How Much Do SEO Writers Make?
3 Factors That Contribute to Earning Potential

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I’ve been writing SEO content since 2007. It’s a growing with a lot of opportunity. Proof? Consider the following, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s report, B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends:
**65% of large companies outsource content creation and 44% overall outsource B2B content creation

**1% of B2B marketers outsource all content creation and 43% use a combination of in-house and outsourced content creation

**33% of B2B marketing budgets are now allocated to content marketing

**54% of B2B marketers will increase their spend on content marketing over the next 12 months

So the work is there – lots of it! And you can make a lot of money as an SEO writer, especially if you freelance. Following are three things to consider to maximize your earning potential if you decide to start a freelance SEO content writing business.

3 Factors that Determine Your Earning Potential as a Freelance SEO Writer

I. Learn how to set rates: SEO writing rates are all over the place. You’ll see gigs that pay $5 for 500 words, and those that pay $60 for 350 words. So how do you know what to charge?

What I advise is to do some research. See what other freelancers – in your writing niche – are charging for things like blog posts and web articles. Then set your rates accordingly.

Rate-Setting Tip: If you’re just starting out, you don’t want to charge so little that potential clients devalue your services, but you don’t want to be too high that you find it hard to land clients. When I first started out in 2007, I charged $25 per 500-word article. Many lamented that it was too low, but it allowed me to seamlessly land clients.

I expanded into a full-fledged SEO writing company in 2008 and now charge $85/per article. I’d say start between $25 and $45, depending on what your niche is. Of course, you can charge more for specialized knowledge, eg, medical, legal, technical, etc.

II. Learn how to market for jobs: This includes not only getting on and sticking to a consistent marketing schedule, but also knowing where to look.

While some freelancers I know have had good luck with job boards, I’m not a fan of them. The competition is too stiff and you’ll likely be competing against writers from all over the world – many in places where they will be glad to get $3 per 500-word article.

I always advise freelancers who take my SEO copywriting course to market directly to the source, eg, to businesses themselves. This way, you cut out the middle man and their fees, and you’ll land better-paying clients as well. At least, this has been my experience.

III. Outsource to grow: One of the ways to really increase your earnings as an SEO copywriter is to outsource work to other writers. This way, you’re not limited to earning what only YOU can produce.

If you charge $50 per 350-word blog post, for example, and outsource the writing to another freelancer and pay them $30; you earn $20. Imagine having two, three or four writers “on staff.” You can see how the earnings can add up – quickly.

Many freelancers make the mistake of staying stuck in small potatoes mode. With SEO writing, you don’t have to.

This is a business you can grow exponentially – and very easily – by, for example, adding on other services like social media account management. It goes hand-in-hand with content creation, and it’s a pretty easy upsell because once clients trust you with writing their content, they’re more likely to trust you to handle other parts of their online marketing as well.

What Is the Average Salary of an SEO Content Writer?

FYI, according to job search site SimplyHired, the average salary for these types of professionals is $66,000 as of this writing. And if you freelance, it can be significantly more; your earning potential is only limited by how hard you’re willing to work.

About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company she founded in 2008, and is the publisher of Inkwell Editorial, a blog devoted to helping others start successful, home-based writing careers. She's also the author of over 50 ebooks, most of which cover some aspect of freelance writing. They can be found on major outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Get everything you need to start a successful, home-based SEO writing business.

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