SEO Content Writing: The Best Way to Get Some Experience Under Your Belt

Written by Yuwanda Black

Back in October, I received the following question from an aspiring SEO writer. I decided to share it for two reasons: (i) it’s a frequently asked question; and (ii) information gets buried on blogs, making it hard to find.

Hope this insight helps, and if you have questions about freelance / SEO writing, feel free to send them in.

Question from a Hopeful Freelance Writer

Good Afternoon Yuwanda,

I hope all is well. I am very interested in having a successful copywriting career. I look at your [freelance writing] opportunities weekly and have even applied to some of them. My dilemma is that I have no experience. I started writing a blog on entrepreneurship but wanted to get your advice on the best way to get some experience under my belt? Please advise. Thank you so much!

How to Get SEO Writing Jobs with No Experience

The Quickest Way to Land Freelance / SEO Writing Jobs with No Experience

Before I share the answer I gave this freelancer, I just want to say point blank that the best way to get experience is to create some writing samples from scratch. They don’t have to be for/from actual writing jobs you’ve done. Create them in the niche you want to specialize in, then start contacting companies directly.

You can cold call, email, send post cards, network via Chamber of Commerce meetings, etc.

If your writing samples are good and your rates are reasonable, you will land jobs I practically guarantee it. Why?

Because in this age of content marketing, clients need more copy than ever. And freelancers fulfill the need most of the time, as I discussed in this article.

Now, to the answer I gave her.

My Answer

L-

First, glad you find the site helpful — it’s for aspiring newbies just like you! In answer to your question, here are some links to some posts on this site, and it’s child site, SeoWritingJobs.com that give some insight.

How to Become a Freelance Writer: Starting from Scratch

Answers to 11 Frequently Asked Questions by New Freelance Writers

How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs Advice: How a New Freelance Writer Landed a $150 Gig with No Experience, No Samples & No Website – 4 Things She Did Right

Freelance Writers: How to Develop a Profitable Writing Niche with No Experience

FYI, there’s an SEO Writing Business Challenge going on right now that you might be interested in.

Hope the info on these links help — and good luck!

Share Your Thoughts

What have you found is the best way to get some freelance / SEO writing experience? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Published Posts

Following is what was published on InkwellEditorial.com, this blog’s parent blog, this week.

Last Friday: The weekly Quick Tip for Freelance Writing Success (we post one every Friday; this is the most recent one).

Tuesday: How I Built a Successful Freelance Writing Career after Losing My Job as an Agency Health Worker (a guest post by Trevor Emdon)

Yesterday: 10 Sizzling Trends in Freelance Writing That Can Help You Earn More

Sunset: The Cliffs of Negril

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.

SEO Writer Salary 2014

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.

SEO Writers: How to Profit from Content Theft

Written by Yuwanda Black

While doing some research on the web for an article I was writing about a week or so ago, I ran across some content of mine that had been stolen. I posted about it on my SEO writing company’s Facebook page, explaining what happened, ie:

Just found one of my articles stolen (slightly rewritten) on a major site. I notified the company, and within an hour they removed it (which, to be honest surprised me because content theft is so rampant). And, they also apologized.

They wrote the following by way of explanation:

Hi Yuwanda-

Thank you so much for reaching out and alerting us to the fact that one of our guest posts was composed of writing stolen from your original work. The article has now been completely removed from our site.

I assure you, we had no clue the content was plagiarized. You’ll notice most of our content is written in-house or and if outsourced to a guest contributor, from someone we either have an existing relationship with or someone we sought out because we liked their writing style.

The post in question is through an inbound “write for us” experiment, which came to us from overseas via Naukri.com. I was very surprised at the quality given the source. We’ve since added background checks to the process, but after this incident will probably pull the program altogether, as we have not gotten any quality writing from it.
###

Lesson: Be careful who you outsource your content needs to. Content theft is rampant. Quality content costs. It’s an investment in your business — that pays off for years, so don’t be afraid to make it.

You’ll be so glad you did.  And of course, we can help. Learn how at http://NewMediaWords.biz/.
###

SEO / Online Writers: 2 Easy Ways to Profit from Content Theft
Before I explain a simple way to profit when someone steals your content, let’s look at some of the main reasons people steal it. It’ll make my line of reasoning easier to understand.

Why Content Theft is So Rampant – and Why It Means More Work for SEO Writers IMO

When someone starts ripping stuff off, that means it’s popular, or providing value, or is a need – or all three.

Content marketing is all the rage now (popular); companies are seeing real value from it (provides value); hence businesses are investing more in it (need is there).

