If you write for a living, that is, if you write articles for clients you often have heard about writer's block. Personally, I think the topic is overdone and simply something that comes about when the author is too tired, distracted, or simply not interested in the topic at hand [oh, yes...this does happen!] On the other hand, do your clients sometimes suffer from writer's block? Okay, before you throw your hands up wondering how could this be, just think about it: do your clients always know what they want you to write? Am I making myself clear? If so, read on...if not, please read this paragraph again!
As writers, we can assume that when a potential client approaches us to write for them, that they always know which topics they want you to cover. Without sounding cheeky, only if this was always so! To put it mildly, you may have a client who wants you to write "X" amount of articles, which he or she will place on their own web site in hopes of building up SEO [search engine optimization, that is], and your part of the equation is to write interesting and compelling copy that will drive traffic to their site.
Well, this only works out if your client knows exactly which topics/subjects are to be covered, keywords used, and the length of each article. No, your client isn't going to write the article, but they will certainly lay its foundation. No web content article can possibly get going without your knowing certain essentials including the topic and which keywords are to be utilized. Make certain that these building blocks are included with your proposal, otherwise you risk going down one path while your client wanted you to go down another.
Unless you have plenty of time to constantly rewrite every article I recommend that you uncover precisely what the client wants from you.
When I sense that a client isn't sure which direction they want me to proceed, I then start asking several questions, including:
Do you have a topic you want covered? If so, what is it and do you want me to come up with the article title or is this something that you would like to do? Knowing this information will help you create the introductory paragraph and your topic sentence.
Next questions: which keywords do you want me to use? I try to limit my clients to a small group of 2-4 words per article. Additional keywords mean additional articles...why confuse your readers? Why kill SEO? As I write this article for you do you have 3-4 points you want me to make? All of this information will comprise the article's body.
Finally, what sort of "call to action" are you desiring? Do you want readers to buy a product? Read something else? Call their representative? I leave the anchor links up to the client, but I try to bring the article exactly to the point where the client wants it to be.
If you have gotten satisfactory answers to each of your questions, you have helped your client get over their own case of writer's block. Yes, to a certain point every client has already visualized what they want written [they bring you on because they don't know how to craft the right words or are simply too busy to write for themselves]. If they haven't, you must help them answer the previous questions in order for you to write effectively.
If you don't take the time to make certain that your client is sure of what he or she wants, you will have wasted time and delayed the opportunity to go to the next project.
I don't know about you, but time is of the essence and we writers cannot afford to waste any of it. Nail down exactly what your client wants before tackling any project to save yourself time and to preserve your sanity!