Article Writing – When Quality and Penmanship Matter

Article writing is one of the services I offer clients – but not just any old articles.

I’m not the quickest and I don’t compete with bottom feeders on cost or volume.

And you certainly won’t catch me “banging out” (as one buyer on a freelancing site memorably stated) 100 articles on “building rock solid abs” at less than I could make flipping burgers.

Anyway, RSI’s a painful and debilitating injury for some writers – and I value quality over quantity when it comes to word-smithing.

For those interested in the quality and penmanship that goes into every writing project the samurai writer gets involved with – including the humble, online article – here’s a mind map view (hosted on Flickr.com) of my creative writing process:

samuraiwriter-articles

There are 7 main steps:

1- Research

2- Keywords (often clients don’t know what the optimal keywords are. I can do this research for them – for an additional per article fee basis.)

3- Article Type – I classify this as either ‘standard’ or ‘premium’. (Check out my ghostwriting page for more info.)

4- Write – Yes, even writers procrastinate and the first draft is the hardest. However, once something’s down on paper, the ‘word sculpting’ can begin.

5- Edit – This is where layout and style are tweaked and cleaned up. (Often I will take a break between steps 4 and 5. Editing is a tiring process and it’s easy to make mistakes.)

6- Proofreading – This is the one step I’m tempted to have someone else do! Going through grammar, spelling and punctuation can be mind numbingly dull but it’s important to do a good job.

(By the way, the ‘trick’ is to do each step separately. So I’ll check spelling first and ignore grammar completely. And I usually read sentences backwards word-by-word to catch spelling mistakes that MS-Word doesn’t automatically find.)

7- Release – This is where the article is packaged up and sent off to the client. One round of edits is included at no additional cost within 5 days of delivery. Few clients take this offer up – perhaps I’m doing something right!

By following steps 1 to 7, there’s probably at least 1 hour of work in each standard article I write.

With premium articles – especially ones where considerable research and cross-checking is necessary – it can be 2, 3 or even 4 hours of work for an excellent 1000 word, magazine-quality article.

If that’s the type of article quality you require, then contact me today!

– Mark ‘samurai writer’ McClure

PS – The first 5 people to leave a constructive comment to this post within the month of February 2009 will get any 1 standard or premium article for 50% off the advertised price.

PPS – Oct 2011 Update:
Since this post was written I now specialize in white papers and case studies for b2b clients in the computer networking industry.

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About the Author
Author: Mark McClure - A freelance b2b case study and white paper writer to the computer networking industry. Based in Tokyo, Japan. About the 'Samurai Writer'.

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