SEO Copywriting: SEO Tools & Tips Every Web Writer Should Know About (Part IV)

This is the final part in this series on SEO tools. Today, we’re going to discuss meta tags. Before we do, let’s define them for those who may not know.

About Meta Tags

Example of What Meta Tags Look Like

What Are Meta Tags?

Meta tags are coded tags inserted into a web page to help search engines correctly categorize a given site. This information is placed in the heading area of web pages. It is not visible to web surfers (unless they click on “view source” (Internet explorer)) to see this information.

The Purpose of Meta Tags

As alluded to above, meta tags are used by search engines to index your site. Think of it as an online filing and cataloging system. When search engine spiders crawl the internet, they file sites according to the type of content they find on them. So for example, if you have a website about jewelry, your meta tags will reflect that.

What Most SEO Experts Think about Meta Tags

I purposely left this portion for last because many think that meta tags are useless nowadays. I disagree, if only because they provide valuable information to search engine spiders.

Most search marketing experts think that this SEO tool is obsolete because they can be easily manipulated, eg, keyword stuffing. This is true and in fact, many search engines don’t rely on the information they find in the keyword and/or description tag.

Why I Still Believe That Every Site Should Have Its Meta Tags Written

Only you can decide if writing meta tags is right for you and/or your clients. Before you make the final decision, consider the following:

(i) Google uses meta tag elements for displaying site links. The title tags are used to create the link in search results. That’s why many think this is the most important meta tag.

(ii) Some internet marketing experts still think that the keywords meta tag has some effect on page ranking — if the same keywords can be found on the actual page in addition to being found in the meta tag.

(iii) SEO is very competitive, so even if having your meta tags written brings in an extra 2, 5 or 10% more visitors per month, isn’t it worth it — especially as it is such a simple, one-time thing to do?

Although there are quite a few meta tags, there are only three that I think should be on every site, ie, the title, keyword and description tags.

Update 4/14/2010: Gain more insight about why meta tags are important as discussed on SearchEngineLand.com, an industry-leading site on SEO.

The Title Tag

As a side note, the Title tag is really not a meta tag. But, it has been lumped into this category for so long that no one bothers to argue this minute point any more.

The title tag is arguably the most important meta tag, for it tells search engine spiders what a specific page on a website is all about. It contains the info that is displayed in your web browser’s window at the very top of the page (that white writing that appears across the top).

To see what I mean, go to http://NewMediaWords.biz. Look at your computer screen — the very top starting at the left.  It says: SEO Content Writing, Experienced SEO copywriters, SEO Writing, SEO Blog Posts, SEO Press Releas . . . doesn’t it? This is the same information in the title tag. Click “Page” and “View Source” to see the HTML coding for the site to view this tag.

Title Tag Tip: Your title tag should contain some of your high-traffic keyword phrases and should explain exactly what the surfer can expect to find on that particular page (as opposed to your entire site).

The Description Tag

The description tag is what surfers read when your site pops up in organic search results. It helps them decide whether or not to even click on your site, so you definitely want this tag to be present – and accurate. Following is an example from an article of mine that appears on a blog I contributed to:

2 High-Paying Online Writing Jobs
There are many types of freelance writing jobs, but one of the most lucrative How do you learn SEO writing? I’d like to learn it to add it to my writing

The writing under the blue link is the description. It gives the potential reader an idea of what the content described in the link is all about.

The Keyword Tag

The keyword tag is a thorough list of words and phrases that best describe your site. They should be directly relevant to the specific page at hand. They can also contain keywords that are relevant to your site as a whole.

Meta Tags: Conclusion

While some don’t put a lot of stock in meta tags, they should be written for every page on a website – if for no other reason than they give search engine spiders more information about the site. This makes it easier for them to properly categorize it – and for web surfers to find it.

And, this is why many website owners will pay for this service. Learn how to make money writing meta tags for your freelance writing clients. You can literally make $100 or more for a couple of hours of work.
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SEO Copywriting: SEO Tools & Tips Every Web Writer Should Know About (Part III)

This is Part III of what I’ve dubbed SEO Tools Week here at SeoWritingJobs.com. In Part I, we discussed Google’s Adword Keyword Tool. In Part II, we discussed its close cousin, the Search-based keyword tool. Today, we’re going to talk about keyword density. To start, let’d define it.

Keyword Density: What It Is, Writing Tips & How to Calculate It

Keyword Density: What It Is, Writing Tips & How to Calculate It

What Is Keyword Density?

Keyword density is simply a measure of how frequently keywords and keyword phrases appear in web copy.

