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SEO Copywriter: What Do They Do & How Much Do They Earn?

Updated on January 2, 2010

SEO Copywriting Explained

What Does an SEO Copywriter Do

I’m an SEO copywriter. I’ve been doing this type of freelance writing since the fall of 2007. I’ve been a freelance writer/editor since 1993. And, I have to say, of all the types of writing I’ve done, SEO copywriting has been the most lucrative.

Here, we will discuss why SEO writing is so lucrative – even in a recession. We’ll also go over exactly what an SEO copywriter does.

Why SEO Copywriting Is So Lucrative

According to internet marketing experts, 100,000 new websites go live on the web every day. And, many think this number is too low. I tend to agree because this number probably doesn’t include all the other kinds of web presences, eg, blogs, social media accounts (eg, Twitter), Hubpages accounts, accounts, etc.

What all of these things have in common is that they are accounts set up by individuals. The content on them can be tweaked, added to, deleted, etc. Another thing all of these web presences have in common is that they are made up of content – lots and lots of content.

Smart account holders, webmasters, bloggers, et al write with SEO in mind, ie, they produce SEO content. This makes SEO copywriters an in-demand bunch. And, not many know how to do this type of writing.

SEO Copywriter: In-Demand Professionals for Forward-Think Entrepreneurs

So in essence what you have is the classic formula of increased demand (by business owners) with few producers (SEO writers). This means an SEO copywriter can charge more for their services than a general, run-of-the-mill writer.

Now that many businesses have learned the importance of search engine optimization marketing, they realize the need for content producers who understand SEO. And while SEO writing is not hard, many freelance writers haven’t taken the time to learn the skill. This means the few who have can make really good money promoting their SEO copywriting services.

Now, that you know why an SEO copywriter is an in-demand professional, let’s look at what it is that do.

SEO Copywriter: General Skills Needed

SEO writers produce web copy to drive visitors to an online presence. The copy can be anything from short blog posts (50-300 words) to site articles (300-500 words), to SEO press releases to informational ebooklets, etc.

SEO copywriters must understand search engine optimization in order to do so. This means they must know concepts like keyword density, backlinks, anchor text, keyword research, long-tail keywords – and a whole bunch more -- are.

Again, this is not hard to learn, but it does take time to ingest – and apply – to content produced.

SEO Copywriter: 5 Specific Skills Needed

Five skills every SEO copywriter should possess are:

Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Things like the skills listed above in the “General Skills Needed” section, as well as black hat tactics, white hat tactics, the duplicate content penalty and the ever changing rules of SEO. For, the rules/guidelines do change.

The internet is a mercurial thing. As technology is developed, adapted and used, the rules governing what’s acceptable and what’s not also changes. As an aside, I think this is one of the main reasons I think a lot of freelance writers don’t get into SEO copywriting. They don’t want to keep up with this stuff.

Keen Research Skills: Clients will have you writing on some of the most unusual things – many of them you will have no idea about. As an SEO copywriter, you must be able to conduct research to produce interesting, factual copy.

Use of Keyword Research Tools: Most of the time, clients will give you the keywords they want you to work with. But, sometimes they won’t. They’ll just give you a general idea of what they want and ask you to come up with the keywords.

Hence, learning to use keyword research tools (eg, Google AdWord Keyword Tool) is critical to your success as an SEO copywriter.

The Ability to Write Fast: Knowing how to write fast will directly impact how much money you’ll be able to make. Most clients commission 350-500 word articles. They may also hire an SEO writer to do blog posts (ie, SEO blog posts). These can be anywhere from 50 to 300 words.

I’ve written as many as 22 articles (500 words each) in one day. That’s 11,000 words – a lot of content! But, at $45/pop, that’s also $1,125/day. There aren’t a lot of freelance writing jobs that pay that.

Now, is this an everyday thing? No, of course not. My norm is 3-4 articles and 2-3 blog posts a day. I have multiple streams of income, which means I don’t depend on client projects for the bulk of my earnings, so this works for me.

How busy you are as an SEO copywriter is completely up to you. If you want more work, you just market more.

The Ability to Think Fast: Many clients won’t give you an idea of what to write. They’ll just email you a list of keywords and say, “Write on this.” So you have to be able to come up with good ideas – fast.

You won’t have a week to brainstorm ideas. Usually, clients expect projects back in 2-3 days, so being able to produce quality copy quickly is a valued skill every SEO copywriter should develop.

How Much Does an SEO Copywriter Make?

This varies, as every SEO writer is free to set their rates the way they want. Some charge really low rates (ie, $5, $10 for a 400-500 word article). Others charge a bit more $25-$35; and yet others charge $100 or more. It all depends.

I charge in the mid-range $35-$75 per 400-500 word article. As you can see, it can add up. You can go to (my SEO Content Writing Site) to see rates for all of my SEO writing services.

I hope this has given you a better understanding of what an SEO Copywriter does, and why it’s an exciting career choice.

Note: Everything written here is from my own personal experience. I’ve literally written the book on SEO copywriting though; I also teach an SEO Copywriting Training ecourse. You can learn more about that at or

SEO Copywriter: A Career Choice for You?

Did the info dispensed here give you a clearer understanding of what an SEO copywriter does?

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    • SEOSMOPPC profile image

      Naveen Sehgal 3 years ago from Faridabad, Haryana

      I have also shared my ideas in this post. Hope you will like it.

    • marlanasifter profile image

      marlanasifter 5 years ago from Sanford, NC, USA

      I'm glad I spent time reading this. I must learn more...

    • profile image

      seo by demand 6 years ago

      Thank You for the information you gave, we are definitely using the infos to improve our services!

    • dswan9 profile image

      dswan9 7 years ago from Amsterdam and London

      A great hub..I have been trying to get into copywriting for the past few months but was disappointed with the low rates on Elance at $5 an article.Saying that I have just done a sales letter at $85 so things are looking up. If you have any tips for finding work or can advise me on my website would appreciate it. Thanks

    • profile image

      Jaime 7 years ago

      Great hub. Very informative. Thank you!

    • Mason88 profile image

      Mason88 7 years ago from London

      Another great informative hub, thanks.

    • profile image

      Sonya Carmichael Jones 7 years ago

      Another way to find out what SEO copywriters earn is to view salaries at

      Sonya Carmichael Jones,