Are you looking to self-publish a book to grow your audience?
In this interview, Marcus Kusi from Our Peaceful Family shares his experience doing so and gives actionable tips to help you do it.
Listen to the episode
Who is Marcus Kusi
Marcus is a dedicated husband, passionate father, marriage mentor, and co-author of Questions for Couples.
Together with his amazing wife, they help newlyweds adjust to married life and inspire married couples to become better husbands and wives with their blog Our Peaceful Family. In addition, he hosts the First Year Marriage Show podcast.
In 2018, Marcus left his good-paying job to focus on their online business. Fortunately, they’ve been able to grow their online business to a full-time income.
Part of their income comes from selling their own self-published books. This has been a successful part of their business, so I interviewed him to get tips on how to write books to grow your audience. Here are the steps Marcus recommends.
Why Write a Book
When asked why writing a book is a good option for bloggers who are looking to grow their audience, Marcus gave the following reasons:
It adds credibility. As a blogger, you want your audience to see you as a resource. To be a valued resource, they must believe that you have value to offer. Having a book gives you a boost of credibility that can help you cut through the noise.
It drives traffic to your blog and other resources. One of the biggest problems bloggers face is getting traffic. Having a book that’s being sold is a way to drive people back to your blog.
It can help you build your email list. If someone reads your book, they are very interested in your content. Having a call to action to join your newsletter or get a free resource is a great way to get subscribers from a pool of people who have demonstrated interest in your offerings.
It can be profitable if you do it right. Marcus and his wife have been able to make a decent amount of money directly from book sales. It makes up a significant part of their revenue.
How to Write a Book
In the interview, Marcus shares his tips for writing a book and doing it well. These are the steps they take to go from idea to an audience-growing book.
Step 1: Choose the right topic
If your goal is to write a book that sells well, you want to make sure to choose the right topic. Fortunately, there are ways to do that using Amazon and Google.
Start by searching on Amazon.
Let’s say you want to write a book about how to start a blog on Amazon. If so, go to Amazon and do a search for “Start a Blog”. If this is something people are actively searching on Amazon, you will see some auto-populated suggestions.
This indicates that it’s possibly a good topic to write about. Try searching for those auto-populated suggestions and see what comes up.
Then go into some of the books that come up and look at their Amazon bestsellers rank. If it’s less than 120K, people are buying.
Use Google to do further research.
Once you’ve verified that these topics are relatively popular on Amazon, use the same keyword phrases and do searches on Google.
Do you also see auto-populated suggestions there? That’s also a good sign. To go even further, use the Google Keyword Planner to get insight on whether advertisers are spending money for that phrase.
Choose a topic.
Using the data from Amazon and Google to choose a topic that is selling well. Of course, it should be something related to the topic of your blog. That way, you can leverage that book to grow your blog.
Step 2: Do Research for Book Content
Now that you have a topic, it’s time to research what should go in your book. How to do this will depend on whether or not you already have an audience.
- If you have an audience: The best way to know what they want is to ask them. This can be done by conducting a survey.
- If you don’t have an audience: You will have to get this data in other ways. Ask questions in Facebook groups. Nurture relationships with other bloggers and ask to survey their readers. Search for your topic and see what other bloggers are including in their content. Check the comment sections of those posts. Also, read book reviews on Amazon to see what the reviewers comment about.
Step 3: Write the Book
You chose a topic and done your research. It’s time to start writing. Marcus recommend the following steps:
- Start with an outline. The outline gives you a chance to plan what goes into the book.
- Once the outline is complete, write the book.
- When the full draft is complete, send it to beta readers to get feedback.
- Make revisions based on the feedback
- Send it to a professional editor.
Step 4: Publish your book on Amazon
This is where the magic happens. It’s time to get the word out there about your book. The process will vary depending on whether or not you have an audience.
If you have an audience, Marcus recommends the following tactics. Email your list, write articles, list your book on your website, mention it in relevant articles, spread the word on social media, or make YouTube videos talking about the book.
If you don’t have an audience, you should reach out to relevant bloggers. By nurturing relationships with them, they might be willing to share your book with their audience.
Another way of getting your book out there is by using AMS ads (ads on Amazon). This can be a tricky process, but if you understand keyword research, it can be beneficial.
How Marcus Uses His Books to Grow His Audience
Marcus and his wife use their books to grow their blog and email list. In their books, they point people to their monthly newsletter. Once someone subscribes, they send out inspirational quotes as well as links to articles published on their blog.
The last place they promote their blog is by including a link to their blog under the author name section.
By using all of the tips covered in this post, Marcus and his wife have been able to grow their audience and build their business.
If you’d like to find out more about what they do, check out Our Peaceful Family.
- Kusi's blog: Our Peaceful Family.
- Kusi's podcast”: First Year Marriage Show podcast.
- Researching for topic and content:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Creating surveys article: 235 How to Create Surveys to Read Your Audience’s Minds
- AMS ads