SEO Copywriters: Why If You’re Not Making at Least $100/Day, You’re Doing Something Wrong; Here’s How to Start Making $200-$400/Day

Freelance writing has been pegged as one of those careers where it’s hard to make a living. And, when you see $1 per article SEO writing gigs, it’s easy to think, “Well, that’s just the way it is.” News flash! It ain’t so, especially if you’re an SEO copywriter.

If you’re an SEO copywriter and you’re not making AT LEAST $100 per day, then you’re doing something wrong. Following are three areas to assess to start making the money you deserve.

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1. SEO Copywriting Rates: What are you charging? If you’re not charging a minimum of $20-$30 per 350-400 word article, then you’re undercharging. In fact, you could be losing clients by charging less than this. How/why?

SEO content writing has a horrible reputation. This profession is the online version of a sleazy car salesman. That’s because much of the content produced is crappy, barely readable copy that doesn’t relay anything of value to the reader.  And, this is what those who are looking to pay $1 for 500 words put up with.

This is also why when you charge bottom-of-the-barrel rates for SEO content, legitimate businesses who care about their brand and image will pass you right over. They figure that this the kind of content you produce, so why waste their money.

I’ve actually had prospects say to me that I charge too little. One prospect sent me the following email after I sent him a marketing email about New Media Words’ Services:

Hi, Yuwanda,

Your educational experience is impressive. But the web site refers to a “stable of writers”, and at $45 for 300-350 words of original content, I have to ask from what third world country are you drawing these writers? Surely someone such as yourself (if you’re no fictional) who’s a Masters candidate in expensive New York City would need higher rates than that to survive.

So how does this work, really?

Cordially,
Bill

I responded:

Bill:

Thanks for your interest in my services. I assure you, I’m a real person — and so are my writers. Many of the writers I use freelance either full-time or part-time. I used to own an editorial staffing agency in New York, and have been recruiting and outsourcing work to writers (and other creative freelancers) for years.

I don’t use third-world writers and if you know anything about SEO, then you know there are writers who will write for as little as $3 per article for 500 words (and many of them are not third world writers, just clueless newbies who are desperate for work).

My rates are not third-world rates — and neither is the copy.

I don’t know which service you’re interested in, but everything is listed on my SEO site (http://SEO-Article-Writer.com) [Note: This site has since been folded into NewMediaWords.biz.] I just charge what I think is a fair rate for excellent copy — nothing more, nothing less.

If I can be of assistance in any way, just let me know.

I look forward to the possibility of working with you.

And FYI, I live in Atlanta but maintain an apartment in New York City, where I lived for 18 years and which I visit often. One of the reasons I love being a freelance writer is that as long as there’s an internet connection, location doesn’t matter.

Sincerely,
Yuwanda Black

He responded:

Thanks, Yuwanda. Your prompt and personal reply is very heartening. Your rates just seemed too low to be true. (emphasis added) I tried someone who wrote for about the same rate and had to rewrite all of her material.

Nevertheless, I end up with a few clients a year who are willing to consider a copywriter. I’d love to give you a shot at one of them (and hopefully more thereafter if we’re happy with your work.

Please feel free to stay in touch periodically if only to make sure I remember you when a client needs your services.

Cordially,
Bill

As you can see, charging more can actually land you more clients because it legitimizes you. Clients who are seeking valuable content know that it takes time and skill to produce this kind of copy. And, they’re willing to pay for it. So charge for it!

2. SEO Copywriting Services: If rates aren’t your problem, then maybe your service offerings leave something to be desired.

Most clients like “one stop, SEO writing shops.” Do you offer SEO blog posts, SEO press releases, ebook writing and the like? In short, expand your service offerings to include every kind of web copy a potential client might need. This way, they won’t have to come to your for SEO articles, then go to someone else to get a press release done.

3. Do You Upsell? I’ve become a master upseller – and I do it without even thinking about it. The kicker is, I sooooo hate to “sell” that I’d rather make less than HAVE to do it. Following is why it comes so naturally to me now.

I upsell clients on things that will truly provide value to them and their clients.

For example, ebook writing. When clients initially contact me, it’s usually about writing a few SEO articles. During the course of the discussion, I ask them questions like what will the articles be used for, who the target market is and will they be distributed (eg, via article directories, in a newsletter, etc.).

The reason I ask this is so that I can advise them on the best use of the content we produce for them. For example, if they say they are going to use it for article marketing, then I say, “Do you have a specific product/service you want me to direct them to in your resource box?”

If they say no, then I may suggest that they have a free tips booklet (e-pamphlet) done. Why? Because it’s a freebie that will get prospects to click through to the client’s site – which is the first step in selling online.

People love freebies and by driving prospects to a site and having them download a free, helpful ebooklet (not a sales pitch, but a booklet that actually dispenses helpful, useful information), then you start to develop trust. Trust is a foundational building block to selling online.

See how easy this is?

Most of the ebooks I write for clients are 10-15 pages long. I average $400-$600 for each one – and they usually only take a day or two of writing and research to get done. New Media Words ebook writing rates.

Why Upselling Is One of the Easiest Ways to Make More Money as an SEO Copywriter

Upselling is one of the easiest ways to start making really good money as an SEO copywriter. This is so because search engine optimization is still very new to many. Most clients will look to you to be the expert, as I talk about in my post, SEO Copywriters: How to Make an Extra $61,880 This Year, on Copyblogger.

There will naturally be things that your clients don’t know about that can really help them be more effective in their internet marketing efforts. If you know your stuff as an SEO writer, you’ll be able to share this with them – and sell more services while doing it.

