SEO Writing Success Secrets: One Successful Freelancer Tells How She Lands Clients and How Much She Earns on Different Projects

Editor Note: Here is the monster Cold Calling Carol post I promised I was going to share with you this week. I added subtitles and did some minor grammar cleanup to make this post more “web reader friendly,” but the substance of the post is all Cold Calling Carol. See all posts in this series.

Cold Calling Carol: An SEO Writing Series Update

Hello Yuwanda,

I hope all is well and you are doing great. Thanks for answering my question in the last blog post that helped me put things in perspective. 

On other news, as far as my cold calling carol update. I am so swamped with work, I am still trying to find the time to market. I even interviewed some VA’s, I am just in the process of getting the tasks that I want complete, etc.

I just got a money management software program and boy is it an eye opener, it showing where my money is going. [It’s going to] paying other freelancers; I am losing profits because I am not charging enough. I know we talked about this over and over again, but this software is a real eye opener.

Getting SEO Writing Jobs: Marketing Methods That are Bringing in the Dough!

As far as cold calling carol, I just wanted to give your readers some insight into the type of typical projects I received that are keeping me busy. While cold calling, I got me a “diamond client” that I am in love with because he pays my bills and gives me some play money. However, it’s not the only way I get clients.

Believe it or not, I am kind of introverted, but I hunkered down and faced my fear, going to networking events, hosting workshops and getting referrals have paid off. While, I am nowhere near where I need to be financially, I am much much much better than I was 2 years ago.

Getting SEO Writing Jobs: Types of Projects That are Raking in the $$!

I know some of your readers are probably wondering what kind of clients I am getting. So, I thought it would be nice to show them a bit of projects that I had in my pipeline if that’s okay. I really want to help freelance writers and get them out of writing for $3 per article.

I think copywriting is one of the most valuable skills a business owner can have. So here’s a list of my current projects that helps me rake in the cash and make me feel like I have a real business:

1. Tri-Fold Brochure for a Remodeling company: $147.00 (This literally took me 25 minutes to write). 

I had a detailed in person interview with the client and asked him what message he wanted to convey, and wrote down the most important points and elements as he spoke. This is on the low end. I could have charged him more, but I gave him a deal because he pays me monthly for SM Services as well. (Hosted a workshop speaking about social media) then someone told him I was a good writer.

2. 10 SEO articles for an SEO Company who need copy for a [professional services client] (not my client; a different one) $250.00 (cold called the company and built relationship) 

3. 20 SEO Blog post a month for a local directory company that focuses content on local businesses and events: $500.00 (met owner at local networking event)

4. 13 SEO rewrites for an SEO company that needed copy for a plumber $260.00 (I cold called the company and built the relationship)

5. 5 Page Website for a credit restoration company $726.00 (I went to business training event and met client there).

6. 20 SEO pages Remodeling website in a different state $1,000 (I gave this client a hell of a deal because this is for my diamond client’s relative, and my diamond client is paying for it).

Why did I go so low? Because I know my diamond client will give me more work throughout the years and I have an affinity for this market; anyone else and I would have charged way more.

7. Social Media Consulting: $150.00 paid at the beginning of the month for 4 sessions – 4th session free when paid in advance (met client at a business training event; was going for a year, and then we finally sat at the same table and began to talk and exchange cards). He was put on my newsletter list and after reading two of my newsletters, he hired me.

8. Social Media Management for same client above that pays me for consulting $300.00 per month (He owns a local restaurant and an accountant biz).

9. Social Media Management for Air Conditioner repair man $197.00 bare minimum service for that low amount (met at networking event)

10. Social Media Management for local remodeling company $247.00 (same client as # 1 that I hosted a social media workshop).

11. 24 SEO pages for a popular football team $500.00 (diamond client) – repeat business is always good business!

12. 24 additional pages for the same football team by rewrote in a different way: $500 (diamond client) repeat business.

 13. SEO Meta Descriptions (1,000 of them): $1,500 (diamond client) repeat business.

14. And of course, my diamond client keeps me busy, and we are still in works with working out the final logistics of the big project. You bet I will send you an update when I reach that milestone.

