There was a time when I couldn’t care less about books. I barely read anything and I found the whole activity pretty boring.
Fortunately things changed when I grew older. Once I finally realized the potential of books (especially the self-improvement ones), I really got sucked into the world of reading.
Reading is beneficial for anyone who wants to learn more about any given topic. However, there are couple of additional benefits when it comes to blogging.
What if I told you that you can create some cool content based on the books you have read? In other words, with the time you spend on reading, you can come out with many new content ideas that provide value to your readers or to your subscribers.
Especially if you are running a blog part-time, you know that your time is very limited. That’s why you want to maximize y0ur time spent on reading and these five ways are a fine way to do that.
Without any further ado, let’s get started, and hopefully you look at books in a different way after reading this post.
1. Extracting the ideas first
Reading a book is one thing, but you also have to make sure you capture those great ideas that your book offers.
My system for this is pretty simple: When I read the book, I mark any ideas or important sentences on the margins, by drawing a vertical line next to the important line or paragraph. Sometimes I might also mark a certain section of the book with a letter A with a circle around it.
After I have finished reading a book, I browse through the pages again and I can immediately see all the important points that I should either take action on or write about (the letter A refers to the word Action).
I then collect the actionable points in a Google Docs document. This document acts as my idea file and it lists any potential topics for future blog posts.
2. Write applied lessons for your target audience
When I started my (now deceased) blogging productivity e-mail list, I wasn’t quite sure what kind of exclusive content I could provide for my subscribers.
However, at some point I had an idea: What if after reading a book I’d write how to apply the lessons found in that book to my target audience (people who are interested in increasing blogging productivity)?
I thought it was a great idea and after reading a book (“Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy), I took the key lessons that he was talking about. I then applied those lessons in blogging.
After writing the applied lessons (21 of them) with my own words, I had another idea: What if I turned these e-mails into an e-book? That’s what I did next and an e-book was born.
I even wrote an additional report on how one could create an e-mail autoresponder series and an e-book based on the book they have read.
In total, reading one book resulted in three different pieces of content (autoresponder series, an e-book and a report).
3. Write guest posts based on the lessons and get some traffic
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There is yet another nice way to take advantage of books and that’s when you turn what you have learned into guest posts.
This in turn gives you traffic back to your site and some of that traffic converts into e-mail subscribers (considering that you link your guest posts to your landing page).
I used this technique when I wrote a guest post for My Supercharged Life. After reading Charles Duhigg’s excellent “The Power of Habit”, I took two key concepts out of the book, the habit loop and keystone habits, and created a guest post around those ideas.
There is also another benefit when using this method. Writing about what you have read is an effective way to internalizing a new concept. Based on my own experience, the information sticks better than just reading about it.
4. Record the lessons and use them as short video tips
By using the idea extraction method I told you about in the first point, you’ll get a ton of ideas for your future content.
In some cases, certain ideas are more suitable for guest posts while others work better as videos.
For instance, when I read Alan Lakein’s “How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life”, my idea file was full of new lines based on the book’s lessons.
While some of these ideas can be turned into blog posts, some of the concepts work better as short, 1-3 minute videos.
Once you have created these videos, you can then upload them to YouTube or give them away as exclusive content for your e-mail subscribers.
5. Connect with the authors
Sometimes when a book is a very good one, I like to learn more about the author(s). I do this by conducting an interview with the person.
For instance, when I read Lucy Jo Palladino’s “Find Your Focus Zone”, I sent a request to her for an interview. She accepted the request and we did an interview through e-mail.
You can do the same by conducting e-mail interviews or audio ones (as podcasts). And hey, there is no one stopping you writing a book review and then providing the interview as a bonus if a reader buys the book through your affiliate link.
Want 197 pages of advice for busy bloggers (and other online entrepreneurs) – for free?
Remember the e-book I talked about in the point #2 (based on Eat That Frog)? Well, it turns out that this book is indeed available for download, but I have something even more exciting that I want to tell you.
You see, I just launched a book titled: “Online Business Productivity” and it’s a free download! Yes, you heard me, free!
All I ask you to do is enter your name and e-mail address and I’ll give you instant access to my book (and yes, you get that e-book I was talking about as a bonus on top of three other titles).
However, if you want to improve your reading experience, there is no one stopping you from buying the book – either as an Amazon Kindle version or as a physical book. It sure makes the reading experience much nicer when you can take the book onto a couch or into bed with you.