How I Write Click-Worthy Articles for Clients Every Week

Every week, I write an average of 6,000 words for clients’ blog posts, plus thousands of words for my own writing projects.

In this article, I’m going to share my tried-and-true process for writing interesting, engaging, and click-worthy long-form content for my clients week after week (and it never fails!).

Before that, in case you’re curious, here’s what a typical week of client projects looks like for me right now:

Table of Contents

  1. My Current Writing Workload
  2. Breaking Down My Article-Writing Process
    1. Step #1 – Understand the client and topic
    2. Step #2 – Understand the audience, pain point, and desire
    3. Step #3 – Do keyword research
    4. Step #4 – Come up with an eye-catching title
    5. Step #5 – Research the topic thoroughly
    6. Step #6 – Plan out the article headings
    7. Step #7 – Write out a conversation between you and the reader
    8. Step #8 – Let it sit, then edit
  3. Writing for SEO vs. Writing for an Audience
  4. Takeaway

My Current Writing Workload

Right now, I’ve got 2 regular blog-writing clients that require an article each week. One client needs a 1,000-word article, while the other one sends me content briefs for articles that will end up being 3,000 to over 5,000 words in length.

Related Post: How to Find Good Clients on Upwork in 4 Simple Steps

Each week, I follow the same process I’ve distilled over years of writing, which allows me to turn in my very best writing every Friday and meet the clients’ objectives without too much stress.

Both of these clients are looking for SEO-optimized articles that focus on a specific keyword. One doesn’t need it to be hyper-optimized for SEO, just written well and informative about that topic. The other client asks me to use SurferSEO to optimize the articles so her blog can rank for strategic keywords.

Each time, I get the keyword, and I write the article from scratch, title and all.

So this article is about how to write an article around a specific keyword, with some SEO best practices, but mostly focusing on writing the best article possible on the topic (to blow the other top-ranking pages out of the water) and writing a click-worthy title for each post.

(Side note: Not every article needs to be optimized for SEO. I’ll explain more about that in the last section of this article.)

Now that you understand the background of this process, here’s how it works 👇

Breaking Down My Article-Writing Process

Here’s everything I do from start to finish.

Step #1 – Understand the client and topic

Before the writing begins, I’ve got to make sure I fully understand what my client wants from the project. Are they writing these articles to get more traffic from SEO? Or are they just trying to fill up their blog with authoritative articles? Or are they writing them to promote a product to their email subscribers?

And within that, how does this topic fit within their strategy? Why are they writing about it? What kind of people do they want to attract and what’s the next action they’d like them to take?

Once you get a grip on what your client is looking for from this specific article, you can move on to your target readers.

Step #2 – Understand the audience, pain point, and desire

The next step is to understand the reader of the article. Who is that person? What do they want most of all that’ll lead them to read the article you’re writing? What problems are they facing that are getting in the way of what they want? And how will your article break through those barriers and help them find a solution?

Understanding this is the key to creating a click-worthy headline, opening your article with a good hook that’ll get your target readers to keep reading, and structuring the post in a way that’ll make the reader zip through to the end and enjoy the process.

Step #3 – Do keyword research

Next, you’ve got to understand the topic really well. And the best way to do that is search for the target keyword and see what the top results are. These results will show you the search intent for that keyword, or in other words, the thing that most people are looking for when they type in the word.

In this step, there are a few things you want to do.

  • First, read through all the headlines and get a feel for the angle each article is taking. (You’ll use this for the next step.)
  • Second, read through each article and see what topics they’re covering. Take good notes of each topic that other articles are covering, so you can make sure to cover all of the same topics (in your own words, of course).
  • And third, brainstorm some new information or angles you could add to the conversation to make your article the most comprehensive and helpful resource on your specific keyword (going above and beyond the current top-ranking results).

By the end, you should have a mind map or bullet-point list of topics you want to cover, not only what the top articles include, but some extra tidbits that will make it even more helpful.

Step #4 – Come up with an eye-catching title

Now you’ve got a good feel for what the top-ranking articles are doing, and you’ve got a list of topics you want to cover inside the article.

This next part is crucial for getting people to read. You’ve got to title your article well to get people interested in reading it. If they never feel curious enough to click on your link, no matter how comprehensive and amazing it is, they’ll never read it to find out.

So the headline has to grab your ideal reader. It doesn’t have to grab anyone else—only them.

So you want to look back at the first page of results for your keyword and take inventory of all the titles that are ranking. What’s a new way you can word your title so it stands out among the crowd?

You can find a new angle, or mention your target reader specifically. Anything that will make your article sound more attractive (without lying about its contents).

For example, here are the top results for the keyword “productivity tips for moms”:

Now, if I wanted to title my article differently so it would stand out from these, here are some things I could try:

  • Productivity Tips for Moms: The Ultimate List (making it sound like it has the most tips)
  • 100+ Productivity Tips for Moms (choosing a number that’s higher than everything else)
  • Productivity Tips for Moms of Littles (focusing on a specific type of mom)
  • 7 Easy Productivity Tips for Moms (mentioning that they’re “easy,” something other articles don’t mention)

And so on. You get the idea!

Just make sure that your headline is true, mentions something that’s attractive to your reader, and says something a little bit different from everything else out there.

