105 Comments / last updated May 28, 2024

Why You’re Not a Writer


Wake up.

Drink coffee.

Fire up the computer and start typing words for today’s brilliant blog post, piece of copywriting or landing page.

You’re a writer, right?

Well, no.

Today I want to talk about why I think a lot of the people reading this might want to have a bit of a re-think about what it is that they do each day. I know it’s been hugely important for my own blog’s progress to ask some hard questions.

Let’s do it.

What exactly do you do each day?

For the purpose of this post I’m going to assume that you have a website or blog.

And if that’s the case it is probably true that your day includes some (or all of the following):

  • Business planning
    Developing goals and ambitions for the future of your blog. Perhaps planning for future products, eBooks or friendly collaborations.
  • Social networking
    I bet everyone reading this has a Twitter, Facebook and Google+ account – all that social media stuff out there. That means time posting, replying and reading.
  • SEO research and tinkering
    If you’ve got a blog you’ll want that blog to rank on Google, right? That means on-site and off-site SEO work. Reading about all the latest trends and mucking around with ideas.
  • Podcasting, graphic creation and videos
    We all know how important different types of content is and many of us dabble in videos and graphics to try and tap into new markets like YouTube and Pinterest. Have you seen my podcast?
  • Mailing lists, conversion optimisation, security, etc.
    The list goes on and on. These days writers are spending more time working on the things that contain their writing as opposed to actually writing.

If this sounds like you then I’d like to suggest that maybe you’ve got a problem.

A big one.

The vital task of finding your secret power

The longer I stick around in the blogging world the more often I see people go through a kind of evolution.

They start out with an awesome idea for a blog or business and then, in the process of turning that idea into a reality, they start to forget about why they started in the first place.

It’s a really sad thing to see.

But the exciting flip side is that a lot of people find their way back.

And that is what this post is about.

Why you should be a writer

So let’s get down to it.

If you are a virtual Wordsworth, write.

If you can translate unique ideas into brilliant articles like Seth Godin, write.

If you tell stories like Demian Farnworth, write.

That’s what you are good at.

That’s what you love to do.

The saddest thing is to take time away from your passion (and your secret power) to work on things like on-site SEO and blog design.

Leave that to the SEO geeks and the design nerds.

But if you are a design nerd then focus on that and get someone else to do your writing.

And that leads us to the next step.

Become a writer: eliminate other tasks

The ironic thing here is that these tips about becoming a writer are also the very same tips you give to someone who wants to become a successful online business owner.

The more time you spend on tasks you suck at, the less time you have to build the thing that you really want. – Click to Tweet.

And then what happens?

  • Your work suffers
    If you don’t have the time to hone your prose then you find it is a lot less engaging. People can tell when it’s rushed or when that 1,500-word article probably should have gone for another 500 words and included a few more references.
  • Your business suffers
    By spreading yourself too thin you find that you do nothing well. It’s like the old saying: good at 100 things and master of none. The more tasks you try to cover the less of them you will really succeed at.
  • Your family suffers
    This might seem a little existential but I’ve found it to be true. For a few years I moved away from my goals and focused on the wrong things. I was less happy at home, had low drive and a lot less passion for life.

So if you are really good at writing, and that’s what you want to do with your days, then it’s vital that you find a way to minimise the time you spend on the things that take you away from that.

Being brutally honest with yourself

A lot of people who are interested in writing have a really romantic notion about what it means to ‘be a writer‘.

Some people think it’s long hours staring out a frosted window listening to the rain on the roof while you search for inspiration.

Others think it’s a million-dollar book deal and years spent travelling the globe promoting your masterpiece.

Many might just want to have a blog that makes enough to pay the bills and put some kids through college.

But the truth is very different.

And the hardest part about that truth is realizing that writing might not be for you.

Some people are just not cut out for it.

When you’re brought up (like many of us) to think that you can do anything if you just work hard enough, you might get a sad surprise after a lot of real struggling. Not everyone can do anything. It’s just not realistic – as lovely as it sounds.

But if you’re going to give writing a shot you should throw everything at it.

Think about all the natural talent that someone like LeBron James has – and I bet he still trains for eight hours a day.

That’s exactly how we need to treat writing.

How to get better at being a writer

So how do we give ourselves a fighting chance when there are so many other things that need to get done?

