How an Irish Couple Earns $10K/Month from Their SEO Writing Business While Traveling the World


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The following is a guest post by Niall Doherty.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Carlo Cretaro of NextStopWhoKnows.com, an Irish entrepreneur who went from absolutely zero experience in freelance SEO writing, to creating and managing his own SEO content writing company in just 3 years.

FYI, in case you’re unfamiliar with the acronym, SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s a specific way of writing web content that helps businesses get found online.

Carlo, together with his girlfriend, Florence, figured out how to successfully develop and run a business that has recently been bringing in an average of $10,000 per month. And they did all this while riding motorcycles through Vietnam, traveling throughout India, living in Rio de Janeiro and having many other travel adventures.

In a no holds-barred interview Carlo and I dove into specific details on exactly how they made that happen. The intriguing part? They didn’t have any tricks, gimmicks, or certifications up their sleeves. They were just two people who possessed a burning desire and a whole lot of hustle.

Carlo & Florence: NextStopWhoKnows.com

Life Before SEO Writing

Back in 2012, Carlo Cretaro was running his own poker tournament company in Ireland while his girlfriend Florence worked as a child care practitioner. While Carlo’s income varied between $1,200 to $2,000 and his schedule was flexible, Florence had a normal 40-hour work week bringing in approximately $1,400 per month.

Life was fine as it were, but Carlo and Florence were yearning for something more. They decided that they wanted to live life on their own terms. They were of the mind that money was great, but freedom was greater. So how did they finally embark on that road to freedom?

By boldly breaking away from their current lifestyle and figuring out exactly how to earn an income online so they could travel the world together. Heart, hustle and a little experimentation paved their way to success.

The Hunt for a Freelance, Online Career: Why SEO Writing?

For about two to three years prior to the big change, Carlo had been fascinated by the idea of working online. While recovering from a back injury he began researching how to break into the online freelancing world and stumbled across SEO writing. It quickly became apparent that SEO writing had a low barrier of entry to start making money online.

While Carlo didn’t have any specific writing skills to write home about (no pun intended), he was a native English speaker who knew how to write and was likely better at it than most other things he was into. Without any real programming or web design skills, freelance writing seemed like the best option.

As Carlo revealed to me, the great news is that you don’t have to be an English Professor to break into SEO writing.

A little determination and a whole lot of hustle can take you down the same road to freedom that Carlo and Florence have been traveling on the last few years.

How to Get Started as a Freelance (SEO) Content Provider: 6 Steps

Like Carlo, you might have an idea in your head and a desire in your heart, but neither of those things will get you very far without some action. So how do you take action when you feel like your skills are few and far between? In short:

  • You research.
  • You learn.
  • You try.
  • You fail.
  • Then, most importantly, you try again.  

With no prior writing, marketing, sales or management experience Carlo had to get to work learning a few things. By following his simple steps below, you can easily get started in SEO writing too.

1. Learn How to Write for the Web

If, like Carlo, you have no prior writing experience you’ll have to start learning. A simple Google search can help you find lots of useful info, such as these 23 SEO Copywriting Tips.

Use the advice you find to create a handful of sample articles for your portfolio. You can use the samples as Word Document attachments in your pitch emails or upload the samples to a portfolio website should you choose to create one.

As an example, Carlo’s first sample article was titled, “What Makes a Good Locksmith?” This topic might seem a bit dull at first glance but what a topic like this proves is “I can write about anything.”

On top of that, make sure your samples showcase your grammar, punctuation and spelling skills as well as your structural understanding of SEO writing. Bullet points, subheadlines and clear concise, scannable content is integral in this niche.

2. Land Your First Clients

This step of the process can often sound scary if you are a new on the scene. However, Carlo’s simple approach can easily be replicated. Here’s how you can find your first clients:

  • Email digital marketing and SEO companies in your local area (find them via Google).
  • Ask if they have any writing work you could do.
  • Attach your sample articles.
  • Continue to email and follow up until you land some gigs.

As with any cold pitch attempt, you might get some silence or “unsubscribe” requests. Don’t let this get you down. It happened to Carlo and it will happen to you too. Keep on pressing and eventually someone will say,  “Yes I need help!” And off you’ll go!  

3. Keep Pitching

After landing your first few clients you might feel pretty proud of yourself. Don’t stop there. Consistent pitching will equal consistent work flow. Clients come and go. Companies experience slow periods and extremely busy periods.

If you keep a consistent pitching schedule you’ll be setting yourself up for continued success (and paychecks!). 

4. Be Informal and Friendly With Clients 

I found this part of my interview with Carlo most intriguing. He mentions a few times that the key to his success with clients was creating an “informal” relationship with them. This might sound counterintuitive when you first hear it but this hadn’t been the case for Carlo.

Most clients came to appreciate an authentic, real, honest, and friendly person versus a formal business person. Carlo also found that being consistent, up front and honest with clients was integral to ongoing relationships and repeat business. He mentions, “Clients are going to work with people they like.

You don’t have to go into this business knowing it all but you do have to put your best and most authentic foot forward. People will see the true you and begin to respect and trust you, viewing you as a great person to work with.  

5. Start Outsourcing

Once you have your feet wet and have several clients under your belt you’ll start getting busier. Now is the time to start outsourcing your work and make the switch to more of a management role. You will still be the person to find the jobs and communicate with your clients, but you’ll assign most or all of the work to other writers.

This of course means you’ll need to proofread and double check the quality of the work before passing it back to the client.

There are plenty of freelance writers out there looking for work. A simple job posting on Upwork will likely turn around tons of applications in a short amount of time. Sort through to find the best fit for the most reasonable price.

Keep in mind, a more talented writer might cost a bit more but the editing you’ll have to do on the back end will be much less. You have to decide how much you are willing to pay for the quality of work you expect. 

6. Put Management Systems in Place

Once you begin managing your own team of writers, things will start to get interesting. You’ll need to stay organized to keep everything running smoothly.

Project Management tools like Trello helped Carlo transform his freelance career into a bonafide SEO writing business where he and Florence currently manage a team of 41 writers from all over the world.

What Have You Got to Lose?

Nothing! 

That is the great thing about jumping into freelancing as an SEO writer. It costs nothing but a little time and energy to get started as is the case with most online freelance gigs. You are no different than Carlo. By following the exact steps he took, you can also create a life of freedom through SEO writing.

Here’s a summary of the steps that helped Carlo and Florence build their $10k/month writing business:

  1. Learn to write for the web
  2. Land your first clients
  3. Keep pitching
  4. Be informal and friendly with clients
  5. Start outsourcing
  6. Put management systems in place

If you want to hear all of the nitty gritty details, be sure to check out my full interview with Carlo here. As an added bonus I’ve included additional resources, such as the exact email pitch Carlo sent to one of his first clients.

Follow Carlo & Florence’s Adventures

If you’re interested in reading more about Carlo and Florence’s adventures, check them out over at Next Stop Who Knows.

Lastly, remember this: building an online business that gives you the freedom to travel isn’t reserved for the most talented, skilled professionals. It’s possible for anyone who is willing to put some time and energy into learning and hustling.

Follow the steps presented above, and you too can have a thriving online business that enables you to pursue a life of travel, or whatever other life you dream of.

About the Author: Niall Doherty writes books, builds websites, and helps people get started working online. He spent 44 months traveling around the world without flying and now lives in Berlin, Germany.

P.S.: With the Right SEO Writing Training, You Too Can Earn Thousands/Month While Travelling the World. I Do, Just Like Carlo & Florence — from Jamaica.

I’ve Taught Many How to Get Started. Are You Ready?