How popular is content marketing? The Mashable article, The Content Marketing Forecast: 10 Predictions for 2014, states:

1. Content will be its own role or department.

I talk to CMOs [Chief Marketing Officers] and agency heads all the time, and they’re all looking to hire new roles with “content” in the title (emphasis added) — it’s a gaping hole in many org charts. We’ve seen many journalists already go into various companies and agencies to run editorial of late, but in the year ahead, Content Marketing Manager, Director of Content or even Chief Content Officer will start popping up more than ever before.

The reason content marketing has become the marketing flavor du jour is because it provides real value. Proof?

The Search Engine Journal article, Hard Proof That Content Marketing Works—A Professional Speaker Case Study, reported the results of a three-month case study which showed that organic traffic was way up. Feedburner traffic went up as well. And the only difference was posting MORE relevant content.

The overall conclusion was the following:

MORE relevant content posted at regular intervals with the right formatting gives better organic search results = better conversion. Simple as that. If you want your phone to ring, more relevant email inquiries, and/or more people to come through the door, give them more reasons = more content, to do so.

Why the need for content is increasing more than ever: When businesses discover that something works, then they want to invest in it – ESPECIALLY if their competitors are. And study after study after study has revealed that more and more businesses are investing in content marketing.

But, many businesses have a hard time keeping up with demand, creating content, creating RELEVANT content, etc. And this is why so many steal content – and where you as a freelance / SEO writer can profit from content theft. Proof?

One SEO writer emailed me to let me know she’d picked up a $1,700 job because of content theft. She wrote in the comments section of this post:

Hi Yuwanda,

Late last year I spent out 80 e-mails using your suggested technique. Nothing came of them at the time, but a few days ago someone I e-mailed called me. He does SEO web design and one of his clients had found out that the original writer he hired had given him 100% plagiarized content. I just picked up a $1700 gig rewriting the entire site.

So, there you go … content theft is real — and provides a golden opportunity for you!

One Easy Way to Make Money from Content Theft

When I found my stolen content, I posted a comment on the article, saying that it was repurposed (stolen) content. I never expected a response; I just expected the comment to be deleted and for the article to remain live.

But, as the correspondence above proved, the site owners took my content down and apologized, which I thought was very classy.

Following is the email I sent back to them:

Wow, you guys are quick. I never expected the content to be removed, as content theft is so rampant now. So, I’m impressed — very!

And no harm, no foul; so no worries. Thank you for your prompt action; again, much appreciated.

FYI, if you ever need quality content, please consider my SEO writing company, http://newmediawords.biz/ as a source. We’ve written thousands of articles for tons of companies — and would be happy to be regular contributors to your site (well-researched, high-quality, non-plagiarized/rewritten content).

Continued success!

Best,
Yuwanda

So basically you just turn the situation to your advantage.  A lot of companies never know that they’re buying stolen content, so approach the site, let them know the content is yours and has been stolen, and offer to write for them.

Another Simple Way to Profit from Content Theft

This is one of my favorite content marketing methods, ie, writing up short, special reports and distributing them. In this case, you could write a simple 1-3 pager entitled, Small Business Owners: How to Avoid Content Theft, that details how companies can AVOID purchasing stolen content.

Offer it as a free download from your site AND proactively send it out to existing and prospective clients.

It could be some of the best ROI you’ll ever see because companies that care about their brand don’t want stolen content. They want great writing that is not plagiarized.

Conclusion

While having your work stolen can be a blow to the gut, it’s the world we live in now. So make lemonade out of lemons where possible, and just keep on stepping.

Related Posts

Plagiarism and Stolen Content: A Growing Web Problem — Is Your Firm Unknowingly Falling Victim and Being Penalized by Google & Other SEs

SEO Content Theft: What to Do When Someone Steals Your Writing Samples

Share Your Thoughts

Have you ever had content stolen from you? If so, how did you handle it? Do you regularly search for your work on the web? If so, why? If not, why not? Do you think content theft / copyright infringement is getting worse? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Published Posts

Following is what was published on InkwellEditorial.com, this blog’s parent blog, this week.

Last Friday: The weekly Quick Tip for Freelance Writing Success (we post one every Friday; this is the most recent one).

Tuesday: How I Found Freelance Writing Opportunities as a Stay-at-Home Mom (a guest post by Dorit Sasson)

Yesterday: Self-Publishing Advice: How to Turn One Blog Post into a Profitable Ebook — In One Weekend

Sunset: The Cliffs of Negril

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.

