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SEO Copywriters: 5 Situations Where You Should Turn Down SEO Writing Jobs

Updated on February 4, 2010

Ever Wonder if You Should Turn Down an SEO Writing Job?

I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993. I got into SEO writing in 2007. It quickly turned into my most lucrative stream of writing, so I started to focus all of my marketing efforts in this area. When I first started out, I took every job that came my way practically.

But like anything, the more experience I got in this freelance writing niche, the more I learned when to turn down assignments.

Now, everybody is different. So here, I’m going to discuss four situations where I turn down SEO writing work. Hopefully, it’ll help you make better decisions if you’re a freelance writer in this niche or if you’re thinking about starting an SEO copywriting career.

1. When the Rate’s Not Right: SEO copywriting rates, like freelance writing rates in general, are all over the place. When I set my rates, I set them low enough to attract clients without too much effort, but high enough to make a decent living.

Many have told me that my firm’s rates are too low. And I agree, especially for the quality we turn out. However, I didn’t want to have to struggle to bring in clients. So, I keep my firm’s rates on the low end to easily attract clients. This works for me.

Hence, when a prospective client wants to go lower, I tend to be pretty inflexible because I think my firm’s SEO writing rates are already low enough.

Now, do I lose jobs? Yes. I’ve turned down quite a few. But, I’ve been a freelance writer long enough to know that when I work for less than what I think I deserve, it just doesn’t sit right with me. This means I don’t turn out my best work, which is unfair to the client.

The bottom line is, I have to feel good about any job my SEO copywriting company takes on. And, as I’ve been a freelance writer for so long, I know these things usually shake out. One hundred percent of the time, I’ve regretted going lower when I know my rate is fair to begin with.

2. When the Content Is Not Agreeable: As an SEO copywriter, I’ve written on everything from wedding accessories to mortgages to welding – and all in one day. Although my firm will write on almost any topic, there are certain types of content that we won’t produce.

These are the obvious ones that most would probably turn down, eg, hate material and pornographic material (although we have written for sex toy sites). In my mind, that’s not pornography; it’s a legitimate product.

3. When I Don’t “Have a Head” for the Material: As an SEO copywriter, you will be called on to write material you have no clue about. This is normal. A little research and you’re on your way.

But, there are some topics that I hate so much that it takes me forever to produce the content, even when I do the research, eg, computer technology. So I’d turn down these type of SEO writing jobs because I just “don’t have a head for computer technology;” I hate the subject matter and it’s just not worth my time to write about it.

When I first began writing SEO content, it was just me. Now, I have a team of writers that I outsource content like this to. So, I throw this reason in for those who may be just starting out and are doing all of the writing themselves.

4. When I Can’t Meet the Deadline: Even with a team of writers, my SEO writing firm sometimes gets swamped. So if we absolutely can’t meet a deadline, I’ll turn the project down. It’s fair to the client . . . and to me and my team.

“But,” you may be thinking, “why don’t you just bring on more SEO writers?” While I could bring on more, right now I don’t want to. I have systems in place that keep the workflow of New Media Words manageable – and allows me to focus on other projects.

People often forget that when you expand, while you do make more money, it also creates more headaches.

5. Gut Feeling: I’ve been writing SEO content long enough – and been in business for myself long enough – to just get a gut feeling that some projects should be turned down. It could be in the way the initial consultation with the client went, or the type of copy they want, or the way they responded to my follow-up questions.

While I can’t explain this feeling, I do heed it. Once you’ve been self employed long enough, you’ll develop it too. Trust it, for it almost never leads you wrong.

Some SEO writing jobs can actually “cost” you . . . eg, time, money, headaches, etc. I hope this gives you some insight about when to turn them down.


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    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 

      8 years ago from Delaware

      Wow, I hope you eventually write about running marathons, I have always wanted to say I have run 26 miles, but alas - only in my dreams. :-)

    • Yuwanda Black profile imageAUTHOR

      Yuwanda Black 

      8 years ago

      Thanks Jen:

      You too, have a fantastic collection of Hubs. I hope your MS "behaves" itself more often than not. It sucks when you're an active person and the body doesn't cooperate. (I'm a marathon runner and know the frustration of mentally "wanting to" but the body rebelling and I'm not "able to).



    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 

      8 years ago from Delaware

      You are very interesting as is this topic. Glad I stumbled upon this hub at just the right time. Proof positive that it pays to browse. :-)


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