The 6 Most Profitable Blogger Career Paths (and How to Get Started in One)

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Oh man. Listen. I 100% believe what I’m about to say and it IS big. I’m not even necessarily being the overly dramatic version of myself that I normally am. Here it is.

There are six distinct blogger career paths, which if you understand and work on, can absolutely change your world.

I’ve been down each one of these paths in the past, and it is time to share them . . . and to change the careers that we consider, pursue, and build for ourselves.

P.S. Everything below and more is available as an audio file. And here is the flowchart I reference and show.

 How do you make money as a blogger? What careers are there in blogging? Here's a resource to help.

How do you make money as a blogger? What careers are there in blogging? Here's a resource to help.

For years, and years, and years, society has been quick to teach us the traditional career paths of lawyers, and teachers, and plumbers, and even professional basketball players. We know which schools we need to go to, which judge to get an internship with, how to get certified during night school, which recruiters and game stats we should shoot for, etc.

We know that once we become a lawyer, we can look forward to either practicing law at a major firm and trying to make partner, or starting our own firm, or teaching law, or working as a public defender, or working for a major corporation as an attorney, or doing pro bono, or advising a non-profit, or getting into politics and perhaps running for president of our country one day.

Great.

But, what about career paths for bloggers? For content creators? For infopreneurs? For some of these positions and interests that are popping up, making money, and sticking around?

Just as becoming a lawyer doesn’t guarantee you money or clients, but it does provide many paths to monetize (explained above) and many specialties to focus on (family law, corporate issues, intellectual property, taxes, tort law, etc.) and is thus considered a legitimate career . . .

Becoming a blogger doesn’t guarantee income or fame by any stretch of the imaginations, but it does provide many paths (explained below and in the audio file) and practically endless specialties to focus on (food, business, travel, crafts, fitness, accounting, fashion, etc.) that make money and should thus be considered a legitimate career.

I hope they start teaching it in schools everywhere soon. But until then, may I please present my shiny new Blogger Career Paths flowchart with some explanations and notes (if you’re taking them) that I hope will blow your mind? Okay. Let’s get started.

 The 6 Blogging Career Paths

The 6 Blogging Career Paths

The first thing to understand is what is happening in any career path, anywhere, at any time, on any day. You are learning something new in one of two ways. You are either:

  1. Acquiring a skill. or

  2. Acquiring information.

Right? And, depending on which one you are doing, there are quite a few ways that your career path can develop and morph. Plus, keep in mind that you can continually add new skills or information to the mix to tweak your path as new interests and desires come up.

So, let’s break down what the 6 most profitable career paths for bloggers are, and then, you can optionally decide to listen to the audio file above where I break down these Blogger Career Paths into the two actions of acquiring a skill or acquiring information as a starting point.

The 6 Most Profitable Career Paths for Bloggers

Becoming a DFY (done for you) freelancer.

“I like to do X, so I’m going to do it for you, in a customized way.”

Ex: A copywriter for your sales and landing pages. A document designer for your book. An interior designer for your daughter's room.

2. Becoming a coach or consultant in a Dwy (done with you) way.

“I like to show you how to do X successfully.”

Ex: A divorce + transition coach. A yoga coach. A brand or content coach. Like my girl over at JenCarrington.com.

3. Becoming a speaker.

“I want to talk about X to help make it better and advance the way we think about X.”

Ex: A speaker who raises awareness of the dangers of childhood obesity. A speaker who talks with corporations about how to motivate their team members.

4. Becoming a spokesperson.

“I like to do X and talk about X, so I partner with brands that allow me to do so.”

Ex: A food blogger who is an affiliate for products and gets food brands to pay them for special recipes. A fashion blogger who gets money, clothes, and accessories because they make brands look good. A travel blogger who becomes a brand ambassador for a boutique hotel chain (yes, I actually know someone who did this and their niche is not even travel). Me, when WD sponsored me to talk about their personal cloud device.

5. Making products so people can diy their solutions.

“I want to create a way for people to do X better.”

Ex: A blogger who creates an editorial planner (haha, shameless---that's my editorial planner for sale on Amazon.com. No but seriously, the Epic Blog Planner is actually pretty great). Or a fitness blogger who creates an app to help you track your fitness goals. Or a yoga-loving blogger who creates more versatile or sustainable yoga gear or bags. Or the blogger behind the food blog Inspiralized.com who made a popular kitchen tool and cookbook.

6. Becoming a publisher for profit.

“I want to teach a lot of people how to do X in a clear way.”

Ex: A course creator who teaches yoga for rehabilitating a weak back. Or my friend Heather who teaches how to style a bookcase. A blogger-author who sells books on financial planning and independence. A blogger who has published multiple books and now teaches SERVE Academy, an email-list building and sales cycle program. You get the point---there are a lot of ways to publish for profit.

