Planning

What if I Haven’t Written Anything?

So you’d love to write a book. You know all of the benefits having a book will bring you as a blogger, and you have an idea about a topic that you’d love to write about. But, you don’t have any content written yet. (Cue sad trombone music.) Here are the steps I’d recommend that you take to get started on your book-writing journey. Mark them into your calendar every week and you’ll be in a great position to start putting together your book in no time.

So you'd love to become an author. You know what you want to write about, but you're totally starting from scratch. Here's how you should get started.

LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE

Before you spend a ton of time writing content for a book, take the time to carefully read comments your readers leave on your blog and other blogs in your niche. What topics resonate with them? What do they want to read more about? And, most importantly, what are their problems and how can you solve them? When you’re able to solve a reader’s problem with your book, you’ll start to change lives.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

At minimum, be aware of what else is out there on the topic that you want to write about. How can you put a unique twist on your topic if someone’s already written a book about it? What have others done really well, and what could you do better? Apply what you learned from listening to your research and you’ll come up with a really great idea for a topic for your book.

GET WRITING!

The biggest action item I can give you in this post is this: write a 500+ word blog post each week on your topic of choice. You’ll start to write the skeleton of the content that you can expand upon in your book, which should ideally be at least 10,000 words long if you want to write a shorter book that you can sell. (This number will be a little different for visually-driven niches like food blogging.) The key to making progress toward writing your book is to write consistently. Besides getting a good start on your book, you’ll get some other great benefits as well.

First and foremost, this can be a great proof of concept. Do these posts get a lot of social shares and comments? That’s a good sign that your audience is really excited about the topic and they want to hear more from you. Hear crickets? That’s a good thing, too. You’ve created some good evergreen content for your blog that can keep driving traffic to  your blog for years to come, and you haven’t wasted your time

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Also, think of your readers as proof-readers for your content. Is there anything you wrote that’s unclear? They’ll catch it. Does your argument make sense? If not, they’ll let you know. Questions asked in the comments are a great way to think of places where you can add additional material when you write your book. Your readers will be your greatest asset as  you start to put together content for your book.

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