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Freelance Writing: Write a better article

Updated on June 18, 2013

Writing for business is very different to writing for pleasure, and when it comes to writing articles to another person's specifications, there is a lot to take into consideration.

Article Writing: Points to address

Ok, so to begin with you need to think about which points need addressing.

They commonly include:

  • Relevant content
  • Keyword inclusion
  • Layout and presentation
  • Word count

I am going to address each separately.

Article Writing: Relevant Content

When writing articles for other people's specifications there is a lot to consider such as word count, keywords - but one of the most important things about writing an article is ensuring the content is relevant.

It doesn't matter if you've hit every other point and ticked every other box: If the content is vague, meaningless or dull then the article isn't going to have much worth.

Make sure you:

  • Research the facts from reputable sources
  • Reference anything you've included where necessary
  • Stick to the subject in hand and don't wander down off-subject avenues

Article Writing: Keyword Inclusion

One of the main reasons people will ask you to write articles is for SEO purposes - which in a nutshell means Google and other search engines will pick up on certain words and phrases in the content in order to drive natural search traffic there.

Don't worry too much about the density (the amount of keywords per 100 words), but as a general guideline anything between 2-4% is achievable without appearing to be too fluffy.

If you focus too heavily on keywords the article's content will become less beneficial to the reader.

So if your keyword is article writing, a good sentence would be:

"Article writing is easier when thoroughly researched"

Whereas a poor sentence would be:

"To learn more about article writing just type article writing into a search engine and article writing will appear to tell you more about article writing".

If you stuff keywords, Google won't like it, the reader won't like it and the article will flop. Make sure the keywords flow well within the content.



Article Writing: Layout and presentation

Content is important. Keywords are important. But one of the most useful tips you can remember is this:

Folk generally don't read content thoroughly. They skim.

So to make your article easier to scan, better to read and smoother to navigate, try the following:

  • Use bullet points
  • Separate the content into relevant sub-headings
  • Highlight with bold or italics anything that is of particular importance

Article Writing: Word count

It is the trap too many inexperienced writers fall into. They are 4 words off the specification and so begin to stuff unnecessary words and fillers in to beef it up.

Throwing extra words around does not improve the content. It's better to be a handful of words too short than to submit an article that is wordy.

These tips will help you to hit your word count easier:

  • Divide the subject into relevant subcategories
  • Divide the word count evenly between each
  • Aim to hit roughly that word count for each subcategory

If you go over on one, don't worry - that's extra room for you to fall short on another. By dividing the content into subcategories you are more likely to focus on relevant content than struggle to stuff the article you are writing with extra words just to make up the word count.

Want more writing tips?

Try this link for an interesting way of making SEO writing faster.

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    • kellyteam profile image

      Willette 5 years ago from Michigan

      Very useful information. I think I fell short quite abit on word count when I first started. Once I read the qualifications for the apprentice program I realized I needed to amp up my word count then I read the article about stellar articles and had to amp up even more. Thanks so much for your hub it has a lot of good information for beginners. Thumbs up!

    • writeyourwrongs profile image
      Author

      John Crowley 5 years ago from Sheffield

      Appreciate your comments - and pleased to be of assistance.

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 5 years ago

      Good hub. Thanks for the helpful hints and tips. We are all striving to improve our writing and submissions. Your hub certainly helps that process. Thanks again. Voted up.