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SEO Writing: Hate the 9 to 5 Grind - There's Never Been a Better Time to Be a Freelance

Updated on June 7, 2010

If you abhor a 9 to 5 existence, but still crave a career (not just a job), SEO writing is an ideal career because it allows you the freedom to work from anywhere in the world and make a more-than-decent living.

The Growth in Freelance Writing Jobs

The growth in freelance writing jobs has been steadily increasing over the last decade or so. It makes sense, because this parallels the growth of the internet. Hence, web writing jobs and online writing jobs present a lot of opportunities for freelance writers.

Following are some stats to sink your teeth into if you’re thinking about freelance writing as a career option.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predict a 10% growth in writing jobs between 2006 and 2016. If major job boards like Craigslist are anything to go by, this is a very conservative estimate. The freelance site oDesk reported a 500% increase in freelance writing jobs from 2008 to 2009.

In 2000, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that there were roughly 41,500 employed writers in the USA. That number rose to just over 135,000 in 2006, an increase of more than 300%.

Now that you know that the demand is there, following are three keys to becoming a successful freelance search engine optimization writer. Even with no experience, you can start making a full-time living in this profession in a few months.

3 Keys to Becoming a Successful SEO Copywriter

I. Learn the Trade: Writing for SEO is not hard, but it is a distinctive way of writing that must be learned. And, it’s not something you have to pay to be trained for. You can learn all on your own. There’s so much free information about SEO writing on the web that all you have to do is do some intense research.

How to Teach Yourself to Become an SEO Copy Writer for $0

If you don’t know anything about writing for search engines, Google phrases as you come across them (eg, what is SEO writing, what are backlinks, what are keywords, etc.).

The concepts of this type of technical writing are intricately linked, so once you find a good source, be sure to bookmark it so you can go back to it again and again to learn what you need to know.

II. Charge Appropriately: Once you gain an understanding of what writing for SEO is all about, then it’s time to think about the services you’ll offer and how much you’ll charge.

As with any type of freelance writing, rates are all over the place. So, visit as many as 10 to 20 sites to get an idea of a range. Then, charge what you feel is appropriate.

Note: You’re going to run across a lot of sites that say you shouldn’t charge below “x”. The best piece of advice I can give here is charge enough to make what you need to make, without having to work ridiculous hours.

Keep in mind the hidden cost of being a freelance writer (ie, being self employed), like taxes, health insurance costs, time spent marketing, etc.

Hence, if $50 per SEO article works for you, then charge that. Don’t worry about what other freelance SEO writers may think about what you’re charging.

III. Learn How to Market: No matter which type of business you start – everything from running a lemonade stand to starting a multi-million dollar real estate business – you must learn how to market. Online marketing is different from traditional marketing. And, this is what will bring you in the most business.

So, spend tons of time learning how to market your skill as an SEO copywriter. No matter how good a writer you are, if you don’t market, you’ll be just another underpaid professional struggling to make a living online – unnecessarily.

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