SEO Writer Salary 2014

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.

How to Write SEO Content Quickly

Written by Yuwanda Black

A few weeks ago, I received the following question from a student enrolled in the online version of the SEO writing e-course. It has to do with how long it should take you to write an SEO article. I wanted to share with you the advice I gave her. Following is her question and my answer, along with some additional insight.

Question from an SEO Writer on How to Write SEO Content Faster

She wrote, in part:

Hi Yuwanda-

I am still at the beginning of the [SEO writing] course.  I am actually writing for Blogmutt and my own web site as well.  Clients at Blogmutt bought my first 3 out of 4 articles! Not bad for a beginner.  I find that the research seems to take FORever though! It takes me about 3-4 hours to write a 350 word article-do you think that’s “normal”? 

Thanks so much!

How to Write SEO Content Faster

My Answer

First, congrats on the sale of your articles. You’re now officially a working, “paid” writer!

As for research taking so long, how long it takes all depends on the subject matter, how well you know it and your research skills. One thing I can say is that the more you conduct research, the better you get. And of course, the more upfront knowledge you have about a subject, the less time it takes you to conduct research.

This is one of the reasons I advise newbies to select a writing niche — one they have experience in, where possible. This will make the writing — and research — go faster.

Research Tip: Bookmark/save links to sources you find on the web for subjects you write on a lot. You can come back to these over and over again, and save a ton of surfing time.

For example, when I had a client who ordered mortgage/real estate articles a lot, I saved all of the websites I visited for each piece I wrote. This way, when the client put in their next order, I could go directly to these sources instead of wasting time finding them again.

One final thing — I’ve found that newbies tend to go over and beyond when they write/research an article because they’re nervous about it being letter perfect and detail oriented. While this is great, usually, they provide much more than the client is looking for.

How long should it take to research and write a 350-word article? I’d say no more than 2-2.5 hours for most subjects — one for research, an hour to write it and another half hour to proof/edit. But again, this varies for each person. With experience, you will get better and faster.

###

There are a couple of more things I wanted to add, ie:

Save links to reports, case studies, white papers, etc. in your niche. For example, I write a lot about content marketing. So, not only do I have the Content Marketing Institute’s website bookmarked, when they come out with major reports, I bookmark those too, eg, B2C Benchmarks, Budgets, and 2014 Trends–North America.

Why would you do this? Because reports like these contain tons of quotes, stats, names of industry experts you can contact for interviews if need be, links to other research sources, etc.

Here are some more tips on how to make the writing of SEO content go faster.

Share Your Thoughts

Is there anything in particular you do to speed up the SEO writing process? Please share in the comments section below.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED & UPCOMING POSTS

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).

Saturday: A Freelance Writer’s Life Abroad: Inside Peek at My Life as an American Living in Negril, Jamaica for a Year, Part XXVII

Sunday: The State of Freelancing: Does a Higher Minimum Wage Mean More Work for Freelance Writers?

Monday: Freelance Writing Jobs for the Week of 2/10/2014

Tuesday: What Types of Freelance Writing Jobs are Hot Now

Yesterday: How Bad Weather Can Hurt Your Freelance Writing Business & What to Do About It

Have a great weekend!

Sunset: The Cliffs of NegrilP.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.

SEO Writer Salary 2014

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.

Why Some Freelance SEO Writers Succeed and Others Don’t

Written by Yuwanda Black

This past weekend, I received the following question from a reader who’s thinking about starting an SEO writing career. She wrote:

Question from a “Thinking about Starting” Freelancer

Hi Yuwanda,

I read the reviews about your ebook, ‘How to Make @ 250 A Day or More Writing Simple 500 Word Articles.’

I am interested to know that if persons are receiving the same financial success today compared to back when your ebook was published. I am doing as much research as possible as I would like to purchase the ebook, put what was learnt into practice, gain as much knowledge as possible about SEO content writing and earn a part-time income which could assist me and my family.

I responded to her, writing …

My Answer

K-:

First, thanks for your interest in our products.

In answer to your question, some do, some don’t. And the reason is simple, how successful freelancers are depends on so many factors, eg, niche chosen, marketing ability, writing ability, rates, services offered, business skills, desire, etc.

Some land jobs right away; for others it takes months — it all depends on the factors listed above, and the individual freelancer.

