As a business owner, you’re incredibly busy. You’re working to keep up with clients, create new content to attract new followers, stay engaged on social media, and more. It’s no wonder that so many of my audience members struggle to get their books written because they’re so busy. If you’ve been trying to write your book for a while but you’re feeling stuck, I think this strategy will help.
In this episode of the Blogger to Author Podcast, you’ll learn how you can use your content calendar to write your book. Whether you write blog posts, film videos, have a podcast, write long social media posts, or write amazing emails to your list, you can reuse that content to help write the first draft of your book. And, with some careful planning, you can write that first draft by filling in your content calendar with the topics you’ll be covering in your book. Just listen to learn how to do it!
(This is a direct transcript of the episode. Please excuse any typos.)
I know a lot of you are very busy and a lot of you probably feel like you don’t have time to sit down and write an entire book or you’re just overwhelmed by the idea of having to sit down and write a book. It seems like it’s this immense, an almost insurmountable task, and how are you going to get it done? I know those thoughts keep a lot of people back from they hold them back from writing a book and I know that those fears and that sense of overwhelm really keeps books that need to be in the world from getting out there because we get so stuck in our heads. We’re so worried about the actual process of writing a book, how we’re going to do it, how we’re going to figure out how you’re going to come up with the words you need to write your book.
My 5-Step Guide to Creating Your First Book will show you just how simple it is to self publish your nonfiction book! Sign up now to get your copy.
And so today I want to give you a simple strategy that you can use to write your book faster and to make the whole process a lot easier. And that little strategy is to use your content calendar to write your book. So first and foremost, what do I mean by a content calendar? Just in case you’re listening to this and you don’t have one. Those of you who are consistently creating content, whether it is blog posts, whether it is social media posts, you know, whether you’re on Instagram or Facebook, whatever platform, or if you’re a fellow podcaster, whatever you do, chances are you at least have somewhere written down a few ideas for future posts that you want to do or future episodes or videos or again, whatever your preferred medium is. If you don’t, I would go save yourself some time and start thinking about that content calendar.
What can you start talking about? And really what that content calendar does is it makes your life a lot easier so that when you have to sit down and create new content for your audience to engage in content marketing, to connect with your people, to give them real value, you know the content that you’re going to write because it’s those ideas that are sitting right in front of you in your content calendar. And like I said, I imagine that a lot of you are already doing this. If, again, if you’re not, consider starting that content calendar, but what I want to do is talk about how you can use that content calendar to write a book, to write your book or at least to get a lot of the first draft done. And so I preach, reusing what you’ve done in re-purposing a lot. I do think number one, it’s the smartest thing you can do.
We are all really busy. We have limited time. We are all trying to do a million things as business owners. Whether your blog is your business or you sell something else, whether you sell services, whatever it is, you’ve got a lot going on, you’re trying to market, you’re trying to, again, either write posts or deliver things to your followers. Maybe you’ve got online programs, courses, whatever it is your to do list is a mile long, and so you need to figure out ways that you can multitask essentially. Um, although I’m multitasking and itself switching back and forth between two different things is not a good idea in this case, really the multitasking I’m talking about is repurposing. So taking something that you’ve done for one platform and putting it on a different platform and sometimes, for example, bloggers will take a paragraph or a couple sentences out of their blog post or maybe even a couple paragraphs and they will paste that into a social media post and repurpose their content that way.
What I want you to do is take that content again, whether it is a blog post, whether it’s a video transcript, whether it’s an audio transcript, whether it is an Instagram posts, Facebook posts, even emails to your list. If you write longer emails, I want you to take that content and repurpose it for your book, so then when you’re writing your content calendar, what you can do is really keep in mind the fact that you want to repurpose the material in your content calendar for your book, so what does that look like? What I encourage you to do is to first start with creating an outline and what that outline does is it allows you to just really stay focused. You know what needs to go in your book, and so it makes it easier to do the writing. In this example, you would then know it needs to go into your book and so you can look and say, okay, can this chapter or part of a chapter become a blog post?
Or could this chapter or part of a chapter become a live video that I then transcribe? That sort of thing. If you need help working on your outline, go back and listen to episodes 55 and 56 of the blogger to author podcast. I really break down step by step the process that I encouraged content creators to go through in order to work on their outline, so if you don’t have that book outline, I would start there. Once you have the outline, then start to again break down the little pieces in your book that could become a piece of content for you. So I’ll give you an example. When I wrote my first book, Yoga for runners, I sat down and I wrote down all of the ideas that I had for the book. Really everything that I wanted to make sure that I touched on in the book.