While I’m not professing to be a writer, I do have some tips that have been useful to me in my quest to spend more time typing and less time fiddling around.

  • Make friends with people who’ve done it
    The most valuable thing in my life are the people around me who encourage me to be kinder, more open minded and better at what I do. Try to find people who are further along the path than you and hang out with them as often as possible. Their ideas and habits will rub off on you.
  • Be brave and outsource the other stuff
    The smartest thing you can do in online business is outsource the stuff you are not good at. A lot of people think that it is too expensive but it’s really important to think of it as an investment that allows you to write. Things like design, coding, book keeping, etc. can all be outsourced really cheaply through services like Freelancer or oDesk.
  • Set up your website properly
    I wrote a 9,000-word post on how to start a blog and dominate your niche and most of that article was about set up. You’ll also notice that the main things Copyblogger promotes and sells are products based around how your set up your online presence. Get your own domain and blog host and do it properly. Always choose quality in this regard because it saves you so much time down the track.
  • Force yourself into productivity
    Routine is so important. Some people write better in the mornings, others prefer late nights with lots of coffee. Whatever your vibe, it’s vital that you do it regularly and never break your routine. Be disciplined and find out what makes you tick and then commit to it every day. The hardest part is learning to do it even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Take note of what works
    Brian Clark once gave the advice that if you want to become a good writer you need to read, read, read. Do that. But also make sure you investigate the things that personally work for you. For example, I’ve found that exercise and changing my writing location to a cafe or park can really help get my creative juices flowing.

Once you’ve decided that it’s writing that you want to do, I really think you need to give it an honest shot. And that means not only doing it regularly, but making sure your environment and work is set up to be as conducive as possible.

Are you a writer?

Are you a writer who is bogged down with myriad other tasks? Does it bother you and interfere with your day? Or do you see writing as the thing that needs to be removed from your own personal duties so you can get on with other aspects of the business?

I’d be really curious to hear from you.

Top image: © Florianr | Dreamstime.com


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  1. Kevin Duncan on October 20, 2014

    Hey Ramsay,

    Great post, man. I think the trap many bloggers fall into is the one you mentioned: we spend too much time tweaking our design, optimizing our SEO, and other things we aren’t good at and not nearly enough time on the thing we ARE (usually) good at (blogging).

    I switched to the Rainmaker Platform recently for this very reason. I wanted to cut out distractions.

    I’ll Tweet this soon. Have a good one, Ramsay.

    – Kevin

    1. How are you finding it? I was actually almost going to mention it in this post.

  2. Kimberly Stancil on October 20, 2014


    This post really resonated with me, especially this month. I’m the writer who frequently finds herself bogged down with other tasks. I know have some much-needed amunition to correct that as soon as possible. Many thanks!

    1. Hope it goes well for you, Kimberly. Please keep us posted.

  3. Thank you for sharing this, am really searching for something like this. 🙂

    1. Glad it helped.

  4. This was really helpful. Thank you very much. I’m new to blogging and was already feeling overwhelmed with a lot of these technical terms. Your posts have been very helpful and this particular one has taught me to focus.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting.

  5. But what if you actually like designing your own website, even if you have never done it before, and you also love to write? This is true for me! Even though it was hard to learn how to setup my website, I enjoyed it and I’m so proud that I did it myself!

    1. I guess it is important to establish early on what your goals are and then prioritise your time accordingly. If it’s a hobby, fine. But if you want to make a career then I’d probably want to make sure I was being as effective as possible.

  6. Love this post, it totally resonates. Originally, I thought I had to be a writer to be successful online. I spent a whole heap of energy and time working on getting better at it (which I have) but it’s so not my super power! Once I figured that out, life got a whole lot easier 🙂

    You’re right, it is kind of an evolution.

    Thanks for the Aussie time-friendly post!

    1. Ha ha! Glad you got one while you’re awake. 🙂

  7. Relationship Coach on October 20, 2014

    I love your post. It’s so true, I was overwhelmed doing things that take time from my writing and helping people which is what I really like. Now that I’m outsourcing work its much better. For example I send to make great illustrations for my posts and books and they are ready in less than 24 hrs. This Fiverr gig is the one I use:


    1. Fiverr is awesome. So many clever people on there.

  8. Mint.

    I’m constantly checking things off my to-do lists, but those lists seldom include anything relating to actual writing now that I think about it.