Oooo, when you learn by acquiring a new skill, what are the blogging career paths available to you? And what about when you learn by acquiring info?

I'm so glad you asked this question, ninja friend. I get to that in the podcast episode--I just have a few more tips for you here in this post.

But, let’s take a #secretbreak real quick. Which is, get this, a break in which I tell you a secret.

I'm desperately passionate about helping you find the blogging career that makes sense for you, your learning passions, and the people you like to talk to and help or entertain. I'm passionate about it because I have tested and seen many monetization methods in each career path (as in: there's more than just one way to make money as a "spokesperson"), and at some point in the last few years, I've done each of these careers for full-time income. 

No seriously, it was just about learning and growing.

And testing. And you know what?

It IS possible to pursue blogging as a career . . . it just needs to be approached wisely.

So, you will notice, especially as you listen to the episode and take a gander at the flowchart, one common theme that helps you monetize scalably is to figure out a process with what you do, and then figure out how to make it better (through products, or tools, or coaching/guidance), how to explain it better (through organized information), or how to present it better. These ALL deal with publishing information.

  • Visual information.

  • Written information.

  • Information as tutorials or videos.

  • Audio files.

  • There are a lot of options.

And I want to help you navigate them. I’m not gonna just leave you like “Yay. Blogging careers are real. Go find one.”

Here’s the deal. Carving a career for yourself out of this new industry requires (1) something you are passionately interested in---and p.s. you can test things out and binge-do the Internet to start finding out what that is if you don’t already know, and (2) being consistent about creating value out of what you’re passionately interested in. How to create content that wins will be a focus of the next few episodes of the #StayScrappy podcast and of the posts on this blog . . . but . . .

At the very least . . . you can start by taking our free 5-day email course on building an engaged email list of people who actually buy from you. 

Then, if you’re feeling good about your setup and wanting to move forward, please feel free to check out ALL the free content here on the blog to see if that gives you what you need, or, if you're ready to super duper pursue this, you can come join us in SERVE Academy.

Regina out.

The 7 Types of Online Workshops You Can Host

Oh, hey there. Regina here. Talking about one of the most exciting (to me) forms of content ever. Ever, ever. Like, my friends, and other epic people that I belong to online communities with, all know that this is the type of content that currently makes my world go 'round. I mean, basically.

Online workshops.

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 Tors Grantham quote - Thanks, Tors. You rock.

Tors Grantham quote - Thanks, Tors. You rock.

The lovely Tors even said this:

And here's the deal. There are a few super valid reasons to start with workshops if you want to get into info products, or build your email list, or create content that you can re-package as an opt-in or bonus, or show yourself as a coach or expert on a topic you're passionate about. Tons of epic reasons.

Like, 8, to be specific.

Hosting workshops . . .

1. Helps people start to see you as a teacher and an expert in your niche. A compelling workshop topic, attractive graphics to support your event, a simple signup process, and a helpful agenda + worksheet to go along with it and you will seem professional, experienced, and amazing.

This impression goes a long way whether you’re providing services, trying to line up speaking opportunities, or creating information products, membership programs, or coaching/mastermind groups.

2. Encourages you to create actionable worksheets, tips, and content so that you can see if you even have enough material, information, etc. to create a full course/program out of your topic, or if it might be better as a book, or if it should be a one-on-one service, or be left alone as a workshop, or abandoned completely, or done as a collaboration, or made into a group program, etc.

3. Gives you tons of bundling and packaging options. You can use your workshop as a free opt-in event conducted live, a free opt-in conducted live and then packaged as an evergreen opt-in or product bonus, a free opt-in conducted live and then sold afterward, or a paid product . . . among other options.

4. Allows you to test out EVERYTHING. It would be horrible to waste time (or money) developing something as intense as a course or book that turns out to not actually work for you or your audience. Developing worksheets, slides, and a script or bullet points of info for your workshop will help you figure out if the content works for you, of course, but actually presenting the information to your audience will allow you to get a real understanding of how it works for them. Was it too long? Too short? Too hard? Too confusing? Just right? Etc.

5. Helps you create a larger product or series as you go. Instead of planning one major resource (think course, online school, etc.) and leaving it looming over you, you’re able to plan it and create small sections/modules of it as workshops. #Brilliant

6. Gives you an additional price point to serve your audience with, as well as a different level of intensity/urgency of information---many times, a workshop will be more actionable and comprehensive than a blog post, eBook, or other type of resource.

Serving your audience at varying levels of need (amount of information, price, learning style, etc.) is a way to show you care and to impress your ideal people.

7. Allows you to have a more personal, more in-depth Q+A session with your audience (than sending a survey via email or some such method). It’s more valuable for them and more valuable for you. They get their questions answered live and you get way more feedback or input that you can apply to a paid product or service. If you listen to the questions and chat happening during a workshop, you may literally get ideas for the exact words to use and the exact way to frame your paid products to build a better item and get better sales results.

