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What does an Article Writer do?

Lainie Petersen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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An article writer specializes in writing topical information that usually gets included in a website, blog, magazine, book, or journal. These writers may focus their writing on a particular genre, or they may be specialists in a particular subject matter. In addition, article writers may be employed as writers by specific companies, or they may work on a freelance basis, either accepting commissions from various publishers or writing articles independently and then submitting them to publishers for possible purchase.

Traditionally, an article writer is someone who writes for a periodical, such as a magazine or newspaper. The article writer may write about current events, news, or other topics of interest to the publication's readers. While many newspapers and magazines pay writers for their accepted submissions, others do not. In cases in which publications don't pay for submissions, writers may benefit from publicity generated by the publication of their articles. This is often the case when the article writer is developing a reputation as an expert in his field or if he owns a business.

New media is a different matter, and many an article writer now specializes in writing online content, which can be very different in style from articles that appear in print. Some writers write blog articles, both for their own blogs as well as the blogs of others. Others write articles for major websites and online publications. Payment for new media writing varies considerably: Some writers receive a flat fee for their contributions, while others may take a share of any advertising revenue generated by their article. As with print media, some online article writing is unpaid work, and the article writer benefits from the publicity generated by the article as well as backlinks from the article to the writer's website or blog.

Many companies that want an online presence, but don't have writers on staff, may hire an article writer to keep their website and blog populated with fresh content. There are also several online businesses that provide custom content to companies that need a constant stream of fresh content for their websites. Writers who work for these companies are often known as "content writers" and may specialize in writing in a way that promotes high ranking in search engines, sometimes known as "search engine optimization" (SEO). An article writer may solicit Web clients independently or may work as an independent contractor for a Web content provider.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
Discussion Comments
By irontoenail — On Jun 29, 2013
I have always wanted to be a science journalist and write the articles in popular science magazines.

It's more of a daydream than anything, since I'm pretty sure that you'd need a science degree to even get a foot in the door, but it seems like it would be a lot of fun and it would certainly be a very fulfilling job.

By croydon — On Jun 28, 2013

@Fa5t3r - That is the traditional way of getting articles published as a freelancer, but I suspect that most beginning writers wouldn't have the first clue how to write a decent article or even a pitch that would satisfy one of the bigger markets.

I know a lot of people say it's a bit too much of a "mill" but I've made some good money with online content writing and I would recommend it for anyone who wants to get their feet wet as an article writer. In most cases the company will hire you and send you prompts, rather than you having to figure out your own articles and the articles are short and easy to research and write.

By Fa5t3r — On Jun 27, 2013

The way it often works for freelancers is that they basically have to do a lot of research before they have any guarantee of payment. They have to decide on the article they want to write and then research magazines and other markets that might be interested.

At that point I would then pitch it to the markets, starting with the one that pays the best. If you can't find pay guidelines on the website, I would look around different online forums to see what people say about pay rates.

Try to make each pitch targeted toward the place you want to write for and follow their guidelines exactly.

Then, hopefully, one of them will want you to write the article. At that point you should write it (if not before) and send it in.

This is the way to get well paying jobs. Don't try to use article writer software or anything that might be plagiarism because they will be able to figure it out.

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
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