A Survival Guide for Article Writing Beginners
Article writing is one of the growing avenues for making a coin on the side as a college student or a recent graduate waiting for a job. Many have even turned into profitable full-time employment earning more than a regular profession could ever offer. Furthermore, as businesses move to find room in the online space, the need for articles and blogs is growing daily.
However, despite the goodies it promises, this sector’s storms are so intense that many are easily discouraged. Some who get hit the worst leave promising never to write again. At SEOPips, we focus on training article writers who can handle the challenges of the article writing industry. In this guide, we offer quick essential tips for beginners.
Let’s get started.
Quality is King
The first thing you come to learn in this industry is that quality is king. While the level of desired quality varies from one request to another, giving your best is the only way to survive. Quality, in this case, refers to:
- Sentence structure
- Length of lines
- Size of paragraphs
- Flow of thoughts
Whether you are writing for a personal blog or a client, these factors are essential for success. Fortunately, some clients will specify these requirements in the order, which brings us to the second important tip.
Nothing destroys a career in article writing faster than not following instructions. The most common instructions are on:
- The number of words
- The keywords
- Keyword density
- Number of paragraphs
- Headings to be used
In some cases, the client might insist on the inclusion of specific headings, sentences or mentioning certain features of the product. You are doomed if you avoid these instructions. If you feel the instructions are not clear, ask before starting the task or during the task. To be on the safe side as a beginner, only pick the jobs with clear instructions, unless you don’t mind redoing the article two or more times and even not getting paid for the effort.
Bite Only What You Can Chew
Once you have read the instructions, accept only what you can manage. If, like the average writer, you need 2 hours to write a 300-word job, do not take a job that the client requires within an hour or less. If you feel the topic is too techie for your skills, leave it.
When building your career, it is better to err on the side of caution. If you cannot do it, leave it, but deliver if you have accepted the task. Giving excuses for not doing a particular job you had picked is anathema in article writing.
Check Client’s Website
Some clients are lazy or do not have the time to get into the details of their expectations, but they will give you the site where they intend to post the article. Others will ask you to check their blog or website to get an idea of the structure and the tone.
The bottom line is, get into the habit of checking the client’s website before you start writing. That way, you learn what the client is looking for in structure, tone and depth of knowledge. If the client gives no specific topic, you will find out what is already on the website.
Take an Article Writing Training
When you know better, you do betterMaya Angelou
So, the more you know about art, the better you become. May have an award-winning mastery of the queen’s language and still fail to meet customer’s expectations.
So, if you are a beginner, consider taking a course in article writing. You can learn from a friend or at an online training academy like SEOPips. It is best to train before starting your writing journey to avoid the pain that comes from clients rejecting your hard work and black-listing you. Clients are more willing to work with a newbie with a basic knowledge of writing than one who needs mentoring from scratch.
Choose Your First Client Wisely
Your first employer is very crucial. If you get a good one, they will help you grow; a bad one will make you lose faith in your skills and abilities. Others will frustrate you, belittle you and then pay you peanuts, or never pay at all.
So how do you find a good employer? The best way is to ask a friend in the industry. They will suggest a few people whom you can reach out to and ask for a gig. Often, these people will be trustworthy, though not always.
Article writing is everything but a quick path to wealth. However, it rewards growth, hard work and perseverance. So, be willing to start small in terms of word count as well as pay grade. A simple rule is never to take a job requiring more than 500 words until you have done over ten articles successfully or until your long-term employer/client asks you to try it, whichever comes first.
On the payment, accept to be paid pennies at first, and as your quality increases and you become dependable, employers and clients will be willing to pay you more. However, the secret to making money in article writing is to do more jobs. It the better if you can be paid more per word, but it is not the primary key.
Join an Online Community
Social media has made it easy for article writers to connect with possible employers and clients. There are several article writing groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Joining these groups helps in several ways, such as:
- Finding those who need writers
- Sharing beneficial industry-based information
- Marketing your skills
- You can use it to confirm if an employer is legit
Remember, life is best when lived mutually. So, learn to share meaningful contributions on these platforms and stick to the house rules. Otherwise, you will be removed and banned from joining.
Use Writing Tools
No writer gets it right the first time. Grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, spelling and punctuation are some of the most common imperfections. While some of these can be glaring, others are so subtle that it takes a third eye to point out.
Unfortunately, like most of us, you do not have the luxury of proofreaders. Here is where tools such as Grammarly, Copyscape and Hemingway app come in handy. With this, you can quickly get your draft to pro-level. There are helpful sites such as www.writingtools.net that bring these tools and more together on one platform.
Every master was once a disaster, so expect and accept that you will make several missteps along the way. It is part of the process. However, with these in mind, you will be able to avoid some common mistakes that have discouraged budding article writers.
SEOPips is an online article writing training academy. The self-paced course is appropriately organized, based on expert experience, and if you are into it, you can be done in less than three days.
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.