Right off the bat, you should know that search engine marketing experts disagree about what is the proper keyword density. Some it should be between 2 and 5% density; others say between 5 and 7%. Some others say up to 9% is okay and then there are others who tout that 15 to 25% is fine.

So how do you discern the correct answer? In truth, only the programmers who write search engine algorithms know. But one thing all search engine marketers agree on is that you should not “keyword stuff” your copy. Not only is it bad writing, it can get a site blacklisted by search engines.

Following are some guidelines that I follow as an SEO copywriter. Just in case you read something to the contrary, the following is from my personal point of view.

Keyword Density Guidelines

Note: The following assumes that you’re writing a 400-word article, which is about the average length of most web articles.

Primary Keyword Phrase: Don’t repeat your main keyword phrase more once every 100 words. Try to use them in the first paragraph, a few subheadings and in the final paragraph.

Secondary Keyword Phrases: Where possible, use secondary keyword phrases to round out your copy to get extra recognition from search engines. If you get in the habit of using Google’s Keyword AdWords Tool — which we discussed in Part I of this series – you will have lots of them at your fingertips from which to choose.

Keyword Density Writing Tip: If I have a particularly sticky keyword phrase to write on, I use a lot of subtitles in the article. Why? Because this gives me a way to get the keyword phrase in to achieve optimum keyword density.

How to Manually Calculate Keyword Density

There are many tools on the market for calculating keyword density. But to do it manually, follow these simple steps:

1. Assuming you use Microsoft Word, get the word count of your article.

2. Go to the MS Word toolbar and click “Edit”, then “Find.” In the box that appears, type in your keyword/keyword phrase(s). It will tell you how many times it appears in your text. Write this number down.

3. Open your calculator and type in the number of times the keyword is used (number in Step 2) and divide it by your article word count (number in Step 1). Multiply this number by 100 and this is your keyword density.

So if you wrote a 400-word article and used a primary keyword phrase four times and two secondary keyword phrases twice each, this would give your article a 2% keyword density overall (1% for the main phrase and .05% each for the two secondary phrases).

Following is the math.

4 uses of keyword phrase / 400 words in article = .01 x 100 = 1%
2 uses of one secondary keyword phrase / 400 words in article = .005 x 100 = .5%
2 uses of another secondary keyword phrase / 400 words in article = .005 x 100 = .5%

Stop Words: Why They Are Important to Calculating Keyword Density

When reading about how to calculate keyword density, it can be very confusing. This is because many don’t fully understand how the numbers shake out. To explain, some keyword density calculators take stop words into account (ie, prepositions – the, by, and, to, of, etc.); others don’t. In a 400-word article, you may have 20 or 30 stop words or more.

That’s why it’s important to know exactly what you’re calculating. In my opinion, this is why so many disagree about keyword density.

SEO Tool: Keyword Density Calculator

When I first started writing SEO copy, here’s a keyword density calculator I relied on to get the right density for clients: http://www.markhorrell.com/tools/density.asp#analyse.

Initially, I did a lot of work for internet marketing firms (my client base has since expanded), and many of them had a strict policy about the density they wanted. This tool helped me to achieve it seamlessly. Now, after almost two years of writing SEO copy, I have a formula I use to write SEO articles. The density part of the equation is already factored in, so I don’t even have to think about it.

SEO Tools Tip: Why Keyword Density Is Important to Your Career as an SEO Copywriter

Every SEO copywriter should know how to calculate keyword density. Most clients won’t know what it is, or if they do, which balance to strike. Using the guidelines outlined here, you can speak knowledgeably on the subject and give them your “expert opinion.” It’s this type of knowledge that will raise your professionalism in the eyes of clients, making them rely on you more for their SEO writing needs.

Learn everything you need to know to become a successful SEO copywriter making $100-$250+/day.
 

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SEO Copywriting: SEO Tools & Tips Every Web Writer Should Know About (Part II)

This is kinda “SEO Tools Tip Week” here at SeoWritingJobs.com. Yesterday, we discussed perhaps the #1 SEO tool — Google’s Keyword AdWord Tool. Today, we’re going to take a look at its first cousin, Google’s Search-based Keyword Tool.

Google’s Search-based Keyword Tool:  What It Is & Why You Should Use It

A first cousin to the Keyword AdWord tool we just discussed, this is a relatively new tool by Google.

The search-based SEO tool uses info from actual searches web surfers have conducted. This alone is invaluable; however, this tool provides much greater value. It compiles a list of search queries relevant to a specific website. It does this by comparing the website’s content against current AdWords (PPC) campaigns and past Google search queries to identify additional keywords.

