SEO Content Writing: What’s Google Up to Now? The Latest Changes You Need to Know about to Stay Current

Written by Yuwanda Black

Since the Hummingbird update last August, Google hasn’t done a “major” update – at least not one that freelance SEO writers need to be concerned about. As a reminder, Google updates its algorithm hundreds of times per year. Some are major updates, eg, Penguin and Panda. Others are mere tweaks that most of us never even hear about.

So that’s a relief, right? But, there are still a few things I notice that too many freelancers aren’t doing to their own copy (which means you might not be alerting your clients to it), that I want to address here.

I. Long-Form Content

Remember the days of writing a 200 or 300-word post, sticking in some keywords, and having it rank well? Well, those days are gone. While it’s still possible for short content to rank well, Google is rewarding longer form content more often than not.

The post, Why Long Copy and Content Ranks Better in Google’s Results, explains why, stating:

Long posts have a longer shelf life due to higher quality. They enable you to demonstrate your authority and people tend to share them more because longer content is more valuable and credible.  …

Looking at the average top ten results on Google, the higher up we go on the search listing pages the more content each page has. All of them are around 2000 words in length.

Google’s latest additions to their search algorithms mean that they’re better at picking out higher quality results, and it’s hard to deliver that quality in a short form when you’re dealing with big questions.

How to Write SEO Content in 2014: 4 Tips
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Seeking Guest Posters for this site and it’s parent site, InkwellEditorial.com: Details.
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II. Title Tag

Yes, it still matters. Why? Simply because it’s what shows up in search results. It determines whether or not a page gets clicked on to a large degree. As described on the uber-popular tech site Moz.com:

A title tag is the main text that describes an online document. It is the second most important on–page SEO element (the most important being overall content), and appears in three key places: browsers, search engine results pages, and external websites.

So write good headings/titles for your clients, as this is what’s most likely to be used in the Title tag.

III. Google Authorship

Google wants to rule your web world – and one of the ways they’re doing is by rewarding you for claiming your content.

Google Authorship is a way for Google to verify “connections between content on the web and the creators of the content. This gives Google the ability to identify quality, human-created content and distinguish it from content that isn’t quite up to par,’ as explained in the post.

Learn more about the impact of not building your Author Rank.

As a freelance SEO writer, if you guest post on blogs, or write content for your own blog, or contribute content to article directories – wherever and however you distribute content on the web – set up and use your Google Authorship profile because Matt Cutts, Google SEO guru, has confirmed that things like Author Rank is “a factor” in ranking content.

IV. Properly Name Images/Media

More and more of us are using mixed media like infographics, slide shows and video. And that’s because Google likes to return results featuring this kind of content.

So be sure to “keyword” these too. How? By simply using the keyword inyour description. For example instead of naming an image .jpg1, be more descriptive.

If you create an infographic detailing how to write a press release, name it accordingly, eg, sample press release, press release template, press release format – all great keywords for this subject.

Conclusion

The good news is, Google hasn’t had any major shakeups in its algorithm lately. So take advantage of what they’re telling you to do now so that you won’t be too far behind WHEN they do another update … because there’s always another one, right?

Related Post: How Should SEO Content be Written in 2014 to Stay on the Right Side of Google? Here’s How

Share Your Thoughts

Are there more tips you can share on about writing SEO content nowadays? Please share in the comments 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 to Market Your Self-Published Ebook (Part IV): How to Effectively Use Your Blog to Sell Your Ebook (a guest post by Halona Black)

Yesterday: Freelance Writers: 3 Money-Making Tips To Adopt In 2014 That Could Explode Your Income

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.

Just How Easy Is It to Make $100/Day as an SEO Writer? Part II

Written by Yuwanda Black

First let me say, happy first day of spring (yep, it’s finally here) — even though it doesn’t feel like it for many across the country. Hang in there, the temps will catch up with the calendar soon. As they say here in Jamaica, “Soon come” (the sun and warm weather, that is). … Now, to today’s topic.

In last week’s post here, we discussed how relatively easy it can be to earn $100 per day as an online (SEO) writer. One of the reasons this is so possible is the proliferation of “cheap writing gig” sites. I’ve been freelancing since 1993, and when I first started almost none of these sites existed. Now, they’re everywhere – and more are cropping up every day.

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of Taking on Cheap Writing Gigs

We touched on the good in last week’s post. But to refresh, you can read about it here. Now for the bad and the ugly, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into if you decide to go this route.

In the comment section of last week’s post, one freelancer who’d taken on these types of gigs wrote, in part:

Writing for the content mills (cheap writing websites) is very time consuming, but that is what I did the first two or three years of being a freelance writer. … You can only earn so much writing cheap content.

