Search Engine Optimization Copywriting: Why the Recent Google Panda Update Means More Work for SEO Content Writers

The recent Google Panda update has sent webmasters, bloggers and online retailers into a tizzy. Many are scrambling to invest in SEO content now because their sites have lost rank and one of the main things Google tells site owners to invest in if they want to rank well is quality content.

As I talked about in yesterday’s newsletter on InkwellEditorial.com, I’ve had three client consultations in the last couple of weeks and have another one scheduled for this coming Monday.

I don’t think I’ve had that many consultations in a year since I started writing SEO content in 2007! So yeah, the update has had an effect.

The Google Panda Update: How Hot of a Topic Is It and What It Means for SEO Writers

For this article, I did a search for “Effects of Google Panda Update”, without quotation marks. 8,370,000 results were returned. Then, I did one for just “Google Panda Update;” again, without quotation marks. Result? 11,900,000 results.

So yeah, it’s a hot topic. And this spells good news for the niche of search engine optimization copywriting. Following are three reasons why . . . Clients are Coming Out of the Woods Looking for SEO Content.

3 Reasons the Google Panda Update Is Good News for SEO Writers

I. Sites Have Lost Rank: Many websites lost rank and now they’re scrambling to get it back. Just how many lost rank is highlighted in the SearchEngineLand.com article, Your Site’s Traffic Has Plummeted Since Google’s Farmer/Panda Update. Now What? It states:

Google’s latest algorithm change has impacted nearly 12% of queries. That means that a lot of sites, big and small, are looking at their web analytics reports this week and seeing devastating traffic graphs down and to the right.

And what drives traffic, as many are just discovering? Content; specifically compelling, well-writen, search-engine-optimized content. And where do most turn to get it? Freelancers (ie, SEO articles writers, SEO content writers, SEO copywriters, etc). Proof?

As the Content Marketing Institute report we discussed in the post on InkwellEditorial.com entitled, Opportunities in Freelance Writing: Where the Jobs Are & Specific Advice On How to Get Them:

Larger firms are much more likely to outsource content creation than their peers at smaller companies. Seventy-seven percent of large firms outsource some of their content development, compared to 55% on average.

As an aside, I’ve seen the effects of this first-hand. A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a client I hadn’t heard from since 2008. Their site had lost rank and the SEO firm they hired told them that they needed more content on it (as an online retailer of gift cards, their site consists mostly of graphics).

They wanted us to write SEO product descriptions for all of the retailers on the site — almost 200 of them! As of this writing, I’m still waiting on the answer to the proposal I sent over.

II. Bad Content Is No Longer Rewarded: And I use the term “bad” loosely because only Google knows their algorithms and many sites with regurgitated crap masquerading as content still show up.

But to a large degree, sites that have: (i) scraped content, ie, content stolen from the blogs/websites of others; and (ii) contrived content: ie, usually keyword-stuffed content written specifically drive traffic to AdSense sites, are having to invest in REAL content, ie:

Professionally written, properly SEO’d, more in-depth, quality content. That is, if they want to continue to get traffic, which generates sales and leads.

Bottom line, words thrown together and masquerading as content ain’t cutting it no more. You gotta have the real deal (quality SEO content) if you’re gonna depend on Google — and presumably other search engines — to send you traffic.

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III. A Continuous Need for Content: If there’s one thing the Google Panda update did is put the focus on quality content. And this is not a one-hit wonder, just like SEO in general. You can’t just post a few well-written articles and think that that’s going to do the job.

One thing search engines like is a continuous supply of quality content. Now webmasters are realizing that ongoing “content marketing” must be the foundation of their internet marketing strategy. As Joe Pulizzi, Executive Director of the Content Marketing Institute points out in the B2BOnline.com article, Google Panda update: A boon for content marketers

This [determining the authority of websites] comes back to a single ingredient direct and content marketers as well as publishers need to succeed in the Panda battle: Create valuable, compelling and relevant content on a consistent basis (emphasis added) to a targeted user base. This is something that publishers have long known but that corporate content marketers are just beginning to grasp.

