A Single Mom Who Writes for Content Mills Wonders, “Can I Make a Go of a Career as an SEO Writer?” [Some Insights about This Career]

Last week, I received the following email from a single mom. In essence, she was wondering if she could really make a go of becoming an SEO writer.

As an aside, being a parent – never mind being a single parent – is without a doubt the hardest job there is. I have several girlfriends who do it, in addition to numerous family members – so I know this first-hand. I relay the story of one of my best girlfriends in the post, SEO Copywriting: How to Start This Career While Working a Fulltime Job. Look for the “Failure Is Not an Option” graphic. The story starts right about there.

I relay all of this to say, if you can handle THAT job, you can handle most anything else life throws your way.

Questions from a Single Mom about Starting an SEO Writing Career

Now, to this reader’s questions. She wrote . . .

Hi Yuwanda,

I . . . have been writing for textbroker (a content mill) for quite a while. Also, I’ve been working full time as an administrative assistant.

I am wanting to quit my job as an admin. and write SEO full time, but obviously can’t do it if I’m making $6 per article!

I am seriously considering purchasing your $1000 [SEO writing] course because I am very serious about creating a business and I don’t want to waste time reading through tons and tons of blogs (I have spent a lot of time on yours, though, and it has been very illuminating and inspiring!).

A couple questions…first, do you think the course applies even with the Penguin and Panda changes that will be emerging over the next few months, and second…does the course work for someone like me who is great at writing, but not so great at reaching out and marketing? I tend to be on the shy side and am not really the best at rubbing elbows and networking. I know I can DO the work…I’m just not sure I can GET the work.

Some quick background on me: I’m 40 years old. [Due to a recent family tragedy, I’m single and raising two young children on my own] …I need to make a full-time salary, but frankly, working as an admin full time is killing my spirit and I need to find something I can do for years to come that will pay the bills. I’d be happy to write SEO articles for a very long time if it could just pay a living wage!

Please let me know your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you!

MY RESPONSE

I’m glad you’ve found my sites / blogs to be of help in your quest to find a suitable career option that you might enjoy.

In answer to your questions . . .

1. RE << do you think the [SEO] course applies even with the Penguin and Panda changes that will be emerging over the next few months >>

Yes, I definitely do. In fact, I think there will be MORE work for SEO writers because of Google’s algorithm changes – there always is, for reasons explained in the post, Will Google’s Latest Update (Penguin) Mean Less Work for SEO Article Writers?

Also consider this — yesterday, I ran across a juicy little stat while doing my normal industry reading (on content marketing), which I shared on New Media Words’ Facebook page, ie:

Content Marketing Seen As Important But Brands Slow To Act [Survey] http://is.gd/stVZS6

If you’re a freelance writer, one thing that should stick out to you about this is that 54% of brands don’t have an individual who is responsible for content in-house (which means they’re more likely to outsource).

The bottom line is, there’s so much work out there for freelance (SEO) content writers that it’s ridiculous!

2. RE << does the course work for someone like me who is great at writing, but not so great at reaching out and marketing >>

Absolutely. In fact, I got all of my initial SEO writing work via email communication. I never had to “hob nob” with others (although I don’t mind that if I have to).

To date, I’ve never met one of my clients in person (correction — I’ve met one (my dentist)), and after six years of doing this, the vast majority of my SEO writing company’s clients come by way of email marketing. I also receive some direct referrals and the other way people find out about me is via simple web searches (my company ranks really well for key terms in this industry).

So, if you’re not a face-to-face kind of marketing person (eg, Chamber of Commerce meetings; cold calling), it’s ok. You don’t have to be.

Where you might have to get out of your comfort zone is talking with clients via phone. And even this shouldn’t worry you because this also rarely happens.

I’ve spoken with less than a dozen clients in six years (really!). And even when you do have to speak with clients, it’s usually only a couple of times in the beginning of the writing relationship. After that, if they’re pleased with your work, they usually just place an order and leave you to get it done.

The 5 Hardest Things about Being a Professional SEO Writer (IMO)

Now, I don’t want to make it seem like SEO writing is all rosy and easy. It’s not.

(i) You have to continually market (this is true with any business by the way);

(ii) You may have to do some collections sometimes. FYI, I’ve never had an SEO writing client NOT pay, but it could happen – so be prepared;

(iii) Writing is not easy – not the technical part of it (that’s easy enough to learn); but, it can get hairy when you’re writing on topics you know (or care) little about. Hence, you have to do your research, then write, edit and proof the copy;

(iv) You can get busy and find yourself working for days or weeks on end non-stop. I had one freelancer email me recently saying “seems like clients are coming out of the wood works . . . think I just need a 2 month break or something to refresh my brain;” and finally . . .

(v) Alternatively you could have a dry spell (this happens to the best of us) and wonder if you made the right career move.

One Final Piece of Advice about Starting an SEO Writing Career While Working Fulltime

I don’t advise that anyone go out and quit their job right away — especially when you’re a single parent with no help. But, DO give yourself a target “quit date” and commit to a marketing schedule that will help you meet it.