8. Gets you used to creating videos. Whether you decide to screencast, share presentation slides, or turn the camera on yourself to present, you will get used to creating videos, editing, getting good sound, being more and more comfortable on screen/audio, hosting videos, and more. Speaking of videos and more, check out our article on 23 Types of Audio, Video, and Other Media You Can Add to Your Course (or Blog) to Make It Even More Epic

If you decide to create full courses, or make videos a significant part of your content strategy, then completing workshop after workshop will only make you more awesome at creating videos and courses in general.

 

The 7 Types of Online Workshops

Now. Let's borrow some material from our epic 5-day email course on building an engaged email list of people who actually buy from you. Let's talk about the seven types of workshops you can use to help drive awareness and sales of your product, build an audience, or slow-build a larger course or product.

 The 7 Types of Online Workshops You Can Host

The 7 Types of Online Workshops You Can Host

1. Bootcamps

A multi-day, multi-session bootcamp is a great way to both build a community around a specific topic or goal and teach something that requires more time than a single workshop might allow. Bootcamps are also a clever way to promote a product that is on the expensive side for your audience. Why? Because having multiple events, a community, and extra chances to see how helpful you are gives people additional time to make an investment decision and more reasons to feel good about that decision.

In the following example from an older course, I wasn't promoting any specific paid product with this course but I certainly could have used it in that way.

2. Online Workshops

These are so much more than your typical webinar. Think of classes that last 2+ hours and come with worksheets, videos, or some type of additional resources. As an example, I'll throw out The Infopreneur Workshop--a 2.5-hour training and 15-page workbook.

You can use online workshops to increase signups to your email list, to make a profit, or to promote a paid product/service. I generally structure most of my workshops as "information only," but if you spend hours training people for free, and several hours preparing for that training and creating epic materials, it's certainly acceptable that you'd want to pitch a product during that time.

To handle selling in online workshops, I'd recommend:

  • letting people know ahead of time that you'll be telling them about a specific product during the workshop--but that you won't take up too much time on it

  • starting off the workshop strong, without selling

  • gradually bringing in materials and giving your audience access to things that are exclusive to your product

  • explaining your product and any special deal on it toward the end of your workshop

  • opening up a Q+A at the very end where people can ask questions about the workshop material or your course

3. Q+As or Office Hours

You can host live Q+A sessions (or even IG Lives or Periscopes) covering topics that are a part of your expertise to help people, show a more personal side, or lightly hint and direct people towards one of your services or products.

You can answer questions that were previously submitted and/or answer questions asked during the broadcast. You can prepare worksheets or note sheets ahead of time or leave the event entirely open to whatever direction it may go in.

Hint: If you are using Q+As to help promote a product, they are super effective when a product is about to launch or when the price of the product is going up soon. This can cause the right kind of excitement and urgency with your audience.

Example: You have a product called Get Growing (How to Grow Your Own Produce, Even With a Small Backyard), and you have an office hours session called The Grow Your Own Produce Q+A in which you let people know that the price of Get Growing is going up in 7 days, but you also answer tons of questions on growing your own produce.

4. Live Trainings

When you want to show software, tips + tricks, or a specific method/process, a targeted live training may be your best bet. These will likely be shorter than your 2+ hour workshops, and they can be some of your most popular events.

I've done live trainings on things such as:

  • designing your email funnels

  • creating a Visual Toolkit for your brand

  • making an email style guide (hosted with Kory Woodard)

  • creating a book layout in Apple Pages

  • and more

What types of things can you show your audience how to do, or how to do better, in 30 to 90 minutes?

Here are two things to keep in mind about your live trainings:

  • Often your live trainings can be smaller portions of a larger course or series. You can do them to help you build your content over time.

  • Even if you have a small audience, or absolutely no live audience, making your trainings happen anyways means you'll have epic stuff to fill your YouTube channel with or use for opt-ins to your email list. One of my most watched videos (the tutorial shown above), has gotten 99% of its views after the original air date. You can create content that does wonders for your brand even if no one shows up to the original thing. Actually, there's less pressure that way.

5. Workshop Series

Think of a workshop series as a collection of online workshops or live trainings all focused around the same topic (getting started in home gardening, growing your email list, etc.) or as a specific category/event that happens on a schedule, but topics vary.

This is how Jamie of Spruce Road does her Lunch & Learn series. The topics vary, the co-hosts vary, but they generally all have something to do with design---which is likely what Jamie wants to be known for and is definitely what she is an expert in.

Would a recurring series help you build your list, get consistent with creating content, help you meet cool collaborators, and be a quality way you could regularly promote your paid materials?