By knowing the actual keywords prospects have typed in when the surf the web, you have a much greater chance of reaching your target audience.

But, you may be thinking, “I’m not running a PPC AdWords campaign; can this tool still help me when conducting keyword research?”

Yes, absolutely!

The tool spits out the keywords; you can use them to for whatever you want – to run a PPC campaign, write SEO copy for your website, write meta tags, etc.

Conduct a Sample Search Using Google’s Search-based Keyword Tool

Using my freelance writing site, InkwellEditorial.com, as an example, do the following:

1. Access the tool by going to http://www.google.com/sktool/#

2. Type inkwelleditorial.com in the box that says, “Website.” Note: You can search by keywords, in which case you’d click the “With words or phrases” box, or by site, in which case you’d click “Website”. With this tool, I like to find keywords by clicking the “Website” option. Why? Because what you may think are effective keywords for a page on your site may not be at all. Hence, letting the tool “analyze” your site can generate a larger pool of keywords and phrases.

3. Click “Find keywords.”

4. Results show up like this:


Keyword

 

Monthly searches

Competition

Sugg. bid

Ad/Search share

Extracted from webpage

You have selected keywords. Clear all selections

All 20 keyword suggestions on this page are selected. Select all 100 keyword suggestions

All 100 suggestions are selected. Clear selection

 

New keywords related to () Keywords not already in your accountKeywords related to inkwelleditorial.com (100)


draft freelance jobs

12,000

 

$1.00

% / %

Another Bank Failure, Another Opportunity for Freelance Writers


draft computer recycling

8,200

 

$3.39

% / %

Green Tips for Freelance Writers: How to be Environmentally Friendly


draft self publishing

8,200

 

$4.66

% / %

Buying an Ebook: 4 Things to Look for Before Buying from a Self-Published Author


draft web traffic

8,200

 

$3.16

% / %

Basic SEO Tips for Freelance Writers: Increase Website Traffic with These Search Engine …

Following are the explanations for each category, as provided by Google.

Keyword: Terms on which you are not currently running your ads, but are highly related to your site.

Monthly searches: Average amount of traffic a keyword receives each month from your chosen country/territory.

Competition: Degree of competitiveness for ad placement with a particular keyword, in your chosen country/territory. Note: You can ignore this category if you’re not running a PPC category.

Sugg. (Suggested) bid: Estimated bid amount that may place your ad in the top three spots of the page, in your chosen country/territory. Note: Again, you can ignore this category if you’re not running a PPC category.

Ad/Search share: (Ad share) Percentage of time with which an ad for your website appeared for the given query. (Search share) Percentage of time which your site appeared in the first page of search results for the query, based on global statistics.

Extracted from webpage: Page on your website that best matched the keyword suggestion.

How to Read the Search-based Keyword Tool Results

What you’re looking for are keyword phrases that are underutilized on a given page.

Take the first result from our search here. It shows “freelance jobs” as a popular keyword phrase for the page entitled, Another Bank Failure, Another Opportunity for Freelance Writers, which can be found at http://inkwelleditorial.com/credit-crisis-means-job-opportunities.htm

Keyword

 

Monthly searches

Competition

Sugg. bid

Ad/Search share

Extracted from webpage

draft freelance jobs

12,000

 

$1.00

% / %

Another Bank Failure, Another Opportunity for Freelance Writers

Under the monthly searches column, you see 12,000. Remember, this is the amount of traffic a keyword receives each month (from a selected country/territory). So what I’d want to do is go back to this page and optimize it using this phrase.

What do I mean by optimize? Use the phrase in the copy, especially in headings and subheadings.

Learn everything you need to know to start a successful freelance writing career as an SEO copywriter.

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SEO Copywriting: SEO Tools & Tips Every Web Writer Should Know About (Part I)

Online writing jobs have increased because more companies are allocating larger parts of their budgets to search engine marketing. This means web writers have to know the ins and outs of search engine optimization (SEO). So this week here on SeoWritingJobs.com, I’m going to highlight some seo tools and tips every web writer should not only know about, but utilize consistently in their writing.

Not only will this knowledge help you to provide search-engine friendly copy to your clients, it will build your credibility as an SEO copywriter. This wil allow you to market yourself in such a way that you land better, higher-paying clients (eg, ad agencies, internet marketing firms, web design firms, etc.).

To start the series, today we’re going to discuss perhaps the #1 SEO tool around — Google’s Keyword AdWord Tool.

#1 SEO Tool: Google's Keyword AdWord Tool

Perhaps the #1 SEO Tool: Google's Keyword AdWord Tool

Google’s AdWord Keyword Tool: What It is & How to Use It

This tool helps you to discover keywords and keyword phrases web surfers are likely to type in when they’re searching for your type of product or service.

