New SEO Writer Lands 2 clients in less than 5 hours: 4 Q’s He Asked That May Help You Do the Same

A new freelancer who bought my ebook on SEO writing landed 2 clients in just five hours. He sent in some questions that I think may help others who are just starting out. Below are his questions and my answers to them.

As this proves, if you’re willing to take action, SEO writing is a very viable career choice. As I wrote in my post on InkwellEditorial.com yesterday,In light of the article, Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs, in the New York Times, . . . There is no job security anymore other than what you give yourself.”

Even if you have a job that you think is secure, always have a side gig (become a freelance writer, sell clothes on ebay, design websites, etc.).

My parents taught me this at an early age. It’s a lesson I’ve never forgotten. And it’s particularly relevant with the state of the economy now, and the way the global economy has changed “job security,” which was discussed on the above-referenced post on InkwellEditorial.com yesterday.

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Okay, on to this SEO copywriter’s questions. He wrote:

Hi. This question is about your ebook on earning $250.00 per day as an SEO writer. Does it matter if I’m searching for “[search term in ebook]” in quotes or not? Also, if I don’t have a specialized niche yet, and I’m not sure which I’d like to focus on, is that okay?

Are you saying to contact each of these companies (including the ones I haven’t heard from about work yet) once a month with the same letter to request work?

Thanks, and I’m beginning to impliment these strategies tonight. I am hoping that this will transform my writing business into something much more lucrative and secure for my family.

Thanks again,
JL

Note: In the ebook on SEO writing, I outline a marketing strategy that got me work quick. It tells you what to search for, how and how often.

My Anwers:

1. My Answer on Using Quotes When You Conduct a Search

It does not matter if you use quotes or not when you search. You will find your target either way.

2. My Answer on Whether or Not to Establish a Niche

I started out as a niche writer, but you don’t have to. Right now your niche could be “SEO writing.” As most clients will want you to write on a wide variety of topics, not pitching yourself as a niche writer is perfectly fine. I started with a niche b/c I felt more comfortable pitching myself this way and getting the rates I wanted.

3. My Answer on How Often to Pitch and Why

You can use the same pitch email, or mix it up with different offers. That’s up to you. And yes, ALWAYS pitch companies you haven’t gotten work from. Many you will never get assignments from and some may not hire you for months. BUT, it’s consistency in marketing that lands clients. Your email may land in their inbox at just the right moment (eg, their old SEO writer can’t take on more projects, they just got a new client and need more writers, etc.).

A few hours later, I received another email from this writer. He wrote:

Thanks Ruwanda! [sic; my name is spelled Yuwanda]

I modeled your pricing structure exactly. I am getting companies saying that my $XXX rate (for super bulk orders) is good, but I’m not sure how to respond. Do I say, “OK then, submit $1500.00 to paypal”? Do I ask for half? Do I say that I’m ready to start work and I’ll send them a bill? What should I do next? I feel a little awkward at this point because I’m not sure how to respond.

I appreciate the follow-up very much. I’ve gotten 2 clients in less than 5 hours since sending query letters. (emphasis added) I’ll be happy to write a short testimonial for you, if you’d like.

Thanks again,
JL

4. My Response to How to Ask for Upfront Payment

JL:
 
I always ask for half up front from new clients, so ask them to submit half of the proposed job to your payment processor (I use PayPal, as discussed in the ebook). Tell them the remainder is due upon completion of the project, which you will submit an invoice to them for via PayPal (if that is the payment processor you use).
 
BTW, be careful of doing really large orders for clients, even if they are paying half up front. UNLESS you feel like you will not have lost anything if they don’t pay the remaining balance.
 
And yes, a testimonial would be nice.
 
Good luck . . . and congrats on your success thus far!

SEO Writing Ecourse News

Get full details on the SEO copywriting training ecourse.

And another “hump day” bites the dust!

Yuwanda
http://InkwellEditorial.com
http://SEOWritingJobs.com
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Copyright © 2010: Yuwanda Black for SEO Writing Jobs. This content may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express, written consent of the author.

SEO Writing Tip: Why I Write with Google’s Keyword AdWord Tool Open at All Times

Before I became an SEO writer, I never used Google’s Keyword AdWord Tool. Now, it’s one of the first web pages I open up when I sit down to work.

If you know anything about search engine optimization, you know that keywords are the foundation of writing SEO content, which is what leads to more web traffic (and sales of your product/service).

