How to Write High-Quality Articles Fast When You're a Freelancer: Part II
How to Write Articles Fast - The Process
Welcome to Part II of how to write articles fast to make more money. You might want to read Part I as well. Are you a freelance article writer trying to make money writing content to sell to bloggers, website owners, small businesses, etc?
If so you need to know how to write articles fast. Otherwise you'll find yourself writing constantly, but you won't make much money. I know this because I was there.
Writing High-Quality Articles Quickly
How I got out of that rut was by learning how to write articles fast. In this article I show you the process I use to write high-quality articles, fast.
Make sure you check out the section "Make Money: Be Smart With Your Writing Plan," near the end of the article.
To follow this article you need to read the first one, The Lazy Writer's Way to Write Articles fast to make money writing. It explains why you have to write fast, how to follow article guidelines and gives you beneficial writing tips.
Next we will start writing our fictitious article. The article example I am using is an informational, non-promotional type of article. You can follow the steps at the same time if you want to practice writing articles quickly.
Lazy Writers Benefit Too
Lazy writer's who want to streamline their writing process and write articles quickly and easily, will also benefit from this Hub.
Blank Outline and Draft of Fictitious Article
This is the outline template I'm using for the fictitious article. I take my research and paste it into my outline, as I go along.
- Bulleted Lists
Writing an Article Fast: Research
Research: This step is the most important because this is what you'll use to fill in your outline. To save yourself long hours, you want to do your research once. If you're familiar with the topic you’re writing about, then you're already ahead of the game.
*Important note: Save all your research so you can access it at a later date. If all goes well, you will probably write another article for the website. Having resources on hand as a quick reference saves you even more time later.
1. Research Before You Write
If you're writing an article on a topic you don't know much about, you have to start out with research. If it's a topic you know everything about, you won't have any research. If you know some but not a lot about the topic, you'll probably have to do some research.
However, you should always do a bit of research on the website or blog you're writing the article for.
You need to do two types of research.
Stage one: Research the landing page and website that requested the article.Go to the landing page and scan what it says. Then copy and paste the important information into your outline. The website I'm using for my example is http://www.fansfollowersmart.com/twitter-no-password.html
Stage two: Research topic ideas from the internet, based around the keyword phrase. Follow the steps below.
Searching the Web
Based on my angle, I'm going to research why people buy Twitter followers.
Go to the search engine and type in why do people buy twitter followers. This is just an example, go with what stood out to you from the landing page for your research.
Find three or more articles on the topic. Choose points and tips that answer the question you asked in your search. Making sure they fit into your angle. Scan them and copy and paste the info into your outline. You won’t copy your research into your article, you're going to re-write the necessary information in your own words.
Forum links: If a forum link comes up in your research, always check it out, because that's where you find real people asking questions about the topic. This helps you figure out how you're going to speak to them in your article.
I think at least 3 articles is good because it gives you a range. However, if you find what you need in one article, stop there and go to the next step.
*It's always a good idea to look a little deeper to find something unique.
Research I Got From Our Fictitious Request
By going to their landing page, I saw what they're about. This one is a "buy Twitter followers" website (personally, I don’t recommend these types of services), but it works for this example.
*You will often have to write articles on topics you don’t believe in, know nothing about, or find boring.
For the first step of the research copy and paste whatever information you want from the landing page into your outline so you can quickly reference it when you write the article. You don’t want to keep going back to their web page.
When I scanned their website what stood out to me that I would use for an article was:
- They don’t need a password to get their client's Twitter followers
- They say how long it takes them to get Twitter followers
- They have a money-back guarantee
*Shut down the website now, but copy and paste the web address into your document in case you have to go back to it.
2. The Title: First or Last Step?
When you write the title is a personal choice. I'll explain the difference below:
Write the Title First?
Some writer's write the title first, because it puts the focus on what they're going to write in the article. The purpose of a title is to summarize what the article is about, by using keywords and catchy phrases. If they write the title first then they're guaranteed to fulfill their obligation and carry through with giving the reader what they promised in the title.
Or Write the Title Last?
Other writers, such as myself. write the title after the article is completed. I find doing it this way takes less thought. Since the title is what the article is about, how can I know for sure what the article will be about until I've written it (sometimes I change course)… Just a thought.
How About you? When do you Write Your Title?
3. Flip the Focus of Your Article to the Reader
Now you have your article request, and keywords so you know what the publisher wants. The problem with that is you’re not writing the article for the publisher to read. You are writing for their audience.
Publishers rarely tell you how to write your copy to appeal to the reader. They only tell you what they want your article to get the reader to do. Buy something, sign up, refer other people, etc.
With your research in mind, think how you're going to write the article to appeal to the reader.
4. The Angle for Your Article
By this stage, you should have everything figured out in your head, now it's time to focus on your angle.
The majority of the time is spent thinking and organizing your thoughts, the actual writing is the quickest step.
Since the website you’re writing the article for (in the example) sells followers, the article has to inform and educate the readers about its services. Since it's a non-promotional article it must be written in a way that plants a seed in the readers mind that perhaps they should buy followers. Without telling them directly.
My Angle: I'm going to inform the readers how followers help to grow their business. The steps involved to get their own followers, and how this service saves them time. I also want to point out in my fake article that the reader needs a reputable service. To do this I'm going to use the information I got from the website's landing page as a guide.
- No password (not intrusive).
- Only takes a few days (short wait time to see results rather than months doing it follower by follower).
- Money-back guarantee: People love guarantees.
