The Secret To Turning Your Blog Into A Book

Margaret —  November 3, 2012 — 97 Comments


Jeff Goins is a blogger and a writer who has done something extraordinary by leveraging his blog into an opportunity to publish Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams Into Your Comfortable Life (Moody Publishers).

What three pieces of advice do you have for other bloggers who want to follow in your footsteps?

1. Don't follow someone else. Blaze your own trail. One of the biggest detriments to the creative life is the comparison trap. For years, I compared myself to people who were building larger, better, more awesome platforms than I was. And all it did was lead to bitterness and frustration.

2. Don't overlook conventional wisdom. Yes, make your own path, but don't ignore the norms you see most authors following. One thing for me that was more of a discipline than a delight was getting out of my comfort zone to meet new people, network with other writers, and go to events (I'm a little shy).

3. WRITE. I know this should be a given, but it's not. All the time, I meet writers who are spending hours each week talking about writing, asking advice about writing, and even reading about writing. And they wonder why they don't have a book contract... Nothing beats actually practicing your craft.

What are two things that you wish someone would have told you about building a tribe through a blog when you first started out?

"It's not about you," and "Don't be afraid to fail."

What advice do you have for the person who wants to write or blog and is still struggling to find their audience?

Stop stalling. Just start writing. You'll figure it out as you go.

We don't follow authors just because of their topic or genre. Sure, that may be how we discover Anne Rice or John Grisham or whomever, but the reason we stick with those writers and keep reading their words is because of their voices. It takes time (and feedback) to find your voice.

So how do you find an audience for your writing? You just start. You cast the net wide and start narrowing it down as you go. Through the process, you discover more about yourself — what you like and don't like to write, for example. Chances are the audience you thought you wanted is the one you'll end up with. And that's a good thing. On a more practical level, start guest posting. If there's one overlooked secret to building a blog audience, it's this: Stop publishing so much on your own blog, and start going where people already are. Build a relationship with them (through your content) and create inroads back to your platform.


Check out Jeff's blog about the world of writing and publishing--you may just find the missing push to put your creative ideas into action. Follow his tweets here at @JeffGoins.

97 responses to The Secret To Turning Your Blog Into A Book

  1. Sounds interesting I want to read more!

  2. For me & my husband, it has taken a cancer diagnosis and extended time away from our three kids to rattle our cage. We’re back home but of course nothing will be “normal” again and we are learning that this is a good (hard) thing.

  3. I LOVE reading Jeff Goins’ stuff! He is so insightful. I just finished reading You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One). I couldn’t put it down. I felt as though he had written it with me in mind.

    What a great giveaway!!

  4. Well, my job has been totally wrecked, so let’s say that!

  5. I am not a writer, but for years had a desire to write. Not books, just short devotionals, etc. I have lots of journals. But no one has ever read any of them. It is my journey with the Lord. In 1992, I had a very serious illness and thought I was suppose to use it to reach out to others but nothing ever materialized. Just this summer I was asked to give my testimony for a women’s group and now will be giving it for again another group in December.

    I just discovered Blogging, I am not real computer literate and wonder if that is where the Lord is taking me. I am waiting for him to lead; while enjoying others writing.

    The book of Jeff’s looks like a wonderful book to help a person grow closer to the Lord and that is what I am pursuing.

  6. Almost 6 years ago I was what I call a floater. I went to church, Bible study and hung out with a lot of Christians, but I had no relationship with Christ. Then at the age of 25 and at over 400 lbs I had two surgeries to remove my gall bladder and two feet of my small intestine. I was given less than a 50% chance to live and yet, for the first time I had peace. I had nowhere to turn, but to God. It hasn’t been an easy road since, I still have my struggles, but I am learning to follow His plan and not my own. My plan was to be a college professor, His plan was for me to be a missionary in Germany. Guess who won? As of next March I will be starting my first four years as a technology missionary for Greater Europe Mission and I am all in, because He showed me I was almost all out.

    • Awesome, Jacob. This is EXACTLY what it means to be wrecked.

    • Jacob, wow! What a story! I haven’t heard of many technology missionaries–will you go to Germany and have a job in technology, then?

