If Your Blog was a Book… Would Anyone Read It?

Today I have an interesting question for all of the blog owners out there. It might seem like a silly question, but after we go through some of the different factors that make a book a success, you might not have the same answer you were originally thinking. So my question for you is…

If Your Blog was a Book… Would Anyone Read It?

Would anyone read itWell, that’s a silly question!” you might be saying… of course people are reading my blog, so they would have to read it if it was a book. Not necessarily!

Let’s look at some of the different features that make a book a success and make people want to read it.

  • The concept or story line
  • The book cover
  • The author
  • Reader response and feedback

Now let’s talk about how each of these can be the same or different based on whether you had a successful book or a blog.

The Concept or Story Line

This one is kind of a no brainer… the majority of people out there reading your blog, read it because they are interested in what you have to say. The same can be said about books in a book store. If someone is in the “cooking” section, they are likely looking for books on cooking… but as we move on from the concept process, let’s get into the next thinking process, which is what makes them pick your book to read, out of all the other hundreds of books on the selves.

The Book Cover

What makes a book sell? The cover of course! It’s silly, but at the end of the day the book cover is what is likely driving most of the sales. It’s visual marketing at it’s best. Just like books have covers to grab the readers attention, blogs have site designs and attractive WordPress themes. Just as important as it is to have a killer book cover design, your blog should also leave a lasting impression and make people want to visit and stay at your site. I know you heard the expression “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, well the truth of the matter is if people don’t like a book cover, most likely they will never pick it up and read it.

The Author

The book cover is what draws people in, but the author is what keeps people coming back for more. Once you’ve established yourself as a quality and well known author, there is a good chance that your readers will be buying any books you come out with in the future. The same can be said for becoming an authority blogger and voice within your niche. There are millions of blogs out there competing against you and once you become an authority in your niche, your following will only continue to grow and your voice will be heard. Your unique point of view will resonate with people and they will be more open to read your opinions and understand your perspectives on the issues.

Response and Feedback From People Who Read It

Lastly we can incorporate the real value in your book or blog, and that is how other people find value in it. The recommendation from a friend or family member is more than all of the advertising dollars and marketing in the world. It’s real, it’s personable and it’s authentic. If you have a loyal following and customer base who are sharing your content and recommending it to friends, you have truly created a quality product that people will love to read and endorse.

Is Your Blog a Best Selling Title or a Paper Weight?

At the end of the day, we put a lot of work into our blogs and we want them to succeed. However all of us won’t find success. Make sure that you aren’t spreading yourself too thin with multiple blogs and are taking the time to produce quality content that makes people want to stick around and read more of it. If you find yourself drifting away from your original blog goals, be sure to think about the books on the shelves and what you need to do to make sure your cover stands out, people remember your name and that others recommend you to their friends.

I’ve been blogging for over five years now and I personally go through these concepts and ideas all the time. My new book “Blogging Tips: Confessions from a Six Figure Blogger” just went live on Amazon.com this week and I would love to get your feedback on the article and the book if you find the time!

About 

Zac Johnson is a online marketer with over 15 years of experience. You can view my blogs at ZacJohnson.com along with BloggingTips.com.

58 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Very interesting. I am working on a book which I hope to sell either clickbank or ejunkie and your post makes me think. And hence care needs to be taken to make it worthwhile and also attractive in all aspects.

    But the original question you ask is, if anyone will read if your blog was a book is an interesting one. A blog is like a book and you have to treat it the same way you will do to a book and look at in the same eyes.

    Who says, you can’t judge a book by its cover, like it not, most of us do. So you need to make sure your blog needs to stand out and be the one to attract those precious visitors.

    I might buy your book. I don’t have a kindle reader but I think there is kindle on pc app.

    • Before going live with your book on one of the major networks like clickbank, make sure you play around with your price points. Depending on what niche you are in, you can see totally different conversion rates and acceptance for books. Also, many people don’t know, but it’s extremely easy for people to buy your book/product through clickbank (potentially read it all), then refund within 60 days with no questions asked. This has hurt a lot of people with products on clickbank as the refund rates can add up.

      Lastly, you are right. You DON’T need a Kindle or iPad to read the book on Amazon. Amazon offers a free reader that can be used on any computer.

