If you are on a few “blog guru” mailing lists you will have seen promotions for courses on how to use your blog to create a book.

Today I used that thinking to save myself some unnecessary extra work and help me meet a deadline. Not that I created a book out of a blog. Rather, I was able to update a whole section of a book, without having to re-research the content and re-write the whole section.

7 Step Business Blog coverThe book is my 7 Step Business Blog. The section in question was about feed (RSS) readers.

I’d been vacillating about doing an update or new edition of the book. It was about a year in the making, off and on, and was originally published a couple of years ago. So much has changed, I was thinking that maybe I should re-cast the book completely and had even started to work on a new framework. But that had started to look like a whole new book and I did not believe I could fit that in before my imminent trip to China and then shortly after to the USA.

Then the other day, in an interview on PodCast Radio, about BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas in November, Jim Turner talked about the book and asked me how people could get a copy. That prompted me to sit down with the existing book (which I had actually started updating a couple of months ago) to see whether a revised edition, short of writing a whole new book, was feasible in the time available.

I decided that, by re-writing a few sections, dropping some segments that were now out of date and revising other segments, I could have a product that could be current, and helpful to the business owner who wanted a basic introduction to business blogging. Which was the person I had in mind when I wrote the book originally.

I sat down and started going through the book, chapter by chapter, editing, dumping, refreshing, re-writing. Then last night I hit a bump. There were two whole sections which were no longer current, in terms of my knowledge and my opinions about good business blogging practice. Would I be able to finish the re-write in time? Not feeling very creative at a late hour, I wrote myself a couple of post-it notes and called it a night.

Then looking at those notes this morning, I remembered I had done a whole series of posts quite recently on one of the subjects, feed readers: I found that I had written about 1,500 words on the subject and the material, with a bit of editing, dropped nicely into the book.

I had also researched recently the other subject area, about link exchange and blogrolls and was able to pull together pretty quickly some referencing blog posts from other bloggers whose arguments made sense to me. That will enable me to bring that segment of the book up to date fairly quickly.

I think I can see the home stretch now. 🙂

Being creative is good. It’s also good to not have to re-create something you’ve already done, especially when there is a deadline looming.

Have you been able to re-purpose blog posts? For articles? For books?

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