Mind you, the SEO company is the one I cold called originally that helped me land my diamond client, and the same SEO company gives me work from time to time.

Cold Calling Carol’s Advice for Other SEO Writers

As you can see most of my income comes from my diamond client, however, as I said before I can’t rely on him forever. 

I get recurring revenue from Social Media and blog posts. So, as your writers can see the field is open for all different type of industries. They can target plumbers, credit restoration companies, general contractors, accountants, nightclub owners — as you know it’s limitless. However, from my personal experience, I think they can make a killing [by landing a “diamond client” like I did] or is it that I lucked out? 

SEO Writing Success Is Sooooo Possible!

I remember how I used to be stuck, and on those elance boards feeling like there was no hope. Now I know the writer’s life was quite possible.

I made $700 in one day last week and then $1,300 for the entire week. That’s more money that I ever made at a job in one week.

FINALLY To the Point of Building an SEO Content Writing Team Via Outsourcing 

Now I am so busy, I have to prepare a budget for a rockstar team (ie, outsource work to other freelancers).

The Secret to SEO Article Writing Success? 

I just wanted to infuse some thoughts into a writer who is thinking about giving up. They just have to hang in there. God knows how many times I wanted to throw in the towel, but I know why I didn’t. And, I think the numbers are exciting to see. I love the fact that I work for so many diverse industries – it works well for my brain! 

I hope this helps!

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Editor Note: Get free articles for reprint for your blog, newsletter, website, etc. at YuwandaBlack.com; a subsidiary site of InkwellEditorial.com, this site’s parent site. Articles cover SEO, ebook publishing, freelance writing, etc.
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MY RESPONSE

Well I told you this was going to be a monster post! Many freelancers are not this generous with the inner workings of their business, so I send out a big thank you to Carol for sharing soooo much specific info.

Following are my thoughts about what she shared . . . . 

SEO Writing Business Lessons You Can Learn from Cold Calling Carol 

RE Earnings:  Keep track of your earnings, or you’ll find that you’re losing money (or earning substantially less, and won’t even realize it. [Related Post: Freelancing and Taxes: 5 Things I Learned When I Filed Taxes This Year That Can Help YOU Earn More Next Year

RE Hiring a VA: Heed the tip in this post. I’ll expand upon this in a post here (or on InkwellEditorial.com) soon.

RE Marketing: Facing your marketing fears can pay off in spades, as this freelancer illustrates. So don’t be afraid to branch out and try different things. 

FYI, Cold Calling Carol is not the only freelancer to have success with this method. Jean, the cold calling queen, proves that it’s one of the quickest ways to land freelance writing jobs. 

Summer is almost here and it’s a traditionally slow time for many freelance writers. Learn how to stay busy during the slow summer months in this summer marketing tutorial. This tutorial details six specific things you can do to keep the freelance writing jobs flowing in – even during the summer. Start now so that you don’t have to go through a summer drought. 

RE SEO Writing Rates: Cold Calling Carol is quick to give a discount. This can be good and bad. But, the overall thing I want to point out is that she’s doing what works for her business. This is my mantra when it comes to setting your freelance / SEO writing rates (see links near the bottom of this post) – do what works for you and your freelance business.

RE SEO Service Offerings: Notice that this Cold Calling Carol offers a myriad of services, eg, SEO writing, social media consulting, social media management, meta tag writing (and yes this is still a needed SEO service in my opinion), etc.

At my SEO writing company, we offer a plethora of services too because in my experience, the more you can become an “all inclusive” SEO writing shop (only offer services that complement SEO writing), the more you can earn from each client. This increases your overall earnings.

You’d be amazed at how just making an extra $200 from this client and an extra $100 from that one adds up at year’s end (as I pleasantly found out from my diverse income streams when I did my taxes this year).

RE Client Diversity: As Cold Calling Carol has alluded to on many occasions to me, she knows that having one client paying the bulk of her bills is not a good thing. She needs to find time to market more to get more client diversity, which she’s on (ie, looking to hire a VA).

Learn the lesson one successful freelancer almost learned the hard way about why you should always be marketing for SEO writing jobs – no matter how busy you get. 