I’ve made my living as an online (SEO) content writer since 2007. Some benefits of starting this type of freelance business:

**You can never be laid off;
**You determine how much you earn; and
**You can work from anywhere (as long as there’s an internet connection).

Since 2009, via my online SEO copywriting course, I’ve trained many others how to start this type of freelance business. Are you next?

P.P.S.: Have Something about SEO You Want to Share?

Submit a guest post like like Niall did. It may be published here, or on this site’s parent site, InkwellEditorial.com.

How to Start a Freelance SEO Writing Business: Some Common FAQs Answered


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As six-figure freelancer Laura Pennington reminded us in this post, the busy fall season is upon us. Summer is almost over and people are turning their attention to work (and school). I see this in the uptick in orders from clients, and in the queries I’m starting to receiving from aspiring freelancers.

FAQs about How to Start a Freelance SEO Writing Business

Over the last week or so, I’ve received questions from a few budding online writers about SEO writing, and my e-books and e-courses on this freelance writing niche. So I thought now was a good time to put up a post like this.

Question #1: I am new to seo article writing and have no portfolio can I still get clients even though I’m a beginner and starting out? 

I’ve covered this question in detail over the years. See the following posts for some insight.

SEO Content Writing: The Best Way to Get Some Experience Under Your Belt 

SEO Content Writing: Can You Be Successful If You Have No Particular Subject Matter Expertise?

Freelance SEO Writing: The Reality of Earning $100/Day Writing for Content Mills

Question #2: I noticed the ebook has been updated and was wondering what new has been added to the ebook? 

Google makes several major updates per year that affect how SEO content should be written. The updates incorporate this.

Question #3: How long did it usually take for you to start making around $250 a day with seo article writing? 

There is no one set answer to this. It depends on a host of factors, eg, your writing skill, niche you target, marketing ability, rates, services you offer, etc.

Question #4: What’s the difference between your SEO writing e-course and the SEO writing ebook.

If you know little to nothing about search engine optimization (SEO) writing, then the SEO copywriting e-course is best ).

This course takes you by the hand and walks you through what SEO is, how Google finds and ranks sites, why Google changes its algorithms, how to adapt to those changes as an SEo writer, the foundation of how to write SEO content, how to market for SEO writing jobs, how to put together a marketing plan to reach your income goals — and a whole lot more.

After going through this course, you’ll not only know how to write SEO content, you’ll understand what it’s all about, the lingo around it and how to sell the service to clients. It truly is a “Freelance SEO Copywriting Business in a Box” e-course.

If you have a foundational understanding of what SEO writing is all about, then the SEO writing ebook is the right choice. It doesn’t go into much detail about the mechanics of writing SEO copy (because it assumes you already have this knowledge). It does tell you how to put together a marketing plan to start getting jobs as a freelance SEO writer.

Question #5: Are there any up-sells in the course?

No; none at all. When you purchase the SEO writing e-course, there’s no need to pay for anything else. In fact, you get “freebies” with the course. With enrollment, you get the ebook, How to Make $250 or More Per Day Writing Simple, 500-Word Articles free (delivered with your course files within 24 hours after course is paid for in full).

Question #6: Do I need a to create a website to get clients?

While some students tell me that they’ve successfully used social media (specifically LinkedIn) to get clients without a website, I strongly recommend getting one for the simple fact that you need a home on the web for your writing samples, to list your services, etc.

FYI, a free website by Wix, Weebly, Yola, etc., will do just fine when you’re just starting out. In fact, many freelancers never migrate over to their own paid hosted sites. I don’t recommend this, but again, just starting out, all you need is a web presence and a free site will work just fine.

Question #7:If I do need a website, how do I go about it and what are the costs involved?

Again, use one of the freebie sites mentioned above and your cost will be $0.

Question #8: Do you help your students get their first client?

I outline a marketing plan in the course that shows you how to go about getting clients, so you’ll know exactly what to do do start landing clients. If you have good writing samples, price your services competitively and market consistently, I practically guarantee that you will get work.

This is where many freelancers fall on their sword — they don’t stay on the marketing. It’s a must — no matter what kind of business you start, by the way.

As the testimonials on this page highlight (and yes, every one of them are real), this is a straightforward, simple home-based business that works — if you do everything that’s outlined in the ebook or e-course. If you’re not landing clients, it’s likely because of  one of the things in the following post…

Freelance Writers: How to Land Jobs When You Have $0 & Your Marketing Tactics Aren’t Working – 5 Areas to Assess

Question #9: How does your money-back guarantee work?

Because you’re buying an e-product (that can’t be “returned” once downloaded and read), there are no refunds. That’s why I provide very detailed information on all of Inkwell Editorial’s (and SeoWritingJobs.com) e-products. And, the sites are full of information on almost everything I publish/create.

So dig through them and do some reading and if you have questions, feel free to email me before ordering. I’ll be happy to answer.

Question #10: Do you think one can succeed even without prior experience?

Different wording, but same question as #1 here.

When I first started writing SEO content in 2007, I didn’t have any experience. I had to Google it to find out what it was. Once I got the hang of it though, within two months, I got so busy that I hired other freelance writers to help me complete client orders.

So yes, you can DEFINITELY start this type of freelance writing business with little or NO experience. Via my e-books and e-classes, I’ve taught many others how to start this type of home-based business. More than a few have gone on to earn over six figures.

FYI, following are some success stories that illustrate just how viable this freelance career is.

Success Story #1

Success Story #2

Success Story #3

Success Story #4

Question #11: If you had no experience and wanted to start an SEO writing career today, what would you do?

Here’s a very viable plan that anyone can follow to get started. It doesn’t pay the most, but you will land jobs, get some experience under your belt,  and gain confidence as an SEO writer so you can command higher rates.

I hope this insight helps, and good luck however you decide to proceed.

Best,
Yuwanda

P.S.: Want to Freelance Full-Time but Don’t Know How?

Get all the information you need to get started right away in The Ultimate Freelancer’s Guidebook. You’ll learn how to:

Land the best jobs;

Build your own brand; and

Be your own boss — in ANY KIND of freelance business you choose to start.

Get more details and learn how to order (and get BONUS, FREE content for ordering early).

Are You Picking This Easy, Profitable, Low-Hanging Fruit of SEO?


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The following is a guest post by Sydney Miller.

More than 80 percent of website owners overlook these key SEO devices and it is detrimental to their ability to rank on Google.

If you take the time to zero in on the right things, you will already be in the top 20 percent of websites and the best part about it is WordPress will do most of the work for you. So let’s get started with some simple, often overlooked — yet very profitable — SEO tips.

seo-tips

Choose the Right Keywords

Keywords and keyword phrases (KWPs) are definitely one of the most important factors in your website’s ability to rank on Google. It’s essential that you think like your customer when deciding on keywords. People tend to search in plain language, so go with simple sentences and everyday vocabulary, “shoes for beach wedding,” instead of “what style of shoe would work best for a beach wedding.”

A rivalry for keywords always seems to be brewing for competing websites. If you have two words with equal demand, select the one that’s less competitive and save yourself some trouble.

The funny thing is, when you start to rank for the less competitive phrase, you’ll usually pick up some rank for the competitive keyword phrase as well. Less work –- big payoff. A win win!

Another thing to consider is the money words, or long-tail KWPs that tend to be used by customers who are ready to make a purchasing decision. For example, if I wanted to buy a new laptop for architecture school next year, I would might Google “MacBook Pro” instead of “computer.” See how knowing the successful KWPs for your website can help you take control of your SEO and start getting high-quality (ie, “ready to buy”) traffic?

4 Places You Should STILL be Placing Keywords

Although Google’s algorithms have had us visiting zoos for years now, there are still some industry truisms that have remained the same. Keywords should still be placed in the following areas.

