How Long Does It Take You To Write A 500 Word Article?

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writing a blog post

Writing articles takes a lot of time. Realistically, it shouldn’t take you under an hour unless you’ve been doing this for years. I’ve been publishing content on the web for nearly 10 years now. And naturally, I’ve gotten better at writing over time.

In this tutorial, I’m going to tell you how long it SHOULD take you to write a 500 word to 2000 word article, and why. I’m also going to tell you how long it takes me to go from blank page to published article for this website, RankXL.

How much time it should take you to write an article?

There are two different camps here that people fall into.

They either take too long or finish too fast.

Both are bad, but it’s worse to finish too fast.

It’s not a good thing to pump out articles quickly

This is something I didn’t really understand when I was still a beginner. I would crank out 10 to 20 articles per day. Each one would be roughly 300 to 500 words long, and was very low quality writing. Each one only took about a half an hour to write.

Yes, I could have taken longer, but I didn’t want to.

I was focusing on quantity over quality. Because they were rushed, they weren’t in-depth, they had grammatical errors, they contained few sources, and the overall writing wasn’t great.

This was a huge mistake. Because my content was so short and low-quality, it would never rank in the search engines. It would never pick up any backlinks or social shares. And most importantly, it would decrease the value/quality of my entire blog and nobody would be interested in subscribing to it.

It took me a while to finally realize that what I was doing was preventing me from ever growing a successful blog.

Quality over quantity

Think about it this way: Each article you write will only need to be written once. Once it’s published, it has the potential to drive traffic forever.

For example, there are some articles I wrote years ago that still drive thousands of visitors to my blogs. And the only way to consistently make this happen over and over again for all your articles is to turn them into extremely in-depth, high-quality article.

Imagine that somebody is searching on Google and lands on your page. You want them to feel fully satisfied with the answer, so that they wouldn’t need to hit the back button and look at other results.

Today, I set articles to a quality standard

“Is this one of the top articles on the web about this given topic?”

And if the answer is YES, I’ll publish it.

If the answer is NO, then I’ll go ahead and make it much more thorough, add in more sub-sections, and do a little more research.

So here’s how long it should take you to write an article

If you’re an absolute beginner at this, a 1000 word article should take you about 3 to 4 hours. A 2000 word article should take you about 6 to 8 hours.

The reason it takes so long is because you’re not experienced with writing consistently. Also, you have to add in images, links, structure the URL, etc. All these things take a lot longer when you’re just starting out.

If you’re experienced with writing, it should really only take you about half that time. So a 1000 word article should take you about 1.5 to 2 hours. A 2000 word article should take you about 3 to 4 hours.

When you’re experienced, WordPress tasks like adding in images and links take just a few minutes. It becomes second nature. Therefore, those things don’t take up much time.

How long it takes me to write an article

Today, it takes me about 1.5 to 2 hours to write a 2000 word article, and about 30 to 45 minutes to write a 1000 word article. I can crank out 500 words in about 15 minutes.

Yes, I’m writing extremely quickly, but that doesn’t mean that my articles are lacking in quality.

The speed is just the result of doing this over and over again consistently for nearly a decade now. I wasn’t always this fast. And if I tried to be, my writing would suck.

Which leads me to my last point…

Speed comes with time. Only focus on quality

You’ll naturally get faster over time. That’s just inevitable. Writing is a skill that can be honed and improved with practice.

So you shouldn’t really be thinking about how long it takes you. You should only be focused on making your article a 10/10 article. Remember, your article will only be written once. After that, it’s out on the web for as long as you leave it out there.

It will continue to drive traffic. It will get links and shares. And it will ultimately play a role in how successful your blog becomes.

Think about this for each article you publish, and you’ll be far ahead of the pack.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Caroline Sposto
    December 18, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Interesting post, but I think the time spent writing an article is highly dependent on the subject matter and circumstance. If I’m writing in an area where I’m a subject matter expert, the written words flow as naturally as conversation. A simple edit is usually all they need. If I’m writing something that requires a lot of fact-checking and research, or if I’m finding the right voice for a specific publication, or the right angle to make a mundane or overdone topic fresh and compelling, I may need to invest a substantial amount of thinking and editing time. When I write an interview article, there is the interview time, often transcription time, and then — since most subjects give me far more information than assigned word counts allow — a good bit of editing. Time also depends on where the manuscript it headed. If I’m writing a personal blog post, I write more quickly. If I’m writing for a client or editor I’m inclined to be a more painstaking. Ad copy and other forms of creative writing are a different problem once again. How long does it take to come up with a good idea? Sometimes a minute, sometimes days. We definitely become more proficient with practice, but we also become more attuned to the subtle aspects of our craft — an article we may have considered ‘finished” earlier in our career would now likely warrant, and receive, more revision.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      January 7, 2019 at 12:45 pm

      Hey Caroline – Thanks a lot for sharing this. I fully agree. What I wrote and the time estimates I gave speak more to bloggers, but yes of course how long it actually takes will depend on what you’re writing about and how much research it requires.

    • Reply
      Wil
      June 8, 2019 at 8:13 pm

      I’m a new blogger. I attempted to write 1000 words today but only wrote 375 words. Looks like I need practice.

  • Reply
    Joe Hobot
    March 6, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    I agree with both of you. For 2K words blog post it takes about 4-5 hours or roughly two days , that is if you are expert in that niche you are writing about. I was kind of like Chris Lee back 10y ago, I had to write fast and my editors and writers did same because if we put story out before other blogs (and you only have 15-30 minutes) you ought to write up a fast 300 to 400 word blog post. Well with google changing their algorithm now they prefer quality over quantity .

  • Reply
    Haydyn Jackson
    April 9, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Even as a blogger, I spent 1-2 hours in the research phase. Then I write, and because I’ve only been at it for about 7 months, the writing phase takes me 4+ hours for each 800-1600 word blog. I work across industries, so my subjects (and writing tones) vary vastly depending upon my client. If its a subject I know like the back of my hand, I can crank out a 1000-word piece in 3.5 hours. If its niche and unfamiliar – and often it is – it takes longer.

    Also, keep in mind, writers need to make sure they are using the correct jargon and keywords specific to the industry or audience they are writing for. If, like me, a writer is producing content for blogs across industries, this can take up more research time than it does when writing for a single industry, because it takes research time to get familiar with the verbiage.

    I think a key point here is writing unique, in-depth pieces. I can get on Google, research a topic for 30 minutes, then combine and restructure the content I found from 3 sources to produce a blog – a blog that says more or less the exact thing that was said elsewhere on the internet. But to produce something useful to readers, a writer needs to focus on ideation and research.

    Ideation and research take time. Even though I know my writing can improve, and as it does I will be able to accomplish more in shorter periods of time, I nonetheless believe that the ideation phase is an important step in the writing process that tacks on at least an extra hour or two to the time estimates provided here.

    This may be especially true for freelancers focused on content writing, and not in-house, content-producing employees who are already 100% familiar with the ins and outs of the industry, and who easily know where the next idea opportunity lies. I imagine as writers become more experienced, they can build a client base that is specific to an industry niche, and expedite their research and idea process out of sheer emersion in their subject matter.

    • Reply
      Chris Lee
      April 10, 2019 at 2:12 am

      Woah, really appreciate these insights Haydyn! Super helpful tips.

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