Step #5 – Research the topic thoroughly

Now you’ve got your basic plan and a million-dollar headline for your article. The final step is to do some more research and get some tidbits of information that will push your article over the top.

I like to do a little bit of research into related keywords to see if there’s anything related I can bring into the topic, then look for statistics, studies, and quotes.

And when I say “look for statistics,” I’m not talking about articles called “59 Marketing Stats You Need to Know in 2023.” I’m talking about trustworthy studies conducted by large organizations with a related area of expertise. Studies like Marq’s State of Brand Consistency or the Edelman Trust Barometer, which studies consumers’ trust level toward brands (I used both of these for a recent article).

Actually read the study and get real statistics. Please don’t copy a number out of an infographic or listicle-type article because most of those are outdated, inaccurate, or totally made up.

Quotes, case studies, and other related resources can really add to your article and bring it to life. Use them.

Step #6 – Plan out the article headings

After you’ve got a list of topics to cover and some interesting factoids or statistics to back up your information, it’s time to create an outline.

I recommend condensing all of your topics into 3 to 5 main headlines for the article. These headlines should also attract your reader and make them want to read further. (The best way to do that is to clearly state what interesting content you’re going to give them in that section.)

You can start with a bare-bones layout or write out all your information in bullet points for each section to prepare you to write.

I like to write the outline and then let it rest overnight before I sit down to write my first draft the next day.

(And some advice for freelancers: It’s best to send the outline to your client for approval before writing the draft, if it’s a new client or a new topic and you’re not sure if you’re covering what they want.)

Step #7 – Write out a conversation between you and the reader

Now it’s time to write. I think every article should read like you’re having a conversation with your reader—it’s much more engaging and easy to understand.

The point of article writing isn’t to get a writing award, it’s to communicate information and hopefully inspire someone to see something a different way, or give your business a chance, or at least subscribe for more of your content.

So the more clear you can be, the more engaging you can be, and the easier you can make it for your reader to get the information you’re putting down, the better.

Imagine what you would say if you were giving a casual presentation on your topic to a good friend (face-to-face and verbally). That’s how you want to write your article (much like this one I’m writing right now).

Use your unique voice and way of speaking. It’s way more interesting to read because absolutely no one else out there has your unique voice.

Related Post: 5 Reasons Why You Get Writer’s Block (And How to Solve Them)

Step #8 – Let it sit, then edit

Finally, we’ve come to the last part of the writing process, and sometimes the most painful. This is where you must force yourself to read everything you’ve just written and then spend time making it better.

I like to let my draft sit for the night and then come back and edit it the next day (just like what I do between outlining and writing). I read through the article out loud and make sure it actually sounds like me and flows like a good presentation (and if not, I rewrite and rearrange), and then I use an AI-based editing software like Grammarly or ProWritingAid to fine-tune and check for any errors.

At this point, it’s good enough to publish, so I send it off to the client.

And that’s my full writing process. It never fails.

I do need to mention, though, that this is best suited for an SEO-focused article with a target keyword. But sometimes, you don’t need to optimize your title or contents for a keyword. Let me explain.

Writing for SEO vs. Writing for an Audience

There are three main reasons for writing a blog post, and they are all very different:

  • First, you might write an article to get more traffic to your blog via search—that’s writing for SEO
  • Next, you might write an article to share with your audience through social media or a mailing list—that’s writing for an audience
  • And finally, you might write an article for your blog to share your own ideas or things you’re passionate about, whether or not you have readers—that’s writing for pleasure

The process I shared today was heavy on keyword research, but that really only applies to writing a blog for SEO. If you want your blog discovered through search results, you can only write blog posts that people will be actively searching for.

If you’re writing for an existing audience, you really don’t need to worry about the keyword. Instead of expecting someone to search for the keyword, you’re going to share it with your fanbase. All you need to do in that case is make sure the value of the blog post to your readers is clear from the title and that the topic is something that will inspire, educate, or entertain your audience.

If you’re writing for pleasure, it really doesn’t matter what you write about or how you word the title. But if you hope for other people to read and enjoy your writing, you still want to pay attention to your title and make sure it makes sense to someone coming across your blog for the first time.

So when you’re planning to write a new article, ask yourself: Is this supposed to bring in traffic through search? Is it for an existing audience who will get it through email or other channels? Or is it just for pleasure and sharing my ideas?


You can follow these 8 steps to write a click-worthy article for your clients with ease.

They are:

  1. Understand your client and their goals for the project (and how it fits into their business goals).
  2. Understand your target reader, what their problem is, what they want, and how the article will help them.
  3. Search for your target keyword and get a feel for the kind of results that are ranking. Read the articles and write down all the topics they cover (so you can include it in yours). Then think of extra information you could add to make your article even more helpful.
  4. Look at all the titles of top-ranking articles and come up with something that stands out and is attractive to your target reader.
  5. Research your topic even more to get extra facts, quotes, statistics, and more to back up your arguments.
  6. Plan out your article outline, trying to keep headings to just 3 to 5 total.
  7. Write your article as if you’re giving a friendly presentation to your reader.
  8. Give your draft some time to breathe, then come back and polish it before submitting to your client.

Do you have any writing processes you like to follow? Did this one inspire your own routine? Let me know in the comments below!

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