My top client pays me $400 for each 400-word blog post I write. This client came to me as a result of a letter of introduction I sent through LinkedIn. After a short phone call, the client and I signed a two-year contract. To maintain an efficient workflow, I created a brainstorming tool that allows me to pitch the parameters of each article so my client can review them before the writing process begins, and provide feedback to ensure each article is right on target.
Brainstorming Makes Writing More Efficient and Profitable
If I were to brainstorm article topics each time I sat down to write, the writing process would be slower and less efficient. By divorcing the brainstorming part of the process from the writing, I can make both more efficient and the content more effective. Since implementing this process, I have seen my hourly writing rate increase from $200 to $400.
When I started writing for this client, brainstorming article topics took an hour to an hour-and-a-half. I have since reduced that to half an hour. Writing each article took an hour, or sometimes up to two, at first. Now, I complete articles in less than an hour, and often in just 30 minutes.
Of course, a part of the reason for such efficiency is increased familiarity with my client’s brand and topic preferences. However, the process itself has built-in efficiency. The key is to identify article topics, and to think them through before the writing begins. Brainstorming in this fashion reduces the number of rewrites and ensures the client approves topics before any writing is done. It’s much easier to revise an idea than to rewrite an entire article, and it saves time upfront while making me less reactive and more proactive all around. No matter how much you are paid for your writing, this process can make you more efficient and profitable.
The Matrix: An Introduction to the Brainstorming Tool That Makes Me More Efficient
When you’ve been writing online content for as long as I have, you realize there are certain pieces of information every client wants to know before the writing process begins. These same bits of information are necessary for the writer to be more effective in producing high-quality content.
– The article title – including a primary keyword.
– Keywords – 3 keywords to feed the search engines.
– A summary of the article – One or two sentences succinctly summarizing the gist of the article.
– The article outline – 4 or 5 bullet points that detail the thoughts that will be included in the article. Done well, this alone will have the article half written before the writing process begins.
By producing each of these pieces of information for each article prior to starting the writing process, I’ve reduced the time spent on research, and have organized my thoughts around each article. These notes help me to focus my thoughts when I do start writing thereby reducing the time I actually spend producing the content. As a result, my income has gone up and my writing time has gone down, making room for more clients.
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Allen Taylor is a content strategist in the FinTech, legal, and career management niches. His home on the Web is at Taylored Content.
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