SEO Writing Advice from — and for — Other Freelancers: 5 Tips from Experienced Freelancers

I get tired of hearing my own voice on this blog, so for today’s post, I decided to dig through some of the comments to get advice from other SEO writers. Some of this great advice gets buried because it is in the comments section. So, I wanted to put some of it front and center.

Here goes . . . 

1. On the Importance of Following Up with Prospects on Possible SEO Writing Jobs

Nina over at NinaOnline wrote in the comments section of the post, New SEO Writer Has Start-Up “Troubles”: Some Helpful Advice

The fortune is in the follow-up! People are busy, I know because I am one of those busy people! You have to contact me like 3-4 times before I respond if your message is not on my priority list. I had a really important email about a problem I was trying to solve, and it took me 8 days to respond.

My Input

I second this – to the max. I sometimes have emails sitting in my inbox for two or three weeks before I get to them. As Nina said, I’m very busy, so if it’s not on my “must do” list, it waits. I try to eventually get to all questions, especially from readers of my blogs.

Another thing I wanted to point out is that sometimes when you follow up, you’ll land a job because most freelancers don’t follow up. So if your email, phone call, post card, etc., hits a prospect at the right time, you’ll be the ONLY one vying for the job – and they’ll go with you for that reason alone (if price, writing samples, etc. are ok with them, of course).

So follow up. As Nina so succinctly put it, “The fortune truly is in the follow up!

2. On Having the Courage to Raise Your SEO Writing Rates 

Paul over at Quality Copywriting Services wrote in the comments section of the post, Backlog of 400+ Writing Jobs – Need Your Help‏ (Here’s Proof that SEO Writing Rates Will Increase in 2013):

I do believe you hit the nail on the head about writing rates going up. As someone who has doubled rates over the past 2 years (I now charge $50 for a standard web page, more for themed), I can attest that raising rates is absolutely the best course of action.

One warning though — after one of my price increases, it did appear that my marketing results went way down, and they did at first. I guess I crossed some kind of price point that weeded out a large number of SEO companies.

I considered lowering rates a bit, but then decided to stick to the new prices. Eventually, the work came in, and the quality of the clientele is much better at these pricing levels.

I landed a large client at these higher price levels and I think a company like this might not have considered a $25 a page writer. 

Bottom line — raise your rates, and stick to them even if things seem slower at first. You won’t regret it.

My Input

Raising your SEO writing rates can be really scary. I remember when I went from $25 to $35, I lost some clients – mostly those who were used to getting a discount for bulk projects. Then, when I went from $35 to $45, I lost more.

But an interesting thing happened around this price point – I gained clients who didn’t even quibble about rate. It’s almost like they expected to be paying this much.

Now, my SEO writing company’s rates average about $85 per article – and I can’t remember the last time a client asked for a discount, which happened frequently when I was charging $25 per article.

I think you kind of move to a different tier of client when you charge more.  They’re more concerned about quality and you meeting deadlines than how much the copy costs because they’re already invested in the content marketing process and know that they have to pay for quality. Hence, what your SEO writing rates are is not the question at hand; it’s can you provide what they need – on time.

So don’t be afraid to raise your rates, but do know that you may lose some clients and it may take some time to land those higher-paying ones. 

3. Observation on Working for Content Mills, Burnout and Learning How to Charge

Donna wrote in the comments section of the post, Two SEO Writers Disagree on Rate & Content Production: Here’s Their Story — What Do You Think?:

I learned how to write 10 400-500 word articles a day by working for a well-known content mill. This company allows writers to select 10 titles per day and pay $15 per accepted article, via Pay Pal two times a week. I worked a full day doing this. $150/day, 6 days a week = $900/week = roughly $45K/year. In my area, college grads are being paid this straight out of school, so it looks like decent pay.

However, when factoring in self-employment taxes, which will go up to 39% soon, plus personal income taxes of roughly 20%, plus our business expenses for running our sites, etc., I have to charge a lot more than $15 per article in order to “feel” $45K . … I like your idea of a mid-range price of $25-$50 per short article to start with in order to guarantee a steady income stream.