It is extremely helpful because not only does it give you relevant variations, including alternate spellings (e.g. light, lite), plurals, and synonyms, it also gives you other helpful info like number of searches conducted in the previous month, or previous 12-month period for a given phrase.

How to Use This SEO Tool

In order to understand how it works – and so that the information here makes sense – go to https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and type “meta tags” into the search box.

To the left, you will see a box that asks the question, “How would you like to generate keyword ideas?” Check the “Descriptive words or phrases” box.

Click on the “Get keyword ideas” box. Note: Make sure the “Use synonyms” box is checked before you click on “Get keyword ideas.”

A list of results will pop up. Here’s how to read them.

Keywords Column

Under the Keywords column are all the related terms Google says are relevant to the keyword/keyword phrase(s) you typed into the search box. They are broken up into categories sorted by relevance, ie,”Keywords related to term(s) entered and Additional keywords to consider”.

How many of these do you think you would have thought of on your own? See why this tool is so useful?

Advertiser Competition Column (I call this the “green box” column)

Google best defines what this column is all about, ie: “This column shows the number of advertisers bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google. The shaded bar represents a general low-to-high quantitative guide to help you determine how competitive ad placement is for a particular keyword.”

What you want to look for in this column are the green boxes that have less shading in them AND a good number of searches per month, which the next two columns cover. The less shading a box has, the fewer competitors are bidding on/using that keyword phrase. But, if it has a good number of searches per month, then go with it.

What is a good number of searches? This is different for each keyword/keyword phrase. In this example, take the keyword phrase “use meta tags.” It’s showing that in the last month 1,900 searches were conducted using this phrase, and in the last 12 months, on average 1,000 searches per month were conducted.

While it’s certainly not the 74,000 per month and 49,500 on average per month over the last 12 months the phrase “meta tag” generated, numbers like 1,900 and 1,000 still make up a “good number” of searches.

Think of it this way: Would you like to have 1,000 more visitors on average coming to your site every month? Of course you would. By including “use meta tags” in your keyword meta tag, you have a shot at it.

And, that’s the value of this column. While you certainly want the popular keywords in your meta tags, you want the less popular ones as well, for they can add up to a few hundred or a few thousand extra visitors per month.

Approx Search Volume (Month)

Google’s explanation of this column is as follows: “This column shows the approximate number of search queries matching your keywords that were performed on Google and the search network in the most recent month that we have data for. This number is specific to your targeted country and language . . .

In this column, be sure to look at results in theAdditional keywords to consider” category. This is where you’ll find less popular keywords to stick in your meta tags. Again, be sure to look for those that have relatively good numbers of searches per month, and over the last 12 months. Again, this will be different with each keyword phrase.

Approx Avg Search Volume

Google definition: “This column shows the approximate average monthly number of search queries matching your keywords that were performed on Google and the search network over a recent 12-month period. This number is specific to your targeted country and language . . .”

The only difference between this column and the previous column is a time factor. The previous column gives stats for the previous month. This column gives stats for the average number of searches over the last 12 months, per month.

Conclusion: Google’s SEO Keyword Tool

As an SEO writer, this is the first SEO tool I access when I sit down to write copy for clients. Some clients will give you a list of keywords to write on. But if they don’t, this is an excellent way to find traffic-generating SEO keywords. And, you can charge a little extra to do this type of research for clients.

Learn everything you need to know to start a successful freelance writing career as an SEO copywriter.

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Online Writing Jobs: What to Do & What NOT to Do When Applying for Freelance Writing Work

I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993. I also owned an editorial staffing agency in New York City for 8 years (1996-2004). Hence, I’ve been on both sides of the hiring desk. I’ve applied for hundreds of online writing jobs, and have recruited for quite a few.

Following is some concrete advice on what to do – and what not to do – when applying for freelance writing jobs online.

How to Apply to Online Writing Jobs

How to Apply to Online Writing Jobs

4 Guidelines for Applying for Freelance Writing Jobs Online

1. Don’t Ask Tons for More Information (Yet). Many respondents apply to jobs and ask questions. This will get you sent to the slush pile almost every time. Why? Because it means more work for the person who’s going through all of the responses that are pouring in.

Online writing job ads get a lot applicants. The last thing the person who is looking for help wants to do is answer questions. There will be time to ask questions later on in the process; don’t make your initial query more work for the person who’s hiring as this is precisely the time they don’t need more work.

