Why You Don’t Have to Be a Good Writer to Be a Profitable Blogger

I write a blog. It’s my livelihood. It’s the primary source of leads and business for me. Many people have said I’m a good writer, but the truth is I’m nothing of the sort. You don’t have to be a good writer to run a profitable blog. This is a common misconception, and it is a misconception that might be holding you back in a big way. If you run a small business and are considering blogging (or considering NOT blogging), you should read this. Let me explain…

Blogging is not about writing

Blogging is about sharing ideas and communicating with your customers. You might think this means you have to be a good writer, but it doesn’t. If you happen to be one of the talented few among us with a gift for wordplay, then go to. Have fun and focus on your strengths. But have fun and focus on your strengths either way! Just because you’re not a naturally gifted writer doesn’t mean anything with regards to whether you can benefit significantly from blogging or not.

Writers focus on flow and creativity. They focus on rhythm and plot and all manner of artistic expression. Listen, if you’re an adult with a business to run…and you’re not already an avid writer, you’re probably just not a writer. And if business blogging was about that, then you’d be screwed. Thankfully, the world of business blogging will gladly accept you with open arms if you take the time to invest to learn a little about it.

Don’t discount yourself

Since I do marketing consulting, I’m consistently recommending blogging to clients, and I’m often met with resistance in this area. It’s understandable, because the perception is that it is very time consuming and intimidating. As long as you paint it with that brush, you’ll never do it. And then of course…you’ll never benefit from it. And neither will your customers.

Hubspot reports that businesses with active blogs consistently generate 5 times the traffic and 4 times the number of leads as those businesses without one. That’s a considerable benefit to leave on the table. I can testify from personal experience that my blog is the sole reason I’ve been able to take the freelance work I do full time.

Don’t discount yourself from the significant traffic and lead generation benefits blogging has to offer you. I have a secret to share with you:

Just let it be simple 🙂

Writing vs blogging

As mentioned above, writing is about wordplay and creativity. Blogging is entirely different. Blogging is about engagement. Blogging is about sharing your business and your expertise. Taking the time to do this simply gives your visitors a sense of who you are, how you’re different, why you’re better, etc. It’s pretty crucial stuff actually.

Your business blog doesn’t have to be professionally polished and complicated. You don’t have to spend hours and hours on your posts. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on video editing equipment and hundreds of hours learning how to use it. We come up with all these things as ways of making blogging way more complicated than it needs to be.

Here’s the deal: there’s a time and a place to put all of these things into practice. If you’re writing for a large audience in a very competitive market, that’s one thing. If your blog is going head to head against many other talented and established bloggers, that’s something to consider. This ups the ante. Chances are…you’re not in this situation.

I’ve done marketing work for numerous business owners in numerous industries, in 9 countries around the world. Most small business owners I’ve talked with have ridiculously little competition online. If they had any idea how little they would have to do to blow their competition out of the water online, they’d kick themselves for not taking it seriously way sooner.

No idea what you can possibly write about on your blog? Check it:

  1. How are you better?
  2. How are you faster?
  3. How and why are you cheaper (or more expensive…one of my personal faves)?
  4. Where is your office and what does it look like?
  5. Who works for you? Why are they awesome?
  6. When did you get started in your business? Why? What do you love about it?
  7. Have you read an article lately about your industry? What did you think? Was it smart? Was it stupid?
  8. Have you attended a conference related to your business lately?
  9. What’s your biggest gripe about your business?
  10. Have you learned anything new lately?
  11. Have you changed anything about your business or your approach to serving clients lately?
  12. Have any of your customers asked you a question lately? How did you respond?

There. I just gave you a list of blog post ideas that’ll keep you busy for a couple weeks or a month, easy. And several of those ideas could spawn off numerous blog posts each. Do you think these sound like boring ideas? Trust me, as you read this post, a future customer of yours is considering moving to your town. They’re cruising the interwebz. They have a compelling need to find a vendor who does what you do. Your site provides tons of content, ideas and interaction. When they leave a comment or shoot you an email, they get a prompt and personal replay. Your competition’s site doesn’t have all this. Guess who wins?

Why does blogging work?

Search engines love blogs. This is pretty much common knowledge at this point. A consistently updated blog demonstrates to Google that the site is active. Far more important is that it demonstrates to your visitors that you’re actively involved in sharing ideas and solutions with them.

You get visitors to your website every day who are ready to buy from you. But they don’t. Why? Because they don’t know enough about you. Believe it or not, your product or service doesn’t speak for itself. You have to do the speaking for it.

Your customers leave your site without interacting with you, because you’re not giving them enough to work with. They don’t buy from you, because they don’t know you well enough. There’s not enough trust. This is all something a blog helps you address directly. Blogging works, because it’s an open line of communication between you and those interested in what you do. That open line of communication is a huge missing element in most traditional websites.

