10 Ways Bloggers Leave Money On The Table When They Don’t Self-Publish
Are you a blogger looking to generate extra income?
If so, then pay close attention here…
Bloggers who haven’t attempted to self-publish books related to their blog niche are leaving money on the table.
Not just a few hundred dollars — but potentially thousands of dollars a month.
Fortunately, writing a book is not that hard. It’s as doable as any of the other monetizing efforts you’ve probably pursued. Like creating courses, promoting affiliate products, offering consulting, or selling merchandise.
In fact, if you’ve blogged for a while, then you know it’s important to diversify your income streams. In other words, you can’t rely on one or two strategies and hope to hit the jackpot.
That’s why the bloggers who are really killing it financially have their fingers in a lot of different pies. Look at Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income who has multiple niche sites, several books, Adsense accounts, courses, affiliate products, podcast sponsorships, and products that bring him well over $150K a month. Yep, a month.
Or check out Lindsay from the food and recipe blog, Pinch of Yum, who made over $77K in January 2016 alone. You can see all of her income reports here and the wide variety of streams of income she has.
Both are great examples of bloggers who understand the importance of diversifying their income.
And one of the simplest ways to generate extra income is to turn your blog content into a self-published book.
How Much Can Bloggers Make Self-Publishing Books?
Now I’m not suggesting if you start writing books you’ll bring in an extra $70 to $150K a month. Of course you have to market your books and have a sizable list of your own blog subscribers and readers to build devoted readers who want to buy your books.
But by self-publishing books, you will create a viable (mostly) passive income stream that you can continue to build on over time. The more books you add to your catalog, the more monthly income you’ll bring in. I say “mostly” passive because you do have to continue to promote your books after you publish them — but once they are written, the hard work is done.
Over the last few years, I’ve written (and co-written) 10 self-improvement books that I’ve published on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. I now make an income of about $6400 a month with these books alone — in addition to all of my other income streams such as courses, coaching, affiliate marketing, and Adsense.
My business partner, Steve Scott, focused primarily on writing books over the last four years and has written over 75 books. These books are his primary source of income, and he makes about $21,000 a month (yes, a month) on books sales alone.
Now Steve makes more than the average self-published author. My income is more typical for a busy blogger who is looking for an additional income stream with books. But as you can see, the more books you write, the bigger your income potential.
Hopefully this financial overview has inspired you to consider becoming a self-published author.
But let’s address the reasons so many bloggers are leaving money on the table by neglecting to write books.
1. They think they don’t have time.
Believe me, I totally get how busy the life of a blogger is. There is always something to do and so many demands on your time. Just writing, publishing, and promoting several blog posts a week can take hours to complete.
But you CAN carve out time to work on a book, even if it’s just a few hundred words a day. I’ve been able to do it with 10 books without impacting my core business priorities.
Think about how much time you spend on social media, goofing around on the net, or chasing sticks that don’t lead to any real income. Rather than doing these things, focus your energy on working toward a goal that truly has income potential.
Here’s what I suggest you try to carve out some time. While you work on a book, find someone to write one guest post for you every week so you don’t have to write it. Arrange for 3-4 guest posters in advance.
Then use that time to work on your book. If you write the equivalent of one 2000 word post a week for your book (or 300 words a day), then you can have a 30,000 word non-fiction book completed in 15 weeks. At that rate, you could write 3-4 books a year. If you’re a fast writer or have more time, you could easily write and publish 5-6 books a year.
2. They don’t believe they can write a book.
If you’re a blogger, you’ll likely be writing non-fiction books related to your blog niche or topic. Since you already have a built-in audience with your blog readers, you want to write books that your blog readers would want to read.
My blog, Live Bold and Bloom, is a personal growth blog covering various topics related to self-improvement, confidence, life passion, creating habits, mindfulness, and simplifying. All of my books cover one of these topics.
You already write thousands of words a week if you’re posting regularly on your blog. So you know how to write, and you know how to organize material. You understand how to provide valuable, useful content for your blog readers. That’s what you need to do in a book as well.
So think of your book as an extended blog post or series of posts where you dive even deeper into a particular sub-niche of your blog topic. As long as you know what your reader needs and how to help them with their problems and challenges, you can write a book they will love because they know and trust you.
In fact, you have plenty of great content on your blog that you can repurpose to use in books (which will help save you time). So take advantage of all that powerful content and expand on it to give your readers even more in a convenient format for them.
Even if you aren’t great with grammar or spelling, you can get an editor (which I highly recommend for any serious book writer) to help you clean up your manuscript and polish it for publication.
3. They don’t see self-publishing as a viable.
Before I became a self-published author, I had some doubts myself about it. Were self-published authors “real” authors? Were the books any good? Were these writers just rejects who couldn’t make it with a legitimate publisher?
I’m embarrassed I thought that way, because there are thousands of amazing self-published authors who are producing quality, professional books and making great money.
(Image courtesy of AuthorEarnings.com)
Of course there are some lousy self-published writers out there who just throw out junk to make some quick cash. But Amazon has caught on and has implemented strategies to help sort out the bad seeds.
The book industry has seen a seismic shift in the last ten years, and self-publishing has skyrocketed as a result. Solid writers who have something valuable to share or teach can now easily write, publish, and market a book without the obstacles of traditional publishing.
4. They think it will cost too much.
There are costs involved in self-publishing, but if you are careful with your expenses, you will quickly recoup those expenses. You’ll need to pay an editor, formatter, and book cover designer as the basic expenses of publishing a Kindle and print book.
