Writing articles, especially as a freelancer, can be an excellent way to make money online. If you know how to put together high-quality content, you can earn lots of recurring revenue through article writing alone, even if you don’t have any other online business ventures or websites set up yet. But there are some tips and tricks to get the most out of your article writing experience, which is why we’ve created this handy guide on how to succeed as an article writer. Our top 10 tips will help you grow your business and develop the skills needed to tackle bigger projects in the future!
1) Consider your readers
If you’re writing content for a particular site, make sure that you have a clear idea of who your audience is and what they want. If you can write in such a way that makes your target reader feel like they’re listening to their favorite uncle or sister, then it will be easier for them to follow your advice. Even if you don’t know who your readers are yet, consider how they might react to each sentence as you go along—and whether they would respond positively or negatively. If something feels awkward or unclear, revise it until it flows naturally.
2) Learn how to research effectively
The key to becoming a great writer is learning how to find quality information and turn it into something compelling. If you’re stumped for inspiration, or if you simply need some tips on where and how to look for information, read up on strategies for effective research. You’ll have no trouble finding good places online, but keep in mind that Google is not always your friend.
3) Outline your articles
When you’re just starting out, planning your articles is incredibly important. There are a lot of different factors that will affect how much traffic you get from your articles—the topic, keywords, writing style and more—so doing a little bit of pre-work to outline everything ahead of time can help make sure you have everything covered. Outlining your posts isn’t just for SEO purposes; it helps with continuity and storytelling by ensuring that each piece flows nicely into one another.
4) Stay focused on your topic (and yourself!)
It’s hard to stay objective when writing about yourself and your own beliefs, but don’t lose sight of your subject. Keep on topic and focused on yourself, even if you have a lot of good things to say about someone else. When in doubt, ask yourself: What is my point? What am I trying to prove? How does what I’m saying help my audience? Is it relevant? Are there any holes in my argument that need to be filled in or expanded upon? Always keep these questions in mind when writing so that you can make sure everything makes sense and flows well.
5) Don’t forget about SEO!
It’s hard work, but a step-by-step SEO strategy can be a critical aspect of any successful marketing campaign. If you’re hoping to maximize your return on investment (ROI), you should spend time researching how search engines like Google evaluate and rank your content in order to optimize your web pages for search engines. Doing so will give you a huge boost in traffic over time.
6) Use headlines creatively
When writing your articles, remember that you are going to use them in your marketing efforts. This means that you should use headlines creatively and make sure they show off what’s inside of them. If a reader is skimming through posts on Google News or in their Facebook feed, they may only give yours a few seconds before moving on if it doesn’t catch their attention immediately. Use bright colors and bold text if possible. You want your articles (and by extension, you) to stand out! Write SEO-friendly content: SEO stands for search engine optimization, which refers to all of those things you can do with your articles to get more people reading them. If someone types something into Google looking for information about your topic area, they will see your website at or near the top of their results page. The better optimized your site is for search engines, the more likely it will be that people will find you when they’re looking for answers to questions related to your industry niche.
7) Set a schedule and stick with it
Writing consistently is one of the most important—yet challenging—aspects of being a successful freelance writer. If you’re just starting out, it can be even more difficult to commit to writing every day (we all have those days when we just don’t feel like doing anything productive!). But setting aside time on a regular basis will help ensure that you meet your deadlines and turn in articles on time. Make sure to set realistic goals for yourself; if you know you’ll only write for 15 minutes a day, then stick with that amount of time instead of pushing yourself to write for longer periods each day. This way, you won’t get discouraged if you don’t reach your full word count goal at first.
8) Don’t write when you don’t feel inspired
The most important thing is to write when you’re feeling inspired, not when you feel like it. If you wait until you feel motivated, chances are that your inspiration will have passed and so will your muse. Wait for a flash of inspiration instead, and then give yourself permission to quit or take a break if it never comes.
9) Don’t hold back when giving criticism
As a writer, you can help others improve by giving them feedback. This may seem daunting at first, but it’s important that you don’t hold back when giving criticism if it is genuinely helpful. By leaving nothing unsaid and actively trying to help others improve their writing, people will appreciate your honesty—and more likely to accept your advice. People have a much harder time accepting criticism from someone who seems less than sincere in what they say or do. If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, be sure to give honest feedback whenever possible. It’ll go a long way!
10) Read more!
Before you start submitting your work for publication, it’s important that you read (and understand) magazine and newspaper guidelines. Not only will reading editorial guidelines help you get your foot in the door, but knowing what editors are looking for will help improve your writing. Read magazines regularly, pay attention to style guides, and take advantage of free online resources like Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL). If you want to make a career out of freelance writing, there is no substitute for experience—the more you write, the better writer you become.