When you blog a book, your intention should be to blog a good book. You may be writing fast, producing content–blog posts–in as little as 30 minutes a day. In the process, you are creating the first draft of your manuscript post by post on your blog. However, that doesn’t mean the writing should be bad. It should be good, as should the content. That’s how you attract readers.
I’ve sometimes criticized the principle behind National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which encourages participants to write anything, even mumbo jumbo, as long as they end up with 50,000 words by month’s end. That’s not my goal with National Book Blogging Month (NaBoBloMo), which happens in April, nor has it ever been my goal with Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN), also known as National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNoFicWriMo). (See my blog www.writenonfictioninnovember.com for more details.)
Learning to turn out great content quickly is a great skill to have. I know this, since I was trained as a journalist. You can create the habit of turning out good content fast, and most bloggers do, indeed, create this habit, just like good journalists.
First, make decisions about what you will write. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, you need to decide on the topic of your book and its structure. Once you also have a content plan or an outline, you should easily be able to sit down each day and make a decision about what you will write about and what will be included in your post. You need to decide:
- What is important and what isn’t?
- Does this add value for my readers?
- Do I need more information?
- How will I start and end the post?
- What links or resources might I want to include?
Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to start writing. Try not to let your inner critic slow you down. Some writers do best with a timed writing or by writing as fast as possible until they are done. Others edit as they go, but this can make the writing go more slowly.
Here’s a checklist for producing well-written copy:
- Don’t write more words than you need.
- Write an attention-getting first sentence.
- Use the active voice as much as possible.
- Vary the length of your sentences.
- Cut out unnecessary words.
- Write simply—like you would speak.
- Don’t try to use large words to sound smart.
- Write short paragraphs.
- Finish with a call to action.
- Reread your post looking for each of these items; then correct them.
Proofreading is also good, of course. Many of us don’t have proofreaders on hand to help with this task. I like to look at my blog posts in preview mode. This helps me catch some bloopers before I hit “publish.”
If you are interested in blogging a book, check you my new book, How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time, or contact me about blog-to-book coaching.