The reason is, if you don’t set a “quit date,” you’re much more likely to find yourself quitting your freelance career than your job — because doing two things at one time is hard. There’s no doubt about this. But if you have a target date in mind, in my experience you’re much more likely to stick with freelancing.

Why I Wouldn’t Trade Being an SEO Writer for Anything!

In spite of the challenges mentioned above, I wouldn’t trade this career for anything.

It’s relatively easy and cheap to start; the work is plentiful (if you continually market for jobs – which is the hardest part for many freelancers); and you really can write your own “financial” ticket – if you’re willing to put in the work.

I hope this insight has given you enough info to make a decision, and wish you well however you decide to proceed.

Any advice you can share with this single mom? Please do so in the comments section below.

Yuwanda
P.S. The deadline for the SEO course in Jamaica is approaching soon!

Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life! Proof? See average salary of SEO writers in graphic just below.

P.P.S.: 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 © 2013: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the editor’s written consent (linking to is fine).

SEO Writing Identified as Hot Tech Job for 2013; Details for Your Spot in the SEO Class in Jamaica

Yesterday, I read an article about hot tech jobs for this year. And guess what, SEO writing is one of them, along with social media, another service freelance / SEO writers can easily add to their list of service offerings.

Salary for SEO Content Writers

One of the most interesting parts of the article, which was a salary guide done by Robert Half (one of the largest staffing agencies in the world), revealed that salaries in the SEO / Social Media sector were very good. How good?

Salary Projections for SEO Writers: Web content (SEO) writers with five or more years experience can expect a salary range of between $60,500 and $90,750, while those with less than five years experience should receive something in the range of $45,250 and $66,250.

Salary Projections for Social Media Specialists: SEO/SEM specialists in the U.S. with three or more years of experience can anticipate average starting salaries ranging from $67,750 to $91,000, while those with one to three years experience can expect to receive somewhere in the range of $48,250 to $64,000.

Learn more about why SEO content writing is such an in-demand, well-paying niche, and to read the full article on hot tech jobs – and their salary projections – for 2013.

More Details: SEO Writing Course in Jamaica

This morning – as I was putting this newsletter together coincidentally enough – I received the following email from an interested participant. She wrote:

I am looking at taking the course in Jamaica but I have a question regarding flying in and how I would get to the hotel? I am assuming that I would fly into Montego Bay? Any information that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

The brings me to a few questions I wanted to answer, as the deadline for registering is drawing close:

Deadline to Register: This has been changed to March 1st (from Feb 18th). The reason is, I had one person who said they were waiting on their income tax refund to come in, and they weren’t sure if they’d have it by February 18th. I extended the deadline for her, so to be fair to all, I decided to extend it for everyone.

Airport to Fly Into: You’ll be flying into Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, which is about an hour and 15 minutes from Negril.

Getting to Negril from Montego Bay: From the airport, you’ll take the JUTA to Negril.

How to Get to Negril from the Montego Bay Airport Cheaply (This Knowledge Alone Can Save You $75+!)

As previously mentioned, Negril is about an hour to an hour and 15 minute drive from Montego Bay.

DON’T take a taxi. They will charge you anywhere from $60 to $100 or more to get to Negril. But, you can do it cheaper. It’s a “secret” I’m surprised more tourists don’t know about. The JUTA is a bus that picks up people staying in popular hotels in Negril from the Montego Bay airport. You’ll pay $18 EACH WAY as of this writing.

The JUTA bus will drop you off and pick you up right in front of your hotel.

You pay on the bus, usually right before you’re let off, or when you get to the JUTA office in Negril. You can pay in American or Jamaican dollars. I always advise Jamaican.

FYI, there’ll be more info on currency exchange – and a whole bunch of other stuff – in the “Negril Travel Guide” all course participants will receive at the beginning/middle of March.

Now, back to making your JUTA reservation . . .

Book this BEFORE you leave home (2-3 days in advance). And, PRINT OUT a copy of the reservation so you can show it to the agent at the airport. They will ask you for it; it’s confirmation of your reservation, so have it. Without this print out, you may wind up paying $80 or more; so don’t forget to have a printed copy.

There’s a JUTA desk inside the airport. So after you get through immigration, just head to this desk. The airport is small, so don’t worry about finding it. You can’t miss it. There are a lot of “chapters” of JUTA, so be sure to book to and from Montego Bay to NEGRIL (not Kingston or any other location). And, get confirmation.

Learn all about JUTA transport at http://www.jutatoursnegrilltd.com/.

When to Book Your Flight to Jamaica: I usually book mine 30 to 60 days out. See the “Your Airfare to Negril” section to learn why.

Passport Needed: If you’re a U.S. citizen, you need a passport to enter Jamaica (I don’t think that’s true for English citizens, as Jamaica was a British colony until its independence some 50 years ago). At any rate, check with your country’s INS (or similar) department, to find out what you need.

