As a new freelance writer, ever wonder if you are a slow writer?
I know when I first started freelance writing I took a long time to write my first legit paid post of around 700 words.
Since this was my first freelance writing job, I wanted to triple check it and take my time writing in a more journalistic nature since this was for an online newspaper. But, this took me hours and days of writing, re-writing and re-writing some more.
How can I make a living as a writer if it takes me 25 hours to write an article or blog post?
How long does it take to write a 1000 word article?
Even though I am fortunate to have time during the day to focus on my writing and other online endeavors, I want to make sure that I maximize that time I have for clients and my own projects.
However, there has to be a balance. You want to make sure you focus on creating quality work instead of how many articles you can pump out when you freelance write.
Remember, as a freelance writer, you want to enjoy what you write about and LOVE writing!
For this reason, I want to help you understand the length of time it typically takes to write a 1000 word article as well as how to maximize your time by structuring your posts and speeding up the writing process.
The Typical Timeframe of Writing a 1000 Word Article
How long it takes you to write a 1000 word article is going to depend on how experienced you are at writing.
Writing experience includes being able to gather research on a topic, structure the article and actually sit down and type it out.
Another thing to consider is the quality of the article. Being able to pump out multiple articles in a short span of time may work great for your freelance writing gigs, but it may reflect poorly in the quality.
According to Stream SEO, writing a 1000 word article could take on average 1-2 hours.
For a beginner, it could take 3-4 hours.
This is what happened for me during my writing process. When I first landed those writing jobs for blog writing, it would take me 5 or 6 hours to write 1300 words.
Now? I can whip out a 1,000 word article in 45 minutes – longer if it’s a topic I’m not too familiar with in my digital marketing niche (ex: Facebook ads or Instagram Reels).
Again, this all depends on your writing speed and process. The more experience you gain writing, the quicker you’ll be able to complete a 1000 word article.
Just remember the importance of quality over quantity.
You don’t want to stuff unnecessary information into an article just to reach a word count – you want to make sure the information you include is relevant and valuable.
This is important whether you have a freelance writing job or writing content for your own blog.
The Standard Process for Writing Articles
The more experienced you are with writing, the less you’ll have to refer to a “process” to help you complete an article – it will come to you naturally.
However, when you’re just starting out (or looking to improve your writing skills), it’s helpful to have a guideline so that you can write quality articles efficiently and within a reasonable timeframe.
Here is an outline of the article writing process:
1. Choose a Writing Topic
This may seem like an obvious first step, but the topic you choose can impact the length of your article – if your client gives you free rein (which many of my SEO and long-form clients do).
For instance, 1000 words equals about 7.5 minutes of talking.
So, if you feel you could talk about your topic for around 7.5 minutes or more, you are likely going to be able to write 1000 words about it.
If you feel like your topic is deserving of more time, you’re either going to end up writing a longer article (which is fine, long-form content is popular right now) or you’re going to have to pare down the topic and write about a specific aspect of it.
Which, by the way, is a great way to come up with multiple article ideas!
Research is key to writing a good article, whether you plan on educating your reader or sharing a personal story.
Doing research means that you are providing the best and most accurate information to your readers, which in turn creates trust and loyalty for your freelance job.
This can sometimes be the most time-consuming aspect of writing an article but, the more you do it, the easier you will find it to seek out information relevant to your topic.
For me I typically:
- Use an SEO tool – like Ubersuggest – to explore keywords and content ideas
- Go on social media to see what is popular – for example, Pinterest
- Use Google to find more ideas on my topic
3. Create an Outline
Before you dive into the actual writing, you should determine an outline for your article. This will not only help you keep your content organized and readable but it will also help you organize your writing as well.
As you write your article, you’ll know exactly what piece of information to move onto next.
Otherwise, you could be writing all over the place and end up creating something confusing and incohesive (which you’ll have to spend time editing to sort it out).
Your outline should include the headings you intend to use to break up your content. This is a great opportunity to include keywords in your article for better SEO for those clients.
For me, the outline is created as I’m doing my research, which streamlines my process and I can get started writing quicker.
4. Write and Edit
When you write an article, you should always start with an introduction, followed by your information and finish off with a conclusion.
You can watch your word count as you write or you can simply write it all out and address the word count when you edit.
Just be careful not to stuff your article full of words just to reach a word goal.
People who read blogs don’t invest a lot of time in consuming articles, so they are looking for valuable information.
You can show the value in your writing for clients by structuring your blog writing with more white space.
As you can see from the post you are reading right now, I write a lot of single sentences as a paragraph. I also add subtopics, bullet lists and images to break up the content more.
