How To Make Money Blogging, Even If You Suck At Writing!
Let’s be honest. The life of a successful blogger is good.
Whether you’re sipping hot coffee and breathing crisp morning air or sitting on a beach making money while the tide rolls in, living life on your own terms is seductive.
But how can you make money blogging if you suck at writing? I mean, you deserve freedom too — freedom from a job you hate. Or worse, a job that beats you down.
I get it. Maybe you’re like me, wishing your morning commute was longer, and the one home was a lot shorter.
In fact, my favorite drive to work was the day I “accidentally” missed my exit and kept driving.
I spent the entire day driving, sipping coffee, and planning my escape.
There is a way out, and yes… you can make money blogging. Even if you suck at writing. You just need to be a little creative.
Chances are you’re a better writer than you think, but if you really do suck at it, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s your plan in 3 easy(ish) steps.
Step 1 — Forget About “Blogging”
The act of “blogging” may be about writing, but building a blog that makes money is a business. In some cases, a 6 or 7 figure business.
To succeed you should think of yourself as a business owner, not a writer or a blogger. And here’s the good news — no business owner is an expert at everything.
What they’re good at is managing all the pieces, leveraging their strengths and getting help where help is needed.
Those are the skills that determine your blogging success, not your ability to write.
Many of the most successful blogs on the web are not owned by great writers, but first time entrepreneurs. They were started using one or more of the strategies below.
Step 2 — Choose Your Weapon
The popular idea of a blog is a website owned by someone who shares their thoughts, ideas and opinions and while that’s one type of blog, it’s rarely the kind that makes money.
The ones that bring in the cash are micro-niche blogs, review blogs, how-to blogs, and authority blogs to name a few. There are also some info and entertainment blogs that make money.
Choosing the right one matters.
Some blogs are small and easy to set up while others may require countless hours of effort.
The simple ones don’t earn as much, maybe a couple hundred bucks per month or less, but they’re easy to build and you can own many.
And then there are the big ones that make people rich. They’re a lot more work and may even require a financial investment, but your earning potential is what most people dream of.
When it comes to writing though, not every type of blog requires a good writer.
From Easy to Hard — Which Blog Is Right For You?
Authority blogs are the often what people think of when it comes to successful blogs. These are the 6 and 7 figure blogs you’ve probably heard of and while building one is possible for most people, good writing is usually a key component.
Maybe you enjoy writing but you’re afraid to show it to others. You may think you suck at writing, but that doesn’t mean you do, or that you don’t have potential.
If that’s the case, an authority blog might be perfect. You can develop your writing skills while learning the ins and outs of blogging as a business.
Authority blogs usually focus on a specific topic (and audience) with the goal of solving their reader’s problems.
For example, if you’d like to learn classical guitar you could go to an authority site that teaches you how to play.
For new bloggers who want something simple, a micro-niche blog is a great option.
This is an entirely different strategy that’s perfect for those who not only suck at writing, but hate it too.
Micro-niche sites typically earn money through affiliate sales (earning a commission when you recommend someone else’s product) and they don’t require a lot of writing.
A good example of a micro-niche site is football snack helmets. This site earns between $400 to $1000 per month depending on the season. That may not seem like a lot of money, but what if you owned several?
Owners who follow this strategy also develop a unique set of skills and quite often earn money by building sites for clients and teaching others how they can make money this way too.
Micro-niche sites can be built quickly. After you’ve built a few you may find yourself putting up one or two a month.
They won’t all make money because search engines like Google are unpredictable, but micro-niche blog owners are comfortable playing the numbers game. A few winners and you can kiss that morning commute goodbye.
Review sites are also great way to make money blogging if you hate writing. You’ll be typing more than you would for a micro-niche site, but you don’t need to be a great writer.
When writing reviews you can get away with things like bullet points, images, videos and infographics. You can even assemble your research in point form and hand it off to a writer for the final draft.
The advantage to building a review site is that your readers are often ready to buy. They are “solution-aware” and searching for a specific product or service, which means you are catching them when they’re most likely to spend money.
The disadvantage, if you’re a writer, is that product reviews are repetitive and require a lot of research. If you plan on hiring a writer though, this is the type of blog you might want to consider.