1. Title

seo-keyword-tip1

2. URL

seo-keyword-tip2

3. Heading

seo-keyword-tip3

4. Link Text

seo-keyword-tip4

Did you know that Google updates its search algorithm hundreds of times per year? It does! So you need to keep pace with it by revisiting your main keyword choices from time to time and update them accordingly.

As with all SEO, you can’t just implement it once and be done. If you want to continue ranking on Google, you need to adapt to the algorithm. For more information visit SEO Quotient.

sydneyAbout the Author: Sydney Miller is an Intern at Agileana (agileana.com), a web design firm located in the Washington, DC metro area.

Sidney is an architecture major who went from designing buildings to designing websites for the summer.

P.S.: Earn $40,000 to $70,000/Year as a Freelance SEO Writer

How? Click through to get details.


I’ve made my living as an online (SEO) content writer since 2007. Some benefits of starting this type of home-based business:

**You can never be laid off;
**You determine how much you earn; and
**You can work from anywhere (as long as there’s an internet connection).

Since 2009, via my online SEO copywriting course, I’ve trained many others how to start this type of freelance business. Are you next?

P.P.S.: Have Something about SEO You Want to Share

Submit a guest post like like Sydney did. It may be published here, or on this site’s parent site, InkwellEditorial.com.

P.P.P.S.: Want to Freelance Full-Time but Don’t Know How?

Get all the information you need to get started right away in The Ultimate Freelancer’s Guidebook. You’ll learn how to:

land the best jobs;

build your own brand; and

be your own boss — in ANY KIND of freelance business you choose to start.

Get more details and learn how to order (and get BONUS, FREE content).

2 SEO Tips Every Web (SEO) Writer Needs to Know


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A couple of days ago, I received a query from an intern at an internet marketing firm. It was for high school graduates interested in computer science. She/he (the name was unisex, so I don’t know if it was a male or female who wrote to me) was interning with about a dozen high school graduates interested in computer science.

One of the things she wanted to know is if I could dispense some advice/tips about what they should know about SEO (search engine optimization for the uninitiated). Now you know, when you’re talking to students, that means you’re in the “teacher chair,” so you really put on your thinking hat.

I was going to only dispense one tip, which came pretty easily enough. Then, I came up with another one that — in my opinion — was equally important.

After I sent them off, I thought to myself, “Really, this is all you need to know about SEO. If you do these two things, you’ll never have to worry so much about what Google is doing because you’ll always be in the loop.

The Only 2 Things Online Writers Need to Know about SEO

Here’s what I wrote.

FYI, if you have any SEO tips to share, feel free to do so in the comments section below.

P.S.: Earn $40,000 to $70,000/Year as a Freelance SEO Writer

How? Click through to get details.


I’ve made my living as an online (SEO) content writer since 2007. Some benefits of starting this type of home-based business:

**You can never be laid off;
**You determine how much you earn; and
**You can work from anywhere (as long as there’s an internet connection).

Since 2009, via my online SEO copywriting course, I’ve trained many others how to start this type of freelance business. Are you next?

Freelance SEO Writing: The Reality of Earning $100/Day Writing for Content Mills


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I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993. In 2007, I discovered SEO writing and went on to specialize in this niche. I receive a lot of questions from aspiring freelance writers about how to start, and I’d have to say, hands down, the number one thing that keeps many from starting a freelance career is crippling insecurity.

The #1 Fear Many Aspiring Freelance SEO Writers Have

They worry that their writing skills are not good enough, or that they don’t know enough (anything) about how to write SEO copy – which is what many clients want these days – to please clients. I get it; I had some of these same insecurities when I first started out. After I got the hang of it though, I was like, “That’s all there is to it? Really?!”

One way to beat these insecurities is to start off in what I call the “sweat shops” of online writing – content mills and certain content marketing agencies. They can help you build the confidence you need to quickly move on to securing your own higher-paying clients. Getting work from these types of companies is pretty straightforward, and you can easily earn $50 to $100 per day – even with very little or no experience. Proof?

About a month and a half ago, I went on a marketing blitz and applied for 150+ freelance writing jobs in a short period of time. It was revealing on a lot of levels.  One of the things that stuck out to me was how simple it is to earn $50-100/day, if you know how to write SEO content.

How to Make Money Writing for Content Mills & Agencies

Why $50 to $100 Per Day as an Earnings Marker?

I chose this amount because it’s what many need to replace a part-time (in some cases) a full-time job; not including benefits, of course; but to replace a baseline, hourly salary. It’s also a marker I used for myself when I first started writing SEO content back in 2007. I figured, if I can’t earn this much, then I need to be doing something else.

As I combed through hundreds of listings, I found that it’s easier than ever to earn this much per day. And there are a couple of ways to go about it: writing for content mills and marketing agencies, or finding your own private clients (where the real money in freelance writing is to be made).

This week, we’re going to delve into what it really takes to make $100 per day writing for content mills and marketing agencies. In next week’s post, we’ll delve into the private client route, ok? So, here we go.

5 Reasons Many Freelancers Write for Content Mills

You might as well know up front that anytime you say “I write for a content mill,” it’s going to cause a ruckus in freelance writing circles, as the comments section of this post prove. However, if you’re a newbie to freelance writing and …

  • Don’t have the confidence (yet) to pursue your own gigs;
  • Don’t have the time or desire to market for your own gigs;
  • Like writing and just want to make some extra money using your skill;
  • Want to learn a new form of online writing (SEO content); and/or
  • Earn a little while you learn a new trade …

Then writing for content mills can fit the bill. But realize, it is a lot – A LOT – of work.

How Much Content Mills & Content Marketing Agencies Pay

Anywhere from mere pennies (eg, $3 for a 500-word article), on up to a “high” of around $20-$30 per 400 to 600-word article. And yes, $20-$30/per article are the “good-paying” assignments.

53 Content Mills & Agencies that Pay You to Write

So the key is to sign up for a few of them to keep yourself busy. Here is a list of eight, with feedback. Here’s a generic list of 35 (some may overlap with the first list). And here’s yet another list of 10 that I ran across. These should be enough to get you started.

How to Get Hired by Content Mills & Content Marketing Agencies

The sign-up process can be as simple as entering an email address and taking a simple grammar test, to submitting writing samples and crafting article pitches. Some get back to you almost immediately; others take weeks, or even a few months.

Plan to spend a few days or a full week signing up with as many as you feel will allow you to hit your income goals. Then as soon as you’ve been accepted, get to selecting assignments and writing.

Note: Before you start with any content mill/agency, do some research. Look for first-hand accounts from other freelancers about what it was like to write for them, then make your decision.

How Many Hours Per Day You Have to Work to Earn $100?

I’ve worked for a few content mills in my day; mostly when I first started out, ie: (i) the now-defunct AssociatedContent.com (it was bought by Yahoo); (ii) eHow (Demand Media); (iii) Media Shower; and (iv) BloggMutt.

Writing for AssociatedContent

I loved AssociatedContent because I essentially got paid to promote my own products and services. I used this site to promote my ebooks and classes. They used to accept pre-published content, so I’d submit the same article I’d published on my blog to them. Any money I earned there was just gravy. Those days are long gone though.

Writing for eHow

This was another site I loved writing for. Basically an editor would assign me articles and pay me a flat fee for each one – anywhere from $15 to $25 per article. My “specialty” with them was freelance writing, so I could write an article in about half an hour. It was some of the easiest writing I’ve ever done.

Writing for BlogMutt

I wrote four articles for them. Sold three of them and never wrote another one. The clients are too picky there for me. For $8 per post (even though it’s only 250-300 words), people expect changes. Really?!