If I could show you a way to stand out dramatically from your competition, significantly improve communication with your customers, generate leads, make sales and even (eventually) open up new revenue streams never before accessible to you, all with an activity you can accomplish in just a few hours per week, would you be interested?

Questions or concerns? Hit me up in the comments. I’m at your service :-)

Christian Russell is the blogger behind Dangerous Tactics, a unique small business marketing strategies blog with no tolerance for B.S. His latest report, How to Get (a lot) More Leads from Your Website teaches you – surprisingly – how to get a lot more leads from your website

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10 Responses

  1. I agree with your definition of blogging, but not your definition of writing. And honestly, I don’t see a difference between the two. If I write 10,000 words on my business, it’s the same to me as writing 10,000 words of a novel. I’m trying to get someone to feel something, or do something. With the book, it’s more about feeling, and with the blog, it’s more about action. But the methodologies are the same. We “write” blog posts, don’t we? 🙂 You’re putting your voice on paper (er…internet).

    • @HeadwayExpert Dig it. This could totally become a discussion on semantics, but that’s not the point of course. You really think blogging is the same as writing a novel?

      • @christiantjr Not exactly, that was just an illustration. I simply meant that the act of writing 10,000 words, whether for a blog or for a print book, is still writing. Of course they involve different goals. Having written a (fiction) book myself, it was more about sharing a story than about sharing knowledge, but when I write a blog post, it’s still writing. I still look to use the right words, and although I might have the opportunity to use actual images instead of imagery, it’s still about connecting with people.

        My point isn’t that you have to be a writer to be a blogger. My point is that looking at writing as this separate thing makes no sense to me. It’s woven into the activity. You are writing when you blog, and being a better writer will only help you. It doesn’t mean people should run out and grab “The elements of style,” but I didn’t agree with the throw-away “writing is all about wordplay/creativity.” Sometimes it’s just about telling people what you think and watching them react. Doesn’t matter if it’s in a blog post format or not.

        • @HeadwayExpert I feel like we’re in total agreement on that 🙂 I write stuff that provokes on occasion. Not maliciously but because I love the craft, and I will do whatever I can to compel others to dive in, express themselves and see the benefits. Thanks for the accountability 😉

  2. I shall be controversial and agree with you Christian. I am a business blogger not a writer. My blog is lucky to have one comment a month and 3,000 page views. Yet it generates a 6 figure income. There are typos and grammar errors but it doesn’t detract from the depth of information that is available.

    If you listened to a writer talk, my blog shouldn’t earn a penny, yet the truth is it earns more than the “writing” blogs out there. I have blue chip companies choose us over national brands – because they can see who we truly are through our blog.

    There are too many writers who like to feel superior about their nice error free blog posts, and good luck to them, I hope it pays the rent. If they took some time off of their high horse they would see there are plenty of business bloggers not willing to be cowed by their advice and just get on and do it.

    • @SarahArrow I like your example of typos, Sarah. Thank you for the comment! I think this post could easily be confused. People might think I’m saying blogging is some lesser form of communication or that it’s not as serious, etc. That’s not my point at all. My point is that so many people I hear from think they need to be capable of writing a damn Stephen King novel in order to write a blog for their small business. This isn’t what I’ve found to be the case 🙂

  3. Good blogging is good writing. Good writing isn’t always “correct” writing or what we’ve been taught writing was “supposed” to be in school. However, you make some great points and the advice here very much worth heeding.

    • @remarkablogger I’m trying to think of a single comment from you that I haven’t found thought-provoking or sincere. Dammit. Can’t think of a single one. It’s always good to hear from you Michael 🙂

  4. You make some good points about blogging and specifically business blogging. Blogging is a great way to interact with clients, customers, peers, colleagues, etc. with very little overhead except for time. However, I don’t agree with your definitions of writer vs. blogger nor would not discount the importance of being a good writer or having a polished blog. If your blog is the personal face of your business, and a point of contact with customers, why risk it with sub-par writing?

    • @mmista07 I like your points Michelle 🙂 Of course I agree that you should always do your best. My concern here was to address the enormous number of business owners I hear from who won’t even give blogging a shot, because they feel they need to be a talented writer in order to be effective.

      I’ve found that by diving in, you make mistakes but you also get good. And you find your groove. Many of the most popular and profitable blogs out there do not regularly publish content that would ever be up to par for the New York Times, and it doesn’t matter. Blogging is a completely different medium.

      So I don’t hope this post to be an excuse for sub-par writing. I hope it to be an excuse to get started. Thanks for the comment!

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