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How to Build a Platform for Your Ideas

How to Build a Platform for Your Ideas

A blog serves two primary purposes.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a side project, or an essential piece to your business.

It allows you to gain the attention of potential prospects. And it enables you to build trust with these people over time. Both are steps to directly or indirectly leads to increasing your income.

The pinnacle for any blogger is landing a major book deal. It takes this attention and trust to the next level. And it’s a recognition that you made it. A book backed by a major publisher and in retail stores serves as credibility for your brand or business.

How to Go from Blog to Book Deal

The minds behind BlogcastFM (and 500 Business Books) have released their new ebook, Blog to Book Deal: How They Did It.

This book is a collection of interviews with some of the most popular bloggers who’ve gone on to also become published authors (including New York Times best sellers).

Chris Guillebeau (The Art of Non-Conformity) - on why it’s essential to focus on a few, simple things that make a difference:

The reason why I only pay attention to that number of daily growth of new subscribers is that my message is largely about community. I don't write any posts that are insanely popular with millions of listeners. My goal is basically to grown my e-mail subscriber list of new subscribers by 50-100 people every day. If I do that over the long term then that is going to be quite
As for what I do, I'm always working. I'm always planning things and doing things. I devise my time roughly 50% between creating and connecting. So creating is basically everything to do with making content and writing, writing posts or guest pieces, newspaper columns, books, products, whatever -- making things.
The other half is connecting, which I guess traditionally would be called “networking.” I just think of it as all forms of communication. I talk to people. I answer all my e-mail. In the first year, I would respond to every person who joined the newsletter list and say, "Hey, thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed it." I did that 10,000 times. It's not like I think all 10,000 actions were meaningful, but I do think that over time it has an effect. People are writing back, and you're just building relationships.

So that was a lot of it. Then just getting to know people, as well -- participating in different projects, seeing if I could help other bloggers or other writers. I did pitch some things from time to time.
Not always, but once in a while if I had a relationship with someone I would pitch a guest piece or pitch a freelance article. I tried to do five actions every day that would get me closer to my goal. What were those five actions? Okay, make a list. Then I'll work on those things. Then the next day I start another five actions and I word from that approach.

Ramit Sethi (I Will Teach You to Be Rich) - on how to get covered by MSN and the Wall Street Journal by understanding what people want:

First of all, it's important to understand what people want. Let me just take personal finance as a case study. A lot of people say, "We need to improve financial literacy in this country." Do you think anyone really wakes up in the morning and says, "Yeah! I got to get financially literate today." No one ever says that. They say, "I want to be rich," or, "I want to not worry about my debt".
So those distinctions are critical. If you launched a 30 day series on financial literacy, you would get virtually no traffic because nobody cares. You have to understand what it is that they deeply want. What are their hopes, fears, and dreams. That's an extremely difficult skill to learn. The best way to learn it is to blog. You'll see what people respond to and what they don't.
In terms of what, in my experience, gets people to respond, I think series are very very nice and good if you can focus on the outcome. So “Save $1,000 in 30 days” -- at the end of it, what are you going to have? $1,000, right? It's not “30 Ways to Optimize Your Savings.” That's okay -- you'd probably get some readership -- but that doesn't have the punch. It's really important to know what's the outcome.

Julien Smith (In Over Your Head) - on the importance of experimenting on platforms in the early days:

Of course that's what happened early on with Twitter. Chris and I are actually -- Chris Brogan is who I'm talking about -- if you look at the user numbers, we're literally the user number right after each other. So I'm like 1203. He's 1202 or something. It's really one of those things where right at the beginning of that space you had to have the ability to really use the medium and sort of craft it in whichever way was needed by the people at the time. Even the idea of having an @ reply that you could sort of add a user did not exist back then. The larger point of this is that it is so much easier.
At the beginning of blogs, people had massive growth just because they were there and nobody else was. So really, if you're there at the beginning of some kind of technology, stick with that and try to see if you can help grow them and, at the same time, take advantage of that growth.

Lori Deschene (Tiny Buddha) - on the writing process behind the Tiny Buddha book:

Well, the one thing is that a lot of times when bloggers go from blog to book sales, the book is actually a collection of their blogs. I had already done that with my e-book on the site. I knew I wanted this book to be original content. While the writing was similar to what I do on the blog, it was sectioned in such a way that it was sort of like writing blog posts that all connect. I had a structure in place from the beginning.
My book is about the hardest questions in life and I had asked nine of them to my Twitter followers. I knew that each section was going to revolve around one of these followers. But when I started, all I really knew was that I had collected a thousand tweets from my readers in response to these questions. Beyond that, there was not yet any plan for the structure.
One thing that helped me in that regard was as I read these different responses in the tweets, it naturally created a structure because the answers rebuffed themselves into several different segments of ideas. Several people would answer in one similar way. Then several people would answer in a different similar way. So I guess I sort of found the structure as I went by looking at the content and the responses I received.
What I ended up doing, which is a little unique, I think, is that each section in the book, each question, actually corresponds to a story in my life. So starting in this first section on pain, moving up to the last section on control, it kind of each has a story that fits chronologically in my own experiences. I was pretty excited to not only be able to cover all these questions and incorporate all the responses from the people and explore all the different challenging answers to these questions, but also weave a chronological story of my life into it. It took some time to figure out. I was moving pieces around and just going through trial and error to figure out how the stories organically made sense to create a book that's not just disjointed parts, but actually cohesive, building from one idea to the next.

There is a very ambitious goal of selling 1000 copies and your help will make a big difference in helping us get there.  Here's how you can help...

How to Help With the Promotion of This Book

1. Leave a Review or Give it 5 Stars on Amazon: Click here for the Amazon page.

2. Share Via Twitter/FB/G+: In order to make sharing this book via twitter easy as possible, we have actually pre-written tweets that you can use and all you have to do is click on the links below and the link to the book will be automatically tweeted. I know that process for Facebook/G+ isn't as quick so I completely understand if it's too time consuming.

Blog to Book Deal: How they Did It by @blogcastFM is now available on Kindle (Click to Tweet)

Check out the new Kindle Book Blog to Book Deal: How They Did It by @blogcastFM (Click to Tweet)
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