It wasn’t worth it for me, but they do have a ton of assignments and you can earn more than $8 per post. They have payscales that move up once you reach certain levels. It’s explained in the link just above.

Writing for Media Shower

I actually liked writing for them too. The pay is a straightforward $25 per article for 400 to 600 words. But they recently switched to a mostly “pitch” platform, which means you have to pitch clients an idea in order to maybe get an assignment. You’re not the only one pitching, so that’s why I say maybe get an assignment.

I hate pitching — even for high-paying assignments. It’s one reason I never wrote for magazines. If you know anything about crafting pitches, you know that it can take almost as long to put together a good one as it does to write a 400 to 600-word article.

For me, to have to pitch first in order to get a $25 per article assignment is not the best use of my time, so I don’t do it.

To be fair, you can name your rate on some of the assignments, but still, it’s just not how I like to work as a freelance writer. If an editor contacts me with a straightforward assignment and I’m not too busy and it’s something I can knock out pretty easily, then I’ll accept. I don’t bother with pitching first though. I have never liked to do it, so this pretty much killed most of my chances of getting work from them.

I signed up with several others mills/agencies that I did no work for because I was simultaneously marketing for (and landing) my own, higher-paying clients. And FYI, if you want to earn a good, full-time living as a freelance writer, this should be your goal.

The Worst Part about Working for Content Mills & Agencies

Burnout is a real factor, so don’t make this your end-goal; use it as a training ground and as soon as you can, move on.

As for how many hours you’re gonna have to put in, in my opinion – and experience – you should plan on working at least 8-12 hours per day at a minimum if you want to consistently hit the $100 per day mark.

That long, really?  Yes, and the reason is, you’ll have to sift through writing assignments to find something you can and/or want to write on that doesn’t require a lot of time and research. Some of the assignments available require a lot of research; some don’t. And the competition for the “easy” assignments is usually very stiff and they go quickly.

So if you’re earning an average of $10 per article, you’d have to write 10 articles in one day! If you spend an hour on each one, that’s 10 hours right there. So yeah, it’s a grind – and that’s why burnout is real and why should always be looking for your own private clients as a freelance writer.

You’ll earn more and work less; although, you’ll spend a lot of time marketing – especially in the beginning.

If you’re thinking, “Well, I’ll just take the higher-paying assignments (eg, $25).” Not so fast — many times, those aren’t available.

Types of Content You’ll Be Writing

Content marketing companies and mills have a lot of clients, which is why they have writing assignments on everything from how to file bankruptcy (for bankruptcy lawyers), to the best way to remove a tree stump from your front yard (tree-cutting service), to cloud computing (technology company).

This is what made it fun for me. And, you learn a lot. My friends don’t like to watch game shows or play word games with me because I know so many oddball facts – and it’s all because I’ve written on and researched so many topics as a freelance writer.

Conclusion

To sum up, to earn $50 to $100 per day as a freelance SEO writer working for a content mill or content marketing agency:

(i) Sign up with a few mills/agencies to have options;

(ii) Try to select topics/assignments that you have experience in/with/on and/or that don’t in-depth research; and

(iii) Plan to put in a solid day’s work (8-12 hours per day).

It’s not rocket science. It really is as simple as this. Notice I said simple, not easy.

As soon as you feel confident in your abilities, branch out and look for your own clients. This is where the real money is as a freelance SEO writer, and this shouldn’t take long at all – a couple of months at the most.

P.S.: 2-for-1 Ebook Deal Expires Today. See this post for details.

x-click-but22$74.95 $49.95. Note: Price subject to change at any time.

2-for-1 Ebook Deal
Get the exact knowledge that pushed my freelance writing career to the next level – allowing me to travel and live abroad, get out of debt and really “live the freelance life.” One freelancer wrote:

Hey Yuwanda,

I hope all is well! I just wanted to let you know that this month marked the first month that my writing income surpassed that of my day job.

Thanks to your help and inspiration, I have more work than I know what to do with and have successfully landed a number of clients that give me recurring work. Thanks again for your advice!

SEO writing changed the trajectory of my freelance writing career. It can do the same for you!

Freelance SEO Writers: First-Hand Insight on What Clients Want & Expect from You


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The following post is by a guest contributor.

In today’s increasingly digital and internet focused world, thousands of business visionaries are turning to freelancers to build a team comprised of folks working together — everywhere from Calcutta, to Buenos Aires, to New York City.

With dozens of internet resources available to find and hire a great team of freelance writers, renting out an overpriced, luxurious office condo in downtown Chicago is a thing of the past for many successful and innovative businesses. That’s just one of the many reasons many entrepreneurs – like me—are outsourcing.

In this post, I’ll divulge some of the things I look for in the freelance SEO writers in hopes that you’ll gain some insight into what entrepreneurs are looking for when they hire a team to help them keep their business(es) humming along profitably.

Freelance SEO Writers: What Clients Want

Developing and Maintaining a Site’s “Voice/Tone”

I have noticed that in the beginning of a website, it is preferable for me to write at least a few of the initial articles to determine the voice of the site. Believe it or not, it’s hard for some entrepreneurs – many of whom happen to be A-type personalities – to outsource tasks to a freelancer. So if you’re a freelance writer, I’m sure you know it’s easier to write for someone who has at least set the tone of the site.

After I’ve established the tone, I look for writers who have a strong knowledge of SEO who can also maintain the appropriate voice I’ve laid out. I also look for those who stay upon the latest search engine algorithm changes, since they change so frequently. I’ve learned the hard way that this is extremely important.

I had hired someone a few months ago to write an article based on a specific keyword phrase. They had incorporated that keyword within the content of the article, but it was within the article 10 times! They were using the old, 2010 tactic of keyword stuffing. I realize that what I should have done was either vet the writer better, or at the very least explain that the exact phrase should appear only one time, and that related keywords can be sprinkled throughout the article.

Following is one way I’ve learned to source SEO writers.

Where I Look for Talent

I have learned my lesson of trying to save on article outsourcing by using the cheapest level of quality sites to find writers. I’ve had to filter through as many as 10 freelance writers to find one that will do an excellent job. So trust me, when I find a good writer, I realize the piece of gold I’ve mined!

The freelance profession has exploded in recent years as more and more discover the benefits of working from home, at their own pace, without a boss staring down their neck. As the industry has grown, more and more websites have been created with the express purpose of forming connections between freelance writers and potential clients.

Some of the best known freelance websites include Upwork, Toptal, Freelancer, Guru, Peopleperhour and Freelance Writing Gigs. I’ve also used websites like Craigslist and even social media sites to source writers.

Dedication Is Key – by Both Parties

I presently use writers on my blogs who are super dedicated and superb at what they do. Freelance writers can be expensive, but I look at paying for their services as in investment in my business. Hence, I look for those who are motivated to write high-quality SEO content that converts, and when I find them, I strive to provide them with constant work.

I personally do not mind paying a higher rate for a writer who is great with deadlines and willing to ask questions, because this ensures the creation of high-caliber content.

I have hired freelancers who are obviously overwhelmed, taking on too many jobs at the same time, rushing the content which means I have to spend precious time editing and/or rewriting. This is one of the main reasons that when I find an excellent writer, I do my best to provide them with ongoing work to keep them motivated to keep me as a top priority in their work cycle.

Finding Freelance Writers Who Understand My Marketing Vision

I have hired freelancers without explaining the overall vision that I had for the content marketing of a site. For instance, one of my site’s main purposes was to promote my Clickbank product. I had assumed that the writer would read a few of the articles on the site to see how each one created openings to promote this specific product in a seamless way. My assumption was wrong. I had to have this writer edit a large portion of each article submitted to highlight the product.