    Thanks for the reminder, man.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Rice Crispy.

  9. Been reading your blogs for a while and on balance I have liked them all.
    My life has taken a dramatic turn of late as I have been forced by a lethal cancer to get some things in order.
    One of the biggest things that is still undone is to polish and let go of the writing that I done in the past. The overidding objective for me has been to better prepare a path for my sons, who are young, with the hope that they live full and happy lives. I am, to the surprise of some, still able to give direction and support to them. I have written private journals for years as well as dozens of unmailed letters to them, all with the deep emotion of a single dad raising two boys.
    I just wanted to let you know that your post tonight has given me the inspiration to finish what I have worked on for many years with much more urgency.

    1. Paul, I am so sorry to hear about this. I’m sending you an email privately.

  10. I used to be a writer, write too much until I discover that I really don’t need to write that much.

    Write less, share more.

    Here is the thing.

    People already put up the work to make such a good content, I don’t really need to write another one.

    Like this one in Veritasium channel on Youtube about the stupid Facebook like


    Just share it to build the credit.

    They already put all the research out there.

    I used to think about asking an influence to share my stuffs.

    Now, I want to be an influence.

    1. So how do you accomplish that?

      1. Just do what influence do, they share good stuffs to their fan.

        That is why they influence these people.

        You got to care about others so they care about you.

        It is not just all writing and don’t even care if your fan read it or not.

        1. I don’t know a single writer that lacks interest in whether or not their work is read.

          And it’s not about a shortcut to influence ( no such thing ) … it’s about doing what you enjoy, and we enjoy writing.

    2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that sharing awesome content that’s already available online means something like ViralNova websites? Maybe? Because that creates influence as well as care amongst the author and the audience.

      1. True.

  11. Jay William on October 20, 2014

    Writing is a love / hate relationship for me! Sometimes I love it other times not so much…… sometimes writing is a b#@*& and so damn demanding!

    Great post!

    1. Ha ha. Know the feeling.

  12. Hey Ramsay,

    I loved the notion that being a blogger does not necessarily require you to be a writer. You can just hire staff to write articles and still be the owner of the blog. And tons of A-list blogs actually do that!

    One other hard thing about being a writer that I discovered is having to write articles in a language that’s not your native. You have to put tons of extra time into reviewing what you got and perfecting the wording. It’s insane!

    PS: you should really put a link to your article in your “clicktotweet” quote 🙂

    PPS: did you know that after sending a quote to twitter, this service recommends people to follow “ClickToTweet” on Twitter? http://imageshack.com/a/img673/8263/2v2It0.png – I mean this could be a recommendation to follow you 🙂

    PPPS: did you see my alternative to ClickToTweet? – http://www.tweetdis.com/ – I can send it to you for free 🙂

    1. Interesting. I didn’t know that. Thanks for pointing it out mate.

  13. John Gates on October 20, 2014

    ..the paralysis of analysis.

    I have a busy job and am trying to work out how I can make the transition from amateur to pro blogger with the limited number of hours that I have in a day. Last week I was off work, with few interruptions and I was amazed at how much clearer my thinking was and how much I could do in the time. Decided not to waste it and wrote some good content.content.

    It gives you a feel for what can be achieved. Then it struck me how much clutter there is in my online life, so today set about ditching every subscription from inbox that I could find and now it will only contain stuff that is directly related to the idea of getting my blog going, properly.

    So Lesson #1 – de-clutter

    I realised that I was trying every new shiny idea for making money online, so again, got rid of most of them. Not to say I won’t be curious about the next good thing that comes along, just have to keep the discipline up,

    A couple of weeks ago, I came across this blog and about 20 or so other good ones, and I am going to become a disciple. The common thread running through all of those people, Including Ramsay, is that you have to love your audience, build an audience that loves you back and then give them blindingly good content, and do it CONSISTENTLY.

    Simple, really, but it’s funny how we mainly have to learn from our mistakes, or the successes of others, so it is vital that we get with the gurus, listen, learn and emulate.

    My next challenge is to learn all about guest blogging, and go from there. Something has been holding me back, so another de-clutter session is on the horizon.

    Thanks for a great post, Ramsay.

    1. ^ THIS.


    2. I remember Rich Schefren saying that once you set goals for yourself, you should then only spend time on things that accelerate you to reach it. All other things contrary to that is straight up junk.

