10 Useful Freelance Tips for Writing Content Articles

Freelance content writing has quickly become a surprisingly lucrative business. With the growth of digital marketing over the last couple of decades, there’s an increasingly strong demand for well-written, search-engine-friendly content created by skilled professional writers. It’s easy to find work writing web pages, whitepapers, blog articles, and other content for businesses across a wide range of industries. One of the most common forms of content that companies need is blog content. Blogs are a great way to boost search engine rankings, as well as providing value to customers and clients by providing useful and interesting information. Because a typical business needs at least one blog post per week to keep up the flow of fresh, original content, there’s a lot of work to be found writing blog articles. Here are ten useful tips for creating great content articles as a professional freelance writer.

  1. Look for work writing about topics you’re interested in. Having a strong interest in a topic is incredibly helpful for writing stronger, better content. If you already know quite a bit about a topic, you’ll be more capable of creating original topic ideas that other writers haven’t already covered in detail. You’ll also write faster, since you’ll save time on research. The faster you can write good content, the more money you can make.

  2. Use your education to your advantage. Freelance writing is one of the few well-paying careers where you actually don’t necessarily need a degree. Skill and experience count for more than education alone, but if you have a degree, you can use it to increase your chances of being awarded a job or gig. For example, if you have a degree in psychology, you can find work writing blogs about mental health more easily than someone with an unrelated degree, or with no degree at all. Tech blogs are a very up-and-coming sector, so if you’re knowledgeable about computer science, that can also work to your advantage.

  3. Google is your friend. If you’re a skilled writer and reasonably intelligent, you can actually write about almost any topic you’re given. All it takes is a little bit of research.

  4. Tailor your tone and voice to the blog’s audience. Some clients will want a more formal or even academic writing style, while others stress a conversational tone. Find out what your client wants, and who their audience consists of, to get a better idea of what approach you should take in terms of the voice of your writing.

  5. Proofread your work. Good writers rarely make genuine grammar or spelling mistakes, but if you’re a fast typist, typos can definitely happen. Be sure to go through your articles before submitting them to a client, in order to catch those small mistakes.

  6. Be realistic about turnaround times. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver. If you can’t write twenty articles in one day, that’s fine. Figure out approximately how long a typical article takes you, and work from there.

  7. Contracts are key. If you’re working with a client, you need a contract to protect all parties involved from fraud. Many bidding sites like Elance help you with this aspect of freelancing, and will provide protection by using an escrow system. Outside of these kinds of websites, when you’re dealing with clients directly, have them sign a contract. This gives you extra protection in case they try to get out of paying you.

  8. Be careful with hourly rate jobs on bidding sites. Many bidding sites like Elance offer two options for payment: fixed price and hourly. Hourly jobs do not offer the protection that fixed price jobs have. With a fixed price job, the client puts funds into escrow, so you can delay spending time on the project until you’re sure you will be paid. With hourly jobs, freelancers have been scammed out of weeks worth of work, with little to no protection.

  9. Know who you’re working for. This goes back to the issue of avoiding possible scams. Scammers will sometimes use a false name, and never pay you. Without a contract, you could be out of luck. Make sure you have contact information beyond a bidding site or a Skype connection, like a name, address, or company name.

  10. Seek out higher-paying work. Many clients will pay as little as a dollar for a 500 word content article, but most of the time, these jobs aren’t worth the time and effort unless you’re new to freelancing and need the experience. Look for clients willing to pay you what you’re worth. Some of the best freelancers make as much as $50-100 for one article, but an average price tends to be in the $10-25 range for that length.

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