And, who are many going to turn to to get this content? Why SEO copywriters (like you!), of course.

Google Panda Update: Conclusion for SEO Content Providers

There are quite a few more reasons I could point out on why the Google Panda Update is a good thing for SEO article writers (eg, companies starting to spend more on internet marketing, more businesses are recognizing the value of SEO content, firms trying to avoid the duplicate content penalty, etc.), but these are the ones that jumped out at me immediately.

In short, there’s never been a better time to be an SEO writer. The business is there – if you know and/or are willing to learn SEO — and start marketing for it.

FYI, Google Wants You to Tell Them If the Panda Update Affected Your Site
 
You can do so here: http://bit.ly/eatwoy. I responded. Don’t know if it’ll help, but it can’t hurt is the way I look at it.

P.S.: Want to Start a Successful Career as an SEO Copywriter? Get SEO Copywriting Training Today. Subscribe to get the $150 discount offered on the class this week (extended until midnight, this Sunday, April 2nd) AND to get this week’s SEO writing job lead.

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Social Media Marketing Strategy: How Influential are You on Twitter? Find out in 2 Minutes or Less

Terms like “social media marketing strategy” and “social media marketing plan” are becoming part of the whole lexicon of search engine optimization (SEO) as more and more companies hop on this bandwagon. And, one of the largest social  media sites users are turning to is Twitter (Facebook and LinkedIn round out the top 3 social media sites). 

twitalyzer-score

The rule of thumb is the more followers you have on Twitter, the more influence you have, right? Well, that may not necessarily be so. According to the Web Pro News article, Twitter Influence vs. Twitter Followers:

The simple fact is that you have to be active (tweeting regularly) in order to have your tweets retweeted.  Thus, your name will be mentioned more often.  It turns out the most influential person on Twitter, based on his Influence Index, is Brazilian comedian Rafinha Bastos.

Huh? Who’s that you may be wondering.

Lady Gaga: Influential on Twitter? “Not So Much

Obviously, one very smart guy because he’s more influential than Lady Gaga, who has over 7 million followers at the time of this writing, while Senor Bastos has “just” 1.6 milllion. Yet, he’s more than twice as influential as Lady Gaga is according to the Twitter Influence Index.

Post continued below notice just below . . .

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Devising a Social Media Marketing Strategy: The First Thing You Need to Do

Bottom line: If you’re trying to devise a social media marketing strategy, the first rule is not to accumulate followers blithely, but to accumulate AND interact with them.

Get your Twitter Influence Score via Twitalyzer — in less than 2 minutes.

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SEO Copywriting: 5 Tips on How to Find Content Writing Jobs No Matter Where You Live

SEO copywriting is a career you can do from anywhere. It’s a growing niche in freelance writing where it’s relatively easy to land jobs, if you indeed know how to write SEO content and have good marketing skills.

Not only do I know this from my own first-hand experience, the results from others who’ve written in to me back this up (in the form of testimonials on the SEO writing ebook page) . But, there are still some who struggle and/or don’t quite believe that this “writing for the web” thing can work out for them.

Yesterday in InkwellEditorial.com’s newsletter which discussed why content marketing is providing plenty of work for freelance writers (specifically SEO writers), the emails of a couple of doubtful freelancers were featured.

SEO Writer from the Philippines Has His First $1,000 Week

After that newsletter went out, I receive the following email from an SEO writer living in the Philippines.

He wrote:

As usual, another valuable newsletter. Thanks so much for all the support you provide. Just to update you, I’m busier than ever. In fact, this will be my best week to date (and it’s only Wednesday)! I’ve already broken $1000 for the week for the first time and may end up close to $1500. [emphasis added] Granted, some of this is money coming from bigger projects already completed, but still a very good week.