I use this tool for a few reasons, but one of the main reasons I use it is to ferret out secondary keyword phrases to use in my copy. Why? Because this helps to round out text and . . . bring in traffic because you introduce new keyword phrases into your copy.

For example, this morning I wrote an article on (what else) freelance writing for an article marketing campaign. When I typed freelance writing jobs (my primary keyword phrase) into Google’s Keyword AdWord Tool, following is a partial list of what popped up.

freelance-writing-jobs-keywords1

In all, 157 keyword phrases popped up. I chose a few to add to my copy to make it flow better and drive more traffic.

So if you’re not using this tool on a regular basis, you could be leaving a lot of traffic on the table. Open it up, play with it. It really is a fun SEO tool every online writer should use. And that’s my short SEO writing tip for the day.

Happy Hump Day everybody.

FYI, how to use this tool to do in-depth keyword research to make money online is covered in the SEO copywriting training ecourse (17 slots available for the April 26th session).

Yuwanda
http://InkwellEditorial.com
http://SEOWritingJobs.com
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Copyright © 2010: Yuwanda Black for SEO Writing Jobs. This content may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express, written consent of the author.

SEO Copywriters: How to Respond to (& Land) Clients Who Don’t Understand Search Engine Optimization

As an SEO copywriter, sometimes you’ll receive requests from clients that immediately clue you in that they don’t know a lot about search engine optimization (SEO). This presents an excellent opportunity to land long-term clients by the way, which is explained at the end of this post.

Yesterday, I received an email like this. It read:

Subject Line: Quotation Needed for SEO‏

From:  POTENTIAL CLIENT (XXX@gmail.com)

Sent: Mon 2/08/10 9:36 AM

To: info[at]NewMediaWords.biz

Hi,

I would like to rank in top 10 in Google for the keywords ‘ABC hosting’ and ‘ABC hosting US’, kindly provide the best quote for the job.
###

Note: Keywords have been disguised to protect prospect identity.

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At this point you may be wondering how I knew that this prospect didn’t know a lot about SEO. Well, there were three things that stood out prominently.

1. No Website Listed: This prospect didn’t send me any information about their website. Hence, it was impossible for me to even begin to grasp where they needed to start. While SEO content is big part of ranking high in search engines, it’s only part of the equation.

2. Services Wanted: This prospect also didn’t spell out exactly what they wanted so it was impossible for me to provide a quote. What would I be quoting on – blog posts, SEO articles, SEO press releases, etc.

3. Marketing Strategy: The final thing that this prospect failed to reveal is their overall marketing strategy. To explain by way of example . . . yesterday I received a call from an old client about moving ahead with some weekly blogging.

Last year, they contracted with us to do some article marketing. That worked well and now they’ve added a blog to their main website and they want to update that weekly. In essence, this firm has a web marketing strategy. SEO content is part of that and we’ve discussed how to best go about it (eg, what type of content to provide, how often, where it gets distributed, etc.).

As an SEO content provider, knowing this information would have helped me to begin to see the bigger picture for this firm – and hence put together an SEO content package to help them achieve their goals.

FYI, following is the response I sent:

Dear Prospective Client:
 
Thank you for contacting New Media Words for your SEO content needs.
 
In answer to your question, it’s difficult to give a quote simply because there is not enough information. Ranking high in search engines depends on a lot of factors, eg, your SEO content needs and distribution, meta  url & site structure, internal linking, keyword density, site maps, keyword selection, etc.
 
As this illustrates, without a well thought out search engine marketing plan, it’s impossible to “rank high.”
 
It sounds like you need to consult with a search engine marketing firm. We are an SEO writing and distribution firm. Search engine marketing firms provide in-depth website analysis — on everything from SEO content needs to possible changes in web design and navigation. They then contract with firms like New Media Words to develop the SEO content needed for a website to increase its SERP ranking.
 
One search marketing firm I can highly recommend is XXX. If you decide to go this route, they can provide everything you need to get you the best ROI (return on investment).
 
And if you need SEO content, don’t hesitate to contact us. Simply provide us with the keywords you want us to write on, and we can turn most projects around in a few days.
 
Good luck!
###

I haven’t heard back from them. Of course, I hope we do, but what I really hope is that they took the advice I gave and look into exactly what it takes to rank well in search engines.

