Written by Yuwanda Black
As I stated in yesterday’s post, I’ve been getting a lot of queries from readers, many from those who have been laid off and/or are about to be laid off who want to get into SEO writing. Another frequent question I get is from those who want to know how make more money from their writing efforts.
Here, I’ll answer the two questions I posted yesterday. For continuity, the questions are listed here again.
Hello Yuwanda..I wanted to ask your opinion on the opportunities for SEO article writing in 2010. I am about to be laid off in my present job. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I don’t want to buy an ebook on SEO writing if the market is saturated now…any thoughts on this?
My initial response was to refer this reader to a post on InkwellEditorial.com entitled SEO Copywriting Services: Is This Niche Becoming Too Crowded?. It addresses this very question.
One more thing I wanted to add here is something I’ve talked about in detail before – fear. What underlies a lot questions like this is fear – fear of starting, fear of failing, fear of not getting clients, fear or not being able to handle the work, fear of not being able to pay the bills, etc.
As I said in this post Freelance (SEO) Writing: Do You Have What It Takes to Succeed? When NOT to Take the Plunge:
NOBODY can give you the courage to strike out on your own;
NOBODY can give you strength to pull all nighters to meet client demands;
NOBODY can give you stick-to-it-ness, ie, the wherewithal to decide to make something work when it seems like there’s no way that it will;
NOBODY can give you the ability to think for yourself, ie, when or when not to offer a discount, when to turn down a project, when to expand your business, when to hire freelancers, when to fire freelancers, how to set deadlines, and/or how to tackle one of a multitude of other decisions a busy SEO writer (or any business owner) has to make for him/herself on a daily basis.
AND THIS IS WHAT BUSINESS IS – any kind of business.
In short, you want a guarantee – and in the world of business — there simply aren’t any.
My final piece of advice to those who put obstacles like “is the field too competitive to get business” in their way is to dig deep and ask yourself the real reason you hesitate when it comes to starting your own business.
Once you realize what your real roadblocks are, address them and surge forward. But, don’t lie to yourself by saying stuff like “the field is too crowded.” For, if you can’t face the real reason you hesitate to strike out on your own, you’ll always find an excuse to stay stuck, to NOT pursue your dreams – whatever they are.
I really like your newsletter. How do you do it? I seem to keep fall into the trap of accepting low paying gigs from Craigslist and other sites just to pay the bills. I rarely have time to market my SEO writing because I have a ton of low-paying projects to complete. I feel overwhelmed and tired at times. How can I break free of low paying gigs and start getting paid $25+ per article?
To break free of low-paying gigs and start making more money as an (SEO) article writer is simple – stop accepting low-paying gigs and start charging more for your services. “I know, I know,” you’re probably thinking, “It’s not that easy; I still have to pay my bills and those low-paying gigs are what’s doing it right now.”
My response is, sacrifice short-term in order to gain long-term.
For example, I face a similar problem in my business. I need to develop new products in order to push my income to where I want it to be, but with client projects, admin tasks, managing other freelance writers, updating four blogs, social media marketing, writing and distributing free articles for all of my products and giving feedback to e-course participants, it’s all I can do to maintain what’s on my plate now.
But you know what, you can’t do everything so something has to give. In my case, in order to meet my long-term goal of stepping into a completely managerial role next year at New Media Words, my SEO writing company, I’ve had to pull back on the types of projects/clients I accept, do less marketing, outsource more work, let my house go uncleaned, let laundry pile up, go a few days without bathing . . . .
You get the idea.
The name of the game is FOCUS . . . as in, laser focus on what your end goals are and then clear the way to make that happen. That may mean working, days, nights and weekends to get those lower-paying projects out the door so you can focus on marketing for more lucrative work, or
Borrowing from your 401K to give you a financial cushion while you bring in more lucrative clients; or
Getting a fulltime job (even one you hate) so you can save a six to eight-month cushion in order to stop accepting low paying clients and focus on bringing in higher paying ones.
