Article Writing is NOT Easy
Technically, you can write whatever you want online. But, as with anything, the more thought and effort you put into writing your article, the better results you’ll get out of it. So, while you can write content on any topic, you need to be sure that you write it in a way that people can find it.
Sure, there are some easy topics for article writing out there. Something that you have a lot of knowledge or expertise about is going to be a lot easier to write than something that requires you to do a lot of research beforehand. But, even if you think you know something very well, it's still good to research that topic. The trick to writing successful articles is to make that piece an authoritative topic on that particular topic.
You don’t have to write the perfect post every time, though. Yes, there are those of us that can whip out a blog post in 15-20 minutes, slap a Creative Commons or public domain photo on it, give it a snazzy title, and publish it with an immediate audience.
But, is that true of most article writers? Certainly not.
Write Fast, Fix Later
There are article writers who can write 1000 words in 20 minutes. But, don't feel bad if you can't write that fast right now. It takes LOTS of practice to be able to write so quickly. For me, it was years of journal writing that started back in junior high. But, what helped me the most over the years was retyping my journals into the computer. It helped me practice typing. Also, it also made me rethink how I worded things.
Obviously, when you’re writing in your own journal, you're not going to worry as much about how you're wording things. You're just going to write whatever comes to you. It seems many people think that writing perfect prose just comes naturally to experienced article writers. That’s not true. For every post I whip out in 15-30 minutes, there are five more on the back burner. Of these five, three or four of those will likely end up scrapped.
There are also plenty of articles I whip out, then go back and revise. Online article writers are always tweaking. After all, what you write is live to the world. If you’re not happy with it, you’re going to change it. You want to always show something that is strong work. Even if it’s not your best, you want it to be something you’re fine with having your name associated with when it comes to web writing.
Another mistake people make is to just write for what the search engines want right away. It's much better to just write first and optimize later. It’s easy to have an idea that you’re not sure how to optimize for search. That’s fine. Write it first, then figure out your keywords. It’s easier to SEO a post after getting it completely written. While many people write to keywords, I usually write first, then keyword later. It sounds backwards, but it helps me to just get words out and not sound like an article spinning machine.
While knowing target keywords is important, you may find yourself shutting yourself off to topics, just because you don't have a high-volume search phrase. Not all topics will get a lot of search traffic to begin with. Not everything you write has to be Page One of Google material. That's OK. Just write what comes to you and optimize for what you can later.
Write Ahead, Always Be Ahead
To make up for those times where the writing flow isn’t working, many online article writers write ahead. This is why you see so many web writers hammer out a lot of posts at once. That way, you can go back and decide if something is ready to publish or not.
Still, everyone's writing process is different. Some of us take a lot of time to craft the best blog post that we can. When I have a post that I really want to come out the right way, it can be a long process. That post can take days or even weeks to get published online.
In 2020, many blog posts take the better part of four hours to craft. Today's best performing articles online are much more thoroughly researched and comprehensive than in the past. While that's a good thing, that content quality is improving dramatically over the years, it also means you have to put a lot more into your articles than ever to make them work out well.
But, if you just get your ideas down and worry about making them full blown articles later, you'll be in better shape. You can spend an entire day on a post, but when you come up to needing something new to post for the week, you may find yourself starting with next to nothing. It's best to get the ideas down first, find the piece that's most relevant to your target audience and/or interesting to you and go with fleshing that article out before moving on to the next one.
What Makes a Good Article or Blog Post?
Plenty of thought has to go into articles and blog posts. Much of it is research. Not only are you fact-checking or looking for additional info, but you have to know if that article is going to actually get interest. Will this topic resonate with your intended audience? Is it a subject people will even care about? There's so much going on behind the writing that most people never think about.
Sure, you can just sit there and use a blog as your personal journal or as a way to curate content. That's perfectly fine. I used to do web writing that way. That’s when I just wanted to connect with others through online writing without really thinking about it as a career. Article writers and other web writers should just do whatever works for them. But, if you want to take your web writing to another level, that’s when you have to start treating it with far more care.
Yes, it's absolutely a myth that article writing doesn't require a lot of time and effort. It really does, especially when you're trying to grow it into a career. Yes, just starting a blog and writing anything takes time and effort. Even if you’re just writing for fun, it's never as easy as it looks! After all, you're publishing your article to the general worldwide public. That’s nothing to sneeze at! But, article writing for profit gets more complicated and requires a lot of time, effort, and patience.
So, the old saying “if you blog, they will come” isn't exactly true. You have to put in a lot of time and effort for a blog or website to live on. For those that can do it consistently, be proud of them for doing something they love! If you have the passion to put extra thought into effort into everything you publish online, there will be a pay-off in the end.