Today I start to eat my own dogfood.
I’ve been telling people for years about a way to do two very valuable things at once: Writing a book by producing a blog. Thus the title “Blog to Book.”
The ‘Blog Your Book’ Track Record
It’s path to publication that has worked before. One well-known example is Julie and Julia, the 2009 movie starring Meryl Streep that began with a blog about cooking all 524 of Julia Child’s recipes in 365 days. Another is the 2008 book Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip—Confessions of a Cynical Waiter, which garnered reviews from Forbes, The Today Show, Washington Post, LA Times, and other major newspapers around the country.
Now, I don’t expect my book to be reviewed in the LA Times or to have a movie made of it with Meryl Streep starring.
But as someone who helps people write and publish books by providing ghost-writing, editing, and book design, I want to lay out my process and make it easier for you to create that book that has been nagging at you. To show a path to publication and walk the path I’m talking about.
No I’m not expecting a movie deal, but something less risky and valuable in its own right: content marketing.
Content Marketing: The Secret Sauce to Grow Your Business
Content marketing is the practice of reaching peers, prospects, and influencers by delivering useful, relevant information for free or at a very low cost. It can be an effective part of an overall marketing plan because it —
- Makes the reader (viewer, listener, etc.) grateful for valuable insights freely given
- Builds brand awareness
- Builds good will
- Selects the right audience for what you do
- Explains your process for prospective customers
- Answers questions you get asked again and again
- Allows you to be perceived as an authority in your field
In other words, it “warms” your audience for the rest of your marketing plan–your offers in whatever form they take.
Content marketing comes in a wide range of formats from the grocery store providing recipes in the aisle for shoppers to the real estate agent giving out detailed information about schools, restaurants, shops, and parks of the neighborhood where the house is located.
Business owners like content marketing because it costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates three times the leads (Keap 2019 Small Business Marketing Trends Report).
It’s called “content” marketing because the information can be in any form:
- Text (online or offline)
- Video (on whatever platform)
- Audio (podcast, interview, webinar)
- Images (social media, infographics)
And probably others.
The difficulty with content marketing is that it takes effort, and it usually doesn’t lead directly and immediately to a sale. Indirectly and over time, content marketing keeps a flow of new clients in the pipeline, which helps smooth out cash flow peaks and valleys. Nevertheless it can be intimidating to get started.
Content Marketing that Works for You
To implement content marketing in a way that can begin working and grow over time, we look for ways to build efficiency into the process. Like the “green” slogan: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Reduce: Stay on track for your business goals and create content that moves those goals forward.
- Reuse: Run your content more than once, especially on social media. Your audience may not have seen it, and even if they did, it may not have sunk in the first time. Make sure there’s a stream of new material and strategic repeats.
- Recycle: Put your content into different formats. Some people prefer video, audio, images, or text, and you want to reach them where they are in order to bring them along.
So here’s the plan. I have an outline, and I’ll post the book section by section on this blog. I ask for your feedback. I’ll tell you what I learn. And when it’s done, I’ll compile it into a book.
When you see how easy it is, maybe you’ll want to try it, too.
If you’re interested in writing a book or think you might be, join the discussion at the Book Genie group on Facebook.