5. Freestyle Writing
Now we’re ready to write the article. You have your outline, research, and a good idea what you’re going to write.
Try freestyle writing. It's similar to freestyle rapping, but without the beat.When you free write, you type your thoughts about your topic down for a specific length of time without a break. You don't go back and fix any errors or proofread your work.
Free Write: In the past I didn’t follow this step, until I absolutely had to. But, It is a huge time saver. I used to write my articles, making sure each paragraph was grammatically perfect until I moved on to the next one – BIG MISTAKE. Please don’t do that.
To free write, set a timer for 10 – 15 minutes to give yourself a deadline so you write faster, then type your article. Don’t stop to read or edit it, until you’re done.
*If you get stumped while you're writing don't stop, just put a marker in the text such as three dashes --- and go back to it when you're finished.
How Comfortable Are You About Free Writing
6. The Introduction
Keyword phrase: Get more Twitter followers.
Angle: How this service benefits people with Twitter accounts, and why choosing a reputable company is important.
Introduction: Briefly explain what the reader will learn, and the value they'll get from reading your article.
Keep your intro paragraph brief, but let them know what information and value they'll get from reading your article.
7. Writing and Formatting The Body Of Your Article
Body: Why people need more Twitter followers, inform the readers how the service works, point out the benefits, and what type of company to look for to provide this service.
Sub-Topics: Break the topics into sub topics. Don't forget the keywords. Some publishers realize that they don’t have to use the keyword exactly, so they allow for variations. Check your guidelines. If you have to use the keyword exactly, make sure you have written it exactly as they asked you to. I have used a variation below.
Sub-Headings: Break them up as they are below. You can also use bulleted lists for each subheading.
How to get more followers: Discuss how hard it is, and the steps required to get followers manually.
Who Needs to get more followers: Elaborate on who needs followers and why they need them.
The Benefits of getting more followers: Elaborate on how much better their business will when they have a large following.
What to look for in a company: I would use bullet points, but re-write it so it does not say the exact same thing their website says.
- No password (not intrusive): Elaborate on how intrusive giving your password to a stranger is.
- Only takes a few days (short wait time to see results rather than months doing it follower by follower). Quickly elaborate ate on how it takes months to get followers, while a service can do it in days.
- Money-back guarantee: Elaborate on how much people love having a guarantee.
8. The Conclusion
Recap what the article covered. Restate why buying followers benefits an online business or blogger, while stressing they need to use a reputable service. By stressing this, the reader who wants to buy followers will be worried about trying another service. Which will hopefully lead them to buy from this service, which is exactly what you're article is supposed to do.
But don't use "The Conclusion" in your article.
9. Tips for Proofreading and Editing Your Work
Here are some tips to quickly proofread and edit your work. In the further reading section there are two articles that have more tips.
- Fix obvious spelling mistakes.
- Read it through for grammar errors out loud. If you don't have a grammar checker use a free one online. Search "free online grammar checkers" (without the quotes), and try different ones.
- Look for words that are commonly misspelled, such as your/you're, their/they're/there, etc. Make sure you read the article in the further reading section Death to Common Grammatical Errors - 5 Top Mistakes! For words you may not realize you use incorrectly.
- Read your paragraphs backwards, from the last sentence to the first. When you read from the first to last sentence you have in your head how you think it should read, and sometimes you don't notice that words are missing. I used this tip regularly when I worked for lawyers.
- Remove words you don't need.
- Keep a running list of errors that you see in your own writing, and other articles you read as a reference. I keep mine in a Word document.
Make Money: Be Smart With Your Writing Plan!
I can tell you right now that you will not make a full-time living writing for yourself on Hubpages and Bubblews, or writing articles for $5 - $10 for bloggers with no budget.
This is for writers who know they can write.
Articles titled ?+ ways to make money writing on the internet are junk. They tell you how you can make $0.5 an hour, if you're lucky. It wastes your time, and exhausts you so you have no energy to look for real writing jobs.
You're only going to make money writing for professionals with blogs, websites, or businesses who have a budget to pay you.
Now you have a choice: $25/day or $250/day?
You can muddle through hundreds of blog posts of writers with tips on how to make money writing. Or, you can buy this one book, and get everything you need to make a living.
I want to mention that there are some fantastic blogs out there with amazing advice. But, taking that route takes a long time to get all the information you need.
The cost of The Well-Fed Writer is under $11, and you can make that back in half an hour. You won't find a better ROI.
I can tell you that this statement by author Peter Bowerman is true:
"FACT: Businesses Need Writers, and Will Pay Handsomely For Them"
Don't learn this the hard way like I did.
He made a living writing, and has worked for companies such as the Coca-Cola Company, UPS, and Mercedes-Benz, just to name a few.
He tells you how he did it writing:
- Marketing brochures
- Ad copy
- Direct mail campaigns
- Web content
- Sales sheets
- Case studies
- White papers
- Trade articles, and dozens of other project types
Don't waste your skills; seriously think about how to be smart with your writing plan.
The Well-Fed Writer, an award-winning Book-of-the-Month Club selection.
How to Proofread and Edit Your Work
- FAQs on Style
Notes from the newsroom on grammar, usage and style.
Tips on Writing Titles That Work
- How to Write Headlines That Work
At its essence, a compelling headline must promise some kind of benefit or reward for the reader, in trade for the valuable time it takes to read more.
Article Outlines or Templates
If you are going to write a wide range of articles, watch the video below by Mark, the Communications Manager at Ezine.com. He explains how to use their templates to write different kinds of articles.