SEO Copywriting Rates: One Writer Reveals How He Got to the $100/Article Mark and I Give You 6 Tips on How You Can Too!


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A couple of days ago, out of the blue I received the following email from a fellow SEO writer about how he finally broke the $100 per article mark (actually he smashed it, getting almost $150). The email made me feel so good because this freelancer had paid his dues, doing those $5/article gigs.

He said Inkwell’s ebook on SEO writing gave him the tools he needed to start making real money as a freelance writer. Of course, this makes me feel great. But, the real reason it made me so happy is that SEO writing is maturing as a profession – and quality writers in this niche are being rewarded with by asking for – and getting – higher fees.

Following is J’s email, received last Friday, April 22nd.

SEO Copywriter Breaks the $100 Per Article Ceiling – Actually Blows Through It!

Hi Yuwanda,

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!

OK, so I won’t be writing 10 articles a day at these prices, or even one a day. But I do expect to get several each month. I also have a client who pays me the equivalent of $80 for a 500 word article, and I am getting a lot of those every month too.

The great thing about your method of getting well-paid SEO article work is that you can start at $25 an article, or whatever, and scale up. I had near-instant success – within 10 minutes of sending out an email – and it’s just got better and better. That $100 an article seemed totally elusive just a few months ago, but today I’m doing it.

Thanks! It’s one massive boost to morale, and it doesn’t hurt the bank balance either 🙂

Regards,

J

Upon receiving this email, I wrote J back, asking for insight on why/how he achieved this goal, writing:

J-

I’m gonna do a post on how SEO writers can break the $100 mark for the SEO writing jobs newsletter tomorrow. Can you give me one reason you think you were able to do this?

Of course, I have my own experience and suggestions, but as your email inspired this post, I’d like to get a quote from you if possible about the main reason you feel you were able to get to this mark.

Thanks, and if you don’t have time to respond — no worries, I understand.
Yuwanda

I didn’t expect such an in-depth response, but he generously responded:

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SEO Copywriter Reveals Why/How He Managed to Get to the $100 Per Article Mark

Yuwanda,

One reason why I was able to break the $100 an article mark…

Hmm…

I expected to do it, sooner or later.

Once it became obvious to me that I could charge – and get – $25, $35 or more, per article, from lots of different clients, I “knew” I’d eventually get at least $100 an article. Remember, prior to that I was getting maybe $15 an article at the absolute best, and $5 to $10 usually. However, once I “knew” it would happen, I no longer needed it to happen like yesterday. I just knew it would happen when I was ready.

OK, that sounds a bit weird, but it’s true. I had written a few articles that paid around the $45 to $55 mark, then a couple at $80 and I knew it would happen soon. It happened the following week, which was sooner than I expected. And it wasn’t a $100 article either. It was a $144 article! (emphasis added)

I find this happens. When you are trying to reach a specific goal you usually pass it by a fairly large margin. That happens soon after you realise it is actually going to happen. It seems that once you accept the inevitability of an event happening, that is, a goal you have that you need to achieve, you get there and then some. At least, that’s my usual experience.

I guess to be honest that your ebook opened my eyes to what is possible. I decided to try your method, and I did it to the letter.

I sent out 100 emails one evening quite late and received a reply within 10 minutes from a guy who told me he was sitting by his computer wondering where he could find an SEO content writer at that time of night. Then my email landed on his desk. Thirty minutes later, after several emails had gone back and forth between us, I was writing my first article for $25, and I had another 20 or so lined up to get through as well.

THAT made me a believer!

I realise now that had my experience been more like that of [a fellow SEO writer I know], I would probably have given up before I made it. [My comrade] took two weeks or so before he landed his first high paying articles. He almost gave up, but I persuaded him to keep going because I knew he would get there, and he eventually did, of course.

Why I was able to break the $100 an article mark? Because I never doubted for a single moment that I couldn’t.

What’s next for me? $200? $500? Or $1,000 an article?

It no longer matters to me. The incredible boost to morale and confidence you get when someone thanks you for writing an article, and then pays you almost $150 for the privilege, is so great, so beautifully intense, that you instantly believe that anything – anything – can and most likely will happen if you want it to.

I was browsing through a forum the other day where people were bitching about only getting $5, $3 – even just $2 an article. I was about to write a post telling them they could do better – so much better – if they really wanted to, but I didn’t. I don’t think a single one of them would have believed me.

Just before I stumbled across your ebook [on SEO writing], I knew with certainty there had to be a way to get more than $5 or $10 an article, and I had been searching for that way for several months too. I was more than ready to hear what you had to say, and more than ready to give it a try. [emphasis added]

I think that is at least half the reason it worked so well for me. I remember putting your ebook down, so to speak, and feeling real excitement, “knowing” with a total inner certainty this would work.

It did.