My Input

I’ve written for content mills, eg, AssociatedContent.com, Hubpages.com, eHow.com, etc.

You definitely learn how to write faster and that’s always a good thing when you are paid by the piece. However, these days, clients are into “content marketing,” so it’s less about turning out quantity content on certain keyword phrases, and more about building a brand.

I stopped writing for content mills back in 2010 or 2011. I don’t even consider these types of writing jobs anymore.

If you go this route, use it to your advantage, ie, to get more comfortable as a writer, to build your writing portfolio and to learn how to do keyword research, etc. Then, once you get these skills under your belt, move on. Don’t stay stuck writing for these types of sites – not if you want to make a “real living” as an SEO writer.

This is just my opinion.

4. On Having the Balls to Say “No” to Taking on Certain Clients 

Tom wrote in the comments section of the post, Marketing for SEO Copywriting Jobs? Are You Making These Mistakes and Attracting the Wrong Type of Clients:

I . . .  second your point about declining problematic clients. My perspective is this: which clients do I want to accept into my practice? Just as a lawyer, doctor or accountant can decline taking on new clients, so too can writers.

My Input

Some clients are worth their weight in gold. That’s most of them, thankfully. But others can run you so deep into a bottle of Xanax or Prozac that you may never crawl out. They’re not worth any amount of money to work with.

It’s your business, so if you have a gut feeling about a client, run with that. After all, you didn’t go into business to be treated badly (being an entrepreneur in and of itself can be stressful enough). I’ve ignored my gut on a few occasions and lived to regret it.

I’ve been freelancing since 1993, and have an instinct about some prospects.  Hence, I don’t second guess it. I will decline (nicely of course) to take on clients that I feel uneasy about – even if I need the money. There’s nothing worse than working with a client who stresses you out.

Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. In the words of Nancy Reagan, “Just say no.”

5. On Should You Use Bidding Sites to Gain Experience as an SEO Writer

Suze wrote in the comments section of the post, Get SEO Writing Jobs: A Freelancer Asks, “Should I Use Bidding Sites (eg, Elance, Guru) to Gain Experience?”

I found the auction sites a pretty big waste of time, too. The closest I ever got was sites like Writers’ Access. You post content and then clients buy it. Or you post submissions for approval to jobs they post. I used those submissions to build my samples portfolio, so I didn’t consider it a waste of time or effort, even if they didn’t sell.

Oh, and just for the record, I don’t have a degree anywhere near associated with writing, or even business. I went to paramedic school – which helps with writing in the medical niche. My biggest client right now though is a real estate firm. SEO writing is pretty much like any other type of writing – you can either do it well or not. No one, not even Yuwanda, can teach you talent. Business, yes. Talent, not so much.

AND . . .

Nina over at NinaOnline once again chimed in, writing:

I avoid Elance and sites like that at all cost. However, I admit when I first got started writing, I used Elance and I gained some clients. But, the time getting those clients weren’t worth the effort. Instead of going on job boards, I found great success with speaking, and networking, and cold calling. In fact that same firms [sic] that I emailed never responded to the email, but they did respond to the cold calls.

My Input

If you’re a regular reader of my blogs and websites, you probably know that I’m not fond of bid-for-pay sites at all. But, others have had success with them. Hayden Jackson, a freelance writer, details how she’s earned up to $5,000 per month writing for Elance.

So don’t take anything off the table until you investigate it for yourself.

SEO Content Writing Advice for Freelancers: Conclusion

So there you have it – five pieces of specific advice from freelance SEO writers just like you who started, made mistakes, learned from them and kept going.

I hope you found their advice helpful, and feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.

Yuwanda
P.S. Hope you can join us for the SEO copywriting class in Jamaica. There’s still time!

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).

A New SEO Writer Asks 3 Questions on SEO Training, Marketing for SEO Writing Jobs & Getting Traffic to Her Site

It’s Friday evening around 7 and I’m just getting started on this newsletter, which is two-and-a-half days late. Sorry about that. This year has been crazy, just crazy so far! All good stuff, but I keep waiting for the “break” to come. So far, no let up in sight.