Which style of workshop seems to fit your personality best so far? Which one do you think would be best for your audience?

6. Webinars

Short, informative live workshops (typically set up to promote specific products) are called webinars. Often webinar hosts present the audience with a limited-time offer on a course, service, book, or bundle of items.

Webinars can be educational and fun, and often include presentation slides and a Q+A portion. Webinars may or may not come with worksheets and additional resources, but for the most part they are set up to be effective sales venues for a product, so I feel they are often planned with the business owner's goals in minds more so than audience goals.

If you choose to opt for a webinar (which is not a bad thing if it's the solution that makes the most sense for you), try to think about what your audience is gaining from the experience and build in things they can appreciate.

7. Live Mobile Broadcasts (such as Instagram Live, Facebook live, or Periscope)

If you're looking for a more informal broadcast than the ones above, why not break into video using Instagram or another live video app? You can use these for:

  • Q+As

  • Short tutorials

  • Daily/weekly tips

  • Sharing new products and giving demos

  • Creating something live

  • Testing out new content/product ideas

  • Getting feedback

  • Sharing inspiration or meaningful thoughts

  • and more

You could also structure any of the workshop types above as a Periscope broadcast. Instead of screensharing and showing slides, you could "double tap" your phone and use the back camera to show your computer screen.

It would certainly be less formal than a workshop hosted on Google+ Hangouts On Air, Livestream, or another similar tool, but maybe less formal is what you want to go for.

You could use Instagram Lives to:

  • get practice presenting

  • get real-time feedback and interaction

  • help people start to see you as a teacher/coach

  • create videos you could repackage or use elsewhere

So, which type of workshop do you want to start with?

And pssssst, if you liked this mini-lesson, you might just love our email course on building your email list with people who will actually buy from you. Just saying.

How to Self-Publish Your Own Books as a Business Model

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Let me just be honest with you. This post is going to REALLY get into self-publishing your own book. Like really really. There are so many misconceptions about how difficult publishing is in general, let alone self-publishing.

But before we get started, let me just say that it irks me beyond almost anything else when I see online marketers, experts, and infopreneurs say they can teach you how to make $20K per month online in 3 months or less, or that they’ll tell you how to bring in $100K off of one course. Results will vary, skeazy marketers.

P.S. Skeazy means you're both sketchy and sleazy, bruh. It's not a good look. Don’t promise people the same results you’ve achieved (or worse . . . only seen someone else achieve).

So, in this post I want to show you a bit of how I've set up publishing printed books for a full-time income, and how I honestly think that you, with a solid non-fiction book idea, can earn truly decent income from printed books in a relatively short time.

Why self-publish? Because it’s a legit business model. Let’s explore.

Traditional publishing looks super glamorous. Book tours. National TV appearances. Lovely and large royalty advances. A publisher going crazy over you and catering to your every whim. Nothing to do but turn in a manuscript and all the layout, design, promotion, and sales will be taken care of for you. Ballin’. Money rollin' on in.

Reality? New authors get small advances, have to do a lot of their own promotion, and won’t likely get tours and crazy publicity opportunities set up for them. Also. The ballin’? Please let me break down advances, royalties, etc. for us.

The realness of profits in self-publishing vs. traditional.

As a new author, if you get a $5,000 royalty advance, you’re doing well. And that’s a beautiful thing, getting $5,000 dollars all at once for your hard work of writing a book. Yay. Money in the bank.

But. That $5,000 is a royalty advance. Meaning you won’t make another cent off of your book until you earn that $5,000 back in your royalties (which are a percentage of the book’s price or your publishing company’s profits).

Let’s take for example a soft cover book that sells for $20. If your publishing company gives you the standard 7.5% royalty (and let's say they give it to you off of the list price of your book, which some company's will only give you 7.5% of their profits off of each individual book), then you make approximately $1.50 per book. Though this royalty percentage is somewhat common knowledge in traditional publishing, you can check out by one of my favorite bloggers (former literary agent and current author, Nathan Bransford) for this statistic as well as a few other interesting tidbits.

You’ll have to sell 3,333 copies of your book to pay your publishing company back your advance. This means you’ll never see another dollar of profit (after your original advance) until your book has sold over 3,000 copies.

So, selling 3,333 copies of your book, earns you $5,000 in the traditional publishing model.

Do you know how much you would have made on those same 3,333 copies of your book through the self-publishing model? Assuming you charged the same $20 per copy and had ~170 pages in your book?

$30,000

Because you’ll be making over $9 with each sale.

So, selling 3,000 copies can either get you $5,000 or $30,000--which is enough for me to live off for a year (at least if I forgo my crazy vegan food delivery . . .but that's another topic.)