Thanks…

J-

SEO Copywriting Rates: 6 Tips on How to Break the $100 Per Article Mark

In my career as an SEO writer, I’ve gotten this rate from a few clients (not a lot of them, but enough of them) on a regular basis. Following are my thoughts on how to achieve this milestone.

I. Believe It to Achieve It: J’s thoughts so closely resemble my own on this topic that it was a bit uncanny for me at first. Then, it hit me – many people who become successful tend to do so because they believe they can; so it’s a shared trait of success, if you will.

In my latest ebook, How to Become a FT Self Publisher: Make the Transition from Writing for Clients (or a FT Job) to Writing for Yourself, I outline 9 steps to making this transition. The first one is belief. I wrote:

STEP I: BELIEVE IT

I start with this because many doubt themselves before they ever start working towards a goal. If you start out not believing that you can accomplish this goal, you’re already 90% of the way to NOT doing so.

And not for nothing, when you tell people about it, many are going to look at you like you’re crazy. They may not voice it, but you’ll see it in their faces. And, the ones who do voice their doubt may only serve to underscore any doubts you may be having.

So first, believe – believe with your whole heart that this is something you can do. And as much as possible, remove people from your life who don’t support your goal.

II. Offer Longer Articles: With the advent of the recent Google Panda Update, content marketing is becoming more popular than ever. And, not fluff either. Google and other SEs want in-depth, original content.

You’ll notice in J’s email that he said the SEO article he was commissioned to write was going to be 700 words. This is almost a third longer than the standard 400-500 word SEO articles many firms seek.

III. Market to Higher-Paying Clients: As I mentioned above, I’ve had only a few clients to pay me $100 or more for an SEO article. But, these tended to be clients who were accustomed to paying well for services.

So market to higher-paying clients. You’ll have to do some research to find them (eg, seek them out by industry, size of company, referrals, etc.), but it’s well worth it.

Note: It’s rare to find these types of clients on job boards like Craigslist. They just don’t advertise there because many don’t have the time to waste to sort through “content mill” writers. They want professional SEO writers, so many will come your way by referral.

Social media is another way to find them. If a company is savvy enough to actively use social media, then it’s one sign that they’re forward thinking enough to realize the value of excellent content.

IV. Play to Your Strengths: The first SEO article I ever wrote that I got $100 for was one on high-paying careers for college graduates.

My client was an internet marketing firm. They knew my background as a recruiter (remember, I owned an editorial staffing agency in New York City for 8 years) and thought of me when their client needed this type of content. And, I’d already produced a series of articles for their client (a university), who was very pleased.

Hence, it all fell into place perfectly.

So, play up your professional strengths when you market for SEO writing work. As one SEO writer wrote me recently, it really helps you land more jobs, ie:

I’ve tried and failed at so many business ideas before, it’s hard to believe one [SEO writing] really panned out for me. Actually, my past failures and numerous jobs are quite valuable in SEO writing because they gave me lots of experience with different parts of the economy and a lot of knowledge to apply to writing. So, I guess nothing in life is really a failure as long as you learn something from the experience.

V. Niche It: I’ve found that it’s much easier to command higher rates when you specialize. I’ve written on this a lot, so won’t regurgitate it here. Following are a few posts you can dig into to see why you can charge more when you specialize (ie, “niche it to success”).

Do You Make More Money as an Editorial Freelancer When You Specialize?

Freelance Writing Job: One Secret to Becoming a Six Figure Writer

Niche Marketing: How to Choose a Profitable Niche

VI. Raise Your Rates: The final tip is to simply raise your rates to $100 or more for SEO article writing. I started out at $25 per article (not blog post; article). Now, my SEO writing company’s rate for a standard 350-400 word article is $45.

While this is a long way from $100, it is a progression. And, if SEO writing was my primary income stream, my rates would probably be higher. But as I’ve stated many times, I set my freelance writing rates to easily bring in clients.

In my experience, the more you charge, the more time you’ll have to spend marketing to land jobs. My firm’s rates allow me to seamlessly land clients so I can spend my time outsourcing and overseeing jobs, while focusing on my primary income steam – my ebooks and seminars.

Did I leave anything off the list? Are there more tips you can share on how to get to the $100 per mark as an SEO writer? Leave your comments below.

SEO Content Writing Rates Revisited

FYI, I’ve written on this topic before in the post, SEO Copywriting Rates: How to Get $100/Article or More, on BloggingTips.com, a site I used to write for. That was three years ago and I have much more experience now and this email exchange with J gave me the push to revisit this topic.

Hope it’s helped.

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2 Comments so far

  1. Carol Wiley on April 28th, 2011

    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.

  2. Yuwanda, SEO Writing Jobs Editor on April 28th, 2011

    Carol:

    Congrats!

    I bet if you’d kept marketing consistently, you would have landed more clients quicker. CONSISTENT marketing is the cornerstone of SEO writing success.

    Hope this has inspired you to do more of it, and good luck with the client project. 🙂

    Best,
    Yuwanda


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