Remember, they placed an ad looking for help, not more work. I know that there are bad ads that don’t give you all the info you need. But if a person is really serious about finding help, I’d venture to say that these types of ads tend to be more of the exception than the rule.

The responses that always catch my eye when I’m in dire need of help on a freelance writing project tend to be short, sweet and – qualified. The applicant provides all the info I need to assess if they are right for the opportunity at hand, ie: (i) experience, (ii) writing samples, (iii) rate acceptance (this is implied if they respond to the ad); and (iv) willingness to do the work.

Perfect!

Exception: Asking one or two simple, insightful questions that will help deepen your understanding of what the client wants is ok, IF it’s not already given in the job description. But I’d say one, no more than two questions at most. Otherwise, like I said above, it just makes for more work — right at the time when that’s exactly what’s NOT needed by the person/company looking for hep.

2. Looky Loo Writers: What do I mean by this? These are the types of writers who usually freelance on the side and tend to apply to any and everything – even if they’re not qualified – just to “see what happens.” Following is a typical response from a looky loo writer (FYI, this is an actual response to a freelance writing job ad I placed on Craigslist a while back):

I am a [insert FT profession] and an experienced writer seeking freelance opportunities. If this opening is still available please contact me directly via this email. I can provide my CV and more information upon request.

The problem with this response is as follows:

(i) The person obviously freelanced on the side. This is not what bothers me. BUT, it makes me wonder if the person will be able to meet my deadline. There’s no reason to ever point out that you freelance on the side when applying to online writing jobs because if you can get the work done within the specified time, employers won’t care (or need to know).

When I worked full time and freelanced on the side, I only told potential employers if they asked me directly.

(ii) The second problem with this response is that this respondent made it a two-step process when it should have only been one. Eg, he offered to send me his CV “on request.” What are you waiting for? Send it now; I’m hiring.

I call these types of responses “looky loo” writers because it feels as if they’re putting out feelers and if something comes along that fits their schedule or that they feel like doing, they’ll take it.

Freelancer writers who are serious about making money market for work and take what comes in – as long as it meets their criteria (eg, rate, deadline, etc.).

3. Non-serious Writers: These types of writers are first cousins to looky loo writers. How? They’re not set up to do what the position requires, but if you hire them they “could be.”

Following is an actual response I received from the same job listing I mentioned above on Craigslist. The respondent said, “I do not presently have a PayPal account but I could set one up.”

Almost all serious freelance writers who apply for online writing jobs have a PayPal account. After all, it’s free to set up and takes about thirty seconds. Think about it, why would an employer use you if you’re not already equipped to provide what they ask for in the ad – especially when it’s such an easy fix?

Remember, online writing job ads get a ton of responses. Don’t give employers a chance to send you to the slush pile.

In this case, I thought to myself, “How much experience does this candidate have as a web/freelance writer if they don’t even have a PayPal account?” Again, most serious freelance writers do. Especially those who provide web content.

4. “Life Story” Writers: This is such a basic no-no, but I felt compelled to include it anyway. Don’t send your life story in when applying for online writing jobs.

A brief professional outline is all that’s needed, with links to applicable samples and other info on your freelance writing website – which you do have, right?

Every time I place a freelance writing job ad, I invariably receive responses from candidates detailing how much they love to write (paints you as an amateur); how they wish they could do it full time (tells me you freelance on the side); and how they want to learn web writing (tells me you’re not qualified).

Responses like this will get you sent to the slush pile almost every time.

Final Tip on Responding to Online Writing Job Ads

When employers place an ad for freelance writers, they are usually inundated with responses. They scan the responses that come in, seeking the most qualified applicants who have provided all the info they ask for in the ad.

You’re not going to be qualified for everything, so don’t even try to be. Apply for those things you think you’re qualified for; and make it brief and to the point.

All most employers really want to know from freelance writers is if the have the skills they’re seeking, if they can meet the deadline, and if the rate they’re paying is acceptable. Everything else is basically irrelevant.

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SEO Copywriters: 2 Tips For Landing High-Paying SEO Writing Gigs

SEO copywriting is a lucrative niche in freelance writing — especially right now. But, many are entering on the low end of this profession, ie, $3 SEO article writing gigs. If you’re a good SEO copywriter, you don’t have to settle for that.

This is advice for SEO copywriters who are just starting out – and for more experienced ones who may be struggling to find high-paying SEO writing gigs. These two keys to landing high-paying clients should always be at the forefront when marketing for SEO writing jobs.

SEO Copywriter Tip No. 1: Find Your Own Clients. This is one of the easiest ways for SEO copywriters to land lucrative assignments. When many freelance writers start to look for SEO writing jobs, they start by responding to ads on sites like Craigslist and GetaFreelancer. This is normal, as there are tons of jobs there. But, most of them are very low-paying and the competition is intensely fierce.

