SEO Copywriting – 10 Tips for Writing Content that Ranks in 2013 (Infographic)

We covered all of the info in the graphic below — and a ton more — in the SEO Copywriting Training class in Jamaica this past April.


FYI, the next one — in Jamaica — will be May 22nd and 23rd, 2014.

Cost: $1,149 (hotel not included); $1,449 (hotel included).

Arrival: Wednesday May, 21st.

Departure: Sunday, May 25th.

Payment: Initial deposit of $250 reserves your spot; the rest can be paid over time as you see fit.

Final Payment Due: April 21, 2014 (exactly one month before your arrival in Negril).

Full details will be available on June 7, 2013.

Web Entrepreneurship: An Aspiring Online Biz Owner Asks a Slew of Q’s about SEO, Internet Marketing & More – Here’s What I Told Him

A few days ago, a reader of this blog wrote me a very long, detailed email. Basically, he wants to get out of corporate America and start a home-based, online business so he can spend more time with his aging mom (which I think is so darned sweet).

Normally, I don’t respond to such detailed posts – at least not all at one time — but the desire behind his questions touched me, for I know the feelings all too well. So although this is a long post (over 1,500 words), I think you’ll find it enlightening.

If you have friends, family or acquaintances who want to know what being a web entrepreneur is all about, this post sheds a lot of light, so share it with them, ok?

Web Entrepreneurship: Questions, Question and More Questions

FYI, I broke up his email – and changed some identifying details to protect his identity – in order to make the info easier to read. The bolded parts are his actual questions. He wrote:

Hello Yuwanda,

Your background and websites are very impressive. I would greatly appreciate your insights and answers to my questions.

I have been fooling around with websites, SEO, emarketing, and photography for a few years. I am still a rookie with lots to learn. My background is a mix of corporate america, boring engineering, photography, exploration, and web design . . .  I’ve enjoyed using xsitepro to build some simple sites because it really is easy to use.

I’ve just started messing around with wordpress and I do have a few sites up using the free responsive theme. I have one golf course client with some really nice photos, photo slideshows, and content. I have another client who is a physical therapist.

I notice that your has been built in wordpress and I love the clean look.

My burning questions are …

Web Entrepreneurship: Some Insight into What It Takes to Be a Successful Internet Business Owner


Given the fact that I am simply looking to build a few sites for the purpose of selling ebooks and linking to affiliates (and having an autoresponder / aweber), can I just use the free wordpress responsive template? Or should I buy a particular paid template? Or learn how to customize myself?

My Answer

What I do is find free themes that I like and pay my web design guy to customize them for me.

I addressed this line of reasoning in the comments section of the post, Why I Won’t be Setting Any Freelance Writing Goals for 2013 . . . Should You?, writing:

One thing I’ve learned in business is to pay someone to do what you don’t know how to do or don’t want to do. … FYI, just a tip on revising the blog/website — hire someone! I procrastinated on getting this done for YEARS. Then, I finally hired a firm and they got it done in a few weeks. I have a guy now I use for all of my new minisites. He’s very reasonable as for a price, and pretty quick, eg, he does a wordpress install usually within 48-72 hours (sometimes less).

You see, when you pay someone who’s an expert at what they do and/or you don’t have the time or inclination to do, it usually gets done quicker and better – which allows you to spend your time on doing what you do best.

In my case, it’s writing and self-publishing my own ebooks, overseeing my SEO writing company, article marketing for my ebooks and classes, etc.


I can tweak html and I am learning some php. For the direction I am headed (build sites with good content, attach ebooks to sell, and link to affiliates), how far and fast up the wpress learning curve do I need to go? Do I need to grasp the child theme concept? And php? and other advanced programming fundamentals?

My Answer

In my opinion, all you need to learn how to do is upload content to your WP blog, UNLESS programming and all that technical stuff appeals to you and you just want to learn.

As I said, I pay my web guy to customize themes and do the initial install, then I take it from there. FYI, I found my guy on Craigslist and can pass his info along if you want. He’s very affordable and fast. Usually he finishes stuff I want done in just a few days (or a few hours if it’s really minor).



My Answer has a custom-designed WP theme. It was done by back in 2008, I think.