If you have any more questions, send them in and I’ll post updates on the Learn SEO in Jamaica page. For now though, this should be about everything you need to start making your travel plans.

Jamaica – Here I Come!

I hope you’re as excited as I am. I miss running on the beach – and can’t wait to get back to some warm temps. I absolutely adore winter; the colder the better. But, it has never fully come to Atlanta this season. We’ll have a few days of cold/cool temps, then it’ll be back up into the 50s, 60s and even 70s. Instead of wishy washy weather like this, I’d just rather be having some fun in the sun!

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

Yuwanda
P.S. Remember, the deadline is approaching soon!

 Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life! Proof? See average salary of SEO writers in graphic just below.

P.P.S.: 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 © 2013: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the editor’s written consent (linking to is fine).

SEO and Social Media Specialists Identified as Hot Tech Jobs for 2013

One of the most common questions I get asked about SEO writing is, “Is it STILL a viable career opportunity?” My answer is always, “Yes. I think it’s one of the best opportunities in freelance writing to come along in a long time.”

But, now you dont’ have to take just my word for it. I like to back up what I say with facts. To this end, Robert Half, one of the largest recruiting firms in the world, just came out with a study that underscores that basically “all things SEO and social media” is hot in the tech sector.

Proof?

SEO Writing Is Hot!

Recruitment firms Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group have released 2013 Salary Guides this month that identify SEO/SEM specialists and social media specialists as two of the hottest technology jobs for 2013.

The report profiled six positions; following are two.

Web content (SEO) writer – Writes clear and compelling online content that is optimized for the Web, including articles, product descriptions, promotional copy, e-newsletters and blogs. Edits and re-purposes existing print copy for the Web, and plans and crafts e-mail marketing campaigns. Requires strong writing and editing skills, as well as experience with markup languages and search engine optimization.

Web content writers with five or more years experience can expect a salary range of between $60,500 and $90,750, while those with less than five years experience should receive something in the range of $45,250 and $66,250. (emphasis added)

Social media specialist – Responsible for defining and executing a specific social media strategy, as well as cultivating and managing branded online communities on the company’s behalf. Excellent writing and editing skills for multiple media channels are required, as is a strong customer service mindset. Social media specialists in the U.S. can expect average starting salaries ranging from $51,250 to $70,500.

Source: SiteProNews.com, SEO and Social Media Specialists Identified as Hot Tech Jobs for 2013.

The Value of Learning New Skills — It’s about Your Future

I’m always saying that “Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life.” I just want to expound upon this a bit.

Learning SEO: What My Career Path Taught Me about Opportunity

I started my career in publishing in New York City in 1987 working at a legal publishing firm (Matthew Bender). I didn’t know it then, but it planted the seeds for my success as an SEO writing company owner/manager today. How?

Well, because that’s where I first learned the technical side of publishing, specifically how to code text. Back then, we worked in WANG. Yeah, I’ve been around a lonnnng time. I remember when the legal editors I worked for turned in copy to me on yellow legal pads (really!) and I had to key it in before formatting (coding) it.

Eventually, we upgraded, moving to SGML, which is similar to the HTML coding so popular today.

If I’d never learned how to microcode at that legal publishing firm, I never would have had the foundational skills to catch on so quickly to things like SGML, HTML and learning the ins and outs of search engine optimization (SEO). I am far — very far! — from a technical person. In fact, I can’t stand tech speak and programming and coding and all that stuff.

BUT . . . 

I know enough to build simple websites; figure out how to upload ebooks to places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble; create my own graphics in things like Paint; figure out newsletter platforms like Aweber; etc.

All of this is critical to my career as a freelance writer, self-publisher and internet marketer now.

BECAUSE I learned some basics years ago, it’s easy for me grasp basic technical concepts that allow me to do a whole range of things. And this has laid the foundation for a whole new career. See how what I learned back in the late 80s is so critical to where I am now?

And not for nothing, we live in a technical world these days. Learning how to use technology is no longer a choice if you want to be competitive in the marketplace. If you learn SEO, you’ll be lightyears ahead of the competition. Heck, if you know how to upload a video to YouTube, you’re already lightyears ahead of the competition!

Why There’s a Lot of Money to be Made as an SEO Writer / Social Media Consultant

I still can’t believe that there’s so much money to be made — with so little training — in things like SEO writing and social media management. And why is that?

Because there are tons of people out there who either don’t have the time, or don’t have the inclination, to learn this stuff. And most of it is not complicated, especially if you’re learning it from someone like me (who again is NOT a technically inclined person).

Rather than “deal with this stuff” (ie, learning how to write SEO content or interact on Facebook), many will pay someone to do it for them. And that spells opportunity for you . . . if you’re willing to get going.

Here’s hoping you are, and that I’ll see you in Jamaica in a few months in the SEO writing course.

Yuwanda
P.S. Learn how to become an SEO content writer: Register for the SEO copywriter course.

