Monthly Archives: August 2015

How to Write Freelance Articles Quickly

freelance articles

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Producing constant good copy can be difficult, especially when it comes to blog and article writing for the internet. The freelancers who succeed are the ones who can do it quickly, efficiently, and, most importantly, engagingly.

Here’s the Feckless guide to fast copy that doesn’t cut corners on the quality.

Don’t be so precious

You’re not writing the next War and Peace. Nor are you going to be hailed as the next Stephen King. Sometimes you don’t even get a polite thank for your efforts. Pouring over every word and examining every sentence with loving care may seem like the right thing to do but can cost you hours every week in lost time that could be spent producing more work.

Know when to stop and send your copy to the client.

Care about your subject

No one forced you to be a freelance writer. Take some interest in the subjects you write about even if its accountancy practices in Woolloomooloo. If you don’t care, people will notice. Whether it’s the latest Hadron Collider developments or how you choose a kitchen worktop, show some spirit. It counts for a lot in the big bad world of blog and article writing.

You will come across subjects that are as dull as dishwater (my personal favourite is the tax advantage of moving your business to Malta) but try to care.

Start with a little research

Research helps to set the ground for your article. As you become more proficient you will be able to spot the important title areas that can help structure your piece. You don’t have to delve that deeply into the subject area but you do need to light a path to follow. Mostly this comes from experience and an eye for the pertinent facts and you need to make sure you glean your information from a reputable site.

Break down your post with headings

You don’t have to use these in the actual post, but setting headings is a great way to speed up your articles. I generally use one for every 100 words or so to act as markers for the post I’m writing. It’s easier to write short chunks of text quickly rather than try to fill a whole 500-600 word article with one block of text.

Write quickly and with passion

Even when writing a review for a kitchen appliance, put some energy into it. Try not to stop, even when you reach a block, simply push on through to the end of the article. It should take you no more than 30 minutes to write a 500 word article if you have a good following wind and a clear head.

Have your spell checker on

They may not be perfect but having a good spell checker actually helps when you are trying to get blog posts out quickly. One word of advice: Don’t take them as gospel, especially when it comes to sentence structure. When you are writing quickly, editing can be a pain in the butt because you are often too close to the text – so take any help you can get to iron out those typos and spelling mistakes.

Review straight away

I say this because most of your ideas will be fresh in your head and for a subject you don’t know well this is important. It’s not a proof read for grammar and spelling, you can do that a bit later, it’s about ensuring the text makes enough sense to satisfy your customer’s needs.

Final proof

Depending on how long your deadline is then leave the text as long as possible to give you mind as much time to forget about it. That may well be only a couple of hours if your client is hungry for copy but the longer you leave, the fresher your approach will be. If you are short on time then try reading the text backwards to pick out spelling mistakes.

Client amends

Finally, your client may well come back with comments and criticism. It’s part of the job and shouldn’t be taken personally.

I had a client for a renewable energy company recently who wanted a technical article about solar cells written. A few weeks after it was written someone posted a reply over mistakes in the article (it happened to be a competitor of the gentleman in question) so I needed to rewrite. It happens. One of the first clients I wrote for came back to say that my style was a bit too glib for her business blog and asked me to rewrite. I did so and I’m still writing articles for her a year and a half later.

Client amends are part of the business – you aren’t going to get it right 100% of the time.

Of all the tips included in this little blog, probably the most important is not to be so precious. It’s something that writers are naturally prone to and generally leads to procrastination. Being less pedantic doesn’t mean you don’t care, far from it. If you want to succeed and get enough business to earn a living then you need to be able to write your freelance articles quickly. It goes with the territory.

Feel free to leave your owns tips on how to write freelance articles quickly in the comments section below. In the meantime, here are a couple of alternative takes on writing that all important blog post:

How to Write an Awesome Blog Post in Five Steps

How to Write a Blog Post in Just 30 Minutes