Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author and blogger Jen Ruiz about her life, what inspires her, and the creative process behind her latest book, From Blog To Business.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
My name is Jen Ruiz and I’m a lawyer turned full-time travel blogger and author. My journey started when I set out to take 12 trips in 12 months while working as an attorney the year before my 30th birthday — I ended up taking 20 trips, finding deals like a $16 flight to Ecuador and $38 flight to New Zealand. I didn’t know it at the time, but this would be the subject of my first book.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I’ve always wanted to write a book but figured I’d do so later in life, after having an impressive career and long list of accomplishments. I first started thinking about self-publishing as my self-proclaimed “year of adventure” was coming to a close because I was considering a career change and wanted to test my ability to generate income online.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I began writing around December 2017. I had one weekend in February 2018 where I missed a trip to Portugal because I left my passport at home and I channeled my disappointment into a marathon writing spree. My book was published and launched in March 2018.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from idea to release?
It took about 4 months to complete my first book from idea to release.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from idea to release?
It took about 5 months to complete my latest book from idea to release. This time includes topic and demand research, outlining, formatting my book, getting a cover and gathering a launch team to help in promotion and marketing.
Focusing on your latest release, what made you want to write From Blog To Business?
My most recent book, “From Blog to Business,” is written for anyone who wants to make money blogging. Most resources available on this topic are introductory, referring readers to hosting services and domain names. I wanted to provide a more substantial resource for those who want to graduate from hobby to full-time business.
What was your biggest challenge with writing From Blog To Business?
This book is the second in my remote work series but caters to a niche market — people who have a blog and the desire to monetize it. The first book in the series talked about ways to work from home generally and had a much broader audience, so it was easier to promote. I’ve found it challenging garnering public interest for a book on blogging. It’s also different from the travel-related content I’ve always shared, as I transitioned from sharing travel inspiration to sharing entrepreneurship advice.
What was your research process for From Blog To Business?
I have been a professional blogger for 3 years and have attended dozens of travel conferences. I’ve also hosted a Blog to Business virtual summit with over a dozen guest speakers. I compiled tips based on what worked for me and others. I also was mindful of recurring questions I got asked on social media.
How did you plan the structure of From Blog To Business?
I research popular keywords and search terms to get an idea of what the main chapters should be. I also like to read the 3 and 4-star reviews of competitors to see what readers felt was missing from those books and how I could fill in the gaps. Since my books are nonfiction, the structure is organized around how best to solve a reader’s problems and provide a clear transformation by the end of the book.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did From Blog To Business need?
I relied heavily on my beta readers for support with editing. They helped me catch any grammar and spelling errors I missed and told me if there were any areas that were unclear. When I write fiction or memoir, I look to professional editors for story development.
While my books do need much editing and refinement, I’m of the mindset that nothing will ever be “perfect” and it’s better to be done and have a book that’s live than to wait to fix every possible imperfection.
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