Writing a Book and Blog

How Writing a Book is Similar to Writing a Blog

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

As I focus on all kinds of writing, there are a few things that jump out at me when it comes to a book and a blog. And recently, I found myself considering just how similar they are in terms of development.

This is especially true if you’re planning to turn blog posts into a book sometime down the line, which I’ll go over in a moment.

Nonetheless, a lot of the same principles go into crafting either one. So, does this mean that blogging can help you write and structure a book, or vice-versa? Let’s go over a few of the points I’m talking about.

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Similarities of Writing a Blog and a Book

If you think about it, a blog is just a kind of eBook that uses a domain name as its title and a browser to read the text. And in reality, the number of words that go into a blog post is similar to that of chapters for a book, depending on the niche.

So, how far do the similarities go between a website and a novel?

Focusing On Your Niche

The most successful blogs on Google are those that center around a specific niche. This is when your content is focused on a specific topic or industry.

For example, WriterSanctuary centers around freelance writing, blogging, and self-publishing. You’ll never see a chicken casserole recipe on this website.

Writing a book is similar as authors who “stay in their lane” are often more successful. Think about it this way, when was the last time you read a romance novel written by Stephen King?

That would be an interesting book, but I highly doubt he’ll publish one.

This doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to stick to a genre. However, when you start building an audience regarding a specific genre, that’s what they’ll expect. Writing something outside of that scope may hurt your reputation among those avid readers.

The Prominence of Storytelling in Blog Posts

Storytelling is a prominent method for blogging. It begins with an opening story about you and your experiences regarding the topic. In fact, Google’s Helpful Update lends credence to this by wanting content from “people writing for people.”

When I began my career as a freelance writer, even the editors of Textbroker called me out for being “too clinical.” This is when you write too rigidly without much of a personality.

I used to add all kinds of advanced terminology and excessive language. In other words, I read like an IKEA manual on valium.

Storytelling grips the reader and keeps them consuming content, whether you’re writing a blog post or a book. It all comes down to the reader’s experience and giving them a reason to keep reading.

Writing Book Chapter and Blog Post Lengths

One fact that I found incredibly coincidental is the average length for both blog posts and chapters. According to Hubspot’s data, the ideal length of a blog post to get the most traffic is at least 2500 words.

Of course, this is all based on averages and across various subjects. I’ve seen articles in the number one spot with around 300 words. It all depends on the topic and search intent.

Still, it’s a good average to aim for if you’re trying to gain traction within a Google search.

In terms of a book, the best length for a chapter is between 1500 to 5000 words. Again, this is based on an average spanning quite a few genres.

Nonetheless, the fact remains that there is an overlap between the perfect blog post and book chapter length. If you can write a decently sized blog post while covering the topic thoroughly and engaging readers, congratulations, you just wrote a chapter of a book.

Avoiding Filler and Fluff

Filler and fluff are bad for any kind of writing. This is when you add irrelevant text to a piece of content for the sake of meeting a word count to make the work longer and appear more robust.

Some types of filler include:

  • Excessive use of language or long sentences that can easily be condensed.
  • Duplicating a previous point by rewording it differently to appear unique.
  • Adding information that is irrelevant to the topic.
  • Adding too much detail when the subject is implied already by the reader.

These are perhaps the biggest culprits of filler and fluff that I’ve come across working with various writers. The first two are very common from freelancers using platforms such as Textbroker and UpWork.

In any case, filler and fluff create a disconnected and boring read. If it happens too often, you can easily lose the interest of the reader.

Perhaps you’ve read a book that you think is overly long-winded and drawn out. Usually, this is because the author added too much mundane detail and created that disconnect from the actual plot.

Knowing Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience is vital whether you’re writing a book or setting up the perfect blog post. Success hinges on being able to deliver what those people are expecting from investing their time to read your work.

When you have a blog, you’re targeting a specific group of people who are interested in your niche. Again, let’s take WriterSanctuary for example. No one looking for gaming content is going to visit this website.

Well, unless I write a post about how to write a game review or some other writing-related content regarding games in general.

A target audience is often the driving force behind an author’s success. Stephen King’s audience is more geared toward people who love horror. No one who picks up a Stephen King novel is expecting a romantic sci-fi.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t experiment with other genres when writing books. But as I’ve mentioned before with your niche, sticking with a specific genre builds a dedicated fan base.

Turning Blog Posts Into Books

The correlation between writing a blog post and publishing a book has been around for a while. In fact, a lot of developers have created WordPress plugins to convert certain posts into an eBook format.

Then, all you need to do is slap a cover on it and upload the file to platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing.

It’s probably one of the quickest and easiest ways to get a book published. That is as long as you have content on your blog that centers around a specific topic.

For example, I could easily assemble a book out of the blog posts I’ve written about Textbroker.

The downside of using blog posts instead of writing a book from scratch is the type of content itself. As most blogs are focused on a non-fiction element, that is what you’ll be creating.

Some people will use their blogs to share creative works. In fact, I’ve got quite a few short stories on this website. But I don’t have enough of them to warrant making an eBook.

Still, it is quite possible to turn your blog’s content into an eBook and have something published on Amazon or Barnes & Noble before the end of the day.

Though, this really depends on the content itself. If you have an author blog, a lot of the content will probably center around things for your specific readers, such as insights and publishing updates.

Then again, you could probably turn some of those posts into an autobiography of sorts.

What Type of Writing Interests You More?

I find it funny to think about how many blog posts I’ve written throughout the year that could have been chapters of a book. I could have had a massive library by now!

However, creating content is more than just telling a tale for me. I enjoy blogging about various topics and helping people with specific problems. So, even if I was a New York Times Best Selling Author, I’d still blog.

I guess the point of all this is to show that writing a blog and a book are quite similar. Perhaps the biggest difference is how you market the content. Though, marketing is vital to get your work out to as many people as possible regardless of what kind of writing you enjoy.

But the next time you write a blog post, consider that it could be a chapter of a book.

Michael Brockbank
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