I realized that the onus is upon me to explain my marketing plan to the freelancer writers I bring on in order to give them a fair chance of creating content that will coincide with my site’s goals. As a freelancer, if a site owner is not forthcoming with their goals for the content they wish you to create, don’t be afraid to ask. Otherwise, it can be like writing in a vacuum.

The site owner won’t be please, which means they may not hire you again – all because no one failed to make clear the intended goal of the content.

Writers Who Know How to Make a Connection

SEO copywriting is much more than throwing in a few keywords here and there. Establishing a writing style that connects with potential clients or buyers is a must.

My audience doesn’t want to just read the same bit of repeated information they can find on hundreds of other websites. What they want is quality content with a fresh twist that offers meaningful and useful information.

Connecting with a freelance writer who intuitively understands this is like discovering the holy grail. It means they get internet marketing; they get that I’m paying for content that will distinguish my site from hundreds or thousands or others.

The Hunt for Native English Speakers

Finding native, English-speaking writers is definitely becoming more of a difficulty, so if you have this skill, don’t worry about competing with writers from other countries. Website owners who’ve gone down the road of hiring non-native speakers have learned the hard way that it’s not worth it.

Tools and Resources I Expect My Freelance Writers to Use

I strive to establish long-term relationships with a dedicated set of writers to avoid the hassle of having to find a new writer for every job that comes up. So I go out of my way to keep the ones I do hire happy, as mentioned previously.

One way I deepen the relationship is, after they’ve proven to me that they will stay on and produce high-caliber content, I provide them with a short list of tools that they can use to check the quality of their articles. Doing so saves me a lot of time, and helps them to write better content.

Here is a sampling of the free tools I provide. I’ve found that many of them didn’t know about them beforehand, and they go on to use them in all of their work.

1) I require my writers to test the readability of an article using the free Hemingway app.

2) Before a writer submits an article for review, I ask that they verify that it doesn’t cause Google to mark it as duplicate content by using a free plagiarism checker. The video just below explains how Google handles duplicate content, and why webmasters are so keen to avoid it.

FYI, here is a comprehensive list of more than 100 resources for freelancer writers to help you succeed.

Respecting SEO Writing as a Skill

The writers I hire are an integral part of my team. It’s a symbiotic relationship in that they are skilled professionals I depend on to keep my businesses profitable. I never forget this.

If you’re a freelance SEO writer, you shouldn’t either.

About the Author: Michael Mayfair likes to invest in the stock market and in real estate, although, his biggest passion is his family. Michael is a freelance writer and personal trainer from New York. In his spare time, he enjoys golf. Networking while golfing has allowed him to land several freelance writing jobs.


P.S.: Learn how to take your freelance business to the next level by outsourcing.

It’s the number one way to grow your business to the point where you’re earning more, without working more.

P.P.S.: We’re always looking for great guest posts.

InkwellEditorial.com, this site’s parent site, is a highly ranked blog (PR4), so feel free to send in your guest post to get in front of thousands of freelance writers.

Freelance SEO Writers: Do You Have These 3 Skills? They Make Landing Jobs Much Easier


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As the headline of this post implies, in a post I wrote today on BloggingTips.com, I talked about three skills freelance SEO writers need in order to make a successful go of freelancing.

One of these was branding. If you want to make mad money and practically write your ticket as a freelance writer, this is one way to do it. And it’s not hard at all. In fact, it’s incredibly easy.

So,” you may be thinking, “exactly what is branding?”

Glad you asked.

SEO Writing Skills Checklist

What Is a Brand?

As defined on BusinessDictionary.com, the official definition of branding is:

The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

What Does It Mean to Brand Yourself as a Freelance Writer?

As I explained in the book on freelancing that I just finished for Adams Media (Fall 2016), your brand is everything you do—marketing, scaling, determining your unique selling proposition (USP), etc.

What you say when you market, how you say it, who you target, how much you charge, what your website looks like, your logo, your mission statement – all of this makes up your brand.

Example of a Brand

An example of a clearly defined brand is McDonald’s.

You see the golden arches, and you know it’s McDonald’s. You can be in the next room and when the jingle is heard on the TV, “Duh, duh duh duh duh, I’m lovin’ it’” comes on, you know that a Mickey D’s commercial just ended, right? You know that they’re a fast food joint that sells hamburgers and fries, among other fast food.

This is because McDonald’s message is consistent; their jingle is memorable; their logo is instantly recognizable; and you can sum up what their business is in a few seconds. All of this is done on purpose by marketing firms the fast-food chain spends millions with.

You don’t need a bundle of cash to create a well-defined brand. And if you market your freelance writing business like this, you can build a loyal clientele who will seek out your services over and over again — just like McDonald’s customers.

Tomorrow on InkwellEditorial.com, this blog’s parent blog, we’ll discuss in detail specifics on how to brand yourself as a freelance writer.

The Main Skill You Need to Succeed as a Freelance SEO Writer

In the meantime, head on over BloggingTips.com to read today’s post on some of the skills you need as an SEO writer. I’ll give you the most important one — SEO.  You can’t do squat as an online writer these days without knowing at least the fundamentals of search engine optimization. And, this post discusses that – and a couple of other skills you need to succeed as a freelance web writer these days.

P.S.: Earn $40,000 to $70,000/Year as a Freelance SEO Writer

How? Click through to get details.

I’ve made my living as an online (SEO) content writer since 2007 — and have trained many others how to start this type of freelance business as well.

Are you next?

Freelance SEO Writers: Is Your Site Missing These Elements? Is It Costing You Business?


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A well-designed website can bring you leads. As an SEO writer, it also helps to have a good ranking to illustrate to clients, “Hey, I know what I’m doing. My site ranks pretty well for keywords in my niche.”

I’ve been meaning to update my SEO writing website for quite some time now – probably going on two years. I made it a resolution and finally got around to it this week. My main goal was to get it to a state where I wouldn’t be embarrassed about it. Yesterday, I finished it (for now).

It took three days of 10-12 hours of work to revamp it. Some things jumped out at me that I want to share with you that can help you rank well. So whether you’re new to SEO writing and don’t have a website, or if you’ve had your site up for a while and are thinking about revamping it, keep the following in mind to get that all-important search engine boost.

1. Get Your Site Designed in WordPress

Let me say right off the bat that mine is still in HTML. What’s the difference?

In short, WordPress is interactive, whereas HTML is static. For example, WordPress has plugins that show you things like “Most Popular Post”; “Most Read Post”; “Related Content;” etc. An HTML site has none of these features. It’s literally just like a brochure on the web.

So why is my site still in HTML? I had a WordPress theme designed for it a couple of years go, but never got around to using it. At the time, I’d planned to start a content marketing blog – speaking to prospective SEO writing clients.

But I never got around to doing that because the two blogs I already operate (this one and InkwellEditorial.com) are almost more than I can handle. So, I decided to keep New Media Words as just a static web presence that showcases the services we offer.

Most of my clients these days come via referral, and when I do need to market, I reach out to them directly. So while blogging — and of course, building a mailing list targeting potential clients — could have brought in more business, it’s just not something that’s necessary for me right now.

FYI, learn more about the difference between WordPress and HTML.

2. Write Your Meta Tags

For years, search marketing experts have been disagreeing about how important (or not) meta tags are. Google still uses them to some degree to judge what a page is all about, so yes, meta tags are still important.

2 Meta Tags You Should Absolutely Write

If you don’t write any others, take the time to at least write your description and title tags. These tags tell search engines what a specific page on your site is all about. If you don’t write your meta tags, Google (search engines) will generate snippets of what it thinks the page is all about.

But, consider this – wouldn’t you rather have your site described by you, not a search engine? It could mis-classify it or not describe it as well as you would. So that’s why it pays to write them.