      Thanks, please let me know what you think of the book!

  2. Now that’s an interesting question! Actually I doubt anyone would read my blog as if it were a book. When I read a book (at least a novel), i expect a story or a plot and I could read an interesting book for hours. On my blog I post tips and tricks to help people with internet marketing, how to get traffic and visitors and to interact with people. A book would never open for a direct dialogue with the author. Of course, i would try to make headlines that sell – so would an author of a book and there are other similarities between a blog and a book, but its all about: who is your audience and who are you trying to deliver a message to.

    • Think about all of the “Dummies” books that have helped people learn “how to do” pretty much anything. There is a lot of money and demand for blogs and books in the how to department, so don’t discredit your blog content so easily.

  3. I wasn’t a very good blogger but I’m planning to actually come back with new ideas and concepts. My blog consisted in general news and things I liked, this isn’t like a book at all, therefore I’m sure people wold not read such a thing.

  4. Hi Ms. Ileane, I fully understand now that blog is like publishing your own book and I like to thank you for sharing this post to us. The pointers are simple and easy to understand, how I wish my blog will be recognized by millions of people in the future.

  5. A great article! I have to agree on the book cover part as well, because I have left blogs just because the look and feel was a terrible experience. I feel a blogs looks are just as important as the content that they are hosting.

    • It’s all about having a great first impressions. People will get an immediate feeling when they see your blog, and will keep coming back for the content. Make sure you have both working for you.

  6. Well, I’m not sure books and blogs really scratch the same itch for me… Blog articles are usually answering questions I’m looking to have answered quickly. I can’t figure out how to do something in HTML 5, for instance. I Google the topic, I find a blog post which addresses the topic, I get my information and I move on. Sometimes more meaningful relationships develop, of course but blogs are like literary snacks for me. A site like Wikipedia is more like a book to me, than most blogs.

    But that’s just me…

    • I can relate on that as well. If you are looking for quick tips and information, web sites and blogs are the way to go. If you would like a longer “full story” and “process” type of reading, a book would be the way to go. The good thing is that both can exist, as both are still in demand by the readers.

  7. I think that Most people spend less time but learn new things. If your blog is like a book, we feel very vast to read it but the About Author Page is very effective page or title because it express the qualification, hobbies, experience. These things are motivated to other people and land to your article. so The About Author page is most important.
    Thank you for sharing very informative article!

  8. The closing heading is great Zac: “Is Your Blog a Best Selling Title or a Paper Weight?” lol, FACT indeed!

    Congrats on your new book :)

  9. I always appreciate thinking about new ways to look at blogging. Thinking about it as if it were a book can definitely help you identify some areas that could use strengthening. Obviously, visitors don’t read a blog in the same way they would a novel. However, employing many of the same techniques seems like it would be advantageous. Like the story line, for instance. Even though each blog post might have a different subject, there should always be a feel of cohesion and continuity from one article to the next. Thanks!

  10. Building an authority is must Zan, I agree with every point of this article.

    There are a lot of reason on why do you read a book? To clear your doubt, to get fun or to read a story, but you read a blog only to get your requirements fulfilled. So a blog can’t be treated as a book in my opinion.

    BTW, If you’re writing an E-book, everything must be perfect in it to make the readers enjoy reading it.

    Building authority is must not only in blogging, but for everything,

  11. Zac,

    Good stuff buddy… I like this analogy with the book because when someone thinks about a book they think a focused topic with a goal…

    But then blogs are so scattered… Approaching the blog with a focus and goal in mind versus writing just anything that comes to your head is so important!

    Thanks,

    Hanley

    • Right, It’s easy to throw together content on a blog and really not put your heart into every post, but if you are writing a book, you really have to make sure it’s all high quality stuff… though the same thought process should be done for blogs as well.

    • Definitely. One of the great things about blogs is that they can be updated with the times. If books are in print and paper back, they are what they are… but this is quickly changing with Amazon offering digital books that can be updated by their authors at any time.

  12. A blog is a blog and a book is a book. I for example would never buy a book about hipster steve and his office ventures. But i could absolute read his blog. Its two diffrent things.
    Congrats on your new book by the way

  13. Congratulations on your new book Zac!

    I now know that book is awesome :)

    Your points are all on key, and my favorite parts are the “story line” & “book cover”.