I am amazed and humbled that others are having trouble tapping into this business. I feel so blessed that I’ve been able to land several well paying clients, and I still have my steady 100 marketing emails going out every week. I seem to add a client or two each week from them, and I pay my niece to send them out for me.

I can also attest to the fact that location makes little difference. I’m living in the Philippines, but I don’t tell people until they become clients and start working with them. [emphasis added] At that point, I think it’s helpful for them to know the time zone difference. Other than the time zones, I don’t think location is all that big a deal.

Again, thanks for all you do, and keep encouraging those that haven’t quite made it yet. All I can say is the good paying jobs are out here, and all they need to do to get them is follow your plan from the [SEO writing] ebook.

Kind Regards,

PL

This freelancer proves the point – extremely well I might add – that location has little to do with making money as an SEO content writer.

SEO Copywriter Earning $1,000 Per Week in Less than 5 Months

And not for nothing, this writer just started his SEO writing career last November. So in just 5 months, he’s already had his first $1,000 week.

Now that I hope I’ve convinced you that there’s tons of SEO article writing (aka internet copywriting, web copywriting, web writing, etc.) work out there, following are a few tips for getting it if you’re concerned about location being a problem.

How to Get Jobs Writing for the Web No Matter Where You Live: 5 Tips

I. Market Consistently: Did you notice what the SEO copywriter above said he’s doing? He’s consistently marketing (a lot!) – sending out more than 100 emails a week.

And, this is exactly what I did when I first started back in 2007. Doing this, I got so busy so quick, that I had to hire other writers to help me within the first couple of months. Now while the industry has matured and it may not happen that quick for you, as this writer (remember he just started last November) proves, there’s still tons of work out there.

But you can’t sit on your kister and wait for it to come to you. You gotta go after it!

FYI, in the SEO writing ebook, I tell you who to contact, what to say and a few more things to make marketing for this type of work seamless, especially if you have no previous experience.

II. On Targeting Clients: No matter where you live, target clients you want to do business with. So if you live in Ireland, the UK or Timbuktu and you want to do business with American and Canadian companies, then target those companies.

The wonderful thing about the internet is that it makes it a truly “global economy.” I work with/have worked with clients from Ireland, England, Iceland (yes, Iceland!), the UK and Canada (and a few more places I’m sure I’m forgetting).

And, I’m pretty mobile. Sometimes I’m in New York visiting friends; other times in Minnesota visiting ex-boyfriends; other times in Miami on vacation and now living semi-permanently in Jamaica. And you know what? It hasn’t affected my client load one bit.

III. Leave Out Location: The very first article writing client I landed was with a Canadian internet marketing firm (I’m American). But you know what, they didn’t ask me where I was from; what they asked for were search engine optimized writing samples.

Now, the time difference did come up when it came to scheduling a call; but that can happen when you live in the East in the U.S. and are dealing with clients in the West.

It’s been my experience that if clients like your writing, they could care less about your location; so don’t make it an issue. Don’t put your location on your website (my SEO writing company site doesn’t have it); don’t mention it in your correspondence (unless the client asks); and don’t bring it up in conversation — again, unless the client asks.

IV. Properly Use Technology: Piggybacking on the last point, use “universal” communications tools on your SEO writing website. With technology like Skype, free conference calling software; and free phone calling software (eg, the magicJack); you don’t have to be “location specific.” All clients care about is if they can get in touch with you.

I don’t use any of this (although I’m gonna FINALLY get Skype soon); I just list an email address. That’s worked brilliantly for me.

Right now, I’m in Jamaica, I had to call a client in the states just a couple of days ago. I used gmail. You can make free phone calls if you have a gmail account to/from certain countries (at least for the rest of this year).

V. Be Skilled: I’ve received several comments from some writers in countries other than the U.S. and Canada who say they find it hard to get decent rates as writers. Then, when I click through to their blogs/websites, it’s very easy to see that English is not their first language.