RE Repeat Business: It rocks! So service existing clients well, and learn how to leverage those relationships into other business (ie, ask existing clients who are pleased with your work for referrals). FYI, 80% of your business will come from 20% of your clients (this is known as the Pareto Principle), so this is yet another reason to really work hard to keep clients happy. 

RE Making Money as an SEO Writer: There’s plenty (plenty!) of work out there, if you’re willing to be proactive like Cold Calling Carol and go after it. SEO services is an in-demand, growing field and it’s going to be that way for a long time to come because soooooo many haven’t even begun to invest in it yet, and it constantly changes so it never gets “old” and out of date.
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Share Your Thoughts? What do you think of Cold Calling Carol’s success? Any insights you can share about your freelance business that can help her (and others)? Please share in the comments section below.

Closing Up Shop: I’m closing up early today to mow my lawn. I’m gonna get a fine from my HOA if it’s not done by tomorrow, so I have to get on it today. Good thing it’s a bit warmer than it’s been the last few days. It’s like spring went into hiding and fall sprung instead!

Yuwanda
P.S.: Start your SEO writing career today!

P.P.S.: In One Week, Train for a Career That Allows You to Earn Enough to REALLY Quit Your Day Job: Get SEO Copywriting Training Today. Course materials will be emailed to you within 24 hours (excluding holidays/weekends).
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Freelance SEO Writers: Want a Steady Stream of Clients? Do This

Recently on this blog, I shared the story of a freelance SEO writer who earned over $1,700 in one day. Stories like this are inspiring because they give you a peek into what successful freelance writers do to keep themselves busy.

In response to that post, a long-time reader – and successful SEO writer in his own right – responded. The insight he shared is a reminder that no matter how well your freelance writing career is going, if you don’t get up and do what it takes day in and day out, it can all be flushed down the toilet rather quickly.

Following is the email this freelancer sent me (all bold emphasis are mine).

Email from a Fellow SEO Writer about Having Steady Clients

Hi Yuwanda, 

I know it’s been a while, hope all is well with you. I just wanted to say thanks for this latest newsletter. This is exactly what I needed right now. I unfortunately got a little complacent with my marketing this first quarter of 2012 because I have a client (he’s actually the first one I landed back in late 2010) that has been accounting for about 80% of my business. Not only does he feed me lots of regular work, I also work directly with 5 of his clients. But I always knew in the back of my mind this kind of arrangement had a big downside to it. 

Well, this week I peeked in the abyss of what that downside could look like. My client was on vacation all last week (which I was aware of), but then I hadn’t heard from him at all this week. For the past few days, I was almost in a panic wondering what I would do if I lose him. I even tried calling him yesterday (we talk by phone about once a month anyway), but got his voicemail.  

Thankfully, he contacted me today with some orders for this week, so it appears to be back to business as usual. But sitting around the last couple days with no writing to do scared the heck out of me. I kept thinking “what if I lost him?” “How long and how much hard work will it take to get back to my current income level without him?” It’s enough to send your thoughts into a death spiral that nearly borders on depression.  

Anyway, thanks for this post-you helped me regain my perspective and reminded me to get back out there with my marketing. I haven’t actually done it myself for so long (I had nieces doing it but they’ve moved on to other things now) that I almost felt like I was “above” doing that kind of stuff. Well, this week reminded me that this is not the case.

Even though I have more writing work again, before starting on it, I fired off emails to several past clients I haven’t worked with for a few months. I know from past experience that often all it takes is an email to remind them you’re still out there, and work starts coming in again. 

I am also going to follow your advice and get up early to do some of my own marketing emails-like 10-20 a day. I should have learned by now that this should NEVER be neglected, but I guess sometimes we need to get close to the impending pain before we actually take action. It’s one of those flaws in human nature that I wish I didn’t fall prey to. 

Okay-that’s all for now. Time to get back to work. Thanks again for being out there and being such a good mentor to so many. Even though I don’t always take the time to let you know, your regular newsletters are a great help to me and I’m sure to countless others as well.  

Take care and God bless!

