How Blogs are Different Than Nonfiction Books

Blogs are different than nonfiction books. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone throws together a series of blog posts  and calls it a manuscript.

I know that not everyone will agree with me on this, but that’s not a book.

It’s a collection of blog posts. And, IMHO, simply throwing them together into a book format doesn’t make it a book. Even if you’ve written masterfully, blog posts still won’t fly. Something vital is missing. Actually, two things.

A Clear, Salable Concept

A book needs a clear, salable concept–a unique point-of-view presented in a cohesive way that provides a specific value to your reader.

Even if your blogs are on a single topic, it’s unlikely that they’ll gracefully flow together like a well-thought book. For instance, 20 blog posts on leadership pales next to a deep dive on what it takes to be a leader.

A Snapshot in Time

A book is meant to capture a snapshot in time.  It should represent your most current thinking at the time you write it. But to get enough content for a book from your blog, you’d have to go back potentially years, and pull outdated concepts and ideas that even you might not agree with anymore!

Humans grow and evolve – it’s natural (and good!). If the content you produced five years ago is the exact same as what you produce now, it might be time to check your beliefs and see what needs updating. Your book should reflect what you believe NOW, and years down the road, when your beliefs change or evolve, you can write another book!

How to Use Blogs in Your Book

All that said, don’t worry. I’m not an anti-blog-use freak. You can still use your blog posts in your book-writing process.

Blogging can be a great way to test your ideas. And your posts can make great source material. As you write your book fresh, feel free to revisit your blogs and pull concepts that you want included in your book. You might even find that you can pull quotes or entire paragraphs. That’s great! Just make sure you’re presenting it in a cohesive and fresh way. Just be sure to reword as needed until they flow through your manuscript seamlessly.

The Bottom Line is This:

Dumping old blog posts into a book format doesn’t make for a good book. A book needs a cohesive through-line that provides value to your reader based on your most up-to-date beliefs.