By the time you land an assignment, if you factor in the amount of time it took you to land the assignment, then complete it, you are literally making pennies an hour. No thanks.

When you market to firms directly, you have two distinct advantages: (i) there is less competition; and (ii) you get to decide the caliber of the client, which leads to the second key to landing high-paying SEO writing clients . . .

SEO Copywriter Tip No. 2: Target Lucrative Clients. Many of the advertisers on low-paying job board sites are looking for quantity, not quality. Hence, they look for SEO copywriters who are willing to turn out 10, 15 or 20 articles a day at $3/each. Even the fastest SEO writer can’t turn out this many quality articles in a day.

Why Lucrative Clients Are Willing to Pay More for Professional SEO Copywriters

SEO copywriters should target lucrative clients – eg, clients who care about their brand and image. Quality is what these businesses care about. Who are some of these lucrative clients who want quality SEO content from professional SEO copywriters? Advertising agencies, internet marketing firms and high-end web design firms, to name a few.

You see, if a company is forward-thinking enough to realize that they need help with their SEO marketing efforts and they go out and hire an ad agency, an internet marketing firm or a web design firm, they already grasp the concept that you have to spend money to make money. And, they won’t skimp on the foundation of this — professional SEO writing.

Try turning in a keyword stuffed, crappy SEO article to them. It won’t fly because it’s not what they want. They want quality in their SEO marketing efforts. And they realize that to get it, they need to hire professional SEO copywriters.

There is a lot of work for skilled SEO copywriters – if you know how to find it.

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About the Author: Yuwanda Black is a professional SEO copywriter and the author of How to Make $250+/Day Writing Simple, 500-Word Articles. Ms. Black says, “You can work from home as a freelance writer in your PJs, getting assignments via the internet. I do it every day.” Learn more about how to find lucrative freelance writer jobs.

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Why SEO Copywriting is the Perfect High-Paying, Work-from-Home Job With Huge Growth Potential

SEO copywriting is the perfect high-paying, work-from-home job with huge growth potential. If you’ve ever considered starting a freelance writing career, or want to find an ideal work-from-home job that pays well, SEO copywriting is it. Following is why.

Internet marketers are beginning to value the services of professional SEO copywriters who know their stuff, so to speak. And, it’s no wonder. The growth in online advertising is exploding and junk content (ie, $5 per article content providers) just doesn’t drive traffic — and convert prospects into buyers — the way professionally written content does.

Internet Marketing: The Growth Explosion of Online Advertising

Professional SEO copywriters will be in great demand for years to come, if the following is anything to go by:

According to a 2007 ZenithOptimedia report, online advertising will hit three milestones in the coming years: (i) it will surpass radio ad spending in 2008; (ii) it will make up a double-digit share of global advertising in 2009; and (iii) it will surge pass s magazine ad spending in 2010.

And, this may be the most shocking statistic of all when it comes to the growth of online advertising: “We forecast it to grow 24% in 2008 and 69% over the next three years, reaching US$61 billion in 2010. We forecast the traditional media to grow 5% and 14% respectively over the same periods.” [Source: ZenithOptimedia December 2007 Press Release, Market to accelerate in 2008 despite credit squeeze (Learn more at ZenithOptimedia dot com)]

With this kind of money pouring into the market, internet marketers are going to rely on SEO copywriters who really understand the intricacies of web marketing. A relatively new niche, it is rapidly expanding profession.

SEO copywriting is paying huge dividends for those who are savvy enough to start building a reputation while it the industry is in its infancy. Learning about keyword density, long-tail keywords, foundational content, link building, etc. are all part of knowing how to write SEO content that is not only grammatically correct, but helps the search engines to drive traffic.

And, driving traffic and converting customers is what internet marketing is all about. SEO copywriters who know how to speak this language to potential clients will be the ones who position themselves to take advantage of the explosive growth that is already underway in online advertising.

Basics to Look for in an SEO Copywriter

If you’re a company looking to hire an SEO copywriter, following are a few guidelines:

1. Do They Understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO): When you mention things like keyword phrases, inbound links, article marketing and long-tail keywords, are they able to speak the language.

If the SEO copywriter you’re thinking of hiring doesn’t grasp the basics, continue your search.

2. Services Offered: An SEO copywriter’s service list will clue you in as to how knowledgeable the are about the industry. If they offer meta tag writing, for example, then you know they have some behind-the-scenes knowledge, over and above good writing skills.