      Also, the guy who commented above me (or below me), is the one from whom we should learn as much as possible because, you know, he can make time travel possible for bloggers.

  14. I still have the idea of the struggling writer etched into my psyche after reading a few too many yellowing penguins back in my youth. Now, my writing is a lot tighter, denser and to the point – there’s no use using flowery language when you just need to get the reader to go from a to b.
    A great example is people using however when but will do.

    Simple, unsentimental writing, straight to the point is what is required.

    1. Totally agree. I always thought I did okay with this kind of writing until I guest blogged for Men with Pens and Copyblogger and saw how much they were able to edit out.

    2. Mistress Black Rise on October 20, 2014

      I have to kindly disagree that getting to the point is NOT the way to go if you are writing fiction. I write erotica and especially for this niche gettin to the point is not the best way to drive the writing home. That would leave my readers bored and unsatisfied.

      I’ve been writing in this niche for awhile now and am just starting my blog. I have 5 years marketing education but I find that articles or even great comments are targeted mostly towards problem solving marketing. There are only two basic products in the world. Problem solving and pleasure giving.

      I am beginning to learn that while some problem solving marketing strategies work for the pleasure giving products, often it will not. Such as the strategy that you mention Bren. Getting to the point works amazing if you are writing a how to article. Using a ton of metaphor will only serve to confuse or even bore your readers. However in fiction a well crafted story which uses a lot of imagery and detail will captivate and engage a reader better.

      I’ve also found that ‘how to’ or problem solving products or advice are better marketed by finding the market and then filling the need where as artists are better off going the opposite route, which is to engage in their passion full throttle and find a market that their work resonates with.

      Anyway thanks for a great post and comment Ramsay and Bren.

  15. Britt Malka on October 20, 2014

    I’m a writer, and I came to the same conclusion as you did. I don’t want to waste time on a lot of stuff that doesn’t interest me.

    So I’m almost invisible on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all those social sites. After all, I’m not selling cute kittens, funny dogs or shoes, so why be extremely present there?

    I don’t do SEO. I’m done with blogging. I sometimes post my mails on the blog, when I remember it.

    I write emails to my list, because I love it, and I love all the replies I get from subscribers. When I was blogging, I rarely got comments.

    I write books, because I love it.

    And I do my networking on Skype.

    1. Nice one!

  16. It’s really cliché to say, but in summary this is all about following your heart, being passionate and how being true to yourself pays off. How refreshing and inspiring. Thanks Ramsay! Just one thing though. You say it’s best to be succinct in blogs but what if you’re writing about deep psyche stuff and archetypes? It’s more or less going to stay prose and poetry. Should we really keep everything the same language?

    1. Good question! I have absolutely no idea. Ha ha. Sorry. I know very little about poetry beyond my favorites: Shelley, Owen and Shantideva.

  17. rajkanwarbatra on October 20, 2014

    I broadly agree except that to be able to delegate properly I need to have some idea of the subject matter. Unless I am willing to pay top dollar which will make my business uneconomical.

    I would start learning about things myself and than delegate as I fell comfortable doing so.

    1. Yes I think that is perfect. Well said.

  18. Salman Ravoof on October 20, 2014

    I’m confused now. Am I a writer, or not? The headline is a bit misleading.

    1. Why is it misleading? Can you please explain?

    2. To me I guess it’s pretty clear. If love writing, them spend your time writing, or else, simply outsource it, and do something else that you love doing.

      Also, don’t choose anything that you start loving out of the blue. Imagine yourself doing the same thing 5 years from now and still loving it. That’s what you really should do.

  19. When I started, I thought it was ..write travel stories that will encourage people to travel their own way. Simple .. I travel, I love to write, I love interacting with people … can’t be that hard can it? Stop laughing … I have every social media known to man, I know about SEO, google analytics, metrics, have done videos; know photoshop and all of that stuff.

    Then I realized I don’t like doing ‘this’ other stuff. I want to concentrate on what I started doing and to make that the most important thing, because I know what we have to say is important. Reading this post just validates that I am getting back on track. I still think that if I had read this when I started, I may not have ‘got it’ so maybe newer bloggers do need to learn the hard way .. but maybe not as hard as some of us.