I have a very close friend who is a seasoned dancer, physical therapist, etc. We are co-authoring a book on together on health, wellness, fitness, etc. I also have other friends with interesting lives, hobbies, professional skills, etc., who I am literally screaming at to write books. Hence, my concerns are not in finding content to write, co-author, etc., but about  website creation, seo, and emarketing. That is the role I am learning and playing. Any advice that you have would be greatly appreciated.

My Answer

Again, unless you pay someone, this is going to be a process of trial and error. I worked in publishing in New York City for a decade, so learned the ins and outs of simple coding like HTML.

This type of computer knowledge set me up nicely to figure out certain things like navigating in newsletter templates, creating simple sites, blogging, creating cover art in paint, creating and uploading pdf files (ebooks) and working with various uploading programs (eg, Amazon, Barnes and Noble).

ALL of this stuff I basically learned myself; but again, I had a background in publishing that taught me the basics – basics I built on when I started this whole “web entrepreneurship” thing.

And FYI, here’s the story on how I learned SEO; it’s something anyone can do, or you can always take my SEO class of course.

One final thing I want to point out here – learning all of this stuff is an ongoing process because SEO rules change, softwares change, companies change policies, etc. So you can never stop learning as a web entrepreneur.

So where possible, pay someone to do what you don’t have the time or inclination to do. It’ll make your life so much simpler, because let me tell ya, when you own/operate a web (editorial) business, there are already a gazillion things to do!


Thank you so much for your time and for all you are doing with your blogs, websites, and training. You are a real inspiration.

In the future, through some success on the web hopefully, I would like to leave corporate america and retire into my own home web business. My mother is getting very old and I am determined to break away from busy corporate america in order to spend more quality time with her during these precious next few years. The solution has always been on the web and I know that it will take more years of diligent effort and focus.

Best Wishes,

My Response

Well you’re right on – in my opinion – about the web being the way to go if you want to create a home-based business that gives you the flexibility to spend time with loves ones. But as I said above, it takes time.

The 5-Hour Blog Post: What It Has to Do with Being a Web Entrepreneur

Just yesterday, I spent 5 hours uploading a blog post. Why did it take so long? Because I recently upgraded to IE10 and WP 3.5.1. Of course, every time you do an upgrade on any kind of software, you can bet some body part that s**t is gonna happen.

I couldn’t make attachments to emails, had problems viewing my post in editor in WordPress, couldn’t get them to upload for crap, etc.

I’m in Jamaica right now. My web guy is in California – so we’re 4 hours apart (here in Jamaica, I’m on U.S. Central time, instead of Eastern time because Jamaicans don’t do that “spring forward/fall back” clock adjustment time thing like we do in the states).

So, even if I had contacted him, it probably would have taken him a few hours to get back to me. I HAD to update two of my blogs yesterday – so I HAD to figure it out on my own. I did it – but again, it took FIVE HOURS.

When you’re a web entrepreneur with no tech department at hand, crap like this happens more often than many think. But, you just have to deal and move on.

I hope this has given you some insight into what it’s going to take to build a successful web business. In spite of all the headaches and problems, I wouldn’t trade it for anything – because it allows me to basically do what I want, when I want (within reason), and not have to worry about “job security,” a concept I stopped believing in years ago.

Share Your Thoughts on Web Entrepreneurship

What are some of the challenges you face? What do you love most about it? Hate most about it? Would you go back to a 9 to 5 job? Please share in the comments section below.


P.S.: Did you know that the average salary of SEO writers increased by $10,000 from Sept 2012? Proof?SEO Content Writer Average Salary, Fall 2012

Remember, learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about giving yourself the tools you need to take control of your 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.

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: One Thing It’s Important to Start Emphasizing to Your Clients

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re probably aware that I’m in Jamaica right now for the SEO writing seminar. Yesterday was the last day – we covered a lot and had a ball. Now that that’s over, the “vacation” part of my trip can start — yooohooooo! But, I digress.

Learn SEO in Jamaica – AGAIN!

FYI, the seminar was such a success I will be giving another in-person one next year. Stay tuned for details this coming Friday, April 26th. Update: Here are the details.

Google’s Panda Updates, Penguin Updates, Etc.

One issue we touched on in the class I wanted to share with you.

Something that Google – and all search engines – will always do is updates. FYI, I use Google when I’m talking about search engines because it’s by far the largest one of all. So although I say “Google,” I mean all search engines.

