I started my travel blog Tikku’s Travelthon around 2 and a half years back and since then, I saw a steady growth of readers and followers. After the first year, I realised that apart from my daily travel blog posts, there were special topics and issues that I wanted to write about and explore. I built these as features on my blog. So, Survival became a feature on my blog that focuses on motivation and spirituality. Travelthon Tales became a feature on all my unique and quirky travel stories. Travel Bawarchi was all about food and food culture from around the world. Lastly, I wanted to learn from my experience and share that learning with new bloggers and talk to them about creative writing and other technical knowledge that you must have to start and run a blog. All these types of posts came under the feature of Blogging for Gold. I also have Mehman as a guest post column but it still has to grow further.
Write a post or a tale 1000 words a day every day, day after day. That is the only way to succeed in blogging. Slowly these features become content funnels for your blog posts and you start sharing knowledge and expertise with the reader who, by now, has started valuing the information you are sharing with him. No matter how small your readership base, your blog ensures that you have one and that is the best ground to test market your book which will be the sum total of all your best blog posts. The heading of the feature will also be the title of your book, at least, that’s what I have done in my case. Make sure you take the only the best blog posts that got maximum viewers. This can be told by looking at Google analytics data. You can do a quick edit of information and titles to give the bunch of blog posts the look of a book with a beginning, a middle and an end. Wallah! Your content for the self-published book is ready. So what if you paid handsomely for the publishing package which gives you help and support from qualified book consultants and spent some more money advertising and promoting the book on the net and social media? At least, you got the book out there and is officially an author. That is success enough. If you choose to be an expert in blogging or your chosen area, a book will only validate that to others. Others will view you as an expert who has knowledge in that field. It will help you as a consultant if you are advising companies on their blogs or social media set up. A book is the perfect calling card, something you can flash at others with pride. It might not help you make a lot of money initially but it is surely the next progressive step for a blogger and it will defiantly add value to your followers and your content.
Make sure you get the name of your book right and your chapter headlines should be imaginative. Have a hook in them that can grab someone. The book cover always plays an important role in the sales of a book along with the content that should be informative and helpful to the reader. It has to add value to the reader’s life and should be moved by your advice. If your book can solve someone’s problem or improve their lives, you will definitely make money.
It is also a brilliant way to increase your readership as your blog will attract a lot of readers from Amazon, eBay and other sites that sell your digital books. As a disciplined blogger with good imagination and command on the language, one can take out 3 to 4 books a year and that is what I also intend to do. Remember, you might not succeed immediately. Be in it for the long-term and keep your larger vision in mind.
Build your own parallel network as I have done. I have a book councillor in six cities in India who pitch my books to retail outlets which the youth hang out in. I make my book sales through this retailer outlets and use this as an alternative channel than what my publisher is using. This is my own effort to sell my book.