SEO Copywriter Tips: How to Protect Your Writing Samples & Guidelines on What Exactly Are the Responsibilities of an SEO Writer


Written by Yuwanda Black

In this week’s newsletter, I address a few question sent in by a new SEO writer (keep the questions coming y’all!).

In this age of stolen content and copyright infringement, part of his question asked how to protect samples when you send them out. In second part, he’s a little confused as to what exactly are his responsibilities as an SEO writer. He writes (forgive the typos):

I read your recent newletter where one SEO writer told how a client received 100% plagiarized content from a previous writer (Editor Note: See comments section in this link) …HORRIBLE. Well that got me thiking – and I did try to find this information on first – How do you protect your writing samples when sending them out for work? Is this even a major concern freelancers should have now?

One more question Yuwanda. The more i get into SEO writing, I’m hearing a lot about meta tags, imbedded links, and anchor text… How much of this is related to the SEO writer’s job?

I may just have to purchase your advanced SEO book for small businesses LOL! Thanks Yuwanda

Post Continued Below . . .
copyright-violation-notice Copyright Violation Notice: If you’re reading this entire post (snippets are fine) on any blog other than, it is stolen content. Scraping content (eg, using software to illegally copy and paste copyrighted content from websites and blogs) is becoming a common practice which affects every site owner. So if you see this content someplace else, please take a quick moment to send an email to [info]at[] (remove brackets, of course) so that we can take the appropriate action. Thank you in advance for your help.


MY ANSWER TO QUESTION #1: How to Protect Your SEO Copywriting Samples

I’m going to tell you what I do – other freelance writers may have different ways of addressing this problem (and if you’re one of them, please chime in in the comments section so we can all learn).

The first thing my SEO Writing Company does is have clients sign a Writing Samples Confidentiality Agreement. After they’ve done this, I forward samples.

I have one writing samples document I send out to clients. In it are four different articles – ranging on content from tech to real estate. The document is sent as a secure .pdf file (eg, can’t be copied/pasted) and has a watermark on it.

There is also a disclaimer at the very beginning of the document that states:

Note: As the forwarded Writing Samples Confidentiality Agreement that you signed and sent back to us states, the following writing samples are actual articles written for New Media Words’ clients. The content may not be used, reproduced, rewritten or redistributed in any manner. They are provided for the sole purpose of judging New Media Words’ SEO content writing style, range and ability.

SEO Copywriting Tip: Types to Writing Samples to Forward to Prospective Clients

FYI, the samples included in New Media Word’s writing samples document are always older than one year and are written for article marketing campaigns, so they are widely distributed anyway.

Hence, just in case someone does steal/plagiarize the content, it’s not like it’s original content that can’t be found other places on the web.

Also, I forward samples on various different topics so clients can see that we can write on a wide range of topics.

SEO Writers: Should You Forward Original Articles as Samples? When and When Not To

As a matter of course, in my opinion, you shouldn’t forward original writing samples to prospects. Following is why.

While it’s okay to send out original content you write just for your portfolio (if you’re new and didn’t have previous samples to start with), don’t be afraid to use these pieces in article marketing campaigns, on your blog, in your newsletters, etc.

Watch Out for SEO Content Thieves!

About half the time, clients will want you to provide samples in their niche. This is particularly true if it’s something like tech, medicine, law, etc. If you don’t have any and want to create one – then fine. But, use it as your “tech, legal, medical” sample. Don’t create samples from scratch JUST for clients if you already have one IN THAT NICHE.

As I state in the article, How to Spot Online Freelance Writing Jobs Scams on Popular Sites like Craigslist, “Some want free content, so they may request “original” writing samples.” This is how content thieves get a lot of original content for free – they request “samples” from tons of freelance writers, and you either never hear from them again, or they’ll send you a “brush off” email, eg, “Sorry, we can’t use your content because of . . . yadda, yadda, yadda.”

Only, you’re surfing a week from now and find your article all over their site.

Sponsored Link: Rank Higher Easily — Learn More

MY ANSWER TO QUESTION #2: What Exactly are the Job Responsibilities of an SEO Writer

This depends – on you, the client, the project, etc.

In short, some clients will ask you to provide anchor text links in the content you write for them; others will want you to write Resource Boxes; yet others will want you to write meta tags; some will want you to distribute content to article directories; etc.

The simple fact of the matter is, you can provide as many or as few services as you want as an SEO article writer. My firm charges for some extras like writing meta tags and resource boxes, but for others, we don’t.

For example, if a client wants us to do anchor text linking. As long as it’s not a lot and they provide the link, we do that for no extra charge. But if they say, for example, find a link on this and include it, then that requires research time, so we’d charge for that.

The bottom line is time – that’s what you’re charging for.

Hope this helps.

Yuwanda, SEO Writing Jobs Editor

Related Posts

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

Copyright Infringement Ebook: What to Do If Someone Steals Your Content and/or If You are Falsely Accused of Stealing Someone’s Content


Find qualified talent for your SEO writing jobs, social media jobs and internet marketing jobs absolutely free. Simply send your ad to info[at] We will post it here, and in our weekly (Wednesday) newsletter.

P.P.S.: Ditch Your Job and Start a Successful Career as an SEO Copywriter? Get SEO Copywriting Training Today.

Find this post informative? Follow Us on Twitter.

Submit a Guest Post: This site and its parent site,, now accept guest posts. Get the guest post submission guidelines.

Want to avoid freelance writing dry spells and make some 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 © 2011: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without my written consent (linking to is fine).

3 Comments so far

  1. Mary Sandor on May 26th, 2011

    Hello Yuwanda,

    So I am new to SEO writing but have not yet hung my shingle as I am writing almost exclusively for an agency who keeps me pretty busy. I have written on a wide variety of topics and want to use some of those articles as they range from 500-1,500 words as samples – is it ethical to use these samples or should I omit the names of the clients? It’s not really clear to me so any light you can shed, thanks 🙂

  2. Kevin on June 2nd, 2011

    Wow! Even i was wondering how to keep my samples confidential and at the same time grow my business. Interesting and practical tips there! Thanks..

  3. Mary,

    Just ask clients if you can include their samples in your portfolio. If they say no or if you don’t want to go that route, produce “like” samples to include in your portfolio, and let prospects know that you’ve done work “like” this for past/existing clients.

    Hope this helps.