That’s why I present self-publishing as a business model. If you want the fame and reach that traditional publishing can possibly get you, that’s completely understandable. But this post is for those of you who want to use self-published printed books (pBooks instead of eBooks) as a business model and way for you to make part or all of your living.

My total from the two printed books I’ve published (though one of them makes the majority of the income) over a 6-month period is almost $16,000, so I know this can work. I want to tell you my process for setting this system up.

Ready? Let’s get started.

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Step 0: Build a Platform

Whether you get your book traditionally published or you self-publish your own book, one thing that will be required, and insanely helpful, is a platform. Whether you choose to build this through a podcast, a popular YouTube channel, a blog, or even an epic Instagram account, you'll need a platform.

It doesn't have to be crazy huge. It just has to be targeted. Back when I only had one book published, and only had 80 friends to mail each week from my MailChimp account, my book still made a decent part-time income each month. It was very tailored to my audience, and very useful at the live workshops I taught in Austin.

Whatever size platform and audience you can build (that's focused and humanized), you'll be doing yourself a favor when it comes time to sell your book . . . or anything else for that matter. Actually, I can't overstress how important it is to have an audience that is interested in you and what you have to offer. It's so important that we made a free 5-day email course on building an engaged email list of people who actually buy from you. . . Just saying.

 

Step 1: Plan Your Book

If you know me even a little bit, then you’ll likely know that my planning process involves poster boards, index cards, colored markers, and a timer. This has been an obsession for five years or more now, and I don't think it's ever going away.

  • Get out your index cards and set your timer for 20 minutes.

  • Write down all the steps it will take to teach your book's topic or write down all the categories of things you want to share for a particular topic or process (each item on a separate card--but you can also just spread them out on a poster board if you don't have index cards).

  • Analyze your cards. Can anything be combined? Is anything missing? Does anything need to be eliminated?

  • Now, for each remaining card you have, set your timer for 7 minutes and flip the card over to record any sub-steps or sub-topics you'll want to explain related to the card's main topic. Ex: if the card was "learn your camera's setup," then the sub-points might be "auto vs. manual, changing white balance, where to find f-stop," etc.

  • Now, combine, eliminate, or fill out any further sub-topics.

When you're done with this process, the front of your cards will be your chapters and the back will be the sections of your chapters. Planning a really solid book that answers your audience's pressing questions + questions they didn't even know they had, is a great way to build a book that gets talked about and gets sold.

 

Step 2: Research + Finalize Your Outline

Once you've gone through the initial planning process, it's time to do a little bit of homework before you finalize your outline. Check other books, courses, workshops, and educational materials on the same topic. Since you're doing this after you developed a general outline from scratch, your direction won't be too influenced by others' works, but you will be reminded of anything you forgot that you feel the expertise and desire to include.

Finalize your outline by putting all of the information in an order that will be logical for your audience, whether newbies, advanced users, or something in between.

 

Step 3: Write Your Book. Get it edited.

Once you have your outline, you can either do step 4 (so that you're writing your book directly into its layout), or you can begin writing. I like to set up a separate Google Doc for each chapter if I'm writing in GDocs first, but most of the time, I create directly in my book's layout software (Apple Pages) so that when I'm done writing, it can go to an editor immediately then be uploaded straight to my printer of choice.

I always recommend hiring an outside editor. You are too close to your book and too used to your book to spot all the errors--and when you self-publish, you want to minimize errors and kill the design and layout so that it won't look like a not-so-epic attempt at a professional publication.

P.S. You don't have to write your book in the order it's outlined in. Skip around to the chapters that are most exciting to you when you meet a slow period. I like to write an exciting section or two, then a not-so-exciting section, and repeat that process until the book is done.

 

Step 4: Design Your Book's Interior.

Or get it designed for you. You can design your own interior or start from a template, but you can always have a book designer lay out your book for you if it's in the budget to do so.

As you design, keep in mind:

  • Readability. Make sure the fonts and font sizes will be easy for your target audience to digest.

  • Margins. Make sure you leave enough room on all edges of your pages per your printer's specifications.

 

Step 5: Design Your Book's Cover.

Before you get started in this process, I encourage you to go search Amazon for books with your keywords or topic in the title. Look at the covers. I won't lie, most self-published books have horrible covers, which means that for almost any search term, the majority of books that pop up will simply not look good. That means there is so much room for you to come in and slay. A good book cover design will stand out, but a great design and catchy title will be practically impossible to ignore. Great design converts well. Seriously. Even a sub-par book can sell well with great design and a solid description of the contents. So imagine when your great book with great design hits the market.

When it's time to design your book cover, here are a few tips:

  • Don't create a white cover if you plan to sell primarily online--this will look odd on sites like Amazon.com that don't put a border around your cover image. People will not be able to tell where your book cover ends and the web page begins. If you want a light cover, try a cream or gray (like the cover below).