If you assess and adjust these three areas, you should easily start bringing in $200-$400/day as an SEO copywriter – really.
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Copyright © 2009: Yuwanda Black for SEO Writing Jobs. This article may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express, written consent of the author.

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SEO Copywriting Tips: 5 Places Your Keywords Must Be Used in Client Copy

As an SEO copywriter, you have to do more than write text using keywords. There are specific places keywords should be placed for them to generate the most traffic. This is, after all, what clients pay you for. Following are five places you should make sure that keyword phrases appear in client copy.

Note: I have to admit, I don’t always follow these rules when writing copy for my own websites and blogs, but I always do when writing client copy. You can use the following as a sort of SEO copywriting template. It’ll help you write more effective SEO copy, which leads to more clients.

SEO Copywriting Tips to Help You Create Better Copy & Get Land More SEO Writing Jobs

SEO Copywriting Tips to Help You Create Better Copy & Get Land More SEO Writing Jobs

1. The Headline: While this may seem obvious, many forget about it in favor of trying to write cutesy, humorous, catchy titles. DON’T! If you can write cutesy, humorous and catchy headlines — that tells the reader what the article is about AND includes your main keyword phrase — then by all means, do so.

BUT, all three of these objectives can rarely be accomplished. So stick with what works — even though it’s boring and staid. Remember, search engines don’t have a sense of humor. They only know how to categorize text and spit it out to the end user (eg, web  surfers (your buying customers)). So give them what they need to do their job — keyword text in your headline.

2. First Paragraph: To be frank, I don’t quite know why your main keyword phrase should be repeated in the first paragraph, but it should. I think it may be because once a search engine has grabbed hold of your title, they want to be sure that the copy that follows it is really relevant. By repeating your main keyword phrase in the first paragraph, it tells the search engine bots that it is indeed on topic.

FYI, I usually repeat the main keyword phrase only once in this first paragraph. You don’t have to write spammy, crappy copy just because it’s SEO (this is why the industry has such a stinky reputation, in my opinion).

3. Subtitles: SEO articles of 350-500 words should have at least two sub headlines (subtitles). This serves two purposes, ie:

Fits the way web surfers read: Web surfers don’t ready copy word for word. They usually skim. Bolded headlines help them to determine what’s coming up. It gets them to the information they’re looking for quicker.

Looks better on the page: Web copy should also be broken up. I’ve read that paragraphs should be no more than 3-5 lines. Longer than this, and the copy appears clunky and thick. Remember, web surfers skim; they’re not looking to read a book. Having shorter paragraphs — even if there is a lot of info on the page — will help them “digest” it better. It’s more pleasing to the eye to look at than a big wad of text.

4. Final Paragraph: Your main keyword phrase should always be repeated in the last paragraph. Some SEO copywriting experts say that it should be in the last sentence — preferably the last words. I don’t adhere to this. I think that if it’s in the last paragraph, then it’s fine.

5. Throughout the Text: Some experienced SEO copywriters say that you should use your main keyword phrase every 100 words or so. This all goes back to keyword density, which was discussed in the SEO Tools and Tips series. For a 350-500 word SEO article, this would give you a keyword density of between 1-2%. Learn how to calculate keyword density. Not enough in my opinion.

I won’t rehash this topic here, as it’s discussed in the links to Part II of the SEO Tools and Tips series. I try to achieve 3-5% keyword density for my SEO article clients. So for a 500-word article, I will repeat a keyword phrase 8-10 times. I use primary and secondary keyword phrases to achieve this density. How do I do it? By making sure a primary or secondary keyword phrase is used in almost every paragraph. Most of my SEO articles have 7-10 paragraphs, so this makes it easy.

If you follow these simple SEO copywriting tips, you’ll give your clients professional SEO copy that brings them traffic.

P.S.: Learn how to make $100-$250+/Day as an SEO Copywriter.

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Copyright © 2009: Yuwanda Black for SEO Writing Jobs. This article may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express, written consent of the author.

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Learn SEO: Why Anchor Text Is Important

When writing SEO content, anchor text is one of the most important elements for ranking well. Following is what it is, and why it’s important to your search engine optimization efforts.

Anchor Text Defined

Anchor text is the link label or link title that is visible in a clickable text link.  Following is an example.

If I wanted to direct you to further info on SEO tools on this site, I would link to the SEO Tools series. The anchor text is “SEO Tools series” (the clickable link).

Why the Anchor Tag Text is Important in SEO Content

In short, anchor tag text clues the search engines in about what the content on the page is all about. The words that make up the anchor text helps search engines rank the page at hand.

Ideal Anchor Text Length

Every browser displays anchor text differently. However, there is some standardization. IE, most search engine optimization experts advise that anchor text should be no more than 60-65 characters.

SEO Anchor Text Writing Tip: To ensure that you always use anchor text instead of the dreaded, “click here,” always use your keywords whenever you want to make a link.

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Copyright © 2009: Yuwanda Black for SEO Writing Jobs. This article may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express, written consent of the author.

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SEO File Naming Tip to Get More Google Traffic

According to Google exec Mike Cutts in the post, 15 SEO Tips from Google, “In URLs, no spaces are worst, underscore are better, dashes or hyphens are best.”

Read more on this subject in #7 of the post, Basic SEO Tips for Freelance Writers on InkwellEditorial.com.

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P.S.: Learn how to make $100-$250+/Day as an SEO Copywriter.

Copyright © 2009: Yuwanda Black for SEO Writing Jobs. This article may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express, written consent of the author.