"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to Build an Author Platform by Blogging a Book* By Nina Amir





When I advise aspiring authors to become bloggers, they usually ignore me. They don’t want to begin a promotional activity that might take time away from writing their books. When I tell them they can blog their books and build author platform at the same time, they pay attention.
If you are like most writers, you don’t like building an author platform, the built in readership for your book that comes from all types of promotion including social media, speaking and traditional media appearances. You may realize you need a platform no matter how you plan to publish—indie or traditional—if you want your books to sell to lots of readers or if you want to become an attractive publishing partner for a publisher. Yet, you simply would rather write.
Blogging, however, is the one activity that allows you to do what you do best and enjoy most—write—while promoting yourself and your forthcoming book. Not only that, you can blog your book—accomplishing all these tasks at the same time.

A Blog Builds Author Platform

Let’s look at why a blog promotes you and your book, thus building author platform. First, a blog makes you discoverable (easy to find) on the internet. Every time you publish a blog post, you provide new content for the search engines’ automated mechanisms, called spiders or bots, to catalog. The more keywords and keyword phrases you produce on any one topic, the higher up in the search engine results pages your blog (or website) rises. This means that after you have been blogging for a while, when someone searches for a particular keyword relevant to your blog, your website or blog will come up closer and closer to the top of that first Google or Yahoo search engine results page.

Blog readers and potential book buyers may discover your blog via the search engines. You can easily tie into social networks via your blog. This increases your fan base there and drives more readers to your blog.

Also, journalists search for experts using search engines. If you are discoverable, you may land radio and television interviews.

You Can Write Your Book on Your Blog

Now let’s look at how to write your manuscript as you blog. Make each one of your blog posts one tiny installment of your book. Nonfiction content is filled with keywords and keyword phrases and easily can be broken down into post-sized bits. However, fiction writers and memoirist also can blog their books if they are creative with their content plans.

Here’s how you blog a book:

1. Create a content plan.
Brainstorm every topic you might include in your book. Then create a table of contents, or an outline.

2. Create content you will not publish on your blog.
Look at your content plan and decide what pieces you might hold back for use in your printed book or ebook.

3. Break your content into blog-post sized pieces—250-500 word chunks.
Create subheadings (blog titles) for each small bit of content you will write. For nonfiction, this is fairly simple. For fiction, it can seem more difficult; think in terms of scenes and give each one a title.

4. Create a blogging schedule.
Maybe you will write two days a week—the very minimum amount—or seven days a week. Maybe you will write Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Decide and commit to your schedule.

5. Write one blog post on each day of your blogging schedule.
Each post should take about 45 minutes tops for nonfiction, maybe an hour for fiction. Remember, they are short. Compose them in a word processing program in sequence so you create a manuscript in the process.

6. Publish your posts.
Copy and paste your blog post into your blogging program and publish it using the same schedule mentioned in steps #4-5.

7. Publicize your posts.
Share your blog post via your social networking sites.


When finished, you need only edit and revise your manuscript and get that query letter and proposal written (unless you’ve been discovered by an agent or publisher in the process). Or, go ahead and self-publish your book. You’ll have created a platform that will help you sell books.

About the Author

Nina Amir is an Inspiration to Creation Coach and the author of How to Blog a Book, Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (Writer’s Digest Books), 10 short self-published books and 5 blogs. She inspires people to combine their purpose and passion so they Achieve More Inspired Results and motivates both writers and non-writers to create publishable and published products, careers as authors and to achieve their goals and fulfill their purpose. Sign up for a free author, book or blog-to-book coaching session with Nina or receive her 5-Day Published Author Training Series by visiting www.copywrightcommunications.com or visiting www.ninaamir.com.


Readers, we'd love to get your thoughts and questions here...





16 comments:

  1. I'd like to start the discussion off by thanking Nina for this very enlightening and engaging post. A lot of great food for thought here.

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  2. I love this idea. I agree, Jennifer, much to ponder in this post. Thanks to both of you for sharing with us!

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    1. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 7, 2012 at 6:13 PM

      Karen,

      Glad you like! Thanks for letting us know. Much appreciated. :-)

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  3. One of the presenters at Show Me the Blog presented on this topic and I truly enjoyed it. I have a question for Nina. How long did it take you to blog your book?

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    1. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 7, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      Marcie,

      Thanks for weighing in with your question.:-)

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    2. Marciewrites,

      Sorry for the late response! It took me 5 months to create a first draft publishing a post 3-4 times per week. I ended up with 26,300 words or so. I should have blogged a bit loner--had a better plan, which I write about in the book--to gain more followers.

