A few people have asked me to explain a little more about writing articles for a living, what it entails and how I organize my day. You can see my other page about writing articles here.
My Typical Day Writing Articles
My husband leaves for work just before 5am and brings me tea – well I am British – and that’s when I get up and check my email and kick my two, sometimes three (aging) computers into life.
I have four regular clients for whom I am always writing articles on a number of subjects. I always get the worst and most pressing things over first. Read Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog and you will understand why. Getting something written that you don’t want to do will get your day of writing articles progressing much better.
As an author I rarely suffer from writer’s block. You may have some days you simply don’t feel like writing articles. I try to take off at least one day a week besides Saturday, when my husband is home and I can’t think straight anyway.
If you don’t feel like writing articles, I find it’s best not to, it will show in what you produce which may be inferior. Do something else for a few hours, even if it’s gardening or housework. I think about what I’m going to write if I need inspiration as I do other mundane things.
What Do I spend My Day Writing Articles About?
Well, I have one client that is an SEO expert. He optimizes struggling websites for clients, and often they need more articles or better articles written. If these articles are for WordPress sites, I write them in a WordPress site and optimize them using SEOPressor, that way we both know they will pass any SEO test. I apply the same principles to articles for ezines or websites.
Most of the articles I write are 500+ words long. That’s roughly one single-spaced page. On subjects I know a lot about I can write an article and proof read it within about 20 minutes give or take. With subjects I don’t know anything about, especially product reviews, it may take me 30 minutes with research.
Being a storyteller can help enormously, because some of the subjects I am asked to write about are impossible! I recently had to write an article about Pink Office Chairs and an Elephant Watering Can! A challenge, but not when you can incorporate the keywords into a story effectively – it can actually be fun.
Writing Articles Isn’t For Everyone
When I first started out as a writer I signed up with a number of online agencies that run on a bidding system. On many of these sites you will run into “writers” who are from the Far East, who can work very cheaply and don’t write very well. They will write 500 words for $2 or $3. I wasn’t about to cheapen my skills. I started out at $1.25/100 words just to get my foot in the door, so to speak.
When I had a few jobs under my belt and felt confident I knew what I was doing I advertised on Warrior Forum’s Warriors For Hire section. That was a long time ago and I still work for three of those excellent clients who found me there. It costs $20 to place an ad, but it’s well worth it.
If you can’t stand the thought of writing articles about weird products like pink office chairs, you can always politely say the work is not for you and move on. My day of writing articles includes many about internet marketing, all types of insurance, and tangible products – I enjoy the variety. Having worked for a number of internet entrepreneurs, we have become friends over time and they have given me many tips about internet marketing.
My clients pay me up front via PayPal and I do charge more than $1.25 per 100 words now. I’m told I am worth it which is encouraging. I try to deliver clients’ work promptly and keep them informed if I have problems. With article writing and a few niche websites that I am working on, my income is growing. I know I am not going to get fabulously wealthy writing articles, but at my age it sure beats bagging groceries!
I keep my work organized when I write, simply by printing my clients’ email out and having them in a pile beside me, prioritized and marked off as I go. No need for Excel spreadsheets or anything fancy. I either use DropBox or attach the articles in an email to return them.
I listen to upbeat fusion jazz while I work, I can’t work with any kind of talking – don’t even try to concentrate on writing articles and watching TV at the same time!
My husband comes home at 3:30pm and that’s when the (darned) TV goes on, so that’s generally when I stop working on clients’ articles. I then get on with my own niche websites. Yes, I do work long hours but who doesn’t in the US?
(Ah for living back in England with a 35 hour working week, an hour for lunch in the pub, loads of vacations and cheap health care!)
If you decide you would like to try writing articles, please feel free to contact me and ask questions. I will also be posting another article later, about how to stay healthy if you are writing articles or work at a computer for long periods.