Freelance Writer Marketing Tip: Here’s an In-Demand Service Right Now

Just a heads up – if you’re not offering ebook writing and editing services as part of your SEO writing business, you’re missing out.

At my SEO writing company, just in the last 6 weeks, we’ve completed two and will start on another one on Monday (if the client forwards the deposit, which she’s promised). And, I’ve fielded queries from 4 more prospects – all within the last three weeks. So, ebook writing and editing jobs are getting more plentiful, as I talked about in the linked-to post. Go after’em!

Now, to the heart of today’s post . . .

Questions from a New Freelance SEO Content Writer

She wrote:

Hi Yuwanda,

Thank you for writing the SEO writing book. It has completely transformed my freelance writing business, and now I have hopes of earning much more than the mere $1,500 I make each month.

I am building a website around it, and I will purchase your more in-depth [SEO] training courses once I can start to make some money at this thing. [Her website URL was listed] I still need to add a video to the website, but it is getting there.

I do have three questions for you, and I hope that you will have the time to answer them.

Here are my questions . . .

1. After I make some money with this new way of doing business, what other SEO training course(s) would you recommend to improve my income? I am looking for digital training that will teach me how to offer even more value to my customers and raise my rates.

MY ANSWER

You can look at NewMediaWords.biz, to get an idea of all the services I think it’s important to offer. Then, ask yourself, “Which of these skills do I need more experience with?”

In my opinion, social media account management is one I see growing by leaps and bounds over the next few years. And heaven knows, if any more social media sites become popular, clients are going to need some help to stay on top.

In case you don’t know, the biggies right now are Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.

I remember when it was just Twitter. Then, Facebook exploded (knocking MySpace off the map). Then Pinterest rocketed. And, although Google+ is not as popular as the other social media sites (yet!), you simply can’t ignore it because Google builds some of their search algorithmic changes around it.

So if you’re not social media savvy, learn this skill. Then offer social media account management packages to clients. It’s a perfect complement to the content writing you already do.

2. I am using the marketing idea you talked about in the SEO writing ebook. I wrote the query letter exactly the way you suggested. I think I am probably just approaching the wrong people, as this is not going too well. Do you have other suggestions?

**************************
Note:
Why it pays to become an Inkwell Editorial ebook affiliate.
**************************

MY ANSWER

The first thing I want to say is, I always advise SEO writers to tailor the marketing letter I use in the ebook to their specific experience. That marketing letter is only a “template” to give you an idea of what to say to clients. Now, to more ideas on marketing for SEO writing jobs.

Note: See info in question below for the rest of this answer to make sense . . .

Target the niches you want to write in. For example, you say you like to write about writing, self-improvement, productivity, etc. So, for example, target writing communities if you want to “write about writing.” There are a gazillion writing websites, blogs, ezines, newsletters, forums, etc., dedicated to writers and writing.

For example, the self-publishing forum on Amazon is one good place to start. Although, you can’t outright market there, you can put a listing to your services in your signature.

Just be sure to offer helpful information when you participate in any forum, otherwise, you’ll be booted out before you can get a foothold in as many members hate those who come JUST to hawk their services.

A good way to find niches to target is to ask yourself, “Where are the people I want to write for?” What organizations do they belong to, where do they hang out online, who services them. For example, web design firms get all kinds of clients. So, targeting them can get you not only jobs in your niche, but writing jobs outside of your niche as well.

FYI, I discuss little-known tactics I’ve used to find freelance writing jobs over the years in this linked-to ebook. It’s really worth its weight in gold – and that comes from freelancers who’ve followed the advice I dispensed in it over the years.

3. I know that I should create a blog to develop some organic traffic, but I just can’t see myself writing SEO articles on a regular basis. Nor do I want to write about Internet marketing, or how to blog, or what Google will do next week, or marketing trends, etc.

