You’ve got a blog. You’ve been posting blogs (somewhat) consistently. You’re growing some organic traffic, but it just doesn’t have the reach that you thought it would. I would encourage you to think about publishing a book.
What’s the drawback to posting a blog?
The blog post is typically a short-term asset. It gives a quick burst of visibility to your site. Your fans share the link on social media for 24 to 76 hours, and then it’s in the archives.
Plus, let’s be honest, you probably spent one hour (two hours, max) writing that post. It was something that came to mind, and you needed another post, so you went with it. Maybe you did some planning, but (if you’re like me) nothing extensive.
The benefit for the reader is a quick win. You give the reader 500 to 1,500 words that’ll change the reader’s perspective in some way, and then the reader’s off to another blog.
And the reader is skimming, not really “reading,” anyway. When we read blogs, we’re in skim mode, churning through lots of information at a high rate. Chances are that even if you’re reader likes what you’ve had to say, he’ll nod along in agreement, maybe share the link, and then your blog will slide off his mind like a snake on a wet ramp.
What’s the benefit of a publishing a book over posting a blog?
When you write a book, you’re creating a long-term asset. A book gives you a wider range of visibility that you can sustain over time. Even a year after publishing a book, you can land an interview or speaking gig because of that book.
You spend a lot of time, energy, and attention on crafting the content of your book. This is something that you create over time, so you know that the message you share in your book will be worthwhile for years to come.
The benefit for the reader is a lasting perspective shift. We may not remember every part of the book, but there will have been some portion of the message that continues to resonate with us, long after we’ve put the book back on the shelf.
And the reader is reading deeply (or, at least more deeply). When we read books, we more easily slip into a slower reading mode, so that we can absorb the content more fully. The reader is willing to listen to your story or journey because he knows that there’s a larger point being made.
Should you bother writing blogs?
Blogs are absolutely a critical pillar of content marketing. Posting blogs regularly gives people a reason to share your wisdom and insights. And, honestly, people need a quick win in order to believe that you know your stuff.
But publishing a book should also be a pillar of your content marketing. If you have any sort of business or platform, a book allows people to dive deeply into your story, your personality, and your wisdom around your subject matter. Books are transformational for the reader, and if you want to impact the world, you can create huge waves of change, one reader at a time.
Instead of writing two blogs a week, try writing one blog a week and using that extra writing time to work on your book. Or commit to batching your blog posts for the next three months (you’ve got to write a month’s worth of blogs in one day) and then setting aside time every week to write your book.
And read through all of your blog archives for book ideas! You’d be surprised at what golden nuggets you dig up when you look at your progression of thought from your early blog posts to your recent ones. Feel free to repurpose. :)