Professional Instructions For Writing An Article
- You need to know what the requirements are. This may seem remedial and downright common knowledge, but so many freelance writers will accept a job out of sheer excitement and completely forget to ask for instructions. They accept terms and sign an agreement, and then dive right into waters that they know nothing about. You can ask for information about your topic if none was provided. If the client just said “article on the environment” you can ask whether they want a certain word count, a certain perspective, or even a certain type of article.
- You need to understand basic SEO. If you are going to be a professional writer submitting articles on the internet, learning rudimentary SEO tactics is essential. Many companies will contract monthly articles for their company or for sister companies. They will tell you they want a particular list of keywords integrated. They might tell you that “wind energy jobs” is the primary key phrase and then give you a list of geographic based keywords as the secondary key phrases, such as “wind energy jobs Texas” or “California wind energy jobs”.
Maybe they want a feature piece for a magazine. Perhaps they want an expose that is meant to inspire actions on behalf of readers. Maybe they need a piece for a newsletter or an argumentative piece. If you don’t ask and you just start writing an article of 600 words on climate change, you might submit it only to hear back that they wanted an argumentative piece on wind energy jobs that was 1000 words. Don’t waste your time or theirs by being too nervous to ask questions.
They might then tell you that the primary keyword needs to be 2% density with the secondary key phrases at 1% density. This means that the primary key phrase they assigned should show up in your article 2% of the time, or rather, that 2% of the words in your article need to be that key phrase precisely. The same metric is used for the secondary key phrases. Obviously the number of times you include the keyword is then based on the length of the article. If you are writing an article that is 500 words, you might include the keywords 3-5 times but an article of 2000 words would need it sprinkled more often throughout the text.