I. Time

I’ve said it a million times on my freelance writing blogs, but this comment sums up why it’s true beautifully; that is, “Time is your most valuable asset as a freelance writer.”

You can’t manufacture more of it, so when you’re writing for $8 or $15 per article, that is the value you’re placing on your time. Take a moment to fully realize this.

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Seeking Guest Posters for this site and it’s parent site, InkwellEditorial.com: Details.
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Insight into What It Takes to Earn $100 per Day as a Freelance SEO Writer

II. Long Days

Piggybacking on the last point, it takes a lot longer to earn $100 per day when you’re earning $10 per post, as opposed to $35, $50, $75, etc. And, as the freelancer in this post wrote, most times it doesn’t take any more time, research or energy to produce a $100 article than one that pays $5.

Getting to the $100 per Article Mark

This freelancer wrote:

I thought I’d just drop you an email to tell you that since applying your method of getting SEO article work, about two years now, I’ve finally cracked the $100 per article barrier (emphasis).

I’ve been writing articles for $35, sometimes a bit more, sometimes less, and that’s been wonderful, but in the back of my mind I’ve always wanted to break through that magic $100 an article barrier. Right now as I write (I’ve just taken a few minutes out), I am in the middle of writing an article that I will be paid 90 UK pounds for – about $144. It will be 700 words in length, and to be honest, it’s really no more difficult to research and write than a $35 one. Or a $5 one for that matter!

III. Finicky Customers

One of the things I’ve found to be true through the years as an online content provider is that the cheaper customers are much more of a pain than those that pay higher rates. Really!

For example, a lot of the cheap writing gig sites pay only “when the customer accepts the article.” And sometimes the customers ask for changes. Are you kidding me! I’m getting paid $8 for 400 words and you want me to make changes? Yep, it’s true. And if you don’t make them, then you don’t get paid.

IV: Photos, Graphics, Etc.

Some of the cheap SEO writing gigs require photos, etc. Sourcing photos that are legal for you to use, or taking the time to shoot your own is time consuming. And again, time is money.

So even though they may be offering you $15 for 350 words, if they want a photo with it, you could spend another hour or so finding one (or taking one, cropping it to their specification and uploading it in the right file format).

Time, time, time. By the time you finish all this, you’ve spent two-and-a-half hours on a $15 article.

Conclusion

Right about now, you might be thinking:

“But Yuwanda, in last week’s post you made the cheap article writing gigs sound so appealing. And now, you’re slamming them. What gives?!”

My response … I’m giving you the full picture so that you can make an informed decision – one that works FOR YOU.

In another life, I wanted to be an attorney (took the LSAT and everything). So I can argue both sides. But the ultimate decision is up to you. There is no right or wrong way to build a successful freelance writing career. Every person is different. Their goals, aspirations, dreams and responsibilities are different.

The thing I want you to realize is that if you want to make a full-time living as a freelance / SEO writer, you can. The roads to getting there are numerous – only you get to decide which one is right for you.

Share Your Thoughts

Are there more tips you can share on how to earn $100 per day (or more) as an SEO writer? Have you reached this goal at least once? How/why do you think you did it? If you haven’t, why do you think you haven’t? Please share in the comments 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 to Market Your Self-Published Ebook (Part III): How to Sell (More) Books on Amazon (a guest post by Halona Black)

Yesterday: Freelance Writers: How to Travel for at Least 3 Months at a Time & Keep Your Earnings Consistent

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.

Just How Easy Is It to Make $100/Day as an SEO Writer?

Written by Yuwanda Black

If you search terms like “make money online,” or “make money online fast,” you’ll inevitably run across articles detailing how to make $100 per day (or more) online. My point in bringing this up is it seems to be a financial milestone that many want to reach online in order to prove to themselves that they can either:

Quit a job;

Make a go of an online business;

Verify for themselves that it is possible to make decent money online without it being a scam;

Etc.

How to Earn $100 per Day as a Freelance SEO Writer

My Beginnings as an SEO Content Provider

When I first started out as an SEO writer, I was easily earning between $100 and $250 per day, charging $25 per article. This was in 2007 and I reached this milestone within the first week – really!

I was an early comer to this niche and Google’s algorithms back then made it easy to rank well by just churning out keyword-rich copy. Hence, many internet marketing firms looked for writers who knew how to write search-engine optimized copy – and turn out lots of it in a short period of time.

So, I rode the wave of that craze – and made crazy money pretty easily.

