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Time taken to write an original & good quality 500-word article

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by Content Maestro, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. TREYC

    TREYC Active Member

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    #61
    To be completely honest, if it's a topic that I can enjoy writing on (or even one that is a hobby of mine) I can get a 500-word article finished in 15-20 minutes. I do take about 10-15 to proofread a few times, but in the end that's a pretty good writing pace!

    TCSEMrush
     
    TREYC, May 30, 2014 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #62
    OK great. So how does it go for you when the topic is completely new (consider you know almost nothing about it), you have to research and optimize your piece for search engine friendliness (researching and including keywords and similar stuff)? Sometimes, you also have to tweak your work according to the client's expectations or requirement. How much time do you take in this case for a 500 words article?
     
    Content Maestro, May 30, 2014 IP
  3. TREYC

    TREYC Active Member

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    #63
    Well if I were to take that into consideration I would say 30-45 minutes as well!

    TC
     
    TREYC, May 30, 2014 IP
  4. Jameyson MacDonald

    Jameyson MacDonald Well-Known Member

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    #64
    Honestly that would depend on what sort of article it is and the amount of expertise/research that would have to go into it. For an average, run-of-the-mill well-written article, I'd say no more than an hour.
     
    Jameyson MacDonald, May 30, 2014 IP
  5. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #65
    Cool. Thanks for the responses.:)

    So it seems that an hour is a good duration to time yourself to write a 500 words when the topic doesn't require much research and you take into account all factors as proofing, researching and optimizing your piece.
     
    Content Maestro, May 31, 2014 IP
  6. mr.sidney

    mr.sidney Greenhorn

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    #66
    Holding all factors constant, I`d say 1 hour is ideal
     
    mr.sidney, Jun 1, 2014 IP
  7. Eijaz Pardhan

    Eijaz Pardhan Member

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    #67
    100% agree with you, thanks for your comment Content Maestro.
     
    Eijaz Pardhan, Jun 2, 2014 IP
  8. wrcato

    wrcato Active Member

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    #68
    I spend on average 20 to 30 minutes per 500 words. If it an area that I know real well it can take only 10 minutes to write the article.
    then another 10 minutes to enhance the content, etc.
    I watch an interview with Jon Morrow, and he was ask this same question. His answer was 10 hours. But his blog posts are around 2000 words.
     
    wrcato, Jun 4, 2014 IP
  9. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #69
    That's what most of the people who have replied to this thread have said. But that again cannot be considered as a mean feat as the scenarios are wildly different for each case.
    You are most welcome Eijaz Pardhan. :)
    If you are able to write a 500 words good quality and original piece in 30 minutes max and it involves all aspects like proofing, grammar and spell check, researching, editing it according to how the client wants it to be styled and structured etc., I really envy your speed.
    Blog posts are quite difficult to write than a normal article as the style has to be conversational, interactive and keep the readers engaged. So I construe with Jon Morrow if I were asked the same question.
     
    Content Maestro, Jun 5, 2014 IP
  10. wrcato

    wrcato Active Member

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    #70
    20 to 30 min. is just writing for myself. I know what I want.
    However, I have written articles for clients on eLance, and most of them don't know what they want.
    For instance I had a web master in a certain sporting niche and wanted 25 articles. I wrote all 25 in two days. I thought they were crap but he has rehired me several times.
     
    wrcato, Jun 5, 2014 IP
  11. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #71
    25 articles in two days?? Wow, amazing! How many words per article? And what's your typing speed BTW?
    And the client hired you over and over? A part of me is still hesitating to believe that.;)
     
    Content Maestro, Jul 27, 2014 IP
  12. Jameyson MacDonald

    Jameyson MacDonald Well-Known Member

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    #72
    And this is exactly why 20 - 30 minutes to write a 500 word article is not sufficient.
     
    Jameyson MacDonald, Jul 27, 2014 IP
    YMC likes this.
  13. Jake The Competition Man

    Jake The Competition Man Active Member

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    #73
    It could be sufficient, in theory, if the topic is also your main passion. You know everything about it, and you love writing about it. Yes, 30 minutes are ok.
    As example, a novel writer with his masterpiece can write even faster, it's his writing masterpiece!
     