FYI, the “Keyword” meta tag is useless now. Matt Cutts – Google’s SEO guru – has said that they don’t use that one anymore (see video below). There used to be a lot of keyword stuffing going on back in the day, so that’s why they stopped using it. Now they rely on other metrics — eg, content, load time, etc. — to find and rank sites.

Tips for Writing Your Meta Tags

i) Describe exactly what’s on a given page, not your WHOLE site. For example, on the page that describes New Media Words’ SEO copywriting services, here’s what my Title and Description tags say:

<title>SEO Content Writing Services for B2B and B2C Businesses. All Copy Is Written by Professional, Native-English Speaking and Writing SEO Copywriters</title>

<meta name=”description” content=”New Media Words provides themed SEO content for websites, blogs, social media sites, etc. All content is 100 percent original by native English speakers/writers.”>

Remember, Google indexes sites page by page, ie, each page is treated as an individual entity. So make sure your tags reflect that.

ii) Be as descriptive as possible. Remember, the description you write is returned in search results. Surfers can actually see it, so you want to be sure it describes accurately what’s on the page so surfers can decide if they want to click on it or not.

iii) Meta tag length: While there is no one correct length for meta tags, it’s considered best to limit them to 160 characters or less. Why? Because that’s when most search engines cut them off.

Some of mine run longer than this, but I’m mindful to put the most important info within the first 160 characters.

iv) Use keywords: Don’t keyword stuff, but do use keywords where possible in your meta tags. That’s what search engines use to find and rank pages, so be sure to get them in within the first 160 characters (not words, CHARACTERS).

As an aside, currently New Media Words ranks on the first page of Google for the keyword phrase “SEO writing company” (without quotes). It’s in the #6 position as of this writing. On Bing, it’s in two spots on the first page — positions #2 and #5.

I point this out because I don’t do any web marketing for New Media Words – no blogging, no article marketing, no pay-per-click – nothing. Now I’m sure my other writings on SEO where I do reference the company (eg, like here in this post) help, but writing the meta tags contributes to the ranking too.

SEO Writing Company: New Media Words

New Media Words has ranked for years for this keyword phrase. And while it’s not terribly competitive, being on the first page of Google for a keyword phrase that returns over 23,000,000 results (and will only grow over time IMO) is helpful when trying to get noticed online.

Even though my site was ugly as all get out and had outdated information before this re-design (here’s the new design), it still got me leads. That’s the power of taking the time to do the behind-the-scenes work like writing your meta tags.

Now that we’ve discussed meta tags in detail, let’s move on to what else I learned as I updated the site.

3. Check Your SEO Service Listings

I offered a lot more services on the old site. But, I realized that some of them were outdated (eg, article marketing and submission), and some I just didn’t sell a lot of, eg, SEO consulting. So, I got rid of those.

When was the last time you updated your SEO writing services? If it’s been a while, take a look at your numbers to see what’s selling – and get rid of unprofitable, low-paying and/or outdated services.

4. Review Your SEO Writing Rates

Piggybacking on the last point, when was the last time you checked your SEO writing rates? Mine had been the same for a while, so I increased them in some areas and lowered them in others.

About Listing Your Rates on Your Freelance Site

I used to list all of my firm’s rates on the site. Now, I just give a beginning range. The reason is, I found myself changing my rates a lot depending on what clients want: eg, are they ordering in bulk; do they want us to conduct keyword research in addition to writing; are they a long-time client I want to extend a discount to; etc.

I still like the idea of listing rates as opposed to not listing them. By listing a minimum, I still give prospects an idea of what our rates are. This way, they can judge if it’s worth it to get in touch with us or not.

5. Add a Photo

This is totally subjective, but I added my photo to the home page. I added it because I looked at some sites and found that those I responded to more were those that showcased photos of people, eg, the founder and/or employees.

SEO can be very cold. For me, seeing the people behind all the gobbledygook, technical speak humanized a business. When prospective clients look for SEO writing, I want them to know who they’re doing business with –- that there’s a real person here who cares about them and their business.

FYI, here’s a post that expounds upon the pros of including a photo of yourself on your site. Freelance SEO writers are “professional services providers,” and I couldn’t agree more with the following assessment:

For those of us in professional services, we are our product. It is “us” that someone is “buying”, so it would make sense that we provide that prospect with as much information as possible for them to make a “buying” decision. Working virtually is now a very common way that many of us with a professional service now operate. We meet our clients over phone calls and work with them via phone and email.

Many of us have many clients that we have never actually meet in person. So the website becomes your sales tool, and you should take advantage of every opportunity for your prospect to feel a connection with you, to see that you are a real person. Establishing trust and credibility is the first step of having a successful website, and by having your photo on your website you have taken that first step.

FYI, this post also gives some great tips on what type of photo to use.

The photo I used went against most of this advice, but as she says, it’s a personal decision. The photo I used is one I happened to take after a dental visit this past December. It’s not professionally shot or anything; it was taken with a camera phone. So don’t think you have to worry about spending money to get a pro to do a photo for you.

If you do choose to put a photo on your site, just make sure that you’re adequately covered and that it has some personality to it (eg, a smile works wonders).

6. Keep It Simple to Stay on the Right Side of Google

If your web design skills are basic (like mine) and you don’t want to hire someone to redesign your site, keep the design simple; don’t try to get all fancy.

I went for a clean design – focusing more on the quality of the content. I looked at a lot of sites while redoing mine and some were pretty awesomely high-gloss and fancy. But you know what? A lot of them were very basic too – even those of seemingly big firms. So don’t be afraid to be basic – as long as it doesn’t look too amateurish.

Also, keep things like Flash and other interactive design elements to a minimum. Why? Because it slows down the load time of a site. And this is extremely important, especially in today’s world where many users access sites via mobile devices. Consider the following:

  • 73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load.
  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load
  • If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.

Also, search engines count load time as one of the metrics they use to rank sites. So load time is important – from a web surfer standpoint, and from an SEO point.

Bonus Web Redesign Tip

If you have a lot of old material on your site, don’t just delete it. The reason is, you never want a prospect to encounter a dead link on your site. That’s earned traffic that you worked hard for, so redirect that traffic (using the Redirect feature in your web hosting control panel) to another page on your site.

I used to have a page on my site entitled “Free SEO Tools & Articles.” I had free reports and articles on that page. A lot of the information was outdated, so I redirected all of those links either to the home page, general service page, or to a specific service page on the site.

For example, if I had an article gave SEO writing tips, I redirected all traffic that came from that link to the SEO Copywriting services page.  See what I mean? No lost traffic.

Conclusion

SEO content writing has constantly evolving rules and practices. Some services become obsolete (eg, article marketing); others emerge (eg, social media marketing) and yet others are unprofitable, so it’s necessary to update your site to remain professional.

My site was looonnnnngggg overdue for an update. I’m embarrassed that it took me so long to get around to it. I’ll never do that again. Now it’s one I’m proud to log onto.

Is yours?

Your Feedback

When was the last time you updated your SEO writing website? Is it time for an overhaul? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

Earn $40,000 to $70,000/Year as a Freelance SEO Writer

How? Click through to get details.

I’ve made my living as an online (SEO) content writer since 2007 — and have trained many others how to start this type of freelance business as well. Are you next?

A Hot Niche for Freelance SEO Content Writers Where There’s Plenty of Work


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If you’re a regular reader, you probably know that I’ve talked about how quite a few freelancers keep in touch with me on a regular basis. Many contacted me at the start of their freelance SEO writing careers, and will check in from time to time with questions from clients they may need insight on, to ask a question about something going on in the industry; and/or (my favorite) to share their success.

