On a seasonal note, today is the first day of Kwanzaa. Have a happy one if you celebrate this joyous holiday. Now, to today’s post …
I hate to lose.
But, I hate it even more if someone sees me lose.
So, in October when people were posting about how great they did with the SEO Writing Challenge, I was close to pulling a disappearing act from freelance writing. I couldn’t understand what was going wrong or why. To be honest, I still don’t know.
This wasn’t the slow season for writing, but my response rate had dropped tremendously. The few people who WERE responding weren’t ordering and were wasting my time.
I was plugging away at my marketing emails for nothing. I had dropped my rates to land cheap writing jobs and that wasn’t working either. I even took a commenter’s advice, and tied up and gagged my kids to get a little time on the phone to speak to potential clients. (Not literally, folks. Don’t call child services just yet.)
Writing for Pennies
My SEO writing sources for earning money were dwindling.
I worked for a company paying $11 for 300 words that went down to $8 for 400 words and then stopped requesting articles altogether. I wrote for another company that pays $8 for 350 words if your writing sells, but no one bought my writing.
Not to be conceited, but I knew I was a decent writer. I knew I could deliver high-quality writing if the right people gave me a chance. I just wasn’t getting that chance.
I felt like I hit a horrible run of bad luck or had gotten cursed. After that, I saw two typos in my guest post submissions after sending them.
That’s when I seriously considered quitting full-time SEO writing.
Unable to Land Even Minimum Wage-Like Jobs
So much so that I applied for several jobs:
- Cashier at a grocery store,
- Teller at a bank,
- Porter for car lot’s customers
- Clerk for a dollar store
- Sales associate at an auto parts store
- Crew member at two fast food restaurants, and
- Customer service agent at a money store
Then, something that I totally didn’t think was possible happened to me.
They ALL refused to hire me!
That’s right. For one reason or another, every one of them said, “No”. Now if you thought I was having a pity party before, I was almost ape nuts after I couldn’t get a job in a fast food restaurant.
So, I did what anyone in my shoes would do – I cried, prayed and wrote about it.
Only I was in bed writing in my journal where no one could see. It wasn’t helping me, my family or anyone else. It took a whole weekend of wallowing to suck it up.
I realized I had to pull myself together.
When I did, I started writing for less than a penny-a-word. It’s something I haven’t done in years, but it didn’t matter. I needed $30 to keep on my internet, and then I needed another $30 for my water bill. In a week, I was floating just under sea level and grabbing a few breaths by writing for content marketplaces – and the really low-paying ones at that.
I learned I’m nowhere near a fast enough writer to survive writing for $7 for 500 words; let alone $0.99 for 500 words even if it’s article re-writing.
Through all of this, I still kept sending emails, marketing to new followers on Twitter and posting to my blog. I changed my blogs around and changed them again. I went after potential clients in other fields hoping to land a paying morsel.
I looked for gigs that pay $10 or $15 for 500 words on a regular basis. I searched for better ways to market my SEO writing service. I sent more marketing emails, responded to craigslist ads and looked for paying “write for us” pages on websites.
I was broke and desperate.
I didn’t want to get put out of my house. I wanted to keep the heat on. And . . . I was still writing.
I had nothing else.
Safety Net Gone: Freelancing HAS to Work
My fail-safes were gone. I took it as a sign that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and where I’m supposed to be doing it.
Right about here, I wish I could write that going through all of this has paid off, but it hasn’t quite yet.
I sold a few SEO blog posts in November at lower but really good rates. I earned just under $500 writing for content companies. I needed to earn double this to support my household.
So, that’s what I’ll be doing in December. Writing enough to earn three times what I earned in November to catch up and pay my bills.
Share Your SEO Writing Business Experience
Have you experienced anything like what I’ve been going through? What are you doing to keep from quitting your SEO writing job search?
Publisher Note: After I got this post, I sent this writer an email because I wondered why she couldn’t earn more than $500 per month if she was putting out this much effort. After some back and forth, I decided to do a review of her:
Writing samples (she sent me versions of what she was sending out); and
Follow-up marketing methods.
This pamphlet details what I told her.
My November client placed another order. I got two clients from emails I sent at the end of October (Career and Technology clients). I’ll let you know when I start seeing results from my new marketing methods. I’m working on the pamphlet (attached). What do you think?
RECENTLY PUBLISHED CONTENT
Following is what was published recently on InkwellEditorial.com, this blog’s parent blog.
Last Friday: The weekly Quick Tip for Freelance Writing Success (we post one every Friday; this is the most recent one).
P.S.: It’s Almost Time for the SEO Copywriter Training Class in Jamaica. Have you registered yet?
FYI, did you know that the average salary of search engine optimization writers is $66,000 as of this writing. That’s $15,000 above the median household income in the U.S. right now.
Remember, when you learn how to write SEO content, you learn so much more than this one skill because it gives you the knowledge you need to take control of your financial future.