There are many varieties of articles that you may encounter as a freelance writer. All of these articles have a slightly different layout and structure, which will be talked about below. Meeting the criteria of the client is vital, which is why you should be familiar with all the different article types.
A continuous article is one that is written as a whole, singular piece, not including subheadings or special formatting. These are common in newspapers and magazines, or in essays and other writing works.
This may seem like the easiest type of article to write, because you don’t need to think about subheadings. However, the lengthy quality to these articles can sometimes make them a little harder to read, and so you have to be clever when writing them.
Discourse markers (words that guide the reader through the text) are extremely important in these articles. These include words like ‘however,’ ‘firstly,’ ‘in addition,’ ‘on the other hand,’ and many others. It is vital to make continuous articles very engaging and ensure that they flow properly, otherwise you run the risk of writing a boring, void piece.
One of the most common types of article involves using a lot of subheadings. This very article is an example of this. These can be used in blogs and on a lot of other websites, which is why it’s common for freelancers to write using this style.
Usually, these articles feature a short introduction directly beneath the title, which is then followed by other sections broken up by subheadings. This allows the reader to navigate their own way through the text, picking out the bits that they deem more important. Additionally, the lack of big blocks of text is less intimidating and makes it look like an easier read, inviting a wide audience to engage with the piece.
Thinking of subheadings can be hard sometimes, but for these articles they are essential. Don’t get too caught up on witty subheadings – sometimes simple is best! Something to note about this kind of article is that the text beneath each subheading does not need to be one solid paragraph; multiple paragraphs can come under the same subheading. After all, smaller paragraphs only add to the appealing aesthetic effect of this article type.
Some articles describe lists of certain things. For example, this article explains various content curation tools useful for freelancers.
Once again, introductions are useful in these articles. It gives the reader a brief idea of what will be in the following list, and lets them know if this article is what they were looking for.
There is nothing particularly special about the layout of these articles. Following the introduction, the list below should be comprehensive and easy to follow, with explanations that aren’t overly wordy or too descriptive. Succinct, relevant information is all you need to include.
A conclusion is probably useful too, just to summarise what was included and perhaps to provide an overall opinion.
Choosing a Style
More often than not, the client will tell you which article type is preferred. It is fairly obvious when they want a list article, and generally based on what company/website you are writing for, you can figure out whether a continuous or a split article is better. If you are in doubt, try reading past articles that are similar and take notes of the style.
Otherwise, simply ask the client which kind of article they would prefer, and this will avoid disappointment and any extra work in the forms of amendments.
Sometimes, if you have a little freer reign, the choice will be yours! Decide which style you like best and stick to it!