10 Steps To Turning Your Blog Into A Bestseller

I created a blog called How Not To Act Old, two months later I sold it as a book to Harper Collins, and it went on to be a New York Times bestseller.

How did I do it? Here, the ten most important things you need to know:

1. PLAN THE BOOK BEFORE YOU LAUNCH YOUR BLOG – If you’d love your blog to turn into a book, start planning from the beginning. Research what other books and blogs on your topic are out there, what’s in the works (which you can find on publishersmarketplace.com), and how you can make your blog and eventually your book stand out.

2. COPY THE MASTERS – Copy a blog that became a successful book. I copied Stuff White People Like, for instance. And you can copy my blog.

3. FIND A GREAT NAME – You want to launch your blog with the right url in place, not as url.wordpress.com. There are tricks to getting the one you want.

4. THINK VISUALLY – A book may be mostly black type on a white page, but a blog can and should use pictures, video, music. Doing so effectively will get your blog noticed, help build traffic, and differentiate it from your eventual book.

5. BUILD QUICKLY – Forget those pathetic “Sorry I haven’t written in a while” posts. Write several times a day for the first weeks so you can hook in your readers and develop your book proposal.

6. DON’T BE SHY – Build traffic by letting all your friends and colleagues know about your blog, but reach out to strangers, too: other bloggers, newspaper columnists, anyone who can help publicize your blog.

7. MARRY, DON’T CLONE, THE BLOG AND THE BOOK PROPOSAL – You want your blog to support your book and vice versa, not be exact copies of each other. Demonstrate how the book will be different from the blog but will appeal to the same fans.

8. RELAUNCH THE BLOG – At publication time, relaunch your blog to support your book. Redesign to feature the book cover, buying links, and reviews.

9. DRUM UP PRESALES – Presales are key to hitting the bestseller list right out of the gate, which can lead to even more sales. Get your readers to order early and, if possible, often.

10. LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER – When your book is published and you hit the bestseller list, you can relax for the rest of your life and you will never have any problems again.

Want to know how you, too, can turn your blog into a bestselling book and live happily ever after? For more details on how to create and promote your blog, turn your blog into the kind of proposal that sells, and make your book a bestseller, tune in to my webinar this Wednesday on SheWrites. http://www.shewrites.com/page/from-blog-to-bestselling


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Comment by Nino Gugunishvili on October 7, 2015 at 4:08am

Thanks! That's really helpful!

I just started a blog here on she writes and  I'm afraid it's only me who's reading it:)))

Comment by Carla Burrows on September 26, 2013 at 2:06pm

This is a great idea. Thanks

Comment by Jennifer Hart on March 16, 2012 at 7:10am

I love your blog thank you!  I am currently struggling with even starting a blog that is interesting at all, so I'm in awe. 

Comment by Stephanie Renée dos Santos on August 21, 2011 at 5:35am
You're funny, I like your writing.  This is helpful. Thank you.
Comment by Judith van Praag on July 20, 2010 at 7:50am
Interesting analogy, to compare New Media solutions for book presentation to developing (no pun intended) films that are not mere registrations of the staged play. It certainly opens new horizons. For me, coming to literature from the theater arts, "The Book" has always felt somewhat restrictive, from early on I've imagined my work presented with looser boundaries, so the New Media deliver what I wanted to do years ago, but didn't know how to, without taking on another career. With easy technology now literally being at our fingertips, dreams can be made real. Gotta love it.
I think my having been focused on a manuscript for so long kind of took me away from my initial dreams, it's great to be able to come back to those ideas and know there are possibilities at hand.
Great times for creativity!
Comment by Pamela Redmond Satran on July 20, 2010 at 7:23am
I'm thrilled, Judith! Yes, sometimes those logistical blog issues can be really bedeviling. Reminds me of the kind of puzzles on 8th grade aptitude tests -- If A leaves B at 8 am traveling 50 miles an hour..... Definitely a different way of looking at writing. In books and traditional magazines, people read from the beginning to the end, in order. But the online form all but demands that you reimagine that, the way movies and television had to move beyond the mere filming of stage plays.
Comment by Judith van Praag on July 20, 2010 at 7:16am

After our initial bad start (that TV commercial should have taught me never to respond when people say or ask something about pants making their behind look fat) I'm returning with a true "Thank Yew!" (Ho. Springs rubs off).
The way you present Ho. Springs on your blog clarifies immediately how to solve the problem of having your latest post being the last chapter of your book. To find the hyperlinked "Go to the beginning" at the bottom of that post's page and to be lead to Chapter One, your very first post, and then from post one to the next, was a true "aha" moment, brilliant and easy does it combined.

Every single point you make above constitutes priceless advice, but for me #1 and #7 stand out.That opened my eyes to the possibilities. Each time I've read "you've got to start your blog when you start your book" I thought, yeah, right. "Plan your book before you launch your blog" speaks to me much more.

A writer friend I talked to likened your method to her reading series, where she condenses each chapter of her novella to a shorter compact version that can stand on it's own yet offers the cliff hanger that makes people wanting to come back to hear more.

I'm inspired.
Thank you, thank you!
Comment by Lee Ee Leen on July 16, 2010 at 8:08am
great post. It is not easy to turn a blog into a book and it is more than mere copying and pasting. Planning and hard work are also needed.

Comment by Dangerous Old Woman on July 14, 2010 at 9:29pm
Thanks, Pamela. Prishate it, as we say in the rural West.
Comment by Amy Dryansky on July 14, 2010 at 7:20pm
Hey Pamela, it's great to see old gals like us get lucky. (Sorry, I just visited your site and got carried away. Very funny stuff.) Thanks for the good advice and for inviting us newbie bloggers to copy you. And maybe I should change the name of my blog from Pokey Mama to Hot Mama?


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