Why You’re Much More than an SEO Copywriting Services Provider

As I wrote in the popular post on Copyblogger.com, SEO Copywriters: How to Make an Extra $61,880 This Year:

[When I first began writing SEO content] . . . I knew nothing about the foundation of SEO – internet marketing itself. And to my great surprise, neither did a lot of my clients. (emphasis added) . .  The reality of internet marketing that’s pertinent here is twofold: (i) it is a rapidly developing medium that very few online marketers really understand; and (ii) you will have to educate your clients to sell more.

I concluded the post by explaining how “teaching sells,” writing:

. . . teaching gets you – and the client – invested in the process. It’s a give and take that there’s no substitute for. . . Once clients understand the process, they’re much more likely to invest in it. And, if you’re the one doing the teaching, the SEO copywriter they’re most likely to invest in is you.

Hope you’re having a great week!

SEO CopywriterTraining: FYI, the next SEO writing ecourse is scheduled for April 26th. There are 17 spots left. Get full details on what this SEO copywriting training ecourse offers.

Best,
Yuwanda
http://InkwellEditorial.com
http://SEOWritingJobs.com
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SEO Copywriting Advice: When to Turn Down SEO Writing Jobs

Yesterday in my post on InkwellEditorial.com, I responded to a reader who wanted to know how to start an SEO writing career while working fulltime. At the end of that post, I touched on when to turn down SEO content writing jobs. As that post ran on for more than 1,800 words, I wanted to pick up that topic here today.

Don’t worry, it’ll be much briefer, as I’m starving and have been writing nonstop for the last six and a half hours.

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4 Reasons I Turn Down SEO Writing Jobs

Every person is different, so I’m laying out my reasons for turning down SEO copywriting jobs. Glean from it what you will and then chart your own path.

1. When the Rate’s Not Right: SEO writing rates are all over the place. But, I think my firm’s are low for the quality we turn out. Hence, I tend to be pretty inflexible when it comes to changing them. I’ve passed on tons of jobs because my rates have been deemed “too high.”

For me though, I have to feel good about any job I take on. And, I know from past experience that if I feel like I’m being taken advantage of, I just get this queasy feeling in the bottom of my stomach as I’m working. This means I don’t turn out my best work, which is unfair to the client.

Hence, I charge what I think is a fair rate; and if a prospect can’t pay it, I pass. Again, I’ve been a freelance writer for many years (since 1993) so I know how these things usually shake out. 100% of the time, I’ve regretted going lower when I know my rate is fair to begin with.

2. When the Content Is Not Agreeable: Although New Media Words will write almost all types of SEO content, there’s certain things I won’t write on. The obvious ones are hate material and pornographic material (although we have written for sex toy sites). In my mind, that’s not pornography; it’s a legitimate product.

Other topics I don’t enjoy writing about are technology for example. That’s me personally, so sometimes I would turn down this type of work if it came my way (this was early on when it was just me). Now, I outsource this type of stuff to a tech writer on my team.

About the only type of stuff we won’t take on now are the biggies, porn, hate material, etc.

3. When the Deadline Is Too Tight: Even with a team of four, we sometimes get swamped. And while I could expand my SEO writing team, right now, I don’t want to. I have nice little systems in place that keep the workflow manageable – and allows me to pay my bills and do other stuff I want.

People often forget that when you expand, while you do make more money, it also creates more headaches. So if we absolutely can’t meet a client’s deadline, I’ll turn down the project. That’s fair to them . . . and to me and my staff.

4. Gut Feelings: I’ve been writing SEO content long enough – and been in business for myself long enough – to just get a gut feeling that some projects should be turned down. It could be in the way the initial consult with the client went, or the type of copy they want, or the way they responded to my follow-up questions.

When I get this feeling, I no longer ignore it. I can’t explain it, but I do heed it.

And that folks, are the reasons I turn down SEO writing work. Hope this helps you make decisions about your freelance writing career.

Happy Prospecting!
Yuwanda
http://InkwellEditorial.com
http://SEOWritingJobs.com
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P.P.S.: Want to have a recession-proof career? The next SEO writing ecourse is scheduled for April 26th. I’ve upped the limit on the number of participants from 15 to 20. Get full details on the SEO copywriting training this ecourse offers.

Copyright © 2010: Yuwanda Black for SEO Writing Jobs. This content may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express, written consent of the author.