I’ve been writing search engine-optimized (SEO) content since 2007, and I like to share these stories because it shows not only how the industry has evolved, but how just regular, everyday people who took the plunge fare over an extended time.

SEO Writing Success!

The day before yesterday, I got one of these emails. This freelancer and I have been corresponding since 2009. I can hardly believe it’s been that long, but I went back through my emails and found her initial contact with me – which was in February 2009. My jaw dropped.

I’ve been privy to her ups and downs – from taking the leap from a full-time job into freelancing, to where she is today – developing her own online products and services, all the while still keeping her foot in the SEO copywriting waters.

She contacted me to give me a rundown of what she’s been up to lately; giving me the skinny on a hot niche she discovered where there’s plenty of work, among other insights. Her email really underscores just how much freelance writing work is out there, including one niche you might not have thought of where there’s a lot of work.

Following is her email (interspersed with some notes from me). I hope it inspires you to keep putting yourself out there for work. I’m always saying it (ie, there’s plenty of work out there). Now you get to hear it from someone else as well – someone who’s actually doing it.

One Freelance SEO Content Writer’s Success: This Could Be You Too!

I know you get a lot of aspiring writers asking you all kind of questions as I once did when I was a newbie.

As you know, I have been trying to transition from writing [for clients] to creating my own programs, which are coming along nicely. However, I still take on clients from time to time. Mostly because these are my OG’s [old clients] and I love them; without them my business would not exist. So, I try to pay it forward when I can.

Types of Copywriting Jobs She’s Landed

It got me thinking –that there is still a lot of SEO work to go around. That’s if you are willing to write about the non-sexy topics. So the recent projects I have been doing have included:

Educational company that focuses on Islam and Arabic (I’ve dated enough Middle Eastern men to feel like I am a subject matter expert in this. Tee-hee!)

Painting and home renovation company (focusing on high end luxury homes)

Moving and Storage companies (I have a couple of these)

Personal Injury /Criminal Lawyers: Let me say, I am not a fan of writing legal copy, so I have started to outsource some of it to a Jr. Writer I hired. Lawyers always [seem to] have a lot of work, so even if someone was charging $25-$30 per article, they can make a handsome salary focusing on lawyers alone.

I remember I once had a lawyer literally give me 100 articles a month. The only thing with lawyers is that they are extremely busy! So, it can be difficult to get copy approved, payment on time, etc. If they have a business manager that is their primary point of contact that is ideal.

34 Pages of Copy Needed – It’s Not Sexy, But It Pays the Bills

I just got an email from my OG client and he’s putting together a site so I can work on 34 pages for infrared beams  – or something with infrared – don’t ask me. Lol.

As far as sales copy, I have written sales pages for an IT consultant, and surprisingly enough I have two different clients I write for in the “boost your libido” niche. Two totally different products, but the same end result.

I think I will probably niche myself as a sales Page writer; I am not too sure yet. Even though they are 12 to 15 pages, they are much easier for me to write than a standard 500-1,000-word article. That’s just the way my brain works I guess.

How to Find SEO Writing Jobs: 5 Pieces of Advice from a Busy Freelancer

In a nutshell, I guess I wrote to share with your audience:

1. Partner with SEO firms. If you find the right one, they can keep you busy. I cold-called a guy 9 years ago, and he has referred many clients too me over the years.

2. Lawyers have a great budget and will give you a lot of work. So when a lawyer approaches you don’t get discouraged if he/she wants to pay $35-$40 per blog post/article.

See if you can work out a retainer system with them. There is an art and science to writing for lawyers, and if you think you can handle it, it can turn into a lucrative career working for them alone.

3. Give sales pages a try. I know there are many other things like ebooks, case Studies, etc., but I think I found my sweet spot with sales pages. Depending on the topic, it’s fun to research, easy to write, and you can charge a premium.

Editor note: Sales letter writing is some of the most highly paid freelance copywriting work out there. Here’s an interesting read by one freelancer you will enjoy. He tells you how to guarantee that you earn exactly what you’re worth: Copywriting Fees: “How can I get $5,000+ for writing a sales letter?”

4. Hire a Jr. Writer or two (like you told me before Yuwanda). I cut a deal with a brilliant writer. He’s been writing for a long time, but new to SEO and needs to get some experience under his belt.  So, I put him on a 60 day trial period on an agreed upon rate that works for both of us. And I still make profit.

5. The non-sexy topics can be your bread and butter. I know that writing about health, fitness, love, travel are ideal and can pay well.  I am sure there is a lot of competition for those topics too. However, I don’t see too many people jumping out of bed to write about moving and storage every morning. Lol. So, if they are willing to write about the boring topics, they can make some serious bank!

Editor note: I’ve written tons of SEO articles in my day, and plenty of them were in non-glamorous niches, eg, plumbing, tree-cutting, roofing, office furniture and arctic drilling equipment, to name a few.

Yeah, these types of companies need content too. In fact, as this freelancer pointed out, many of them need lots of content – and probably very few of them are pitched by freelancers because really … who wants to spend their days researching how to unclog drains and cut down trees safely.

3 More Tips for Finding Freelance SEO Writing Work: My Take

Following are a few more things to keep in mind that you can use to land more writing jobs.

1. Use Life Experience: For example, her reference to dating people from different cultures. If you’ve had a particular experience in your life that you could pull from, then use that. For example, I’m intimately familiar with living and working from the Caribbean. It’s a “life experience” I could use to pitch to potential clients, eg, as a travel writer.

Or, maybe you could develop your own products/service around it. I conducted my SEO copywriter training seminar on-site in Jamaica (Negril) in 2014, and wrote an ebook about how to live and work from the Caribbean.

Life experience – never underestimate its value.

2. Become an Outsourcee: As in, reach out to other freelancers who may have work. This writer hires other writers. I have a “go to” team I use, and I know of many other freelancers who routinely hire other writers.

Now, while I don’t think it’s a method of finding freelance gigs you should spend a ton of time on, as I discuss here, but it is a viable way to get some work.

3. Expand Your Skill Set: This freelancer advises giving sales pages a try. There are many different kinds of writing business need these days, and they include everything from simple blog posts, to more in-depth writing like case studies and white papers.

FYI, here’s a list of 30 types of freelance writing jobs; some fall within the SEO writing sector, some don’t. The idea is to get you to thinking, “Hmm, where’s my ‘sweet spot?’” as this freelancer put it.

The SEO Copywriter Training Class: Latest Update

The class consists of five modules. Usually, you have to purchase the whole class – and all modules are sent to you at once to work on at your leisure. Now, however, you can purchase each module separately. You can see exactly what each one entails, so you can pick and choose the one that suits your needs at the moment.

How Much Do SEO Jobs Pay? How about 60-$80K, Or More

As an aside, I don’t check my LinkedIn account very much. Yesterday, I logged in for the first time in a few months. There were two full-time job opportunities there — companies wanting to interview me for full-time positions. And, guess how much they paid?

Both were for SEO Content Management positions. One paid between $60K and 80K; the other between $75K and $80K. Many SEO jobs (like analysts, digital marketing specialists, and search marketing consultants) can pay more — a lot more, especially in big cities.

Why do I point this out? SEO is a highly paid profession — so getting this training and some experience under your belt as a freelancer could set you up for high-paying, FT job opportunities too. I politely declined both, of course, but did let it be known that I was interested in any freelance SEO consulting work their firms might have. Hey, you just never know! 🙂

I hope this week has been a productive one, and that you’re looking forward to the weekend.

5 Types of SEO Writing: Which Ones Should You Provide?


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SEO content writing has changed a lot since I started in 2007. Some services are less requested and new ones have come down the pike. Following is some insight on five of the most popular types of SEO writing, including which ones are more requested and more lucrative.