I do this stuff anyway for my small group of clients that I acquired as a regular freelancer. I would rather write about writing techniques or productivity or something sexy like that. However, I don’t know if that would take me too far adrift from my main theme.

Do you have any suggestions? I love writing about writing, self-improvement, productivity, and things of that nature. Thank you so much for everything and I hope I will be a good student of yours.

Sincerely,
SR

MY ANSWER

See answer above in Question #2.

Also . . . create a blog or two about the niches you’re passionate about, and post content regularly to those. In addition, you may also want to start an article marketing campaign (as a regular reader, you know I’m an avid article marketer).

And, you should start a newsletter (something I need to do for my SEO writing firm, but I’m so busy that thank goodness, this hasn’t affected my business). This way, you get in the actual inbox of prospects on a regular basis.

This may seem like a lot of writing – and it is!

How Much Time Should You be Spending on Marketing for SEO Writing Jobs on Any Given Day

I spend probably 50-60% of my time marketing my products (ebooks) and services (writing for clients) in one form or another – on a daily basis. Yes, daily! Most of this is some form of writing, eg, articles, newsletters, blog posts, Facebook posts, etc.

These days, about a quarter of my time is spent on the actual writing of new ebooks, the other 10-25% is spent on client projects.

But writers write, no?

What Say You?

Any more advice you can give this newbie? Please share in the comments section below.

Hope this insight helps, and thanks for being such a loyal reader.

Yuwanda
P.S. There’s still space in the SEO copywriting class in Jamaica.

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).

New SEO Writer Has Start-Up “Troubles”: Some Helpful Advice

It seems about every six months or so, I‘ll get an email from a new SEO writer who’s discouraged – after only a few weeks. To be totally honest, these types of emails frustrate me because when you’re starting a business (and that’s what freelance writing is – a BUSINESS), if you’re discouraged after only a few weeks, you’re headed for big trouble as a freelancer.

In fact, I’ll say straight up – you’re not cut out to be a freelance writer (or any kind of business owner). I don’t say this to be harsh – truly I don’t. I’m a straight shooter – always have been — and say it to save you from frustration and unhappiness. Being self-employed is not for everyone, and the sooner you realize it, the better.

FYI, the reason I put the word trouble in quotation marks in the title of this post is because this isn’t trouble. Trouble is when clients don’t pay; you haven’t had a job for a month and the mortgage is due; when you owe freelancers and you’re waiting on the check from the client; etc.. These are some of the “real” troubles of freelancing.

With this being said, following is the email I received, then some advice and links to previous posts I’ve done that address this very question.

Question from a Brand New Content Writer

Hi Yuwanda! 

I hope all is well with you right now.

I purchased your SEO training ebook a couple of weeks ago (emphasis added). I’m very happy with all of the helpful info and it’s very well planned out.  However, in the marketing of my service, I’ve done all of the steps you advise on getting SEO clients…I’m not getting any responses! This is very discouraging as I absolutely believe that there are SEO clients out there…but I don’t seem to know how to find them.  

Any advice on where I should be looking. (I’ve targeted [she named a niche] and WANT to contact [she named another niche], but now I’m not sure).  Please help me with this. I appreciate your time.

My Advice

Following is the brief response I sent this freelancer; more in-depth advice follows:

It’s only been a couple of weeks; — that’s NO time. While it happens quickly for some, it takes longer for others. So, give it more time — and keep marketing.
 
Also, check InkwellEditorial.com — there’s tons of marketing info there, ie: http://inkwelleditorial.com/freelance-writers-how-to-get-freelance-writing-jobs-with-no-marketing-budget.

I should have also included this link about niche marketing in my response. Now, on to some more advice.

If you’re thinking about starting an SEO writing business, I just want to remind you that all many focus on is the success side of the equation. And it’s there to be had, for sure. BUT . . . there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into that “outfront” success.

And you have to be prepared to put that in – and be patient. If not, then maybe freelancing isn’t for you because it is an up-and-down existence.