      • Thanks Margaret!
        I hadn’t heard of technology missionaries either! The main part of my ministry will be to convert regular seminary courses into online courses so pastors who can’t afford to relocate or for the school in general can get the training they need to better lead their congregations. Of course, I will be doing other things, I just don’t know what they are yet. I am currently raising support and praying to be able to leave by the end of March.

  7. It is amazing how you get to a point where you think nothing more could happen I have already been through it. When God taps you on the shoulder to point out you haven’t been through it all. And to help remind you he tests your faith. It is in that moment that I find myself wrecked but I know that God has a plan and in this winter season of my life. In this moment in my life I have found an amazing peace that the last time I was unable to grasp. And I pray that I can continue on that road and be able to fully trust in God’s amazing plan.

  8. God has me on a journey that involves words like ruined and wrecked. Always combined with glory and satisfaction…. Yikes! I would love to read and share this book.
    Thank you,

  9. My life has been #Wrecked a few times. Adultery by my first wife, depression, dibilitating unemployment, finances…I can go on, but you get the point! I know that God has me on the right path, leading me to His future goal!

  10. I identify just about everything in my life as having been wrecked. My marriage, my job, my business, my health, my friendships, my family, my church…. Sometimes I try and figure out what’s left just to give me hope as to when breakthrough might actually be near. The only thing that hasn’t been touched is my faith, and that was a near miss. In the end though, its all been wrecked and the sweet side is its all being renewed. Jesus never leaves us at wrecked.

  11. For our family, our “wrecked” moment was being laid off from church ministry vocation in Oregon, and having to move cross-country and away from friends and relationships, and the challenge of beginning new relationships and ministry. But God has been faithful. He’s been with us every step of the way, though we don’t aways realize it at the time.

  12. When my mum passed away suddenly. Totally wrecked.

  13. It took deep emotional pain for me to start journaling.–wrecked!

  14. I’m often “wrecked” before, during, and after short term mission trips. Probably a stirring to something greater God has for me in my life, but just last week we were praying in preparation for a trip next spring and “wrecked” happened. Love to live the wrecked life!

  15. The idea of being willing to be uncomfortable, and worse, in order to grow is something I’ve been thinking and praying about a lot. I’m looking forward to reading this book.

  16. Sounds like a book I’m very interested in reading. Last year was a year of going to the very bottom for me. Relationships being challenged and completely changed. The way I view lives around me has been changed. Even the way I teach and preach has changed. I had to face some hard times and in that, I saw tha hand of The Lord in my life! He loves me and because of His love for me, He allowed hard things to come up and was Faithful to walk me though them to the other side where there is so much freedom and joy!

  17. I’ve gone over to the Goins side. Enjoy reading his stuff, but have not been able to get “Wrecked”. Actually that’s not true. I’ve been wrecked a time or two. House destroyed out from under my family and me, 2 months at the WTC in NY (2001), company shut down in April, wife has MS … and that’s for starters. But you know what – I’m OK. I’d like to see how others have coped with Wreckage though.

  18. My life was wrecked 7 years ago when I resigned from a job in VA and my wife and i moved back to NC to be near family. I had a Masters degree and no job but God opened up an opportunity for me to work in my field (public health) and since then He has opened doors that have allowed me to move up and have a position as the youngest health director in NC in less than 4 years. 3 years after moving back to NC my mother died. I was 29 and my first child was born 3 weeks later. To say my life was “Wreck” would be an understatement but looking back I see that God wrecked me f a reason. In VA I dealt with depression and moved back which allowed me to live near Mom for 3 years and her death was followed by my daughter’s birth and I know that God allowed that to strenghten me for the opportunities and challenged that followed and are still to come.

  19. Would love to read the book. Getting wrecked has to take faith.

  20. Jonathan Conrad November 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Margaret, thanks for posting this interview. I like Jeff’s honesty about not following someone else. We all can make our own mark.
    One thing I’ve learned: “Just because I may do a project different from you does not mean I’m wrong.”
    Have a good day, folks.

  21. This has been on my wish list since I first learned of it. Winning a copy would be icing on the cake. Thanks for the chance!

  22. Called to write, yet stuck in limbo. This has been my battIe cry. I have given over one hundred Bible Study lectures to women, but now I feel utterly wordless. Nearly two years ago, I began a blog, dropping it after six weeks. After a significant life event and reading your Writers Manifesto, I was inspired enough to purchase my own domain and begin again. That was two months ago. I am wrecked because I am beginning to believe I am my own worst enemy.

