There’s nothing quite like being able to say “I’m an author!”
As amazing as that feeling is, there are plenty of other great reasons for you to write a book. While blogging itself can be lucrative, ebooks are tools that can be leveraged to help grow your audience and make more money from your blog.
And today, it’s easier than ever to self-publish and get your words in front of the right audience. As a blogger, you already have what it takes to be an author, too.
Never thought about publishing before? Here are a few good reasons to consider it.
1. Generate Passive Income
Of course, writing a book isn't exactly passive. But in reality, most kinds of “passive” income require an upfront investment.
Then, once the wheels are in motion, they continue to pay off in the long term. Writing and self-publishing a book does take some time and effort.
You need to put work into writing, editing, formatting, designing a cover, publishing it, and promoting it, or invest money into hiring experts to help.
After your book is published, you can continue in your promotion efforts: the more time and effort you put into marketing your book, the more money you’ll earn from it.
But even if you don’t spend a lot of time promoting your book, it will still be out there for readers to purchase, and your blog itself can act as an advertisement for your book. I self-published the book Amazing Women In History a few years ago, and don’t do anything to promote it besides link to the book from my blog.
Yet I still earn a small income every month from book sales. If I wrote more books, or did more to promote this one, I could earn more. But even with very little ongoing effort, you can continue to earn passively once your book is published.
2. Establish Yourself as an Expert
The publishing industry is in upheaval thanks to the self-publishing boom. That’s great news for bloggers who want to write a book! Even just 5 or 10 years ago, self-publishing was still looked upon as “vanity” publishing; the last resort of a talentless writer sick of rejection letters.
For a long time, authors couldn’t be taken seriously if they didn’t have the backing of a big publishing company.
But thanks to some highly publicized success stories, the public is now more aware of the possibilities of self-publishing:
Amanda Hocking famously earned millions of dollars from her paranormal romance novels before being approached by the publisher St. Martin's Press.
John Locke was the first self-published author to sell over 1 million e-books on Amazon.
And now, even established professional authors have begun to experiment with a mix of traditional and self-publishing, such as famous New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, who blogs about the industry at KrisWrites.com.
Today, self-publishing is respected, even admired and applauded. By authoring and self-publishing a book on your niche topic, you can position yourself to be recognized as an expert on that topic.
When you’re a top author in your niche, that’s a huge differentiator so you can stand out from other bloggers. This is not only a nice ego-boost, but it’ll also help you to grow your blog’s audience and power your other monetization efforts, such as if you sell products or services from your blog. Being seen as the expert in your niche can enable you to set higher prices for those product and services, and be more in demand.
There’s a reason for the idiom “wrote the book on it” – it means you’re the go-to expert on the topic:
Positioning yourself as an expert can also lead to other opportunities such as speaking engagements, interviews, media appearances and more.
3. Publicize Your Blog
More and more people today are buying and reading e-books.
According to Pew Research, over half of all Americans own a dedicated device for reading e-content. Nearly a third of all people surveyed said they read ebooks – and that percentage is rising every year.
And according to Author Earnings, ebook sales on Amazon are generating almost $2 million per day in author earnings, with self-published authors now accounting for about 45% of the market share. Publishing an ebook allows you to reach this huge and growing audience – an audience full of readers who may never have stumbled across your blog otherwise.
Ebooks are great marketing tools, especially because they don’t really look like marketing tools. Your readers find value in the information you provide; that’s why they pay for your book. It’s a non-intrusive yet effective way to reach your target audience.
Some readers may look you up out of curiosity after enjoying your book, but you can also use your book as a promotional tool by linking to relevant blog posts within your book, and by including a call to action at the end. As a passive marketing tool, your book will continue to attract new readers to your blog as long as it’s available to purchase, long after publication.
But building a substantial email list can be a challenge! An ebook can be used as a powerful tool to grow your email newsletter, in two different ways:
Convert Book Readers to Email Subscribers
It’s easy enough to include a call to action at the end of your book inviting readers to subscribe to receive similar content for free. It’s a good idea to link to a unique, targeted landing page on your website created just for your ebook readers. By using a special tool like OptinMonster, you can create landing pages and track conversion rates. Using goals in Google Analytics is another option for tracking your e-book conversions.
Use Your Book as a Freebie Lead Magnet
You can also give away your book as a freebie on your website for blog readers who sign up for your email newsletter. Giving away your book on your website doesn't mean you can't also sell it! In fact, it can increase the perceived value of your lead magnet if you're able to tell subscribers it normally sells for a specific price.
5. Become an Author
Let’s face it, this is one of the big reasons to write a book: So you can tell your friends, family, and everyone on the street that you’re a published author. That’s something to be proud of! Writing a book is something you’ll never regret.
Excited About Self-Publishing a Book?
Great! I’d love to help you along the way. This is the introduction post for my next series on self-publishing. Going forward, we’ll talk about choosing your topic, how to write your book, editing and formatting, and publishing and promotion. If you’d like to see your name in (virtual) print, be sure follow along!
About KeriLynn Engel
KeriLynn Engel is a copywriter & content marketing strategist. She loves working with B2B & B2C businesses to plan and create high-quality content that attracts and converts their target audience. When not writing, you can find her reading speculative fiction, watching Star Trek, or playing Telemann flute fantasias at a local open mic.