    The book cover has to grab the attention of anyone and snatch that subscriber out of the group!

  14. I would probably read my book but other people might need more persuasion. It is many different factors that influence a reader.

    If you meet them during a time when they are most interested in what you are saying; you have worn half the battle, but the other part is keeping their interest that is the hardest part.

  15. I have actually thought about putting parts of my personal blog into a book just like my comedian hero Richard Herring has done, he releases six month installments of his blog with added extra content to entice people to buy and donates a portion of the proceeds to charity.

  16. Blog is a like a book but I prefer to read blogs than a books. If you have a blog make sure that the content or article is very informative and interesting to get the attentions of visitors.

  17. One thing that I have learned is that writing a book is different than writing a blog and it is taken a lot more time. I prefer blog because it is easy and all you have to do is to create a blog and unique content. Nowadays, using internet is part of our daily live and the best part of it is to give time or effort on how you market your blog.

  18. Hello Zac! very interesting topic you have started and I could not agree you more that the book cover is really crucial when it comes to selling a book and if you talk about blog certainly homepage designing works in a same way and for me if you make your homepage in such a way then readers would definitely read and check your website if you producing content for the solution of people facing in your niche.

  19. Writing a book.. I wish I would be able to complete my projects.. ( but they are never ready in time ). But then you said if your blog was a book. Well then every one would surly like to read it, sincerely children’s would like to see the images. Since most of my post have lots of pictures in them..

    Sorry for all those nonsense..

    I think your post is really a great source of inspiration. I have more than 400+ subscribers ( subscription not offered to all visitors ) and I want to offer them with an eBook. Your article will be helpful for me..

    Thanks

    • Thanks, glad you liked it. I have problems starting too many projects and completing what I have all the time. It’s all about prioritizing what you have and getting something out there.

      This book took me 3-6 months to complete but should have been less because I kept stopping and starting, but in the end it all worked out because I love the finished product.

  20. Zac, this is very thought provoking. I’m with the other guys about reading someone’s blog but not their book. It depends on the topic. I know a lot of people who blog and speak well but cannot translate their enthusiasm into a book.

    However, I do hope that my forthcoming book, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block, will resonate with bloggers and writers, and beat book sale records.

  21. Zac, great post but here is my thoughts on it.

    I don’t think a blog should be like a book … and if someone blog read like a book I don’t think I would read it.

    My expectations of a book it totally different then what I expect from a blog. In most great books I don’t expect to get a short answer to my questions but most blogs I read I am looking for the short answer to a solution.

    The other thing is I expect to get things from a book that I can’t get from a blog, well to be honest I probably can get it from a blog but I would probably have to search many blogs to get a full details answer.

    If a person blog reads like a book … I think they should be writing a book. Where they would get the celebrity status of being an author.

    There is a lot more that goes into a book that a person would not put into a blog …

    The other thing is a blog is a two way conversation…

    I quote you … taken from Blogging Tips: Confession Of A Six Figure Blogger

    “It doesn’t matter if you are a blog owner or a reader of a blog, it is important to remember that blogging is a two-way conversation”

    When I think of a blog compares to a physical medium I think of a great magazine or a newspaper.

    Where there is plenty of great information … but I just want to read certain articles not the whole blog.

    Once again thank for the post.

    • Devon, you’ve given quite an analysis and I appreciate your perspective. I believe that you are correct – if the blog is informational in scope. What do you think of blogs run by fiction writers?

      I’m sure you’ve seen WIP-type blogs (Work In Progress) as well as serialized fiction blogs. Those definitely read like books.

      Zac, prior to refocusing my efforts, my blog would probably be better compared to a variety magazine. Depending on my mood, I would write essays, marketing pieces, Scrabble posts, fiction, poetry and the occasional tutorial. I tried to use the category feature of WordPress to carefully segment these articles.

      Over the years, these articles DID tell a series of stories. They chronicled my growth, my philosophies, my trials and tribulations. In fact, one of my current projects is converting my blog into an ebook! The blog itself might not read like a book, but I certainly have enough material for four books. Time will tell if the articles serve as well in their repurposed format.