However, if you’re doing the right things (eg, consistent marketing, good writing samples, competitive SEO writing rates, etc.), you WILL get work as an SEO writer. This I can practically guarantee.

Why am I so sure? Because there’s such a need right now.

A Success Story: One Freelance SEO Writer Replaces His Day Job Income in Less Than a Year

I hear from freelance web writers every day who are doing it, eg, this testimonial that I received on the first of this month, which read:

Hey Yuwanda,

I hope all is well! I just wanted to let you know that this month marked the first month that my writing income surpassed that of my day job (emphasis added). Thanks to your help and inspiration, I have more work than I know what to do with and have successfully landed a number of clients that give me recurring work. Thanks again for your advice!

I published this testimonial in the last post here. I looked up his payment info in Inkwell Editorial’s PayPal account and learned that he bought the SEO writing ebook last April. Less than a year later, he’s already earning more than at his day job.

Stories like this have been pouring in since I first wrote that ebook in 2008. So the work is there. More proof?

The Exploding Popularity of Content Marketing & What It Means for SEO (and Other) Freelance Writers

See this post about the exploding popularity of content marketing – and how eager businesses are to invest in it. This means more work for all kinds of writers, not just SEO writers!

Remember, while success comes quickly to some; it takes longer for others. But with the right (SEO copywriter) training and consistent marketing, you will get clients.

What McDonald’s, Nike and Coke Have in Common

Marketing is hard work; it’s the hardest part of owning any business because it’s ongoing – you can never stop. It’s why McDonald’s still buys TV ads; why Nike can be seen on everything from YouTube to Smartphones; and why the Coca-Cola bottle is known by everybody – from five-year olds to 95-year olds.

They market – all the darned time.

And so must you as an SEO writer; particularly a new SEO writer.

Related Posts: Freelance SEO Business Start-Up Questions Answered

Is SEO Copywriting the Right Career for You? Who Should NOT Pursue This Opportunity

A Freelance SEO Writer Asks about Getting SEO Writing Jobs Without a Website; Targeting Local Businesses and General Advice on Marketing

Get SEO Writing Jobs: A Freelancer Asks, “Should I Use Bidding Sites (eg, Elance, Guru) to Gain Experience?”

Yuwanda
P.S. Yep, there’s still space in the  SEO copywriting class in Jamaica.

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 Insight: Why Long-Tail Keyword Searches are Not as Effective in Google

In case you don’t know, here is what long-tail keywords are.

Google Longtail Keywords.

Infographic reprinted with permission of SEO Book.

Yuwanda
P.S. Yep, there’s still space in the  SEO writing class in Jamaica.

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).

Is the Need for SEO Copywriting Really Dying?

It seems that every time something new comes along that gets wildly popular, someone comes along and declares the death of it. This happens with everything from electronics to music. As the developer of an SEO writing course, I receive questions from time to time about this. A recent one went:

Hi Yuwanda,

Regarding SEO writing: Andy Maslen says SEO copywriting is dead. He proposes the replacement term HVO (human visitor optimistation) to replace it. In his article on this topic he makes a convincing case. Perhaps you might care to read it and see what you think.

The link is: http://www.copywritingacademy.co.uk/seo-copywriting-is-dead/

He has a similar article on: http://www.copywritingacademy.co.uk/lies-damn-lies-and-seo-copywriting/

I’d be interested in your comments.

Following is my take.

Why So Many Think SEO Content Writing Is Dead

The main reason – in my opinion – so many think SEO copywriting is dead or fast becoming so is that there’s so much bad content being turned out in the name of “SEO writing.”

What’s dead is keyword stuffed; general; barely there content (eg, 200 words with the keyword phrase repeated 8 times) that provides no value to web surfers and masquerades as search-engine optimized copy.

Mr. Maslen flat out states as much in the second linked-to article above, stating:

Keyword stuffing is dead. Keyword density is in disgrace. . . . [Your site] needs great copy that speaks directly to the reader about the things they care about. 

This brings us to why – in my opinion – SEO writing is alive and kicking – and will remain so.

