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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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    #121
    That's just a basic layout which covers the bare minimum steps. Obviously, more things like competitor research, picture selection (assuming the writer does this) and time spent with the client to get the specific requirements etc. factor in depending on each individual case, but I think the central idea conveyed here is that to really write quality content, this is what should be done at the least.
    SEMrush
    I agree that it would be apt to call 15 mins of research time minimum rather than average. I think @TextServices has made a fantastic point in this context -
    Anyone reading this will now know what the writers have to do to deliver a really quality piece. And it makes obvious too why the quality writer can't accept anything below $10/500 words.
     
    Content Maestro, Aug 3, 2014 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #122
    I quite know that $10/500 words are slave wages by professional copywriting standards, but that's the higher-end when you consider the pay offered in freelance content writing market, esp. that prevails here.
     
    Content Maestro, Aug 4, 2014 IP
  3. SGFloorplans

    SGFloorplans Peon

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    #123
    Its takes me 2 hours to write an article. I usually write about 800 words. After that I spend another 30mins to edit it to my liking and check for grammar mistakes. As u can see its much more time effective to engage a copywriter if your site is all about articles.
     
    SGFloorplans, Aug 4, 2014 IP
  4. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #124
    2.30 hrs is a decent speed for 800 words considering edits, grammar/spell checks and all. Thanks. But do you take the same amount of time for every topic? If it’s a topic completely new & you don’t have the slightest clue about what to write, can you do an 800-words around it in the same time? (Of course that includes research and organizing the data you gather.)
    One more thing. Not every article is a sales article. So I personally don’t see how a copywriter can effectively bring about content for a site all filled with ‘articles’? Please explain if you would.
     
    Content Maestro, Oct 22, 2014 IP
  5. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #125
    Every web article should be a "sales article." Every website is built for a reason. Excluding the folks doing it just for fun, folks are trying to make money. They may be selling widgets, they may offer a service or they may hope you click on ads. Every article should promote the site or the people behind it. The call to action should not always be BUY NOW, it should also be "READ THIS PAGE OVER HERE TOO", "YEAH, WE ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION ABOUT XYZ AND WE CAN ALSO DO THIS, THIS AND THIS", or "OUR SITE IS COOL, YOU SHOULD BOOKMARK IT AND COME BACK THE NEXT TIME YOU NEED INFORMATION".
     
    YMC, Oct 23, 2014 IP
  6. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #126
    Oh, OK. My concept of a “sales article” was limited only to an article that tries to convert visitors into buyers and sell some product or service. Accordingly, I wouldn’t consider e.g. a generic and informative article listing the causes and remedies of say heart-attacks as a “sales article” unless it’s selling something.
    Well, if by “sales” here you mean "READ THIS PAGE OVER HERE TOO", "YEAH, WE ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION ABOUT XYZ AND WE CAN ALSO DO THIS, THIS AND THIS", "OUR SITE IS COOL, YOU SHOULD BOOKMARK IT AND COME BACK THE NEXT TIME YOU NEED INFORMATION" etc., i.e. in short retaining the readers’/visitors’ interest and DOES NOT imply merely buying anything, then yes …..... Every web article should be a "sales article." Every piece of content on a website should be able to sustain the existing traffic and drive more.
    So I guess a copywriter’s job not only consists of crafting effective sales pitches, but also of producing content that can keep people engaged for long and automatically generate more visitors for the site.

    Thanks for your reply.:)
     
    Content Maestro, Oct 23, 2014 IP
    GodsOwnWriter likes this.
  7. GodsOwnWriter

    GodsOwnWriter Active Member

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    #127
    For topics that I regularly write on and I am adept in, I take an average of 22 minutes including research (for standard 500 word article). And for topics that are totally new for me, it really varies, because, even if it is just one article I like to dig deeper and understand the scope of the subject before I decide to pen my thoughts around it.
     
    GodsOwnWriter, Oct 29, 2014 IP
  8. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #128
    I would say 22 mins is too fast for 500 words even if you are adept at the topic. This time MAY suffice for some kind of absolutely run-of-the-mill articles …..... even an under-average writer can crank half a dozen of them out in a couple of hours. But if you strictly wanna deliver purely quality stuff, an hour's time should at least be allotted. Just check the time distribution given here – https://forums.digitalpoint.com/thr...500-word-article.2704817/page-6#post-19015605. This, I reckon, is what should be carried out leastways whether you know the topic thoroughly or not.
     
    Content Maestro, Nov 2, 2014 IP
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  9. GirlfromIpanema

    GirlfromIpanema Greenhorn

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    #129
    well actually if I don't know the topic and want an article to be really original and authentic, I can spend a few hours researching and an extra hour writing it. But as soon as I have the story in my head, the typing goes really fast. The most difficult is to shape the idea.
     
    GirlfromIpanema, Nov 3, 2014 IP
  10. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #130
    That's the problem when you are not clear about what to write and yet wanna produce good readable stuff. Given this scenario, if you're writing for yourself, it's a very time-consuming and tedious chore to find a good topic and set yourself writing about it. If you are doing the same for someone else, this time is considerably reduced but then again not every client is fully clear while providing the outline. It takes away most of the time you would spend in actually writing the stuff.
     