    Thanks Ramsay

    1. Awesome! So good to hear.

      1. When Paula mentioned about validation, I just wanted to know about how should we validate an idea about a product? (Question for Ramsay)

  20. I. C. Daniel on October 20, 2014

    I’m not a writer, I’m a little bit from all(webmaster stuff), I handle site creation, search engine optimization, maintenance, social media and couple others. 😀

    1. Do you enjoy it all?

  21. My method to good writing:
    Write, edit once for clarity, sleep on it.
    Re-read, edit for clarity, edit for flow, then edit out all the excess words and sentences.

    My two biggest tips,
    1. DO NOT EDIT WHILE YOU WRITE. It wastes time.
    2. Wait a day between writing and editing. The stuff you think is wonderful might not appear so a day later.

    These two tips have done wonders for my writing.

    1. So much time! Ha ha. You’re a more patient man than me.

  22. Hey Ramsay

    I use to think of myself as a online marketer or entrepreneur first and “writer” as a distant second. But now I really am enjoying writing – its an art form.

    I think a huge part of writing well is, doing research, pre-planning, structuring and editing. It’s not all about “skill” or “talent” its about being smart, putting in the hours and practicing ( and having good mentors and editors that fast track your learning).

    I have also guest posted to Menwithpens and James and Co. took a huge chunk out of my post, even though I spent weeks on it going backwards and forwards with great editors 😛

    So I really understand your perspective.

    There are hugely popular bloggers that are bad at writing, or at least their blog posts aren’t particularly well written, and there are good writers that struggle to find an audience as they are terrible marketers.

    There are also different forms of “good” writing – for example sales letters are vastly different to a story writing, and a blog post is different to a news piece.

    But I agree with your article, stick to what you are good at, outsource time consuming and difficult tasks so you can keep progressing and doing what you enjoy.

    Right now for me, its all about learning the craft, and practicing until I get better. Yes it side tracks my progress but I am enjoying it, and its a investment for the future.


    1. Thanks for the awesome comment, Paul. Yeah you are right – James is a REAL tyrant. 😉

    2. Haha yeah she is 🙂

      Thanks for that Ramsay, your post really got me thinking about blogging and thats a good thing.



  23. Thanks, enjoyed the post, and the comments that followed.

    It’s definitely true that you should focus on the bit that’s important to you (content, design or other) and bring in other people to fix the bits you’re less pushed about.

    I think it’s maybe fairer, and less upsetting (for some) to say perhaps that bloggers are writers 2.0. It’s one thing to write, but bloggers also now have to hustle a little too. While this can seem like a drag, the upside is that it means, with this long tail idea, bloggers have many more opportunities to get their / our stuff out there.

    Thanks for continuing to cover relevant topics.

    Gave you a shout out in my last piece about ‘How to blog even when you’re really busy’


    Thanks again. Cheers Simon

    1. Thanks Simon!

      Yeah good point about the 2.0. I guess I was just trying to illustrate that it’s important not to get caught up in all that other stuff.

  24. Fantastic posts, and one I’ll return to. My writing often depends on my physical ability to do so, but am getting there slowly. Just utterly passionate and think of writing all day long. Tips like yours are so valuable, so thank you very much Ramsey!

    1. Thanks Billie. Means a lot.

  25. Arun Shekar on October 20, 2014

    You’ve pretty much summed up all that have been circling my head for months. Now that I have quit my full time job to focus on what I feel I would do best, with limited resources, I’ll take your advise and put all my energy in what I want to do the most – writing 🙂

    Keep your good posts coming.

    All the best.


    1. Make sure you have someone else taking care of the other stuff too.

  26. Jeff Goins on October 20, 2014

    Thanks for the mention, Ramsay.

    I agree with you about finding your secret power. There are so many things out there to NOT be good at, why not focus on the one skill that you can master?

    Keep up the great work, man!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jeff. Love your stuff.

  27. Sue Anne Dunlevie on October 20, 2014

    Boy, did I need to hear this today, Ramsay!

    I’ve been drifting for a week or two and want to get back to more writing. All the other “stuff” was taking up too much of my time.

    Thanks for this timely post!

    1. Thanks Sue. Will get back to your emails today.

  28. I think your ability to write really depends on the subject too. I have been working for a mass communication company since I was in college (2 years now). As an intern, I really began to understand the power of the writing to gain a loyal customer base, so I started 2 blogs – 1 for our prospects & 1 for our customers. However, I have just not written for the blogs in the way that I’d like to and it’s driving me crazy. The truth is, I “hate” writing about mass communication. It’s a boring subject, even though I LOVE our product.