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Editor Note: Get free articles for reprint for your blog, newsletter, website, etc. at YuwandaBlack.com; a subsidiary site of InkwellEditorial.com, this site’s parent site. Articles cover SEO, ebook publishing, freelance writing, etc.
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My Response to This Freelancer

You hit the nail on the head when you said, “It’s one of those flaws in human nature.” It’s soooo true. 

I do things like article marketing that works, but I still get complacent and fall off a bit from time to time — especially if I happen to have a really good month. So writing my newsletters keeps me on track too! After all, I can’t very well tell readers to do something if I’m not “on it” myself. It’s definitely a reciprocal relationship — but thanks for letting me know that the newsletters are helpful. I really appreciate that.
 
It’s way late here and I’m about to sign off for the day. Your email made my day, so it’s a good note to sign off on.

As always, continued success. May blessings continued to be bestowed upon you and your family.
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How Long Does It Take for Writing Jobs to Dry Up If You Don’t Market Consistently?

As an aside, I once read a story about a small business owner who wanted to step back from her business (I can’t remember if she freelanced or not). I think it was told by Marcia Yudkin, a successful freelance writer and info marketer.

The story – as far as I can remember – goes that this entrepreneur didn’t want to outright quit her biz, so she decided to stop marketing and just let business fade away naturally. When asked how long it took before her client stream dried up, she said it only took six months – and she’d been in business for years.

The moral of this story – out of sight, out of mind.

Marketing for SEO writing work can be boring and it’s easy to get complacent – especially if you get a few clients who keep you pretty busy. But – and I’ve experienced this so many times in my career — if you stop marketing, business can dry up pretty quickly, as the freelancer who wrote in to me illustrates.

So, I don’t care how busy you are as an SEO writer, get up and get your marketing out of the way first; even if it’s just one call and a couple of emails. Marketing like this (aka “drip marketing”) will keep the freelance writing jobs rolling in – consistently; and, you’ll avoid the feast-or-famine existence so many freelancers experience. 

Miscellaneous

Freelancing and taxes — FYI, did you get yours done? I did – and owed a bundle (the second most I’ve ever owed). BUT, I didn’t mind paying up because it’s proof that my business is growing (the more you earn the more you pay). I earned a bit more than I thought last year — and owed more than I thought too. Talk about having an “oxymoronic” feeling!

Looking at a year’s worth of numbers though got me even more excited about the rest of the year. I hope your tax experience was enlightening, and that you’re enjoying your week.

Coming Next Week: A MONSTER Cold Calling Carol update. This freelancer is seriously rocking my world with all of the insight she’s sharing. Next week, she divulges a list of her current projects, how much they earn her, and how she landed these clients.

Stay tuned!

Yuwanda
P.S.: Start your SEO writing career today!

P.P.S.: In One Week, Train for a Career That Allows You to Earn Enough to REALLY Quit Your Day Job: Get SEO Copywriting Training Today. Get $200 Off This Class. How? Send $597 payment to payment@inkwelleditorial.com. Then send an email to info[at]InkwellEditorial.com with “I read the 4/18/2012 issue of Seo Writing Jobs” in the subject line (extremely important). Course materials will be emailed to you within 24 hours.
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Freelance SEO Writing: A Million Dollar, Work-from-Home Business?

One of the best things that’s ever happened to me as a freelance writer was stumbling upon search engine optimization writing (aka SEO writing). It opened a whole new world to me, teaching me how to market on line. This made it much easier to make money online promoting products and services – those I created myself (eg, ebooks/eclasses), and affiliate products.

So, when I received the following email from a fellow freelance writer, I was keen to write this post. She wrote: 

Question from a Fellow SEO Writing about Making 6 Figures a Year Writing SEO Articles

I have been reading your outsourcing book, and I was curious about something. Did you solely make six-figures writing daily articles?  While that sounds attractive, it also sounds time-consuming.  Not saying that I will not be able to do that, but I am wondering if there is a better way to increase my transaction size. 

I know that I can offer packages, and get a certain amount of clients and reach my quota. In my mind it seems easier to get a few clients paying me $35-65 per article rather than getting a few clients paying me $1,000 a month.  I guess my overall question is it possible to make six figures from solely writing [SEO] articles alone?