And just so you know, there are well over 200 SEO factors that search engines like Google use to rank pages and return them in relevant search results. And, Google makes over 500 changes per year to its search algorithm. Furthermore, nobody knows EXACTLY what they are except the SEO experts at the search companies themselves (eg, Matt Cutts, Google’s SEO guru).

However, there are some things that search engines themselves tell you, in addition to some researched guesses made by SEO experts and webmasters, that clue you in. For example, Google says:

Today our algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals, some of which you’d expect, like how often the search terms occur on the webpage, if they appear in the title or whether synonyms of the search terms occur on the page.

FYI, here’s a list of all of Google’s algorithm changes.

How to “Beat Google” When It Comes to Ranking Well 

Why am I bringing all of this up? Well because to me – no matter what search engines tell you, they are never going to reveal EVERYTHING. In some way, it will always be a guessing game; one that can get tiring if you’re trying to build a business that relies so heavily on search engine traffic.

And face it, we all need traffic from the search engines, but – in my opinion – the way to “beat Google” – or at least not be so concerned with what they’re doing all the time, is to focus on building your own online community. While this may seem obvious, I think a lot of us overlook it. But it’s becoming increasingly important to really absorb this message — and start doing it.

Let’s continue our discussion to understand why.

One of the things we covered in the SEO writing seminar was off-page SEO ranking factors. And, guess what one of those is? The trust and authority of the domain. As I explained it in the class . . .

A domain is simply the website itself, eg, So the trust of a “domain” is simply how trustworthy a given site is – from a search engine standpoint. Search engines trust sites that have:

(i) been around a long time;

(ii) have frequently updated content; and

(ii) have lots of backlinks, among other factors.

The rationale is basically that the longer a site has been online, the better the chance that it’s a legitimate — hence, trustworthy– business. You see, lots of sites come and go (or lay dormant and forgotten).

Search engines like to return trustworthy, informative sites in their results. So they use algorithms to try to filter out low-quality sites. Nobody knows what algorithm search engines use, by the way. And, each SE has its own algorithms.

This is what makes SEO a guessing game to a degree. But search marketing experts can hazard good guesses as to what makes a site rank well. And, search engine guidelines even spell some of these things out explicitly.

This is why SEO experts can say with certainty that things like backlinks, having quality content, and frequently updating a site are known factors that search engines look for to rank a site well.

Post Continued Below . . .
Did you know that the average salary of SEO writers has increased by $10,000 from Sept 2012? Proof?SEO Content Writer Average Salary, Fall 2012

Why Building Your Own Online Community is So Important from a Search Marketing Perspective

Again, as I explained in the class the first day:

To me, this is the most important thing you can do when you market online, besides write with SEO in mind . . . is build a community of followers.

For example, my Twitter account has over 11,000 followers and my newsletters have almost 7,000 followers. I recently started interacting on Facebook and Google+. I also have LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts (although I don’t interact on those at all – but I will start because I have several hundred followers on each).

When you have a community of followers, they’ll promote you, eg, retweet your stuff; talk about you, your products and services in forums; recommend clients to you; mention you on Facebook; etc. All of this gets recognized by search engines because it builds backlinks to your site, which builds your authority, which makes you more popular, which garners you more followers – and the cycle repeats itself.

So whether writing SEO content for clients, or to promote your own products and services, keep in mind that the focus should be – in my opinion – on building an authority site that provides value to web surfers (this starts with great content by the way).

Then, focus on cultivating a large community via outlets like social media, article marketing, writing and distributing ebooks, guest blogging, etc.

Write up a special report that explains this concept to clients who hire you to provide SEO services – whether it’s social media account management or simply writing SEO articles. Why? Because many of them are so focused on “getting more traffic” that they forget about building a community (which leads to more “qualified” site traffic) – and what that ultimately means for their bottom line.

How Helping Your SEO Writing Clients Build an Online Community Can Earn You More

What this means for you as an SEO writer is the opportunity to increase your income by providing some of these “community building” SEO services, eg, posting on guest blogs, social media account set up and management, ebook writing, etc.

FYI, learn more about why search engine updates (like Panda, Penguin, etc.) means more work for SEO writers.

