Over the course of the last 8 years, I’ve seen quite a few articles that provide a topic or a title with no directions. If I’m lucky, it has two or three really good keywords that help define the direction of the topic, but that’s not always the case. I’ve seen plumbing article orders where the client wrote – Top 5 Plumbing Mistakes, and the keywords were Plumbers in California, Plumbers in Santa Barbara and Plumbers Near Me. Those keywords are no help, so how do you write something like that.

Freelance writers avoid these types of articles because they say:

  • I don’t know what the client wants

  • I’m not a mind reader

  • This is going to be an automatic revision



Hold On. You’re getting Worked Up Over Nothing

First up – Your tail end is covered. They didn’t provide you with any directions. There is nothing to overlook. They can’t ding you on a technicality because you forgot to include a bullet list or provide links to external resources. They can’t ding you for not mentioning the company name because they didn’t provide it. So, there is very little reason for the client to send it back to you, and there’s a good chance they plan on editing it themselves. What they need you to do is provide – not a blank page.


What They Can Send It Back For – You wrote about something else or didn’t do any research and wrote it off the top of your head, according to what you thought the topic was about. So, if the client wanted an article on the Top 5 Reasons to Replace Your HVAC System and you wrote about The Top 5 Ways to Tell You’ve Hired a Good HVAC Contractor, you’re going to get it back. Same goes for fluff. If you wrote something with acres of filler, you’re going to get it back. Just because they didn’t provide directions doesn’t mean you can write shitty content. If anything, you’re going to have to research a little harder to make sure you completely understand the topic, since that’s all you have.

Steps to Writing a Topic Only Article


1. Look It Up

The first thing you need to do is copy that title and paste it in your search engine. Even if you’ve been writing plumbing articles for 5 years, you still need to do this if the directions are blank or mostly blank. This is because you need to see everything that’s been written on that topic. I suggest going down your search engine results and right-clicking → open in new tab. You want to do that for at least three results, preferably more, because you really need to see what’s out there.

2. Find the Content Headers

In the above example, you want to find five plumbing mistakes, so find five and put those in your article as headers. Beneath those headers, you want to say something valuable. You want to talk about the problems caused by that mistake and how they are fixed or the symptoms of that type of mistake.

3. Close the Article

Close the article with a header, preferably with one of those keywords. In this example, something like: Benefits of Choosing Us at the Plumber Near Me in Santa Barbara. Then, you’re going to make something up. It’s always a good idea to say something positive. If it’s an article on mistakes, explain how the company doesn’t make those mistakes. If it’s a positive article, you want to highlight that this company does all that stuff that you should look for in X provider.

4. Write the Call to Action

But but but, you say – I don’t have a phone number. You don’t need one. All you need to say is something to the effect of – To get your pipes installed, repaired and replaced by the best plumbers in California, call us today. If the client wants a phone number there, they will add it.

If you provide this level of detail on an article with no directions, there is very little chance you'll see it back as a revision.