3. SEO Writing Samples: Every freelance writer should have writing samples they can show you. Professional ones will have them on their website.

These are beginning basics you should look for when hiring an SEO copywriter.

If you’re an aspiring SEO copywriter, these are the basics to get in place before you start marketing for clients. SEO copywriting is not hard; it’s just a field that takes some studying. Once SEO writing concepts are grasped, they can be turned into a very lucrative freelance writing career (ie, $25-$100 or more for 350-500 word SEO articles).

To learn more about what SEO copywriting is, read this basic SEO writing primer.

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About the Author: Yuwanda Black is a freelance SEO writer and the author of How to Make $250+/Day Writing Simple, 500-Word Articles. Ms. Black says, “You can work from home as a freelance writer in your PJs, getting assignments via the internet. I do it every day.” Learn more about how to start a successful freelance writing career at InkwellEditorial.com.

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SEO Copywriting Rates: Why $100 Or More Per Article is Possible

Would you believe that getting $100 per article or more is possible for SEO content? When you consider that many SEO copywriters take on $3 per article writing gigs, you may be thinking, “How is this possible; what do I need to do to get even $50 for an SEO article?”

To answer this question, this article will detail some overall practices SEO copywriters should follow to get more for their writing expertise.

SEO Copywriters: 2 Things You Can Do to Break the $100/Article Mark

(I) Bottom Line Rate: Every freelance writer should have a floor beneath which they will not go, ie, a bottom-line rate. Making this a standard practice will make it easy to determine which jobs to accept and which jobs to turn down.

And, this is especially true when it comes to evaluating “bulk” job opportunities. In internet marketing, many clients present SEO copywriters with bulk projects (eg, 10 articles and 5 blog posts for client site “X”).

Many SEO copywriters, especially new ones, salivate over these types of opportunities, but waver when it comes to how much to charge. Offering a discount for bulk projects is great, but don’t work for slave wages.

(II) Know Your Stuff: SEO copywriting is a fairly new industry. As such, you’d think that SEO writers would be able to charge a premium. This is not the case.

However, SEO copywriters who know their stuff can charge a premium because clients can immediately sense that they know what they’re talking about. In many cases, clients are unaware of all of the practices, rules and guidelines around SEO (eg, black hat tactics, keyword discovery, site navigation, keyword density, etc.).

If you’re an SEO copywriter, it’s incumbent upon you to study SEO so that you can not only offer your clients value for their money, but offer them a range of services. Becoming a one-stop, SEO shop can lead to more business than you can handle.

SEO Copywriters: Key Internet Marketing Services You Can Offer

What are some key internet marketing services you can offer as an SEO copywriter? SEO Article Writing, Meta Tag Writing, Blog Posting and Article Submission for starters. There are quite a few others.

Forward-thinking SEO copywriters know that getting paid $100 for an SEO article is less about the rate, and more about what it represents — their expertise in internet marketing and SEO concepts.

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About the Author: Yuwanda Black is a freelance SEO writer and the author of How to Make $250+/Day Writing Simple, 500-Word Articles. Ms. Black says, “You can work from home as a freelance SEO writer and make hundreds of dollars a day. I’m proof!” Learn more about how to start a successful freelance writing career as an SEO writer.

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What is SEO Article Writing? SEO Copywriting Explained

Many freelancers have questions about what is SEO; what is SEO copywriting; what is SEO writing. This article explains – in detail – what this is. And, how to make money from it as a freelance writer.

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for the phrase “search engine optimization.” Search engine optimization is all about doing specific things to your website to drive more traffic to it so that you can increase online sales – and traffic.

What are some of these “things?”

There are many, but here we will discuss what it is as it applies to freelance writers. And, this means writing text in a certain way so that web surfers (ie, internet users) can land on a particular site.

What is SEO As It Relates to Freelance Writers?

What freelance writers need to be concerned with is keywords. What are keywords? Keywords are the words and phrases that web surfers type in when they search for things online.

For example, let’s say you were interested in starting a foreclosure cleanup business. You may not know anything about it other than foreclosures are hot in the news right now and you are interested in starting this kind of company.

So, you log onto your favorite search engine, (eg, Google, Yahoo! MSN, etc.) and type in the keywords “foreclosure cleaning business” or “foreclosure cleaning” or “foreclosure cleanup” or some other relevant keyword phrase.

Note: When you type words into a search engine to find something on the internet, the words you type in are called a keyword (one word) or a keyword phrase (two or more words with commas in between).

How Businesses Get to the Top of Search Engine Results

When you type in these words and hit “ENTER”, a bunch of sites pop up and you start to surf (ie, click on the results) and start investigating the sites to see if they have the information you need.