I hope this has helped you gain some insight into how/why SEO writing is just a “part” of the search marketing puzzle — an important part that you can build a solid business around.

P.S.: Remember, learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about giving yourself the tools you need to take control of your 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.

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).

Mobile SEO: Best Optimization Techniques to Help Your Mobile Website Get Maximum Visibility

The following is an editorial by Alan Smith.

Editor Note: This is an excellent post about how to optimize your site for mobile devices. It’s yet another frontier online entrepreneurs have to explore — and conquer — in order to grow. And, it provides a wealth of opportunities for freelancers who operate in the SEO niche — from programmers to content providers.

I know practically nothing about mobile SEO, so learned a ton reading this. I’m sure you will too. Thanks Alan for such an in-depth, easy-to-understand tutorial.

Have You Ever Thought about How to Optimize Your Mobile Site for Search Engines?

Many might not be thinking in this particular direction – right now. For many, optimizing their sites for desktops is good enough to reach out to their audience. But believe me, that’s not exactly the scenario prevailing today.

The emergence of mobile technology (eg, smart phones and mobile websites) can no longer be ignored, as the statistics I’ll present here will illustrate.

The Importance of Mobile SEO: Some Statistics

According to a smart phone user study conducted by Google, mobile web users contribute 25% of all web searches made across the world. Another study conducted by Compuware says that a business with a bad site on the mobile is not recommended by almost 50% of users. Around 60% of total online customers search products through their mobiles before actually making a purchase.

Mobile SEO Statistics

Half (50%) of product searches made through a smart phone have resulted in a sale. 51% smart phone owners use products or services offered by a business which has a separate mobile site and almost 77% of mobile users visit social networking as well as search engine sites.

More than 90% of searches made through smart phones lead to an action in the form of viewing a business, contacting the sellers or utilizing their services or products.

Convinced that you need to start thinking about having a “mobile SEO” strategy?

Mobile SEO vs.Traditional Desktop Optimization Strategies

For most businesses, the answer to the question might be mobile SEO. But smart phone users behave in a distinctive manner compared to their desktop using counterparts when it comes to the keywords and keyword phrases they select.

Mobile SEO vs. Traditional Desktop Optimization Strategies
Image Courtesy: Spinx Inc.

Mobile Technology Users and Keyword Searches

Even if the keywords match in some cases, they may be intended for a different purpose altogether. This means doing an in-depth research of mobile keywords compared to the research of traditional keywords for desktops.

Besides this, mobile users need a whole lot of scrolling. Many don’t like this because it becomes troublesome to look into a website and dig out the relevant data from the appropriate sections of the site.

FYI, the SEO Copywriter Training Class Has Been Completely Updated. Cost will increase on June 1, 2013.

How to Make a Mobile Website Search Engine Friendly

Even though there are many strategies present for search optimization of a mobile website, it is always beneficial to go for traditional strategies to increase your mobile site rankings.

  • Starting Headline, Body and Ending Summary should have relevant mobile based keywords.
  • Page Title is extremely important, as it is the first thing that a user sees in the search engine. Keep the nearest matching title related to the queries on search engines.
  • Page Description should have relevant content which a user is actually looking for.
  • Outbound Links or Hyperlinks should be provided to the users to allow them access to in-depth information from cited sources.
  • A standard HTML Code should be used to support several mobile operating systems. This is even helpful to restrain from a broken web page scenario.
  • Mobile websites should be Portable in all cross-platform smart phones, operating systems and web browsers.
  • Website Parameters such as rapid download speed of a web page, rendering screen components, performance and site elements usability can help to enhance mobile search optimization.
  • Important content gets removed from a page by using a Cookie Cutter Template which leads to trans-coding a web page. This should be avoided as it can result in vague navigation, broken or incomplete pages and even poor usability. Ultimately this can have disastrous results such as lesser visits and rankings.