On other news, I am trying to find reliable writers who I can outsource work too. I have a few writers, I work with now.  However, it seems that they have their plate full and sometimes turn down work or  want to deliver work way past the deadlines I need them to. 

I had a colleague who paid a writer about a few thousand a month (on the low end) and the writer did whatever he threw his way.  I am thinking of going this route, but probably have  2-3 writers and myself, because  I really want people to be part of my team.  There are times that I get too backed up and I want to feel secure knowing that I have a  few writers who work exclusively me for me.   Just wanted to know your thoughts!

Thanks.

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Editor Note: Get free articles for reprint for your blog, newsletter, website, etc. at YuwandaBlack.com; a subsidiary site of InkwellEditorial.com, this site’s parent site. Articles cover SEO, ebook publishing, freelance writing, etc.
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My Answer: Foreword

Before I get to this freelancer’s questions, let me say, I’ve started quite a few businesses in my day. I also constantly have business ideas floating around my head. If you’ve been a reader of my blogs/websites/ebooks, you know that I’m a serial entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship, for me, is like a drug. I love it and am always thinking about it, eg, how to make mine better, a new one to possibly start, creating systems to make days flow smoother, cheaper advertising/marketing, etc. Yep, I’m business obsessed!

The reason I point this out is that of all the businesses I’ve owned – and thought about starting – SEO writing is one that I KNOW that I could earn a million dollars plus a year with . . . if I wanted (more on this in a bit). 

Of the freelance SEO writers who contact me, quite a few have quit jobs and gone on to earn 6 figures per year (or get very close to it), so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if I got an email saying:

I did it, I can’t belive it — I earned a million dollars last year writing SEO content!

Why do I feel this is entirely possible?

Why It’s Possible to Earn 7 (Yes 7!) Figures a Year Writing SEO Articles

There are four reasons I believe it’s possible to earn a million dollars – or more – per year writing SEO content.

I. The Demand Is There: The article, Some Good Reasons to Choose SEO as Your Career, sums it up beautifully, stating:

SEO is a profession that can be practiced while working for a company or as a solo practitioner. There are many jobboards like Dice and Craigslist that publish SEO job advertisements. It is worth noting that the compensation for SEO employees is equal to or even higher than that of developers, designers and marketers. Salaries over $80K per annum are not an exception for SEO jobs.

As a solo SEO practitioner you can make even more money. Almost all freelance sites have sections for SEO services and offers for $50 an hour or more are quite common.

More proof?

The 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends [Research Report] found that:

. . . content marketing remains a top priority for marketers in 2012. Many of the statistics and results are consistent with what we saw last year:

  • 9 out of 10 organizations market with content marketing.
  • On average, B2B marketers employ eight different content marketing tactics to achieve their goals.
  • Marketers, on average, spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing (see the full budget breakdowns in the report).

II. Companies Are Spending Money on SEO:  As I stated in an early 2011 post about the importance for all freelance writers – not just SEO writers – to learn SEO:

 . . . when companies start to put their money where their mouths are, that’s where the freelance writing jobs are gonna be.

For more proof, all we need to do is go back to the previously mentioned Content Marketing Institute (CMI) study, which states:

Rising confidence in the effectiveness of content marketing seems to be spurring marketers to dedicate more budget to this strategy. On average, 60% of respondents indicate that they plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. This compares to 51% of marketers who were planning to increase their budgets in the previous study.

BUT, you have to be proactive to get the business. This means learning the trade (ie, getting SEO Copywriting Training), and marketing for SEO writing work.

III. SEO Is a Wide Field: As a freelance SEO writer, you can offer so many services to clients in addition to article writing, eg, social media, blog posts, case studies, article distribution, SEO press releases, etc. 

IV. Competition Is Still Low: When I first started writing SEO content in 2007, many of my clients still didn’t understand what it was all about. All they knew is that they needed it because the competition was eating them alive. This is when my business took off because I stopped looking at myself as “just” a freelance SEO writer, and started to think of myself as an internet marketing consultant and formed New Media Words, my SEO writing company.

