Most writers have the desire to write great copy, but have trouble writing fast enough to make good money. The good news is you can write high-quality articles quickly as long as you stay focused on your article topics, create an outline for each article and don’t proofread until you are finished writing. It is a good idea to use a timer to give yourself a deadline and keep you focused on writing.
Organize Your Day
Before you begin writing for the day, make sure that you have a plan. Most writers have a good idea of how long it takes them to write each article, depending on the article’s length and topic.
Freelance writers may not know which articles will be available to them at the beginning of the day, but they should have a goal in mind. Try writing down either the number of words you plan to write for the day or the amount of money you would like to earn and keep this paper next to your computer where you can see it.
You should also make sure that you have everything you are likely to need within arm’s reach. Most writers keep a cup of coffee or bottle of water on their desk as well as any reference books they use regularly and a small snack.
Don’t Waste Time Choosing Articles
Freelance writers who get most of their work from brokers often spend large amounts of time choosing articles from the pool. Looking for your favorite topics is a good idea, but it is best to choose the first article that you feel you can write well.
It is easy to spend more time looking for an article to write than actually writing. You may want to set an online timer to give yourself three or four minutes to look through the pool and decide which article to write. Giving yourself a deadline will help you spend more time writing and making money than wading through the pool trying to find the perfect article.
You can’t completely eliminate distractions from your day, but there are things you can do to minimize distractions during your writing time. Some writers block themselves from visiting certain websites during the time they are supposed to be writing to help themselves stay on task.
It is a good idea to turn off your cell phone and respond to any waiting emails before you begin writing so that you are not thinking about other things you should be doing. It is a good idea to write at the same time each day so that your friends and family get used to your writing schedule and will be less likely to distract you.
Just as you schedule the time that you write, it is also important to schedule breaks into your day so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by your work. Some writers take a break after every article, while others take a 15 minute break each hour. Other writers take a break after they have written a certain number of words.
You will probably need to experiment with several schedules before you find a schedule that gives you enough breaks to keep your mind fresh while working enough to be productive. An online timer is a great tool to time your breaks so that you don’t get distracted and take a break for an hour when you only intended it to take 15 minutes.
Set a Time Limit for Research
Writers often get caught up in research and spend way too much time gathering information about their topics. Looking at more than three or four articles for research material is distracting an often leads to an overwhelming amount of information. Unless the article you are writing is more than 2,000 words long, you probably won’t need more than four source articles. Gathering information for a 500-1,000 word article should only take about 15 minutes.
It is a good idea to set an online timer when you are researching your topic. The timer will stop you after the amount of time you have set for research. Just having the timer set is helpful because it reminds you to stay on task. It is easy to get distracted when you are writing about topics that interest you, so setting a timer is a great way to remind yourself that you only need to gather enough information to complete your article. It’s okay to bookmark sites that interest you so that you can more information after your article is complete.
Create an Outline
It is a good idea to create an outline for any article that is more than 200 words long. Articles that are very short typically don’t require outlines because they aren’t long enough to be in-depth. Your outline should include the topic of your article as well as bullet points for each main idea. Ideas related to each main idea can be written underneath the idea. Some writers use each main idea as the topic for a single paragraph, while others use subheadings and write more than one paragraph about each idea.
Proofread After Writing
Some writers try to proofread while they are writing, but they often have trouble getting ideas on paper because they are more worried about the mechanics of writing than the ideas they are sharing. It is best to get your ideas out on paper while they are fresh in your mind so that you don’t forget anything.
Proofreading during the writing process actually makes your write slower and less naturally because your ideas are stifled when you are worrying about grammar. It is a good idea to step away from the article for five to ten minutes before proofreading so that you can look at it with a clear mind.
About the Author: Besides being busy writing articles like this one, OnlineClock.net are the creators of many free online timers that help writers everywhere improve their productivity. Set an online timer right now using http://timer.onlineclock.net/timers/ and boost your writing productivity!
Photo credit: Brian Lary