How long to write a 500 word article?

by 40 comments
My VA seems fairly slow with her article output; it normally takes her 1.5-2 hours for a single 500 word article. Even with 30 minutes of research (I would guess 15-20 is more accurate) it seems too long for a 500 word article.

But I could be wrong. For those of you who write articles, what do you think is a fair time range for writing an article? (exclude research if it's easier that way)

Thanks
#internet marketing #500 #article #long #word #write
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Brian
    I guess each writer may vary. My writer can complete ten 300-word articles within 8 hours.
  • Profile picture of the author GameVoid
    Depends on the subject. If it's a subject I know thoroughly and a topic that's easy to write about I can knock off a 500 word article in 15 minutes or less.

    But if I don't know the subject and have never written about it ever before, then over an hour is not unreasonable. Try explaining how to change the oil on a Hummer if you have never changed the oil on any car ever.
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    If you are happy with the results, then I think that time frame is fair. Far better than taking 10 minutes to write a 500 word article, in my opinion.

    All the best,
    Michael
  • Profile picture of the author BonganiS
    Originally Posted by Delta223 View Post

    My VA seems fairly slow with her article output; it normally takes her 1.5-2 hours for a single 500 word article. Even with 30 minutes of research (I would guess 15-20 is more accurate) it seems too long for a 500 word article.

    But I could be wrong. For those of you who write articles, what do you think is a fair time range for writing an article? (exclude research if it's easier that way)

    Thanks
    It depends on the Writer and the topic. As for me since I write articles for myself, it takes 20 to 30 minutes to write. This excludes research. But if there are great results as a result of the output, it is not that bad.
  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    It depends on her familiarity with the topic, and how good of quality she is producing.

    I can knock out a 500 word article in 30 minutes along with research, sometimes faster if I know the topic well.

    If I do not know the topic and need to keep thinking about it, stopping and rechecking facts, the time goes up.

    Her time seems a little long, but I'm guessing you are dealing with a English as second language writer. You need to allow a little extra time for the mental conversion processing.
  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    Like the others have said, it varies from person to person and topic to topic. Personally, I can research and write an article in about an hour (or a little longer, if the topic is really complex). However, I also write really fast.

    I don't think your VA's work pace is unreasonable - especially if you're happy with the quality of articles that are being churned out. It's better to wait an extra half hour for quality content than try to rush and wind up with junk. However, if you're not happy with the end result, that's a whole other issue besides time.
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      What is the reason you are complaining about the time frame? How much is one article costing you? What do pay the VA per hour? Telling someone how fast they "should" write is like telling someone how long it should take them to eat a meal.

      My first thought in reading the OP was "he's trying to push the VA faster for more and cheaper articles". If the quality is what you expect it to be and the time frame isn't over-inflating the cost, don't try to micromanage it.

      kay
  • Profile picture of the author Andy Kobe
    Originally Posted by Delta223 View Post

    My VA seems fairly slow with her article output; it normally takes her 1.5-2 hours for a single 500 word article. Even with 30 minutes of research (I would guess 15-20 is more accurate) it seems too long for a 500 word article.

    But I could be wrong. For those of you who write articles, what do you think is a fair time range for writing an article? (exclude research if it's easier that way)

    Thanks
    It all depends on the quality. If the article turns out 100% perfect for you
    then that time (although a bit long) is worth it in my opinion.
  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    Does your VA need to do any research? Or is the subject something with which your VA has years of experience?

    Research could easily take an hour and a half to two hours. And another half hour to write the article because of the need to keep referring to the research.

    I can write 500 words in 15 minutes if I am writing about business - something I have more than 40 years experience in. But for me to write about Corvettes or other sports cars would take me a couple hours to research because I have no interest in sports cars, and therefore no knowledge about them.

    :-Don
  • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
    I have tried hard, but I cannot do it quicker than that unless I am really clued up on the subject .

    So that is not bad at all.
  • Profile picture of the author indchris
    Depends on whom you want to write it for. if for the press takes over around 1 hour for a 800 words feature article or edit if you've done your research already- meaning you already have the information in your grey matter. But that is professional writing. To write promos etc it tales me 30 minutes tops for a quality article. But then I am a editor. Cheers!
  • Profile picture of the author MilesT
    If you're throwing unfamiliar topics at them then yeah it could take that long. Not unreasonable IMO. And if the articles are good, then worth it, right?
  • Profile picture of the author ~kev~
    If the VA is having to research the topic - yea, I say 1.5 - 2 hours sounds good to me.