    Mobile SEO: Search Engine Optimization Tips
  • A CSS version of a mobile site should be triggered via detection of a user agent whenever a mobile user accesses a website. Tools such as a WPtouch plug-in for WordPress automatically do this on your behalf.
  • The users should be provided with an option to get out of the formatted CSS mobile site version.
  • GoogleBot Mobile shouldn’t be blocked as through this Google will check your Doc type to see whether it is XHTML or compact HTML.
  • Rendering of images should be in pixels or percentage factors.
  • Inbound links or backlinks shouldn’t be so long as to get obstructed in terms of a mobile view.
  • Call to actions should be on the top left corner rather than the top right because they might not then be visible in the mobile version.
  • The number of clicks for a mobile user should be minimized as much as possible by positioning the pages in a proper flow for the site navigation purpose.
  • Mobile optimization should be tested towards the end using various tools like W3C mobileOK Checker in order to validate the mobile site or even MobiReady to check the loading time of the mobile site.

Important Technical Points to Consider While Creating an Ideal Mobile Website

A mobile based website shouldn’t be complicated. It is not only important to follow certain strategies; more than that it is essential to have a website that supports the above mentioned strategies.

Ideally you need to scan your website before starting with the actual development process. There are certain areas of a smart phone-based website which should be looked at to ensure that it not only pleases you aesthetically, but that it performs well for your customers also.

Mobile Websites and Content

Not all information on a desktop website should be included in the mobile version as the data might get messed up, making it frustrating to even surf.

The focus should be on incorporating decision- or action-based information. A good example is the Domino’s Pizza website. It leads the user directly to the selection and buying of a variety of pizzas.

The Importance of Eliminating Pop-ups and Flash Animation on Mobile Sites

In a desktop environment, it can be a very fruitful to gain conversions or subscribers through pop-ups and flash clips. But in a mobile version, it is a nightmare for smart phone users. Make sure to turn it off through various tools as they disrupt the surfing environment of the user.

Availability of Sufficient White Space

Mobile displays are very small to accommodate a lot of stuff. Hence only the important things, accompanied by a good amount of white space, should be used.

Consistent Website across Desktop and Mobile

Same type of colors, styles, fonts, logos, etc. used across both the sites will establish a sense of uniformity, hence trust, among users. Even size and performance should not get affected.

Priority is Directly Proportionate to Usability

Interaction and accessibility are the key factors that should be kept in mind when it comes to usability, eg:

Is the text displayed properly?

Is scrolling necessary to view all information?

Should the size of buttons and links be large enough?

Is data related to personal details properly displayed?

You should ask yourself these –and many more — questions. Directly ask the user where possible – and really listen to what they say.

How to Test Your Site for Mobile Readiness

Different tools like MobiReady, W3C MobileOK Checker, and Gomez Mobile Readiness Test etc. should be used to test a mobile site on various platforms and screens.

Everything Should be Accessible

Many users expect to see all the information related to their products and features on your mobile site. So it is important to include a link on your desktop website in an integrated form into your mobile site. Typically, the bottom corner is the ideal place to do so.

Cooking Tracking on Mobile Websites

Most mobile websites prohibit cookie tracking from a third party. This results in loss of various analytics programs. So it is better to opt for an investment in a tracking system from the first party that allows you to serve all the cookies which are necessary.

Mobile SEO: Web Design Best Practices

The Importance of Understanding the Mobile Site User’s Psychology

You need to know the mindset of a mobile user; it differs completely from that of a desktop user.

Mobile users put in shorter tail keyword phrases and keyword searches to find what they’re looking for. Hence, the Meta description and Meta title tags should be optimized for shorter queries.

Think from Sociological Perspective

The content that is developed should be entertaining enough to the users keeping social networking activities in mind.

Everybody is keen to get associated with social networking platforms today, so it’s always best to have embedded links of social media on every page of your mobile site. This will result in more engagement, traffic, exposure and conversion.

Proper Display Increases Viewing Capabilities

A vertical menu view should be preferred so that it becomes easy to maneuver a website and navigate the site easily.

A Scaled Version Won’t Help

A fully revamped version of the desktop website in the form of a mobile website should be created. A desktop website shouldn’t be adjusted to accommodate a mobile screen. Web servers can be utilized to use a sub domain for a mobile site such as “ Twitter is a very good example of such a site.

Links Should Be Properly Positioned

A link to the desktop site should be present on every page of your mobile site. Two good examples of this are American Express and Subway.

Provision for Calling Up Directly

Customers should be given a convenient option of calling you up directly. A good example of this is GoDaddy.