Many business owners and other freelancers alike STILL don’t understand SEO, content marketing, etc.

When you learn SEO from the ground up, you gain an understanding of all of this – and can use this knowledge to land clients and make a helluva lot of money. And again, when you know how to market effectively online, you can make money by creating and promoting your own products and services, as well as those of others (ie, affiliate marketing). 

When you’ve been around business as long as I have and you see all of these factors converge, you realize that the sky is the limit with this type of business. 

Now that you know why it’s possible to earn 6 or 7 figures a year in SEO, let me answer this freelancer’s questions directly.

My Direct Answers to This SEO Writer’s Questions

Answers 

1. I have been reading your outsourcing book, and I was curious about something. Did you solely make six-figures writing daily articles?  No, I don’t earn six figures just by writing SEO content alone. There are two reasons for this:

(i) Self-Publishing: I’ve been writing and selling ebooks online since 2004. They never made up a significant portion of my income though until 2008 (the year after I learned SEO and got better at marketing them online); 

(ii) Different Goals: Once I started to become more successful promoting my own products online, my freelance business goals changed. I wanted more passive income, so I started to focus more on creating my own products to promote online. I kept my SEO writing company small enough to be able to do this, but lucrative enough to where I could still pay my bills.

But again, New Media Words could easily be a million-dollar-per-year company – if I wanted that. But, as this freelancer so astutely pointed out, it is time consuming. And it should be. After all, what million dollar business isn’t? That’s why I say you have to WANT to do that. But that’s not part of my life plan

The outsourcing ebook this freelancer referred to though shows you how to set up systems and procedures to grow your SEO writing business significantly to where it grosses 6 (or 7). 

2. As for “finding reliable writers to outsource to” and the problems that entails: I had to go through probably 20 to 25 freelancers before settling on a “team.”  I’ve discussed this issue before in detail. Older posts tend to get buried, so here’s the in-depth discussion about how to hire reliable freelancers to outsource to.

As an aside, recruiting – and retaining — good workers is probably the number one issue all companies face. It’s why when I read about CEOs who earn tens of millions of dollars per year, I’m not angry. Because I’ve been on both sides of the hiring desk, I can tell you firsthand that when you find that worker who is worth their weight in gold, they’re worth every penny because they can make or break a business.

It is the workers in a business who provide the service, make the product; they are the face to the customer; they are behind the innovations a company has; they can save time or waste time; in short – they are the foundation of a business.

And this is why the really good ones can write their own ticket. When you meet workers like this, you know it because many in the workforce are just plain lazy (sorry, there’s no way to sugar coat this); a good number are good workers; and some are exceptional. Then, you have your super stars (these are the CEO-quality standouts). 

To this day, two freelancers I recruited stand out to me. It’s because their work was exceptional – so far above what everyone else’s was that I paid them “until it hurt.” This was when I had my editorial staffing company in New York.

I didn’t even have to look at projects these freelancers turned in or worry about what a client was going to say when I sent them on site. They were just dynamite. These are the kind of workers that you kill for — and cry like a baby over — when they leave you!

One of these freelancers was eventually hired away from my firm. She took a FT position with a company I placed her at as a temp (they loved her and she turned down a FT position for months – until they made her an offer she couldn’t refuse).

I haven’t been in touch with her for years. Her name was Polly and she was a copy editor – and a rock band singer on the side. But, she’d been at the firm that hired her for three years before I lost touch with her.

The other freelancer (Gabby) was still freelancing the last time I was in touch with her. She’d been doing it for years and loved the autonomy of it. But, she could have had any number of FT positions if she’d wanted to.

In closing, I just want you to realize that hiring the right talent is always going to be a struggle. Sometimes you’ll luck up and get a good team who’ll stay with you for a while. Then, you’ll go through phases where you can’t seem to find anyone who knows the meaning of work.

But, this is all part of running a successful freelance writing business.

As always, I hope this insight has helped, and good luck whether you decide to stay small, or grow your freelance business into a million-dollar company!

Share Your Thoughts: Do you think you could earn 6 or 7 figures as an SEO writer? Why/why not? Please tell why in the comments section below.