Getting the SEO Writing Rates You Want: The Most Important Tip of All to Keep in Mind

If you want to get what you consider a decent SEO writing rate, you must, must, must be fluent in the language of your potential client.

As the Content Marketing Institute report on why large companies use content marketing discussed in yesterday’s post on InkwellEditorial.com highlighted, one of the main reasons companies commission SEO content is to help brand them.

A company’s brand is everything to them; it’s why they exist, what they live up to, the promise they make customers and the reason customers trust them. Businesses spend thousands to protect it, nurture it, spread it and expand upon it.

So you better bring the talent — and at a minimum this means being fluent in their language. Otherwise, you’re not going to get a “decent rate,” or any rate.

And not for nothing, but language can get very nuanced. For example, “British English” is different from “American English” — they say “lift”; Americans say “elevator.” So this is no small thing. One slip gives away whether or not you’re fluent; you can’t fake it.

Hope this insight helps, and good luck landing SEO writing jobs – no matter where you live.

P.S.: Did you sign up for the SEO copywriter training class in Jamaica yet?

RELATED POSTS

SEO Copywriting: How to Start This Type of Freelance Writing Career If You’re a Foreigner

SEO Copywriting: How to Start This Type of Freelance Writing Career If You’re a Foreigner, Pt II

SEO Copywriting: How to Start This Type of Freelance Writing Career If You’re a Foreigner, Pt III

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Learn SEO: 5 Questions That Will Change The Way You Think About SEO Forever

Stoney deGeyter, president of Pole Position Marketing  (a search engine optimization and marketing firm) firm wrote an interesting post on the DevWebPro newsletter entitled 15 Questions That Will Change The Way You Think About SEO Forever (Q’s 11-15). I couldn’t find the other 10 questions, but the 5 he puts forth and answers in this post are definitely worth knowing.

For example, on whether or not to use blackhat tactics, he writes that he’s ok with it, under certain conditions. Most SEO experts will tell you this is a strict no, no. Stoney explains it this way, writing:

I have no problem with such strategies, as long as those employing them are open and honest about the potential consequences of such actions and you’re on board.

Learn SEO: Q&A with an SEO Specialist

Following are the other four SEO questions he tackles.

Should you invest in SEO or PPC? The answer: both. But there are certain factors to consider.

How much time should you spend getting your SEO perfect? You get what you pay for (and spend time on) here.

During a site re-design, should you switch to more keyword friendly URLs? There’s a time to do this and times when you definitely shouldn’t.

Once your site is optimized, will it stay optimized? Yeah sure, to a certain degree. But as the article points out, SEO is not a “set it and forget it” game. He explains why.

To learn SEO is not hard. But, as Mr.  deGeyter’s answers to these questions illustrate, you must stay abreast of what’s going on in the industry to know what works best for your site.

The article is a worthy read.

Have a great weekend!

Yuwanda

P.S.: FREE SEO JOB LISTINGS (ALSO SOCIAL MEDIA AND INTERNET MARKETING JOBS)

We List SEO writing jobs, social media jobs and internet marketing jobs for free. Simply send your job ad to info[at]SeoWritingJobs.com. We will list it here, and in our weekly (Wednesday) newsletter.
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Writing for SEO: The One Piece of Advice I’d Give to All SEO Copywriters

Over the last couple of weeks, two firms have advertised SEO writing jobs here. One firm was looking for SEO real estate writers and article quality checkers; another firm was looking to hire writers who knew how to write search engine optimized copy — of any kind.

Where are the Opportunities in Freelance Writing? SEO, Of Course!

I point this out to say, SEO content writing is a niche in freelance writing where you can get very busy very quickly. As I was discussing a job ad with one firm, the owner asked me what was the number one piece of advice I’d give to aspiring SEO writers, as she gets a lot of queries about it.

I told her the following . . .

The One Piece of Advice I’d Give to All SEO Copywriters (Really, All Freelance Writers)

Never Stop Marketing

Following is why . . .

