Your published book(s) are full of content that’s just waiting to be repurposed into blog and social media posts, videos, pictures, and info-graphics.
Whether you’re familiar with the idea of repurposing or not, it’s a simple marketing tool that we should all be using more.
For those of you who don’t know, the idea of repurposing is to take a piece of content (video, audio, or written) and developing it into something else.
In this series, we’re focusing specifically on repurposing your book.
Because I receive so many questions asking for tips and suggestions on how to do so, I’ve decided to cover the topic of book repurposing over a series of 5 articles.
This week, we’re talking blog posts.
Some people like to write their books using the content they’ve already published on their blog.
This is something Seth Godin does. In an interview I heard not long ago, he explained that a few of his books are a compilation of blog posts.
Using blog posts to create a book is a great tool, especially when you’ve been blogging as long as he has. (I believe he started blogging in the late 1980s!)
However, we’re today we’re doing the opposite.
When I repurpose content from my book into a blog post, I make sure to edit it and change the title to ensure that it feels fresh to readers of my blog who have also read my book.
It’s also necessary to edit the text because Amazon’s Terms of Service prohibits plagiarism. Writing a blog post that’s word for word from your book would appear to be plagiarism and no one wants to deal with that kind of dispute, so don’t forget to edit.
For any blog post, you write, it’s important to include a call to action. Even if it’s just a request to comment on that post, it gets readers in the habit of doing or clicking something. When they’re comfortable clicking through, they’re more likely to click when you have an offer or something available for purchase.
When I’m repurposing a chapter from my book, I like to include a line at the end that says something like: “This post was adapted from my book [title]. Grab your copy here!”
Then I’ll hyperlink “Grab your copy here!” to my book’s listing on Amazon.
How you choose to repurpose a chapter of your book into a blog post depends on a few factors: the length of the chapter, if there are subtopics within the chapter, etc.
A chapter typically contains many ideas related to one topic, while a blog post tends to elaborate on just one idea or topic at a time.
This may sound limiting, but it’s the exact opposite. When adapting an idea from your book, you can expand on it and include things that wouldn’t work within the structure of your book.
You can write a post on a news event, a course you’re offering, or some experience you had related to the topic. You can even write about the process of writing your book from researching to publishing.
There is also freedom in length.
Even if your blog posts tend to be longer, they won’t be as long as typical book chapters.
A blog post is usually between 600-1,500 words, but this can vary based on the topic and the reader’s attention span.
In blogging, the more concise and to the point you can be, the better. Why take 2,000 words to say something that can be said in 750?
This goes back to the idea I first mentioned: editing. Editing your own writing takes skill. I often recommend writing a blog post, then stepping away from it for a few days so when you come back to it, it’s a little bit fresher and it will be easier to catch errors.
The last idea I want to touch on is offline vs. online.
A book is not designed for online consumption, but blog posts are. It’s important to keep this in mind when you’re repurposing content into a post.
In addition to a call to action, you may want to include a “click to tweet” button (or a few) with a quote from your blog post. This will encourage readers to share your post on social media.
Formatting is also something to take into consideration. While the chapters in your book may include long paragraphs, you don’t want your blog posts to.
A blog post should have many line breaks with paragraphs that are one to two sentences. This isn’t a definite rule, but I think it makes digital content so much easier to consume.
If you have any more questions about how to repurpose the chapters of your book into blog posts, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email.
This “How to Repurpose Your Book” series will continue over the next 5 weeks so keep an eye out for the next post.