You’ll pay around $300-$600 for an editor; $200-$500 for a cover design; and $200-$400 for formatting your book. Some editors will do both formatting and editing. You can find great talent for editing and cover design on sites like Upwork or Archangel Ink at reasonable prices.
If you use a print on demand service like Createspace, you don’t pay any money out-of-pocket for printing. They take a percentage of every sale.
A typical self-published Kindle book retails at $2.99 and a print version runs about $7.99 on average. When you sell 400 copies of your Kindle book or 150 print copies (or some combination of both), you’ll break even.
You’ll also make up your expenses in other ways with your books, which I describe in detail in some of the points below.
You can find out more detail about costs in our podcast on the topic by clicking below.
5. They don’t think about how it will increase blog traffic.
Having several published books can increase your blog traffic in several ways.
First, you can create a special page on your blog where you describe your books and link to them on Amazon (and other booksellers). You can design this page to really highlight your books and write compelling sales copy.
Then when you promote your books on social media, guest posts, or with advertising, you can direct people to the page on your blog.
Also, you’ll be able to link to your blog in the bio of your Kindle book, in the introduction, and within the content of your book (to relevant blog posts), as well as include a link on your Amazon or other bookseller’s author page.
You can include your blog’s URL on the back cover of your print book and in the introduction, bio, and other appropriate places within the book (without seeming too spammy).
As a published author, more people will be interested in your free blog content and other products if they enjoy your books.
6. They don’t see how to can increase subscribers.
Steve and I encourage authors to create a special lead magnet for each book they write that relates to the topic of the book. For example, for our book The 10-Minute Declutter, we each have a lead magnet related to good habits and home organizing.
We offer the free lead magnets in the first few pages of the book, and readers click to our blogs and enter their email address in order to get the free product.
When someone previews a book on Amazon, they get access to the first few pages for free. We put the lead magnet offer in these first few pages so anyone, whether or not they buy our book, can sign up for the free product.
That way we’ve captured email address so we can build new connections and potential buyers for our books and other products.
7. They don’t understand how it can lead to bigger product sales.
A book can be an entry point for selling a bigger, more costly product.
For example, blogger Ryan Levesque has a book called Ask, which helps online entrepreneurs figure out what their customers want.
The book alone offers tons of valuable insights and skills, but it is really a teaser for his online course called “The Survey Funnel Formula” which sells for several hundred dollars. He’s made several million dollars using his book to drive customers to his course.
You can use your book as a “tripwire,”a low cost product that gets a customer into your sales funnel, so you can later offer them a more expensive product. Once you know someone is willing to purchase from you, they are more likely to buy from you again.
Your book also could be a bonus product that encourages sales of a more expensive product, as part of a course launch, webinar, or any sales event. Or you could expand the contents of a previously published book into a course, using the book as the guide for creating the course material.
8. They don’t realize how it will boost their credibility.
Nothing shouts you’re an expert more than having the word “author” next to your name.
Even if your expertise is honed through the research and writing of your book, your readers, peers, clients, and business associates will view you differently. They will see you as an expert and a go-to person in your field.
As a published author, you’ll get asked to guest post more, be on podcasts, and to do more interviews.
Being a published author means you’ve undertaken a big project, committed it to paper (or computer), and had the courage to present your work to the world. It is an enviable undertaking and one that vast majority of people haven’t tackled.
9. They don’t understand how it can expand social media opportunities.
Your books can be useful tools for making more social media connections and building engagement with your fans.
Steve and I both have used Facebook to invite our fans to vote on book cover designs and book titles. This gets your fans more engaged in the process and excited about the upcoming release of your book.
I’ve also used quotes from my books for Facebook and Pinterest quote posts, which get shared and liked by thousands of people. I include a link to my book page on my blog.
You can even create a fan page for your books, inviting people to share comments, suggest content, and discuss ideas from your books. You can run contests for free copies of your books and invite your fans to download a free chapter.
Another idea is to film yourself reading a section of your book, which you can post on Facebook or YouTube with a link to the book sales page.
10. They haven’t thought about how it leads to speaking and consulting gigs.
Business associations, clubs and organizations, colleges, networking groups, and corporations are looking for experts who can share valuable information. If you enjoy public speaking, being a published author gives you a leg up on the competition.
Even if you don’t get paid for the speech, you can sell your print books to attendees before and after your speech.
You can also sign up with speaker directories which are matchmaking services that list speakers for a fee. Meeting planners sometimes go to these directories to find a a speaker on a certain topic.
Here are two to check out:
In addition, being a published author will make you more in demand for coaching or consulting services. You can promote or mention your services within you books, or simply mention that you’re a published author wherever you mention your services.
Potential clients are more likely to hire an expert who has published a book than someone who doesn’t have this impressive credential.
In addition to all of these compelling reasons a blogger should self-publish books, there’s one more reason — it’s really a lot of fun. The entire process of writing the book, working on the cover design, publishing it, and promoting it is creative and challenging in the best way.
There’s no doubt about it, writing and publishing a book affords a huge boost in your self-esteem and confidence. You’ll be amazed at your ability to undertake and complete what appears to be a big and daunting project. Once your book is out there in the world, you’ll get another confidence boost as people give you great feedback.
If your book is related to your blog business, you’ll get even more positive feedback once the content of your book impacts your sales. And there’s nothing like the feeling of getting ongoing royalty payments as you continue to sell books.
Even if your first book is an experiment and doesn’t produce much income or many referrals, you’ll have learned so much about the process and how to make your next book even better.