One thing I often hear from beginning freelance writers, or mothers trying to write in their “spare” time, is that it takes them a long time to finish one article. By writing a content web, or series of articles, a writer will be able to maximize their writing efforts and get more done in less time.
Brainstorming Article Ideas for Non-Fiction Writing
Sit down and think about the topic you want to cover. Start brainstorming or mind-mapping out different categories and subcategories related to this topic. For example, in my Plants & Bulbs department at Suite101 I wanted to talk about plants for a yellow themed garden. But that one concept became several articles by narrowing each articles focus.
An idea to write about yellow flower gardens became Perennial Plants for a Yellow Garden; Yellow Flowering Annual Plants; Climbing and Trailing Plants for Yellow Themed Gardens, etc. All told I wrote nearly a dozen yellow garden themed articles and still have more possibilities jotted down in my notebook from my original brainstorming session.
Consolidating Research to Save Time
One of the best benefits of writing articles in a series is the ability to spend less time per article by consolidating your research. I’m often asked how I can find time for all the writing that I do with three young children and living in the country with all that entails. The answer is that I write smart.
Take the example of the yellow garden articles above. That particular article series I researched during a long car ride to the city and back. I brought stacks of books and magazines with me in the car and took notes on my steno pad during what would have been a “wasted” four hour car ride.
That one block of research time resulted in several plant ideas for the several articles I had brainstormed earlier. Instead of ignoring all the yellow flowers and only outlining Ground Covers for a Yellow Themed Garden, I wrote down specific plant ideas for any of the yellow flower articles as I came across them in my reading. As a result, I ended up with a dozen articles ready to go!
Instead of spending one or two hours researching a single article, I took four to five hours and researched all 12 articles. That meant my per-article research time had significantly decreased!
By creating content webs of information on your site you will find that not only do you attract the attention of search engines because of the naturally good SEO, but you will be able to produce more articles in a shorter amount of time without sacrificing quality in any way.