  • Create your file at the dpi (resolution) your chosen printer requires--typically 300 dpi or more.

  • Make sure you have the right to use any fonts, images, or elements you incorporate into your cover. Read each company's or seller's terms of use very carefully.

 How to Design Your Book Cover for Print

How to Design Your Book Cover for Print

Step 6: Create Your Publishing House + Get Legit.

To look and feel the most legit, I recommend setting up your company as a publishing house. You can publish under your current business, or you can set up a separate LLC you own in order to publish books. Creating your own small press is a great way to obtain the ISBN (which is the number necessary to distinguish your book from others on the market) and bar code you'll need to sell your book in most marketplaces.

 

Step 7: Design Your Book's Promotional Materials.

You will likely want most of the items below to promote your book.

  • Cover mockups.

  • Interior mockups.

  • Sales pages.

  • Facebook ads.

  • Pinterest pins.

  • Etc.

Remember to think outside of the box, and remember that visuals really help people imagine themselves reading your book and using your work to learn + grow. We dig deep on creating visuals in Visual Arsenal 3.0, which is currently only available to members of SERVE Academy.

But whether you're going the DIY route or outsourcing your graphics, some well laid out promotional materials (in your blog's sidebar, on social media, on your sales pages, in your blog posts, etc.) will seriously help convert viewers to buyers. Spend a lot of time designing quality images (ask a peer who will be honest with you) or invest money in a designer who can create beautiful, compelling images for you.

 

Step 8: Get Your ISBN Numbers + Official Copyright.

Submit your book to obtain an official copyright from the governing entity where you live. In the U.S., you can head over to Copyright.gov. It's important to note that the moment you publish an original work in a tangible form, you hold the copyright, but if you really want to enforce the copyright (especially in court), it's a good idea to file legitimately. It's very inexpensive--but I won't lie, it's not a quick process. It can take 8 months or more. This shouldn't prevent you from getting your book to market though, you can still put a serious and nifty copyright statement in your book anyways.

 

Step 9: Publish Your Book. And Set Up Your Distribution Channels.

You'll have many choices when it comes to printing and publishing your book. You can:

  • Do it the old school way of finding a local printer (or online printer) who will print + ship you a certain number of your books, which you can then sell or distribute yourself.

  • Get it done by printing with a company such as IngramSpark, who can either ship the books to you or distribute them to booksellers like Amazon.com for you.

  • Publish directly with Amazon.com using their system CreateSpace. This is the method I most often use.

  • Use a "vanity" publisher, which you'd have to pay in order to get your book published, but they typically take care of design or other elements for you. I highly recommend against this option though because it's a huge $$ investment and I think you should maintain more control over your work and always be able to DIY the parts that require it.

 

Step 10: Launch Your Book + Set Up "Perfect Paths" to Your Product.

Once you've gotten your book published, or set up with a print + fulfillment company, it's time to launch. I also consider it a super wise time investment to create ideal paths you want people to take to get to your book's purchase page. Do you want them to:

  • go from a blog post ---> a sales page?

  • go from a tweet ---> a landing page with a free chapter ---> an email list that promotes the book along with other tips on the topic?

  • go from your sidebar image ---> a blog post on the topic ---> a sales page?

What are all the ways a potential reader can come across your book? What will intrigue them? What would cause you to buy if you were a part of your own ideal audience? How can you establish trust? What can you give away for free that will really entice people to buy the full experience?

So, what's the verdict, might you try publishing a book of your own? Do you think you'd ever pursue it as a business model?

How to Expand a Blog Post (or Series) into a Book

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So, here we are, you and I . . . about to dive into: How do you turn a blog post series into a book? OR EVEN How do you turn a blog post into a book? My friend, I do not have all the answers, and I'm sure there are multiple ways to go about it, but I can tell you what I've done in this situation to expand blog posts into eBooks (like The Epic Guide to Creating a Brand Identity and The Guide to Creating an Epic Information Product in 3 Days).

When expanding on posts that already exist for free on the webs, I try to take a step back and look at the whole topic from the reader/customer perspective. This comes in the form of five questions you can ask yourself about your current post or series as well as five general idea-generating questions you can ask yourself to create an awesome chapter/content list for your book.

You can download the worksheets below (just click on them) to help you work through and record your ideas from this post.

 How to go from a blog post series to a book

How to go from a blog post series to a book

For the purposes of this post, let's take for example a series you did on car maintenance for your "modern superwoman" blog. P.S. If it is a single post you are turning into a book, break it down into the main points/sections you made.

Below, I assume it is a series, but you can change my list out for your post sections.