When push comes to shove, and you’re short of your word goal mark, you can always do further research to see if there is an aspect of your topic that you overlooked or you can just accept that your article is going to be shorter than you anticipated.
Most clients give you 5-10 days to write an article and that is plenty of time to research your topic, write your draft and add more to it before you edit your blog post.
After your article is written, you should always take a few minutes to read it over. Look for grammar and spelling mistakes as well as issues with word flow.
5. Title and SEO
The last steps before you post your article is to come up with a catchy title as well as optimize it for search engines.
While not directly related to the actual writing of your article, it is a step that still contributes to the time it takes to complete your 1000 word article.
You can check out my post here on improving your site’s SEO for more information on search engine optimization!
Oh, and when you’re done this step, post your article or submit it to your client.
How to Structure Your Post to Reach Your Goal Word Count
While this article focuses on writing a 1000 word article, you may be expected at some point (or decide for yourself) to write something shorter or longer.
Structuring your post to hit a specific word count depends entirely on understanding the anatomy of a good post – the introduction, the body, the conclusion and the CTA (call-to-action).
Once you understand that, you can then loosely start assigning word counts to different sections of your post.
For instance, the introduction of your article is typically 2-3 paragraphs that sets the reader up for what they are about to learn, so it doesn’t have to be that long.
Likewise, your conclusion and your CTA can be short as well.
When it comes to organizing the word count of your article’s body, simply divide how many words you want in there by how many headings you have.
Bear in mind that this is just a loose structure and that some sections of your article will require more information, and more words, than others.
But it’s a great way to keep yourself on track to staying within your target word count, whether it’s 500 words, 1000 words or 2000 words.
A good rule of thumb is to allocate 10% of your word count to your introduction and 10% to your conclusion.
That leaves 80% to focus on the article’s content.
So let’s take the word counts I mentioned above and see what that looks like:
- 500 words: Introduction (50 words), body (400 words), conclusion (50 words)
- 1000 words: Introduction (100), body (800 words), conclusion (100)
- 2000 words: Introduction (200), body (1600 words), conclusion (200)
Some 2000 word articles may contain enough information that the word count of the introduction and conclusion can be significantly smaller.
Again, I can’t emphasize this enough, this is not a hard and fast rule that you have to stick to. It simply helps you get an idea of how to lay out your article to achieve your desired word count.
What About Long Form Writing?
Over the years I’ve been writing more words per blog post for my freelance writing jobs.
In the beginning it was 18oo words. Then it gradually moved to 2500 words and now?
I write 7,000-10,000 word guides for not only my own blogs, but for my clients as well.
So how long do long form writing take? For me it can take anywhere from 10 hours to 25 hours to write very long form content (starting at 7,000 words).
For content between 2,000-5,000 words it will take me 3-8 hours to write and edit.
I’m finding I’m getting faster writing 2,000 words, which just tells me the more I write and type, the better I become at writing faster and getting my thoughts out.
If you’re interested in learning how to write long form content and SEO content, check out Freelance Blogging in a Weekend.
How to Write Faster
It’s no secret that the more articles you write, the faster you’ll be able to write them. However, I do want to share some tips to make the process go a bit quicker.
Here are some things you can try in order to increase your writing process:
- Stick to Your Wheelhouse. The more knowledgeable you are in a topic – your freelance writing niche – the less research you will have to do. This cuts down on the writing time significantly – although you still do want to include links and references to back up your expertise.
- Build a Content Calendar. One of the biggest time-eaters when it comes to writing articles is coming up with topics. Be proactive by setting yourself up with a calendar full of article ideas. My freelance writing planner is perfect for this.
- Write Drunk, Edit Sober. This old writer’s adage holds true for freelance writers. When you’re writing, focus on getting the information out first, no matter how imperfect it is. When you keep stopping to edit, you use up valuable writing time and disrupt your writing flow.
- Grab Your Images Last. Perusing stock image sites is a beautiful distraction from writing, but it’s still a distraction. Wait until the article is complete before seeking images – you’ll have a better idea of what kind of images you need instead of wasting time saving ones you don’t.
- Come Up With Your Headline Last. Unless an amazing attention-grabbing headline comes to you before you start writing, don’t waste time trying to come up with one before your article is written. If you don’t have one when you start your article, you’ll figure out one when it’s done.
The most important thing you can do to increase your writing speed is to keep doing it.
The more articles you write, the more the entire process will become second nature!
Learning How Long it Takes to Write a 1000 Word Article
As a freelance writer, knowing how long it takes to write 1000 word article can help you dictate how much money you earn each month.
Over time, it will get easier and easier to write your articles and make even more money writing.
Now I want to know – How long does it take you to write a 1000 word article? What’s your process? Share your thoughts in the comments!