  23. I’d Love to be “Wrecked”

  24. This is so where my life is now due to a medical condition I am dealing with. I would so love to wn a copy of this book and read it!
    Have a Blessed Day!

    • Pam, I’m so sorry you have to wrestle with a medical condition. They can be tough and certainly “wrecking”. Blessings to you too this day!

  25. I cling to Jesus in the middle of chaos.

  26. Sounds interesting

  27. Yvette Dalton McCoy November 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I just discovered Mr. Goins and it has been awesome getting to know his work and utilizing his advice. I just rediscovered my writing voice after 10+ years and learning of him came right on time!

  28. Would love a copy of this book. I like his other stuff. 🙂

  29. There’s a number of times in my life when it was well and truly wrecked, when my view of the world and the people around me changed.
    Standing up to my family after 14 years of sexual abuse by my father, to leave home and support myself through high school/uni and deal with PTSD. After 11 years of debilitating pain, being diagnosed with such severe endometriosis and adenomyosis that I can’t have children, with multiple additional chronic illnesses means I can’t healthily work full time. Going through the 2008 Akita earthquake (I was on holiday in the area), 2009 Melbourne bushfires (I lived in the fire zone), and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake (I lived and worked in Fukushima). Working with and teaching the tsunami and evac zone refugees. Moving to countries where I spoke nothing of the local languages and had few cultural anchors to hold on to.
    I’d love to read other’s stories, be inspired to make positive changes and move forwards, instead of dwelling on the past.

    • Kymberly, I am so sorry you’ve had to go through so much. May God fill you with peace and strength as you move out of this time of being “wrecked” as you discover what new things he has for you.

  30. There has been 2 things in my life that have changed it forever…very traumatic events and have changed my outlook and really made me less “self sufficient” and more “God dependent”…Only he can get us through this horrific things that happen.

    I’d love to read this book and see how other people deal with these kind of things in their lives.

  31. having just gone through a study on Ecclesiastes, I can see how all of us will dramatically get slammed into what this world can provide…frustrating and empty pursuits. What else can we expect as sin-cursed people living with other sin-cursed people in a sin-cursed world? Glad there is real hope.

  32. Kathleen Gordon November 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Each time in life I feel wrecked…I draw closer to God and lose a little more of my selfishness ..chipping away to be a better person !

  33. My family is going through a prolonged “wrecked” season. Over the past three years, we’ve been through a job layoff, foreclosure, both of my parents dying, my mother-in-law dying, and now another job layoff. It’s been overwhelming at times, but we are doing our best to stand firm in the truth that God is for us, and he has a good big picture plan for our family!

    • Marlene, you’ve gone through some “wrecked” seasons! I’m so glad your family is standing firm in truth–proud of you!

  34. Marlene,
    I clearly don’t know you from Adam. I do want to take a moment to whisper a “Just you hold on”.

    My heart hurts with you as I know how it is to seemingly have one “wreck” after another. What do you do when you have times of genuine belief in the verity of your question: Will the wrecking simply not end? I pray you and I will both remember what He has and hasn’t promised – and to desire no other path but His.

    Praying an enduring strength for you to pull up close to the Father when opposition is pushing.

    • Rachel, “I pray you and I will both remember what He has and hasn’t promised – and to desire no other path but His.” a powerful prayer!

  35. I read this the day the email notification hit my inbox. I really appreciate the encouragement from what you have posted! 8 years ago my comfortable life met this broken world face to face in a way that blind-sided me. Lots of stuff from broken dreams in ministry to broken marriage… God has been rebuilding, repairing, and restoring my life in ways that only He could dream of. I look forward to reading what has been written in “Wrecked.”

  36. Thanks for the reminder! My life is a bit wrecked but a friend’s has been SHIP wrecked, so to speak! I have been walking along side her and this helps encourage me to continue encouraging her! Thanks! 🙂

  37. I met Jeff several years ago as he was diving deeper into this experience of being Wrecked. Was blessed to journey along this path for a number of years – seeing the world through God’s eyes and reaching out to those in need – through short term missions – it is a privilege to serve God and experience His love for the world!