Right now, I’m so busy that I NEED to place an ad on my own site here for more SEO writers. Old clients that I haven’t heard from in two years — you read right — have contacted me and existing ones have put in more frequent orders.

Trust me, I’m not complaining but it has thrown my ebook writing schedule into a tail spin, as I discussed in yesterday’s post on InkwellEditorial.com. And I haven’t marketed for SEO writing work directly for almost a year — really!

BUT, what I have been doing is consistently updating my blogs, writing ebooks about SEO, doing article marketing to promote said ebooks, etc. All of this is known as content marketing, and it keeps you ranking high in search engines — and bringing in the business (if your content has been written with SEO in mind).

15 Pieces of SEO Content Ordered — in Two Days

As I’ve discussed here before, SEO writing is a niche where you get very busy very quickly. Just this week, I had orders for 15 new pieces of content (8 blog posts and 7 articles; also a website editing job (not SEO of course)). I received all of these orders within two days.

Mind you, this is on top of work I already had on my schedule (which is why this week is such a bear).

And again, even though it’s crazy as heck over here right now, I know it will settle down again and there may be a week or two where no orders are on tap. This is freelancing, no?

So never stop marketing. Drip marketing works really well to keep the SEO writing jobs flowing in . . . and it forces you to make marketing a habit.

Hope this helps if you’re struggling to bring in work as a freelance writer. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Yuwanda

P.S.: FREE SEO JOB LISTINGS (ALSO SOCIAL MEDIA AND INTERNET MARKETING JOBS)

We List SEO writing jobs, social media jobs and internet marketing jobs for free. Simply send your job ad to info[at]SeoWritingJobs.com. We will list it here, and in our weekly (Wednesday) newsletter.
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SEO Writing Jobs: Real Estate Writers & SEO Article Quality Checkers Wanted (Work-from-Home, Freelance Positions)

JOB #1: WRITING FOR SEO: SEO Writers with Real Estate Experience Wanted

SEO Real Estate Writer, a boutique real estate writing and real estate search engine optimization firm, is seeking a few good writers.

jobs-in-seo-writing

SEO Writing and Real Estate Background: We are looking for talented freelance writers who are versed in SEO and can couple first-hand real estate industry knowledge with keen writing ability. You may receive 10-15 articles or more at one time. Most SEO articles will be in the 350-400 word range; blog posts will be in the 200-300 word range.

Pay Per Article: Most assignments will pay $15 per article, with pay increasing over time. Payments are made to freelancers twice per month via PayPal (15th of month and last day of month).

Learn more and how to apply for this SEO writing job.
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JOB #2: SEO Article Quality Checkers

Scope of Job for Article Quality Checkers: SEO Article Quality Checkers will double-check SEO articles submitted to our company by staff freelancers. You will be the final eye before the articles get sent to the client. As you review each article, you will be checking for things like typos, grammatical errors, keyword usage, etc.

As an SEO Article Quality Checker, you will NOT rewrite articles; you will simply review each article and make minor changes within the text. Each article should take no more than 10 or 15 minutes to quality check.

Learn more about this SEO article quality checker position and how to apply.
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FREE SEO JOB LISTINGS (ALSO SOCIAL MEDIA AND INTERNET MARKETING JOBS)

We List SEO writing jobs, social media jobs and internet marketing jobs for free. Simply send your job ad to info[at]SeoWritingJobs.com. We will list it here, and in our weekly (Wednesday) newsletter.
###

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SEO Copywriters: 3 Types of Blog Posts that Can Help You Land More SEO Writing Jobs

Many SEO writers are great at writing client copy, but give the writing on their own blogs and websites short shrift (I’ve been so guilty of this in the past, so I’m speaking from way too much personal experience here.

seo-content-marketing

But, your blog/website is one of the best venues for landing SEO writing jobs, for the obvious reason — it illustrates your writing skill. And this is where many of us miss the boat.

