make money blogging

Should I Write A Book Or Start A Blog?

by Bob on May 17, 2011

We recently got this question from a reader:

“Many people in my life have told me that I should write a book. It seems to be a theme! At first, I thought they were simply being kind but for some reason or another, people actually WANT to hear what I have to say and God has used the things I have written or said to encourage many believers and nonbelievers. If there are people out there who would subscribe and read… I could write for hours on end without coming up for air. All that being said, why start a blog as opposed to writing a book?

My thoughts

I will start by saying that I only have experience starting blogs and have yet to write a “real” book, but over my years of blogging I have watched a lot of people start blogs on topics they love and I have also watched a lot of people write books on topics they love.

I have seen a lot of self-publishing authors try to sell their books from their website and/or off of Amazon and watched many of them sell very few books and find themselves frustrated at the process. On the other hand I have watched some great writers start blogs, build a devoted following, and then get a publishing deal to write a book.  If that weren’t good enough, many times they already have most of the book written within the blog posts on their blog.

Having seen what I have seen over the years, I would say unless you have a book deal lined up, starting a blog and spending time and energy to build a following is a much better idea. For me, now that my main blog has 9,000 subscribers, it would be pretty easy to launch a book – even if it were self-published. In addition to that the blog was able to provide a decent income after just two years. I am pretty confident that if I would have just written a book I wouldn’t have done nearly as well.

Like I always say, there are tons of ways to make money online, and if you want it bad enough you can find a way to make it work.

What do you think – start a blog, write a book, or both?

  • http://www.FaithAndFinance.org Tim @ Faith and Finance

    I think that it depends on how far your reach is. If you have a huge network (you’re a pastor or something) and your city knows you…you might have success right out of the gate. If you don’t have a massive network, a blog is a great platform to build one.

    Like you said Bob, you’ll probably gather a lot of info from articles you’ve already written, so it’s two birds for the price of one :)

    I’d say blog before book.

  • http://jasonfountain.blogspot.com Jason Fountain

    For me, it is definitely blogging. I just started my blog 3 weeks ago and it has already been a great blessing for me. Writing the blog has made me think through my feelings and work on my writing.

    I have a long way to go and it will take me a while to find my voice, but I’m convinced that blogging is a great starting point for writing.

  • http://www.classycareergirl.com Anna

    I am really enjoying your blog and am looking forward to reading more. I started a blog a year ago and am so happy that I did. I am looking forward to writing a book someday. I am sure I can learn a lot from your blog!

    • Jonathan

      Hi Anna,

      Love your blog. I spent 8 years as a Search Consultant before giving blogging a go. Thanks for joining us on our adventure.

  • http://www.theholeinmyhandbag.blogspot.com Lydia Lyn

    In my case, I have always doubted whether I had the sticktoitiveness to write a book. Although I have always wanted to write a book, writing articles and short stories came much easier. Then I encountered blogging. Blogging has helped me to see that: Yes, I can write consistently. Yes, I am willing to put in the time. It has given me the confidence I needed to pursue writing a book. And, just like blogging flows better when you are blogging your passion, writing is simply easier when you are writing your passion.

    • Jonathan

      Great points, Lydia. I feel the same way. It is much easier inch by inch. Keep it up!

  • S Scott Johnson

    I agree with the building-a-following-approach and blogging does help you improve your writing skills plus discover who that target audience is or potentially could be. The good news is that technology allows anyone to self-publish these days, but the down side is that thousands, if not millions, are doing it, so you have to distinguish yourself from the massive crowd. A blog is a great way to do that.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BMLPGREBVGNQJ5ULZ7P3K2HQ24 Sofia

    i got your point in here..

    and i dont have anything wrong against choosing blog over books..

    all of us have our own preferences but for me i prefer to write books..

    it is more easier for me to write a book as long as you have a strong idea, a concrete one.

    so when you started writing you already have a strong foundation to what are you going to give to your readers..

    how to write a book