Friday, October 7, 2011

Freelance Writing Basics: If You Can Read Then You Can Write (For Profit)


Many of my friends are surprised when I describe my standard writing process. Even with technical writing on subjects I have no prior experience in, creating a unique and informative article can be as easy as reading other relevant content. Put another way, research skill is the number one talent a freelance writer should cultivate if they want to be successful.

For example, let’s say you are assigned a project to write a 1000 word article on hazardous waste clean-up kits or spill kits. This is a highly technical topic that would require research unless you had experience working in this field. However, acquiring sufficient knowledge to provide the employer with an original and highly-detailed article can be as simple as typing the keywords into a Google search and then reading any related results. Wikipedia is especially useful for technical and academic writing. I typically use it to define a topic only when I have no experience with the subject matter.  This is for specific reasons that I will cover in another post.

Another way to write on topics that are unfamiliar is to watch videos on YouTube or other similar sites. This is a great tool for creating unique content that will easily pass CopyScape plagiarism checks because there are no words for the software to compare. Simply watch the video and take notes on subject matter usable in your article. I like to watch several videos on a related subject to get different objective viewpoints.

One last thing, always keep in mind the word count of your project. For smaller articles, (300 to 500 words) avoid over researching. Spending time reading unneeded material will destroy efficiency. However, for larger assignments such as PDFs or books, a lot of reading and cross-referencing will be required if you want to provide original and informative content for your employer.

Freelance writing can be an easy and fun way to make money. Understanding how to quickly research a topic is vital to producing consistent content. Fortunately, freelance writers have the internet’s vast wealth of information to aid this process.

Final Note

In other posts, I will explain some of the things I have only touched on in this one. How plagiarism software works is important to understand and should be covered. Also, I think any aspiring freelancer should know the basic terms and abbreviations used by employers. Stay tuned!

1 comment :

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