When I started to write free lance for the magazines, they counted the words of the manuscript, and that was how we got paid. Some publications, though, paid a fixed amount for an article, but required a minimum number of words. Still other publications paid a good amount, on a per-page or per project basis. In writing, everything is rewarding, but you need to work harder or get a second job, if you can't assume a full-time writing post in any publication office (magazine, newspaper, advertising or public relations office, book publishing company, TV drama show, etc.).
How many words need an article be?
An article may be several thousand words in length or it may consist of only a few hundred words. Long articles are needed by some publications only.
Articles for the serious weekly papers may range from 1000-1,500 words; the nearer to 1000, the better. The daily newspapers and the popular weekly newspapers do not usually require articles of much above 1,200 words. The most saleable length (especially for popular papers) is 300, 500, or 800 words. Online, many website articles need to be at least 400 words to be published. A blog is different from a registered online publication and/or what's called "ezine" (internet magazine) publication.
The main function of the articles is to inform, to entertain, or focus on a significant topic or idea, among others. Way back, in print, articles in newspapers were required to be written like a news story that was written sharply.
Presently, I could read some newspapers that allowed a more personal-reader appeal. This might have been brought about with present online trends, which the reading public could relate to leisurely in busy times. Many article forms are coming out and accepted in various styles that include literary journalism, creative nonfiction and the direct news story. All works are for everyone in various sectors, and generally for the reading public, but edited in conformity with the general standards and rules of English grammar and accepted writing methods.
Like printed copies of magazines and books on the shelves, modern technology observes strict, Copyright Laws to protect the writer's/author's rights. Texts are written from the author's original ideas and hard labor. For reprint, citation or annotation of the source/author is required.
Remember an article gives significant facts (objective), gives original experience and data, and has more concentrated appeal than a scholarly essay/paper. Opinions in an article are not usually sought, except from the experts.
rosalinda flores martinez