Diana Kelly Levey

How to Write Good Articles as a Freelancer

A woman writing in a notebook with a laptop

February 5, 2023

You know it’s imperative to write good articles as a freelancer and freelance writer. But what is “good content” and what goes into writing content that will be viewed as “good” by your freelance clients and their audiences? Who determines what constitutes a “good article” versus an article that isn’t well-written or very good?

The question of “what makes content good” and “how can freelance writers create good content” is  one a lot of freelancers wonder about.

Lately, we might even wonder if our article writing is better than AI-generated articles from companies like Chat GPT, Jasper.ai, Rytr, INK for All and more.

(These article pitch examples will help you land a job in the first place.)

How to Write Good Articles as a Freelancer

This is a great freelance writer question and it’s one everyone is asking these days.

  1. Identify what your freelance client wants.

What makes content great is different for every client, editorial site, and brand that I write for and work with. Some clients might find that video content does well for them and need to focus their efforts on those initiatives. (This freelancer FAQ will answer your other burning questions.)

For other brands, an infographic gets a lot of shares and ‘pins’ on Pinterest and drives traffic and sales to their website. Another client might know that “what makes great content” for them are engaging slideshows that drive page views.

2. Know your client’s components of a good article.

When you get started thinking about how to write good articles as a freelancer, make sure the article or assignment you’re working on has addressed these factors:

  • It aligns with the client’s core values,
  • It’s something their ideal audience resonates with wants to ‘like’ and share on social
  • It’s search engine optimized. Your freelance article should answer some of their customer’s problems or questions and appear high in search
  • It should be original, fresh, and have some personality. (This is often when AI-generated articles lack.)

3. It shouldn’t take a very long time.

If you’re writing good articles as a freelancer for your website, you want the content to be well-written, good content, and thorough, but chances are you aren’t getting paid for writing on your blog so you don’t want it to take up a lot of time. Make it a fun read that is easy to skim and create a CTA (call-to-action) on the bottom.  Here’s how to write faster and earn more money as a freelancer. (Pro tip: keep these pointers in mind when you’re writing magazine article pitches.)

How Do You Know If a Freelance Writing Blog Post or Article Is Doing Well?

In order to determine if you’re writing good articles as a freelancer, you might want to consider these factors.

1. See How the Article You Wrote as a Freelancer Performed.

One of the things I enjoy most about digital writing and freelance writing for online clients is that I can see how often a piece of content has been liked on Facebook, favorited on Twitter and retweeted, and pinned on Pinterest sometimes. Usually on the back end of a digital website,  the editors are monitoring Google Analytics and looking at how a certain piece of content is trending. Some of my editors have said to me in the past, “XX piece of content you wrote for us is doing very well. Do you have any ideas similar to that to pitch?” (When a piece of great content is performing well and getting a lot of clicks, usually a homepage editor will see that through analytics and make sure it’s positioned “above the fold” of their homepage as long as it keeps performing well.) Those “immediate results” that I learned while working on staff as a digital editor at websites can be quite gratifying in a way that a print magazine doesn’t necessarily deliver. (That’s just one way you can come up with article ideas.)

2. Ask Your Editor for Feedback.

If you want to make sure you’re turning in good articles as a freelancer–or even better, great content–I think it’s wise to ask your editor how you can improve your writing to deliver work that will help them maximize audience engagement and traffic goals. (Here’s how freelancers should use social media to get more assignments.)

The editor might suggest using more SEO keywords, using bullet points or subheds to break up the article copy, or offer up another idea that will help the article be qualified as “great content.”  As a former assigning editor, I would be thrilled if a writer I worked with asked me, “What can I do to make sure this piece of content performs well for you?” (Learn how to find the right editor to pitch your article idea to.)

3. Are you booked solid with freelance writing jobs?

One indicator that you’ve answered the question of how to write good articles as  a freelancer is if your editors keep asking you for more pitches or keep giving you more assignments. You might also find that you’re getting work from new freelance clients who saw your posts or articles on LinkedIn and like your writing style.

What else do you do to ensure you’re writing good content? (Check out these freelance writing tips for other career-boosting tidbits of advice.)

Want to become a great freelance writer and consistently write good content as a freelancer? Enroll in my Get Paid to Write e-course on Teachable and learn exactly what I do to run my freelance business as well as the components that are in a good article.

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Diana can help with:

  • Writing content
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Email Diana about opportunities: Diana(at)DianaKelly.com.