1st post: Changing a Tire

2nd post: Checking All Important Car Fluids

3rd post: Changing the Oil

4th post: Changing Your Air Filters

5th post: Adding Air to Your Tires

When it's time to write the book Car Maintenance: Superwoman Style, you'd step back and review these:

Five Questions to Ask About Your Current Blog Post or Series

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For each of the posts in your series (or points in your blog post) ask yourself:

1. Can I expand it with additional points?

For example: Your post on Checking All Important Car Fluids might have included transmission fluid, engine oil, brake fluid, steering fluid, and coolant. Awesome. But now that you're creating a book out of it, you have room to expand. Can you possibly cover windshield wiper fluid now as well?

Homework: Use the accompanying worksheets to record any expansion you can do (on each post in your series) that will add value or present a more full picture of your topic.

2. Can I focus on a different aspect?

For example: Your post on Changing a Tire might have taken a wonderful and in-depth look at each step in the process, but could you maybe focus on which tires are less prone to go flat? Or what you should look for in a spare tire? Or checking your car to make sure you have a spare? Or where to get a premium tool kit for tire changes?

Homework: Use the worksheets to write down different viewpoints/aspects of each post or point you've already created.

3. Can I give more background information?

For example: You may have told us all about Changing the Oil, with high-res images and everything, but might we also be interested in the background of the different types of car oil and which types are best for certain cars? And with all your great instructions on Changing a Tire, might we still need you to clarify that if we're changing our tire on the side of a highway, there are different sets of concerns we need to address? And yes, we can check our car fluids, but are there Three (Non-Fluid) Checks You Should Do Before You Drive Your Car Each Day?

Homework: Decide >> what are some additional background points you can make (or chapters you can create) that will help your audience? Are there possibly some things you're assuming your audience knows that they might not know? Try to talk with someone who would be an ideal reader and figure out what background information they might appreciate. Write down your ideas on your worksheet in the appropriate section.

4. Can I make it apply to a segment of people?

For example: You told us all about Changing a Tire and Checking All Important Car Fluids, but were those just general tips or did they apply to those who live in severe cold temperatures? Are there different concerns for a certain segment of people? Those who drive in the cold or in extreme heat? Those traveling great distances vs. those who only drive a few miles at a time? Those who only use their car once per week or once per month?

Homework: Think about each type of person who might want or need your book. Is there content that doesn't fit for them? More importantly, is there additional content that you can add and create a completely different and more amazing experience with?

5. Can I write the follow-up content?

For example: You did an amazing job educating us on Changing a Tire, but now that we've changed it, what can/should we do with the old one? Recycle it? Donate it? Make a tire swing out of it?

Homework: Think through each post in your series (or each point in your post) and ask yourself if you followed the point all the way through? Is there something that comes afterward that your audience will consider useful? I, for one, have no idea what to do with a tire after I change it, so if there's a way to easily donate or recycle it, I'd love to know.

Use your worksheets to write down your expansion ideas. Then, use your worksheets as you contemplate:

Five Idea-Generating Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Topic

1. Why does my ideal reader want to learn about this topic in the first place?

Our car maintenance blogger should ask: Why would my ideal reader want to learn about car maintenance? Is it because she drives an older car and doesn't ever want to be stranded on the side of the road? Is it because she's finally purchased her dream car and wants to keep it pristine?

This might inspire some new chapter ideas:

Chapter Idea: Tips and Tricks for Both Old and New Vehicles
Chapter Idea: Preventative Maintenance: How to Upkeep Your Baby on the Regular Chapter Idea: The Basic Tools Any Savvy Superwoman Should Have on Hand Chapter Idea: The 10 Checks You Should Do Before a Road Trip

Homework: Ask yourself why your reader is interested in your topic. When you write down that answer (or those multiple answers), see if it inspires any topic/chapter ideas you don't already have written down on your worksheets.

2. Where does my ideal audience member need to start?

Our car blogger should ask: With my blog post series I just jumped into changing a tire, but is that the beginning? Where does my reader need to begin their knowledge of car maintenance as a whole?

This might inspire some new chapter ideas:

Chapter Idea: The Parts of a Car and How They All Work Together

Chapter Idea: Knowing the Lights on Your Dashboard

Homework: When you knew nothing about this topic, what would have been most helpful to know? What order would you explain this in to someone in the seventh grade? To a young child? To someone who knew almost zero about the topic? To someone who has never heard of your topic before? Write your content ideas down in the correct column of your worksheet.

3. What are additional concerns my audience might have that I have had before, heard before, or can relate to?

Our car maintenance blogger should ask: What are the things I've been doing so long (or have known so long) that can be real roadblocks to someone encountering them for the first time? What questions and comments do I hear when hanging out (online or in real life) with my ideal readers or people like my ideal readers?

This might inspire some new chapter ideas: 
Chapter Idea: When to Take Your Car In (and What to Look For in a Mechanic) Chapter Idea: When to Sell or Give Away Your Car

Homework: Consider surveying your friends + readers, or simply thinking through past conversations or your own experiences to develop a list of additional concerns, thoughts, or needs that might be a good fit for your book. Add your ideas to your worksheet.