Sure we may do a great job of listing our services and telling prospects about how we can help them, but we STILL have to convince them to hire us.

And this is where opportunity knocks.

Why Your Blog Is One of the Best Ways to Land SEO Writing Jobs

Your SEO writing website should do more than list your services, it should pre-sell clients. The best way to do this is to write the types of posts that demonstrate to clients you can not only handle their content needs, but that you can handle it with flying colors.

Following are three types of posts to write that can help you to land more SEO writing jobs.

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SEO Writers: Find it Hard to Incorporate Keywords? Struggle with Density? Why You No Longer Need to – Write Copy Clients & SEs Will Love

The foundation of SEO content writing is keywords. One of the skills of a professional SEO copywriter is knowing how to work keyword phrases in naturally. After all, anyone can keyword stuff copy. But, more and more, this type of copy is falling by the wayside (thank goodness), for SEO copywriting is maturing as a profession.

And as more and more companies realize that content – professionally written, keyword optimized, informative content – is THE way to drive long-term, convertible traffic, SEO writers who know how to produce this type of content will be in constant demand.

Content Farms: They’ll Always Exist

While the market for $3 per 400-word article writers will always exist and sites deemed content farms like eHow, AssociatedContent, et al will always be around (IMO), skilled SEO content writers won’t have to worry about competing with them. Why?

Because when companies start to realize the value of a commodity and and start to spend money on it, they expect to pay decent rates for it because they look at it as an investment in their business. And, that’s exactly where we are with SEO content now.

seo-content-writing-made-easy

Why Keywords are Not as Relevant as They Used to Be

“Say what?! But you said in the beginning of this post that the foundation of writing for SEO is keywords.”

But, not so much in the way it used to be. You see, in the not-so-distant past, writing SEO content was all about achieving a certain density for a particular keyword phrase. When I first started writing SEO copy in 2007, I would regularly get requests from clients that would say something like:

We want 3% density for this batch and 5% for this one.

Nowadays, clients hardly ever request this. They’ll give you a keyword and expect you to work it in a few times. They don’t talk about achieving a certain keyword density. So, for example, for a 400-word article, I may use the keyword 3-5 times. That’s it.

The reason for this change is that search engines like Google change their algorithms all the time. So now, keyword density is not given the weight it once had when it comes to determining where a page pops up in search results.

Other factors are also considered, ie, the overall relevant content on the site, anchor text, inbound links, how often the site is updated, etc.

So what does all of this have to do with how to write for humans, while making sure your client’s content gets found without keyword stuffing it?

Well, two things: (i) to point out that search engine optimization writing is about more than just writing content and sticking in some keyword phrases; and (ii) to highlight how important it is to stay abreast of the changes in SEO.

Writing for SEO Tip: How I Easily Incorporate Keywords into Client Copy

Following is a little trick I use to easily incorporate keywords into client copy so that it flows naturally.

Remember, good SEO copy is reader-friendly SEO copy. Write for humans, but keep search engines top of mind.

When I get an order from a client, I note the primary keyword phrase.

Note: Usually, clients will just give you one keyword phrase. Sometimes though, they’ll give you more, eg, 2-3. There’s always one primary phrase, with the others being secondary keyword phrases.

If a client hasn’t given me secondary keyword phrase, I’ll use Google’s Keyword Adword Tool to find a couple. I’ll tell you the reason in just a sec.

When I sit down to write client copy, I do so without giving a thought to their keywords. After I written the article, I then go back and naturally incorporate the keyword phrases. I take care to get the primary keyword phrase in a number of times.

In order for the copy not to sound repetitive and keyword stuffed, I use 2-3 secondary keyword phrases.

I found that if you write SEO copy this way, you’ll find it much easier to incorporate keywords without having to force them. And, it can be a faster way to write SEO content as well because you’re not having to “mentally stop” to think about keywords as you’re writing.

And, that’s this week’s search engine optimization copywriting tip!

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