What I’d suggest you do is read through SeoWritingJobs.com. It’s a blog devoted to the subject of SEO writing. Many of the posts there contain questions from freelancers, along with my answers. Good luck however you decide to proceed, and thanks again for your interest in our products.
###

An Expanded Answer

I wanted to expand on this response for two reasons:

(i) It’s a frequently asked question: About once a month, I’ll get a form of this question from a wannabe freelancer, so this topic needs to be addressed constantly, especially as the field of writing SEO content matures.

FYI, here’s an all-inclusive response I’ve given before. One of the linked-to posts is all about facing your fears (SEO Copywriting: Q’s from Readers Losing Jobs & Those Who Want to Know How to Make More Money Per Article); and

(ii) I dug deeper: I did some research on how to break through your fears of starting a business and wanted to share it with you.

During my search, I ran across this fantastic, extremely thorough post entitled 31 Tips for Conquering Startup Fears. It says everything I would have said had I been as bright as this entrepreneur. 🙂

Starting an SEO Writing Business: Some Insightful Advice

As the summary states, it helps you really delve into what’s holding you back from starting your own business. I love the way this entrepreneur started the article. She wrote:

Most startup articles focus on the mechanics of launching a business. But the inner journey (emphasis added) to starting a business is just as important as writing a business plan and getting financing.

I learned this the hard way. … I didn’t have the guts to leave my job. After quitting my job and taking it back twice, I developed techniques to help myself build courage and break through my fears. These techniques worked–and when I quit for the third time, I was finally able to let go of my job …

I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my life. I had my first business at age 11 – mowing lawns in a trailer park we lived in. If you’ve read the free ebook you get when you subscribe to Inkwell Editorial’s newsletter (Living the Freelance Life), you know the story.

I’ve gone through and/or tried every emotion and strategy on this list.

Every.

Single.

One.

Really!

Note: Subscribe to get this free ebook (Living the Freelance Life) from any page of InkwellEditorial.com, this site’s parent site.

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Publisher Note: I’m still seeking recipes for a cookbook – it’s for freelancers by freelancers. If you are always on deadline and/or hate to cook (like me!) and are looking for cheap, easy meals to prepare, then this just may be your cup of tea! Get full details at http://bit.ly/1h6uhEv. Please share this with freelancers in your network. And thanks!
**********************************

And the Answer to the Question Is …

I’ve given this freelancer’s question a lot of thought over the last few days, trying to come up with a one-size-fits-all answer that makes sense. And what I kept coming back to was what I said in the post on fear linked to above. So in direct answer to the question posed in the title of this post:

“I think some SEO writers succeed where others fail is because they face their fears and push through them. In other words, they deal with their internal bullshit!”

And make no mistake we all have it – whether it’s coming from an alcoholic family, being physically/sexually abused as a child, lack of confidence formed by an overly critical parent/teacher – whatever it is, it’s there. Some of us use it to fuel us on to success; others of us let it defeat us by limiting how we view and act in the world.

You see, fear is the shield we hide our emotional crap behind. And each of us has different crap that we’re shying away from. AND this – in my opinion – is exactly why some of us succeed and some of us fail – at any and every thing we attempt.

Turns out, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, because we are all different, with different problems — and different ways of coping.

Share Your Thoughts

Why do you think some freelance writers succeed, and others don’t? Please share in the comments section below.

RECENTLY PUBLISHED & UPCOMING POSTS

Following is what was published recently — and what’s coming up — 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).

Monday: Freelance Writing Jobs for the Week of 2/3/2014

Tuesday: Freelance Writers: How to Create Powerful Email Content that Connects & Converts

Yesterday: Freelance Writers: Here’s One Type of Online Job Ad to Beware Of

Coming Saturday: A Freelance Writer’s Life Abroad: Inside Peek at My Life as an American Living in Negril, Jamaica for a Year, Part XXVII: This is a link to the last post in this series, which was started back in 2010 — can you believe!

Coming Sunday: The State of Freelancing – Does a Higher Minimum Wage Mean More Work for Freelancers? As the minimum wage has been in the news a lot lately, I thought it would be good to discuss how this will affect us as freelance writers in this edition of The State of Freelancing column. So, don’t forget to drop by and leave your input, ok?

On a Personal Note: Snorkeling, Lobster & Glass-Bottom Boats …

I’m going snorkeling this weekend. I was born and raised in Florida, but didn’t learn how to snorkel until about a year or so ago. It opens up a whole new world in the water! So where does the lobster and glass-bottom boat come in?

Get the full scoop in the latest post in the “Living in Jamaica” series this coming Saturday on InkwellEditorial.com.

Sunset: The Cliffs of NegrilP.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.

SEO Writer Salary 2014

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.