Now, the SEO content writing is maturing. Content farms made many freelancers aware of this type of writing. And, it ushered in a whole slew of companies looking for writers to write cheaply and quickly.

IMO, this was a good thing for the industry, because Google started to change their algorithms to weed out a lot of sites with low-quality content. It got harder to rank well. This forced many companies to spend money on quality content – which raised the rates for online writers who specialized in providing SEO content.

So, what does all of this have to do with earning $100 per day as an SEO writer.

Quite frankly, to point out that there are tiers of pay in this industry. How much you earn is – and will always be – up to you and how hard you’re willing to work.

For example, if you’re new to this niche and/or just don’t like marketing for higher-paying clients, you could sign on with sites like BlogMutt  and turn out 10, 15 or 20 articles a day and easily earn $100.

Realize that these will be long days and you’ll probably get burned out, but if you’re looking for an easy, legitimate way to make money online as a freelance writer, this is so feasible.

SEO Content Writing Rates: $35 to $100 or More Per Article

If you’re willing to put in the marketing muscle – consistently – you can land higher-paying clients, eg, those that pay $35, $50, $100 or more per 400 to 700-word article. As an aside, in my opinion (from researching job listings weekly) $35 seems to be somewhat of an industry norm for articles of this length nowadays.

As I wrote when I posted this week’s freelance writing job leads:

I’m not running into nearly as many $5 or $10 for 500-word article-writing jobs, for example. I’m seeing far more $30, $75 and $100 per article/post rates. However, while rates are up, so are the number of words required.

With all of this being said, in my opinion, it’s pretty straightforward to earn $100 per day as an SEO writer. You can literally hit this mark your first month – but again, you gotta work – 10, 12, 14 hours per day (which is what I did when I first started). One day, I worked almost 24 hours straight – no kidding!

The Hybrid Method of Earning $100 per Day as a Web Writer

If you’re just starting out and want to get some immediate, guaranteed cash, sign up some of those sites offering cheap writing gigs and commit to earning $50 per day writing articles for them. Then, do your marketing and land a few higher-paying clients to earn the other $50.

While some slam these sites, to be honest, if you’re looking for a way to earn just a few hundred bucks per month without doing any marketing, they’re an easy way to get started in freelance writing. Note: STAY AWAY from sites that offer to pay in the form of revenue-sharing, etc. You want to write for actual cash, not part of some profits you may never see.

FYI, here are 5 Sites That Pay $50+ for Guest Posts and 35 More “Write-for-Pay” Sites.

Here are some sites that actually pay you cold, hard cash to write articles. Wanna find more? Do a google search using keywords like “sites that pay you to write” and “make money writing articles.”

Conclusion

Making money as an online (SEO) writer is not hard, but it is a lot of work. Many wannabe freelancers get too caught up, in my opinion, worrying about what others say they should be charging, that they’re not “real writers” if they don’t charge “x,” or that they’re “bringing down the rates for everybody if they write for “y.”

Hogwash! This is YOUR career and if you have to craft it to suit YOUR life and meet YOUR income goals.

A Life Lesson from Dr. Phil

I was watching Dr. Phil one day and he was talking to a man who had been unemployed for a couple of years. When Dr. Phil asked him why, he said something to the effect of, “Because I can’t find a decent-paying job.” Dr. Phil was like:

“Then get two non-decent paying jobs. Look buddy, $8 an hour over here, $0 an hour over here. Which one is better? Work those crappy-paying jobs while looking for something better. Where I come from, there is always work for somebody who really wants to work.”

Dr. Phil is from Texas in case you don’t know.

That’s kind of the attitude I take about writing. I’ve done $15 per post article writing gigs, and $100 per page ebook writing jobs and everything in between. My goal when I lost my last full-time job back in 2007 was to stay SELF-employed – I didn’t ever want to have to work for someone else again.

So I took on practically any and everything that came my way – even cheap article writing gigs.

Now, 7 years later, I can pick and choose my freelance writing projects thanks to my self-publishing income. But that took some years. And that’s all I’m trying to get you to see. With hard work and perseverance, you too can build a thriving freelance writing business – if you’re willing to put in the work and have the courage to do it YOUR way.

Read Part II of this post.

Related Posts

How Much Do SEO Writers Earn? 5 Factors That Contribute to Earning Potential

SEO Copywriting Rates: 4 Factors to Consider That’ll Get You The Rate You Want —  Almost Every Time

2 Aspiring Online Writers Ask, “How Much Can I Earn as an SEO Writer?”

Your Input?

