SEO Copywriting: Advice for New Freelance Writers Entering this Niche
SEO Tips for New SEO Copywriters
SEO copywriting is an exciting career for freelance writers, for numerous reasons (eg, pays well, jobs are easy to market for and there’s less competition for writing jobs). In order to be successful in this field though, there are some definite do’s and don’ts.
I’ve been doing SEO writing since the fall of 2007. Following are some things I wish I knew when I first entered the field.
I. Learn SEO: While this may sound obvious, many SEO copywriters stop investing in learning about search engine optimization once they get a handle on the basics. It’s important to continue learning though because SEO is not a static industry. The rules of the game are constantly changing. In order to serve your clients well, you need to continue to learn.
Another reason this is important is because clients will look to you for a lot of information on search engine marketing. I was surprised by this because my thought process was, “I’m just an SEO copywriter; I’m not a search engine marketing guru.”
I was surprised how much clients who hired me didn’t know; and they expected me to be the expert for them. I talk about this in the guest post on Copyblogger.com, SEO Copywriters: How to Make an Extra $61,880 This Year.
At the end of this post you’ll find a link to a free internet marketing report that really helped to catapult my earnings as an SEO copywriter.
How to Learn SEO
So, what can you do to further your knowledge of SEO? Quite frankly, read. Read authority blogs and websites, eg, Matt Cutts, Aaron Wall, SearchEngineWatch, etc. Even if you spend only 10 or 15 minutes a day reading one insightful SEO article or blog post, you’ll be surprised at how much knowledge you’ll pick up.
I still do this – and will for as long as I’m a web writer.
II. Learn How to Market: No matter what type of business you start, you must learn how to market. Marketing for – and landing -- SEO copywriting jobs is relatively easy though because there’s less competition than for other types of freelance writing jobs.
Because your client pool is already online, all you have to do is create custom email queries to send out. Do a certain number each day, and I guarantee that you’ll land clients. Like any kind of sales, it’s a numbers game. You have to be in it to win it.
Many new SEO copywriters give up too soon. In fact, this seems to be a problem for a lot of freelance writers. They just don’t hang in there long enough to garner the fruits of their marketing labor.
In my experience, while getting SEO copywriting jobs is much easier than getting other types of freelance writing jobs, it does take some work. And, as the world economy is in a recession right now (in spite what experts say, I still believe we’re in a recession), companies are looking at every dollar they spend. So yeah, things are a little tight right now, but if you market for the work – consistently – you will get jobs.
III. Learn How to Upsell Clients: What do I mean by this? Let me explain by way of example. When I first started as an SEO copywriter, the only service I offered was SEO article writing. Now, I offer SEO blogging, SEO press release writing, article marketing and distribution, ebooklet writing and a few other services.
And you know where most of my sales come from --- current clients. When a client contacts me to write SEO articles, for example, I’ll ask them if they need blog posts, or a monthly press release, or article distribution.
And do you know what their response usually is? “I didn’t know you offered that service.”
No matter how thorough you make your SEO copywriting services list on your website (and you should definitely have one), most prospects won’t read it. They’ll contact you for one service that they want immediately. This is your opportunity to make them aware of your other services.
Many of the clients I have now contacted me to just write SEO articles. But when I turn a project in or as I discuss the parameters of what they need, I make them aware of the other services I offer and how it can help them bring in more business.
Remember, you’re not just an SEO copywriter – you’re a small business. Upselling is a major part of knowing how to market.
IV. Learn How to Say No: Many freelance writers are turned off of SEO copywriting because it has a reputation for being notoriously low paying. And, I’m sure you’ve seen those ads offering to pay $3 for a 500-word article.
When potential clients contact me and we get around to discussing rate, sometimes you’ll get those who are “shocked” at $35 for a 350-400 word article. They’ll say something to the effect of, “That’s expensive; I’ve gotten 10 articles for that price.”
I politely tell them that we are a professional SEO writing firm and these are our rates. I go on to say that if we don’t fit their budget, feel free to get back in touch if they find that the SEO writers they’re using are not turning in quality copy. Then, I let it go.
I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993 and I’ve learned over the course of these years that some clients are just not worth it to take on. Those looking for bottom-of-the-barrel rates like this are usually not worth the time or effort because they don’t realize what goes into writing.
If they can’t respect my craft and what it provides their business, then I don’t want to work with them – period.
V. Create Multiple Streams of Income: You can do this by writing and promoting your own ebooks, offering additional services like article marketing or putting your SEO knowledge to use to promote affiliate products.
There are numerous other things you can do; this is just three off the top of my head. Three that I use all the time. These days, I make more from my other streams of income than I do from SEO copywriting. This is by choice mind you, as I fully intend to retire from freelance writing one day.
I hope the insights I’ve dispensed here help you to make SEO copywriting a fun, profitable career for you – one that provides you a way to make a living online and work from anywhere. Right now, I’m in Jamaica working from a popular restaurant/bar overlooking the ocean. The skills I possess as an SEO copywriter makes this possible.
Learn more about SEO copywriting at SeoWritingJobs.com.
Want to know which SEO copywriting services to offer? See NewMediaWords.biz to get some ideas.