Why SEO Writing Is Very Necessary 

Quite frankly, keywords – the foundation of SEO writing – is the way web surfers find stuff online. That’s a simple fact. Proof? Just recently, I was searching for a chrome grill guard for my Jeep. I went to one major auto parts retailer’s site and chuckled when the search box said, “Type in part desired by keyword.” 

Why did that tickle me? Because I remember when companies just had a search box. There was nothing mentioned about searching by “keyword.”

While customers may not know exactly what this means, they do know what to do when they get to that box, ie, type in some words (keywords) to find what you want on this site.

So even though some of us may pronounce tomato with a long “a” (ie, SEO copywriting) and some of us pronounce it with a short “a” (ie; human visitor optimistation (HVO)); we’re referring to the same thing.

In fact, Mr. Maslen underscores this point too. In the link to the first article, he writes:

If you know what they’re [web surfers] looking for you’re going to have to use the kind of specific language – the relevant language – that will turn them on and, more importantly, turn them from prospects into customers.

What’s he talking about here? Themed SEO content. 

SEO Copywriting IS Dead – Here’s What Took Its Place

Themed SEO content is the preferred workhorse now. As discussed in the post, What’s New in SEO Content Writing in 2013: 12 Things SEO Writers Need to Know:

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]

The Continuing Relevance of SEO Copywriting: Conclusion

I can’t speak for Mr. Maslen, of course. But I think we’re on the same page in that what many of us who are versed in SEO content writing want newbies to know is that this form of technical writing has evolved — as it should because search algorithms change all the time. Google has admitted that it makes over 500 changes a year to it’s search formula.

Another thing professional SEO copywriters want is for our clients to take care to hire freelancers who keep their skills current because as expert Jill Whalen noted, you can wind up hurting – rather than helping – a client’s rankings if you write search engine-optimized content like you did even just a year ago.

FYI, it’s one of the reasons I updated Inkwell Editorial’s SEO writing ebook; it reflects these industry changes.

Freelance SEO Writer Surpasses “Day Job” Income!

More proof of the need for experienced professional SEO writers?

My firm is busier than ever. And apparently, I’m not the only one. Last Friday, I received the following email from a fellow freelancer who does this type of writing. He wrote (all bold emphasis mine):

Hey Yuwanda,

I hope all is well! I just wanted to let you know that this month marked the first month that my writing income surpassed that of my day job. Thanks to your help and inspiration, I have more work than I know what to do with and have successfully landed a number of clients that give me recurring work. Thanks again for your advice!

FYI, this person bought Inkwell Editorial’s SEO writing ebook just last April. And not even a year later, he’s made this kind of progress. Businesses don’t pay for what’s NOT working.

So the next time you hear someone say “SEO copywriting is dead,” know that bad SEO writing is what they probably mean, ok? And remember — there’s plenty of work out there.

Why the 1997-2012 Dates on This Post’s Graphic?

I did some research and from what I could gather, the term SEO copywriting was coined sometime in 1997. It’s been attributed to everyone from Jill Whalen to Danny Sullivan to Heather Lloyd-Martin (who I believe proper attribution goes to). All are SEO experts in one form or another.

I think “old school” SEO content writing died for good (ie, stop getting rewarded by search engines to a large degree) in 2012. In 2011, Google’s Penguin and Panda Updates alerted us to this and warned us to, in essence, change the way we write for search by laying out some SEO writing guidelines. Hence, the 2012 “death of SEO copywriting” date.

Remember, these are just my opinions.

Got it?

Cool! 🙂

Yuwanda
P.S. Yep, there’s still space in the  SEO writing class in Jamaica.

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).

Content Marketing is Rocking These Days and More Businesses Are Investing in It — Here’s Proof

2013 seems to be the year of content marketing. Proof?