Registration deadline approaching soon! Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life! Proof? See average salary of SEO writers in graphic just below.

P.P.S.: 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 © 2013: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the editor’s written consent (linking to is fine).

An SEO Writer Asks, “Is it best to target small local businesses directly when it comes to SEO writing?”

Recently, I received the following question from a relatively new SEO writer via New Media Words’, my SEO writing company, Facebook page. She wrote:

Hey Yuwanda 🙂

I read a blog post from SEOMoz recently about how small businesses with small advertising budgets are being largely un-targeted by search marketing firms. It made me think, is it best to target small local businesses directly when it comes to SEO writing? Or would it be best not to if I ONLY offer SEO writing for the time being? 

MY RESPONSE: Insight into How to “Correctly” Target Local Small Businesses with Your SEO Writing Services 

Hmmm, good question . . .  I never rule out the possibility of obtaining a client, so I’d say yes, contact them. But, I would:

(i) Niche it (ie, target tightly defined niches);

(ii) Keep pricing in mind; and

(iii) Offer “budget friendly” SEO writing packages. The reason is, small businesses — especially those new to the whole SEO game, tend to go more for “all in one packages.”

So, you might, for example, offer a month’s worth of blog posts and SEO articles, or an SEO article / social media account set-up/management package, etc.

In short, put yourself in the mindset of a small biz owner, then tailor your offerings as much as you can to what they need. FYI, one of the best ways to do this is to approach them first with questions, eg, ask “What are your pain points — is it finding time to create content, not knowing how to create content, not know enough about SEO, etc.?”

This way, you get a conversation going — then you can tailor your offerings from there.

Hope this helps.

Share Your “Small Business” SEO Writing Experience

Have you approached local small businesses as an SEO writer? If so, how did it go? What did you say? If not, why not? Please share in the comments box below, or on our Facebook page.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Yuwanda
P.S. Want hands-on SEO training? Register for the SEO copywriter training class.

A nominal deposit reserves your spot. Registration deadline approaching soon! Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life! Proof? See average salary of SEO writers in graphic just below.

P.P.S.: 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 © 2013: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the editor’s written consent (linking to is fine).

SEO Content Writing: What’s the Difference between a $5 Per Article Writer and an $85 Per Article Writer?

One of the most common questions I get from SEO writers (especially newbies) is what to charge? (FYI, there are some links to numerous posts on this as the end of this post).

Part of this question entails the title of this post, eg, what’s the difference between a “cheap SEO article writer” and one who charges more, eg, $35, $50, etc.

A big part of it is confidence and not feeling “good enough” to charge your worth. There are several other parts of the “what to charge equation though,” four of which I discuss in my latest post on e-Junkie, a blog I contribute to on a monthly basis. Following is an excerpt.

When I first started out, it was very common to see SEO writing job ads like:

$1 for 500 words (must be perfect English); or

$3 for 400 words on weddings (some research is required); or

$10 for 800 words on intellectual property;

Etc.

FYI, the last listing was a “good paying” writing gig – woohoo – a whopping $10 for legal copy!

Gigs like these were one reason many freelancers were put off by the whole idea of writing SEO content. But, I dove in headfirst. Why? Because I knew there was a need (more on this below).

I charged $25 for 500-word SEO articles when I first started out in 2007. This brings me to the title of this article, which is . . .

Read the rest of this post.

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Get the Freelance SEO Content Writing Package: It Contains Everything a Newbie Needs to Get Started — Immediately
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What Do You Think Is the Difference between Cheap SEO Article Writers and Those Who Charge More?

So enjoy — and feel free to share your thoughts. I’d love to know what YOU think is the difference between cheap SEO article wriers and those who charge — and get — more. What have been some of your success / hurdles in this area?

Yuwanda
P.S. Want hands-on SEO training? Register for the SEO copywriter training class.

A nominal deposit reserves your spot. Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life! Proof? See average salary of SEO writers in graphic just below.

P.P.S.: 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 © 2013: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the editor’s written consent (linking to is fine).

SEO Writers: How Many Articles Can You Realistically Expect to Write in One Day? Why It’s Important to Know

Note: This article was updated on 7/29/2016.

When you first start out as a freelance / SEO writer, you’re probably going to be doing all the writing yourself. And, this could be the case for as long as you freelance. One of the great things about being a freelance (SEO) writer is that you get to decide how big or small you want to be. I freelanced for years as a solo operator before outsourcing work to others.

When I started writing search engine optimized content in 2007 is when I started to outsource on a regular basis. Just in case you’re a new reader and don’t know my story — when I first started out as an SEO copywriter, I charged $25 per article. Content consisted mostly of blog posts and web articles in the 350-500 word range.

I got so busy that within a couple of months that I had to hire other writers to help me meet client deadlines. That was the birth of New Media Words, my SEO writing company.

These days, my rates are higher, of course. And clients order much longer content. A “regular” article these days is in the 600 to 750-word range. And longer (eg, skyscraper content) can run from a low of 1,000 words on up to 3,000 or 5,000 words or more.

