Getting the Right Word Count for Your Freelance Articles

Many freelance writers ask what is the right size or word count for an article. Having an article too long or too short can turn away readers and cost you money out of your pocket. The right word count makes for a great read and builds an audience for your material. The size of your article does matter.

The right length for an article can vary depending upon the situation. For example, if a client is requesting a predetermined amount of words, follow their instructions. However, if you are writing for a freelance article for a content site or posts for a blog there is a sweet spot to hit to get the right number of words for your article.

Articles that are too long are those found to be between 2,000-5,000 words. Articles that are too lengthy will lose a readers interest. In addition, most people would like article content to be short and sweet. Many times when you have a lengthy article you are repeating the same thing or writing a lot of “fluff” that is not pertinent or adding any benefit for the reader.

Articles that are too short usually barely meet the word count and don’t say enough. Short articles generally don’t engage the reader enough to be useful or benefit a reader.

The ideal article will fall between 400 and 700 words for a lot of writing platforms. This may seem like a large variation, but it isn’t really. Depending upon your content you can have a large difference in word count. Any article that has a word count below 400 words is definitely too short. Generally if you feel you have submitted enough information and are around 350 words, consider adding sub headings, examples or extending your summary to make certain you have added all relevant information.

These are techniques to use to make certain you get the article word count in the ideal range of 400-700 words. The best word count for terrific search engine page rank falls at and about 1500 words.

Too long-a lot of longer articles are a series of articles that you have joined together. It’s easy to get distracted and write a series into one. Consider narrowing the focus of your article to separate out additional articles. Break your series down into individual topics and focus more on single topics instead of multiple topics combined into one article.

Too short-when your topic is too narrow you will find your article too short. Becoming too directed on an issue or area of focus leaves little room for creative growth. Introduce more facets into the article to make it longer.  Expand on your original topic.

Writing lists
Too long-lists are incredible writing tools and many readers enjoy them. Consider all of the points of your article and determine if you can compile them into a list. What information could be combined or pared down to shorten the article? Could you exclude any? Do you have any duplicates? Consider the main focus and solutions and build the focus to a 3-5 word header and use 2-3 sentences to explain the solution.

Too short-when creating a list set a specific number such as 5 to format a skeleton for your article. Consider why the reader would want this information, the benefits of the material and your own unique perspective on the info. Add your perspective to create value and credibility for your freelance article.

Many freelance writers enjoy writing with templates. Templates are skeletons of a particular type of article that creates an outline to follow to achieve your desired content. For example, if you were writing a list article there is a template to format your introduction, points to make, a body format and conclusion.

Writing within templates will help you practice getting a word count between the 400-700 word content that a lot of online writing sites want. Using a template continually will keep you within that format. You can create your own templates based on freelance articles you have in your resume or library.

These are several techniques to use as a freelance writer to get your articles and content material in the correct word count. After practice and continually writing, you may find that you can visually tell how many words you have written and out of habit fall within the 400-700 word count automatically.

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