  14. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #74
    It can usually take take me around an hour to write 500 words, but it depends on the subject. While writing a series of articles for a dating site I had days when the ideas just weren't there but then others when I could write 5 articles in as many hours. My fastest time was 9 minutes typing!! I'm not sure how it happened, the idea was there and I was familiar with the subject. I actually had to stop typing at over 600 words having not realized what I had written. I prepared myself for a long edit but was surprised that the finished article was spot on and good to go. Unfortunately this is not a regular occurrence.
     
    Emma Pollard, Jul 28, 2014 IP
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  15. TextServices

    TextServices Active Member

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    #75
    I have over 20 years experience in dentistry and I have a well established dental blog that I write the content for. It still takes me the bare minimum of 1 hour to write a 500 word post. Whether I'm writing for my own sites or for a client project, I take the time to research, cite references if needed, proofread, edit etc regardless whether or not the subject matter is something I'm well versed in or not.
     
    TextServices, Jul 29, 2014 IP
    Content Maestro likes this.
  16. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #76
    What you said should be required reading for anyone joining this forum. The "oh I know the topic so well I can write posts in 20 minutes" crowd does not get it. They talk about how fast they can crank out stuff and then complain they can't draw high rates.

    If someone is asking about passing Copyscape, using spinners or anyone reading their writing can tell English is not their first language; they are simply not going to rise to the higher rates.

    It's not about location. It's not about race. It's not about which freelance site you use.

    It is about the product you provide your customers. Period. End of story.
     
    YMC, Jul 29, 2014 IP
  17. Jameyson MacDonald

    Jameyson MacDonald Well-Known Member

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    #77
    Great points! Too many people assume you are being "racist" or "prejudicial" when you speak of ESL in regards to content writing, but the truth is, if you are writing content in the English language with the intent to sell, you need to have a firm grasp of the English language.

    As an intelligent individual (I actually scored 153 on my last IQ test), who is college-educated, drafts technical content professionally, and speaks, reads and writes English as a first language, it takes me an hour on average to write a 500 word article. How someone who is not a native English speaker can claim to "easily" write "quality" 500 word articles in 20-30 minutes is beyond me...
     
    Jameyson MacDonald, Jul 29, 2014 IP
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  18. Glen Maguire

    Glen Maguire Peon

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    #78
    Just ensure you define upfront with your client how they will decide if the article is quality or not. As it's essentially a creative task so quality lies in the eye of the beholder :). I find clients chasing cheap copy tend to be the most demanding! Will the quality be based on percentage uniqueness (for SEO benefit, a target could be 70% unique), or are there other quality variables you could use?
     
    Glen Maguire, Jul 29, 2014 IP
  19. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #79
    I quite agree with what you say @Glen Maguire. When it comes to quality, every client has wildly different expectations. Understanding them is very necessary before you start work and it takes time to tailor a piece according to how the client wants it. So, again, a mean time frame to write a 500-words can't really be defined. Sometimes it may take less than a couple of hours, in other cases, an entire day is also not sufficient.
    That's right. Generous when demanding and stingy when paying.
     
    Content Maestro, Jul 30, 2014 IP
  20. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #80
    This precisely was my reaction when I just started writing. Fellows would deliver a 500-words in less than half an hour and I used to envy it. Peer pressure made me do the same thing but this was only the case when I worked for '$2/3 per 500 words' type clients. These people simply want words to make their pages full and often set unrealistic targets for writers. Sometimes, they want 5000 words in a day. 5000!
    Later when I was able to grab some clientele dead serious about quality, the 500-words I churned out in a mere 30-minutes were rejected at least 8 out of 10 times. Every time this happened, the client wanted me to modify the content to make it better and more suited for them. These clients are sometimes rather hard to work and get along with, but what they pay makes up for everything.
    Thanks for your reply.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
    Content Maestro, Jul 30, 2014 IP