    I love your suggestion about outsourcing the things you’re not good at. I love writing for our customer newsletter (which is SOOO much easier and exciting for me), but perhaps it’s time to get a freelancer for our prospect newsletter, so that I can focus on the blog that I love instead of forgetting about both of them.

    Thanks, Ramsay! 🙂

    1. Thanks Wendy. Glad it was of some use.

  29. Slavko Desik on October 20, 2014

    True to the bone. I too have long felt the need to detach from other forms of work and focus on putting together great pieces of content. It is just as important as you’ve said, and then some. For it truly makes everything else possible.

    The sad thing is that even though one manages to build a routine, work finds its way to break it. My advice here- one that I try to apply for myself on ongoing basis- is to forget every other project unless you have the time for your writing routine.
    Supplement this with carving some content ideas in your head and putting them on paper, and your creative juices are flowing again.

    If I only read such article two years earlier…

    1. Thanks man. Good to see you around here, as always.

  30. Timely article!

    When I was just starting out, I did everything for my business. I interviewed sources, wrote the articles, built and maintained my website, did the accounting, etc.

    Now, I’ve gotten to a place where I’ve outsourced a few of those tasks, which has freed up valuable space in my overcrowded head!

    And I think it’s likely that many writers/bloggers/entrepreneurs starting out try to take on everything themselves, if only due to limited finances and resources.

    What’s important, as you noted, is to realize when you need to let go of some of those things. And also, to identify which of those tasks best suit your gifts.

    1. Yep, well said!

  31. Ryan Biddulph on October 20, 2014

    Hi Ramsay,

    6,000 words a day or more here 😉 I published eBook #8 in a 4 month stretch yesterday and I’m up to publishing 5 days weekly. I noted after writing a bunch, I became a better writer. I even became a prolific author. I chose to build my days around writing and yep, doing so made me prolific, and fueled my business growth on so many fronts.

    Put in the time folks. Ramsay makes brilliant points here and yep you nailed it; take time to address where you’re sucky, work those channels, improve your skills and look out! Your weakness will shift to strength because of your dogged commitment.

    Thanks dude, love this! Tweeting from Fiji.


    1. Oh stop it you. That’s a lot of work… 🙂

  32. I have read most of your writings and they are really awesome. most blogger will write about something and try to convinced their readers to imitate them and their methods to be success, but you wrote differently from them , and that is why I like your writing, great Post.

    1. Thank you Mattheus.

  33. Rodney Robinson on October 20, 2014

    Great post Ramsay! This is a reality that bloggers hardly talk about. After starting my blog and business, I believe that I am both an entrepreneur and a writer, and gosh you are right; there is so much to juggle. I appreciate the tips and insight into balance and writing.

    The key takeaway is do what you love to do, what is your specialty. Simplify your life so that you can hone in on that.

    Just to share, my best time to write is at night over a lamplight at a desk, when everyone is sleeping! Very relaxing. Thanks again, Ramsay.

    1. Well said. I write best at that time as well. 🙂

  34. Ramsey this is a great article. Where were you when I was in school taking my “Writing for the Web” crapolla course???

    1. Ha ha ha. This made me laugh.

  35. i am also not writer

    1. Ha. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Tor Refsland on October 21, 2014

    Hi Ramsay, great post!

    I think you are hitting bulls eye pointing out that bloggers should focus on what bloggers really do – create good content by writing.

    The superman syndrome (do everything yourself) is the one of the deadly sins of an entrepreneur.

    Only by focusing on the tasks that you are really good at and that are income generating activities, will make wonders for your business. Outsource other tasks. Even though you CAN do it and that you want to LEARN new things, doesn`t mean that you need do it.

    Time is money, spend your time where it has most leverage.


    1. Well said mate!

  37. Chitranjan on October 21, 2014

    loved the article, but one has to be sure that he is building his business or blog on a strong foundation. Doing things like SEO, Promotion and maintaining connections on social media is important.

    But yeah in all this people do forget that their main goal is to produce content which help their readers and add value to their lives.

    1. Yep, that’s all I meant. Just make sure one doesn’t get distracted.

  38. Everyone has a unique story and in order to tell it, we must write in a way that works for us, yes? It goes along with following the passion and your desire for starting a blog in the first place.