    Content Maestro, Nov 3, 2014 IP
  11. Otto Baynes

    Otto Baynes Greenhorn

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    #131
    Some of the numbers being thrown around in here smack of content mill standards. 500 words in 30 minutes is only reasonable if it's a topic you're an expert on to the point where you need to do no research or fact checking, or it's an opinion piece on a topic you're equally expert on.

    500 words / 30 minutes is only acceptable for content mill writing where you maybe do a cursory Google search and skim one or two of the top results. Not to chastise anybody, at the rates that mills pay that's basically how fast you have to go to even approach making the pay worth your time (and that's all the more effort they usually deserve).

    A couple hours is potentially reasonable, but a non-bush-league client should be giving you 48 hours bare minimum deadline for anything 500 words+ unless you're covering a breaking news item.
     
    Otto Baynes, Nov 5, 2014 IP
  12. talk2tanveer

    talk2tanveer Active Member

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    #132
    I haven't worked professionally since quiet some time but it used to take me at least 2 hours to write an article of around 600 words. I will admit I was a lazy writer, with a lot of time wasted on unnecessary links and unproductive research.
     
    talk2tanveer, Nov 7, 2014 IP
  13. Alex Toll

    Alex Toll Active Member

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    #133
    It depends not so much on your experience, but on your knowledge of the topic.

    I guess under an hour should be enough, if you know the topic. A short intro and conclusion will take the 4th of the word count, if done right. The rest is up to you. What do you mean by "quality"? For me, it's something that has been researched and backed up by data/links. It's impossible to do that quickly. Especially, if you're not sure where to find those verifying documents.
     
    Alex Toll, Nov 10, 2014 IP
  14. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #134
    I would like to state here what I've already repeated many times. Quality is a very subjective concept and it's hard to demarcate some universal or common parameters to measure it.
    To state very briefly, by 'quality' I mean that the content should AT LEAST be well-researched, well-organized, coherent, have proper spelling and grammar/syntax, should be engaging and most importantly comply with the purpose for which it's being written.
     
    Content Maestro, Nov 10, 2014 IP
  15. Slikk Cybernaut

    Slikk Cybernaut Greenhorn

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    #135
    CRIKEY!! It takes me about a day to write a good quality 500-word article :(
     
    Slikk Cybernaut, Nov 10, 2014 IP
  16. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #136
    Is the article very technical or specialized? How much research time do you have to put in? Is the information readily available or do you have to dig deep? How's the content to be structured/styled? All these matter a lot and sometimes it may take a hundred edits to get that 'perfect' piece done!
    A day doesn't really mean it's a long time. To write a good quality 500-words white paper, it may take a week or even a month!
     
    Content Maestro, Nov 10, 2014 IP
  17. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #137
    Absolutely right you're @Otto Baynes. Content mills pay ridiculously low these days and one can't really afford to work for most of the jobs put up there unless writing is something you do for supplementary income. Still the rates are usually pathetic and not worth the time and effort you would spend.

    That apart, I can't agree more that a well-researched, informative and engaging 500-worder can't be done in just half an hour unless you're really an expert on the subject. Even then some facts have to be researched and cross-checked many times as you just CAN'T assume you know everything. (You're greatly exposing yourself to the risk of getting sued for providing false information.:)) This essentially consumes a lot of time which makes 30 min too short a deadline. Such type of writing goes hand in hand with the procedure you've mentioned - google the topic, pick the top 2-3 links up, spin or reword the content so it appears original/unique (optional), proof read, edit if necessary and release.
    I've also experienced that clients who pay far above the prevailing norms of freelance writing market understand that unique, quality and original content takes time to get built. So, a 48-hrs minimum deadline seems perfectly normal to them as opposed to clients paying somewhere between $5 to $10 per 500 words (…..... I'm deliberately excluding those who pay anything below $5 as a majority of these folks don't even know in the first place what they want :O ….....) who are most of the times very desperate to get their content done, need it urgently and press writers like crazy to finish the work off before the allocated time frame.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
    Content Maestro, Dec 12, 2014 IP
  18. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #138
    I had almost the same problem at first but eventually discovered that if you organize the content and layout a specific structure for your articles, your search becomes much targeted and focused. Instead of hovering aimlessly over irrelevant pages, you can quickly lay your hands on material that's germane to the purpose of your content.
    As for the part of being lazy, I quite know that when not able to spot the right info even after navigating through tons of websites, you're understandably pissed off which kills motivation to carry out more work. But then again, as I said, keeping a structure and organization helps you to stay focused and you'll find yourself getting increasingly enthusiastic to complete the work.
     
    Content Maestro, Dec 12, 2014 IP
  19. deltamas

    deltamas Active Member

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    #139
    it depends on topic, for very hard topic, I might be able to spend time for 1 hour, but for an easy one, I only need 15-20 minutes.
     
    deltamas, Apr 26, 2015 IP
  20. cm94577

    cm94577 Greenhorn

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    #140
    I would say 15 mins give/take for me. I type extremely fast.
     
    cm94577, Jun 30, 2015 IP