How Your Freelance SEO Writing Rates Affects What You Earn

The idea for this post came to me as I was writing an article for my article directory on how to set your SEO content writing rates to earn $50,000 to $75,000 per year. Your salary as a freelance writer (particularly an article writer) is directly proportionate to how much you can produce on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.

The Most Number of SEO Articles I’ve Ever Written in One Day

The most number of articles I’ve written in one day is either 18 or 22 (I’m pretty sure it’s 18). The reason I can’t remember is because I had an order from a client for 40 articles. I know I had one day where I was stuck doing almost half of them because the client wanted them back as quickly as possible and I got behind, so I had to work overtime to meet the deadline.

This happened early on in my article writing career (early 2008). The order was my first SEO writing client; an internet marketing firm out of Canada. They used to send me tons of work.

Anyway, soon after this is when I stated outsourcing on a regular basis.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that writing that many articles in one day almost killed me, which brings me to my answer to the question I posed in the title of this post.

In my opinion – and experience – due to the very real “burnout factor,” it’s unrealistic to expect to be able to write more than 10 4-5 articles per day. And this is with a few caveats, namely . . .

Types of SEO Articles That Are Easy to Write Quickly

That you are a reasonably fast typer (I type roughly 85 to 90 words per minute (wpm)); as a web writer, you should at least be able to type 50-60 wpm in order to comfortably produce in bulk);

That content is in the 300-400 400-600 word range;

That it’s on subjects you are intimately familiar with and/or can research quickly; and

That it targets no more than two or three keyword phrases with what has become an industry-standard 1-2% keyword density. Note: Nobody mentions keyword density anymore. It’s understood that keyword stuffing is a no-no.

Even if all of the above is true, it’s still going to be a long day – especially if you’re the one who has to edit/proof the material (and you must before you pass it along to the client). This means giving yourself a break between the writing and editing/proofreading so you can approach this stage with somewhat of a “fresh eye.”

FYI, I don’t recommend writing and editing/proofing on the same day . . . UNLESS you have at least an hour between the two stages where you do something else. Otherwise, you can practically guarantee that you will make editorial mistakes.

Related Post: Tips on How to Write SEO Articles Quickly

The Number of SEO Articles I Write on a Daily Basis

I’m a fast reader, writer, researcher and typist, but I don’t like to write more than 5 3 articles on any given day. Thankfully, my SEO content writing business has progressed to the point where I don’t do a whole lot of the writing these days for clients. I spend the bulk of my time producing and updating Inkwell Editorial ebooks, writing newsletters, writing fiction, etc.

But, as I relayed in yesterday’s post on InkwellEditorial.com (which discussed how to stop taking on low-paying SEO writing gigs), I learned a lot in the beginning stages of my career as a search engine optimization writer. So it’s nice to know that if and when I have to produce a lot of content – quickly —  I can.

How Many SEO Articles Have You Written in One Day?

Less than 5? More than 5? How many do you think you could do if you absolutely had to? Please share in the comments section below.

Yuwanda
P.S. Learn how to start a high-earning career ($50,000 to $75,000/Year) as an SEO writer?

Register for the SEO copywriter training class. A nominal deposit reserves your spot. Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life! Proof? See average salary of SEO writers in graphic just below.

P.P.S.: 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 © 2013: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the editor’s written consent (linking to is fine).

Freelance Writing Job: $20-$40 Per Page

Editor Note: The following is not an SEO job,  just writing.  

Requirements: We are seeking a local writer (Los Angeles, CA) to create pages for our healthcare clients in Orange County (OC). The writer should be very familiar with different cities in the OC and tie this in with any healthcare needs for this location.  This could turn into a long-term contract.

How to Apply: Please send writing samples (preferably healthcare) to cvos@yahoo.com.

Rate: The salary range is $20-$40 per page, depending on knowledge and quality.

Note: Please do not contact us (SeoWritingJobs.com) about job listings as we have no additional info over and beyond what’s listed here. Apply directly to the company via the info provided in the ad.

Things to Keep in Mind When Applying for Freelance Writing Jobs Online

Note: Most clients you do business with are ethical. I’ve been “stiffed” in my freelance writing career exactly one time — and it was by a lawyer — years and years ago (I’ve been freelancing since 1993). So just know that going in. But, as content marketing grows, so will unethical operators. The following posts give some insight into how to protect yourself as a freelance / online writer.

How to Protect Your Writing Samples & Guidelines on What Exactly Are the Responsibilities of an SEO Writer

What to Do When a Client Doesn’t Pay

POST SEO WRITING JOB ADS FREE

We post SEO writing jobs (and social media jobs, internet marketing jobs and all types of freelance writing jobs) free. Simply send your ad to info[at]SeoWritingJobs.com (Put “SEO Job Listing” in the Subject line). We will list it here, and in our weekly Seo Writing Jobs newsletter, which usually comes out on Wednesday.

