Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Write an Article in 20 Minutes

A post inspired by the article Write an Article in 20 Minutes | Copyblogger

"Write and article in 20 minutes" seemed like a tempting read so I read the article. Nice idea to be able to write an article in 20 minutes. That would make me rich, that will if I could only do it. The thing is, I can't. Unless the article is about a topic that is so simple that I could do it in my sleep, it takes me more than 20 minutes to write an article of about 500 words. 

But -- I dare to ask -- how often does that happen? How often do clients give work wherein you are to write a simple 400 word article on a topic that is absolutely easy-peasy that your fingers just dance across the keypad? It has happened to me just once and it was only one article out of 50 that I had to write.

Writing an article is never easy. Especially if the subject of the article is not something that the writer is familiar with. Believe it or not, the internet, though widely accepted as a treasure trove of information, does not contain usable information on every little thing. (Believe me it was a shock to discover that little factoid).

I am a freelance writer and article writing makes up the bulk of my work. Clients normally give me topics that they want to be written about plus some instructions on what the keyword density is and all that jazz. For those who are still new to the concept of article writing, keyword density is basically the number of times a keyword or key phrase has to appear within an article. Keyword density is a necessary part of what is termed as SEO or Search Engine Optimization. This means (are you confused yet?) the better optimized your article is, the higher it will appear on the results pages of search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and all the others out there.

As if those things are not confusing enough, there are some clients who will give about 30 different keywords that need to appear more than once in an article that is about 500 words long. Then they say the article needs to make sense, there should be no spelling errors, will pass all plagiarism checkers, and, needs to be grammatically correct. Try doing that with a keyword like "wedding photos Winterland" or something like that! I definitely cannot manage to write an article in 20 minutes within those parameters. Believe you me, even the most powerful laptop equipped with the most modern software won't write your articles for you. 

Then there is the matter of the deadline. Normally, it is not a problem unless the client wants ten articles of 500 words each in one day and the topic given is so obscure that even Google is dying to kick you in the rear! Aaaarrrrrgggghhhh! 

Remember, quitting is not an option as you need to feed yourself. Banging your head against the wall, no matter how tempting, will only result in a massive headache and will just waste time that could be used searching all the search engines ever invented to find that topic that does not seem to exist anywhere else except in the client's mind.

If that was not enough, you need to work on stuff that will help you earn side income. That means blogging or doing your own article writing for your self. Clients are never predictable and being freelance means sometimes you have four clients demanding next to impossible articles with overlapping deadlines, and, times when there is absolutely no work. 

Twiddling thumbs or playing Angry Birds will not pay bills. So you need to make sure that you have some form of extra income to help you along. Even if that means earning peanuts from ads in your blog or sharing stuff on sites like RedGage.

But I digress. About writing an article in 20 minutes; it seems like something I would have gobbled up during the days I was just starting out in the freelance article writing world. But now, I am no longer that naive.

You see, if you are writing for a client, you have to write according to the client's specifications. The only creativity you have is to write something that makes sense, spelling-error free, grammatically correct, within the specific word count range, and will pass plagiarism checkers. To put things rather bluntly, you are a like a vending machine that spews out articles. 

If you are writing for your self, like your own blog or article, you want to be as good as you can be. That sure as hell takes more than 20 minutes -- at least for me. I have one Squidoo lens that took me over a week to write! I find that creating original work, needs... uh... um... well.... work.

Write an article in 20 minutes may be possible for a lot of people out there. And I definitely give you all a great bow because you are capable of doing something that I just can't do. Maybe you can give me tips on how to do it. Maybe I just need practice. Or... maybe I am just not that good a writer.

Even writing this blog post about what I think about the article "Write an Article in 20 Minutes" is taking me more than 20 minutes!

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