Another week is over and with that, it’s time for weekly blog post #3! Last Saturday, I mentioned word counts and how it’s important for blog posts. Today, I would like to explore that a little more. If you recall, I said that Google mark anything that’s less than 300 words as light on content, which is bad for SEO. What is SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s the practice of fine-tuning your webpage so that it appears higher on seach engine lists, thus drawing in more traffic. I won’t go into too much detail as you can find a whole plethora of knowledge online about it. Let’s just say, if you know how to optimise your content for search engines, your website will shine for it!
Anyway, I digress! That isn’t the only reason word counts are important. They’re also necessary for your clients and that’s when writing freelance can get tough.
I’ve got a client who wants a 1000 word article written about a roll of stickers. Yep, you heard me. A roll of stickers. This client has decided to pay me in advance for it and so they expect a quick turn around. I’ve agreed. I’ve scoured the internet. I’ve put my best findings regarding stickers on paper and I’ve cleaned and polished the article. It looks gorgeous! But, hang on! It’s only 700 words. My client paid me for 1000 words!
Writing an extra 300 words gets difficult.
I’m not kidding. My article is THE BEST article ever written. Everything fits in perfectly, there is just no room for anything more! Yet, it’s not good enough. My client wants 1000 words and I don’t want to let them down. Chances are, if I open up to them and say, “Look this is all I could manage,” they’d be fine with it. But, for me — this is a business. If a client paid for a service, I want to deliver it.
How do I get these elusive 300 words?
Fluff the article? Turn, they’re, into they are? Turn, you’re, into you are?
NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.
Fluffing the article is a massive no. Why? You risk ruining the flow of your piece. That best article ever written will suddenly drop in quality. Your shining work is now mediocre. The client won’t hire you again.
In fact, what I tend to do in these situations is go over the article and see where I can add a personal flair. For example, if I’m talking about a roll or stickers available on Amazon, I’ll mention why I think that particular roll is the best one to go for. Maybe I’ll add in a statistic, or mention a testimonial by another user. My point is, I look to expand in ways that aren’t simply keeping the piece the same and don’t drag it out either. Do you get that?
I’ll also walk away. Sometimes, that’s difficult. Sometimes, it’s not possible. If my client is desperate for their article, I can’t walk away. Even on occasion, I tell myself, I want to get a particular piece out by a certain time and if I have to walk away because I can’t find those extra 300 words, it stops that from happening. It can be demotivational, it can make me feel like a failure. Though you have to force yourself!
Anyone in the freelance business, whether it be writing, art or digital design, knows that taking a break is esential. The 300 words may be impossible to get now, but when you’ve had a shower, gone for a walk and returned, you’ll find you’ve got a fresh perspective and suddenly, new ideas will spring to mind!
There we have it, word counts are pretty important. Why am I telling you this? I want to give you an insight on what life is like as a freelance writer. A lot of people and I mean A LOT, think it’s a case of just sitting at your computer and writing article after article. There’s so much more to it than that and to be honest, it can be stressful. It’s a VERY competitive market and one slip-up, one bad client who isn’t happy about the 700 article when they paid for 1000?
There goes your credibility.
Being a freelance writer is tough. If it wasn’t, every one would do it and word counts are one of the many challenges I face everyday.
But anyway, enough about that! Let’s talk about the future!
I’m starting a YouTube channel!
It’s true! And it’s going to be all about writing! This is all part of my endeavour to put a human face to myself. I want to be your content writer and I want you to know me. What am I going to do on this channel exactly?
Talking about writing, of course!
I am going to use my YouTube channel not only as a way to promote my business, but also as a way to help all the budding writers out there improve their craft! I’m so excited! You can expect to see me talking about more matters like this, talking about my own journey into writing and just having a fun time that I can share with you guys!
I don’t know when it’s happening. I’m very busy at it is what with my novel, my clients and my writing course, but I’m doing it! I’ve already worked on a little introduction sequence and I can’t wait to show you more! So as usual watch this space!
And that’s a wrap on another week!
I hope you all have had a wonderful time, feel free to comment below and let me know about your experiences in writing, any suggestions about what you’d want to see me talk about and… well just about anything really! Tell me to quit what I’m doing and slap me across the wrist for trying. Either way, let’s open a channel of communication! I’m thinking of starting up some polls or something too so I can really get interactive with you guys!
Until next time!