It seems like everyone has a blog these days. While having one of these can certainly help generate leads and build brand awareness for your business, sometimes they even lead to book deals. After all, if you can prove to the publisher that there are followers who already want to read your work, that’s a good sign that big things are ahead of you. Whether or not the original intention when creating the blog was to get a book deal, here’s how some did it:
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Author: Matt Gallagher
Matt Gallagher originally started his blog when he was sent to serve in Iraq to share the experience with his friends and family. “No one likes explosive emails,” he said. In May 2008, the army forced him to close it. Two months later, The Washington Post ran an article about how the army shut down a soldier’s blog, which caught the attention of publishers, who offered him a book deal shortly thereafter. His book, which tells about the experience of serving in Iraq, was published in March.
Author: Pamela Slim
Book: Business Blog: Escape from Cubicle Nation
Initially starting her blog as a class assignment, Pamela increased her visits from 100 to 20,000 in 24 hours when her blog was connected by author Guy Kawasaki.
She found different ways to drive traffic to her site: “I spent a lot of time reading and commenting on other people’s blogs when I first started blogging. I have also closely followed the work of some of my favorite bloggers, taking detailed notes on their writing style, approach and understanding.”
Author: Christian Lander
Book: Things White People Like
Christian started his blog in January 2008, and a month later he was featured on NPR’s Talk of the Nation to discuss whether the site was considered racist or satirical. By March 2008, he had a contract with Random House.
Author: Shona James Ahern.
Book: Gluten Free Girl
When Shuana James Ahern started her blog in 2006, she wasn’t just another online presence raving about her favorite foods and recipes. Her added value was blogging on simple cooking and grocery shopping techniques for an ever-growing gluten-free population. A year later, she wrote a book.
Authors: Lauren Leto and Ben Bator
Book: Last Night’s Texts
Not every book deal today requires a solid writing style or expertise in a particular topic. Just ask Lauren Leto and Ben Bator, who came up with a concept that everyone could easily identify with. People from all over the world send their texts, and the most entertaining ones are posted on the site. It was so easy. The 192-page book went on sale in January. While getting the book deal was a big success, it by no means slowed down the site, which currently gets about 4 million hits a day.
It’s easy to create a blog. WordPress.com is a popular site, or if you use Gmail, you already have an account on blogger.com.
Now walk away and be the next success story. But don’t start ranting about that annoying grocery store cashier. To have a good blog, you must have focus, know your point of view and your target audience. That doesn’t mean your focus can’t be a bit broad or fun. The topic of my blog is life after college, which allows me to even write about the annoying cashier from time to time… of course, from the point of view of a recent graduate.