Tag: International Bestseller

Learn these 5 Essential Blogging Tips from ‘behind the scenes’ of Stephen Hawking’s International Bestseller

Learn these 5 Essential Blogging Tips from ‘behind the scenes’ of Stephen Hawking’s International Bestseller

'A Brief History of Time' book's cover
Stephen Hawking’s international bestseller, ‘A Brief History of Time’ (Image Source: The Rare Book Sleuth)

This week, I completed reading the book, ‘My Brief History’ written by Stephen Hawking. I find the memoir to be interesting and identify a lot of takeaways from its chapters. As a blogger too, I am able to relate with some key points about Blogging with the aspects mentioned in a chapter. The chapter is on Stephen Hawking’s international bestseller, ‘A Brief History of Time’.

In this write-up, I am sharing my correlations with you.

1. Purpose of writing a blog post:

Stephen Hawking had two main intentions behind writing ‘A Brief History of Time’. One was to explain on how he felt on the evolution of the understanding by humans about the universe. Other was to explain on how humans might get near in finding a complete theory… a theory describing universe and its aspects.

Next, he was clear-cut for whom he is writing the book for, as he wanted to make the book to reach as many people as possible.

Also, he was particular on the feel that the book has to offer its readers. He had been very impressed by Jacob Bronowski’s TV series, ‘The Ascent of Man’. The series had given him a feeling of achievement in the evolution of human race over years. Likewise, he wanted to convey a feeling on the progress of humans in getting to know the system of the universe. In the book, he felt that he shouldn’t explain unfamiliar concepts that weren’t essential to what he has got to say. All he felt was only to mention them and not discuss them in detail. But, despite certain ideas being difficult, he explained as he considered them essential. He decided to describe his ideas with the help of familiar analogies and a few diagrams. In this way, he hoped that most readers would feel elated on the notable progress in physics in last fifty years from then.

Here, Stephen Hawking’s purpose on writing ‘A Brief History of Time’ looks so convincing. In the same way, before starting to write a blog post, you have to ensure the following which Stephen did for his book

  • Why are you writing the blog post?
  • Who will be its target audience?
  • What information should you be avoiding in it?
  • How should you be providing information in it?
  • What will your audience gain from it?

2. Keep writing as simple as possible:

Stephen Hawking had chosen to have his book published by a publisher named, ‘Bantam Books’. One of their editors, Peter Guzzardi made him to rewrite the book so that it appeals to non-scientists too. Each time he sent Peter a rewritten chapter, Peter sent back objections and questions. Stephen felt that the activity seemed prolonging. But, at the end of the activity, he felt that the book was much better than what he had expected.

In a like manner, try to keep your writing as simple as possible in your blog post for it to reach a large audience.

3. Prefer brief to short titles:

Stephen Hawking’s original title for the book was ‘From the Big Bang Black Holes: A Short History of Time’. But, it was Guzzardi who changed the title to ‘A Brief History of Time’. Stephen Hawking considered this change as a stroke of genius. He felt that the title change would have contributed to the book’s success. Post which, there seem to be a lot of books like ‘A Brief History of Thyme’, imitating the title.

All these sum up the importance of writing catchy and brief headlines. Bloggers can make use of CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyzer to write such headlines.

4. Review the post before publishing it:

When the book was nearing publication, a scientist who was about to review it found in its advance copy a lot of errors… errors in the labels of the photographs and diagrams. Hence, ‘Bantam Books’ had to recall and scrap the entire printing. Following which, in an intense way, they spent three weeks to correct and recheck the entire book.

This situation summarizes on how crucial is a review before a book’s publication. Lesson learnt from the situation applies before a blog post publish as well.

You can review your content in two ways. First, read aloud the content that you have written to identify the mistakes in it. Second, provide your content to your family members or friends and get a review done.

5. Choose apt Social Media channel to distribute blog posts:

As Stephen Hawking wanted to take the book to a large audience, he opted for ‘Bantam Books’ who could help him in doing so. Also, he was so specific that he would want to create a book that would sell in airport book stores. ‘Bantam Books’ had not specialized on publishing science books till then. But, their books seemed to be available in a wide manner in airport book stores.

This scenario implies the significance of opting apt channel to distribute content. Likewise, it’s essential for bloggers to opt an apt social media channel (E.g. Facebook, Twitter etc.,) to promote blog posts.

Before starting to write your next blog post, think on the above mentioned Stephen Hawking’s efforts… efforts in bringing out his book and making it as an international bestseller. Then, try panning out your blogging efforts in the same way. Stephen Hawking’s efforts and spirit behind, may inspire and be followed in blog posts.