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  4. Great information! Thanks for sharing it. The one thing that always stops me from sharing my stories on my blog or in the internet in general, is my fear of people stealing my work. What are your thoughts on this? I'm asking both of you.

    Thanks again!

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    1. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 8, 2012 at 3:25 AM

      Yvonne,

      Where you been girl? Welcome back. :-) I was just at your site. Loved your Halloween post and costume.
      As for your question here? I think that theft is not as common as one might imagine. Go ahead and go for it! And keep in mind that if someone does still, they could risk legal action.

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    2. Yvonne,

      Blog theft (if that is a term), actually called scraping, is rare. Usually people will take the post down when asked. Normally your work is attributed with a link, which is what you want. It helps raise you up in the Google rankings.

      Here's the main point: You have more to fear from obscurity than from someone stealing your work on line. If your work gets stolen, it must be good, worth stealing, and discoverable. All good things.

      Stop worrying, get blogging and become discoverable!

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  5. I do believe that creating a - Platform - indeed can be important, (a post about using your Blog as a Platform to work from is also actually one of the Most Popular Posts on my Blog.)

    Only originally when I started my Short Stories (in developement) page on my blog, I had in mind to actually take it a little step further than only creating a Platform, and a way for developing a Fan Base of Ambasadors & Promotors.

    I actually hoped to possibly actually get you involved in the production itself and attract you as Co-creaters that might possibly help with some practical insights into things like Grammar & Spelling, giving me your readers feedback by writing your Comments on my - Blogpost Instalments - Because I especially find it difficult to Edit and Polish my own writing.

    Only while on some of my other Blogs, like for example my Home Business Blog I do get some commenting from fellow Entrepreneurs, on my Writing Blog - althoug I occasionally get some commenting - on my Writer's Blog, Writer's seem to be more 'Solopreneurs' and don't seem to be commenting that much (yet?)

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    1. Your blog readers are your best critique group in general because they are actual readers--not a critique group made up of writers who may have no interest or knowledge about your genre. That does not necessarily make them good editors. It's always best to hire a professional editor.

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    2. Thanks for your reply Nina,

      - Your blog readers - you wrote..., that indeed is interesting to have a look at, you made me realise some more about why - even while my Writing Blog has a big growth in visitor size - there isn't yet as much participation from readers writing comments on blogposts, as I would like to, and why it looks like it is often ignored by Writers.

      So I looked more closely at where my readers actually come from, and most of them come from my own Travel Blog, Digitalcamera ideas Blog and Home Business Blog only a small part are actually readers from the Writers Blogs or Writers Forums.

      Possibly lots of writer's just aren't that much into blogging, (yet?) or don't make time to read blogs..,

      Although I do see a little 'Nibbeling' on some of my more practical posts about things like for example the post about using a Blog as a - Platform - to work from, Work Spaces that Inspire, and some of the How To Posts, So maybe those are things that can be a way to turbo charge your curiousity and have a look?


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  6. Good advice, Nina. I think anyone who's doing anything slightly entrepreneurial should have an online presence. Blogging's the easiest yet most effective way to get online.

    I'm actually bothered when people have a so called business, creative endeavor, organization, etc, and they aren't online, especially since it's so easy these days. That goes for anyone--writers, actors, comedians, musicians, painters, and the like.

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    1. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 8, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      Sarah,

      Good point. Thanks for your perspective.

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    2. Writers tend to not be business minded. They don't realize they have a product to sell and that they and their books are a commodity. They need a brand and a store front in cyberspace. It's quite a shift in mindset for most...

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    3. Yes, that is why I also have an actual online store front in cyberspace where I offer a tiny little (Vision) eBook that I wrote. Only I had been promoting it somewhat with my 'heels in the sand', because I wasn't entirely happy about the (long) title, nevertheless I did actually sell a few of them.
      (and I also actually got a few positive emails from readers, that also gave me some new ideas for a possible improved future 'Upgraded Version')

      Only while promoting it I discovered how with Blogging and doing Affiliate Marketing I could also (pre) selling other peoples Products, (for example already well known and established products that people are already buying) by writing Product Reviews on my own Blog(s). So my attention shifted more to promoting other peoples products.

      I do believe that you are right that writers tend to not be business minded. Although I now see that occasionally some of the visitors on my - Writer's Blog - also have a look at the - Home Business Blog - when they discover that with Affiliate Marketing and with writing - Product Reviews -, you can make money with your own blog(s).

      Only I do think that frequently a lot of people see Sales & Business as a dirty words because they might have had bad experiences with hard selling sales man that only wanted to meet their own targets, (I know I have) that way giving sales & business a bad name, while there are also really helpful sales man that are service oriented advisors.

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