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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. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #101
    You need time and patience.
    SEMrush
     
    Content Maestro, Aug 1, 2014 IP
    SEMrush
  2. dscurlock

    dscurlock Prominent Member

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    #102
    I need more then that, some have been up 1+ years....
    I guess dont setup more gardens then you can manage...
    once you start ignoring your garden, google will too....
     
    dscurlock, Aug 1, 2014 IP
  3. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #103
    This is a good point, Google likes sites to be updated with fresh content, too many sites means to little time. The lure of making a quick buck is often enough to hide the true nature of running a business and website. It's a tough old world out there and spreading yourself too thin leaves you vulnerable to the forces of Google.
     
    Emma Pollard, Aug 1, 2014 IP
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  4. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #104
    That's so right. I was working with some clients who had a bunch of parallelly running sites. They needed a huge amount of content all (over-)stuffed with the right keywords to get all their sites indexed faster. This would often compel them to set unrealistic targets for us. These people should really understand -
    For content to be well-written and engaging, writers must be given the necessary time. And if a person starts timing himself/herself, it gives an overall idea of how long it'll take to write a certain no. of words and helps considerably to improve your time-management.
     
    Content Maestro, Aug 1, 2014 IP
  5. TIEro

    TIEro Active Member

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    #105
    It was an example of extremes, nothing more.

    A real-world example? OK, I wrote three articles in under an hour yesterday, all 500-ish words, all of sufficiently high quality to waltz through Constant Content's editorial filter, which is pretty harsh. They will all sell, because they're on good subjects, have good titles and are written to very high standards. This morning, I spent two hours reworking 500 words that a client wrote, getting it to the same standard.

    The differences between the two situations? First, the three quick articles were all subjects I know inside-out: zero research time, zero thinking time, just write (then come back later to check and change maybe 4-5 words); the single article was on a subject I don't know diddly about: LOTS of research and fact-checking. Second, the first three came straight out of my head, in my voice; the other one was reworking someone else's absolutely horrible writing, which means I had to spend ages getting my head around what they were trying to say, then saying it in a similar voice to theirs.

    Same quality, six times as long to write the single article - even though the same writer did them all! :D

    That's just a random example, of course, which happened to occur at the right time. It's also why I say it takes the time it takes. Averages are really just a way of determining your price point and cannot be accurately applied across an entire industry or workforce.

    Agree. Some of the ugliest crap I've edited has come from native writers, who can't seem to string three sensible words together. But the thing is, few people praise publicly, so we only hear about the crappy non-native writers and the great native writers. And life is full of prejudice, so one more doesn't surprise anyone.

    Forget crummy content, bad links, keyword stuffing and all the other stuff: bandwagons and get-rich-quick ads are the biggest cause of virtually all online problems, IMHO. They teach people stupid rubbish that isn't true, and then those people spread it to even more people... and in the end, everyone believes it's easy to earn online, just by setting up a crap site and slapping twenty cheap articles on it. Not gonna happen, but the manure-shovellers just don't seem to get it.
     
    TIEro, Aug 1, 2014 IP
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  6. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #106
    As for how long it takes to write a piece, it really does depend on what the piece is about, how well you know the subject and what the end result should be. An article written in a conversational manner about something you know well will take less time than a sales page which needs to be crafted in a certain way.
     
    Emma Pollard, Aug 1, 2014 IP
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  7. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #107
    I wonder if this is the chief cause of 'only-native-writers-preferred' mindset.
    This adds one more!
     
    Content Maestro, Aug 1, 2014 IP
  8. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #108
    If some informative content is to be written in a conversational tone, say for a layman audience, it can be equally time-consuming.
     
    Content Maestro, Aug 1, 2014 IP
  9. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #109
    It can but again it depends on how well you know the subject matter. I have written 75+ articles for dating websites, all in an informal conversational way. Most of these were free flowing and didn't take much time although towards the end finding something useful to write about was a bit of a struggle.
     