Yuwanda
P.S. Learn how to start a high-earning career ($50,000 to $75,000/Year) as an SEO writer?

Register for the SEO copywriter training class. A nominal deposit reserves your spot. Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life! Proof? See average salary of SEO writers in graphic just below.

P.P.S.: 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 © 2013: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the editor’s written consent (linking to is fine).

What’s New in SEO Content Writing in 2013: 12 Things SEO Writers Need to Know

SEO content writing is a mercurial profession. It’s one of the things that make this form of technical writing so much fun on the one hand – and challenging on the other.

It’s why I constantly remind freelancers who provide this type of content that they must, must, must stay abreast of what’s going on with search giants like Google, so that they can provide the most effective copy to their clients. To this end, I’ve been perusing the web for the last few weeks in preparation for this post.

Emerging Trends in SEO Content Writing in 2013: 12 Things SEO Writers Need to Know

Following is what’s important in SEO writing this year. Some of these observations are from things I read on the web; others stem from the questions I receive from SEO writers via this blog on a regular basis. Note: This post reflects my opinions only.

I. Content Curation Is Becoming Increasingly Important

While it’s not something you as a freelance SEO writer will likely be responsible for in your day-to-day writing for clients, it’s important to know because it provides a prime opportunity to increase your value to clients.

How? Quite simply by expanding your service offerings.

For example, you could offer to do monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual reports to clients that pull together “industry news” for them to distribute to their clients. Writing special reports can bring in a good chunk of change, and they’re usually not that difficult to produce, as I relay in the link here.

What Is Content Curation?

Following is one of the best explanations I’ve read that explains what content curation is. When you think about it, it’s something almost all of us do on a daily basis to a limited degree, eg, when we go through our Twitter stream to find relevant info to tweet:

Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. The work involves sifting, sorting, arranging, and publishing information. A content curator . . . continually seeks, makes sense of, and shares the best and most relevant content on a particular topic online. [Source: BethKanter.org]

II. SEO Writers Must Learn How to Produce Themed Content

The last couple of years, search engines have moved away from rewarding keyword stuffed content to ranking themed SEO content higher. In varying degrees, it’s what Google’s Panda and Penguin updates were all about.

Noted SEO expert Jill Whalen explains why just focusing on keywords can actually hurt a client’s website, writing:

When you do SEO with the goal of optimizing for specific keywords that you want to rank for (as we’ve always done), it can end up hurting you now.

What happens is that you focus too much on those specific words and end up putting them in too many places on your pages and within the website as a whole. But now this is not as helpful to search engines as it used to be. In most cases this will actually lower your rankings and traffic for those specific keyword phrases. Instead [you should] use much more of a variety of words within your content. [Source: HighRankings.com]

III. Learn How to Do Keyword Research

Many SEO writers don’t know how to do effective keyword research. But, it’s a skill that must be developed in order to, for example, write themed SEO content. So . . .

For you visualists, here’s a really good infographic on how to conduct keyword research.

Here’s a link to a 67-page pdf file on how to conduct keyword research. It’s free – and will tell you everything you need to know –once and for all – about how to effectively do this.

IV. Limited Exposure for Organic Search: What It Means for SEO Writers

One thing Google has been lambasted for recently is that it’s featuring its “money making” (ie, paid ads) in search results. There’s even a national commercial by Bing (MSN) accusing the search giant of being a “Scroogle.”

What this means, in effect, is that SEO content providers have to become as knowledgeable about distributing content as they are about creating it. This includes knowing how to drive traffic via social media; knowing about the latest recommended meta tags (eg, the author tag); and how to make a site more clickable by writing rich snippets (more on this below).

SEO Content Writers Should Learn How to Correct Write Rich Snippets

This is a seemingly small — but increasingly important — variable that can drive more traffic to a site.

What are Rich Snippets?

As explained on one of Google’s support pages . . .

Snippets are the few lines of text that appear under every search result and are designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query.

For example, the snippet for a restaurant might show the average review and price range; the snippet for a recipe page might show the total preparation time, a photo, and the recipe’s review rating; and the snippet for a music album could list songs along with a link to play each song. These rich snippets help users recognize when your site is relevant to their search, and may result in more clicks to your pages.

In the link, Google explains the three-step process to correctly writing rich snippets.

V. Repurposing Content becoming More Important

This kind of piggybacks on the point I made about distributing content. The article, 7 content marketing trends to watch for 2013, explains why repurposing will become much more important this year, stating:

. . . next year [2013] we will see an increasing number of sites with multiple versions of the same content tailored to specific audiences.

The reason for this trend is that communication professionals strive to hit just the right tone to ensure content resonates with different segments of their target audiences. For example, Emory University’s news center has two versions of each story—one for the public and one for the press.

In short, a client can get much more mileage out of one piece of content – but many of them won’t realize it unless you, as their SEO content provider, make them aware of it.

Learn more about how to repurpose content (pdf file).

