What’s the best way to spend your freelance writing time? The answer is easy: focus on what you are most passionate about. A recent survey showed that 36% of people who do their own work say they’re really passionate about it, while only 10% of those who don’t have a preference say they feel the same. What does this mean for freelancers? It means that if you want to get ahead in your career, taking the time to find something you love and hone your craft will always be worth it.
What to Write About
So, you’re ready to start writing. You have a blog or a website already up and running, and now you want to determine what content works for your audience. As they say, it all starts with the research phase.
#1: Start by figuring out who your target audience is for each article you write.
This will help focus your ideas–you can’t try to appeal to everyone at once! Try looking at traffic statistics on some of the top websites within that niche (we monitor our web hosting clients’ sites for pageviews/visitors throughout the month so we can see which niches are most popular). What kinds of posts draw readers in? Do those posts address common questions or problems? How do they address them? Do they address the reader as an individual, or are they more focused on listicles?
#2: Think about what niche you fit into.
After all, most topics have multiple niches—depending on whether you’re writing for women who live in New York City or men over the age of 65 living in suburban Chicago. Maybe you don’t fall within one demographic category at first glance (I know I didn’t—I studied journalism but write mostly about technology). Or perhaps your blog focuses on a professional topic that everyone can relate to (like writing). In these cases, it is crucial that you figure out how to make your content relatable to each individual person.
#3: Know The Topics
Though you need to focus on who your audience is, don’t forget that it’s also important to know more about the topic itself. You should develop a level of expertise in the niche you’re writing about, so start by learning everything you can about it from news sources like industry publications and mainstream media sites. What are they talking about? Who is being interviewed? Is there a new trend going on within the niche?
How Much Should I Write?
Once you have an idea for what kind of content will be effective for your blog or website, figure out how much time you can realistically spend working on those projects. This may be different from how much time you want to spend writing, because there are other responsibilities that come along with establishing a reputable brand (such as the very important task of responding to email). If you’re just getting started online, it might be better to work primarily on content that will get you noticed among your peers and customers. If this is the case, consider spending about 20% of your time each week on blogging or website development , while channeling some of the remaining 80% toward things like social media posts, newsletter subscriptions, and live chats.
What Kinds of Content Should I Write?
Once you understand what kind of content works best for your niche and who your audience is, determine which kinds of topics they expect from their favorite websites. It isn’t enough to write on topics that you think are interesting, or even things they tell you via email or social media that they want to read more about. Take a look at the stats–how much traffic is each post getting? What is your audience looking for in a blog post? Then consider how you can develop the type of content they’re specifically interested in reading.
#1: If your readers tend to be curious and like lists, create top ten list posts for them .
These can range from simple tips (5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity) to long-form features (a 10-part series called “ The Complete Guide…”). Lists provide information quickly and easily—they’re easy to skim, and when they’re done well, they are also entertaining.
#2: If your audience is more interested in being entertained or inspired , use personal stories to make content fun
Challenge yourself to create posts that add some humor without compromising your company image. Just don’t go too far in this direction—I have seen articles that went overboard on making workplace harassment seem like a hilarious trend, and it doesn’t help people who are trying to learn from how not to do things!
How Can I Make the Most of My Writing Time?
Once you figure out how much time you can realistically spend writing each week (as well as what types of content work best), you can set a schedule that will keep your website, blog , or social media accounts consistently updated while also leaving room for communication with readers and other responsibilities. To start creating a weekly schedule for yourself, divide the number of hours you have to work on your content by 16 (the average amount of time it takes an employee in the US to get 15 days worth of work done). Then, add 30 minutes to that total so that you have some wiggle room for emergencies.
#4: Consider writing posts in different styles
If you’re really looking for new ways to make your writing more interesting—and satisfy a variety of needs within your community—write a few posts from each perspective every week. You could even try a different style every day. If you write a post on business-based topics one day and personal stories the next, you’ll have a greater variety of material to choose from, and your readers will be kept guessing as to what they might see from you the next time they click over to your site or check out your social media accounts.
#5: Be selective about who you interview
When you speak with an industry expert for an article, don’t just ask them generic questions like “What would employers want?” instead get creative! Get specific details and advice that is relevant to their knowledge on the subject.
#6: Keep track of what content performs best
Once a week, go over your stats and note what posts got the most traffic. Then, schedule similar topics for the next few weeks so that you can get even more eyes on your content.
#7: Recruit contributors
People are probably already talking about a lot of your industry’s most pressing issues—don’t be afraid to bring them onto your team as guest writers! For example, if your target audience is small business owners, interview one or two of them each week to give your own company insight into how they might handle certain situations. Not only will this help you keep tabs on what questions customers are asking (and therefore, offer new features), but it could also create some effective partnerships with companies whose services would complement yours.
#8: Ask for feedback on your writing
It’s easy to edit your own work and assume that everything is perfect, but if you want more people reading what you write (and therefore sharing it), talk with a few trusted friends and get their professional opinions as well! They may find inaccuracies or inconsistencies in content they read through quickly that you overlooked, so ask them to look at a few of the articles you wrote for mistakes before posting them online.
#9: Get comments from other writers
Even though we just said to talk with about your writing, don’t forget about the benefits of peer review! If you’re not quite happy with an article after editing it yourself, ask a professional writer for help. They’ll be more objective while reading your work since they don’t know you personally, and can provide their insight into how to improve it.
#10: Keep your audience in mind
While writing may seem like the most important part of freelance writing, it’s worth noting that editing or even just proofreading is actually where most businesses make money! People are going to read articles that aren’t perfectly written—but if yours have grammatical errors or careless mistakes, people will think less of both you and your business. So what better way to satisfy readers than by having well-written content?
How Can I Find Workable Topics for my Writing Schedule?
First, make a list of all the potential topics you could write about. Then, select the ones that are most interesting to you and involve your expertise. If you’re not sure where to start, look at social media groups in your industry for inspiration! For example, if you’re working with transportation services , why not ask them what they want to know or talk about?
#11: Ask yourself “who is going to benefit from this information?”
Your writing materials should always be geared toward the audience’s needs—not yours! This means that when you decide on which topic will get top billing for each week or month, take into consideration how it might affect their future. Personable, relatable content is always best!
#12: Know your audience
Just because you write about business topics doesn’t mean that all of the readers are necessarily CEOs or company owners. Many people want to learn more about new businesses or services and might appreciate hearing from someone else in the field—hence why learning to pick up on customer requests is so important in this line of work!Last modified: July 21, 2021