    Emma Pollard, Aug 1, 2014 IP
  10. Jameyson MacDonald

    Jameyson MacDonald Well-Known Member

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    #110
    And how exactly do new website owners generate a decent social following? If they're new and small, they're completely unknown in the world of social media. Which further illustrates my point that Google favors those websites with tons of money to spend on advertising.

    Any new website looking to make headway in social media must either pay for sponsored ads, or use websites such as like4like.org to create the appearance of popularity. Google used to be an excellent resource for searchers and website owners alike; today it caters to big spenders and the elite, while screwing over the honest small business and website owners.

    Has anyone else noticed that the only ones getting smashed on by Google's newest series of updates are the small and new websites simply trying to compete for recognition? Consider this, any website hit with a penalty can still get a top sponsored spot by using AdWords; if Google was really concerned with integrity and all that other crap they spew out, would they honestly allow such websites to pay for high placement???

    The reality is that Google no longer functions as a simple search engine that shells out the most relevant results indiscriminately; the Google of today is just another money-hungry corporate structure that caters to the rich and well-to-do, and I for one will rejoice at their demise...
     
    Jameyson MacDonald, Aug 1, 2014 IP
  11. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #111
    Firstly, growing a following in Social Media is another of those time consuming practices, yes you can buy likes from sites but why would you want to? Is there any guarantee that these likes would actually have an interest in your business or is it just about the numbers? This is another argument for having great content. Great content is something that people find interesting/entertaining and want to like and share. This can have a domino effect of creating more likes for your page and more traffic to your site.
    Social Media could potentially be more important than search engine rank in terms of clients for writers (or any business), there is more to life than Google IMO.
     
    Emma Pollard, Aug 1, 2014 IP
  12. TextServices

    TextServices Active Member

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    #112
    It takes time to build a good solid following on various social media sites. I could have taken the easy route and bought "likes", "tweets", "followers", Google+ etc, but I chose not to for various reasons. I instead, chose to play nicely on various social media platforms and use the platforms the way they are designed to be used.

    My dental account on Twitter has over 17,000 followers, (targeted list of people involved in the field of dentistry). My writing account has just over 5,000 followers (another targeted list). These accounts were nurtured over time. I spent the time to interact with others. I spent time carefully constructing my blog posts so they offered something of true value. Something a person would want to read, favor, retweet, share, etc.

    The various social media platforms are an invaluable resource to freelance writers (and anyone earning an income online) and one where quality clients with decent budgets are found. Google tends to like my sites, even brand new ones without me having to spend a single penny on advertising. Why? Because I took the time to create a site of value. I took the time to nurture and grow social media accounts. I keep the sites active. Sure, even though Google pays attention to my sites, I still lost ranking a bit to people who played the search engine game. The majority of those sites are useless and some shouldn't even see the light of day. I don't mind though. I went the social media route for exposure and income.

    Sure, large numbers look great, but those large numbers are basically worthless if it's not your target audience and peers paying attention to what you are doing, offering, and who you are playing nicely with. Social media should be a daily part of a work schedule. The magic isn't going to happen overnight or a week, month, or even 6 months, but it will happen. New clients start coming to you instead of dealing with $1/100 words clients with high expectations and demands.
     
    TextServices, Aug 1, 2014 IP
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  13. Emma Pollard

    Emma Pollard Active Member

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    #113
    I totally agree!! I really don't understand why people pay for likes/followers etc they would be far better off paying that money for some decent content and build their following organically.
    I can't claim to have a great following like you, tbh I find facebook a time drain, I struggle to keep up with twitter and haven't got to grips with Linkedin and Google+, but I will make it my mission to get this sorted as I recognize that they are a good way to network.
     