Businesses Interested in Content Marketing Doubles

When asked to name their “leading focus” in 2012, 18.9% of marketers cited content marketing, ranking it behind both email and social media, and tied with SEO. For the coming year, the number of marketers listing content marketing as their top priority nearly doubled, to 34.8%, making it the top focus for the highest percentage of respondents in 2013. [Source: January 2013 study of marketing decision-makers worldwide conducted by CopyPress, a software company specializing in content marketing tools, as reported on eMarketer.com.]

And, businessesa are investing in a variety of it, eg, articles and white papers. Needless to say, this means more work for freelance writers of all kinds, not just SEO writers.

Just something to chew on!

Yuwanda
P.S. There’s still space in the  SEO writing class in Jamaica.

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.

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SEO Courses: Considering Taking One? Read This Before You Decide

Written by Yuwanda Black

If you’re a regular reader of this blog (and its parent blog, InkwellEditorial.com), you know that I developed – and teach – an SEO writing ecourse. I wrote a post for e-Junkie.info, a site I blog for twice a month, on how to go about choosing the right SEO training course – if you’re considering taking one.

I wanted to add a little bit more to this piece because SEO training is growing by leaps and bounds. And whether you take my course or someone else’s, I want you to be well armed with some facts before you plunk down your hard-earned money.

SEO Training Courses: 3 “Additional” Things to Consider Before Enrolling in One

1. SEO Is Growing: Because the opportunities in search engine optimization are growing by leaps and bounds, more SEO courses are popping up. And when a field is red hot like this, you can bet that some classes are not all they’re cracked up to be.

As I said in the piece on e-Junkie, SEO courses are given by everyone — from universities, to internet marketing firms, to individual industry professionals. So realize this going in and do your due diligence before signing up.

Choose an SEO class given by someone/an organization that is actively involved in the search game. This is extremely important because the rules of search marketing change all the time. For example, did you know that Google does over 500 changes per year to its search algorithm? And these affect how you as an SEO writer do your job. Proof?

One of the things to come out of the Panda and Penguin updates are what I call Google’s SEO writing guidelines.

2. Price Does Not Equal Quality: I mentioned this in the post on e-Junkie, but wanted to explain why here.

SEO training is new – and again, it’s given by everyone from individuals to institutions. Also, SEO is a broad field so classes can be very similar, or wildly different.

For example, my SEO course covers what you need to know – as it relates to SEO content writing. While you do need to have a foundational grasp of “all things SEO” to understand how to write traffic-generating web copy, you don’t need to know as much as say, a web optimization specialist.

So when it comes to cost, just realize, just because an SEO class is more or less expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better or worse. Again, a lot of it will depend on the instructor and their experience; whether they’re actively engaged in SEO; and have experience in the specific things being taught in THEIR course.

For example, if I wanted to become a web analyzer, I’d want to take a class from someone who has experience doing this and is still actively engaged in this profession – either as a business owner, or as an employee of, for example, an internet marketing firm.

I would not want to take a class from someone like me – who is an SEO writer. Even though it’s in the same field, it’s not the same position. This is extremely important to keep in mind.

3. SEO Is an Ongoing Education: The last thing I want you to realize is that learning SEO is an ongoing thing. I don’t care which class you take or how good the instructor is/was, you will always have to do your part to keep your skill set up to date.

Resources That Keep SEO Professionals in the Loop

Again, SEO is a mercurial – not static – field. In order to stay up to date, bookmark and read posts on industry leading sites like SeoBook.com, SearchEngineLand.com, SearchEngineWatch.com and WebProNews.com. 

Google: Still the Most Popular Search Engine

Also, go directly to the sources – ie, read Google’s search engine guidelines, and Matt Cutts’ (Google’s search guru) blog. FYI, I focus on Google because it’s by far the most popular search engine; delivering the most web traffic.

SEO is not hard, but you do have to stay in the loop to keep your skills sharp. And this is easy to do; just drop by the above sites a few times a week, read the latest news – and implement.

Hope this additional insight helps, and good luck selecting the right SEO course.

Yuwanda
P.S. Your earning potential writing SEO content is unlimited — with the right training.

Remember — learning SEO is about so much more than picking up a new skill; it’s about taking control of your financial life.

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.