A successful freelance writer will have to write A LOT. While some of the content you write will require you to take your time, do research and do everything nice and slow, many articles will be all about turning them out FAST. The difference between typing an article at an average of 30 words per minute compared to 60 or even 90 words per minute can be huge.
To break it down to dollars & cents, if you are hired to write 10 articles at 500 words each for $15 per article (a low to mid-range price), it will take you about 17 minutes of typing per article at 30 words per minute. Bump that to 20 minutes per article to factor in things like saving, switching to a new article and all that. 20 minutes per article means you can write 3 of them per hour, so you’re making $45 per hour. Not too bad. If you do the same math typing at 60 words per minute, you can complete each article in an average of 10-12 minutes, so you can burn through at least 5 articles per hour (or more) and make $75 per hour. Really fast writers can write at around 90 words per minute, and earn well over $100 per hour.
Granted, this is going to be for writing article which don’t require any research or anything, but in my experience, there are quite a few of these types of gigs out there. In addition, I was factoring in a little bit of time for running spell check, saving the article and all that. So, the bottom line is, as long as you’re not sacrificing quality, the faster you write, the better! The big question, then, is how to write articles faster! These are some of the most important tips I’ve learned over the years:
- Research First – If you’re going to need to do research on a topic, do it ahead of time so when you are ready to do the actual writing, you can just focus on pounding out the words fast.
- Trust Auto-Correct – Auto-Correct is one of the greatest inventions ever. Learn how your word processing program’s auto-correct works, and take advantage of it. For example, if I type “teh” when I meant to type the, which is a mistake I often make, Microsoft Word 2013 corrects it automatically. There are dozens of these types of things built in to most word processing programs. You can even add custom auto-corrections if you know you’re going to make a similar mistake frequently.
- Ignore Spelling Mistakes – Even the best typists will occasionally make a mistake with spelling. The temptation for me (and, I suspect, most writers) is to correct the error as soon as you make it by hitting backspace and retyping it. This is time consuming, and will break your train of thought, which will slow you down. Instead, get into the habit of ignoring the spelling mistakes until your article is fully written. Then, run the spell check and allow it to correct everything for you. It is FAR faster in the long run.
- Type Properly – Using the proper finger positioning on the keyboard is essential to typing faster. If you don’t do it correctly, take the time to re-train yourself today! You’ll be surprised at how much more quickly, and accurately you can type.
- Dvorak Keyboard – This is one which I haven’t adopted, though I once tried. The Dvorak keyboard Layout places the keys in different locations. You can switch the layout of your keyboard right through windows. Why would you want to do this? I was going to tell you here, but the explanation is too long, so I wrote another article. CLICK HERE to read the explanation. Suffice it to say, however, that once mastered, the Dvorak layout allows you to type much more quickly.
- Ergonomic Keyboard – Get an ergonomic keyboard. They are those ‘split’ keyboards which look so weird at first. Let me warn you, however, that you will HATE it for the first week. After that week, however, you will wonder how you ever lived without it. You’ll not only type faster, but you’ll have fewer problems with your wrists and hands from typing fatigue. I HIGHLY recommend EVERYONE get one for every computer they use. I personally use the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, which you can get for under $40 on amazon. I bought one for home and one for the office, and when these ware out, I’ll buy them again.
- PRACTICE – There is really no substitute for practicing. If you start writing 10 articles per day, you’ll naturally be learning to type faster. It might take some time, but, as they say, practice makes perfect.
I’m quite sure there are other tips and tricks out there for learning to type faster, but these are the ones I thought of so far. I’ll update this page if I think of any more, and if you have any great tips, please leave them in the comments and I’ll add them in. Thank you!