The sites that pop up are the results that search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, et al think are the most relevant to the keyword phrase (aka search phrase) you typed in. Companies pay a lot of money to be among the first two or three pages in the results that search engines return.

Why SEO Copywriters are So In Demand and How They Make Their Money

One of the ways they get to pop up in the first two or three pages of results is to have relevant text that contains the proper keyword phrases. And, this is where you as an SEO copywriter can make a lot of money. You write the text that their site needs to pop up high in search engine results.

Many times, companies will simply give you a bunch of keyword phrases and let you write what you want — as long as it’s a certain length (usually 300-500 words).

There are many freelance writers – hundreds of thousands, if not a few million. BUT, only a tiny minority know what SEO is and how to write this type of copy. And, this is why they’re so in demand.

SEO copywriters have an in-demand skill. And, as more and more companies move larger portions of their advertising budgets to internet marketing, there is an even greater demand for their skills.

In the SearcheEngineWatch article, The SEO Copywriter: Wordsmithing the Web, William Flaiz, underscores the importance of an SEO copywriter. He writes:

The role of the agency SEO copywriter is unique because. . . . Suddenly, the writer must optimize press releases, craft articles for social news, monitor social network communications, and develop wiki content. . . . a strong SEO copywriter is adaptable and capable of internalizing a lot of new information extremely quickly. These unique individuals have fast become the backbone of many SEO engagements. If content is king, then they [SEO copywriters] are the kingmakers.

And this is why SEO copywriters can charge a premium for their services. If you’re looking for a way to start or maximize your income as an online freelance writer, then SEO copywriting is they way to go.

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About the Author: Yuwanda Black is a freelance SEO writer and the author of How to Make $250+/Day Writing Simple, 500-Word Articles. Ms. Black says, “You can work from home as a freelance writer in your PJs, getting assignments via the internet. I do it every day.” Learn more about how to start a successful freelance writing career.

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SEO Copywriters: How to Bill and Get Paid Quickly

SEO copywriting is different from a lot of freelance writing jobs in that it’s quick turnaround. This usually means quick pay. But, you can get burned if you don’t know the ins and outs of how to bill and get paid quickly.

The types of clients who employ SEO copywriters tend to be internet marketers, online entrepreneurs, search marketing firms, etc. Hence, they are use to the rapidity of the web.

Unlike traditional freelance writing where there’s a lot of back and forth, SEO writing tends not to be like this. Usually, the clients will order articles or blog posts in batches, e.g., a pack of 10 or a pack of 20. They’ll usually email a list of keyword phrases that they want you to compose content for. Articles and blog posts customarily are in the 250-500 word range.

You may complete an article or blog order in as little as a day, then invoice the client immediately. It’s not unheard of for SEO copywriters to complete as many as 10 or 20 articles or blog posts and bill and get paid on the same day.

Following are three tips specifically for SEO copywriters on how to complete assignments, then bill and get paid almost immediately.

Get at Least a Partial Payment Upfront: For new clients, this should be standard procedure if you are an SEO copywriter. You can ask for anywhere from a third to half up front. Everyone has their own system, but to prevent getting totally burned, this should be part of your business practice.

Open a PayPal Account: As an SEO copywriter, most clients will expect you to have a PayPal account. With PayPal, you can receive credit cards and echecks. This makes it easy for clients to pay and you don’t have to divulge any of your sensitive banking information. Furthermore, the client doesn’t have to divulge theirs either. This is why PayPal is one of the most popular payment processors on the web. It’s payment security for both parties.

Don’t Do Too Much Work Upfront: What I mean by this is, if a client is falling behind on paying invoices – even if you’ve received an upfront payment – don’t do too many projects until they’re caught up. Otherwise, you run the risk of being owed hundreds or thousands of dollars, with no chance of recouping it. A lot of new SEO copywriters get burned at least once before they learn this lesson.

To avoid this, simply have a company policy where a company can’t have more than, for example, $300 in outstanding invoices, before you take on more work for them. This way, if they decide not to pay, then the most you’ve lost is $300 – as opposed to possibly thousands.

SEO copywriting is a profession where the work comes fast and furious. It’s easy for busy SEO copywriters to write a couple of thousand dollars worth of articles in as little as a week. These billing tips will ensure that you get paid for it.

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May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of SEOWrtingJobs.com: The Authority Site on New Media Jobs. Site features advice on SEO and freelance writing jobs, job descriptions, and more! Want to make money today as a freelance SEO writer? The e-book, How to Make $250 or More per Day Writing Simple, 500-Word Articles tells you how.

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