Do you think it’s easy to earn $100 per day as an online writer? Have you done it? If so, with low-paying or high-paying gigs? If not, why do you think you haven’t? Please share 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 to Market Your Self-Published Ebook (Part II): Boot-Strapping It — Putting Together a Low-Cost/No-Cost Plan (a guest post by Halona Black)

Yesterday: Self-Publishing on Kindle: How to Get Your Ebook Published When Amazon Flags It for Possible Copyright Infringement

P.S.: The SEO Writing E-Course is Now 50% Off (for a Limited Time).

FYI, did you know that the average salary for SEO content 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

P.P.S.: 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.

Hate Your Job? Get SEO Copywriter Training and Change the Course of Your Career

One class. One week. One life … change is possible.

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.

Freelancing as an SEO Writer: “How Long Will It Take to Earn Enough to Quit My Job?”

Written by Yuwanda Black

The question in the title of this post is one I receive fairly often – usually by those who haven’t taken the plunge yet as a freelance SEO writer, but are considering it.

I’ve addressed this question in different ways before, eg, talking about:

Factors that affect SEO writing salaries;

What’s really holding you back from starting a freelance writing career; and

How to set your rates to make a full-time living as an SEO writer.

Here, I wanted to take yet another stab at it. I’m about to go off on a seemingly unrelated tandem, so bear with me for a minute, ok?

Poll: Will I Be Successful as a Freelance SEO Writer?

SEO Writing Salary: How to Tell How Long It’ll Take You to Earn Enough to Quit Your Day Job

The other day a thought came to me about how to assess is something will work out or not. From there for some reason, my brain made the leap to polling. I remember reading something years ago about how polling came about — you know, taking a random, targeted small sample of something to gain some insight into a situation.

I thought to myself, hmmm, this might work for some who want to give SEO writing a test run. So if you want to know how long it will take you to earn enough money as a freelance SEO writer before you can quit your day job, my suggestion is this — do a random sample.

Send out 1,000 targeted queries. What I mean by targeted is within the niche you want to write in. Do all the behind-the-scenes work first, ie, setting up a website and creating perfectly SEO’d writing samples.

The Benefits of Conducting a “SEO Writing Poll”

If you make 1,000 contacts, you will have some concrete info with which to make some decisions, eg:

How long it takes on average to land jobs;

Are your SEO writing rates off (too low, too high);

How long it takes you to complete assignments;

What clients want/need/expect;

How long it will take you on average to get paid;

How you’ll juggle your FT job with your freelance work;

What your day would look like as a full-time freelancer;

If this is a career you really want to pursue; and

The types of writing jobs you’ll get: You’re going to be amazed at what comes your way when you start marketing for jobs. Even though you market within a niche, once a client likes your work, they’ll often hire you to write stuff that has nothing to do with your niche.

My Start as an SEO Writer

If you’re a regular reader of my blogs/ebooks, you’ve probably read where I talk about landing 14 jobs in one week when I first started out in 2007.

Now, SEO writing has matured as an industry and there’s more competition. But the need for content (thanks to content marketing) has soared as well, so there’s plenty (plenty!) of work out there.

Taking the advice here, you can get a sneak peek of what this career could be like for you.

A Leading Mistake Many New SEO Writers Make

“Come on Yuwanda, contact 1,000 companies. That’s a lot!”

One of the top mistakes many aspiring freelance writers make is quitting way too soon. This is why I advise making at least 1,000 contacts; 2,500 would be even better.

Look at it this way, if you are considering making a major life decision like switching careers or quitting your job, don’t you owe it to yourself to be as thorough as possible? If you break it down and did 25 a day for two months (5 days a week), that’s 1,000 right there.

The hardest part of this is going to be finding companies within the niche you target to reach out to. But again, even this is a learning experience. How/why? Because you just might discover, “Darn it, I can’t find 1,000 contacts.”

That’s a possible clue that your niche is to narrow and you need to branch out to complementary niches and/or select a new niche altogether.

Once you try this, get back in touch and let me know how it went for you, ok?

Share Your Thoughts

Are there any other ways you can think of for someone to judge how long it will take them to earn enough as a freelance / SEO writer to quit their day job? Please share 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 to Market Your Self-Published Ebook (Part I): One Freelance Writer Shares the Biggest Mistakes She’s Made (a guest post by Halona Black)

Yesterday: Is Your Writing Good Enough for You to Succeed as a Freelance Writer?

P.S.: Did you know that the average salary of SEO writers is $66,000 as of this writing? That’s $15,000 above the median household income in the U.S. right now.

SEO Copywriting Training: Course Discoun

P.P.S.: 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.