  38. First came across Jeff Goins through an article he wrote about traveling.
    Since then, I subscribed to his blog and I got really excited when I watched the book trailer of Wrecked. I am blessed by the fact that there are people who are brave enough to step out of their comfort zones (aka bondage zone).

    I think the only truest wrecking I’ve experienced in my life was when Jesus opened my eyes to Him. After having gone to church for most of my life, I was 16 when redemption finally became something that knocked the wind of out my lungs. Who knew love could wreck me like that — and in the best way possible!

    Always discovering now what it means to living this wrecked life, and fleshing it out and applying it through daily living.

  39. I was just reading someone else’s recommendation for Wrecked and put that book on my wish list. These past few years we have been through job changes, trying to sell our house in a market where it won’t sell so we can go where my husband’s new job is; our son being diagnosed with asperger’s and other learning problems; being injured and then re-injured by a physical therapist who did the wrong therapy and I still am trying to heal and get my body back. Add to that family issues and health problems.I told my husband yesterday I was ready to give up. . .but I get my Bible out and keep reading and going back to Him. I relate well to David’s psalms. But many other Christians I know are going through big hard things too right now. May we all continue to encourage each other.

  40. Monica H. – thanks for being real. God is with us through each and every season … keep holding on tight to Him no matter what! I pray you will be surrounded by His peace and by supportive friends and family through this time.

  41. I am afraid to win this book … It may lead to uncomfort.

  42. This books sounds like a must read! I pray I am one of the blessed three to win a copy. Thanks and God bless!

    • Angela, it is a must read! Put it on your wish-list, b-day list, Christmas list, just-because-you-love-me list, grocery list, to-do list, every list!

  43. Thanks for the post. The book sounds interesting!

    Five months ago, I experienced palpitations followed by an increased heart rate for a whole week (and two out of three weeks). Since then, I’ve discovered that I’ve simply lived on adrenaline too long and am relearning how to live in a healthy way.

    It’s been a long process, and while I’m not out of the woods yet, I *think* I’m getting closer!

  44. My previous marriage.

  45. Jeff Goins you always seem to get me back on the writing path. Write, write, write. This week I am on a writing marathon. We a goal of 7 days. No one to blame for the delay in finishing a project, but myself.

  46. Just when I think I am done walking through something that, “wrecks” something new comes along. When I was younger it was things like, moving, job less, and job change. A few years ago, “wrecked” was within the same year my 6 year old nephew died and my brother-in law. Wrecked in a way that causes a person to change on the inside in places that others may not understand.

  47. marsha numerich November 8, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Wrecked. I often relate this process of refining pure metals. As we are in a pot over a hot fire God scrapes off our brokenness and we are transformed. Sounds like a great read.

  48. Naveen Sivakumaran November 8, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Hi Jeff, Greetings from Sri Lanka (tiny island beneath India)!

    I came across your blog totally by accident and I must admit, you remain an inspiration. In a country such as SL, where content writing hasn’t yet reached its potential, I’m in the process of trying to carve a niche for myself. Your blog gives me the much needed push to keep fighting the good fight. Keep up the great work man. Following you on Google+ by the way (discovered its magic only a few days ago)!

  49. Having had 3 miscarriages. I know that I will be reunited with them in Heaven and that along with being with my Jesus is what I cling too.

  50. I began college 5 years ago with a full scholarship for mechanical engineering. My life was finally beginning to fall into place. But it seems that’s when God most likes to step in. I remember thinking one day through my plans and God whispered, where do I fit into your plans. My only answer was, you don’t. My life hasn’t been the same since. I dropped out of school the next semester. got a job washing cars, and prayed asking for God to guide me. Haha I don’t want to write my whole life in a comment but over the next few years my life became a roller coaster. I studied at a Christian college than at a state college, I went to Haiti after the earthquake for relief work, God placed in a beautiful church where for three summers I was on staff working with their youth and children. Now I’m in a whole new place starting seminary. If you asked me 5 years ago where I saw myself in 5 years – where I am now would not have been my answer. God wrecked my life, but I am so thankful he did.

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  1. Rewarding Reference: The Upside Down Blogger | SHOUT IT Ministries - April 19, 2013

    […] Lastly, this short article offers advice from Jeff Goins, author of “Wrecked,” on how to turn your blog into a book: “The Secret to Turning Your Blog into a Book.” […]

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