Everything that I thought was important. I drew from my own experience in the Yoga studio teaching runners. I drew from my own experience as a runner, learning yoga and what I felt and what I experienced and used all of that to inform this big document essentially that I put together that had all of my different chapters and all of the different topics that I wanted to address within the chapters. I was able to go back and find a lot of blog posts that I had already written on the topic because really I had kind of gone through and reverse engineered this when I was creating my blogs content calendar before I started to write the book and I started to just thinking about everything that a runner should know who wanted to start learning to do yoga, but then when I went to go write the book, there were a few sections that I really wanted to include in the book but that I hadn’t written yet.
So one example was styles of yoga. There are a lot of different types of yoga and I know as a runner, especially when I was getting started, it was really overwhelming. One of the things that really held me back was I was too scared to go out to a place. I was looking specifically for a class that was yoga for runners class, but I was living in an area where there weren’t a ton of yoga classes yet. I. It’s really expanded in the past five to 10 years and I just wasn’t comfortable with going to a class because I didn’t know what to expect and so in my book I wrote entire sections about like, okay, this is what this style of yoga is, so if you go to a yoga studio and you say, okay, it’s power yoga, I know what to expect from that and if I see that it’s Hatha Yoga, I know what to expect from that, so I took all of that.
Again, my own experience, and then also what I had learned talking to runners in my audience, talking to my yoga students, her were runners, and I wrote that into a couple of blog posts to address that section, to address those questions and to really flesh out that section of the book. So I would encourage you to do the same thing. Take a look at your outline, see everything you’ve done. See if you’ve already created some content anywhere. Again, don’t feel like it has to be just written. You can always transcribe audio and video. Use those videos if you’re a video person, but then figure out what holes you’ve already filled that you can use for your first draft of your book and then as you’re planning out your content calendar for the month, for the year, see if any of the pieces that you need to write for your book, can you partially right that as a blog post or could you talk through that as a live video?
If this is content marketing you’re already going to be doing. If these are blog posts, you’re already going to be producing that. You know you need to post a blog post this week anyway. You know that you intend to go on live video anyway this week. Well, if you don’t know what you’re going to talk about, is there any way that you could talk about one of the topics on your outline that need to be flushed out and talked through and then again you can go back, repurpose that and edit it, make it the best version possible for your book. But my experience and the experience of just about every single writer I have talked to that I’ve worked with is that that first draft is the hardest. Getting those creative juices flowing, getting the word starting to roll out on the page. That is the hardest part.
Going back and editing and adding two things tends to be much, much easier. So if you can make the process of creating that first draft easier on yourself. If you can make it simpler than it’s going to make the process of writing your entire book a lot easier. And just a side note, what’s beautiful about this is it’s also a great way to start to build up some publicity and buzz and just content around the topic of your book. So content marketing in general. The idea is to really show people that you know what you’re talking about and to provide them value with your content. If your eventual goal is to get people to buy your book well, then talking about topics that are in the book, showing people that you are knowledgeable is a great way to convince them to buy your book because they’ve already learned a little bit bonus points.
If they can apply that to get a little quick win or even just a little mindset shift in a Ha moment, whatever it is. But if you’re starting to do that anyway with your content marketing and you know the content you’re creating, and especially if I can go into your book, it’s going to go a long way to actually marketing your book. When your book does come out, that topics not going to be completely out of left field. You will have been talking about it for a while and your audience is going to be ready to buy your book. So again, I think it’s smart to repurpose. I think you absolutely should be repurposed and if you are working on your content calendar now or in the future, I really encourage you to think about how you can get the work you’re doing to do double duty for you, how you can get your writing or video or audio or whatever type of content you’re creating to go further for you and how you can get it to work harder for you. So use your content calendar to write your book. It’s going to make the entire process a lot easier, a lot faster, and a lot less stressful. So I encourage you to do this. I think it’s going to make the entire process of writing your book simpler and it’s just going to make your life a whole lot easier.
Don’t forget to subscribe to and rate the Blogger to Author Podcast on Apple Podcasts! You can also catch the Blogger to Author Podcast on Google Play and Stitcher.