4. What additional resources will enhance my audience’s understanding of this topic?

Our car blogger should ask: Are there certain topics or sections that won't work as simple text? Does any of this fit better as videos, links, worksheets, downloads, a list of tools/resources, etc.?

This may cause new ideas such as:

  • Resource Idea: (Video) How to Check Your Tire's Air

  • Resource Idea: Links to all the best resources to estimate what your used car will sell for

  • Resource Idea: (Worksheet) Car Maintenance Checklist for Cars Over 10 Years Old

Homework: Review the ideas you've had thus far on your worksheets and figure out whether something other than text is necessary to convey your points effectively. Write down your ideas for additional resources or materials that can complement your book.

5. Which of these topics and ideas fit together as one book and which ones could be expanded on later or made into separate books?

Both you and our car blogger should ask: Is some of this too advanced for where my ideal audience is at? Will certain chapters overwhelm my audience? Can I create additional streams of income and more specialized content by breaking some of this into mini-books, workbooks, a class, or other content?

Homework: Pull out any ideas that you want to save for a later project and set them aside. Flip back to the first page of your worksheets and record all your final chapter/content ideas. Use this to make your official outline for your new book.

 

So yes, there are definitely ways to use blog post content, but make it more full and more useful as a book. I think you simply focus on developing the important things that you know will really make a difference for your audience, and then plan out your current book (and any follow-up books) to address the needs and immediate interests of your readers. If they are your primary motivation during the process, you'll likely see great content ideas naturally form, and meh ideas naturally fade.

So tell me good friend of the Internet, will you be creating a book or product out of some of your blog posts? Have you already done so? Do tell . . .

And pssssst, if you liked this lesson, you might just love our email course on building an engaged email list of people who actually buy from you. . . because if you plan on selling books, you’ll need an audience. Grab the course here.

How to Create a Mini-Course in 12 Hours

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If you have a moment, I want to help you create a course (an epic “mini-course” to be more specific) that you can give away or sell to your audience, and I want to help you for free. Like seriously, I have a 20-page workbook and 5 training videos waiting for you, but I must start with the brief story of a time, long ago, when I created an entire mini-course in 12 hours.

The story begins in the distant past known as . . . two days ago.

11 a.m. - I woke up // Don’t judge me, I got a late start.

11:15 a.m. - I remembered how I really want to create a quick, free Blog School this weekend to help people plan + create their blogs.

11:17 a.m. - I thought it would be fun to invite other friends across the globe to create their own short courses with me.

11:18 a.m. - I thought, “Maybe I can make it a bit of a challenge and post updates throughout the day.”

11:19 a.m. - Made up my mind and then posted a graphic announcing my plans on Instagram.

 Mini Course Challenge Announcement

Mini Course Challenge Announcement

I started posting YouTube updates as I was creating my initial product (a blog school), which I still plan to finish soon, but then my path morphed a bit. I realized (somewhere in Hour 3 I think) that the mini course I was actually creating was a course on how to create mini courses. Yeah. Very meta of me. It took me a minute to realize it. But see, #whathadhappenedwas:

I was working and posting videos and updates on one thing, but I constantly wanted to develop worksheets, resources, tips, and more for everyone else who was following along and creating their own mini courses.

Shocker, right? If you know me at all, then you know that I live to create and do adult homework. So the day I had so carefully planned out (translation: had not planned out at all really) morphed into the creation of a short course that I want you to be able to take for free.

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And here's the thing, you don't have to jump through any flaming hoops (unless you're really keen to) . . . you get complete access right here. Would I be mad if you tweeted the short tweet below? Not at all.

And, would I complain if you put up with me as I share a few more shots of the workbook? Nope. It was a lot of fun to create.

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So, what's in this "Create a Course in 12 hours" workbook?

The workbook has 20 pages that cover the various sections of the mini-course. Between the five training videos available for free on Youtube and the worksheets, you'll find materials to help you as you:

  • Decide on your topic

  • Identify your people (audience)

  • Create an outline for your course

  • Select the format for each part of the course you are creating

  • Decide on the delivery methods for your course content

  • Think up course promotion ideas

  • Edit your course

  • Format your course documents/videos (+ my secret tip for creating materials quickly)

  • And more (such as a Launch Checklist and lots of videos of me in my Jimi Hendrix shirt)

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Want to take this course for free by watching it on Youtube or right here at the bottom of this post? Don’t forget to grab your workbook right here.

 But let’s be totally up front and honest. Creating a mini course won’t do any good if you don’t have an email list of people interested in your content. . . Want our free email course on building an engaged email list of people who actually buy from you? Grab it here