VI. Create More In-Depth Content

One of the reasons is, it gets rid of a lot of those spammy, made-for-AdSense sites. Spam operators aren’t going to take time to create a 700, 1,000 or 1,500-word post. They’re most likely to pay freelancers a few bucks to create keyword-stuffed 200 or 300-word posts. FYI, this is where a lot of those cheap article writing gigs come from.

Now that you understand the rationale behind longer articles/web content, you may be thinking . . .

Just how long should a post be to rank well in Google?

Well now this is where some debate comes in. Just know, there’s no set word length, but in my opinion, a good ballpark number is 400-600 words. How did I come up with this?

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I’m a big believer in article marketing. I remember a few years ago when many article directories stopped accepting articles that weren’t at least 400 words (before they only had to be 250 words). Some article directories even made their minimum word count at least 500 words.

This signaled to me that search engines wanted – and rewarded – more in-depth content. Also, it gives search engines more food to feed on to [correctly] figure out what your site/content is all about. And, if you’re writing themed content, this is really important.

When You Can Get Away with Shorter Content

If you have a really popular blog/website that gets lots of comments or other types of “community reaction” (eg, retweets, shares, likes), you can get away with posting short content (Google confirms this). Why?

Because, in my opinion, it sparks a conversation and inspires action by readers.

You see, Google likes unique, informative content. And if you write a unique short post that gets a lot of comments and social media reaction, then that means backlinks (usually the high-quality kind). This signals to Google that this is a conversation worth passing along to readers, hence, it’s likely to rank well in relevant search results.

VII. Link Building in 2013

The biggest impact on link building in the last few years is social media. The post, Link Building 2013 – It Is All About Quality, on InfaWeb.com, explains why/how, stating:

One of the biggest changes over recent years is the introduction of social media. This includes things like; Google plus one, Facebook, Twitter, U-Tube [sic] etc. This has changed things with link building in 2013 as the search engines take social activity and use to this help with search engine rankings.

As an SEO writer, it’s important to know about link building because you need to become more aware of how to write content that gets linked to, ie, linkable copy. Here’s a great post that gives 32 ideas on how to write content that gets linked to.

Employing just a few of these ideas into the SEO content you write for clients can give them great returns and means more work – and referrals – for you!

VIII. Stay Abreast of Search Engine Algorithm Changes – and How They May Affect Your Clients

Many SEO writers were caught by surprise by Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. So when their clients started calling wondering what was going on with their rankings and should they order more content, or not, they were at a loss as to what to say.

An example? One SEO writer emailed me after Google’s Penguin update last year. He wrote:

I wanted to ask you a quick question . . . have you heard from any distressed clients about the recent Google “penguin” update last week? I have.

In fact, my best client (who accounts for over 60% of my work) is panicked because he lost many of his local rankings for his clients. . . . he doesn’t know what to do, that there is no rhyme or reason to what Google is doing. He . . . put a hold on some regular monthly work I do for him (articles + mass distribution) until the dust settles and they figure out what they have to do to get rankings again.

. . . I’m concerned long-term for SEO companies in general. I have a feeling many of them have been affected by this. And since these are the companies we solicit to build our clientele, I’m wondering how this might affect us down the line. Any thoughts you might have on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Read the post to see how I responded to him. The bottom line is, you should always stay abreast of what search engines, particularly Google, is doing. And, you can do that by bookmarking their webmaster blog. Another way is to keep up with Matt Cutts, Google’s SEO guru, blog.

Related Post: Keep Google’s SEO writing guidelines in mind when creating content.

IX. Know What a Content Strategy Is – and Relay That to Clients

In my opinion, content marketing will take center stage this year. There have been rumblings of it over the last few years, but now it is THE shining star of the SEO world (again, this is just my opinion). Why do I think this?

Because search engines are all about returning relevant, FRESH results. Hence, not only does content need to be in-depth and informative, it must also be up to date. The article, How to Do SEO in 2013, explains why, stating:

Due to Google’s increased emphasis on ‘fresh’ results, old practices like benchmarking rankings need to change. . . . If you’re sitting on 10 year old content and strategies from 10 years ago and just riding your coat tails and hoping everything will stay ok. It won’t. Even if the algo[rithm] doesn’t change – 80% changes every day in the SERPs.

In the post, Why Content Marketing is the New SEO, SEO specialist Neil Patel expounds upon why creating content (content marketing) regularly is important, stating:

Make sure you publish content on a regular basis. . . . if you can’t publish content on a regular basis, no matter how good your content is, it will be tough to get a good ROI out of your content marketing.

One way for an online retailer to seamlessly create content on a regular basis is to create – and follow – a content strategy (FYI, this is a service SEO content writers can provide to clients). This helps you as a writer to give a client’s content more consistency, which helps to build a more active community of followers. This is discussed in detail in the HuffingtonPost article, The New Era of SEO: Content Strategy, which states:

A content strategist thinks about producing valuable content and distributing it across various channels; the rest of the equation completes itself. In addition to building a brand reputation and recognition through social channels, great content also builds links, relationships, and lasting value.

