The Business of Blogging: From Blog to Book – How to Turn Your Brilliant Blog into a Book

It all started with a post.

“Men are from Seinfeld, Women are from Friends” looked at why did men want to change the world but couldn’t change a roll of toilet paper? Were paper towel scrunchies left around in little wads in my kitchen to be my fate? What was this secret Mancode that seemed to exist when it came to paper products?

The response was overwhelming and immediate. Clearly, it wasn’t just my guy who went to the grocery store flummoxed by my note: BUY BREAD and would return instead with soup made in China that I had to then check for lead content. Honestly.

The next post delved further into this secret language of the Mancode and how my role was to be the translator of this mysterious speak for the outside world.

“Husband: Mumble, mumble, mumble.
11-year-old: What?
Me: It’s okay. I speak husband.”

In response to requests from my many male fans, it also looked at the other side of the equation. What we chicks mean when we say stuff like “I’m fine,” because you know we’re soooo not. Chickspeak become the secret decoder ring into the deconstruction of our female spy phrases such as what “I’m tired” really means, what ‘Chick Time’ is all about, or how to speak Shoe Math (hint: Prada).

From these humble beginnings, Mancode not only became my brand, but the kernel for my book, A Walk In The Snark, which is a collection of {humorous} as well as poignant essays based on the blog posts that started it all plus new original material and favorite sayings from tweets that got a big response.

How to Go from Blog to Book

#1: Build an Audience on your Blog – I knew people read my blog. A lot of people. How? Google Analytics. It breaks down clicks per hour, day, week, month, etc. And I tracked tweets (some of my Mancode essays had been retweeted hundreds of times). So there was definitely interest.

#2: Test Concept in Social Media – Social media is a powerful tool for both promoting and testing a book. So when it came time for me to use Twitter as my own market research for my book, you can bet I went all out!

#3: Develop your Brand – I spent the better part of the past year branding myself on Twitter. I’m the sarcastic redhead in a sea of blondes who writes Mancode, Chickspeak, kid stuff, coffee, martinis and the occasional poignant story of lost love. All my tweets (even replies) reflect that as do my blog posts.

#4: Join Hashtag Memes like Mention Monday – This is a fabulous meme that allows writers a way to market our writing on Twitter. Using the hashtag (# sign) #MentionMonday, we share our best writing samples each week with links, as well as RT (retweet) other writers.

It’s a terrific way to expose your writing to a significant amount of followers in a short period of time. And you never know who might be reading. Take my recent profile in the Huffington Post was because of Twitter!

#5: Refine and Write Adding in Something Extra – Editing: This was an interesting process for me: editing. I had the core material. I wrote new material. But I needed to add in transitions to bring it all together. I also wasn’t sure what order to put the essays in – by category? By subject?

I really was a bit lost. Plus, I knew I wanted to add in something I hadn’t seen yet in other memoir-type books that to started out as blogs: tweets! Twitter is a huge part of what I do and how I’ve made a name for myself—how could I add in some of my funniest, most retweeted lines in a seamless way?

This is when it became critical to work with an editor. She helped me to organize my writing and really work through how it would make the most sense to the reader through the use of transitions.

#6: Come up with a Compelling Title – The all important title. What the heck was I going to call this thing? We had a temporary “Best of RachelintheOC,”title but, besides being kind of a snore, would that really resonate with people who didn’t know me as a humorist—as the snarky redhead who writes about the Mancode? No. What to do….

Luckily, I have Twitter. And guess who’s on Twitter? Tons of brilliant, wonderful authors, screenwriters, and artists who I’ve gone out of my way to connect with. One of these, a successful screenwriter of sci-fi movies in Hollywood, sent me a shy DM (Direct Message) asking if I liked this title: A Walk In The Snark.

Brilliant! Amazing! It covered all my bases. I kissed his virtual feet. Then I tested it out on my stream. Oh yes. It was a hit. You cannot pay for market research like that. All free, baby.

#7: Launch Back to Social Media – Utilizing Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and my blog plus the promotional resources of the Indie Book Collective, we got the word out about my book. To give the book more promotional oomph, I started to use Google AdWords, which is an excellent selling tool for very little money and tons of great analytical data (key words, etc.).

#8: Continue Blogging to Build Book Buzz – We get many writers and published authors asking us if it’s really necessary to have a blog as part of their social media platform; the answer is an unqualified YES. Not only did blogging bring about the kernel, the genesis of my book, it also cemented my presence. It makes people feel comfortable that you’re not going anywhere.

Listen, there are millions of bloggers out there. But even now, I’ve placed a wedge in your brain: sarcastic redhead in Southern California who write about dudes. Something in the OC. Mancode, right? Teaches social media. Likes coffee. Blog to book. #thereyougo

You can find my eBook on Amazon (no Kindle required) for only $2.99. Please support me, purchase it, LIKE my page, and share me with your friends.

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About Rachel Thompson
Rachel Thompson aka RachelintheOC is a published author and social media consultant. Her two books, A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed are both #1 Kindle bestsellers! When not writing, she helps authors and other professionals with branding and social media for her company, BadRedhead Media. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut.

  • http://profiles.google.com/angelbabygirl75 Kelli McCracken

    Great post Rachel. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. You have great tips for bloggers/writers and this post clearly explains how to get things done effectively. Well done.

  • http://twitter.com/ExtremelyAvg Brian Meeks

    This is a fantastic list of things to consider.  I intend to do just that with my guest blog posts.  I especially liked #6, as I am thinking of “#HowlerMonkeyAngst:  My Guest Blogging Rants”…admittedly not as good as “A Walk in the Snark”, but since you already had the BEST title for a book, it was the best I could do.

  • Esther Jno-Charles

    Thank you Rachel for this honest nothing-hold-back insight into your brain, your journey into authorship. The process you sheared, from the beginning, middle and ending of one of your project and how it launched you gives me hope. 
    I am just beginning my marketing process; I have a lot to of technical things to learn about how to design and operate a blog. I like the #MM idea. I will implement it. 
    You sow goodwill toward you by your willingness to share with us.
    I will continue to support you.  
    Esther Jno-Charles

  • Kelly Gamble

    Great post, Rachel.  You are definitely one to follow!

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