Whatever it is . . . you just have to decide that that’s what you want, then formulate a plan to get there. There is no magic pill, plan or potion to make it happen and it probably won’t be easy. But then again, business never is. If it was, more people would do it instead of talk about it.
Starting a business is one of the hardest things you will probably ever do. I’ve never worked as hard on a job as I do for myself. But you know what, I take pride in that fact. No one can outwork me – no one – when I put my mind to it. Someone once said an entrepreneur works 16 hours a day for himself in order to avoid working 8 for someone else – and I can tell you from personal experience that this is true.
I wouldn’t trade what I do now for a job that pays me 10 times as much though . . . because someone can always take a job away from you. But, a business you build yourself is something that can sustain you no matter what the economy is doing – if you stay nimble enough to respond to market forces – and work your tail off to give your customers/clients what they want.
Okay, I’m off my soapbox now. And yes, in a previous life, I wanted to be a therapist. 🙂
Getting SEO Writing Projects While Travelling
As you probably know, right now I’m in Jamaica. Every day I come to this cliffside restaurant/bar overlooking the ocean to work. Gorgeous by the way. With colorful fishing boats dotting the ocean and tropical flowers in every imaginable color surrounding this popular little spot, my “office” couldn’t have a better view. But, I digress.
Negril is a small community and you run into the same people practically every day. So this guy is sitting across from me working on his computer (he’s here almost all day just like me and my friend). We start chatting and as it happens, he’s a web developer and needs . . . are you ready for this . . . someone he can outsource SEO content to. He said:
We’ve been looking for someone just like you. I’m a technical person (he does programming and web development) and I hate writing. I’d love to offer all of the services you do, but without having to “do it.”
I replied, “I’m your SEO girl!”
Today, he offered me my first project and says that if it goes well, there could be much more coming my way. In addition to having his own firm, right now he’s working with a long-time client (a large medical company) who needs reams of SEO content and a site overhaul. He sent my company’s info to this client and said, “I’ll be in touch if they want to move ahead.”
Most Clients Don’t Understand SEO
In all of our talks, he was telling me how a lot of his clients don’t understand SEO; how they look for writers who do understand it and can guide them on what they need (he asked me if I’d do an SEO content analysis on his client’s site); how they rely on him (a web developer) to help them with their SEO and internet marketing efforts; etc.
I found all of this interesting because, as I tell you guys all the time and wrote about in the post, SEO Copywriters: How to Make an Extra $61,880 This Year, most clients will expect you – the SEO writer – to be the expert. Once clients rely on you like this, you’ll have repeat business for as long as you want. It’s exactly how I’ve built my SEO writing business.
Speak Up to Get More SEO Writing Work
The last time I was here, I told someone what I did and he wanted me to follow up with him once I got back to the states. I lost his contact info so wasn’t able to, but the point is, tell people what you do wherever you go. You just never know where your next SEO writing project will come from. I’m even thinking of getting a t-shirt that says “SEO Writer” on it!
And those are my professional stories from Negril.
Living in Negril
A working vacay, but a fun, lucrative one — and now that I have my own place here (and rent to pay in addition to my mortgage back home, which is freaking me out even though it’s only $275), every penny counts.
I swear, renting a place here was a spur of the moment decision that, while I don’t regret it, it’s kind of weirded me out. I tend to be very frugal (years of living a feast or famine existence as a freelance writer has ingrained this in me) and this is something that is completely out of character for me.
But my friend pointed out that every time I come I spend that on a hotel in just a few days. And, as I’ll probably retire here one day and had planned to move here next year anyway, it’s a good decision.
And, that’s my personal tale from Negril.
SEO Writing Ecourse News
FYI, the next SEO writing ecourse commences on April 26th. As of today, there are still 12 slots remaining. You’ll learn four ways to make money online using your newly acquired skills that will give you financial security (maybe to travel to Jamaica or some other exotic hot spot anytime you want). Get full details on the SEO copywriting training this ecourse offers.
Have a good weekend everybody. Tommorrow, I’m only gonna work half day (gotta get in some fun while I’m here)!
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