The most successful people in the world read an average of 10 books per year (source). What about you? Even if you only read half as many, are you getting everything that you can from them? More importantly, are you able to find blog ideas? You might be missing a huge opportunity to turn what you are reading into what you are writing.
Lately, we’ve been talking about where writers can find blog ideas, and this is an addition to that list. Here are a few ways:
The most basic type of book-based post is the review. These are simple, to the point, and helpful for your audience. You never know; a well written review could even go viral.
The Theme Post
Some books are less practical than others. That’s ok – they can make great theme posts. These posts are usually as fun as the book they came from. The key to these posts is to connect a few of the key themes from the book to some of the practical ideas regarding the subject that you are covering.
- What We Can Learn About Sales From Tommy Boy
- The True Grit Guide To Staying In the Game
- Why Curiosity Is The Most Important Tool In Business
The “Here’s What I Learned” Post
Many times, we instantly apply what we are reading to the current problems on our mind. This provides a great opportunity for turning the words on a book’s page to ideas on your blog. These posts also provide a great opportunity for you to solidify your thinking about a particular idea or topic. They are usually very self-reflective and apply what you are reading to a problem at hand.
- Being Culture Based vs. Commodity Based
- Books That Changed Our Minds
- The Real Secret Behind Entrepreneur Henry Ford
- Reading Rework As A Team
The “Here’s What You’ll Learn” Post
This style of post is a modification of the more traditional book review. Rather than simply writing about the book itself, you take a key theme from the book and break it down into a blog post format. The difference here is that it is less self-reflective and more focused on the key ideas of the book itself.
- How To Win Customers And Fans With The Power Of Addiction
- How To Interview Your Users And Get Useful Feedback
- 10 Methods Of Scientific Advertising From The Man Who Made Toothpaste Famous
Why It Works
This method works for many reasons that benefit both you and your readers. As the writer, you will:
- Find blog ideas. Unique ideas will come, as longs as you are looking for them.
- Double your efforts. Now, you can read and write at the same time!
- Better understand your own ideas and thinking. I promise, you will learn more from what you are reading.
- Gather free ideas. Let’s be honest, random inspiration can be tough. Take what you can get, wherever you find it.
- Support your mentors. A blog post is a great way to show support for an author or an idea that you like.
For your reader, the book-inspired post provides a great way for your audience to continue learning along with you. The reader will be:
- Gaining the inside perspective on a book that they might enjoy reading.
- Seeing the big picture. If they aren’t a reader themselves, this will help them gather some of the important ideas.
- Getting a solid recommendation. I love to see what other bloggers and writers in my profession are reading. I am constantly adding books to my list from these kind of posts. A personal recommendation is a valuable one.
How To Find Blog Ideas While Reading
When it comes to finding blog ideas from the books I am reading, I have learned that it helps to be organized and purposeful with your reading. You need a way to document your ideas, thoughts, and key passages so that you can refer back to them later when you are ready to do your writing. The best way to go about this will depend on your own preferred reading method.
The Paperback Method Prefer to read paper books? You should get into the habit of bringing a pen along with you. Some readers like to underline, and use their book as a fill-in notepad for their own thoughts and ideas. This active style of reading can lend itself perfectly to this style of writing. Alternatively, tucking a small notebook into the fold of your book, or taking notes digitally with a tablet or smartphone, is a good idea. You should also get into the habit of noting good headline ideas as they come up.
The Digital Method Digital readers have actually made the process of finding blog ideas easier than ever. Using the Kindle app on my tablet, I read actively, highlighting key ideas that stand out, and adding personal notes on my device. One of the major benefits of the digital reading experience is that it can go anywhere. I sync my Kindle books (and notes) back to my laptop, where I can reference them while writing my post. The Evernote app, is also a simple way to add syncing to your note taking process.
How you choose to let books inspire you should be a true reflection of your own habits and strategies. In many ways, this is more about the reading experience than actually writing. If we don’t make a habit of catching the ideas and inspiration as they come, it probably won’t happen. What can you do to become a more active reader and find blog ideas in your books?