Rich Content Should Not be Compromised with Speed

Too much of rich content in the form of high end videos and images should be reduced to not only accommodate mobile sites but also to ensure less time to load effectively. This results in high end visibility of interactive content without compromising on performance. Coca-Cola is a classic example of this.

The Development of Mobile Web Apps (Applications)

Applications should be developed for a mobile site only if they are required to be included. If the site allows the visitor to use an application in the form of a business tool or a resource several times, only then should an integrated application be developed.

For example, Bank of America’s mobile site has many transactions that are executed daily. Mobile application is a must for such a site, but for many others, it doesn’t make any sense.

Conclusion: Mobile SEO

My objective here has been to help you understand the importance of getting your mobile business site optimized. I have also tried to encompass various optimization strategies related to smart phones or mobile search. Using statistics, differences, strategies and checkpoints can make your mobile site a great success. I am glad to share this article with you and hope you like it too.

What Say You about Mobile SEO?

Your suggestions and feedback are always welcome. You can even share more on this if you have anything to say in the comments section below.

About the Author: Alan Smith is an avid tech blogger with vast experience in various IT domains, currently associated with SPINX Inc., Los Angeles, California-based website design, web development and internet marketing company. Follow Alan on Google + and Twitter.

P.S. Exactly one week to go to sign up 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).

Should I Take This SEO Job? I Need Some Advice

This past Tuesday, I received the following email from an aspiring SEO professional who wanted to know about a job opportunity (in SEO) she ran across. She was wondering what I thought about it; ie, if it was a valid job that she should take on. It kinda threw me, because I’d never read a job ad quite like this.

In fact, I read through it quite a few times just to see if I could grasp exactly what the opportunity was about — especially as far as compensation was concerned. If you have experience with this type of SEO job opportunity, please chime in and shed some light for the rest of us. Following is her email, and my response.

Hi Yuwanda,

I hope you are well.

I have been following Inkwell Editorial a little while and bought several of your e-books. I am trying to reinvent myself professionally because I am tired of the roller-coaster of IT (technical writing), instructional design, and miscellaneous gigs to make ends meet.

I am inspired by you and feel like SEO might be a great skill to learn as social media, marketing, and the increased demand for content increases. This is why I bought your e-books and am just beginning on my journey to learning this great skill (I’d love to take your [SEO copywriter training] class in Jamaica, but unfortunately, our budget cannot handle it now) 🙂

I came across this and would like your opinion about it:

I do not expect to earn top dollar with no SEO experience. I also would not mind an internship to gain experience, but many organization’s mindsets have not changed from the idea of an intern being a young twentysomething!

Should I Accedpt This LinkBuilding Job?

My Insight About This Linkbuilding Job

The first thing I want to say is, I’m always leery when the words “free” and “job” are used in the same ad. It doesn’t mean it’s not a valid opportunity, but it should cause you to pause.

After I read the ad, I did some research on linkbuilding jobs and what they entail. If you’re an SEO professional, you know what linkbuilding is, so that’s the easy part. I’m wondering what their training consists of.

As a webmaster, I get tons of spam mail daily – tons! – from companies wanting to “write unique guest posts” for my blogs. Some of my blogs get pretty good search engine traffic and have good page rank (PR). This is why they’re targeted.

Why Linkbuilding Is Important in Search Engine Optimization

Just to give some brief background on the emergence of link building as a job . . . When Google did the Panda (aka Farmer) Update in 2011, a lot of sites lost rank. One of the ways to gain rank is to get (one way) backlinks from high-traffic, authority blogs. And how do you do this? Mainly by reaching out offering to write guest posts for free.

Ways to Build Site Links

Other ways are buying text links (although Google frowns on this);

Exchanging links: although reciprocal links are less valuable than one-way, in-bound links;

Commenting on high-traffic blogs;

Getting high-traffic blogs to link to your site via their social media sites;


And this is why if you own a website, you probably receive so much spam offering to provide a guest post for free – even though your blog is about freelance writing and they want to write about sneakers. Or, your blog will receive a lot of non-sensical spam comments. They’re hoping you’ll approve them, which provides a backlink to their site.

Conversely, sites will offer to build links back to your website/blog – for a fee. And many of them engage in spammy crap like this.

Now that you hopefully understand a bit more about what linkbuilding is, let’s formally lay out what the position entails. I scoured the web and came up with a couple of job descriptions that reveal what these SEO professionals do.

