How long does it take to write an article? Honestly, a good one takes as long as it needs to take. So how do schedule time for your articles?
It’s not enough to plug a due date into your editorial calendar, you need to carefully map out enough time to complete all the elements required. An article’s schedule is not just the time it takes to write an article, it also includes the time it takes to thoroughly research the material, interview sources, pre-plan your layout and edit the piece.
- Schedule time for research. This first step is key because it will not only give you background information for the article, it will likely point you to great sources for interviews. Don’t forget this research time includes researching the background and work of your sources.
- Schedule time for interviews. Whether in person or over the phone, giving yourself an allotted time to complete interviews not only keeps you on track, it keeps the interview itself on track. Knowing you only have 15 to 20 minutes to get the information you need, you will be less likely to let your interview subject roam the field before they give you the answers you need. Time is a great motivator for steering an interview.
- Schedule time to compile your notes and create your basic framework. Some people transcribe all their own interviews, others send them out to a third party, either way, you are going to need time for the information to be processed. I like to create an outline for most articles I write. After I go through the information I’ve gathered, I can begin to see the flow, what the headings will be and if there is still more information needed. Doing some sort of initial brainstorming or outlining is key because when you sit down to write the article, your words will flow easier if you know where you’re going. Stopping and starting to look for information is a sure way to waste time and get off track.
Tomorrow we will look at scheduling the rest of the elements of an article. Do you have any scheduling tips? Share them below!