person, so I really like to organize my content with sticky notes. I’ll write down topics or blog post titles on separate sticky notes, which I can then stick on a surface and move around to help me find the best order.
When you’re working to organize your thoughts, be sure to refer back to your Reader Path. What does your reader need to know, understand, or believe before they’re ready for the next step? Think about your current readers or clients. What do they need to learn or believe first before they can move on? Incorporate that into the organization and order of your book.
You’re almost certainly going to find parts of the book that you don’t have any content to fill. That’s completely normal! Make a special note of those places so you can focus your writing sessions that new material to fill in your book’s first draft.
Step 5: Gather Your Content in One Place
Next, take all of the content you’ve already created and gather it in one place. You could do this with a Google Doc, but I don’t recommend it — Google Docs tends to get laggy when files get big. If you’re dead set on using Google Docs to write your book, make a different document for each chapter.
Software for Writing Books
I prefer to use Scrivener to write my books. It’s software designed specifically for authors to help them organize and write their books. Scrivener isn’t free, but the price tag’s not too bad: only $49.
This software handles big files like a pro, and it’s incredibly easy to reorder your content if you suddenly decide that Chapter 3 needs to come before Chapter 2. And, Scrivener has great writer-friendly features like a distraction-free writing mode. That’s why it’s a go-to for so many professional writers.
Once you have all of your blog posts in a document (or documents), it’s time to fill in the holes. Write the first draft of any new content that you don’t already have in your blog. Keep in mind that your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect; it’s just a starting off point for your edits.
Step 6: Edit Your Book
After you have your first draft, it’s time to jump into editing. One of the main goals of your first round of edits should be to turn all of the post-sized bits of content into one cohesive manuscript.
You’ll need to work on transitions between sections and chapters so they flow together well. You should also pay attention to the tone of your writing and make sure you’re not overly academic in one section and completely conversational in the next.
Your goal is to make sure no one guesses your book used to be in separate pieces on your blog. That will probably take you a few rounds of edits, and that’s okay! You’ve already saved yourself a ton of time by repurposing your content, so you’re still ahead of the game.
Step 7: Format and Publish
Once your manuscript is edited and polished, it’s time to format it for publication. I typically recommend formatting your book to publish through Amazon’s KDP, the leading print-on-demand service for self-published authors. They have many resources to make the process easy, and it’s free to submit your files there.
How Should You Self-Publish Your Blog as a Book?
There’s a lot that goes into self-publishing your book that I’m not going to go into here. You’ll need to decide how you want to print your book, how you want your book to look, and how you want to distribute it. There are a lot of options, so if this is your first book, keep things as simple as possible so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Most self-publishers are using Amazon’s KDP as the primary place to create and print their books. So, here’s a brief rundown of how to self-publish your book on KDP:
Formatting Your Print Book
Unless you’re well-versed in Adobe InDesign or you’re a Microsoft Word wizard, I strongly recommend downloading one of the free templates from KDP to help you format your book for print.
Open the template for the trim size (book size) you want and paste your book’s content into the template. Once you’re happy with how your book looks, save it as a PDF and upload it to KDP.
Formatting Your eBook
One of the simplest ways to distribute your book is as a PDF eBook on your blog. But, I encourage you to go beyond that! You don’t want to miss out on the wider audience of readers you’ll find on Amazon.
To get your book on Amazon’s Kindle, I strongly recommend using their free Kindle Create software. It makes formatting a breeze! Simply save your work from Kindle Create and upload the file to KDP. It’s really pretty straightforward and painless.
Don’t Forget Your Cover!
I only recommend going the DIY route for your book cover if you absolutely need to. Your book’s cover is incredibly important, and you want it to represent your book well. People really do choose to buy books based on their covers, so pick a good one.
Yes, You Can Turn Your Book into a Blog!
I hope this article has convinced you that you can turn your blog into a book and that the whole process is a lot easier than you think. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be creating your blog-building book in no time.
Need extra help turning your blog into a book? Check out these resources:
FREE Guide — 5-Step Guide to Creating Your First Book
A deeper dive into the process of turning your blog into a book
Get help planning your business-building health and wellness book, plus tips for self-publishing