    I love using my paintings to tell a story but I can’t help but worry a little that my audience wants more words and less showing work, like a traditional blog. I think it’s just a change I’m trying to implement right now and looking for a way to transition to less ‘writing’ and more ‘sharing’–sharing a story can come in many ways, and lots of times, they are visual (depending on your audience). Does this make sense? 😉

    Definitely a thought provoking post, Ramsay!

    1. That’s a really interesting question. I’ll be curious to see what you come up with and how it works. A lot of it, I think, will come down to “re training” your readers.

  39. Peter Ewin Hall on October 21, 2014

    I guess it all depends what we want out of our websites? If we have a clear goal for what we’re doing – promoting our writing, making cash by ads, selling our own awesome products or services – then we can decide which bits we can get someone else to do (e.g. site design, content creation, site adminsitration, hosting) and which we’ll do ourselves (e.g. strategy, being editor in chief, finding the right partners).

    To start we might need to most of it to get the site off the ground and then get some cash in to pay for stuff. Early on we might be experimenting and refining so not burning piles of cash on fancy design when we’re unsure of our core message would be wise.

    Ultimately the one thing you have to retain is strategy. You’ve got to know what the point of your blog is, why anyone would want to go there (and even visit again) and how it’s going to pay it’s way over time.

    1. Perfectly said Peter. It’s all about that strategy.

  40. Andrew M. Warner on October 21, 2014

    Hey Ramsay,

    Great post. I came into the whole blogging realm actually wanting to be a writer. I fairly good and writing but not so much the other stuff, such as design, etc. But what you said is accurate. If writing is what you’re good at, then write. Put the other stuff on the side or outsource it .

    But I also completely agree with what Brian Clark said. If you want to be a better writer, you have to read. Completely, 100% true.

    Very helpful post here.

    – Andrew

    1. Thanks Andrew. Appreciate you stopping by.

  41. You’ve basically just described my day. I started my blog only a few weeks ago to learn a bit about the process, but mainly to create some credibility in the area I work. Content is king.
    Thank you- i was getting side swiped by all the other stuff.

    1. Hope it helps you Rob.

  42. tank you!

    1. Tank YOU!

  43. Mike MacLeod on October 24, 2014

    I was a highly-paid tech writer for 30 years, but after retiring from that I have yet to turn my writing ability into cash, except for 500 word articles that take me 5 hours to write and pay $15. What’s wrong with this picture?


    1. I’d say you’re getting paid for the wrong thing.

  44. nice article, any recommendations on where to find writers for your blog if one isn’t a writer but wants to start a blog anyway?

    1. Hi Eugene. In the article I mention Freelancer. That is a good place as is Elance and oDesk. ProBlogger job board also can be good.

      1. thanks for the tip Ramsay, i’ll start there…

  45. Well, I have tried to become a successful blogger since the end of August this year.
    By now I managed to create some fresh and original content and to obtain a few links for it especially from social platforms.
    In my niche the competition is quite strong so I need to work a few years until I become an authority.

    1. Good luck to you! 🙂

  46. Dayo Samuel on October 28, 2014

    Writing is not so much a problem for me, but like you mentioned, finding time to sit and write is it. Well, I’ll go ahead and apply what you shared, but I must confess coaching, speaking, facilitating training sessions, then combining it with writing is not as easy.

    May I know which software(s) you would recommend to aid my writing process?

  47. Dayo Samuel on October 28, 2014

    My comment disappeared while writing website… What happened? 🙁

  48. Thanks for your information. Actually the same to what you’ve mentioned, my daily work is business planning and social networking…..

  49. M.Borgarbúi on November 3, 2014

    That is a good reminder. I always wanted to become a writer rather than a techy guy. However it is really hard to separate myself from technical/SEO part as long as I have no income from my writing.

  50. Sinea Pies on November 3, 2014

    You know, Ramsay, someday I am going to take off a whole day just to read your site. I mean it. I learn so much. Today’s email got my attention . “Awkward” is not a word you see much so I had to stop by. Then this pop up offered me a great ebook if I just would subscribe. I tried. But I am ALREADY subscribed on both my email addresses. Dilemma. Open up a third email address just to get it? No. I opted for unsubscribing so that I can RE-subscribe and download your e-book!!! Just thought you’d appreciate knowing how much one of your readers values the information you provide. Enjoy the day!

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