Best,
Yuwanda
P.S.: Start your SEO writing career today!

P.P.S.: In One Week, Train for a Career That Allows You to Earn Enough to REALLY Quit Your Day Job: Get SEO Copywriting Training Today. Get $200 Off This Class. How? Send $597 payment to payment@inkwelleditorial.com. Then send an email to info[at]InkwellEditorial.com with “I read the 4/4/2012 issue of Seo Writing Jobs” in the subject line (extremely important). Course materials will be emailed to you within 24 hours.
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Find this post informative? Follow Us on Twitter.
Submit a Guest Post: This site and its parent site, InkwellEditorial.com, now accept guest posts. Get the guest post submission guidelines.

Want to avoid freelance writing dry spells by making extra money as an affiliate marketer? Learn how to earn $50-$150/day online pretty seamlessly in the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites.

Copyright © 2012: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the publisher’s written consent (linking to is fine).

SEO Content Writing Success: How One Freelancer Earned $1,730 – In One Day from One Client

In last week’s post, I promised to update you on the status of Cold Calling Carol; she’s the freelance SEO writer who’s found major success landing jobs by picking up the telephone. See all posts in this series.

She hasn’t sent me the update on the $3,500 pay day yet – but she did have a $1,730 pay day and has a client on the hook who’s promised her $7,000 more in work. Remember, this is from one client. Following is her latest update, as well as some first-hand insight from me on how to grow her SEO writing business even more. 

Publisher Note: I’ve been receiving a lot of questions lately — about SEO writing and freelance writing in general. If you’ve written in, I’ve probably received yours. But, it’s going to take me a few weeks to answer because I’m pretty busy these days. FYI, in this post, I explain how/why/when I answer questions sent in to me.

Note: All bolded text in the following email from Cold Calling Carol is mine.

An SEO Copywriter Success Story

Hi Yuwanda,

I hope all is well and you are doing great. I figured that I would give you a cold calling carol update.

I can’t remember the last time I gave you an update.  But, since we last spoke, I had a $1,000 day; that was the most money I ever received in one day, that’s until I got another $1,730 delivered in my paypal in one day.  That was work I completed for one major client.

I have to say that this one major client is about 95% of my income. While this is good, it’s also bad. I just don’t want to rely on one client for my income, however, I am enjoying the time and experience I get working with him. We have a great relationship and he is kind of giving me training in a sense. There is still a lot I have to learn about his industry, so when I write the copy he just tells me to edit certain words that I can’t say.  He’s keeping me so busy that I have to outsource other work coming in to writers. When I outsource, I am not making much of a profit, however, it’s giving me experience on how to take a managerial role in my biz (which is my primary plan).

While my major client is paying me a lot of money, it’s still not enough to outsource. (This is a mistake I learned the hard way). But, I don’t mind because right now, I really need the income.

I admit, I have to structure my days to market more. I am in the process of creating a free report for his industry and going after other leads of his caliber.  At this point, I really need a marketing assistant, but I am at a catch 22 because I am not making enough to outsource and pay freelancers.  However, the major client plans to give me a $7,000 project (which got pushed back because other content took priority).  And, I am working on $1,300 worth of work for him right now as we speak.

I plan to use the funds from the major project to hire help from affordable sites like http://www.hiremymom.com/ and others, even though I prefer to work local, but in the next few months, my life is going to be in limbo as far as location. I am going to be living in so many places in a short amount of time, so I think it would be better to hire a virtual assistant.

The [client] has provided me with some great savings and the confidence I need to target [other professionals] in this niche.  But I am not going to lie, one of the reasons I got into business is for the money! So, it’s great to see my paypal history and see deposits of $1,000 and more in my inbox. Now that’s what I call a major payday! It used to take me 2 weeks to make that kind of money in a regular job.  The money does motivate me to keep going. 🙂  I still struggle with mindset issues, but if the client keeps paying me that means I am doing something right. 

