Website Writer: the nth article

Imagine this. You, dear website writer, wrote six very detailed, deeply researched articles and blog posts today, and you’re about to embark on the seventh. Can it be special? Can it create that magical thing known as “engagement”? Yes  it can! But here’s what you need to rock that client’s blog post’s socks off. Are you ready? Let’s get organized!

Do something else first

Go and play with your dog. My Belgian Shepherd, Hamish is always ready for a game of ball. I type twice as fast, and my brain sparks twice as well, after five minutes of play. When last did you eat something? Yesterday? Are you mad? I’ve been there, done that, and believe me, the tee shirt isn’t worth getting. Eat. Drink water. Fuel yourself up. Did you think your brain doesn’t use energy? Think again, and while you’re doing that know that you’re burning calories big time!

Approach facts with caution

Do you think you already know this topic? That’s useful, but just make sure. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and so  is the internet, for that matter. After a while, you begin to recognize authoritative sites in various niches. Non-commercial sources are often more likely to be accurate than commercial ones. It’s sad, but it’s true. Try to produce an article that’s accurate. I have personally seen one inaccurate source article spawn a dozen equally inaccurate rewrites.

Give it a little personality

Clients vary in their willingness to accept quirky writes. Even so, most will welcome a friendly tone and a chatty, but not overly “fluffy”, approach. Of course, there are also formal publications in which you will reflect nothing but facts and in which any opinions expressed are attributed to authorities in that field. Your client and your audience will determine just how much you should strive for a touch of entertainment value.

One of the things I like best is taking a seemingly “dry” topic, and converting it into an interesting read. If I can include an element of fun, that’s even better! I write it with a straight face. Half an hour later, I read it back to myself and see if I’m smiling or even laughing. Ridiculously, I find my work way funnier when I read it back to myself than it seemed when I wrote it.

Read it aloud

After you’ve finished your article, take another short break. Water your plants, wash the dishes, do whatever you think you’ll feel better for having done. Now read your piece as if you were a TV newscaster. Pause when you see a comma; pause a little longer when you see a full stop. Pretend you’re a complete stranger to this work, and you’re reading it aloud to a friend. Does it sound odd? Fix it, then read it aloud again. It’s all too easy to think you’ve mended something when you’ve really made it completely unintelligible.

The nth article probably needs more attention than the first

Live with this fact. It’s the reason I price website writing services per item and not according to time. Sometimes, I’m fast, and it works out bang on 800 words an hour. At others, I’m slow. I may be tired. The weather may be hot. I may be mentally fatigued. If you’re a writer, you’ll identify with this. You can’t run at hyper-speed all day long. By the time you get to your last work of the day, you should be extra careful, because you’re way more likely to make mistakes.

Know when you’ve had enough

It’s a good thing if you know when to throw in the towel. With luck, you’ve been scheduling fairly accurately up to now. Even if you haven’t, a courteous note before you’re actually in schedule trouble can soothe many a savage client for a few hours. The fact is, there comes a time in the day when you can barely type another word, let alone think straight. Your client deserves you at your best. Continue in the morning.





About andreadurrheim

I'm an ex-horticulturist turned horticultural journalist turned radio broadcaster and general freelance writer. I'm hoping to promote my work through my blog and find out more about other writers too!
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