X. The Emergence of Infographics and Other Mixed Media

Another thing search engines like to do is return mixed media results. For example, I went to Google and typed in the keyword phrase “how to make money selling ebooks” (without quotes). Most of the results returned on the first page are web pages, but the last one is a video on YouTube.

This is what’s known as mixed media and it can be videos, infographics, slideshows, etc. As human beings, some of us are more visual than others, so search engines like to return results in various different types of media. And not for nothing, things like infographics (pictures) work great as linkbait. I mean, just look at the exploding popularity of the social media picture-sharing site Pinterest.

So if you have some artistic skill as an SEO writer, you can provide these services – or provide them and outsource them.

FYI, a great place to find affordable talent for some of these types of jobs is Fiverr.com. I’ve hired a few people from here over the last couple of years. Sometimes it’s been hit and miss, as in, I’ll place an order and nobody gets back to me. But, other times it’s worked out beautifully.

XI. Social Media

It’s impossible to talk about SEO and content creation these days without talking about social media. The two go hand in hand and as we discussed earlier in this post, you must become knowledgeable about it – so you can write content that gets shared via these outlets.

This helps you to help clients quantify how effective your content is for them (eg, by seeing how many times an article was retweeted on Twitter, liked on Facebook, or shared in a LinkedIn group.

FYI, social media is one of the easiest services to sell your SEO writing clients because most want someone to just “handle it” for them.

XII. Knowing What NOT to Worry About

There’s so much that goes on in SEO day in and day out that it can be hard to know what you should pay attention to and what you shouldn’t as an SEO writer.

SEO Sources That Keep You in the Know

By regularly reading highly regarded search engine trade journals, you can easily stay up on what’s important and what’s not. Following are the main ones that keep me in the know:

SearchEngineJournal.com

SeoBook.com

SocialMediaExaminer.com

SearchEngineWatch.com

Google Webmaster Blog; and

Matt Cutts Blog.

Conclusion: SEO Writing in 2013

As you can see, there’s a lot to stay abreast of as an SEO writer in 2013. Some of these observations impact how you write for clients, others impact how you market to clients, and yet others impact your knowledge of the industry.

What they all have in common, however, is that they present a chance for you to build your reputation as an SEO writer. And make no mistake, SEO copywriters (and other search specialists) are some of the most in-demand professionals around these days. Proof?

Marketers [now] get SEO. That is, there is a maturation of the industry that is occurring as the value of natural search as a channel is being recognized and Marketers demand both tools that help them get the most from it, and employees that understand it. . . . [Hence] Job listings with ‘SEO’ in it have increased on job site Indeed.com by 1900% since 2006. . . [Source: Conductor.com]

So the demand is there, but competent SEO professionals are not that easy to find, which means those that are well trained will be in high demand. Proof?

In the comments section of this post, one freelancer relayed how in less than a year, she went from starting an SEO writing business, to being offered the opportunity to interview for a job by a mid-sized firm in her area as an SEO campaign specialist. She [Donna] wrote:

I built my first professional website, and launched a legitimate SEO copy writing business in January 2012. I marketed as you suggested, and by April had a full time client load. I went from just writing articles to learning how to optimize an entire website by October 2012. I learned how to write not only quick 400-500 word articles but in-depth, highly-researched, longer themed content in the alternative and medical fields.

I [also] learned how to write sales copy – much harder for me to do, but my client is impressed with the conversions. I got put on staff at one business and became a feature writer at another. I learned a number of internet marketing strategies in November 2012.

The cream is that at the beginning of December 2012 I was invited to interview as a SEO campaign specialist for a local mid-sized company. The hiring decision should be made before the end of the year. Even if I do not get the job, the experience has shot my confidence through the roof. I plan to completely rebrand myself and my company since businesses recognize and value my skill sets.

From $25 Per SEO Article to $85+ Per SEO Article

When I first started out as an SEO writer in 2007, I charged $25 per article. Nowadays, my SEO writing company’s cheapest content package is $340 for 4 articles ($85 per article). And, very few clients even haggle over the rate. All they want to know is how soon we can start producing content for them.

This is because, as the quote in the article on Conductor.com states, “Marketers [now] get SEO.” So you don’t have to sell them on the service; it’s just a matter of if they can afford YOU. And if you invest in yourself as an SEO writer – by staying abreast of what’s going on in the industry – you’ll be able to practically write your own ticket as an SEO professional as well.

What’s Important to You as an SEO Writer in 2013?

Did I miss anything? What do you think it’s important to know as an SEO content writer in 2013? Please share in the comments section below.

Yuwanda
P.S.: Join me in Jamaica in April and learn how to start a high-earning career as an SEO writer.

Register for the SEO copywriter training class. A nominal deposit reserves your spot. Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life! Proof? See average salary of SEO writers in graphic just below.

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