Clients love to supply example sites for writing styles or content ideas. This is helpful in clarifying what the client is looking for or providing facts on the subject, but often infringes on the article’s creativity and uniqueness if followed too closely. How closely should a freelance writer use a provided example?
Some clients are looking for an article that is very close to the example supplied. They simply want it re-worded and perhaps a slight spin put on it. Other clients are providing the article for a resource to save you time, while others are simply giving a style example. With each purpose, it is important to try to understand why the client has provided the example.
There are two sides to the SEO battle: you want an article specifically answering questions that viewers will ask, but you also want an article that is unique from others that are out there. While re-wording an article might avoid plagiarism, it won’t move your post up nearly as high as a unique article and it won’t prove leadership to the client’s audience.
Using the Article
Will the client be happy if you link to the source article? While some clients request that no outside links are inserted, others encourage them. If the source is not in competition with your client (providing the same service to the same area), then you might consider including the source link in a paragraph that highlights some of the main points. This enables viewers to go read more about the subject and allows you to spin the article in a creative direction from there.
Avoiding the Article
If you know a lot on the subject, it is often better to gather your ideas first and only look at the article when you are prepared to write. This helps your titles and ideas be unique and beneficial, but still allows you to make sure that the article is going in the right direction.
The Value of a Freelance Writer for Hire
A freelance writer becomes an extension of each client he or she serves; what is best for the client is also best for you. The current trend in marketing is highlighting the SEO importance of unique and valuable content over keyword-heavy articles.
While there are many ways to go about this process and preserve creativity, here is the process that works best for me:
- Check to see the clients instructions regarding the resource and linking
- Make a list of ideas on the subject prior to reading the article
- Browse through the article to get the main points in your mind
- Write your own article without looking at the resource provided (to avoid similar wording or accidental copying)
- Skim through the article once more to ensure you’ve covered the important aspects and matched the tone (if that was important to the client)
- Consider what unique aspects you have added to make the article better (if it is not requested to be an article summary)
- Proofread and include authoritative links (if permitted by the client)
Alethea M is a corporate blogging guru and freelance writer for WriterAccess. She often uses interesting facts from her article research to impress friends at dinner parties. Her husband is her biggest fan — though this may be because her writing income allows her to share in bill-paying each month.