    A few days ago I wrote an article for my blog that was about 500 words - it took about 2 days to write. Even though I wrote the article in about 30 - 45 minutes, I just was not sure if I had worded it right. So over the next 2 days I made some minor changes, and finally published the article.

    Another draft article has been sitting in my blog control panel for about 2 - 3 weeks. I'am just not quite sure of the direction it should go.

    So if your VA is taking 1.5 - 2 hours to post an article, so what?
  • Profile picture of the author chui
    It depends on the individual, personally 45 minutes is enough to write including the research but if the subject is complex it may take a little bit longer.
  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    If you're that concerned, look at it from your VA's perspective. Just talk to her, not us! You'll get a lot of numbers that don't apply to her from people here.

    Ask her what you can do to help her produce articles with less hassle. This might mean providing her with more or fewer details, clarifying that articles don't have to be exactly 500 words, or anything else she mentions as a "tricky spot" and the reason why she takes 1.5-2 hours. Or maybe there's nothing wrong at all and you just need to be happy with what you get, or look for someone who writes better/faster.
  • Profile picture of the author deloriagod
    If I know a lot about a subject, I can pop out a 500 word article in 10-15 minutes that I would be proud to publish. If I have to do research (like I'm assuming your VA probably has to do) then it would take considerably longer.
  • Profile picture of the author marcus2929
    Think i would take a week! i hate writting!
  • Profile picture of the author Luke McCormack
    Really depends if the VA is knowledgeable on the subject and also their grasp of the English language.
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Voss
    Consider switching from a by the hour model and move to a by the article model.

    Establish how much an article is worth and pay for each acceptable article. Just clearly establish the guidelines for what an acceptable report is (you probably already have that).

    This will help you with cost control and will, over time, get your people working faster (because that is more cash).

    I pay my guy by the article, then I don't have to worry if he ends up checking out an unrelated YouTube video when he is doing his research or if he has to get up and answer the door while he is writing.

    -Scott
  • Profile picture of the author corinnek
    IMO, including research, 1.5-2 hours is reasonable. Especially if her articles are well researched and written well
  • Profile picture of the author sixplus
    Originally Posted by healymedia View Post

    It completely depends on your reason for writing.

    Some people just want a quick and dirty article for nothing other than the backlinks. In that case, if all you need is something that an article directory will accept, it probably shouldn't take as long as she's taking.

    However, if you're looking for pillar quality articles that you'd be proud to have syndicated or to place on your website, then you're looking at longer.

    I won't give any exact times since it varies so much from person to person, but I'd say that if you're unhappy with the amount of time she's taking you should evaluate if the quality of the work merits the time. If it doesn't, then you've got a problem.

    If it does, but you're not looking for that kind of quality, perhaps communicate to her that you'd rather she not put so much into each article since they're mostly just content for backlinks.

    Cheers
    Ryan
    EXCELLENT! Couldn't have said it better myself!

    Blessings!
    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by tedwood View Post

      Personally i have written an 806 word blog post in 32 minutes and usually it takes me around 15/20 mins to write a 400 word article. They are all review based so i know where my knowledge comes from and just write as fast as i can as it leaves me more time to do other things. No way should it take her 2 hours unless she knows nothing on the niche.
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      The OP has not responded to say how much each article is costing - or what he's paying the VA per hour.

      If someone doesn't work fast enough for you - hire someone else. Just understand that you don't get cheap and fast/good at the same time. If he's paying $2-3 an hour for his VA (which many are paying) - he's still getting an article for $5.

      So what is the complaint - not enough getting done ....or wanting to get more for less?

      No one here is qualified to say how fast anther person "should" be writing.

      kay
      I was just going to make that response and see Kay gave the answer BEFORE the comment was even made...now THAT'S a true Warrior!



      Seriously though, everybody is different.

      Also, I may be in the minority, but article writing isn't meant to be some sort of race; at least not the way I do it. I never understood people bragging, "Oh, I can write 10 articles in an hour". But it's even worse when they put those unrealistic expectations on somebody else.

      Believe it or not, some writers actually write a "draft" and then go back and make "revisions" and care about "quality". Really.

      All the best,
      Michael

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