Again, and I want to stress to your readers, this is all a result of cold calling. I called one SEO firm and they referred [a client in this niche] to me, and I have been working with him for going on 8 months. And as I tally up my work that I have completed thus far it’s in the range of $6,000 that he has paid me in that short amount of time. While, 6 grand may not sound like a lot it is a lot to someone like me who doesn’t collect unemployment any more, and only has her business as a primary source of income.  🙂 

I hope this helps! And I will keep you posted about my $3,500 day which is coming soon!

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In One Week, Train for a Career That Allows You to Earn Enough to REALLY Quit Your Day Job: Get SEO Copywriting Training Today. Get $200 Off This Class. How? Send $597 payment to payment@inkwelleditorial.com. Then send an email to info[at]InkwellEditorial.com with “I read the 4/4/2012 issue of Seo Writing Jobs” in the subject line (extremely important). Course materials will be emailed to you within 24 hours.
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My Response

Carol,
 
Sounds like you’re on a roll.
 
Just a couple of pieces of advice . . . because I’ve been exactly where you are.
 
i) RE: One client being your major source of income: Enjoy the “comfort” you have of this one client being the bulk of your business right now. Sometimes, it’s great to have that one bulk source of income coming in without having to flit from one $200 or $300 job to the next. So enjoy it for the pressure-reliever it is right now, but . . . 
 
ii) RE: How to beat the “one client” blues: Find time to market for other clients. I don’t care if you have to get up at 3 in the morning. Get at least a few emails /cold calls done; even if it’s just one a day. That’s 20 per month (assuming you do it M-5); 240 per year. With even a 1% return, that’s at least 2 more clients you will have landed. And if they’re in the same high-paying niche you target, you can REALLY up your income.
 
iii) RE: Turning one-time clients into long-term clients: As an aside, I’ve noted through the years that if a client uses you for longer than six months at a stretch, they usually go on to become long-term clients (eg 2-3 or 4 years). I think it’s because they get used to you and you get used to them and their systems/way they like to work, etc. It’s almost like you become an extension of their staff, so rather than use someone else, they stick with you. So, it’s good that this client is “training” you, as you put it. This is a clue that they’re invested in you for the long haul. BUT again, don’t get comfortable.

Another lesson I’ve learned the hard way is that big clients can disappear overnight. And, if they’ve been the bulk of your business, it can really hurt.
 
(iv) RE: Getting paid:  Also, don’t let this client get too far behind in paying invoices. Even with my long-time clients, I have a certain dollar amount that I won’t work beyond until an invoice is paid.
 
Years ago, I had one client stiff me on a payment (I think it was somewhere between $240 and $360; can’t exactly remember). They had owed upwards of $1,500; it took some doing to get that last payment out of them — and we never did get that final payment. So just beware.
 
But good for you so far. I can’t wait to share this story with readers next week!
 
Stay tuned . . .
 
Thanks again for the update, and continued success. You’ve earned every bit of it.

Share Your SEO Writing Success Story! Send an email to info-at-SeoWritingJobs.com.
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Follow “Jean the Cold Calling Queen!”

A fellow freelance SEO writer sent me the following email a couple of days ago. She wrote:

I know you’re going to give an update on “Cold Calling Carol” this week. Perhaps you’d like to show your readers this link: http://jeancoldcallingqueen.blogspot.com/2012/04/why-title-and-why-cold-calling.html. I’ve decided to cold call 25 prospects a day Monday through Friday this month. And I’m documenting it. The explanation as to why pretty much is in the first post.

So follow Jean to document her progress. Perhaps it’ll inspire you to start your own cold-calling campaign to get SEO writing work!

Coming Next Week: A freelancer wrote to me asking, “. . . is it possible to make six figures from solely writing [SEO] articles alone?”

Stay tuned for my insight.

Best,
Yuwanda
P.S.: Start your SEO writing career today!

P.P.S.: In One Week, Train for a Career That Allows You to Earn Enough to REALLY Quit Your Day Job: Get SEO Copywriting Training Today. Get $200 Off This Class. How? Send $597 payment to payment@inkwelleditorial.com. Then send an email to info[at]InkwellEditorial.com with “I read the 4/4/2012 issue of Seo Writing Jobs” in the subject line (extremely important). Course materials will be emailed to you within 24 hours.
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