As a freelance writer working from home here in Denver, Colorado, I have a wide variety of clients. Lately, I have been working to develop my own online writing opportunities in addition to writing for clients. As such, I’ve been working to refresh and revitalize some websites and blogs that I have let grow stale over the past year or two. It’s not as hard as it sounds, but sometimes, it takes a mini-epiphany to really kick things into gear.
As a professional writer, I am tasked with writing various things for specific audiences. Often, those audiences are very discerning, with sometimes substantial pre-knowledge of the topics I am writing about. Thus, my various articles and blog posts written for clients are often long, in-depth, and cover all of the ins, outs, ifs, ands, and buts of a given topic. Furthermore, they are, of course, carefully constructed and proofread several times. Add it all up and your average client piece can take several hours.
A blog, such as this one, however is a different animal. Readers here are often looking for quick tips, and useful pointers for writers. They don’t need to know every single thing, about every single topic. Short, sweet and useful articles are just as necessary as longer pieces covering more details of the writing profession. A little bit of candy is just as enjoyable, now and then, as a full meal from a wonderful restaurant.
Why Short Articles Work
Just like the little blurbs in a newspaper, or short articles in a magazine, short blog posts provide the reader with a quick dose of information and usability, without consuming a lot of a writer’s time. In this way, a post, such as this one, can be both instructive, and non-taxing for the average writer looking to keep their websites fresh and relevant while also cranking out more in-depth and demanding pieces for paying clients.
May search engine experts claim that a minimum of 300 words is necessary for Google, or Bing to index and show a webpage in the search results. For a pro writer, 300 words comes pretty fast and easy. (According to the WordPress word counter, I passed 300 around the end of the previous paragraph.) If, as a writer used to the high bar of paid writing gigs from solid freelance writing clients, you can shift your mindset to cranking out usable posts for a less critical audience, then a 300 word blog post is easy. Even stretching out to 500 words isn’t too time consuming.
Don’t get the idea that just throwing out a bunch of junk on your website is a good idea, however. Even if it is fresh, even if it is ranked in the search engines, it still will not reflect well on you or your writing business when clients and potential clients read it.
Keep it relevant. Keep it useful. Keep it well written, and cranking out short, sweet, and useful content will help build your online writing business.