Linkbuilding Job Description

The day-to-day for a good link builder usually involves creating content, following SEO news, researching link profiles, and networking as peripheral activities that support their goals. The direct acquisition of links, as mentioned above, can be a mixture of both organic and paid efforts. [Source:]

Responsibilities of a Linkbuilder

As a Link-Building Specialist you will be responsible for the full-cycle of link-building initiatives: planning, coordinating, executing, tracking, analyzing and then repeating. Examples of some of your responsibilities would include:

Contacting relevant blogs/news outlets to get them writing about our products/websites; Getting how-to & resource-oriented websites to link to our sites; Submitting sites to relevant web directories; Coordinating guest-posts for our expert-writers onto other websites; Developing & implementing other ways to acquire incoming website links.

Skills of a Linkbuilder

To be successful in this role, you should be: An excellent communicator – comfortable both on the phone & in emails; Very organized with good judgment; Familiar with HTML (at least the basics); A basic understanding of SEO and an interest in developing your skills in this industry; Very comfortable with the web and computers; Positive with an optimistic and energetic disposition. [Source:]

Cons of This Linkbuilding Job

I wouldn’t accept this position, for the following reasons:

(i) It’s not something you can’t learn to do on your own;

(ii) It requires you to go onsite – on more than one occasion (with no pay, mind you);

(iii) There’s no clearly defined compensation plan: This is the part that worries me about the proposed compensation . . . it says:

There will be a typical 2-3 week learning curve before you begin to acquire earnings (remember, you are learning new skills while embarking on a new career, and it takes a little time to lift off).

While this may be a totally legitimate offer, I’m always cautious when someone wants me to do something for free, yet says that I “could” earn X and that it may take a while. Otherwise, why not just make it a flat out 100% business opportunity. You expect this in business, but not by someone who’s going to receive benefit from your efforts, even if you make nothing.

FYI, the SEO Copywriter Training Class Has Been Completely Updated. Cost will increase on June 1, 2013.

Pros of this Linkbuilding Job

With all of this being said, the company did put their name out there and you will be meeting with them onsite. This says a lot about their legitimacy; they’re not hiding behind an anonymous email address.

Also, they offered a very detailed explanation of what to expect and say that more specifics will be provided if you’re selected for an interview.

Finally, if you know nothing about SEO, have the time and it really peaks your interest, then it might be worth your time to check it out. The worst that can happen is it’s not for you and you simply move on.

What Google Thinks About Linkbuilding: Changes Are a Comin’ My Friend!

One of the reasons I wanted to respond to this reader’s question is because I read an article on Search Engine Journal just yesterday entitled The Coming Penguin Update: Should You Reevaluate Your Link Building Strategy? The article stated:

There are three tiers of links, and, if the new Penguin update accomplishes what it’s supposed to, these are the results you can expect from them.

  1. Editorial links: links that you had little or no direct influence over, that were created simply because your content, tools, and community are worth talking about. These links are air-tight and will almost certainly never lose their value.
  2. Promotional links: links that you created manually through guest posts, collaboration, and outreach. These links are okay and can be great if they also help build exposure, referral traffic, and reputation for your brand. They are most useful as a way of building exposure that leads to secondary links. If the quality is questionable, they may lose value, but it is unlikely that they will actually count against you.
  3. Spam/manipulative links: links you have full control over and that exist strictly to boost search engine rankings. These links are high risk and are very likely to lose their value. In some circumstances they will actually count against you.

In short, Google might be gearing up to target a whole slew of sites again – and much of this is going to center on how sites are acquiring links.

What Google’s New Update Means for SEO Professionals

Quite frankly it means more work for skilled SEO professionals like online writers, link builders, web optimization specialists, etc. Just like when Google did the Penguin Update and the Panda Update.

Site owners will be scrambling to do a whole bunch of stuff to stay in favor with “the Big G”, eg, beefing up content, doing more with social media, getting more backlinks (the legit way); etc.

Would You Accept this Linkbuilding Job?

Do you have experience as a linkbuilder? Do you know anything about this type of job? Would you accept it, or not? Please provide your insight in the comments section below.

P.S. Less than 2 weeks to go to sign up for the SEO copywriting class in Jamaica. But, 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.

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