Editor’s Note–Join Nina, TODAY, during her Telephone Based Roundtable Conversation on this topic. This event is open to the public.
Anyone can blog or become a blogger. No one and nothing stops you from opening a free (Yes, free.) account with a site like WordPress.com or Blogger.com and beginning to blog.
However, not just anyone can blog a whole book. To blog a whole book you must have the ability to write a whole book. This entails being able to conceptualize a complete book, organize the book and carry out the concept from start to finish—in this case in short, targeted posts written—and published on the Internet—on a regular basis.
Anyone who can write and has writing worth reading can blog. (Actually, lots of people who have little to write about and no writing worth reading have blogs, blog and call themselves bloggers). However, the same rules apply to blogging a book as do to writing any other nonfiction book (or work of fiction for that matter). After all, even though you are composing your book post by post in cyberspace, you still are writing a book. Therefore, you must have a great, salable idea with a big enough market to make it worth writing.
You also need to know you have enough information to fill a book (a minimum of 20,000-30,000 words, which equates to an 80-100-page book) rather than enough to fill an article. Additionally, you need to be—or to become—the expert on your topic. (In some cases, this can be done simply by blogging and blogging well.) Plus, your blog/book must offer value to readers, or no one will show up more than once to read it.
If you and your subject matter meet all these criteria, you are ready and able to blog a book. If you don’t, you can still blog. You just may not want to blog a book. Nothing stops anyone, however, from blogging or from blogging a book. Anyone can register a blog and begin blogging with the intention of eventually completing a book manuscript.
If you want to blog a book, though, I suggest you approach this endeavor like any other book project. This means putting aside your writer’s hat and putting on your business person’s hat before you begin your book project. This allows you to look at the big picture of both your blog and your blogged book. Only when you do this can you decide if it is a viable business proposition.
So, ask yourself this question: Are you willing to approach your blogged book like a business person or only like a writer?
If you answered, “Like a writer,” maybe you should consider your blog as your daily writing practice instead of as a book project. If you said, “As a business person,” congratulations. You’ve joined the ranks of the most successful nonfiction writers because in this day and age, successful nonfiction writers must also be savvy business people.
A businessperson asks these questions about a blogged book: Is my topic unique? Does what I have to say add value? Is there a market for this book? Who are my readers? What is my competition? How will I position myself in the market? What will I include in my blogged book? How will I organize the book (and, thereby, my blog)?
Are you really willing to delve into these questions and find the answers? If you answered “yes,” and you have met the criteria mentioned above, then you are ready to consider blogging a book.
Nina Amir is the author of the forthcoming book, How to Blog a Book, A Step-by-Step Guide for Writing & Publishing Your Manuscript on the Internet, which Dan Poynter (The Self-Publishing Manual) says “provides the plan for producing both the blog and a book that agents, publishers and readers will notice.” She also blogs on the subject at How to Blog a Book. Subscribe to Nina’s newsletter at and receive 10 tips on how to blog your book FAST! Or call Nina for help getting your blogged book started today. Sign up to participate with her during TODAY’s telephone based roundtable conversation on how to blog a book.