Tips for Writing the Perfect Freelance Article
Do You Want to be a Successful Writer?
Those of you just struggling to get started in freelance writing are probably eager to learn the best way to compose an article. Those of you who are old hands at writing may be surprised to learn that you have been doing it wrong for years.
That is why I have set sail around the internet to find some of the best techniques and routines, which when combined with my own limited experience and shrewd observations, are a guaranteed recipe for creating your next masterpiece.
We writers all want the same thing, right? Success, money, maybe a book signing in the future. We want magazines to pitch to us, we want to be able to work two hours a day and draw in those elusive thousands of dollars per month. All from the comfort of home. Right?
Look no further! I am positive that I have struck upon the magical recipe for just that level of success!
Here are some freelance terms you will need to familiarize yourself with:
- Client--A semi-fictional being much like Sasquatch. You can find one, but it takes a lot of hunting.
- Contract--Paper that ensures neither you nor your client gets everything you want.
- Query--An idea you submit to a publication only seconds after everyone else in the world submitted the same idea.
- Pitch--Begging for the job (disguised as convincing a client you are worthy)
- Rejection letter--a big owie
- Blog--place where you go to write about your successes
- Social media sites--where you go to vent about rejections
- Networking--a fancy word for chatting online to friends
- Marketing--telling people constantly what you do
- Check or PayPal statement--success!
Ingredients For A Stellar Article
Before you can get started, there are some basic supplies that you will need. Some you will actually use. Others will just serve to make you feel all official and important.
You still need them though, because feeling official and important is part of the psychology that makes you get up everyday and face your job with a "can-do" attitude. So, search your house or your local store ASAP and gather these things:
- Computer (you are probably sitting near it right now.)
- Internet (you will find this near your computer. Or at McDonald's.)
- Paper (For notes, letters, doodles, to-do lists...)
- Pens (go with paper like ham goes with cheese.)
- Rubber bands
- A place to sit
- Caffeine in your favorite form
- A multitude of distractions
- Various organizational objects
- A smartphone
- Every single social network known to man
Here are some sites that need to be kept open on your browser for fast reference:
- Other Social Sites You Love
- Your Blog
- Other blogs you like to read
- Google news
- Yahoo news
- Local News
- Any other writing sites you work on
- Other sites you visit daily for advice or entertainment
- Your online banking page
Step One--Planning Your Article
If possible, you want to set your distractions to occur at regular intervals. Put them on a timer of some sort so that they interupt you as often as needed to keep you completely frustrated. This teaches you to work under stress.
Turn on your computer and proceed to your favorite browser. Assuming you know how this is done, you need to open up a multitude of tabs.
Okay. All set? Open whichever writing program you prefer. If you write directly to a site, then you will need that site opened at least twice. For example, on Hubpages, you will want your editor open, as well as the answers board, the forum, your feed, and any hubs are you want to read.
Type the title of your article. Now go search it on one of the other sites and see what it brings up. Read through the other articles and see if any of them sound as good as the one you have planned. Write a better title.
Go to Facebook and check all of your messages. Don't forget to tweet that you are writing something.
Go back to your article page and see if you can think of a good summary. If not, go to Pinterest and look at pictures of kittens.
Step Two--First Paragraph
This is where you remember the advice "just write". Start banging away at the keyboard until you reach a minimum of about 1000 words. Then take a break and check out the news.
That should remind you that you haven't updated your blog today. So go do that. Then peek at your Adsense account. Study it like it was the stock market.
Go back to your article and delete most of what you wrote and try to put the same thought into a more concise form. No one is going to read something that has a thousand words in the first paragraph.
After you have deleted some of the random thoughts about your dog, rainbows, Cheerios and shoe polish, add in some keywords that will actually attract traffic. Hint: you only need two keywords; Make Money. If ten people are searching for articles today, twelve of them will be looking for those two keywords.
Now go edit a photo of a kitten or something that will attract visitors.
How to be Inspired by StumbleUpon
Harvest ideas for your next article while building up your presence on StumbleUpon. Use these tips:
- Hit the stumble button.
- Find something interesting to read, such as how polar bears have babies.
- Wonder how polar bears became associated with Coca-Cola.
- Look for Coca Cola articles to read.
- Get thirsty and find a coke.
- Cut your thumb on the can tab.
- Read an article on infected cuts.
- Look at pictures of gangrene
- Run to the bathroom to find antibiotic ointment
- Notice that your medicine is expired.
- Clean out your cabinet
- Go to the store for more
- Wait in line 45 minutes to check out one tube of ointment and a candy bar
- Read the magazine headlines while waiting
- Come home and write an article about which celebrity has gained or lost weight.
- Share it on StumbleUpon
Step Three--Adding the Meat of Your Article
Now that you have introduced your article and played in photoshop putting mustaches on kittens. (and a photo of Uncle Ralph), check your Facebook and Twitter again. Then go see if anyone viewed your blog.
This is a good time to read your emails too, and notice that you need to delete a bunch of spam. While you are doing that, Stumble several pages on StumbleUpon in hopes of being inspired for your next article.
When you find something really cool, like one of those "test to see whether or not you are a psychopath" games, share it on all of your social sites.
Since you are sharing...I mean marketing, go read a few blogs that you follow and see if they have anything that should be shared too. Then come back to your article and write at least five sentences.
Now go find a photo to support those five sentences. If you can't, try to work in words like:
because you can always find tons of images of flowers and irrelevant infographic. And everyone loves a health article.
Since you are trying to impress Google, you might want to check out some trending terms and news over there. And of course, the trending hashtags on Twitter. There is always a way to work a football or dating analogy into any article, too.
Once you have followed these steps, you will have the main part of your article written. If not, then you really need to work harder. Go back and start at the beginning of this section.
Step Four--Adding Subheadings and Rheumatism
You've probably worked hard enough for now, so take a short break and have a snack. While you are doing that, you can always dash back you your blog to see if it has had any more views. If not, try adding a bunch of people on Google+ then sharing your blog link.
Type a few more lines into your article. Run it through a word count tool and feel totally depressed when you come up about a thousand words short.
Add some really long subheadings. Then go look at Facebook again just in case something really amazing happened while you were out to lunch. About this time, you will become inspired and will form and create about seven stellar paragraphs in your head.
Before you can type them in, your Aunt Florence will call and chat for three hours about the weather and her rheumatism. You can't write an article one-handed, but you can peck out some tweets and maybe update your Facebook status while you listen.
Tell your aunt that you have a deadline to meet, and hang up. All of those amazing ideas you had earlier will be gone. Your head will be filled with rheumatism. So go do a Google search and see what the heck rheumatism is.
Writing and Self-Discipline
Do you ever get distracted while writing?
Step Five--Finishing Your Article
After you have replied to messages about your udpated status, read through sites about rheumatism and pinned about 70 hilarious memes on Pinterest, you are a ready to finish off your article.
You probably came up with something like this:
How the Coca-Cola Polar Bears Cause Gangrene and Rheumatism in Overweight Celebrities with Mustaches that Look Like Kittens During the SuperBowl---With Infographics
As long as you have met minimum word requirement, and gotten most of your point across, you can go ahead and create your fantastic ending. Some experts recommend that the summary of your article relates to your opening statement. So feel free to just rearrange those words.
For example, I would end this article by saying that if you stick to this method of article writing--not only will you waste an incredible amount of time, you will be able to create the perfect freelance article in 5 Easy Steps every time! With infographics, of course.