Blogging is a rewarding and exciting way to make money and/or promote a business – not to mention a way to be creative, to network with other people, and expand your own knowledge. But one of the major challenges many people have is the constant grind of a blog – the need for continually fresh content that will keep people checking back, passing on links, and leaving comments.
We all know that a blog that hasn’t been updated in a week is going to quickly be a dead letter – and in the endless toil to produce new content we sometimes lose sight of everything else. That’s why you have to take a step back and consider this one strategy that can both help you come up with content and open up possible new revenue sources: Treat your Blog like the rough draft of a book.
Create a Central Theme
After all, you’re writing constantly. You’re writing about a central theme, too – whatever the focus of your blog is. You’re organizing your thoughts and putting them up there every day – you are basically doing everything people do when writing a book, except the most important thing: Big picture thinking.
Instead of waking up in a sweat every day and writing about whatever it is you can think of, take a day off and spend some time asking yourself: If you were to write a book in this field, what would it be about?
When you have your answer, start writing it – one blog post at a time. Outline your book into chapters. An introduction. Covering basics. Then developing more complex ideas. Then the final stretch, building on the concepts and showing how they can be used. After twenty minutes of thinking about it, you’ll have 15, 20, 30 ‛chapters’ sketched out.
Make Your Blog Do Double Duty
So, you’ve just generated thirty ideas for posts. You begin to write them up, posting them as you go. The great part about this approach, aside from making the idea-generation part easier, is that when you’re done, when you have your 30 posts posted and you’ve gotten feedback and responses, you can collect all that work into an eBook and publish it – perhaps with a bit of bonus material, and perhaps with an editorial polish.
Suddenly all that content you’ve worked to generate is not only driving traffic to your blog and getting your customers involved in a community centered around your business, but you’ve opened up a second revenue stream based on work you’ve already done.
Added Value of an Ebook
Some added value will help to make the eBook a standalone product worth investing in, even if people have already read the posts in question. If nothing else having all the information in one place should be enough of an incentive, but adding in an index, or fresh material, or design elements or figures that weren’t in the blog posts will make the eBook version more attractive. The great part is that this is all fun stuff – playing around with design and increasing value. You’ve already done the drudge work. Your Worst Case Scenario? That you don’t make as much extra money off the book as you’d hoped.
So stop working blindly, posting essays just to keep fresh content in place. Instead, think bigger and make your posts do twice the work. Not only will it make coming up with material easier, it’ll do twice the work, and it’ll be fun, too.
Ross is an online writer who works with Glasgoweb, a digital marketing agency in Glasgow specialising in web design and online marketing. Ross can regularly be found writing content about small businesses, SEO & social networking, follow Ross and Glasgoweb on Twitter @Glasgoweb or on Google+.