I. SEO Blog Posts

Blog posts are just web articles; only they’re usually shorter. When I first started writing SEO content back in 2007, the average length of a blog post was anywhere from 250 to 400 words or so. Anything longer was considered a regular web article (aka foundational post, cornerstone content, link-bait article, in-depth content).

Nowadays, the trend is towards longer content — articles in the 1,000 to 2,000 word range (yeah, times have changed thanks to Google and its consistent algorithm changes). Proof? Consider the following

Back in 2012, serpIQ conducted a study involving more than 20,000 keywords. The results showed that the average content length of each of the top 10 results was more than 2,000 words. The average number of words for the content in the #1 spot was 2,416. For the #10 spot, the average number of words was 2,032. That evidence is fairly conclusive. If you want your articles to rank well, consider using long-form content.

So what was once considered a special report or even a short ebook is now just foundational content. Regular blog posts run in the 500 to 700-word range; anything shorter would be considered a mini blog post – good for social media posting, but not for your website or blog – that is, if your goal is to increase traffic and sales.

II. Foundational Web Articles

As referred to above, these are just like blog posts, only longer and more in-depth.

Types of SEO ContentThe trend towards long-form content started back with Google’s Hummingbird update, which was all about moving away from just keyword-driven search results, to focusing on the meaning behind the words.

Hummingbird aimed to ensure that a web searcher’s entire query was taken into account, not just a few (key) words within the query. This update was clearly meant to address the fact that more and more users are searching for content using mobile devices, and many of them do so using voice activation – speaking in complete sentences (ie, “a conversational” search), instead of typing in a few keywords.

The post, FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm on Search Engine Land explains how this impacts search results, stating:

“Conversational search” is one of the biggest examples Google gave. People, when speaking searches, may find it more useful to have a conversation.

“What’s the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home?” A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s,” for example.

Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.

As you can see, it’s a much more nuanced way of returning results than just by keywords. It’s hard to do that in a 400 or 500-word post.

How Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm Forced Content to Get Longer

By writing longer posts, you answer a myriad of questions that a web surfer may have about a particular topic.

I’ve always been a pretty wordy writer. Most of my posts fall in the 700-1,200 word range. But lately, I’ve been writing even longer posts –as you can see by the last few here and on this sites’ parent blog, InkwellEditorial.com, ie:

SEO Writing vs. Social Media Consulting: Which Is More Lucrative? Over 1,400 words

Writing Addictive SEO Content: 13 Must-Know Tips for Creating it – Now! Over 2,400 words

How to Land a Traditional Publishing Contract as a Freelance Writer: 5 Keys: Over 2,200 words

Becoming a Freelance Writer: How to Smoothly Transition from a Full-time Job — An In-Depth Discussion: Over 2,800 words

Longer content gives you enough space to answer a myriad of questions that users may have regarding a topic. Hence, it makes it more valuable to the web surfer, who is more likely to bookmark it to come back to; share it with other readers; and act on it.

In Google’s eyes, this is what the web is all about – giving web surfers helpful, usable content. Hence, they reward it.

While it is more time consuming to sit down and grind out a 2,000 word post, as opposed to banging out a 500-word one, as a freelancer, it’s good news in that you can charge more for this type of SEO content.

III. Landing Pages

Let’s first define this term, in case you don’t know what it is.

Technically, a landing page is any page you “land on” when you click through to a site. However, as used by internet marketers, it’s much more nuanced than that. The article, What Is a Landing Page? [FAQs] on HubSpot’s blog, explains it best, stating:

… a “landing page” is any page on the web on which one might land that 1) has a form and 2) exists solely to capture a visitor’s information through that form. In other words, all landing pages are web pages, but not all web pages are landing pages.

Landing pages are used a lot by internet marketers to grow their mailing lists – so that they can sell their products and services to a defined group of interested parties over a long period of time.

They’re very effective because they usually offer some type of freebie to entice a web visitor to give their email address. And this is why they need to be properly SEO’d – so that when web surfers search for a particular product/service in a defined niche, the site pops up in search results.

Writing a landing page can be some of the most challenging SEO content you’ll write, because it has so many nuances to it. It’s why it’s one of the higher-paying writing jobs in the digital age.

Like most forms of freelance writing, rates for writing landing pages are all over the place – from a few hundred dollars, on up to a few thousand. To determine how much to charge, I advise researching what others in your niche are charging for this service, how much ongoing work you might be required to do (eg, provide updates), and what the overall goal for the landing page is (eg, to capture leads, make a purchase, make a call, etc.).

See why they can be quite complex, hence, high-paying, to write?

IV. SEO Press Releases

My clients don’t request these nearly as much as they used to, but there’s still a place in SEO – for certain types of businesses – for SEO’d press releases. Usually, these are used by larger firms.

What is a SEO’d Press Release?

It’s simply a press release that’s been optimized with certain keywords and phrases to show up in search results. And in case you’re wondering, “Why would someone SEO a press release?” It’s simple. Google thinks it’s important, as explained in-depth in this article on the history of Google, SEO and how the search giant has treated press releases.

The reality is, any type of content you release on the web should be written with SEO in mind – that is if you’re a for-profit enterprise and care about ranking well – even pretty straightforward, usually non-actionable content like press releases. But be sure to adhere to Google’s SEO guidelines for each type of content you’re producing, so that all your hard work is not for naught.

V. Social Media Writing

These types of posts can be long or short. I tend to do an intro on my Facebook page, for example, then direct the reader to a link on my website with the content of the full post (if it’s for a blog post I’ve written).

Tips for SEOing Social Media Posts

a) If you don’t have a longer post to direct readers to, be sure to use relevant hash tags so that surfers on a social media site can easily find your content;

b) Use relevant search keywords in the title/headlines of your posts;

c) Make your content easily shareable by using “Share” buttons on your website; and

d) Use your business name in your posts: Why? It will help Google associate the keywords you use to describe your business with your business’s name, especially if you do it regularly.

Here are some more great tips for SEOing your social media posts. Be sure to use them, and pass them along to your SEO writing clients. Social media is an integral part of SEO writing now; the two cannot be divorced from one another.

By making your clients aware of how important social media is to the success of their content, you can add another revenue stream to your SEO writing business – social media writing.

Which of These SEO Writing Services Should You Be Offering as a Freelancer?

When I first started in 2007, I only offered one of these – web articles (foundational content). Pretty soon thereafter (within a few months), I started offering blog posts, because so many clients were requesting them.

It was a while before I offered press release writing and landing pages. I haven’t written a whole bunch of these – at least not for clients (I write them for my own affiliate marketing sites). Social media writing and account management has become a more in-demand service these last two years – and I see it being an ever bigger part of my SEO writing business in the future.

If I were a new freelance SEO writer, I would definitely offer blog posts, foundational content and social media writing posting. These are what clients are clamoring for right now – they are the meat and potatoes services most clients will expect you to offer.

You can always add on other service as you grow.

Final Thoughts

The trend is toward longer content, so be sure to charge appropriately for it.

Social media account management is a pretty straightforward upsell. It’s an add-on service I think every freelance SEO writer should offer, simply because it goes hand-in-hand with SEO writing these days. Don’t leave money on the table. If you write the content, why not earn a few extra bucks by distributing it via social media for clients?

Your Thoughts

What services do you offer as a SEO writer? Which ones do clients order the most? Are you thinking of adding others? Please share in the comments section below.

P.S.: Starting an online writing biz? Learn why I trust HostGator for my web hosting needs.

P.P.S.: Get the Training You Need to Start a Successful Freelance SEO Writing Career.

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Remember, when you learn how to write SEO content, you get the knowledge you need to take control of your career — and your financial future.

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