How-to blogs can be tricky.
Depending on your topic (your niche) you may be able to slap a few step-by-step instructions together quickly, but in most cases, turning tasks and ideas into simple instructions is difficult.
That doesn’t mean you should be a great writer, but having a knack for breaking complex ideas into bite size steps is important.
The advantage here you can explain quite a bit with images and video.
Like review sites, these blogs can require a lot of research unless you’re an expert in the field you plan on teaching.
When I say “photography blog” I don’t mean sites about photography, but rather sites that use photography.
An example is a fashion blog where your audience doesn’t want to read about clothes, they want to see them.
Other examples might be sports cars, gardening or home decor.
Review blogs and how-to blogs can also fall into this category and generally speaking, no matter which type of blog you choose, media like images and video are becoming more popular. People like bright shiny things.
A word of caution though — these types of blogs can be time consuming.
Info and Entertainment Blogs
Since your goal here is to make money, you should to stay away from these kinds of blogs. Info and entertainment sites offer reading and research material but no meaningful call to action.
In other words, they don’t ask the reader to do or buy anything.
They also appeal to a broad audience, which is terrible for sales and marketing — to sell a product successfully you must know who your reader is and how you can solve their problem. The more diverse your audience, the more difficult this is.
More importantly though, they require a lot of writing which is what you’re trying to avoid.
Smoothies or Coffee? — Your Niche Matters
Choosing a niche — an interest or topic that targets a specific audience, is especially important for non-writers, and here’s why…
Smoothie recipes are easier to put together than an essay on why one person would prefer a certain brand of coffee over another.
Or, listing the features of a kitchen appliance is easier than turning your travel adventures into a compelling story.
With a niche like jewelry, your audience wants pictures, not words. If your blog is about parenting though, be prepared to write.
Your niche is just as important as your blog type.
Step 3 — Conquer Your Content
Now that you’ve chosen your blog type and you’re thinking as a business owner, it’s time to solve your problem of creating content.
There are few ways you can do it.
1. Show Them The Money
If you’ve got the bucks, you can hire a pro. Or maybe a semi-pro if you’re on a budget.
Blog posts can range from ten dollars to several hundred depending on what you want. You can buy pre-written articles, custom posts that get the job done, or epic essays that change lives.
New freelancer writers building a portfolio use sites like Upwork and often charge as little as $25 — $35 for a decent 500–1000 word post.
Experienced writers may cost you $250+ per post, but that’s an investment for later when your blog is profitable.
The idea of hiring a writer may sound intimidating at first, but it’s important to remember that you’re running a business.
For the sake of comparison, if you were building an offline business you could easily spend tens of thousands of dollars and wait years to see a profit.
When you look at that way, the cost to hire a good writer isn’t that bad.
There are a few types of writers you can hire — freelance writers, full-time writers, and transcribers.
The easiest way to get your feet wet is by hiring a freelance writer. Freelance writers work on a per project (or article) basis and there is no long-term commitment, unless one is arranged.
There are general freelance sites like Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr, as well as dedicated content mills like Constant Content and Textbroker. Quality ranges from unreadable to exceptional, and generally speaking, you get what you pay for.
If you don’t mind doing the research yourself you can often save money by preparing a rough draft for your writer to smooth out.
Hiring a full-time writer is your best option for establishing consistent quality at a good price, but it requires a long-term commitment.
It also depends on where you live because hiring a good writer at a good price requires a currency advantage — being able to hire someone from a country where your money is worth more.
It’s a misconception that good writers must come from places like the US, UK, or Canada.
There are plenty of bad writers from English speaking countries.
On the other hand, you can find great writers from countries where English is not their first language. It’s just a matter of knowing where and how to them.
Sites like Udemy have courses that will guide you through the process.
The advantages with a full-time writer are trust, daily communication and consistent quality.
If the currency exchange works in your favor you can expect to pay $400 — $600 a month for a good writer.
Whether you choose freelance writers or full-time writers, there are inexpensive courses that show you how to do it successfully.
You might suck at writing, but if you’re good on camera and speaking into a mic, there’s hope.
Transcribers turn your audio and video recordings into blog posts. How great is that?
Many successful bloggers record video for YouTube and get the audio transcribed into a blog post.