      Thanks for writing such a thought-provoking post! The big winner and takeaway is your fourth feature: reader feedback and response. After all, why else do we publish? :)

      Your commentary and the feedback from readers shows that, if anything, blogs are truly versatile and can be tweaked to serve many purposes.

      Cheers,

      Mitch

  22. Zac, this is a very good point of view for bloggers to keep in mind. This is because when blogs picture their blogs as a book, it would motivate them to write higher quality posts equivalent to what one might read in a book

  23. Interesting the ‘Dummies’ series of books were mentiond, I remember going through one of those on blogging before I started :-p.

    • Haha yes, I remember seeing these a lot in stores as well. They still seem to do well, but I would imagine everything can easily be looked up and found on the internet in a matter of minutes!

  24. Jack Sander

    Interesting comparison, as I’ve never thought at my blog as a book. I focus a lot on the content of my site, although I know that the covers are the first contact a visitor has. Nevertheless, I will focus on the design of my blog, as I know people tend to emphasize more on the looks rather than on the content.

  25. That was an excellent extended metaphor – what a great comparison. I think it’s both interesting and truly insightful to analyze information from different perspectives. This creative way of viewing your blog really allows you to analyze the pieces that make up this package. Great article!

  26. I prefer to read blogs than a books because it is easy to search any topic what I want in the internet. I’d always bring my tablet anywhere I go and all I wanna do is just surfing the net and reading blogs anytime.

  27. Zac, you do make an interesting point with the article. If you think about it, a good blog is, in many ways, similar to a good book.

    A small point: while it is never a good idea to ‘judge a book by its cover’, I feel that this doesnt apply to blog. People will judge your blog by its cover (its appearance). If you have a blog that looks good, chances are that you will get more traffic and people will tend to spend more time on it.

    Another aspect is the navigation of a blog, which I suppose can be compared with the contents section of a book. You’ll be lost on a book without a contents page, and similarly, you’ll be lost on a blog without any navigation.

  28. I would read my blog if it was a book. I still do it now and what makes me upset is I still find some mistakes. Even though I have gone through all my posts many times. I don’t know why I don’t see it the first time.

    • Hi Adam, I too always find some mistakes in my old blog post, but I think its a good thing because we find mistakes when we know some thing better than what we have done before.

  29. Good question. I think if I could market it as a “Marketing/Information” book, people would read my blog. At least I would hope so. :-)

  30. This is a unique angle you took here but one great thing about blogs is that they can be highly interactive and thus something better than a book.

  31. Wired, but good question that I haven’t thought of. After all, we need great content to get reader to read our blog. Thanks for question :)

  32. While reading your post, I was reminded on some things that Kristina Holmes, a literary agent that Srinivas of Blogcast FM mentioned when she was asked about what were the things that would attract her to a blogger who is pitching a book to her. Much of what she pointed out describes very much what a good quality blog should be: posts that resonate a unique voice on the part of the blogger, the credibility of the blogger (how well do they know what they are talking about), and the presentation of the blog. So, yes, in many ways, a blog can be compared to a book to a certain extent. That being said, your question about whether or not I will read my blog if it were a book is something that I would ask myself from now on when I create my content.

  33. As someone who in has been a book designer for 25+ years and a web designer for 14 and still going strong in both areas, I found this post fantastic. I love the comparisons and hadn’t thought about the similarities as well as differences.

    I’m going to think about this and pull up some authors, look at their books and then their websites. Should be an interesting discovery in design success and perhaps failure?

  34. Hello Zac Johnson
    this is the very good question, all points are very interesting and informative. i will definitely follow your tips

  35. Hello Zac,

    Great Lesson to learn for Blog ! well I don’t think that if a blog was a book so I no one reads it ! actually readers just like to read unique & senseful topic but readers attraction always depends on The Author. I’m 100% agree with “The Author point” An Author is a important & valuable part in blogging & my point of view The Author must be strong for their blog.

  36. Hi Zac,

    Yes – Great topic for the post. One other question one has to ask yourself – Will people be able to organically find your Book to read. As making a name for yourself is one of the hardest aspects of business today – especially in the online industry. Great post, Thanks for sharing.

  37. Reader must read your book again and again if you make a book for reader purpose. I seem you need to follow up some tips like book cover, history, content and other to increase your reader. If you imagine that the blog is like a book then well, but you need to follow all the rules for creating a valuable book.