    Emma Pollard, Aug 2, 2014 IP
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  14. TextServices

    TextServices Active Member

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    #114
    One reason people purchase followers, likes, etc., is because it gives the account a boost. Some people won't acknowledge a brand new account and/or one with small numbers. People are drawn to numbers and many people tend to think that higher numbers lend more credibility to an account and that account is something they need to pay attention to and interact with. Smaller accounts are dismissed as spam or junk accounts by some people. People need to spend the time to actually take a closer look at an account. There are good and bad accounts on both ends of the spectrum.
     
    TextServices, Aug 2, 2014 IP
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  15. TextServices

    TextServices Active Member

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    #115
    Whether or not someone can write, at the bare minimum, average good quality copy of 500 words in 30 minutes or less or one is discussing social media accounts - quality will win over quantity every single time.
     
    TextServices, Aug 2, 2014 IP
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  16. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #116
    Say I want to write 500 words on a very specific topic. When I Google it, most of the results are irrelevant. I have to use multiple combinations of different search strings and go till the 20th or even 30th page sometimes to be able to find some content that at least resonates with I am looking for. I have lately experienced this problem quite a lot. Googling when you want to write stuff for a very specialized niche or something that has a very specific focus is time-consuming sometimes, or rather time-wasting I should say. (Needless to say how frustrating it is!)
    I find use of social media a very interesting approach and a good alternate to using Google. I know it's not a fully developed technique or that it can't yet be adopted as a full-fledged alternate to using search engines, but I somehow have the hunch that it will be helpful in locating stuff that's rarely found elsewhere.
    I guess what I actually want to know is - Is there any way social media can be used to locate good (and rare) resources for writing content, esp. when the niche is very specialized or has a very specific focus?
     
    Content Maestro, Aug 2, 2014 IP
  17. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #117
    I see acquaintance with a subject and being able to explain it in a conversational tone or in a manner easy for laymen to understand as two very different things. I am not saying understanding a subject doesn't matter at all. It obviously does. As a matter of fact, it's the most important factor. How can you explain something to another person when you yourself don't know it thoroughly!? But a writer's skills as such are really or more intensely required to translate that understanding into a simpler or conversational language. And I think this demarcates the boundary between one who is just an intelligent person and the other who is a writer as well. So ultimately my point here is that this translation is the real challenge for a writer and can be a chore as time-consuming as writing a sales pitch that's to be styled in a specific way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
    Content Maestro, Aug 2, 2014 IP
  18. Jameyson MacDonald

    Jameyson MacDonald Well-Known Member

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    #118
    There's certainly truth in this, but buying fake likes will also nullify your FB insights, which are extremely important. These insights tell you which posts your followers are responding to and sharing so that you can effectively manage your page in a way that brings in better interaction and more followers. Unfortunately, when you buy follower and likes, none of those people care about anything you have to say, so these insights will mean absolutely nothing.
     
    Jameyson MacDonald, Aug 2, 2014 IP
  19. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #119
    A big thanks for this @Emma Pollard.
    This breakdown of how a quality 500 words is written has helped me a lot to plan and manage my time.

    I'll recap it quickly here:
    Step 1) Research - which involves researching the keywords and subject matter of the article, both separately
    Researching the keywords >> 15 mins minimum
    Researching subject matter of the article >> 15 mins average
    Step 2) Planning the article, sorting the obtained data into an order (for coherency and flow), checking into conducted research for glitches >> 15 to 20 mins
    Step 3) Writing the article >> 30 to 45 mins
    Step 4) Proofreading and editing >> 10 to 30 mins
    It's clear that if this procedure is followed, it takes at least 85 mins (just about an hour and a half) to write quality 500 words.

    I personally don't think omitting any step would be a good idea.
     
    Content Maestro, Aug 3, 2014 IP
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  20. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #120
    85 minutes is an interesting average - obviously not the 20-30 minutes so often quoted around here. Hopefully, it might wake up a few people as to why some of us charge way more than 10$ an article.

    Plus, that process leaves out competitor research, picture selection (assuming the writer does this) and time spent with the client to get the specific requirements.

    15 minutes for research? I would call that a minimum rather than an average.
     
    YMC, Aug 3, 2014 IP