You can also use the audio for a podcast and hit all three audiences — readers, watchers and listeners.
An alternative to hiring a transcriber is using speech-to-text software. Programs like Dragon’s Naturally Speaking are popular or you can dictate your blog posts into your phone.
The first draft of this post was created using a speech-to-text app called Speech-Notes.
Getting Your Hands Dirty
Although it’s smart to hire a pro, it’s not something you should do immediately. When you’re starting out you should get your hands dirty and go through the entire process of building and managing a blog first.
Get to know the job you’re hiring for. Yes, I’m saying you should write a few blog posts yourself.
But don’t worry, there’s nothing to be afraid of. For new blogs, writing ability is less important than you think.
Most people don’t read blog posts, they scan through them. And, for review sites, micro-niche sites and even how-to sites… they’re looking for information, not great writing.
People are also forgiving. If English is not your first language most will understand. In fact, sharing that with your readers reminds them you’re human; a refreshing change from the countless boring and bland blogs they come across daily.
The point is, don’t be afraid of writing. Hiring someone is a great long-term solution but it’s not necessary when your blog is new.
2. Pass The Buck
The most cost effective way to build a money-making blog if you suck at writing is to pass the buck. That’s right, get someone else to do the dirty work.
Okay, maybe you’re not exactly passing the buck, but you can partner with someone who knows how to write. Managing a blog can be a lot of work and there’s plenty for both of you to do.
You might handle the technical stuff, the social media posts, the influencer outreach and other traffic strategies while you partner does all the writing.
In many cases, partner blogs are started by couples, but they don’t have to be.
You might have a friend that’s interested, a co-worker, or someone who you’ve met online.
The challenge with business partners though, is trust and communication. You must agree on the direction of your blog, on who should do what and of course, how you’re going to split the money.
Business partnerships often lead to disaster… so choose wisely.
The good news is that it costs next to nothing to start a blog. If things go sideways, your worst case scenario is learning new skills and gaining experience.
3. Step Up Your Game
If you’ve ever watched talent shows like American Idol, the ones who really do suck are the ones who think they’re great. When the judges say no, they truly believe they’ve been screwed over.
But the ones who really are great are the ones who question their ability.
The same is true for writing.
Many good writers don’t lack skill… they lack confidence. It’s not their ability that holds them back, it’s their fear of being criticized.
You may think you suck at writing but you’re probably better at it than you think. More importantly, you can get better, and the best way to become a better writer is to write.
An authority blog is a great place to start. Don’t worry about critics, most of them don’t have what it takes to create their own thing.
The ones who do will understand. They’ll empathize with your challenge, and in most cases be happy to help.
You can also practice your writing privately by keeping a journal.
Your best investment though would be a writing course and you’re not only investing your time and money into your blog. You’re investing in yourself.
Becoming a better writer may make you a better blogger, but more importantly it’s a valuable skill that’ll serve you no matter what you do in life.
It may not feel like it, but there’s more opportunity today than any other time in history. Building a money-making blog is worth the effort. It’s a “land grab” and right now, the land is free.
Think about that for a second…
There’s never been a time in history when it was this easy to create a money-making asset from the comfort of your home.
And make no mistake, a money-making blog is a serious asset. Websites can sell for 20 to 40 times their monthly revenue, so a $1000 per month blog can fetch $20,000 to $40,000.
Not bad for something you can start for less than a hundred bucks.
Twenty years ago, it was impossible. Making money like this didn’t exist. Ten years ago, it was expensive and few people knew how to do it.
Today, it’s an opportunity for anyone who wants it.
And yet, most people hum and haw, hoping life will somehow get better. I get it, I was there too. But for those of us who want a different life, sooner or later it’s decision time.
Now that you know good writing is not a requirement to owning a blog that makes money, your dream of one day escaping the rat race is a little closer.
You can either hope the perfect opportunity comes your way, or do what many of us “bloggers” have done — grab the opportunities we do have by the collar, perfect or not, and make them work.
If you’ve read this far, then a life where you no longer commute to a job you hate is what you want and taking your first step is what you need to get what you want. There’s never been a better time.
Originally published at gighustlers.com on January 16, 2019.